Alba was created in 2004 to offer clients a uniquely broad range of environmental risk management options, including surplus lines insurance brokering as well as legal services. The model was needed because, as a “surplus lines” product not subject to any regulatory review, environmental insurance can be sold only through surplus lines brokers, and, as a complex customized contract, the policies should be negotiated and drafted with the assistance of counsel experienced in this highly specialized field. Alba enables clients to obtain both services from one place and in a coordinated and efficient manner that maximizes protections.
In addition to the legal complexities of the policies themselves, environmental insurance is typically obtained to support related contracts to clean up and/or transfer and redevelop contaminated land. For that reason, the broker and attorney leading the negotiations and drafting of the policies must also understand (and, typically, participate in negotiating and drafting) the related contracts.
Prior to creating Alba, its Founder, Michael Hill, was outside counsel to (and then Senior Vice President of) TRC Companies, one of the earliest and the largest users of environmental insurance, and then Chairman of Marsh, Inc.’s Environmental Insurance Group (then the world’s largest environmental insurance practice within the world’s largest brokerage). While at Alba, Michael also served as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of an Environmental Trust that was the third largest holder of industrial property in the U.S. These experiences gave Michael early, deep and broad experience in the field as an attorney, broker and client.
Since its inception, Alba has served as counsel, broker, consultant and/or expert witness to the U.S. Government (the Air Force, the Army, and the Department of Justice); Fortune 500 industrial companies; the world’s largest Brownfield developer; the $773M Trust created to remediate and redevelop the 89 industrial properties left behind in the GM bankruptcy; two of the world’s largest environmental insurers; two trade associations and several non-profits. Alba has helped clients remediate and/or redevelop military bases, power plants, auto plants, oil refineries, mines and other sites for a total of over $1B in cleanups and $4B in redevelopment on properties now host to over 50,000 jobs. As an expert witness, Alba’s Michael Hill has testified regarding the use of insurance and fixed-price contracts to clean up clean up and redevelop military bases and to decommission nuclear power plants. Most recently, in September 2018, Alba was awarded the competitively-bid contract to advise and assist the Air Force with respect to environmental insurance and other risk management options at active and former military across the U.S., and in December 2018, Alba helped the U.S. Government acquire 97 previously-contaminated acres in St. Louis to construct a $1.7B National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency campus (where an estimated 3,000 persons will work).
Alba’s multidisciplinary experience is particularly helpful in the contexts of:
Environmental insurance obtained from traditional insurers;
Environmental insurance obtained from alternative sources (e.g., captive insurers, which collectively now receive over 50% of all property and casualty premium in the U.S.);
Fixed-Price Cleanups and/or Property Sale Agreements;
Trusts, Escrows and Bankruptcies; and
Renewable Energy and Forest Conservation Projects (e.g., utility-scale solar-on-landfills; carbon credits).