The course examines concepts of political risk and the means by which certain political risks can be managed in planning and structuring foreign investments, particularly in international project financings. Classes will be a combination of lecture and guided discussion based on assigned readings. The readings include articles about the issues and related subjects, examples of political risk insurance contracts used by a national government agency, a multinational institution and private insurers, as well as decisions on claims made under political risk insurance contracts. The opportunity to analyze and revise original contract documents will be an incidental benefit of the course. The variety of source material will expose students to the public policy issues that underlie the decision to issue such insurance and the consequences of doing so. Some incidental coverage of insurance law, international law, and dispute resolution will also be required.
In addition to an in-class final exam, students, as counsel to an insurer, will draft a memo advising how one of the insurer's standard contracts would have to be revised to cover a non-standard situation or provide a non-standard coverage. The insurer will provide a detailed written description of the situation or coverage. Students may work as individuals or form a team (and all receive the team product's grade).
The course will be taught jointly by Robert C. O'Sullivan, formerly Associate General Counsel for Insurance and Claims at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and Kenneth W. Hansen, a partner at the law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP and formerly General Counsel of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and Associate General Counsel at OPIC.