In 1979, Norwood & Associates principal, John Norwood, did what few have done – he guided legislation keeping separation of banking and commerce through both houses of the Legislature only to have it vetoed. However, that did not deter the author and John Norwood. They successfully guided the bill back through the Legislature to override Governor Jerry Brown’s veto – an accomplishment that had not happened since 1946.
What makes Norwood & Associates unique is its success passing legislation in the most complex and controversial areas of law. For instance, four times the firm has helped clients amend Proposition 103, California’s landmark insurance regulatory law, by enacting:
- An anti-trust exemption for the property/casualty insurance industry’s leading supplier of statistical, actuarial, underwriting and claims data.
- An exemption for insurance agents and brokers from the twenty percent rate roll-back obligation, saving them and their clients more than $600 million; and,
- A “super-group” exception for insurers with multiple subsidiaries that enables each carrier to offer the required “one lowest rate” for automobile insurance.
Each of these Prop 103 amendments required a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and was passed despite heavy opposition from entrenched interests and the Insurance Commissioner.
- Norwood & Associates passed legislation rewriting the entire Surplus Lines Insurance Regulatory Code in California and did the same for public insurance adjusters and the Financial Guarantee Insurance industry.
- Norwood & Associates prevailed over class-action lawyers and the Insurance Commissioner with legislation that barred the insurance regulator from utilizing a theory of de facto agency in his efforts to prevent insurance brokers from collecting a fee as well as a commission on the sale of insurance products.
- Norwood & Associates led a coalition of disparate interests to enact an entirely new regulatory scheme to govern life settlement transactions.
- That same year Norwood & Associates passed a bill allowing mortgage insurance companies to continue to write in California even though they may have temporarily breached minimum policyholder surplus requirements.
Many clients choose Norwood & Associates because they need help preventing unwarranted government intrusion in their business. Norwood & Associates has a proven record in this area as well. For example, Norwood & Associates has successfully:
- Defeated attempts to impose onerous new legal obligations, mandate compensation disclosure, and eliminate contingency compensation for insurance brokers and agents;
- Stopped organized labor from requiring prior approval of workers’ compensation rates and imposing a fee schedule on insurance agent commissions and broker fees;
- Defeated rate regulation and burdensome privacy mandates in title insurance;
- Stopped numerous attempts to extend the sales tax to service industries, and
- Defeated efforts to mandate 3% tax withholding on independent contractors.