West of England P&I Club expands its New York office

Mutual marine insurer The West of England has today (Wednesday) announced the expansion of its New York office.

Senior Claims Manager Emily McCulloch transferred to New York from London at the beginning of the year and will be joined by Alton Peralta, a locally qualified claims adjuster with extensive experience of dealing with U.S. liabilities and especially crew claims under the Jones Act.

A qualified lawyer, Ms McCulloch has significant experience of both P&I and Defence claims, having worked as a Syndicate Manager at another International Group Club prior to joining the West. Before that she worked as in-house counsel for a UK based shipowner and at a London City law firm. Since joining the Club last year Ms McCulloch has been dealing with Members in both North and South America.

Alton Peralta has had a 20-year career in all aspects of marine risk management and claims handling, both at the operational level for a leading tug and barge operator and with marine insurance companies, where he was latterly the Marine Claims Manager for the east coast and Gulf regions for a large U.S. carrier. A licenced adjuster in many states, he has managed a wide variety of marine claims including extensive experience in Jones Act crew claims from first notification through to arbitration, settlement or trial where necessary.

Together, they will be providing a localised claims service to the Club’s Members in the USA, Canada and South America.

Commenting on this strengthening of the New York team, Suzanne Byrne (pictured), Group Head of Claims, said: “North and South America are important markets for the West. This announcement marks a significant milestone in delivering the high quality service for which the Club is renowned to those Members and supporting Paul Barnes in his marketing role in the region.

“It also represents a further demonstration of our commitment to providing a regional service to Members around the world through our network of local service centres.”

The Club opened its New York office in 2017 as well as a Singapore office in the same year. The Singapore office has likewise seen significant expansion, with seven staff now delivering claims and underwriting services to the Club’s membership in Singapore and the wider south east Asian region.