Over the past year, Miller has built out its Cyber team to support the international growth ambitions of its Cyber portfolio, whilst continuing to grow its core North American practice. The team is comprised of specialised Cyber brokers, bringing over 80 years’ collective experience to the market. The team includes a total of seven new hires, bringing fresh energy to the Miller team and a high level of expertise on both the retail and wholesale sides of the business. The team is headed by Debbie Hobbs, who joined Miller in July 2021 from a Cyber MGA, having begun her career in law, and is a recognised leader in the cyber insurance space.

Umber O’Doherty joined Miller’s North American Professional Risks team in September 2022 as Cyber Counsel. We caught up with her to find out more about her career journey and how she is helping to strengthen Miller’s Cyber offering for our clients.

Umber, could you tell us about your new role at Miller?

Our Cyber, Technology & Media team assists retail and wholesale clients with the vast number of collateral legal queries that arise in the course of broking, for example, the implications of War Exclusions on their cyberattack cover. My role as Cyber Counsel is to enhance Miller’s existing offering by providing an expert view to our clients on the scope of protection and coverage. We are mindful that standalone Cyber policies are a relatively new insurance product which, from a client’s point of view, can be daunting. There is often an imbalance of expertise and I hope to give greater peace of mind to our clients by providing certainty on what is and isn’t covered in policies. 

One of my projects here at Miller is to redraft our boilerplate Cyber wording, with a view to making it more client-friendly and accessible. Over the coming year, I will be assisting the team to enter formal partnerships with risk-based Cyber security firms, offering our clients a tailored and holistic approach to counter their individual Cyber risks. It’s an exciting time for the Cyber team at Miller and there are a lot of developments in the pipeline.

Tell us about your career journey so far?

My background is as a litigator and coverage lawyer. I trained with Barlow, Lyde & Gilbert and qualified into the Commercial Risk and Reinsurance team in 2008. I then moved to Clyde & Co. a year later with my supervising partners - in a slightly circular move - as the two firms subsequently merged a year after! 

I have acted for insurers and reinsurers on a range of liability defence, coverage and subrogated recovery actions arising from the London Market and beyond. I was seconded to AIG in 2011 which gave me a taste of working as an in-house lawyer.  

What was it that drew you to Miller?

I have always been in private practice, but I wanted the opportunity to work in-house alongside colleagues striving towards common goals. Miller presented a fantastic and unique opportunity for me to sit within a Cyber team as dedicated Counsel. The role allows me to immerse myself within the business and add significant value to the Cyber product offering. I was also very excited to be working with Debbie Hobbs again; we worked in the same team at BLG and Clyde back in her lawyer days! 

Which aspects of your experience are you excited to be bringing to Miller?

I hope to bring my legal and technical expertise to the team as well as my broader experience of networking and marketing.

Thank you Umber – it’s great to learn about your new role at Miller.

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