SOL KROLL

KROLL--Sol. We mourn the loss of Sol Kroll. He arrived as a young immigrant child through Ellis Island, lived a long and very full life, had a wonderful marriage to Ruth, four children, devoted and loving grandchildren, adorable great-grandchildren, upon all of whom he showered unequivocal and unconditional love. This brilliant multi-talented, erudite, gracious, tough as nails but sweet as sugar, full of mischief, master of the universe was a unique individual possessed of an indomitable spirit who rose to great success personally and professionally. During his early years, Sol was a politician in Putnam County, New York where he served as its County Attorney from 1960-1964. After leaving politics, Sol Kroll became a legend in the field of insurance law (an Elector to the Insurance Hall of Fame) and the first truly global insurance lawyer. Starting in the 1950's when he traveled by boat - continuing in the jet age -- he opened up the English, Japanese and European insurance marketplaces for American lawyers. He was featured in the Institutional Investor magazine for his 30-year tradition of hosting the opening cocktail party each year at the Rendez-vous de Septembre, the annual Reinsurance conference in Monte Carlo. As an insurance lawyer for 71 years, he worked closely with Lloyd's of London and was the first U.S. General Counsel to the Institute of London Underwriters. He represented France in negotiating insurance aspects of tax treaties with the United States and Sweden in major insurance M & A transactions. Among his most celebrated cases, Sol was respondent's counsel in Bing v. Thunig where the New York Court of Appeals eliminated the concept of charitable immunity in the State of New York. Forty-years ago, he pioneered the concept of multi-state law firms when such firms, commonplace today, were virtually non-existent. He also pioneered the concept of "claims made" insurance that became the universal form of professional liability insurance that is used today. He was particularly proud of his 20-year service as a Director of the Insurance Federation of New York and, at his death, remained a Director Emeritus. In his spare time, he was a sculptor and a poet. One of his sculptures, Mr. Internet, remains on display at the University of Alabama. For decades, Sol was Chairman of the U.S. Friends of the London Symphony Chorus. He will always be in our hearts.


Published in The New York Times on June 18, 2013