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United States > Industry focus > Insurance: advice to insurers > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Insurance: advice to insurers
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • Insurance: advice to insurers: coverage
    • Michael Barr - Dentons
    • Jane Byrne - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
    • Stephen Cozen - Cozen O’Connor
    • Mary Beth Forshaw - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
    • Richard Goetz - O’Melveny & Myers LLP
    • Paul Koepff - Clyde & Co LLP
    • Philip Matthews - Duane Morris LLP
    • James Rocap - Steptoe & Johnson LLP
    • Thorn Rosenthal - Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
    • Tancred Schiavoni - O’Melveny & Myers LLP
    • Roger Warin - Steptoe & Johnson LLP
    • Margaret Warner - McDermott Will & Emery LLP
    • Insurance: advice to insurers: reinsurance
    • David Attisani - Choate, Hall & Stewart
    • Peter Chaffetz - Chaffetz Lindsey LLP
    • Nick DiGiovanni - Locke Lord LLP
    • Edward Krugman - Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
    • Neal Moglin - Foley & Lardner LLP
    • John Nonna - Squire Patton Boggs
    • James Rubin - Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP
    • Larry Schiffer - Squire Patton Boggs
    • Steven Schwartz - Chaffetz Lindsey LLP
    • William Sneed - Sidley Austin LLP
    • Susan Stone - Sidley Austin LLP
    • Mary Kay Vyskocil - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Atlanta and Washington DC-based Shari Klevens and Chicago-based Keith Moskowitz are co-chairs of Dentons’ global insurance group, which covers a range of direct coverage and reinsurance work, including property and casualty, life insurance and professional liability issues; the team recently assisted Zurich in professional liability litigation. Other significant clients of the practice include MetLife, which Sandra Hauser and Patrick Gennardo defended in five class actions relating to shadow insurance practices, and Genworth, which Reid Ashinoff is representing in several Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) class actions relating to captive reinsurance arrangements. Ashinoff and Hauser also continued their work for Genworth in a federal securities fraud action, settling the case in early 2015. Chicago-based Robert Johnson continued to act for an AIG subsidiary in a matter pertaining to a professional liability policy. The department was strengthened in 2015 by the addition of five partners following the firm’s absorption of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. All named lawyer are based in New York, except where noted otherwise.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘routinely excellent and top-shelf’ team ‘provides highly strategic knowledge with a devoted client service’, placing it ‘in the upper echelon of all reinsurance-oriented practices’. Despite the departure of former practice co-chair Barry Ostrager, who is now a judge at the New York State Court of Claims, the firm is a ‘go-to firm’ for complex coverage and reinsurance matters, providing advice on a wide range of issues including excess insurance, bad faith and data breach litigation. Mary Beth Forshaw and reinsurance expert Mary Kay Vyskocil are the department co-heads; Vyskocil recently acted for longstanding client Travelers in a reinsurance dispute with Western MacArthur relating to coverage for thousands of asbestos injury claims, while Forshaw continues to represent Travelers in pollution-related litigation against Northrop Grumman. Bryce Friedman has substantial experience in advising on fraud-related cases and also assists the Beazley Group and its affiliates with a range of issues. Other clients of the practice include Berkshire Hathaway, AIG and the Fireman’s Fund. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is recognised for its reinsurance expertise with substantial strength in political risk and bad faith issues. Edward Krugman recently successfully represented Chartis Speciality Insurance Company before the New York Supreme Court in a coverage suit relating to a political risk insurance policy and - alongside Penny Windle - has been representing National Union Fire Insurance in a reinsurance matter regarding an environmental clean-up, which is currently on appeal. Thorn Rosenthal continues to represent XL Catlin in a matter relating to coverage of Amtrak’s long-tail liabilities, and is also defending XL Capital against several antitrust class actions arising from price fixing and bid rigging allegations. The team is also advising AIG as lead defendants in a bad faith action alleging refusal to pay professional liability losses. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

Duane Morris LLP has a strong national footprint with offices across the US, and a noticeable presence on the West Coast through offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The team covers the insurance arena comprehensively, focusing on commercial liability work with additional expertise in property and casualty, professional liability and life insurance matters. Practice chair Max Stern recently acted for Greenwich in a case against American Home dealing with the failure of the coatings on natural gas production structures, and also continued to represent Indian Harbor against the City of San Diego, affirming a summary judgment in the insurer’s favor regarding the ‘no-prejudice’ rule. Philip Matthews and practice vice-chair Brian Kelly are recommended and recently acted in a plant insulation coverage case. All attorneys mentioned are based in San Francisco.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s strength lies in insurance disputes, with a ‘premier appellate practice’ supporting the team’s direct coverage work. Areas of expertise include property and casualty work, environmental claims and bankruptcy matters. New York-based Tancred Schiavoni leads the practice and acted for Century in bankruptcy and coverage litigation pertaining to asbestos-related injury claims against Corning. Other clients include Starr Indemnity & Liability Company, which Michael Yoder in Los Angeles is representing in a coverage dispute arising from several molestation claims against Los Angeles Unified School District; and ACE, which the firm assisted in the defense of the client’s insured - the Massachusetts Port Authority - in litigation arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a case led by New York-based Allen Burton. Clients also recommend appellate specialist Jonathan Hacker, who is based in Washington DC, and Los Angeles-based Richard Goetz.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘very efficient and well-rounded team’ provides ‘objective and sound counsel’ to clients, and has ‘a strong understanding of the reinsurance business’ as well as experience in property, casualty and life insurance matters. The ‘excellent team’ is led by Joel Feldman, the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ William Sneed and reinsurance specialist Susan Stone, who splits her time between New York and Chicago. Stone, along with the ‘hardworking’ Daniel Neppl, recently represented Amerisure in a reinsurance dispute in which the client collected reinsurance billings totaling over $14m. Feldman has also had an active year, successfully dismissing a class action against client Principal Life Insurance Co., which related to whether the client is a fiduciary under ERISA. The department was strengthened in 2015 by the arrival of Ellen Dunn to the New York office from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. All lawyers mentioned are based in Chicago, except where stated otherwise.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s ‘dedicated, knowledgeable and highly capable’ team ‘delivers positive results in a professional manner’, and advises clients on a range of direct coverage and reinsurance mandates. Particular areas of expertise include pharmaceutical disputes, personal injury, environmental claims and asbestos issues; one recent example was advising the USF&G on over 10,000 asbestos claims filed in a fraud action. The firm is also highly active in the high-profile NFL concussion litigation, advising Hartford affiliates in several tort suits filed against the NFL by former players; the matter is being led by James Rocap. Practice head Harry Lee recently advised Hudson Specialty Insurance Company in coverage litigation relating to a fire in lower Manhattan, and is also acting for the same client in a dispute regarding losses caused by Superstorm Sandy. Other clients of the team include AIG, Travelers and Zurich. Recommended department members include Roger Warin and ‘excellent strategist’, John Jacobus. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC, but the practice notably also has a significant presence in Phoenix.

Chaffetz Lindsey LLP’s ‘very good practice provides top-level advice’. Peter Chaffetz, Charlie Scibetta and Steven Schwartz are co-heads of the department, which was strengthened in 2015 by the arrival of commercial litigator Scott Reynolds from Hogan Lovells US LLP. The New York-based firm advises clients on insurance and reinsurance litigation, with a growing emphasis on direct coverage work. Areas of expertise include environmental claims, asbestos issues, late notice cases and insurance insolvency mandates. Recent reinsurance highlights include Schwartz leading representation of the Fireman’s Fund in separate disputes with Everest Re and OneBeacon in which the client is seeking reinsurance coverage of asbestos claims. Other clients include AIG, Travelers and CNA.

Choate, Hall & Stewart’s ‘outstanding’ Boston-based practice advises a range of insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries including Swiss Re, Hartford and Liberty Mutual; Hugh Scott recently defended Liberty Mutual in a case relating to the clean-up of an EPA Superfund site. Scott also defended Travelers in asbestos-related litigation. Practice co-chairs David Attisani and Robert Kole are recommended; Kole recently represented Travelers in a dispute relating to the ‘pill mill’ suits in West Virginia. The team successfully obtained a summary judgment for the client and is handling the appeal. Kole also continued to act for American Family Insurance in catastrophe bond reinsurance litigation, winning before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘extremely strong and diligent team’ provides clients with ‘an excellent and detailed level of service with exceptional knowledge and industry awareness’. The practice represents insurers and reinsurers at a domestic and international level across a wide variety of mandates including cyber security, reinsurance issues and D&O matters. New York-based Mike Knoerzer recently acted for National Indemnity in an international reinsurance arbitration against IRB Brasil Re, successfully obtaining three arbitral awards for the client. Daren McNally in the Florham Park, New Jersey office is representing ACE in the NFL concussion litigation, and is also acting for Aetna in similar proceedings against the NCAA. Clients recommend San Francisco-based Bill Casey, Atlanta-based Robert Fisher and New York attorney Owen Carragher, who is ‘the first port of call for fine art and specie losses’.

Crowell & Moring LLP covers a wide range of direct coverage and reinsurance mandates including Asbestos, Pollution and Health Hazard (APH) claims, life, property and casualty, professional liability issues and bankruptcy matters. Paul Kalish and William O’Neill are the practice co-heads; Kalish is representing Allianz in the NFL and NCAA concussion-related tort cases. Cliff Hendler is also representing Allianz and the Fireman’s Fund in asbestos coverage litigation against Mueller. Deirdre Johnson and New York-based Stuart Levene continue to act for Transatlantic Re in a reinsurance dispute with Chartis affiliates and are also representing the client in an arbitration with AIG. San Francisco-based bankruptcy specialist Mark Plevin and New York-based reinsurance expert Harry Cohen are recommended. Other clients include ACE, Allstate and Beazley. Robert Cusumano joined the firm’s New York office from an in-house position at ACE. Unless otherwise specified, all lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s practice centers on a particular strength in the healthcare sector, where it advises health insurers such as Aetna, America’s Health Insurance Plans and CIGNA on matters such as asbestos, environmental issues and medical devices. Richard Doren in Los Angeles recently represented Aetna in an antitrust suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and is also acting for Aetna in litigation relating to failure to pay for emergency services. Washington DC-based Geoffrey Sigler and New York-based practice head Adam Offenhartz are also recommended; Sigler recently assisted Aetna in dismissing two putative class actions relating to its coverage for residential treatment centers. Los Angeles-based Matthew Hoffman is recommended for his expertise in civil trials.

The insurance practice at Hogan Lovells US LLP is noted for its expertise in assisting property and casualty insurers, in addition to which it has substantial experience in the healthcare sector. Other areas of focus include cyber liability, bad faith litigation and crime policy work. Practice co-head David Newmann has been representing Federal Insurance Company in D&O litigation arising from the failure of Alliance Bank. Fellow co-head David Hensler and Ellen Kennedy are also representing the client in litigation dealing with crime policies issued to Banyon linked to the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme. In health insurance, the team continues to act for WellPoint in multi-district litigation involving antitrust and RICO claims, and also successfully settled on behalf of United Health Group, ending a class action that alleged discrimination against HIV and AIDS patients. Los Angeles-based Michael Maddigan, Douglas Crosno and commercial litigator Peter Bisio are also recommended. All attorneys mentioned are based in Washington DC, unless stated otherwise.

Wiley Rein LLP’s ‘extremely responsive, highly knowledgeable and focused team’ is ‘hands down the best for professional liability issues, leading the field in this arena’. The firm also has substantial experience in general liability, healthcare matters and appellate issues. The practice is led by Daniel Standish, ‘one of the top professional liability insurance attorneys in the industry’, who is representing Greenwich Insurance in a case relating to medical malpractice. Other highlights included acting for Houston Casualty Company in professional liability litigation against SunTrust Bank arising from the financial crisis, and also advising Indian Harbor in a matter relating to E&O policies. Clients recommend Laura Foggan, the ‘fantastic’ Richard Simpson and ‘top attorney’ Kimberly Melvin. All lawyers mentioned are based in Washington DC.

DLA Piper LLP (US) is ‘one of the firms to consider for complex direct coverage disputes’; its ‘highly experienced team’ is ‘very responsive and has an excellent business philosophy’. Clients of the New York-based practice include Swiss Re, AIG and Houston Casualty Company, which the firm is representing in an appeal relating to the rules of construction applicable to a professional liability insurance contract. The chair of the firm’s New York Insurance practice Aidan McCormack is leading the matter, and is also acting for Chubb in the New York appellate court in a matter linked to excess insurance contracts for underlying toxic tort claims. The department has a significant international element, with recent examples including representing Beazley in litigation filed in Australia, which involves Joseph Finnerty, as well as experience in international reinsurance arbitrations. Michael Murphy is global head of the practice, which works closely with the firm’s transactional and regulatory insurance team. Other names to note include Richard Hans, who has substantial experience in the financial services sector, and recently promoted partner Mark Deckman.

Reinsurance is an area of strength for Foley & Lardner LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable, meticulous and solid’ team, while the direct coverage side of the practice focuses significantly on life insurance, property and casualty matters. Madison-based Gordon Davenport heads the department, with practice vice-chair Neal Moglin being based in Chicago. Clients also recommend Chicago-based reinsurance expert Eric Haab and Boston-based Ana Francisco, the latter of whom recently represented General Insurance in winning summary judgment in a case curtailing WECCO’s claims for coverage of asbestos-related bodily injury exposure. The firm also regularly advises on health insurance matters, such as the ‘solid and pragmatic’ Eileen Ridley, who is based in San Francisco, assisting the Health Care Service Corporation in several disputes relating to ERISA issues. Other clients of the practice include AIG, Liberty Mutual and John Hancock Life Insurance.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP acts for insurers and reinsurers including AIG, Prudential and Allstate, the latter of which Daniel Brockett is representing in lawsuits connected to the client’s losses on residential mortgage-backed securities. The team is co-chaired by the ‘terrific’ Jane Byrne and Michael Carlinsky, who continued his representation of HDI-Gerling in an arbitration against Ford with respect to coverage of Ford’s product liability losses, and recently confirmed the arbitration award for the client. Byrne acted for Infrassure as the insurer of Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company in a case relating to claims for business interruption losses following a fire and explosion at an oil refinery. Kathleen Sullivan is recommended for her appellate work and substantial US Supreme Court experience. All attorneys mentioned are based in New York.

Squire Patton Boggs’ ‘excellent’ team advises insurance and reinsurance clients on a range of mandates, including life insurance, environmental issues and E&O matters. The practice includes John Nonna, a ‘highly experienced attorney with a great depth of understanding’, who recently represented National Indemnity and Resolute Management in a reinsurance case relating to RICO, tortious interference and bad faith claims linked to environmental and asbestos risks. Clients also recommend the ‘insightful and decisive’ Suman Chakraborty, who is noted for his reinsurance experience, and Larry Schiffer, who is acting for Alterra America Insurance Company in coverage litigation against the NFL, which is seeking coverage of personal injury claims brought by former players who suffered concussions. Newark-based Mark Sheridan is representing AIG in coverage litigation and bad faith claims brought by the Los Angeles Unified School District in connection with the alleged molestation of students. All attorneys mentioned, unless otherwise specified, are based in New York.

At Troutman Sanders, professional and general liability continue to be key areas of strength for the team, which has particular expertise in D&O matters; the firm is assisting a range of clients including XL Catlin, AXIS Insurance and CNA in D&O lawsuits and regulatory investigations, led by Leslie Ahari in Tysons Corner and Gary Dixon in Washington DC. Other recent highlights include Washington DC-based John Gerstein representing Capitol Indemnity in a pollution case linked to radiation contamination of a water supply, and Chicago-based Rebecca Ross advising Colombia Casualty Company and Continental Casualty Company in a bad faith action, which arose out of fund embezzlement by an agent at Minnesota Life. Washington DC-based Charles Jones is head of the firm’s litigation department, and David Cutter in Chicago is leader of the insurance section. Other clients of the team include the Beazley Group, Markel Corporation and Resolute Management.

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