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Editorial

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  1. Insurance: advice to policyholders
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Who Represents Who

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Anderson Kill PC’s ‘brilliant’ insurance recovery group solely represents policyholders in insurance coverage disputes, covering areas such as environmental, construction, asbestos and toxic tort liability, as well as D&O liability, IP claims, data breaches, cyber risks, product liability and business interruption losses. Philadelphia’s Pamela Hans successfully represented TransCanada in a case which affirmed coverage for business income losses incurred within the period of interruption, even though payments reflecting that loss were made outside of that period. In New York, team head Robert Horkovich is representing The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in litigation commenced by its insurance company relating to coverage for numerous asbestos claims dating to the construction of the original World Trade Center, and Finley Harckham is defending AlixPartners in litigation brought by Illinois National Insurance Company, an AIG subsidiary. Washington DC’s Rhonda Orin is representing a national transportation company in a dispute with dozens of insurers over coverage for the clean-up of environmental contamination and for claims under the Federal Employers Liability Act. Cyber expert Joshua Gold, Diana Shafter Gliedman, William Passannante, who are based in New York, Steven Pudell in Newark, and of counsel Stephen Palley in Washington DC are also recommended.

Blank Rome LLP provides ‘practical and deliberate advice’ to policyholders across a range of areas, including cybersecurity insurance, sexual abuse liability and environmental insurance. Practice head James Murrayhas a wealth of experience and his advice is pragmatic’, and he and Jared Zola in New York are representing the Catholic Diocese of Duluth in proceedings against five of the Diocese’s historical liability insurers, while John Heintz represented NRG Energy and its subsidiary Louisiana Generating in a dispute surrounding coverage for Clean Air Act liabilities. International Materials, Yucaipa, Casella Waste Systems and EDF Trading are also key clients. John Gibbons, Justin Lavella and recently promoted partner Omid Safa are standout individuals, as is Lisa Campisi in New York. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival in Los Angeles of Linda Kornfeld from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, as well as David Thomas and of counsel Julia Holt. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise indicated.

Jenner & Block LLP handles complex insurance coverage mandates relating to a variety of arenas, such as asbestos, cyber, catastrophe and D&O claims. Chicago-based Craig Martin is representing Olin Corporation in several matters seeking coverage of its environmental clean-up and defense costs at numerous manufacturing and storage sites across the US. Matthew Jacobs in Washington DC, who leads the team with London- and Chicaco-based John Mathias, is representing Amtrak in its appeal relating to losses associated with the 2012 Atlantic hurricane known as ‘Superstorm Sandy’. Co-chair of the reinsurance practice David Kroeger in Chicago continues to represent CSX Insurance Company, CSX Transportation and other CSX clients in insurance coverage matters. Southern California Edison is also a client. Todd Toral joined in Los Angeles from DLA Piper LLP (US). Brian Scarbrough and Jan Larson in Washington DC and Christopher Dickinson and recently promoted partner Jennifer Senior in Chicago are also recommended. Paul Smith left the firm in 2017 to take up a teaching position at Georgetown University Law Center and to litigate for voting rights and campaign reform at the Campaign Legal Center.

Jones Day is ‘good at seeing the bigger picture’, ‘strives for efficiency’, has ‘solid knowledge and experience in various insurance matters’ and regularly handles complex insurance coverage mandates. San Francisco’s Richard DeNatale is ‘responsive and reliable’ and is representing Sony Pictures Entertainment in pursuing insurance coverage for cyber, property and liability claims for losses caused by a 2014 cyber attack. De Natale is also representing Staples in insurance strategy and claim recovery relating to a major data breach in 2015. Practice head Tyrone Childress in Los Angeles is a ‘terrific lawyer’ and is representing Corning in a coverage dispute regarding property loss due to a power outage at a Taiwan glass manufacturing facility. Union Pacific Railroad Company, MF Global and Kroger are also clients. Recommended attorneys include of counsels Craig Hirsch and David Steuber and counsel Donald Erlandson in Los Angeles, of counsel J.W. Montgomery, John Iole and Michael Ginsberg in Pittsburgh, Edward Joyce in New York, and Brian McDonald (who delivers ‘great client service’) in San Francisco.

The ‘spectacular’ team at McKool Smithfields some of the top lawyers in the area’ and is regularly engaged in high-profile insurance mandates for policyholders. Practice head Robin Cohen, who is ‘brilliant, strategic and exceptionally good in court’, and Keith McKenna are representing Verizon in a case against five insurance carriers seeking insurance coverage for nearly $50m in defense costs that Verizon incurred in defending against a bankruptcy lawsuit. Cohen, Adam Ziffer, who ‘achieves strategic goals’, and Michelle Migdon are representing Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association, College Retirement Equities Fund and other members of TIAA-CRE in a coverage action against multiple insurers seeking coverage for defense costs and settlement payments arising out of three class actions alleging wrongdoing in connection to its investment management operations. Cohen and Ziffer are also representing Pfizer and Pharmacia Corporation in the recovery, under three different towers of D&O insurance, for three different underlying claims. Givaudan Fragrances Corporation, Medidata Solutions and AR Capital are also key clients. Kenneth Frenchman, Natasha Romagnoli, Elizabeth Sherwin, Burt Garson, the recently promoted Marc Ladd and Michael Miguel in Los Angeles are also key figures in the practice. Named individuals are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Trusted Advisor - with Finnegan

IP specialist Finnegan detail how their collaborative approach makes for a unique culture which is designed to allow them to work with clients in a way which is cognizant of the challenges facing all companies today.

The ‘brilliant’ team at Reed Smith LLP is adept at handling policyholder disputes and coverage issues and is particularly strong in representing financial institutions in financial mortgage insurance disputes and representing pharma and other life sciences companies in myriad coverage issues. Energy, entertainment and hospitality are also key sector specialisms. Los Angeles-based David Halbreich heads the team and is ably supported by department deputy practice group leader Courtney Horrigan in Pittsburgh. Paul Breene in New York, John Schryber in Washington DC, Matthew Rosso, who is based in the Philadelphia and Princeton offices, and Chicago-based John Vishneski, Kevin Dreher and John Shugrue are also recommended. Richard Giller joined in Los Angeles from Polsinelli PC, where Lilit Asadourian and Amber Finch are also based. Gary Thompson recently joined Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC.

Expert’ firm K&L Gates has a ‘great ability to navigate contentious and non-contentious matters involving insurance’ and handles a full range of headline mandates for policyholders. Thomas Birsic is representing Halliburton in insurance coverage issues arising from an explosion and fire on a drilling rig in 2010, which resulted in the sinking of the rig and the subsequent release of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Elsewhere, department head David McGonigle represents PPG Industries in connection with the bankruptcy proceedings and related insurance adversary proceedings arising from the Chapter 11 reorganization filing of PPG’s affiliate, Pittsburgh Corning Corporation. The ‘very analytical and client-focused’ Steven Wright in Boston is representing Fiberon in two separate cases against its commercial general liability insurers arising out of a sino-nasal cancer lawsuit brought against Fiberon by one of its vendors. John Sylvester, Thomas Reiter and Nicholas Ranjan are also key names. Lawyers mentioned are based in the Pittsburgh office unless otherwise indicated.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘policyholder practice is extremely deep across the US’ and handles major commercial insurance lines as well as specialty coverage areas, including business interruption, professional, product, D&O and environmental liability, in addition to cyber and political risk, IP and transactional insurance. It is advising Meritor in seeking coverage for tens of thousands of asbestos bodily injury claims arising out of its acquisition of the former Rockwell International automotive products business. It is also representing A Community of Friends in its insurance claims arising from damage to two of its apartment buildings while under construction, and represented United Nuclear Corporation in a bad faith lawsuit in against Lloyd’s of London insurers and Resolute Management. Allergan, Fluor Corporation and National Collegiate Athletic Association are also clients. John Wilson and Brook Roberts in San Diego are recommended, as are Washington DC’s David Barrett, who is ‘extremely committed to clients and is a creative problem solver’, and the ‘exceptionalPeter Rosen in Los Angeles. Former global co-chair of the insurance coverage litigation practice Andrew Lundberg retired in 2017.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP handles major cases for policyholders, including cases seeking coverage for medical devices, environmental and product liability losses, property loss and associated business interruption, as well as mass tort claims. It also advises on policy issuance, particularly in transactional matters. The team is representing ITT in seeking more than $1.8bn in coverage from its excess insurers for product liability suits arising in multiple jurisdictions and represented Goulds Pumps in its disputes with Travelers regarding coverage for product liability claims. Zimmer Biomet Holdings, PepsiCo and Western Asbestos Settlement Trust are also clients. In Washington DC, Paul Zevnik leads the team and Daniel Chefitz heads the captive practice. David Luttinger in New York and Yardena Zwang-Weissman in Los Angeles are deputy practice heads; senior counsel Michel Horton and David Cox are also based in Los Angeles and are recommended along with Jeffrey Moss and Leah Houghton in Boston, Gerald Konkel in Washington DC and Jeffrey Raskin in San Francisco.

Perkins Coie LLP handles a range of coverage cases for policyholder clients, including those involving toxic torts, cyber policies, D&O claims, first-party liability, bankruptcy and business interruption. The department is representing Hitachi Zosen in litigation seeking coverage for physical damage of a tunnel boring machine during the construction of an underground highway in Seattle in 2013, and represented Lafarge in its efforts to obtain insurance coverage as an additional insured for bodily injury claims arising from an explosion at a steel manufacturing plant in Indiana. In Washington DC, Koorosh Talieh, Vivek Chopra, Selena Linde, ‘experienced litigator’ Don Friedman, Michael Sharkey, recently promoted partner Jonathan Hardin and department head Robert Jacobs are singled out. Karin Aldama in Phoenix and Timothy Burns, who is based in the Chicago and Madison offices, are also recommended. Lorelie Masters joined Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in 2017.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is noted for its expertise across complex energy, environmental, property, construction, product liability, D&O, and cybersecurity claims. Robert Wallan in Los Angeles, who heads the team with Peter Gillon in Washington DC, is representing Fluidmaster in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation involving over $150m in claims for property damage allegedly caused by plumbing connectors. Joseph Jean in New York and Colin Kemp in San Francisco are representing Victaulic Company in coverage litigation against three AIG entities arising from alleged construction defects and product liability. Jean is also working with Vincent Morgan in Houston on behalf of New York University in its $1.4bn Superstorm Sandy catastrophe claim. In Washington DC, Alex Lathrop, Geoffrey Greeves, James Bobotek and Mark Plumer are also key contacts. Special counsel Aaron Coombs recently joined the Washington DC office from Perkins Coie LLP.

Proskauer Rose LLP handles matters for policyholders involving general liability, product recall, property damage and business interruption, in addition to D&O and professional liability, and it is noted in particular for acting for private equity and hedge funds. Highlights for the team of ‘excellent litigators’ included representing JP Morgan in a long-running coverage dispute arising from a settlement between the SEC and Bear Stearns of claims involving late trading and market timing in mutual funds, and subsequent settlement of related civil actions brought by private plaintiffs. It is also representing Union Carbide in a range of insurance matters, including coverage litigation against more than 30 insurance companies for recovery related to asbestos bodily injury claims, and related ADRs and mediations, and is representing 32 National Football League (NFL) clubs in relation to discovery demands made by insurers of the NFL in a coverage dispute involving concussion-related claims by players. John Failla in New York leads the team with Marc Rosenthal in Chicago. Seth Schafler and senior counsel Nathan Larder are also based in New York. Nancy Sher Cohen joined Lathrop Gage LLP.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has ‘deep knowledge of the insurance industry’ and benefits from its expertise in representing insurance brokers. It advises individual and corporate policyholders in coverage disputes, as well as insurers as policyholders in coverage disputes with their own insurers. Schlumberger, First Data Corporation and First American Financial Corporation are clients. Department heads Mitchell Auslander and Christopher St. Jeanos in New York are ‘knowledgeable, professional and practical’ and are ‘able to negotiate practical solutions, yet they are equally prepared to go to court if the matter cannot be resolved’.

King & Spalding LLP is active in the financial institutions sector, advising on claims related to the credit crisis and other insured losses, and also handles property, business income and other losses from catastrophic events and natural disasters in addition to data- and cyber-related claims and asbestos cases. The team continues to represent Coca-Cola in disputes over coverage for asbestos lawsuits filed against its former subsidiary, Cleaver-Brooks LLC, and also represents the client in a $1.5m insurance recovery suit seeking business interruption losses that Coca-Cola incurred at two of its bottling plants in Nepal. Representing SunTrust Banks and certain affiliates in coverage for claims made against the bank and its affiliates in relation to the credit crisis is another highlight. Anthony Tatum, Meghan Magruder and Shelby Guilbert in Atlanta and John Fontham and Martin McNerney in Washington DC are standout individuals.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is adept at handling mandates for policyholders, particularly in the technology and finance sectors. Barry Levin, who is based in the New York and San Francisco offices, is representing Credit Suisse Securities USA and related entities in numerous lawsuits brought by monoline insurers and trustees of several RMBS trusts, and is representing IEC Corporation in a coverage case relating to primary and excess insurance policies issued by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. Darren Teshima, who co-heads the team with Levin, represented Pacific Pulmonary Services (PPS) in a coverage action brought against PPS’s D&O insurer seeking defense coverage related to an underlying False Claims Act investigation. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Khai LeQuang in Orange County has ‘very good commercial understanding’ and is ‘well connected in the market’. Russell Cohen, Sacramento-based Thomas Welsh and Stephen Foresta in New York are also key contacts. Individuals are based in San Francisco unless otherwise indicated.

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