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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. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading lawyers – Coverage
  4. Leading lawyers – Reinsurance
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers – Coverage

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Leading lawyers – Reinsurance

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    • David Attisani - Choate, Hall & Stewart
    • Peter Chaffetz - Chaffetz Lindsey LLP
    • Nick DiGiovanni - Locke Lord LLP
    • Neal Moglin - Foley & Lardner LLP
    • James Rubin - Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP
    • Larry Schiffer - Squire Patton Boggs
    • Steven Schwartz - Chaffetz Lindsey LLP
    • William Sneed - Sidley Austin LLP

Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Dentons’ ‘responsive, pro-active, creative and extremely knowledgeable’ department is commended for its ‘strong’ contentious practice and regularly handles class actions for high-profile insurer clients. Reid Ashinoff in New York defended Genworth Financial and its former CEO and CFO in a securities "stock drop" putative fraud class action alleging that it made materially false statements concerning the planned partial IPO of its Australian mortgage insurance subsidiary. Department co-head Keith Moskowitz in Chicago is representing XL Catlin in several disputes including cases involving claims for coverage related to landfills owned and operated by policyholder Republic Services. Matthew Gaul in New York and Kara Baysinger in San Francisco, who co-leads the firm’s global insurance sector practice, regularly advise AXA Equitable's public policy group on regulatory issues. MetLife, Travelers, Arrowood Indemnity, Zurich, Nationwide and AIG are also clients. Ronald Kent and Susan Walker in Los Angeles are recommended as is New York-based Sandra Hauser. In Atlanta, Stephen Berry and Randy Evans, who ‘can think outside the box and establishes a plan many moves down the road’ are noted, and department co-head Shari Klevens in Washington DC is ‘super-smart’ and ‘can handle difficult adversaries’. Michael Barr in New York is also noted. John Sarchio joined Crowell & Moring LLP in 2017.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a strong track record in disputes and advises on a range of industry issues such as primary coverage, excess insurance, notice requirements, bad faith, data breach and crime coverage; it also defends and investigates business practice issues such as allegations of fraud and whistleblower cases. Bryce Friedman, who is ‘quick on his feet and extremely smart’, represented various Travelers entities in two False Claims Act whistleblower cases alongside Los Angeles’ Deborah Stein. Department head Mary Beth Forshaw, who has ‘great trial skills’, worked alongside the ‘very thorough’ Lynn Neuner, Chet Kronenberg in Los Angeles and George Wang in settling a $500m long running reinsurance claim for Travelers. Andrew Frankel is also representing Travelers in a long-running dispute surrounding asbestos-related personal injury claims against an affiliate of Honeywell International. AIG, Beazley Group, and Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group are also clients. Senior counsel Susannah Geltman and Elisa Alcabes are also recommended. Named individuals are based in New York office unless otherwise stated.

The ‘experienced’ team at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP has ‘a very good understanding of the insurance industry’ and a ‘focused approach to doing business’. Department head Thorn Rosenthal is ‘extremely adaptable’, ‘bright and resourceful’ and is representing Swiss Re in relation to claims by subprime borrowers against ResCap. Penny Windle represented National Union Fire Insurance (AIG) in a long-running case seeking $6m from Everest Reinsurance Company in relation to the environmental clean-up at 80 sites around the country. AIG, XL Insurance, Starr Insurance Holdings and Arch Insurance are also clients. Jason Hall and Tammy Roy are additional key figures in the department. All individuals mentioned are in the New York office.

Based across the firm’s New York, New Jersey, San Francisco, Atlanta, Long Beach, Miami, Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles offices, Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘vast’ team handles a range of claims and disputes for domestic and international insurers and reinsurers. Eileen King Bower in Chicago is representing excess carrier XL Insurance America in a case involving numerous complaints filed against Eli Lilly Company and others claiming illegal disposal of substances in Brazil that had been banned in the United States. The ‘brilliant’ New York-based Michael Knoerzer is representing London-based clients in conjunction with claims arising under a D&O policy issued to FIFA and Axis and Chubb are also on the firm’s client roster. New Jersey’s Daren McNally and Paul Koepff in New York are noted, while Bill Casey in San Francisco heads the department. Additionally, the ‘growing team’ made several notable hires: the Washington DC office welcomed Doug Mangel, John Hockenbury, Joseph Bailey and Alex Karam in 2018 from Shipman & Goodwin LLP; and in 2017 several partners joined from Sedgwick LLP including Ralph Guirgis in Orange County and Katelin O’Rourke Gorman in New York; while another eight partners joined the Washington DC and Chicago offices from Troutman Sanders.

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.

Duane Morris LLP’s ‘knowledgeable, client-oriented and responsive’ department is praised for its ‘exceptional advocacy skills’ and handles the full range of insurance matters for clients across the insurance and reinsurance industry. Dominica Anderson, who is based across the Las Vegas and San Francisco offices, is representing Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in a $50m case involving numerous issues relating to OCIP coverage and Philip Matthews in San Francisco is representing Safety National in a dispute over underlying coverage for various sexual molestation claims. In another highlight, department head Max Stern represented Catlin Specialty Insurance Company in a coverage case against Archer Western Contractors. American Centennial Insurance Company, California Insurance Guarantee Association and Zurich North America are also clients. Department vice chair Brian Kelly, Richard Hoffman, Jessica La Londe, Ray Wong, who also operates from the Los Angeles office, and the ‘excellent’ Paul Killion, are other key members of the ‘hardworking’ team. All named individuals are based in the San Francisco office unless otherwise stated.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s coverage lawyers handle complex, high-stakes insurance and reinsurance matters, and known as a team of ‘strong litigators’, it is particularly noted for its experience in environmental and mass tort coverage actions. In Washington DC Jonathan Hacker, Danielle Gray, who also operates from the New York office, and counsel Deanna Rice obtained a successful result for Chubb when a California appeals court ruled that the company did not owe another insurer for pay-outs made in connection with lawsuits over a 2004 gas pipeline explosion. In Los Angeles, Richard Goetz and counsel Zoheb Noorani successfully represented Endurance American Specialty Insurance Company (now Sompo Holdings) in a complex coverage dispute. AIG, AXIS Insurance and Century Indemnity Company are also key clients. In New York department head Tancred Schiavoni and Gary Svirsky are ‘brilliant’, while Allen Burton, who is also based in New York, and Michael Yoder in Newport Beach are also recommended.

From its Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, and Phoenix offices, the team at Steptoe & Johnson LLP regularly handles high-value coverage disputes over pharmaceuticals, personal injury, asbestos, finance, and environmental claims. James Rocap continues to represent Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company and New England Reinsurance Company in a case involving coverage for tort suits filed by former NFL players relating to the lack of safety provisions in NFL helmets. Harry Lee is representing Travelers’ subsidiary, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. in a major asbestos-related insurance coverage dispute, and Roger Warin represented Lexington Insurance Company in connection with a property damage, business interruption, and bad faith claim by Ochsner Health System. Frank Winston, Jon Neumann, John Jacobus and Antonia Ianniello are key contacts. In 2018, Darlene Alt joined the Chicago office from Sedgwick LLP. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

The ‘efficient’ New York-based team at Chaffetz Lindsey LLP has a ‘top practice in insurance’ and regularly handles insurance and reinsurance litigation and arbitration covering the full range of issues from asbestos and environmental claims, to insolvency issues. It also handles disputes arising from M&A transactions in the insurance industry. Charles Scibetta is representing AIG in a coverage dispute in which the insured sought indemnity for claims, seeking more than $100m in damages, allegedly caused by the failure of the insured’s products; Cecilia Moss is representing Zurich in a case against Keller Foundations, Hayward Baker and Keller Group, who are challenging a settlement payment Zurich made to an additional insured under a CGL policy issued by Zurich to Keller Foundations; and Steven Schwartz is acting on behalf of Fireman’s Fund in litigation against OneBeacon Insurance Company in seeking reinsurance coverage for a settlement of asbestos claims under a policy issued by Fireman’s Fund to ASARCO. The ‘extremely smart’ Peter Chaffetz, counsel Andrew Poplinger and associate Karen Baswell are also key members of the team.

Choate, Hall & Stewart’s Boston-based reinsurance team is ‘uniformly intelligent, creative, thorough, diligent, tenacious and relentless’ and is also praised for its ‘outstanding courtroom skills’ as well as its ‘superior written communications’. The ‘well respected’ Robert Kole worked alongside senior counsel Hugh Scott in representing Liberty Mutual in a class action lawsuit in Connecticut filed by homeowners alleging that they are entitled to coverage from Liberty Mutual and their other insurers for the costs of replacing the allegedly crumbling foundations of their homes. In addition, Kole successfully represented Travelers in a case against Anda, a pharmaceutical distributor, which sought coverage for claims brought by the State of West Virginia seeking the costs of opioid addiction to the state. David Attisani is a ‘tremendous advocate; and a ‘leader in the industry’ and JP Jaillet and associate Lindsey Spinelli are also recommended.

Crowell & Moring LLP handles a range of insurance and reinsurance disputes and is particularly noted for its expertise in complex coverage litigation. In Washington DC the ‘brilliant’ Laura Foggan and William O’Neill are recommended. In New York, John Sarchio joined from Dentons, where Harry Cohen is also based. Former co-chair of the insurance and reinsurance group Paul Kalish left the firm in 2018 to join Squire Patton Boggs.

Hogan Lovells US LLP has ‘deep industry knowledge and business acumen’ and is praised for its international reach, its contentious insurance and reinsurance expertise, and particularly stands out for its experience in cyber-liability mandates, as well as its track record in regulatory and insurance rates mandates. Craig Hoover and E. Desmond Hogan in Washington DC represented Anthem in nationwide class actions brought in relation to a cyberattack on its data systems. Vanessa Wells in Silicon Valley is representing insurance trade associations (including Association of California Insurance Companies) in an action brought by Mercury Casualty Company challenging a rate order issued by the California Insurance Commissioner. Philadelphia-based David Newmann is a ‘great adviser’, who ‘provides balanced legal advice, considers business needs, as well as the regulatory and litigation environment’, and heads the team with David Hensler in Washington DC, where Ellen Swennes Kennedy is also based. Mark Goodman left the firm in March 2018 for Baker McKenzie LLP and Sean Keely left the firm to join Freeborn & Peters LLP.

Backed by a ‘fantastic reputation’, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s insurance and reinsurance litigation group advises insurance companies on complex contentious issues, such as high-value coverage and bad faith disputes. Jane Byrne, who leads the practice with Michael Carlinsky, is representing Infrassure in several matters including breach of contract and bad faith claims brought by Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company related to business interruption losses caused by a fire at one of its refineries. Kathleen Sullivan successfully represented AIG subsidiaries in a punitive damages case examining unfair business practice. Allied World National Assurance Company, State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, National General Insurance Company and National General Holding Company are also clients. Sheila Birnbaum is recommended for her ‘strategic planning’, while Corey Worcester and associate Guyon Knight are noted. Named individuals are based in New York.

The ‘outstanding’ Washington DC-based team at Wiley Rein LLP is commended for its ‘incredible breadth and depth of knowledge’ and advises insurers on claims, coverage litigation and underwriting, as well as complex settlements and transactions. The team is advising Tokio Marine HCC on several mandates including the representation in litigation filed by SunTrust Bank seeking coverage in settlements, defense expenses, and investigation costs for claims arising out of the credit crisis. In another highlight for the department, the group represented Chubb in a lawsuit filed by Meriter Health Services seeking coverage under a $10m fiduciary liability insurance policy for an $82 million settlement of an ERISA securities class action. XL Catlin, Starr Indemnity & Liability Company, and Continental Casualty Company are also clients. Key individuals include the ‘brilliant’ Daniel Standish, who heads the department, Cara Tseng Duffield, John Howell, Parker Lavin, the ‘exceptional’ Kimberly Melvin, Kimberly Ashmore, Richard Simpson, William Smith and David Topol. Leland Jones, who was recently promoted to partner, and Jason O’Brien, who was promoted to special counsel, are also recommended.

Boutique firm Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP in Chicago specializes in insurance and reinsurance disputes and handles a range of complex cases involving healthcare liabilities, asbestos claims, mortgage crisis claims and natural catastrophes, as well as data and cyber security. Michael Hassan is representing Old Republic Insurance Company and Republic Mortgage Insurance Company in a number of high-profile lawsuits involving breach of contract, rescission, fraud claims and mortgage and credit insurance coverage issues. In other work, Ursula Taylor, Jason Dubner and associate Sandra Durkin are representing Premera Blue Cross in the prosecution of claims for over $117m in risk corridors underpayments under the Affordable Care Act. Hassan leads the team with Robert Hermes and the ‘brilliant’ James Rubin. Randi Ellias, Teresa Snider and Catherine Isely are also standout names.

Not least due to its ‘great business acumen and industry knowledge’, Cozen O'Connor is ‘excellent in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation’. It is representing Ace Property and Casualty Company, Central National Insurance Company of Omaha, and Century Indemnity Company in a coverage lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) regarding alleged abuse by an LAUSD teacher and represented ACE American Insurance Company in a coverage lawsuit brought by a staffing company for the energy industry, arising out of an underlying lawsuit regarding a 2013 terrorist attack on a gas facility in Algeria. Westchester Fire Insurance Company, ACE European Group and Allied World are also clients. Joseph Ziemianski in Houston chairs the global insurance department and vice chairs include Seattle-based Thomas Jones as well as Deborah Minkoff and Eric Freed in Philadelphia, where firm chairman Stephen Cozen is also based.

The ‘highly skilled’ New York-based team at DLA Piper LLP (US) provides a ‘high level of service and professionalism’ and is experienced in litigating and arbitrating large scale insurance and reinsurance industry disputes. Michael Murphy is the global chair of insurance and reinsurance, while the ‘solutions-orientedAidan McCormack, who is the North America chair of insurance and reinsurance, is ‘attentive and responsive’ to clients. McCormack is representing Brit Insurance in a bad faith and coverage litigation and arbitration case across California, Washington DC and London, arising from a $64m judgment in an underlying professional liability claim. Joseph Finnerty is representing Beazley in appellate litigation brought by plaintiffs who received an assignment of claims under a D&O policy that the client issued to a subprime mortgage lender. Chubb, AIG, Munich Re and AON are also clients. Mark Deckman, who is ‘outstanding’, Shand Stephens, Richard Hans, Megan Shea Harwick, Neal Kronley and David Luce are key contacts. Named lawyers are based in New York.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s ‘strategically savvy’ New York-based department benefits from its ‘longstanding industry expertise’, is known for its track record in prominent insurance disputes and is particularly noted for acting in disputes and advising on regulatory matters involving life insurance companies; it also handles government investigations. Maeve O’Connor, who is a ‘whip-smart, ferocious and superbly skilled litigator’ and heads the team with Edwin Schallert, is representing MetLife and several of MetLife’s present and former officers and directors in connection with putative shareholder class action lawsuits challenging MetLife's practices with regard to payment of death benefits and escheatment of unclaimed death benefits. O’Connor also successfully represented HRG Group and FG Life among others in a case brought by a putative class of annuitants claiming that the defendants engineered a series of fraudulent reinsurance transactions. Prudential is also a client. Eric Dinallo joined The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in 2017.

The ‘exceptional’ team at Foley & Lardner LLP regularly handles disputes involving complex life, health, property and casualty issues. The ‘brilliant’ Neal Moglin in Chicago chairs the national insurance and reinsurance group, where Eric Haab, who handles property, casualty, health, life and accident reinsurance disputes in addition to complex insurance insolvencies, and senior counsel Jonathan Garlough, who handles class action litigation and insurance and reinsurance disputes, are also based. Paul Monsees in Washington DC is an ‘excellent litigator and litigation manager’, Bartholomew Reuter in Milwaukee is the department vice chair and handles regulatory, coverage, and corporate transactional matters, while Madison-based Gordon Davenport is also recommended.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP represents liability and health insurers in large-scale disputes. In recent highlights,Richard Doren in Los Angeles and Geoffrey Sigler in Washington DC obtained an appellate victory on behalf of Aetna Life Insurance Company in a putative class action where plaintiffs challenged Aetna’s decision to deny coverage under their health plans for stays at residential treatment facilities. Doren also led representation for Travelers Casualty and Surety Company in the reversal of a $36m award against claims that asbestos exclusion applied only to raw asbestos fibers, and not the products containing asbestos manufactured by GRC. MetLife is also a key client. Miguel Estrada and Eugene Scalia in Washington DC, department head Adam Offenhartz in New York and Los Angeles’ Heather Richardson are noted.

Squire Patton Boggs’ insurance and reinsurance practice ‘brings a rock-solid commitment to client service’ and is well known for its litigation and arbitration expertise. It is defending Resolute Management against a claim of tortious interference as a result of the handling of a claim under policies issued by Lloyd’s, OneBeacon, Continental and several AIG carriers. It is also representing General Re Life Corporation, as the reinsurer of ReliaStar Insurance Company, in an ERISA action. Representing Alterra America Insurance Company in coverage litigation against the NFL is another key highlight. In New York Larry Schiffer is ‘exceptional’, ‘wonderfully easy to work with’ and is a ‘knowledgeable and experienced reinsurance arbitration practitioner’. Also recommended in New York are Suman Chakraborty, who has ‘deep experiences and is particularly well versed in all discovery issues’, as well as the ‘first-rate’ Eridania Perez. Practice head Patrick Dugan and Mary Jo Hudson in Columbus, who heads the insurance regulatory team, and Newark’s Mark Sheridan are also recommended. Deirdre Johnson and Paul Kalish recently joined the Washington DC office from Crowell & Moring LLP. Former practice head John Nonna has retired.

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP represents insurers and reinsurers in complex insurance and reinsurance matters, such as high-exposure reinsurance issues, complex coverage and bad faith disputes as well as consumer class actions, coverage litigation and contentious regulatory matters. It is representing longstanding client Arrowood Indemnity Company and Arrowood Surplus Lines Insurance Company in an action against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Al Rajhi Bank, National Commercial Bank, and Saudi Binladin Group for causing the September 11th attacks. It is also representing Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers in an action against Administrators for the Professions alleging that it had defrauded and breached its duties. Starr Indemnity and Liability Company, Prosperity Life Insurance Group and ProSight Specialty Insurance are also clients. New York-based Robert Lewin and Michele Jacobson head the team, while Miami-based Lewis Murphy and Laura Besvinick are also recommended.

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