Insurance: advice to insurers in United States
With eight offices along both coastlines and one in Chicago, Clyde & Co LLP's US practice advises on the full gamut of claims and disputes, as well as sector-related corporate, commercial and employment work. Apart from general liability, financial, property and D&O disputes, the department also specializes in accident and health, fine art, cyber, energy, aviation and maritime insurance matters. New York partner Paul Koepff has been serving as co-trial and co-coverage counsel for four insurers in a high-profile dispute with disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein over his entitlement to defense and indemnity following the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct made against him. New York managing partner Michael Knoerzer is advising the London Market in a D&O policy dispute related to criminal claims brought by US prosecutors against multiple high-level football officials. In New Jersey, Darren McNally acted for Aetna Insurance Company and Insurance Company of North America in an insurance policy dispute against The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which faces claims concerning concussion-related injuries. Chicago-based Eileen King Bower is acting for XL Insurance America against Eli Lilly and its Brazilian subsidiary in a dispute regarding an underlying environmental contamination claim.
Dentons' insurance practitioners are 'thought leaders' in the industry, advising on class actions, bad faith litigation, long-term care disputes, reinsurance arbitration, sexual abuse scandals, opioid litigation and insurtech matters. New York partner Reid Ashinoff recently served as lead trial counsel for Milliman in several Affordable Care Act proceedings concerning failure of health insurance cooperatives, while LA-based Ronald Kent has acted for for Genworth Life Insurance in declaratory relief, fraud, bad faith and breach of contract disputes with underlying long-term care claims. The 'responsive and reliable' commercial litigation expert Sandra Hauser is another key partner in New York.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP's practice focuses on both primary coverage and excess insurance matters, including terrorism-related coverage, cybersecurity, business practice issues, bad faith allegations, residual value policies and natural disasters. Bryce Friedman in New York represented Travelers in its complaint and motion for preliminary injunction against Old Mutual's attempt to shed its indemnification liability to the client via a reorganization. New York-based practice lead Mary Beth Forshaw acted for National Union Fire Insurance Company in a coverage dispute aimed to recover the amounts it paid to fund a Master Settlement Agreement between insured Fresenius Medical Care and the plaintiffs who brought the underlying injury lawsuits against Fresenius. Commercial litigator Susannah Geltman, who is also based in New York, represents national insurers in coverage disputes. Deborah Stein joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's Los Angeles office in 2019.
Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP's insurance practice group largely consists of general litigators with expertise in coverage disputes (asbestos, environmental, D&O, E&O, financial and trade-related claims), as well as MGA, antitrust and securities litigation. New York-based practice lead Thorn Rosenthal represents Swiss Re against insured General Motors regarding a $100m E&O insurance layer after subprime borrowers made claims regarding securitized loans. Commercial litigator Penny Windle is another key partner in the team.
The insurance team at Boston firm Choate, Hall & Stewart advises on domestic and international coverage disputes, arbitration and business litigation relating to matters such as natural catastrophes, life and annuity reinsurance, financial reinsurance, health reinsurance, asbestos and environmental claims. Robert Kole is representing Liberty Mutual as defendant in a class action lawsuit against homeowners seeking coverage entitlement for the cost of replacing the foundations of approximately 30,000 properties, while David Attisani acts for The Hartford in a reinsurance dispute aimed to compel an arbitration regarding the billing of PPG asbestos losses by the client to reinsurer Wausau. Swiss Re, Sun Life and WR Berkeley are among other active clients. Jean-Paul Jaillet works alongside Kole and Attisani on many of the firm's key matters.
Duane Morris LLP
Duane Morris LLP handles insurance and reinsurance matters throughout the US, but is particularly strong in California and Nevada. Best known for its commercial liability work, the team also handles environmental, bad faith, bankruptcy, construction, life and disability insurance, as well as marine and specialty line matters. In a major highlight, Max Stern and Jessica LaLonde advised Indian Harbor Insurance Company in its motion for summary judgment against Pitzer College, which spent $2m to remediate lead in soil without seeking consent from the client. Domenica Anderson and Philip Matthews acted for London Market Insurers against Fraser Boiler, who filed a receivership in order to consolidate insurance payments for asbestos claims in multiple courts. Brian Kelly leads the practice together with Stern. All mentioned partners are based in San Francisco.
The 'excellent and internationally strong' insurance and reinsurance group at O'Melveny & Myers LLP is renowned for its 'depth and breadth of dispute resolution knowledge and commitment to the insurance sector'. Based in New York, Washington DC and California, the team focuses on 'matters with big exposure', including bankruptcy, environmental and mass tort coverage actions. Practice chair Tancred Schiavoni and Gary Svirsky in New York represented Century Indemnity and Aetna in separate reinsurance proceedings against Utica Mutual. In another highlight, LA-based co-chair Richard Goetz achieved a motion for summary judgment for client Endurance Specialty Insurance in a coverage dispute initiated by the policyholder regarding their work at a defunct power plant, involving bad faith and punitive damages. Allen Burton, who is also based in New York, regularly advises on disputes set in international arbitral bodies.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP's core areas of expertise include product liability, environmental disasters, professional liability, finance, cybersecurity personal injury and health reinsurance claims. Harry Lee won final judgment for St Paul Fire and Marine Insurance in a $30m asbestos and personal injury coverage dispute against the policyholder concerning the interpretation and exhaustion issues of a definition contained in historical insurance policies, while Roger Warin and James Rocap have been advising an AIG entity in a coverage action initiated by Merck, which suffered losses through a network interruption. Antonia Ianniello reached a settlement between client Swiss Re and Guidant in UK arbitration relating to defective product liability claims. Frank Winston, who heads the department with Lee, regularly acts for Travelers in insurance disputes. All mentioned attorneys are based in Washington DC.
'High-profile' New York disputes firm Chaffetz Lindsey LLP has a 'very good national reputation', 'great depth of knowledge and experience in reinsurance, as well as a team of accessible and attentive partners'. The firm's range of services includes advice on matters covering asbestos, environmental issues, terrorism, financial guarantee, workers' compensation, post-M&A insurance and insolvency matters. 'Great arbitrator' Peter Chaffetz and Andrew Poplinger served as lead counsel for AIG in a reinsurance dispute with Equitas for facultative insurance under an umbrella policy, while Charlie Scibetta defended the same client in a coverage dispute against its insured concerning underlying product liability claims. 'Fair collaborator and strategic thinker' Steven Schwartz continues to act for Imagine International Reinsurance as claimant in a commercial litigation revolving around false representations and warranties made by the seller of a stream of commission income. The team also includes experienced litigator Cia Moss.
The 'deeply knowledgeable and business-conscious' New York insurance department at DLA Piper LLP (US) is 'one of the few practice groups that can provide outstanding legal advice with legitimate courtroom skills'. It focuses on claims relating to securities, asbestos, environmental issues, product liability, D&O, fraud, tort and transaction liability, as well as international disputes in the London and Hong Kong markets. Aidan McCormack advised Brit Insurance on a $64m professional liability insurance coverage and bad faith claim against Lloyd's and London Market insurers regarding an underlying legal malpractice claim. International business litigator Michael Murphy serves as global chair for insurance and reinsurance. Clients also recommend the 'unflappable and incredibly creative' Joseph Finnerty III, who counts Beazley among his clients, and 'consistently high performer' Megan Shea. The firm's New York office was also boosted by the relocation of global insurance sector co-chair PK Paran from London in early 2019.
Hogan Lovells US LLP advises domestic and international clients on coverage and business disputes, including class actions, rate negotiations, cybersecurity and data breach issues, transactional risk insurance, contingent liability insurance and bad faith litigation. Washington DC and Philadelphia-based David Newmann successfully settled a case for Federal Insurance Company, which involved First Horizon Bank's attempt to claim coverage for an underlying False Claims Act litigation, as well as bad faith penalties, while David Hensler and Ellen Swennes Kennedy acted for Executive Risk Indemnity in an appeal initiated by a hospital system against a summary judgment for a coverage claim the client had previously won in federal district court.
Offering 'deep industry knowledge, practical advice and strategic planning', Kennedys 'relentlessly supports the right solutions for clients and takes a long-term view of its relationships'. After establishing a strong foothold in the US in 2017 via a merger with insurance firm Carroll McNulty & Kull and a series of hires from the now-defunct Sedgwick, the insurance team now handles international environmental catastrophe claims, asbestos cases, construction defects, personal injury and sexual assault and D&O liability. 'Unparalleled insurance counsel, litigator and negotiator' Christopher Carroll's is advising Columbia Casualty Company on one of the first significant examples of litigation in the emerging field of cyber risk coverage, while in another highlight, John LeBarbera acted for The Riverstone Group and lead excess insurer TIG Insurance Company in a national lawsuit initiated by BogWarner, which faces thousands of asbestos bodily injury claims. Kristin Gallagher reached a successful result for client First Mercury Insurance Company in its declaratory judgment action in order to dismiss payment obligation for an underlying settlement in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act litigation. Clients also recommend 'terrific attorneys' Meg Catalano and Heather Simpson, who 'seek solutions that fit the clients' unique circumstances rather than a general strategy'. All mentioned partners sit in Basking Ridge, NJ, except Chicago-based LeBarbera.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Specialist dispute resolution firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP handles insurance and reinsurance matters and bad faith claims, as well as big-ticket commercial litigation. Areas of focus include property and casualty, D&O, mortgage and business interruption disputes, financial product and agency agreement matters. In a new matter, Jane Byrne defended Allied World Surplus Lines Insurance Company in arbitration proceeding against Stemco Products, concerning an alleged breach of the representations and warranties occurring during the claimant's acquisition of ATDynamics. Together with Michael Carlinsky and Corey Worcester, Byrne also represented National General Holdings Corporation against thirteen multi-district putative class actions attempting to enforce treble damages under RICO, as well as various fraud, unjust enrichment and state statutory claims regarding collateral protection insurance. All key partners are based in New York.
Squire Patton Boggs' insurance and reinsurance practice features a bench of 'pragmatic' lawyers who 'form excellent working relationships with clients and are prepared to compromise if appropriate'. The team advises on regulations, claims and international arbitration relating to professional, product and general liability, life, long-term care and health insurance, variable annuity, sports injuries, employment discrimination and environmental cases. Insurance dispute resolution practice lead Deirdre Johnson in Washington DC advised Munich Re as one of the defendants in a French product liability coverage action brought by Fountaine Pajot, while Paul Kalish serves as national counsel to Allianz on environmental, asbestos and sports-related concussion claims. In San Francisco, David Godwin represented Granite State Insurance Company against liability claims relating to environmental contamination at the Portland Harbor Superfund site. International insurance litigator Suman Chakraborty is a key individual in the New York office.
Wiley Rein LLP
Washington DC firm Wiley Rein LLP's practice, which boasts a team of lawyers with 'high levels of technical expertise', advises on coverage trials and appeals regarding professional and general liability, cyber insurance, bad faith litigation and appellate matters, as well as policy drafting and product development. 'Clear and straightforward' Kimberley Melvin represented XL Specialty Insurance Company in a coverage dispute initiated by UBS Financial Services concerning the recovery of costs from funds mismanagement allegations in lawsuits, regulatory investigations and arbitration proceedings, while Gary Seligman and highly rated practice lead Daniel Standish defended lead insurer Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance against a coverage claim from H.I.G. Capital related to an underlying post-M&A dispute. D&O and financial institution claims specialist David Topol is another name to note.
The 'outstanding coverage lawyers' at Cozen O'Connor 'provide consistently good advice and are practical, common-sense oriented and easy to work with'. The firm acts for insurers, reinsurers, third-party administrators, agents and brokers, advising on matters relating to bad faith, casualty and specialty products, professional liability and property. In a recent highlight, Philadelphia partner Joseph Ziemianski obtained a summary judgment for Westchester Fire Insurance Company against bad faith claims from Gryphon Construction and Skyline Systems, while Thomas Jones successfully defended an international insurance conglomerate in its motion to dismiss coverage compensation requests from a satellite television provider via a summary judgment.
The New York-based insurance litigation group at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP engages in securities litigation, coverage class actions and single disputes, governmental and regulatory investigations (particularly in the health insurance space), ERISA litigation, and reinsurance arbitration proceedings across all policy types. Maeve O’Connor has been advising MetLife in a putative shareholder class action lawsuit concerning allegations that the client's procedures for financial reporting and valuing its reserves for group annuity payments are inadequate. Securities litigation co-chair Edwin Schallert counts Prudential Financial among his clients. Susan Reagan Gittes was promoted to partner in July 2018.
Foley & Lardner LLP
With 'a long track record of success in reinsurance disputes', which includes both life and P&C claims, Foley & Lardner LLP's department is one of the 'best in the business'. In Chicago, clients particularly recommend Neal Moglin and Eric Haab, both of who are 'quick to understand issues and provide input on the merits of the case'. Other names to note are LA-based Eileen Ridley, who represented Arch Insurance as defendant in a coverage and bad-faith bench trial against Centurion Real Estate Partners, and Ana Francisco in Boston, who has been defending Liberty Insurance Underwriters against coverage claims made by Eli Lilly and its Brazilian subsidiary on the base of environmental contamination.
Freeborn & Peters added to its Chicago, Richmond and New York bases with the launch of an office in Tampa, Florida in 2018. The firm handles domestic and cross-border insurance and reinsurance disputes, with specialist areas including London market arbitration, litigation arising from legacy insurance liability transactions and bespoke product reinsurance disputes. Sean Thomas Keely in New York acted for Bermuda-based Iris Reinsurance, which was one of two defendants in a fraud claim brought by Blue Water in connection with a wind swap contract, while Daniel Hargraves represents AmTrust North America in its attempt to enforce a captive reinsurance agreement and an underlying claim for damages against Signify. Other highly rated practitioners in the Chicago office include Joseph McCullough, Robert Baratta and Bruce Engel.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Specializing in liability and health insurance, the California-based practice of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP typically handles nationwide class actions, bad faith claims and coverage disputes. For Aetna, Richard Doren successfully reached the denial of class certification of a putative class consisting of health plan members and providers who had made allegations towards the underpayment of claims for services from out-of-network providers. Other key figures in the team include Geoffrey Sigler, Heather Richardson and Deborah Stein, the last of whom joined the Los Angeles office from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
Mayer Brown's practice focuses on litigation, arbitration, appeals and investigations for insurers and reinsurers in relation to life, P&C, financial guaranty and mortgage guaranty policies. The client portfolio includes names such as Chubb, AXA Advisors, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Beazley. Securities litigator Joseph De Simone is the key contact in New York, while former Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP partners Robert Harrell and Jon Rice joined the Houston office in early 2018.
Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
Chicago boutique Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP merged into Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP in 2019, but the legacy team remains well known for its nationwide reinsurance litigation and arbitration experience, including long-tail liability matters, bad faith claims and cross-border recovery actions. James Morsch advised First National Insurance Company of America in a putative class action challenging the insured's total loss vehicle valuations. Catherine Isely acted for United States Fire Insurance Company in its petition to confirm a final arbitration award against Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation. Department chairs Ira Belcove, Robert Hermes and Teresa Snider make up the rest of the core team. Michael Hassan retired at the beginning of 2020.
Rivkin Radler's 50-plus team of insurance attorneys focuses solely on representing insurers, including the likes of Allianz, Allstate, Travelers, Liberty Mutual, Hiscox, and State Farm. It is experienced in all manner of risk advisory and dispute resolution matters, and in total has handled more than 10,000 insurance claims across the country. Its standout practitioners include Alan Rutkin, who has 30 years of experience litigating insurance disputes involving environmental issues, energy and other complex matters; Michael Kotula, who is experienced in matters involving, among other things, asbestos, environmental pollution, health hazards and product liability, and has been leading the firm's recent work for Great American Assurance Company and Allstate Insurance; experienced trial lawyer William Savino; and Michael Troisi, who, among other things, represents insurers in a number of emerging areas that impact the property insurance industry.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
The insurance team at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP is best known for handling high-scale claims relating to natural catastrophes and the financial crisis, as well as reinsurance matters, regulatory disputes, bad faith litigation, consumer class actions, workers' compensation claims and various types of liability cases. The client base consists of both insurers and brokers. Robert Lewin and Michele Jacobson in New York have been advising Arrowood Indemnity Company and its Surplus Lines Insurance Company on an attempt to assign liability for 9/11 attacks to the Saudi Arabia and a number of other defendants. In another highlight, New York partner Michele Jacobson and Laura Besvinick in Miami act for Starr Indemnity and Liability Company in a Supreme Court coverage action aiming to dismiss the coverage entitlement of an insured under two excess liability insurance policies.