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  1. Insurance: advice to policyholders
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Covington & Burling LLP is a market leader in the policyholders sphere, with key offices in New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. The team handles a full remit of insurance matters, including environmental damage claims, catastrophe insurance matters, asbestos coverage disputes and marine cargo loss claims. Insurance litigation related to data breaches is another growing area of activity for the firm, which has deep experience in fintech and data privacy issues. The team also continues to be involved in the highly publicized NFL concussion litigation. Its clients are typically drawn from pharmaceuticals, private equity and construction industries, among others. Washington DC-based Mitchell Dolin and Benedict Lenhart head the global insurance recovery practice and are recognized for their work representing corporate policyholders in professional liability disputes, shareholder claims and mass tort matters. The recommended Los Angeles-based René Siemens is adept at handling product liability and consumer cases, and San Francisco-based Gretchen Hoff Varner is also well regarded. San Francisco’s Donald Brown, Washington DC-based Saul Goodman, William Skinner and William Greaney, and New York’s Benjamin Duke are other key names. Matthew Schlesinger joined the Washington DC office from Reed Smith LLP.

Anderson Kill’s team is highly rated for its experience and strength in depth. Insurance coverage is a primary focus for the firm, including asbestos injury liability, product liability, environmental pollution and cybersecurity issues. The Philadelphia-based Pamela Hans represented TransCanada and two of its subsidiaries in a successful ruling for its insurer to pay $48m in businesses losses and $7m for property damage caused by a generator’s breakdown. The National Railroad Passenger Corporation is another client; Washington DC’s Rhonda Orin acted for the company in a $1bn property damage and business interruption claim relating to Hurricane Sandy. Other clients include AlixPartners, O&G Industries and Fisher Klosterman. New York’s Robert Horkovich, who is ‘a passionate, effective and tireless advocate for his clients’, chairs the practice alongside William Passannante; other key names are Newark-based Steven Pudell and New York’s business interruption expert Finley Harckham. Darin McMullen left the firm for an in-house counsel position.

Jenner & Block LLP is a heavyweight in the policyholders area, with pharmaceuticals, asbestos, catastrophe and D&O related claims all typical areas of activity. Paul Smith is representing Amtrak in a Hurricane Sandy-related catastrophe insurance claim and successfully argued that the client’s $125m coverage limit for a salt damage claim warranted additional coverage for the replacement of undamaged components that were covered by demolition and increased cost of construction coverage. Matthew Jacobs and newly made partner Jan Larson acted for Danfoss in a premiums payment dispute with Liberty Mutual. Southeastern Grocers and United Conveyor Corporation (UCC) are also on the client roster. John Mathias chairs the practice from Chicago, ably supported in the same office by property damage expert David Kroeger and injury claims litigator Christopher Dickinson. All lawyers mentioned are based in Washington DC unless otherwise noted.

Jones Day’s team has experience in undertaking cybersecurity claims, environmental pollution cases and property damage suits. San Francisco’s Richard DeNatale is representing Sony Pictures in pursuing coverage for losses incurred as a result of the highly publicized cyber-attack it suffered; the claims seek reimbursement for remediation expenses, business interruption losses, breach response costs, and defense and settlement costs. The well-regarded Los Angeles-based practice chair Tyrone Childress is acting for Kroger in a case claiming breach of contract and bad faith concerning the correct allotment of compensation losses for its workers under multiple policies. Other significant clients are Motorola Solutions, Jacobs Engineering Group and new client American Apparel. Class action defense expert Andrew Jackson, based in Washington DC, is ‘outstanding, with excellent substantive knowledge’; Los Angeles-based counsel Donald Erlandson and Pittsburgh-based Michael Ginsberg and John Iole are other names to note.

McKool Smith is rated by clients as ‘one of the top policyholder practices in the country’. The team handles arbitration and litigation, including class actions, and is experienced in environmental pollution, securities and defective construction mandates. The firm acted for key client Warren Pumps in a significant New York Court of Appeals case on the issue of allocation regarding long-tail claims; the firm won a landmark ruling, with the court applying an ‘all sums’ allocation. It also acted for former FIFA official Eduardo Li in a claim against insurers Lloyd’s of London and Axis to cover Li’s criminal defense costs. Other significant clients are Verizon, Cushman & Wakefield and Maxus Energy. In a huge coup for the firm, market heavyweight Robin Cohen joined as head of practice from Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, bringing with her eight other attorneys, including ‘top-notch trial lawyer and strategist’ Kenneth Frenchman, the ‘very effective’ Natasha Romagnoli and the recommended Keith McKenna. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

Proskauer Rose LLP is a respected player in the market, handling domestic and cross-border arbitration and litigation. The spectrum of matters handled by the team includes life insurance disputes, environmental matters and terrorism cases. It is representing Union Carbide in multiple claims against 30 insurance companies for asbestos injuries, including litigation and mediation proceedings, while the New York-based Seth Schafler is acting for JP Morgan in multiple coverage matters - including securities coverage litigation - relating to fraud and dishonesty exclusions. Deutsche Bank, Incorporated Village of Old Westbury and LA 2024 are also clients. Los Angeles-based Nancy Sher Cohen and the Chicago-based Steven Gilford head the practice, which also includes Chicago’s general liability and professional E&O coverage litigator Marc Rosenthal and New York-based cybersecurity expert John Failla. New York-based Nathan Larder is a rising star.

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.

Reed Smith LLPoffers policyholders great service and legal advice’, according to clients. Areas of expertise for the firm include marine insurance, toxic tort claims and environmental pollution disputes, among others. Washington DC-based John Schryber is representing former American football player Haruki Nakamura in the ongoing high-profile NFL concussion litigation concerning the denial of total and permanent disability benefits coverage to the client. The New York-based Paul Breene, recommended by clients as ‘one of the premier insurance coverage attorneys in the country’, is acting for Rockwell Automation and Invensys in a coverage dispute involving 15,000 individual asbestos suits and the clients’ entitlement to damages coverage. Cumulus Media and Estee Lauder are also on the client roster. Los Angeles-based David Halbreich and Pittsburgh’s Courtney Horrigan are the respective global and deputy leaders of the practice, which saw several team changes in 2016: Philadelphia-based Matthew Rosso, Los Angeles’ Lilit Asadourian and Chicago’s Kevin Dreher were promoted to partner and Robert Shulman joined the Washington DC office from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, mitigating the loss of Matthew Schlesinger to Covington & Burling LLP.

Blank Rome LLP’s ‘responsiveness, practical and thoughtful advice, and expertise and advocacy’ is valued by clients. It inherited the insurance practice of legacy firm Dickstein Shapiro, including practice head James Murray, who is ‘creative in helping to address and solve problems’, New York’s Jared Zola, who is ‘a young star of the policyholder bar’, John Gibbons, Justin Lavella and the recommended John Heintz. New York’s Lisa Campisi also joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. The team is representing NRG Energy and Louisiana Generating in a coverage dispute concerning a suit filed under the Clean Air Act and whether the clients’ insurer had the duty to defend them against the suit. It also acted for KaloBios Pharmaceuticals in bankruptcy litigation and advised the client on its D&O insurance coverage. Other clients include Actavis, ExxonMobil and Maremont Corporation. Lawyers mentioned are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

K&L Gates is ‘best in class’ and ‘the go-to firm for insurance coverage on behalf of corporate policyholders’, according to clients. The team is adept at handling insurance reimbursement litigation as well as property damage and general liability claims. John Sylvester is acting for Ashland and Hercules Incorporated in arbitration proceedings with several insurers involving coverage for asbestos bodily injury claims; it also filed a lawsuit on behalf of the client against National Indemnity Company and Resolute Management for interference with the insurers’ contractual obligations. Elsewhere, the team is acting for Hexcel in an environmental property damage coverage dispute with four insurers. Other clients are PPG Industries and BWX Technologies. Michael Zanic and Thomas Reiter ‘quickly understand issues and develop clear, effective strategies for results’. Nicholas Ranjan is recommended for environmental disputes. All lawyers mentioned are based in the Pittsburgh office.

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘commercial and communicates key issues clearly’. Corporate insurance disputes, including business interruption cases, are mainstays of the practice. It successfully represented Fluor Corporation in a longstanding dispute with The Hartford over the right of policyholders to transfer coverage benefits in a policy; San Diego’s Brook Roberts and John Wilson were the litigators on the case. The two also acted for United Nuclear in a bad faith case against Lloyd’s of London and Resolute Management concerning historic environmental liabilities. Toyota, Meritor and the US Soccer Federation are also on the client roster. Global practice chair Peter Rosen, based in Los Angeles, is ‘a knowledgeable and thoughtful insurance policy litigator’; he is ably supported by the highly regarded Andrew Lundberg in the same office and Washington DC’s David Barrett.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP frequently undertakes product liability matters, breach of contract cases and asbestos claims. A key client for the firm is ITT Corporation, which it has represented in 30,000 product liability cases concerning asbestos injury claims as well as advising on legacy liability management strategy. It is also acting for Pepsi in environmental pollution litigation relating to over 1,000 toxic tort cases, settling with four insurers in 2016. Zimmer Biomet, Motiva Enterprises and Best Buy are other clients. The Washington DC-based Paul Zevnik leads the practice, ably supported by deputy practice heads David Luttinger and Yardena Zwang-Weissman, based in New York and Los Angeles respectively. Los Angeles-based David Cox and Leah Houghton in Boston were promoted to the partnership.

The team at Perkins Coie LLP has notable strengths in D&O coverage disputes, bankruptcy litigation and data breach cases. Koorosh Talieh is acting for Alpha Natural Resources in two separate D&O coverage claims arising from the merger of the client with Massey Energy; these are for securities litigation over merger objections and a shareholder derivative suit. Selena Linde is representing ResCap in bankruptcy court in a case against 12 liability insurers in which the client is seeking defense and indemnity coverage across 12 professional liability policies. Other clients include Hitachi Zosen and Lafarge. Don Friedman chairs the practice, which also includes product liability expert Robert Jacobs and D&O liability litigator Michael Sharkey. All lawyers mentioned are based in the Washington DC office.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP handles a range of litigation and arbitration regarding corporate insurance matters, including property damage and professional liability cases and bad faith claims. Geoffrey Greeves led the litigation team advising Lion Oil in a business interruption coverage dispute with AIG and 13 other insurers concerning a pipeline rupture affecting a key supplier. Greeves, along with James Bobotek and Peter Gillon, who chairs the practice alongside Los Angeles’ Robert Wallan, also acted for Edge Fund Advisors in a case involving property damage and business interruption claims, while the New York-based Joseph Jean successfully led the case for Victaulic against three AIG companies, securing the client $46m in punitive damage costs. DynCorp, Sinclair Oil Corporation and Hunt Construction Group are also significant clients. Lawyers mentioned are based in the Washington DC office unless otherwise noted.

Insurance recovery is a primary focus at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, with bankruptcy liability cases, catastrophe insurance matters and E&O coverage disputes all areas of expertise for the practice. The team represented Cameron International in arbitration and multi-district litigation concerning coverage disputes with its insurers regarding Deepwater Horizon, recouping $250m for the client. It is also acting for Marsh USA in several property coverage cases concerning losses incurred by Hurricane Sandy, including litigation over the application of policy sub-limits for flood damage. Willis Towers Watson, First American and Crystal & Company are also on the client roster. Mitchell Auslander and Christopher St. Jeanos head the practice from the New York office.

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