Insurance: advice to policyholders in United States

Anderson Kill PC

Anderson Kill PC, which exclusively represents policyholders in insurance coverage disputes, is well known for its expertise in long-tail asbestos and environmental claims. Other areas of focus are D&O liability, intellectual property, white-collar crime, as well as property, marine cargo and business interruption losses. New York partner Robert Horkovich settled a dispute between client Siltronic Corporation and the insurers Wausau and AIG concerning its insurance recoveries claim in relation to cleanup of Portland Oregon Harbor. In Washington DC, Rhonda D. Orin assisted ASARCO Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust with its claim against the now defunct insurer Midland Insurance Company for insurance proceeds intended to fund asbestos claimants. William PassannanteJoshua Gold and Finley Harckham are also key practitioners based in the New York office.

Blank Rome LLP

The 'exceptionally thorough' and 'well-functioning team' at Blank Rome LLP 'not only has a clear understanding of the law, but a strategic mindset to navigate complex situations'. The 25-lawyer practice covers sexual abuse liability, representations and warranties insurance, criminal, product contamination, bankruptcy, commercial liability, cybersecurity and political risk claims across Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles and Houston. 'Top-notch' attorneys James MurrayJared Zola and Kyle Brinkman have been advising real estate investment trust Simon Property Group on a $200m claim for damages from Aon over damage caused by the 2010 flooding of the Cumberland River. In Los Angeles, the 'exceptionally talented insurance litigation expertLinda Kornfeld and 'thoughtful' David A. Thomas act for Pennsylvania State University in its insurance recovery motion and bad faith claims in connection with sexual abuse claims against former football coach Jerry Sandusky. Senior dispute resolution partner John Heintz and corporate policyholder specialist Omid Safa are other names to note in Washington DC. Also of note, in 2019 seasoned litigator Natasha Romagnoli joined the firm from McKool Smith.

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP is best known for advising on general, D&O and professional liability, as well as property, employment, business interruption, cyber coverage and mass tort claims for policyholders. Chicago partners John Mathias and David Kroeger teamed up with Jan Larson in Washington DC to advise Mondelez International on its loss claim against Zurich arising from a malware incident. Insurance liability specialist Brian Scarbrough, also based in Washington, leads the practice together with Mathias and Kroeger following the departure of former practice lead Matthew Jacobs to Jones Day in mid-2018. Civil litigator Jennifer Senior is another key member of the team in Chicago.

Jones Day

The 'broadly experienced and commercially focused' insurance practice at Jones Day 'has excellent technical skills and also provides great value for money'. Recommended for its expertise in policy structuring and negotiation, work on claims and multi-party settlements, the team handles cases relating to data breaches, sexual abuse, environmental disasters, political campaigns and financial losses. Recommended partner Tyrone Childress in Los Angeles continues to serve as national coverage counsel for Union Pacific Railroad Company, working on environmental disaster and railroad accident claims, while San Francisco-based Richard DeNatale, who 'is very experienced and knowledgeable and has strong relationships throughout the industry', represents Staples in ongoing claims relating to a major data breach. Other names to note include 'knowledgeable and client-caringBrian McDonald in San Francisco and of counsel Craig Hirsch in Los Angeles. Matthew Jacobs joined as of counsel from Jenner & Block LLP in summer 2018.

McKool Smith

The insurance recovery attorneys at McKool Smith 'are strong advocates for their clients and achieve results', advising on a range of claims relating to  property, natural disasters or construction defects, as well as bankruptcy-related litigation, cyber fraud incidents and asbestos cases. Robin Cohen, who 'has developed a deep bench of talent', collaborated with Elizabeth Sherwin and Keith McKenna on successfully helping Verizon Communications recover more than $50m in unreimbursed defense costs from several insurance carriers who had denied coverage for a 2010 securities claim. Cohen also advised Ken Frenchman on a longstanding declaratory relief and breach of contract claim from client QBE against its professional liability insurers. Marc Ladd and Adam Ziffer regularly work alongside the lead partners on their matters. All mentioned attorneys are based in New York.

Reed Smith LLP

Reed Smith LLP's practice advises on insurance liability disputes, covering general and professional liability, D&O, E&O, employment, business interruption, product recall, construction, pollution and energy matters. Other industry specialisms are financial mortgage insurance, opioid litigation, as well as pharmaceutical and life science matters. David Halbreich in Los Angeles and Courtney Horrigan in Pittsburgh head the practice, which also includes cross-border dispute resolution partner John Shugrue in Chicago.

K&L Gates

'Few firms have the same depth of experience in representing policyholders as the terrificK&L Gates, which takes a a multi-disciplinary approach to insurance coverage matters. 'Deeply knowledgeable' Pittsburgh partner David McGonigle, who 'gives great counsel', continued to represent PPG Industries in the bankruptcy and related insurance adversary proceedings resulting from its affiliate Pittsburgh Corning Corporation's Chapter 11 reorganization, involving allegations relating to the client's asbestos liabilities. In the same office, 'skilled and trustworthy advocateThomas Birsic acts for Halliburton Company in its claim to recover more than $500m under its general liability insurance program with its Bermuda insurer; the claim arose from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident. 'Strategic thinker and great listenerJonathan Cohen, who specialises in product liability cases, joined the Washington DC team from Gilbert LLP in early 2018.

Latham & Watkins LLP

The insurance practice at Latham & Watkins LLP covers business interruption and property loss claims, various types of liability claims, crime and fidelity losses, intellectual property and transaction-related matters. Washington DC-based partner David A. Barrett has been serving as lead coverage counsel on the National Collegiate Athletic Association's attempt to recover $75m for its medical monitoring settlement and defense costs against concussion-related bodily injury claims. In San Diego, Brook Roberts represents Montrose Chemical Corporation of California in appellate proceedings concerning a $100m coverage claim resulting from environmental contamination. The client base also features Facebook, Toyota and Michigan State University.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

The insurance team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 'knows the industry and key players in depth and is able to get results in settlement negotiations', while the firm itself 'has the necessary breadth of expertise and gives tailored advice'. The practice mainly handles domestic and international corporate insurance and liability disputes, including mass tort proceedings relating to environmental exposure, asbestos injuries and medical devices, as well as structuring settlements via financial instruments. A major highlight for a team led by 'highly experienced insurance recovery litigatorPaul Zevnik was the representation of ITT in its $1.8bn claim for additional coverage against its excess insurers due to underlying product liability claims. In another product liability matter, Washington DC-based Daniel Chefitz - 'a master at setting up captive insurers' - and Gerald Konkel assisted Zimmer Biomet Holdings in the recovery of insurance proceeds for the costs generated by the litigation around the Durom Cup. Clients also recommend 'greatly experienced trial lawyerDavid Cox in Los Angeles, who worked on the favorable court decision for client Gould Pumps' access to excess insurance coverage issued by Travelers.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

The insurance department at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP impresses with its 'depth of knowledge and expertise, responsiveness to client enquiries, strong analytical abilities, as well as good legal research and writing'. Traditionally, it is best known for advising on coverage relating to natural disasters and other environmental issues, but also engages in proceedings arising from cyber attacks, construction mishaps and corporate liability controversy. In Los Angeles, Robert Wallan represented Fluidmaster in its coverage and bad faith claim against numerous insurers in connection with multiple product liability actions. Washington DC-based Peter Gillon and the 'knowledgeable, thoughtful and strategicAlex Hardiman, who 'remains calm during intense negotiations', assisted Solera Holdings in the first ever claim to seek coverage under Delaware's statute, by which shareholders can challenge the price paid for their shares in a transaction and obtain an appraisal of their fair value, against its D&O insurer. Another highlight was the firm's role on litigation between San Francisco-based Colin Kemp's and New York partner Joe Jean's client Victaulic and three AIG entities regarding equitable issues, bad faith and punitive damages.

Proskauer Rose LLP

The insurance team at Proskauer Rose LLP is recommended for its 'attention to detail' in 'assessing coverage issues' and 'thoughtfulness' when it comes to 'resolving and litigating disputes with carriers'. The practice has particular experience of representing private equity firms and investment funds, while other focus areas include liability cases, product recall situations, fiduciary and employment claims, as well as property damage and business interruption. 'One of the best policyholder counsels for large companies', the 'knowledgeable and persuasiveSeth Schafler in New York has been working alongside 'great insurance lawyerJohn Failla on the representation of all 32 NFL clubs in discovery demands from insurers in response to concussion-related claims by players. 'Exceptional' senior counsel Nathan Lander has been advising Valeant Pharmaceuticals - now Bausch Health - on D&O insurance litigation relating to  its failed bid for Allergan; Schafler and Chicago-based Marc Rosenthal are also working on this matter.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP's 'very strong team' has a 'great insight into the representation of insurance brokers and a deep understanding of insurance coverage'. 'Excellent coverage lawyerChristopher St. Jeanos achieved a positive verdict for Marsh USA in its $15m dispute with Lloyd's and the owner of a yacht over property loss resulting from a fire. He also collaborated with 'experienced and smartMitchell Auslander on the representation of multiple clients of Legal Services of New York City who received undervalued recovery payments after suffering property losses due to flooding by Superstorm Sandy. Both partners are based in New York.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

The insurance practice at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has built up a nationwide reputation through its work on matters covering handling asbestos and environmental liability, D&O disputes and business interruption, while it also advises on disputes relating to cyber insurance and terrorism. Walter Andrews, who heads up the insurance coverage practice, has been advising H.I.G. Capital in negotiations with liability insurers over coverage of two investigations by the UK Pensions Regulator, while Lorelie Masters, who joined from Perkins Coie LLP in 2017, acted for Wellspan Health Systems in negotiations with its D&O insurer in relation to its defence against contractual breaches, fraud and defamation.

King & Spalding LLP

The insurance department of King & Spalding LLP specializes in the exclusive representation of policyholders and focuses, among other areas, on data and cyber security coverage, asbestos claims, nature catastrophes and commercial liability issues. In Washington DC, Martin McNerney and Jack Fontham represent long-term client Pneumo Abex in insurance coverage lawsuits aimed at defense costs in asbestos litigation, while Atlanta-based Anthony Tatum assists SunTrust Banks in professional liability, and D&O recovery actions relating to approximately 200 claims made against the client. Meghan Magruder and Shelby Guilbert are other names to note in Atlanta.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

With a presence on both US coasts, the insurance team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is particularly strong in data protection and technology-related claims, as well as in financial services and D&O liability matters. In a major highlight for Credit Suisse, San Francisco-based Barry Levin led the defense against multiple liability allegations made by monoline insurers and trustees from residential mortgage-backed securities trusts. Practice leader Darren Teshima, who is based in the same office, represented Premera Blue Cross against a declaratory relief action initiated by its commercial general liability insurer Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company, which revolved around the coverage for 38 class action lawsuits arising from a data breach. Khai LeQuang, who counts EFG Bank and Erste Abwicklungsanstalt among his clients, is the key partner in Orange County.

Perkins Coie LLP

Perkins Coie LLP's nationwide insurance practice specializes in matters relating to commercial insurance policies, including cybersecurity, D&O, first-party liability and business interruption, spanning across the energy, environmental, life science and manufacturing industries. Robert Jacobs in Washington DC leads the team, which also includes Madison-based Timothy Burns.