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Insurance

LeClairRyan’s Insurance Industry team is comprised of a deep bench of talented attorneys with significant experience related to first- and third-party coverage matters as well as an array of litigation matters pertaining to our insurance clients and their insureds.

Our team members routinely defend insurance companies and their insureds in state and federal courts across the country and represent agents and brokers before a full spectrum of oversight boards and commissions. We also help our insurance clients negotiate a raft of regulatory mandates at the local, state and national levels.

In every matter we handle, we strive to become our clients’ trusted advisor and business partner. Through this role, we apply our knowledge, insight and skill to help our clients achieve their business objectives while managing and minimizing their legal risks, difficulties and expenses.

Our team is truly interdisciplinary, representing businesses and individuals across a variety of industries – from aviation to wireless telecommunications – and everything in between. We also understand the insurance industry from an insider’s perspective, as our team includes a chartered property casualty underwriter and a licensed property and casualty insurance broker. Several of our team members also serve as national counsel to insurance companies. In addition, another team member serves as monitoring counsel for professional liability and healthcare claims for specialty program insurance underwritten in the London insurance market.

We craft cost-effective solutions best suited to our clients’ business and legal needs, whether it entails litigating through trial, reaching an agreement through arbitration, or resolving a matter before trial. Not only are our attorneys skilled litigators, we also have several team members who are certified as arbitrators and mediators. Whether we are trying a case or resolving a matter through alternative dispute resolution, we carefully consider our clients’ business goals and future success when shaping and implementing a legal strategy.

Our distinctive strengths include: 

Litigation 

  • First- and third-party claims disputes 
  • Professional liability defense (including lawyers, doctors, architects, engineers, accountants, brokers, and physical therapists) 
  • Employment practices liability 
  • Directors and officers liability 
  • Fiduciary liability 
  • Cyberliability 
  • Technology and other electronic breaches 
  • Toxic torts (including asbestos, benzene and mold) 
  • Catastrophic personal injury defense 
  • Wrongful death defense 
  • Products liability 
  • Comprehensive general liability 
  • Nursing home and assisted living facilities liability 
  • Subrogation 
  • Unfair insurance practices 
  • Life and disability policies 
  • Bad faith claims 
  • Defamation 
  • Workers’ compensation defense 
  • Transportation claims 
  • Construction defect claims

Transactional / Advisory 

  • Employment-related insurance coverage 
  • Directors and Officers policies 
  • General liability coverage 
  • Habitational coverage 
  • Surety and bonding 
  • Indemnification 
  • Excess liability claims 
  • Reinsurance 
  • Fraud 
  • Homeowner liability 
  • Risk management 
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits 
  • Estate planning 
  • Personal investment transactions 

Insurance Litigation Discovery


LeClairRyan's Legal Solutions Center offers clients the experience and depth necessary to help individuals and businesses involved in insurance litigation navigate all aspects of modern discovery. We ensure our clients have access to a strategically leveraged combination of skilled discovery professionals, secure processes and cutting-edge technologies. By utilizing project teams to offer cost-effective, tailored approaches to each client, the discovery professionals LeClairRyan partners with create world-class, custom solutions for projects of all sizes.

Client-Centric Approach


Regardless of the scope of the matter at hand – from drafting policies to defending businesses and individuals in complex litigation – we provide our insurance clients with invaluable legal representation and business counsel, recognizing that success reaches far beyond the boardroom or courtroom.

To this end, we employ a client-centric process that may include the use of alternative fee arrangements that are tailored to the unique goals and business considerations of our insurance industry clients.

In addition, our team values the importance of a healthy tri-partite relationship among the insurer, insured and attorney in all matters that we handle. Therefore, we work closely with our insurance clients and involved parties to ensure this relationship is established early and maintained throughout the legal proceeding and related matters.

Also, through years of experience working with insurance companies of all sizes, we have acquired a solid understanding of our clients’ billing and reporting requirements and consistently demonstrate our ability to comply with these standards.

Undoubtedly complex by its very nature, the insurance industry is best navigated by attorneys who possess the necessary business savvy and legal acumen. Members of our team appreciate the complicacies related to this unique industry and consistently achieve favorable quantifiable results for our insurance clients. 

Representative matters:


Litigation

  • Represent a plumbing supplier in a multimillion-dollar mold and property damage claim in a commercial building renovation; limited our client’s share of damages to less than two percent of the total settlement.
  • Represent a medical device manufacturer in a five-week trial of products liability claims for a design defect and breach of warranty concerning an instrument used to introduce a heart surgery catheter. The patient sustained an air embolism leading to a persistent vegetative state condition when the device allegedly separated in the ICU. The product was found “not defective” after a multimillion-dollar settlement during trial by codefendant hospital, doctors, and ICU nurses.
  • Settlement of a brain injury case for slightly more than expected cost of trial after the plaintiff increased the ad damnum to $10 million in the middle of the case prior to our entry into the matter.
  • Represent a national trucking company in motor vehicle accidents and environmental disputes.
  • Defense of a commercial airline in wrongful death actions, personal injury actions, and property damage claims arising out of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Defense of action brought by mutual funds alleging fraud and misrepresentation in connection with the securities offering statement on an $80 million bond issue. 
  • Defense of a CPA firm against a claim of negligent misrepresentation in the preparation of financial documents, with the decision affirmed in the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Represent a design team and program manager in a multi-party $160 million contractor claim involving the so-called “smart system” on the nation’s largest central artery/tunnel project.
  • Subrogation recovery for an insurer arising from defective hydraulic hoses installed on a construction excavator that caused the arm to lose hydraulic fluid and crush the chest of a worker in a trench at a construction site.
  • Represent a number of executives, including the chief executive officer, president and chief operating officer, and chief financial officer, of a Fortune 200 company in a putative shareholder class action brought by one of the nation’s preeminent plaintiffs’ securities class action firms. The claim related to a decline in value of company stock following accounting-related disclosures.
  • Represent a law firm in a legal malpractice action seeking $50 million in damages arising out of the aforementioned firm’s representation of a company embroiled in an intra-corporate dispute involving alleged breach of fiduciary duties by certain corporate officers. 
  • Represent former outside counsel to large insurance companies in multiple class actions seeking more than $1.2 billion in damages.
  • Dismissal of False Claims Act actions against design professionals on central artery/tunnel project.
  • Serve as national counsel for Fortune 500 insurance company to handle high-exposure professional malpractice claims.
  • Defense of a syndicate of aviation liability insurers in a $150 million coverage dispute arising out of claims related to a failed satellite launch.
  • Represent a national architectural firm in a multimillion-dollar delay damages and lost-profits claim by a Native American tribal casino and hotel complex, resulting in a confidential mediation settlement of less than 1.5 percent of the amount claimed.
  • Arbitration of an insurance coverage case on behalf of an insurer that issued a commercial general liability policy under which Advertising Injury (product disparagement) claims were made in connection with an antitrust lawsuit brought in California, involving a Missouri corporate insured and an Illinois insurer. Issues included the insured’s right to independent counsel, apportionment of fees and expenses between insured/insurer, and payment of pre-tender fees and expenses.
  • Defense of a commercial lines primary insurer in a bad faith and breach of contract action brought by an excess insurer regarding issues surrounding primary insurers actions in alleged failure to settle an underlying case within the primary insurer’s policy limits, exposing the excess insurer to a multimillion-dollar payment.
  • Arbitration of a case involving an elder care van service in which the standard of care of the van operator/patient care attendant in placement of handicapped passengers in the van was at issue.
  • Represent the former general counsel of a public company in the medical services business in a putative class action lawsuit filed by a number of hospitals alleging overcharging for services, and in concurrent investigations by the SEC and the Department of Justice.
  • Defense of the former chief financial officer of a publicly-traded company in a suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Defense of the former general counsel of a publicly-traded company in the medical services industry in connection with an SEC investigation and multi-jurisdictional litigation involving allegations of fraud and RICO violations.
  • Defense of the former controller of a publicly-traded company in connection with a putative class action alleging violations of federal securities laws.
  • Represent several officers of a major national financial institution as co-counsel in connection with a securities class action.
  • Defense of all types of E&O claims filed against agents and brokers in federal and state courts, including claims such as failure to procure policies of insurance, failure to underwrite policies of insurance properly and ERISA claims.
  • Represent a plaintiff insurance agency in an action filed against a former agent for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and tortious interference with contractual relations arising from the agent’s solicitation and recovery of income from agency clients in violation of his contract.
  • Represent an insurance carrier in declaratory judgment action involving the application of a worker’s compensation exclusion to a commercial automobile liability policy arising from an employee who sustained injuries in an accident while a passenger in the employer’s vehicle.
  • Represent a utility company in coverage action for recovery of remediation costs under a commercial general liability policy.
  • Represent a securities broker in an action to recover costs of defense and indemnity under an errors and omissions liability policy.
  • Defense of a prominent national automobile liability insurer in a coverage action brought by an underinsured carrier in a wrongful death case.
  • Represent a commercial liability insurer in the denial of coverage involving an insured oil company making a delivery to a wrong house and subsequent tank leakage.
  • Represent a personal lines insurer in an insurance coverage dispute involving a claim by an estate where the issue is purported “use” of an automobile in connection with a possible murder/suicide.
  • Represent an automobile insurer in a coverage dispute involving underinsured motorist benefits sought by an employee of an insured employer where the employee had his own policy with uninsured motorist benefits.

Transactional / Advisory

  • Review of primary and excess policies involving an insured moving van line carrier, agent/operator and independent contractor/driver in a multi-million dollar property damage and bodily injury case concerning the duty to defend and indemnity obligations. 
  • Represented global specialty insurance company spinoff in tax, securities, intellectual property, buy/sell arrangement, and equity compensation issues associated with transaction.
  • Conducted survey of insurance agency licensing statutes and regulations of each state and the District of Columbia to determine whether proposed business model required insurance agency licenses in 51 jurisdictions in which internet-based affiliate proposed to conduct business.
    Advise architectural and engineering firms on the implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the use of Integrated Project Delivery agreements on large institutional projects.
  • Advise the general counsel of a Fortune 500, New York Stock Exchange-traded company on all aspects of its Sarbanes-Oxley compliance program and corporate governance issues, including board committee charters, a director self-evaluation program, and a whistleblower program.
  • Conduct director seminars on current issues in corporate governance, including securities law issues and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, for directors of several publicly-traded companies.
  • Serve as special counsel to audit committees of publicly-traded companies. 
  • Advise independent trustees of a mutual fund on their fiduciary duties and securities law obligations, their liability as trustees, and limitations on their liability and indemnity under state law and the fund’s organizational documents. 
  • Perform an independent review of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company’s directors and officers insurance policy to its chief executive officer.
  • Perform an independent review of a mutual fund’s directors and officers insurance policy to the independent trustees of the fund.
  • Represent the chief executive officer of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company in connection with amendments to his employment agreement and establishment of his 10b-5-1 plan. 
  • Represent a New York Stock Exchange-traded company in negotiation of employment agreements and an equity compensation program for key executives.
  • Advise the president of a publicly-traded industrial company in the negotiation of his employment contract, equity incentive arrangement, and golden parachute.
  • Advise the compensation committee of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company in connection with severance arrangements for its former president.
  • Represent a publicly-traded company with respect to the design, implementation and maintenance of employee benefit and executive compensation plans.
  • Advise a publicly-traded company regarding mitigation strategies to minimize the golden parachute excise tax related to change-of-control payments to executives.
  • Represent the chief executive officer of a New York Stock Exchange-traded company in connection with personal equity investment transactions.
  • Represent several chief and other executive officers of New York Stock Exchange-traded companies with regard to their personal tax and estate planning, insurance planning, charitable planning, asset structuring, and asset protection planning. 
  • Represent directors and officers in connection with complex estate plans with special consideration to planning for public equity offerings and executive deferred compensation and retirement arrangements.
  • Represent various directors and officers in their diversified personal investment transactions.
  • Represent the founding executive of a financial services company in his acquisition of several unrelated businesses for family members, and in connection with issues relating to fractional private jet ownership.
  • Serve as general counsel to large association of insurance agents.
  • Advise insurance companies and self-insured entities regarding duties and rights under all types of insurance policies, including commercial general liability policies, life insurance policies, errors and omissions policies, and health insurance policies. 
  • Analyze policy provisions in a claims-made professional liability policy with opinion to insurer concerning issues of timely notice of claim, reservation of rights, right to terminate defense, estoppel and the waiver of the right to terminate defense.
  • Provide opinion to an insurer concerning how a Condominium Trust Liability Policy pertains to issues of coverage for nonmonetary relief, payment of civil fines or penalties, and the pollution exclusion resulting in denial of coverage. 
  • Review “other insurance” clauses in insurance policies, along with contracts between parties including commercial vehicle rental company, corporate lessee and individual operator with occurrence in Louisiana to determine the primary/excess insurance relationship between policies and an insurer duty to defend obligation. 
  • Provide opinion to an insurer concerning the duty to defend and indemnity obligations owed to a medical professional covered under his own primary and umbrella policies as well as the primary and excess policies of the insured medical facility at which he worked. 
  • Advise design professionals on limited waivers of sovereign immunity, phased dispute resolution clauses, and intellectual property licenses to accommodate the concerns of Native American tribal entities for gaming, hospitality, and infrastructure projects, while protecting the due process and collections concerns of design professionals. 
  • Advise the chief executive officer of a publicly-traded insurance company in connection with Medicare fraud litigation pending against the company.
  • Serve as general counsel in establishing insurers and assuring regulatory compliance. 
     

Contact

  • Industry Team Leader
    617.502.8206