Christopher J. St. Jeanos

Partner

New York
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
787 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019-6099
T 212 728 8730
F 212 728 9730
cstjeanoswillkie.com

Christopher J. St. Jeanos is a partner in the Litigation Department, and Co-Head of the Department’s Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group. Chris, an experienced trial lawyer who has tried numerous cases and arbitrations to verdict, focuses on the representation of entities in all aspects of the insurance and reinsurance industry, with a particular focus on the representation of insurance brokers. Chris also regularly counsels insurance brokers in connection with regulatory and sanctions related issues, and provides advice relating to insurance coverage for cyber issues.  

For almost two decades, he has represented insurance brokers, including the largest insurance and reinsurance brokers in the world, in various state, federal, and international matters, including some of the most noteworthy and complex actions in the industry. Chris recently represented the world’s largest insurance broker in the first case to go to trial based on the “special relationship” theory of liability. After a two-week trial, the unanimous jury in federal court in Florida found in favor of the broker. Chris also has recently argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Florida Supreme Court, Missouri Supreme Court, and New York Appellate Division among others concerning significant issues relating to the scope of the duty imposed on insurance brokers. He is currently gearing up for a federal trial relating to an insurance broker E&O claim, representing a policyholder pursuing significant liability coverage, and defending a number of actions against insurance brokers in New York, New Jersey, Texas, and California.

Chris, who has received awards for his work in connection with pro bono organizations Family Residences and Essential Enterprises and Legal Services NYC, the largest provider of legal services in the nation, has also been using his skills and insurance-related experience this past year to help a number of low-income victims who suffered devastating losses in connection with Superstorm Sandy analyze and file appeals with FEMA. Chris is also counsel to a Coalition seeking to address the need for additional housing options in New York for developmentally disabled adults. 

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Christopher J. St. Jeanos is a partner in the Litigation Department, and Co-Head of the Department’s Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group. Chris, an experienced trial lawyer who has tried numerous cases and arbitrations to verdict, focuses on the representation of entities in all aspects of the insurance and reinsurance industry, with a particular focus on the representation of insurance brokers. Chris also regularly counsels insurance brokers in connection with regulatory and sanctions related issues, and provides advice relating to insurance coverage for cyber issues.  

Selected Significant Matters

Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation:

  • Successful defense of national insurance broker in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in a precedent-setting case involving the concept of “special relationship”
  • Successful defense of fiduciary duty claims against insurance brokers in California, New York, Florida, and Missouri
  • Successful defense of $1 billion indemnity action against insurance broker brought in New York state court, relating to placements in Lloyd’s market
  • In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation – Counsel in federal Multi-District litigation arising out of government investigations of insurance industry
  • Nationwide Policyholder Litigation – Counsel in cases brought throughout the United States alleging violations of federal and state law by insurance companies and brokers
  • Political Risk Litigation – Lead counsel in trial concerning political risk insurance
  • Successful defense of $50 million professional negligence claim against insurance broker in federal court in Florida, which included collection of attorneys’ fees from plaintiff
  • Successful defense of $100 million arbitration against a German reinsurance company in connection with an international retrocessional reinsurance dispute

Insurance and Reinsurance Regulatory/Sanctions:

  • Advising both U.S. and U.K. insurance and reinsurance brokers in connection with compliance with U.S. sanctions
  • Advising both U.S. and U.K. insurance and reinsurance brokers in connection with regulatory compliance, including matters relating to the NYS DFS and ELANY
  • Represented insurer in connection with hearing before DFS relating to demutualization and subsequent merger
  • Represented insurer in connection with potential hearing before Delaware Department of Insurance in connection with potential merger 

Selected Professional and Business Activities

Chris served as a law clerk to the Honorable Denny Chin while Judge Chin was a United States District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York. Judge Chin is currently a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Chris is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Publications / News / Events

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