Laura Geist is a partner in the Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, particularly consumer class actions related to unfair competition and false advertising.
Laura has significant experience in life insurance and financial services litigation. Her practice includes defense of rising InsurTech and FinTech companies as well as Fortune 500 companies in consumer claims regarding loss of insurance, policy pricing, Cost of Insurance, sales practices, and consumer fraud. Laura’s practice includes the defense of parallel regulatory and governmental actions to civil litigation. Laura's practice includes risk consulting and litigation for emerging industries, technology companies and startups. Laura has extensive trial and arbitration experience.
Laura’s experience includes the following matters*:
*Laura advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie in 2022.
- Obtained trial victories in two separate life insurance cases disputing $26 million (Texas) and $7.5 million (California) in death benefits respectively based on fraud and failure to prove “due proof of death.”
- Obtained dismissal of purported class action against leading technology company related to video game features in downloaded apps off company platform.
- Defeated class certification, affirmed on appeal, in a federal, nationwide purported $200 million "junk fax" class action under the Telephone and Consumer Protection Act.
- Obtained trial verdict for an insurance client in a purported $250 million class action, finding that a premium finance billing plan did not violate the Truth in Lending Act, the Unruh Act or various provisions of the California Insurance Code or the Business and Professions Code section 17200.
- Represented a financial services client in a successful resolution of action by Minnesota’s state attorney general involving alleged sales practices.
- Obtained dismissal of a purported class action against nutraceutical company claiming violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and consumer fraud under Business and Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500, et seq.
- Received a jury verdict and multimillion-dollar judgment on behalf of an insurer for insurance fraud, including a criminal restitution order against insured.
- Defended a nationwide purported class action alleging improper crediting practices and violation of standard non-forfeiture laws against an index annuity client; the case was dismissed with prejudice at the class certification stage.
- Obtained a temporary restraining order on behalf of health care client for board misconduct and successfully negotiated the resolution of managed care contract dispute.
- Obtained dismissal of 15 vocational schools and defeated a nationwide class action based on claims related to school accreditation; negotiated the resolution of consumer fraud claims premised on value of an educational program.