Insurance & Reinsurance - Dispute Resolution and Counseling

Willkie’s insurance team provides comprehensive counsel on a full range of insurance coverage disputes. Unique among law firms, we represent clients in two segments of insurance coverage disputes—insurance and reinsurance companies, and insurance brokers. We take pride in clients in both segments calling on us to solve their most difficult problems. Our knowledge of both segments gives us a deep understanding of the thinking and motivations of all of the participants in a coverage dispute. Clients value our unique perspective and the creativity we bring to resolving disputes, and benefit from our long-standing insurance industry relationships with senior management and legal personnel.

Willkie’s multidisciplinary experience in all aspects of insurance separates us from our peer firms. Few law firms have the breadth and depth of experience Willkie offers in the areas of insurance litigation, arbitration, and regulation. Our clients also benefit from our preeminent Insurance Transactional and Regulatory and Insurtech practices, which allow us to provide best-in-class and full service legal advice to a broad spectrum of industry participants.

Our insurance practice has been recognized by Chambers USA, which describes our litigators as “a good, strong team,” which is “extremely effective, in particular with respect to dealing with regulators.” Legal 500 describes our insurance litigators as “extremely knowledgeable and experienced,” and highlights our “extensive experience handling major coverage disputes.” Willkie’s insurance team was named “Insurance Law Firm of the Year: Insurer” at the 2017 Chambers USA Awards for Excellence, and Insurance Practice Group of the Year by Law360 in 2014.

We routinely advise on myriad coverage disputes and have litigated some of the most high-profile and complex claims for some of the largest insurers, reinsurers, and brokers in the United States and abroad. We have handled virtually every type of insurance claim, including:

  • Directors and Officers
  • Professional Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Business Interruption
  • Employment Practices
  • Fidelity
  • Political Risk
  • Asbestos
  • Environmental
  • Earthquakes, Hurricanes (including Hurricane Sandy), and other natural disasters
  • Bankruptcy

Representative experience includes:

  • Representing a major insurer in coverage disputes in multiple lawsuits pending in federal and state courts in the United States, brought by state and local governments against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of prescription opioids. The defendants are seeking coverage under general liability and other types of insurance policies for defense costs, settlements, and judgments arising from the opioid lawsuits.
  • Defended Zurich Insurance Company Ltd. and its affiliates in four coordinated actions brought by more than 30 plaintiffs relating to the insurance obligations of The Home Insurance Company.
  • Represented a non-U.S. insurance company in a multijurisdictional coverage action involving enforceability of arbitration clauses under the FAA and New York Convention.
  • Representing a major insurer in connection with potential coverage for Superstorm Sandy-related claims by New York University exceeding $1.2 billion.
  • Resolved a reinsurance coverage dispute arising out of $400 million of coverage for workers’ compensation carve-out exposures.
  • Winning a decade’s-long dispute for Marsh, Inc. when the Second Circuit reinstated a bankruptcy court’s finding that claims against Marsh related to the Johns-Manville bankruptcy were barred by an order entered back in the 1980s.
  • Obtaining a jury verdict for national insurance broker in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in a precedent-setting case involving the concept of “special relationship.”
  • Federal multidistrict litigation asserting antitrust and RICO claims against virtually every major U.S. insurer and broker relating to allegations of bid-rigging.
  • Winning summary judgment for Willis in a dispute arising from a complex and highly bespoke insurance and reinsurance structure.
  • Resolved a dispute relating to $250 million of earthquake coverage for damages arising from Tohoku earthquake in Japan.