Attorneys in the Insurance Recovery practice counsel energy companies, ranging from some of the world’s largest utilities to renewable energy startups. We secure coverage for clients under a wide gamut of policies, advise on the insurance implications of complex transactions and review and audit policies to improve clients’ coverage before a loss occurs.

Backed by a national Energy practice, Perkins Coie serves clients active in traditional regulated markets as well as those operating in newly deregulated markets or implementing cutting-edge energy technologies. Perkins Coie attorneys have extensive experience representing publically and investor-owned gas and electric utilities, independent power producers, pipeline companies, power marketing companies, transmission companies and renewable power producers.

Our Insurance Recovery attorneys have extensive experience with major energy industry mutuals, such as O.I.L., AEGIS, and EIM, as well as the Bermuda and London insurance markets. We are nationally ranked by Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation and US News — Best Lawyers® and were recognized as the “Practice of the Year" in 2013 by Law360. 

Energy Insurance Coverage Case Management and Counseling

When energy companies suffer a loss, we aggressively look for coverage within a client's insurance portfolio while designing a practical and efficient approach to pursuing insurance coverage on a client's behalf. We are adept at, and encourage, all forms of pre-litigation claims advocacy, whether through informal negotiation or formal mediation, and know that sometimes the best legal service that an attorney can provide is keeping a client out of court. Nevertheless, if litigation is necessary, our Insurance Recovery practice is skilled at litigation and trial in both federal and state courts throughout the United States as well as in domestic and international arbitrations. We have achieved success in all forms of dispute resolution and have recovered billions of dollars in insurance proceeds for our clients.

Perkins Coie’s Insurance Recovery attorneys also help before a loss occurs through policy reviews and counseling. During a  policy review, we evaluate a client’s current insurance program, determine whether the program meets the company’s needs and identify any potential gaps in coverage. Our lawyers will explain and suggest improvements to coverage provisions, including definitions, exclusions, endorsements, notice and discovery provisions ,based upon historic and current liabilities and potential exposures, business needs and overall corporate strategy.

Attorneys in Perkins Coie’s Insurance Recovery practice also advise energy clients and other clients regarding the implications of mergers, acquisitions and other corporate transactions on their rights under current and historic insurance policies. We also offer guidance on how to best structure the language of those deals to meet the parties’ intent for the handling of insurance assets.

Representative Matters

  • Trial Wins: Perkins Coie secured more than $335 million for the TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY (TVA) from its liability and property insurers for the loss TVA incurred due to the largest fly ash spill in U.S. history. First, TVA reached a highly favorable (near limits) settlement with Arch Bermuda, one of the three Bermuda excess liability insurers. Next, after a month-long arbitration, Perkins Coie won full limits, attorney’s fees and interest in excess of $170 million from another Bermuda excess liability insurer. This win is reported to be the largest judgment ever secured against a Bermuda insurer at trial. In December 2014, TVA obtained an award of $50 million—full policy limits—after a four-week trial - against the last remaining insurer. We overcame the insurer’s 17 defenses, which included challenges to the legitimacy and scope of federal and state clean-up orders and representations made in TVA’s insurance application. In December 2015, Perkins Coie completed the matter by winning nearly $20 million in interest and costs from this last insurer.
  • Negotiated Settlement: We represent ALPHA NATURAL RESOURCES in two parallel directors’ and officers’ insurance coverage actions arising out of the April 5, 2012 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in Montcoal, West Virginia. The mine explosion resulted in the death of 29 miners and injuries to a number of bystanders. In 2014, Perkins Coie successfully negotiated a settlement with seven insurance companies and recovered $75 million in insurance proceeds for defense and indemnity in the pending securities litigation.
  • Creative Dispute Resolution: We represented CONSUMERS ENERGY in the federal district court in a complex insurance coverage dispute involving environmental cleanup costs at a number of sites. At our urging, the case was converted to a “baseball” arbitration before a retired federal judge. After fact and expert testimony, briefing and argument, the arbitrator selected Consumers’ high-number request, giving our client a substantial eight-figure recovery.
  • Policy Audit and Counseling: We recently reviewed and analyzed directors’ and officers’ insurance policies for THOMPSON CREEK METALS. The review included consideration with company officers of the company’s global operations and risks, and involved both U.S. and Canadian insurance policies. We recommended numerous changes to policies that were successfully implemented during renewal negotiations with the client’s insurers.
  • Transactional Due Diligence: In 2014, our attorneys in the Insurance Recovery practice advised NORTHWESTERN ENERGY regarding the impact on historic insurance arrangements of its $900 million purchase of 11 hydroelectric facilities representing 633 megawatts of capacity and one storage reservoir from PPL Montana.

Representative Clients

Below is a sample list of energy, electric and gas utility companies that our insurance recovery partners have assisted in collecting hundreds of millions of dollars in coverage:

  • Ameren Corporation
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • Aracoma Coal Co.
  • Ashland Inc.
  • Central Illinois Public Service Co.
  • Central Maine Power Co.
  • CMS Energy Corporation
  • Columbia Gas
  • DTE Energy Co.
  • IES Utilities, Inc.
  • Illinois Power Co.
  • Independent Petrochemical Corp
  • Massey Energy Co.
  • MidAmerican Energy Co.
  • Newmont Mining Corporation
  • Northern Illinois Gas Co.
  • Northern Indiana Public Service Co.
  • NorthWestern Energy
  • Occidental Petroleum Corporation
  • Ogden Corporation
  • PSI Energy, Inc.
  • Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Weatherford International, plc
  • Wisconsin Electric Power Co.