Perkins Coie's Insurance Recovery attorneys have shaped pro-policyholder law in nearly every jurisdiction in the United States. We are among the elite firms in the country that represent only policyholders in insurance coverage disputes.
Our Insurance Recovery attorneys have a broad range of experience and a record of success in enforcing policyholders’ rights to coverage under almost every type of commercial insurance policy for a wide range of losses and liabilities.
We have represented leading companies in almost every industry, including FORTUNE 500 and Global 500 companies, as well as public sector policyholders. Our group has negotiated with, and litigated against, virtually every major insurer in the United States, as well as in the London and Bermuda markets, having recovered billions of dollars in insurance proceeds for our clients.
We have extensive experience with various major industry captives, such as AEGIS, ICI Mutual and OIL, among others. We also help commercial entities maximize insurance proceeds in complex bankruptcy proceedings.
Policy and Coverage Areas
Our attorneys are experienced in a wide range of discrete and specialized insurance policies and coverages, such as additional insured endorsements, captive insurance, employee benefits liability, fiduciary liability, marine-cargo, event cancellation, political risk, private mortgage, professional athlete, disability and satellite insurance, among others.
Using their experience in litigating against insurers, our attorneys advise clients during the insurance procurement and renewal process to help them improve their insurance programs by avoiding the pitfalls of unfavorable policy language. Our services include negotiating contractual insurance requirements and performing insurance due diligence during corporate transactions.
Litigation Management Approach
Perkins Coie believes in aggressively looking for coverage within a client's insurance portfolio, while designing a practical and efficient approach to pursue insurance coverage that maximizes our client’s bottom line. In that regard, we are adept at all forms of pre-litigation claims advocacy, whether through informal negotiation or formal mediation. We know that sometimes keeping a client out of court is the best legal service that an attorney can provide. But when litigation is necessary, our attorneys bring cases against insurance companies, and we go to trial in both federal and state courts throughout the United States, as well as resolve disputes in domestic and international arbitrations.
Areas of Experience
So-called Bermuda-Form policies pose their own set of unique challenges. As a preliminary matter, the policies are complex and were intended by the insurance industry to insulate insurers from what they perceived to be unfavorable rulings in U.S. courts. They attempt to accomplish this, in part, by requiring that all disputes be resolved via a confidential arbitration in either London or Bermuda. There is, therefore, no judicial authority construing the policy language to give a policyholder guidance on coverage issues. Our Insurance Recovery attorneys have substantial experience with the Bermuda-form’s many unique features and nuances and have achieved success in prosecuting arbitrations on our clients’ behalves in both London and Bermuda.
From environmental spills and toxic torts to construction defects and trademark infringement, we help policyholders secure coverage under CGL insurance policies for liabilities for all types of property damage, bodily injury, and personal or advertising injury claims. These cases often include obtaining coverage for defense costs and negotiating arrangements that allow our clients to use their preferred choice of counsel.
A dishonest employee pilfering funds to an innocent employee who falls prey to a social engineering fraud is among several risks virtually every company faces. Our attorneys’ have helped clients navigate the claim process and secured substantial recoveries for such losses under crime and fidelity policies.
Whether they know it or not, most companies have already suffered a data breach or hacking attack. Our attorneys have counseled more than 100 clients with data security and privacy claims, helping to secure coverage for forensic investigations, regulatory responses, customer notifications, computer system repairs, lost business income, and PCI fines and penalties. Cyber risk policies vary widely and caselaw remains underdeveloped, and our attorneys stand at the forefront in this emerging area. We regularly succeed in maximizing the coverage available under both cyber risk and traditional commercial insurance policies.
Companies expect protection when shareholders sue or the SEC starts investigating, and our attorneys have secured coverage under management liability (D&O) policies for companies, directors and officers facing these risks. In addition to securities actions, our attorneys have helped clients recover under management liability policies for government investigations, class action consumer protection lawsuits, as well as claims involving the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or Sherman Antitrust Act.
Whether a company is facing an isolated complaint by a former employee or a class-action lawsuit alleging system discrimination or violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, our attorneys’ have helped clients maximize the protections available under EPL policies.
Our attorneys have experience securing coverage under environmental impairment and pollution liability policies related to claims ranging from contamination caused by decades-old historic operations to new risks triggered by ever increasing environmental regulations.
From the moment a problem is discovered to the day your business is back and reputation secured, our insurance recovery attorneys have experience handling all aspects of recall claims. Our counsel includes securing coverage under product recall insurance policies, mitigating third-party claims from downstream customers or consumers, and pursing recoveries from suppliers and their insurers. We bring together experienced food recall attorneys with our insurance recovery attorneys, which allows for a streamlined recall process and minimization of the financial impact food and product recalls have on our clients.
There are not many insurance recovery firms that include attorneys who have actually litigated a claim under a Kidnap & Ransom policy; our attorneys have. Kidnap & Ransom policies are increasingly becoming standard parts of the insurance portfolios of any major multinational corporation. These policies are very different from most other forms of commercial insurance beginning with how they are activated and continuing through a policyholder’s obligations throughout the ordeal. Our attorneys ensure that any company faced with a kidnap or extortion crisis can focus on the kidnapped person’s safe return without jeopardizing insurance coverage.
Malpractice claims are not just a financial risk. They also can threaten a service provider’s reputation. We frequently help clients pursue coverage for the defense and settlement of such claims.
When disaster strikes, our attorneys work with clients to secure coverage under property insurance policies, allowing the client to get back business as soon as possible. We then develop a tailored strategy, working with outside financial consultants when necessary, to evaluate the financial impact on our client’s income and profits and to maximize the recoverable amount from its insurance companies.
Awards & Recognitions
A number of publications and ranking organizations have recommended our Insurance Recovery practice:
- Nationally ranked by Chambers USA, 2014 – 2016
- Recommended in Benchmark Litigation, 2014 – 2016
- Tier 1 by U.S. News — Best Lawyers®, 2013 – 2016
- "Practice of the Year" by Law360, 2013
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) suffered losses in excess of $1 billion from the largest fly ash spill in U.S. history. In the course of one hour, an 84-acre ash impoundment collapsed and released 5.4 million cubic yards of fly ash into the Emory River, wiping out entire ecosystems, destroying a local neighborhood, and clogging large portions of the river. Fly ash is a waste product from burning coal in a boiler to produce electricity.MORE
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (Alpha) suffered more than $100 million in losses related to 400 bodily injury and property damage actions arising from its coal mining operations in West Virginia and its insurers were denying coverage.MORE
The so-called “Upper Big Branch mine explosion” in 2010, which was the subject of numerous negative media reports, resulted in 29 wrongful death claims and scores of other bodily injury claims, but insurers were not quick to accept responsibility for payment.MORE
NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), an investor-owned utility and one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the northwest quadrant of the United States, sought recovery of losses due to environmental liabilities and bad faith at numerous sites, including some sites with natural resource damages, for claims in excess of $100 million.MORE
Facing allegations of improper termination of a former employee’s benefits, NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) turned to Perkins Coie to recover from its insurance company for coverage under its policy and to bring claims for bad faith.MORE
As part of the General Motors (GM) bankruptcy, an entity called the Motors Liquidation DIP Lenders Trust (Trust) was assigned coverage rights under certain excess policies as part of GM’s decades-long liabilities coverage program.MORE