Honors and Awards

Mary Craig Calkins Named 2021 West Trailblazer by The American Lawyer  

Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Mary Craig Calkins, a partner in our firm’s Insurance Recovery practice group, was named a 2021 West Trailblazer by The American Lawyer. This inaugural honor recognizes professionals in the West region of the United States (defined by The American Lawyer for this award as Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming) who have moved the needle in the legal industry and are agents of change in their respective practice areas.

Over the past year, Mary has been recognized in Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500 United States, Best Lawyers in America, Expert Guides, and Who’s Who Legal for her leading insurance recovery practice capabilities, further strengthening the firm’s nationally recognized Insurance Recovery practice group. The group has been honored as an Insurance Firm of the Year and as one of the top three insurance recovery practices in California by Benchmark Litigation; Insurance Group of the Year by Law360; and as a D.C. Insurance Litigation Department of the Year by The National Law Journal, in addition to annual top-tier rankings in Chambers USA, Benchmark Litigation, Who’s Who Legal, Best Lawyers in America, and The Legal 500 United States.

Mary’s 2021 Trailblazer honoree profile is available here and copied in full below.

Mary Craig Calkins

Mary Craig Calkins, Blank Rome LLP

What was the genesis of the path that has made you a trailblazer?

As a fifth-year associate, I was assigned to an insurance recovery case involving software piracy—a true novelty at that time. The jury awarded a $6.2 million verdict to my client including punitive damages, which was a great result for my first jury trial. After managing a 66-site environmental contamination insurance case, my practice grew into a variety of insurance recovery areas, with both domestic and international implications. I enjoy the complexity and diversity of my practice. It’s a bit like playing three-dimensional chess, with the insurance issues informing the progress of underlying cases ranging from directors and officers liability, entertainment, and financial issues to cyber claims, property, and casualty matters. The California wildfires, followed by COVID-19 pandemic losses, have also had major insurance implications for businesses, restaurants, hotels, and the entertainment industry.

What sort of change has resulted from the concept?

I was lucky to become involved with the ABA Litigation Section’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee 20+ years ago. After various committee positions, I co-chaired the Committee and then expanded my leadership roles to serve as Division Director, Managing Director, and now national Revenue Officer of the Section. That also led to my position as President of the American College of Coverage Counsel, where I remain active. I am blessed with terrific colleagues, a great networking and referral system, friends around the country, and a practice that is always challenging.

What bearing will this have on the future?

Insurance recovery will continue to be a critical aspect of every business dispute, lawsuit, and catastrophe. Although many practitioners are focusing on COVID-19 issues, I expect an increase in insurance claims relating to cyber losses, new technology, entertainment, and D&O issues as the country adjusts to the “new normal.”