Helen Michael has nearly 30 years of experience representing policyholders in high-stakes insurance recovery disputes in all key coverage areas. These disputes include claims against companies and their corporate officers and directors involving alleged securities violations, breach of fiduciary duty and other corporate misconduct, professional liability claims, cyber liability claims, property damage and business interruption claims for losses arising out of hurricanes and other disasters, products liability, bodily injury and environmental claims arising from class action and other cases, claims involving violation of consumer protection statutes and other allegedly unfair trade practices, intellectual property claims, construction defect claims, employment practices liability claims, professional liability claims, and cyber liability claims.
Helen’s work representing corporate policyholders has taken place in a variety of settings, including mediation, arbitration, trial, and appeal. Chambers USA reported that sources state, “You're always in good hands with Helen. Not only is she a great legal strategist and advocate, she also makes the effort to understand a client’s business needs and ensures that those needs are aligned with the legal strategy.” Chambers USA also notes a source saying, “Helen has very broad experience and a lot of smarts. She is one of the wisest in the business.”
Working closely with her clients to determine objectives, formulate effective strategies, and position disputes for the best outcomes, whether through negotiation, or at trial or on appeal, Helen has a proven track record of success. Among trial successes, Helen has secured jury verdicts awarding compensatory and exemplary damages to her policyholder clients in excess $400M. Among successes on appeal, she has obtained a ruling on a question of first impression reconfirming the breadth of insurers’ duty to defend class action cases. In total, Helen has assisted her clients in recovering more than a billion dollars in insurance proceeds.
Helen also provides risk management advice to clients to help avoid or minimize coverage disputes and help ensure that they obtain insurance appropriate for the principal risks presented by their businesses.
She has substantial experience in class action defense and the formulation of effective strategies for defeating mass tort and other consumer claims, including theories governing the piercing of the corporate veil and the imposition of successor liability. Helen has counseled numerous clients on developing protocols and structuring transactions to guard against incurring vicarious liability for the obligations of corporate affiliates.