Jared Zola

Biography

Jared Zola is a partner in Blank Rome’s policyholder-only insurance recovery practice, formerly the insurance practice of Dickstein Shapiro LLP. One of the nation's preeminent policyholder lawyers, Jared’s work in high-stakes cases across the country has earned him consistent praise.

Jared is ranked highly in insurance by Chambers USA and Legal 500Lexology named him the United States’ 2020 Client Choice Award winner in Insurance based on client nominations and recommendations. In 2019, the New York Law Journal named Jared a “New York Trailblazer” in its inaugural list (the only insurance lawyer across all practices). Law360 named him a “Top Attorney Under 40” in four consecutive years for his work on behalf of insurance policyholders—he is the only attorney to ever be named a “Rising Star” more than once in the insurance category.

Jared is a Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel (“ACCC”), an invitation-only organization dedicated to improving the quality of the practice of insurance law and to increasing civility and professionalism in the field. The ACCC engages in a rigorous vetting process prior to inviting a lawyer to become a Fellow, with its members including many of the most prominent advocates in the insurance law bar.

Jared’s accomplishments for policyholders on a national stage has led to frequent invitations to share his thoughts on cutting-edge issues facing his clients. Jared is a frequent analyst for the Washington Post, NBC News, CBS News, Business Insurance, Insurance Business America, and Law360. He publishes on a wide range of issues impacting insurance coverage and is regularly asked to speak at events, seminars, and legal education programs across the country.

Industry Recognition

Jared’s nationally-recognized work maximizing insurance assets has earned him significant praise, as noted in his recognitions listed below.

  • For ten consecutive years, Chambers USA has recognized Jared as a leading policyholder insurance lawyer. Chambers recommended Jared for his “expert handling of complex, high-stakes and often sensitive coverage disputes” and in 2022 noted that he “not only is an excellent attorney but also fantastic adviser, thinking through all the strategic elements of the issue” and “has an extremely good grasp of client’s objectives.” His clients have told Chambers that he is “very creative in the way he approaches problems with insurers” and that he is “accomplished, responsive, and provided clarity throughout the legal process—he was unequivocal in his commitment to the legal resolution,” “is an excellent strategist and tactician; he knows how to approach complicated and difficult situations,” and he is “sought out by policyholders to provide representation on several complex coverage claims” and “is very well connected and a strong advocate.”
  • The 2017–2022 editions of Legal 500 recommend Jared in the Insurance: Advice to Policyholders category. The 2022 edition named him a “Leading Lawyer” in the Policyholder category (one of five nationally) and his clients told Legal 500 that “Jared Zola and his team have always delivered high quality, prompt legal advice in very complex matters with a great deal of responsiveness to client needs” and he “is outstanding for a young partner in this field.” Firm clients praised the Insurance Recovery Practice Group for “bringing together the very top women lawyers in the country in the coverage space” and being “an exceptional value—lean staffing, reasonable rates, careful billing.”
  • He was also named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2017 “Under 40 Hotlist,” which ranks attorneys “who have been deemed the most promising emerging talent in their respective litigation communities by peers and clients,” and the 2020–2023 editions of Benchmark Litigation list Jared in the annual rankings.
  • Jared was a recipient of a Lexology 2020 Client Choice Award, which recognizes attorneys from around the world who “stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service.” He was recognized for Insurance, with clients noting that Jared “knows how to make complex topics easily understandable” and that he “always makes sure to put his clients’ urgent matters first.” Others stated, “Jared is practical, quick and accurate” and he “has a very good sense of nuanced strategy.”
  • In 2019 the New York Law Journal named Jared a “New York Trailblazer” in its inaugural list, after naming him a “Rising Star” under the age of 40 in 2016.
  • The 2019–2020 editions of Who’s Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance recognized Jared for his “outstanding work in the practice area” and commentators highlighted that he is an “outside-the-box thinker and expert negotiator” who “combines high technical expertise with a client-friendly approach.”
  • In 2017, he was named by Law360 as a “Top Attorney Under 40” for the fourth consecutive year in the insurance category for his work on behalf of policyholders.
  • In 2018, he was profiled in The Cardozo Journal of Outstanding Alumni.

Outside the Firm

Jared actively supports several charities. He presently sits on the New York Advisory Board of America Needs You, which fights for economic mobility for ambitious, first-generation college students by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development. Also, together with his wife, Katie, Jared raises money for and rides in the annual “Cycle for Survival” event, which is Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s national fundraising movement to beat rare cancers.

Jared is a regular fixture in spin classes at SoulCycle’s Tribeca and FiDi studios in lower Manhattan.

Experience

Jared advocates for commercial insurance policyholders in high-stakes, complex litigation and corporate transactions. He represents policyholders against their insurance companies as lead counsel in precedent-setting lawsuits across the nation and at the deal table as insurance counsel on multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions. Jared uses his courtroom and real world experience to provide clients with practical, business-focused solutions to complex legal issues. He has helped clients secure more than one billion dollars in insurance recoveries.

  • A Fortune 100 manufacturing company, seeking coverage for more than $1 billion of damages incurred defending and settling an underlying environmental contamination lawsuit.
  • A company focused on the outdoor and consumer industries and its CEO, as lead counsel in a coverage litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida seeking coverage from its insurer.
  • A public company owning several dozen retail shopping centers, as lead counsel in a coverage litigation pending in New Jersey state court seeking more than $40 million from its pollution liability insurers for business interruption losses.
  • One of the country’s largest automotive dealership groups, as lead counsel in litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida seeking coverage from its insurers.
  • A Fortune 500 global commercial real estate services company as lead counsel seeking $25 million of coverage from its Professional Liability insurer for alleged negligent oversight of capital improvement projects leading to contractor overpayments.
  • An automotive industry company, which is a portfolio company of a large private equity firm, as lead counsel successfully obtaining contribution of insurance proceeds from its D&O insurer to resolve an underlying lawsuit alleging misappropriation of confidential and proprietary information by former employees.
  • A renewable energy company, which is a portfolio company of a large private equity firm, as lead counsel seeking coverage from its D&O insurer for the Loss incurred responding to a grand jury subpoena.
  • A staffing and solutions company, which is a portfolio company of a large private equity firm, as lead counsel seeking coverage from its D&O insurer for the Loss incurred responding to a search warrant.
  • A Fortune 500 global systems integration company, as lead counsel seeking coverage from its Professional Liability and Cyber Liability insurers for allegations asserted in a pending data breach MDL.
  • An Irish subsidiary of a company as lead counsel seeking coverage for a creative agency’s losses related to the cancellation of a commercial when the starring artist became involved in situation that brought her into public contempt and ridicule.
  • A Fortune 100 manufacturing company, as lead insurance coverage counsel for the buyer in a seven-billion-dollar acquisition deal.
  • Petroterminal de Panama, S.A., as lead counsel successfully presented oral argument and obtained partial summary judgment against six London and Bermuda maritime insurers in a property damage coverage litigation in New York federal court.
  • The Diocese of Duluth, successfully presented oral argument and obtained partial summary judgment rejecting an insurer’s attempt to avoid sexual abuse coverage based on a policy exclusion in Minnesota federal court.
  • A real estate investment trust, seeking more than $150 million of damages from the REIT's property insurance broker for breach of contract and negligence, among other allegations, in connection with coverage for a major flood loss to a mall in Tennessee.
  • One of the world’s largest diamond companies, seeking coverage for the loss of a multimillion-dollar rare blue diamond in Milan, Italy.
  • An international Am Law 50 law firm, as lead counsel auditing its insurance portfolio including enhancements to its cyber, management liability, and professional liability insurance programs.
  • A former big-law partner, as lead counsel obtaining disability insurance coverage for mental disability; reversing the insurer’s prior denial of coverage and affirmance of its denial prior to our involvement.
  • A real estate investment trust, representing the owner of two large shopping centers in Puerto Rico seeking insurance coverage for property damage and business interruption losses arising from Hurricane Maria.
  • A Fortune 100 manufacturing company, lead insurance coverage counsel for the buyer in a $2 billion acquisition deal.
  • A pump manufacturer, successfully presented appellate oral argument on a complex allocation issue arising in an asbestos coverage lawsuit against more than 90 insurance companies, which preserved $250 million of insurance policy limits for the client.
  • A Fortune 500 systems integration company, recovered more than $50 million of insurance proceeds from 7 of the company’s professional indemnity insurers for a claim involving alleged False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act violations.
  • A real estate investment firm, as lead counsel recovering more than $20 million of commercial property insurance proceeds for losses caused by a fire.
  • A media company, lead counsel obtaining a settlement after filing a motion for summary judgment in a New York federal court litigation involving coverage involving publication of a constitutionally protected news report and video excerpts.
  • A major international law firm, lead counsel seeking coverage under an employment practices liability insurance policy for a claim of age discrimination.
  • A NFL player, obtained a settlement under a Loss of Value insurance policy after an unforeseen injury in college negatively impacted his NFL draft position.
  • A major alcohol beverage distributor, as lead counsel seeking coverage for contingent business interruption losses arising from Hurricane Irma.

News & Views

See all News and Views

Recognitions

  • 2013–2022, Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder Law, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2020–2023, “Future Star,” listed in Benchmark Litigation
  • 2020, Client Choice Award for Insurance, by Lexology
  • 2019, “New York Trailblazer,” listed in the New York Law Journal
  • 2018–2021, listed in Who’s Who Legal – Insurance & Reinsurance
  • 2019–2022, Global Leader in Insurance & Reinsurance, listed in Who’s Who Legal
  • 2019–2020, Thought Leader in Insurance & Reinsurance, listed in Who’s Who Legal
  • 2012, and 2017–2022, listed in The Legal 500 United States
  • 2022, “Leading Lawyer,” listed in The Legal 500’s Guide to Outstanding Lawyers Nationwide
  • 2021, “Next Generation Partner,” listed in The Legal 500’s Guide to Up-and-Coming Lawyers Nationwide
  • 2017–2020, “Next Generation Lawyer,” listed in The Legal 500’s Guide to Up-and-Coming Lawyers Nationwide
  • 2018–2022, New York Metro “Super Lawyer” in Insurance Coverage, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2018, listed in Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll
  • 2014–2017, “Rising Star,” listed in Law360
  • 2017, “Under 40 Hotlist,” listed in Benchmark Litigation
  • 2011–2017, New York Metro “Rising Star” in Insurance Coverage, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2016, “Rising Star,” listed in the New York Law Journal

Affiliations

Professional Activities

Jared was recently served on two prestigious boards. Beginning in 2018, he was appointed to the Rutgers Cybersecurity Advisory Board. Board membership consists of a diverse, innovative, and well-connected network of top-flight executives who have been invited based on personal and professional accomplishments. In both 2018 and 2019 he was appointed to Law360’s Insurance Editorial Advisory Board, whose purpose is to get feedback on Law360’s coverage and to gain insight from leaders in the field on how best to shape future coverage.

Jared is a member of Blank Rome’s Pro Bono Committee. He is also a founding member of the Firm’s Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team (“SWERT”), which provides clients and their employees aid and services to the relief efforts, including insurance recovery.

Jared provided pro bono legal representation to homeowners in the greater New York City area seeking insurance coverage for losses sustained in “Superstorm Sandy.”

He also represented—on a pro bono basis—the Queens Comprehensive Perinatal Counsel, obtaining a favorable settlement on the opening day of trial. He recently received correspondence from that client, which stated: “You provided QCPC, Inc. with stellar pro bono legal assistance. You were professionally responsive; provided clarity throughout the process; and [were] committed to a legal resolution.”

Credentials

Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court - District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Education

  • Clemson University, BA
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, JD