Mary Craig Calkins


Mary Craig Calkins has more than 35 years of experience handling and litigating all aspects of insurance recovery for policyholders in complex, high-value matters. She has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for companies and individuals under directors and officers liability, management liability, and professional errors and omissions policies through litigation, arbitration, and mediation, and facilitated settlement of some of the most complicated directors and officers liability issues in the country.

Mary has substantial experience in other areas of insurance recovery, including entertainment and intellectual property claims, securities, cyber liabilities, e-commerce and technology claims, labor and employment claims, construction defects, first party property and business interruption losses, FinTech, and broker liability claims. She also advises in-house counsel, senior executives, and company management on how to maximize insurance protection and recovery under primary and excess policies.

Chambers USA notes Mary is a “market leader” who has been praised as “best in class in insurance recovery matter—she is dedicated, creative, authoritative and knows how to drive results.” “She’s as good as they come and wonderful to work with through complicated insurance issues.” “Mary is an outstanding guide and advocate—I recommend her without any reservations.” “Mary is fantastic, clients love her.”  

She is a past president of the American College of Coverage Counsel, an honorary association recognizing the preeminent coverage lawyers in the nation, and is a past chair of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association Litigation Section. She has been ranked repeatedly in insurance by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, and other national and international ranking associations. She also has served as an arbitrator and expert witness, and frequently lectures and publishes on a wide variety of topics relating to directors and officers liability coverage and other litigation topics. She also currently serves as national Revenue Officer and member of the Executive Committee of the ABA Litigation Section.


  • Lead coverage counsel for an international media and communications company, recovering over $150 million in insurance coverage used to settle multiple shareholder class actions and derivative suits.
  • Recovered $90 million in coverage for a television news company, which was the first media outlet to address issues relating to the #MeToo movement.
  • Negotiated insurer-funding of a multimillion-dollar shareholder class action lawsuit and addressed D&O bankruptcy issues for a U.S. oil and natural gas exploration company.
  • Represented major network and cable television studios and producers in recovering insurance for television production-related losses (location fires, floods, cast issues, taping disruptions, and tax incentive negotiations).
  • Negotiated a $20 million payment against defense costs on behalf of an international hotel client sued by a competitor for unfair business practices and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Collected significant coverage for manufacturers on products liability and recall issues.
  • Pursued coverage for flood-related losses and mitigation efforts affecting a large data aggregator/technology company in Iowa forced to relocate to mitigate losses, and hurricane-related losses for a North Carolina hotel.
  • Litigated property damage and business interruption losses suffered at a Honolulu hotel complex resulting from underlying construction defects.
  • Represented former officers and directors of a large communications group and negotiated an insurer-funded settlement of securities class action, derivative suit, and tag-along ERISA claims alleging misrepresentations on financial statements.
  • Recovered $16 million in insurance coverage from multiple insurers to settle a shareholder derivative suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of a going-private transaction.
  • Obtained a $6.2-million jury verdict including bad faith damages for the failure to defend and indemnify the insured for alleged software piracy.
  • Successfully represented producers of the longest-running vocal competition and other reality television series seeking coverage for claims alleging copyright violations, idea submission, and other coverage disputes under production, first-party, business interruption, and general liability policies, as well as COVID-related losses.
  • Litigated coverage for multiple foodborne products cases, including allegedly defective and contaminated products incorporated by end users, alleged causing bodily injury and property damage.
  • Obtained jury verdicts and managed litigation seeking coverage for property damage (groundwater contamination) at 64 environmental sites caused by the decades-long manufacture of agricultural chemicals.
  • Assisting multiple individual and corporate clients in connection with property damage and business interruption losses resulting from California fires and mud flows, tornado damage in Texas, and other natural events.

News & Views

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  • 2023, “Women of Influence: Attorneys,” listed by Los Angeles Business Journal 
  • 2023, Top 10 Most Influential Insurance Policyholder Lawyers in California, listed in Business Today
  • 2022–2024, “Top 500 Leading Litigators in America,” listed in Lawdragon
  • 2019–2024, “Local Litigation Star” and “California Star,” listed in Benchmark Litigation
  • 2022, “California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year,” listed in the Daily Journal
  • 2016–2024, Insurance Law and Litigation - Insurance, listed in Best Lawyers in America®
  • 2021–2024, Commercial Litigation, listed in Best Lawyers in America®
  • 2006–2024, Insurance: Policyholder Law (California), listed in Chambers USA
  • 2021–2024, Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder Law, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2021, West Trailblazer, listed in The American Lawyer
  • 2021, “Woman of Business,” by Comerica Bank and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Women’s Business Awards
  • 2020, “Los Angeles Star,” listed in Benchmark Litigation
  • 2014–2023, listed in Who’s Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance
  • 2018–2023, Thought Leader in Insurance & Reinsurance, listed in Who’s Who Legal
  • 2018–2022, Global Leader in Insurance & Reinsurance, listed in Who’s Who Legal
  • 2013–2022, listed in Expert Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law
  • 2013–2021, Insurance and Reinsurance, listed in Legal Media Group: Expert Guides
  • 2011, 2013–2014, 2020–2022, Insurance: Advice to Policyholders, listed in The Legal 500 United States
  • 2019, Thomas F. Segalla Service Award, awarded by the American College of Coverage Counsel
  • 2019, “100 Women Who Inspire Us,” by the American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
  • 2019, listed in Who’s Who Legal, Thought Leaders: Global Elite - Insurance
  • 2017, 2018, “Most Influential Women Lawyers,” listed in the Los Angeles Business Journal
  • 2014, 2018, “Top 100 Women Lawyers” in California, listed in the Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal
  • 2015–2018, listed in International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
  • 2011–2017, listed in International Who’s Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers
  • 2007–2009, “Top 75 Women Litigators,” listed in the Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal
  • 2008, Recipient, Loyola Law School Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2007, "50 Women to Watch," listed in Business Insurance Magazine
  • 2007, 3000 Leading Lawyers in America, listed in Lawdragon
  • 2005–Present, Insurance Coverage “Super Lawyer” in Southern California, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2004–2005, Outstanding Service Award, awarded by American Bar Association, Section of Litigation



  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • American College of Coverage Counsel
Professional Activities

Mary is a member of numerous professional and community organizations and associations, notably including the American Bar Association Litigation Section, the American College of Coverage Counsel, and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She previously served from 1990 to 1993 as a member of the State Bar of California Litigation Section, Administration of Justice Committee.

American Bar Association, Litigation Section

  • Revenue Officer (2020–Present)
  • Council (2019–2020)
  • Managing Director (2018–2019)
  • Managing Director Designate (2017–2018)
  • Co-Chair, Membership & Marketing Committee (2015–2017)
  • Chair, Section Officers Conference, Membership Committee (2016–2017)
  • Liaison, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Membership (2016–2018)
  • Designee, Section Officers Conference Membership Committee (2015–2018)
  • National Chair, Women of the Section of Litigation Annual Conference (2014, 2015)
  • Division Director, Division V—Substantive Areas of Litigation (2012–2014)
  • National Co-Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee (2009–2012)
  • National Vice Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee (2004–2009)
  • Co-Editor in Chief, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Website (2005–2009)
  • Co-Chair, Annual CLE Meeting, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee (2004–2005)
  • Co-Chair, Programming Subcommittee (2002–2004)
  • Co-Chair, Emerging Issues Subcommittee (2001–2002)

American College of Coverage Counsel

  • Past-President (2017–2018)
  • President (2016–2017)
  • President Elect (2015–2016)
  • Secretary-Treasurer (2014–2015)



  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • California
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of California


  • University of California, Los Angeles, BA
  • Loyola Law School, JD, cum laude