Insurance Recovery

Overview

Your company’s insurance policies are assets. Blank Rome’s premier insurance recovery practice has one overarching objective: to maximize your bottom line. Our practice exclusively represents policyholders, taking a creative and business-minded approach to insurance coverage. Our focus on policyholders makes us conflict-free, and we can be adverse to any insurer. We find coverage where others do not.

We don’t just practice insurance law. We help shape it and influence it with inventive litigation, mediation, arbitration, and settlement strategies that win recoveries and set precedents. These have led to landmark rulings and to major advances for our clients. We are widely credited with developing a number of novel legal theories that are now recognized and accepted by the courts and industry commentators. 

With decades of proven success in recovering billions on innovative theories for Fortune 50 companies, private businesses and entrepreneurs facing bet-the-company losses, and the most prominent consulting firms and law firms, our clients turn to us for our analysis, experience, reputation, and record of success. 

How We Can Help

We offer comprehensive services to policyholders throughout the United States and abroad. Our attorneys represent clients in a wide range of matters that include policy audits, litigation for coverage recoveries, and complex resolution options that include strategic settlements.

We do more than litigation, and frequently have a seat at the deal table as insurance counsel for multibillion dollar corporate mergers and acquisitions. Our attorneys have significant experience analyzing target companies’ insurance programs and risk profiles, drafting insurance and indemnity provisions in deal documents, and advising on and negotiating the terms of representations and warranty insurance and tax insurance policies. 

There is virtually no type of policy, loss, or claim that we have not dealt with on behalf of clients. Our list of key successes illustrates the breadth of our practice across industries and insurance lines. Our insurance recovery attorneys are also often called upon to publish articles or provide commentary in leading insurance and legal publications, and routinely author articles in Policyholder Informer, the Firm’s insurance recovery blog.

What Sets Us Apart

In 2017, the group was recognized as a “D.C. Litigation Department of the Year” by the National Law Journal and praised by clients in Chambers USA for being the “go-to firm” for insurance recovery. We were named 2015 Practice Group of the Year by Law360, and are consistently recognized by Chambers USA, U.S. News and World Report—Best Lawyers®, Best Lawyers in America®, Benchmark Litigation, and Legal 500

Our policyholder practice has a deep bench of attorneys with 30-plus years of experience in the insurance recovery industry. Two of the practice’s litigators are members of the American College of Trial Lawyers (“ACTL”)—of which Blank Rome boasts a total of six ACTL members in its general litigation section—and have successfully tried numerous jury and bench trials.

Experience

  • Nooter Corporation, secured protection for client with a closely-watched appellate ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals, related to millions of dollars in past damages related to asbestos liability, as well as defense and indemnity protection for continued future asbestos claims to come. The Court of Appeals’ opinion itself captures the significance of this victory: “… this was a high-stakes case for all parties, as the judgment of the trial court involved millions of dollars and implicated future asbestos related injury claims against Nooter and how excess insurers would be required to contribute to the defense or settlement of those claims. Further, this area of Missouri law is largely unexplored.” 
  • 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. This groundbreaking decision was closely followed and widely publicized. 
  • EDF Trading, secured summary judgment and a unanimous arbitration award of more than $26 million for client on a $22 million credit risk insurance policy. Credit risk insurance, a burgeoning area, bears similarities to the widely publicized credit default swaps. Our representation involved not only complex issues of insurance law concerning technical terms of the credit insurance policy, but also involved addressing complex, technical issues involved in the credit transaction. Our work paid off for the client when the three-judge arbitration panel unanimously awarded summary judgment under the credit insurance policy, and awarded pre-judgment interest and costs that exceeded the $22 million face-limits of the insurance.
  • Diocese of Duluth, successfully presented oral argument and obtained partial summary judgment holding that each instance of abuse constituted a separate occurrence, exposing the insurers to several hundred million more dollars. This decision is significant for the other religious organizations whom Blank Rome represents in Minnesota, but also has implications for industries facing asbestos, product liability, and other exposures. The court also rejected an insurer’s attempt on partial summary judgment to avoid sexual abuse coverage based on a policy exclusion in a litigation pending in Minnesota federal court. 
  • A Fortune 100 manufacturing company, as lead insurance coverage counsel for the buyer in three separate multibillion acquisition deals.
  • Pennsylvania State University, in its insurance recovery efforts for amounts spent responding to the Sandusky sexual misconduct claims. Obtained favorable settlement for Penn State of its PMA claims and leading Penn State’s New York arbitration against its excess insurers regarding settlement amounts that exceed PMA’s policy limits.
  • NRG Energy, and its subsidiary Louisiana Generating (Pollution Liability Policy), in long-running litigation against its insurer about coverage for potential liabilities arising under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). Successfully settled on very favorable terms.
  • SPX Corporation, a global supplier of infrastructure equipment for the power and energy markets, and Fairbanks Morse Pump Corporation (“FMPC”), as insurance counsel in a declaratory judgment action filed in Delaware Superior Court. This action, related to an asbestos-linked bankruptcy case, concerned SPX and FMPC’s rights to coverage for potential future asbestos claims under certain legacy policies issued to Fairbanks Morse and Colt Industries.
  • Former directors and officers of a large chemical manufacturing company, in securing D&O coverage for the defense and resolution of claims arising out of the company’s merger with another chemical company.
  • A retail oil company, to secure coverage from OPIC under a political risk policy for losses resulting from the Russian government’s withholding of currency quotas.

Team

News & Views

See all News and Views