Morgan Lewis

Insurance Recovery

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Morgan Lewis insurance recovery lawyers represent policyholders on a national and international basis and provide a seamless, cross-border, and cross-disciplinary solution to clients’ needs. We are both advisers and trial lawyers, with experience in insurance law at its intersection with bankruptcy, tax, securities, and transactional law. We act for clients to realize their broad goal of asset protection and recovery. This involves asset preservation as well as asset recovery, including tax minimization or deferral from insurance recoveries. Our insurance recovery lawyers literally “wrote the book”—and recently have added important chapters—on the insurance implications of bankruptcy, including Section 524(g) of the United States Bankruptcy Code; on the use of “private” asset protection and tax-efficient vehicles such as qualified settlement funds or trusts authorized by Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 468B; and on the use of derivatives and security devices to assure long-term insurance responsiveness.

Seamless Teams for Cross-Disciplinary Solutions

The members of our group are full-time insurance law attorneys, most of whom have focused on this area of law throughout their legal careers. As a result, our more senior members have not only studied insurance principles and precedent, but have been instrumental in shaping this area of law as it has evolved over the past three decades. What sets us apart from others?

  • We have a truly national and international practice, with policyholder insurance recovery lawyers practicing regularly in 18 of our firm’s 25 offices.
  • We are trial lawyers, appearing in court on a daily basis and trying several major cases every year.
  • We are deal lawyers, structuring long-term, complex, negotiated solutions to insurance disputes, with transactional sophistication equal to that of traditional corporate lawyers, with almost $1 billion in such deals negotiated and entered into over the last year.
  • We are sensitive to tax issues, preserving assets and insurance recoveries through Section 468B trusts and qualified settlement funds. (One of our Chambers-rated partners is a member of the U.S. Tax Court.)
  • We are familiar with securities laws, knowledgeable about Sarbanes-Oxley and other federal and state securities laws (one of our Chambers-rated partners is a long-time director of a New York Stock Exchange company), and able to use this knowledge in D&O and fiduciary liability coverage disputes.
  • We have both breadth and depth, with more than 40 lawyers and 15 partners dedicated to this practice, working together as an integrated team.
  • We are “cutting edge” both in terms of our willingness and ability to take risk, and in our desire to advance innovative coverage approaches as the law in our area of practice develops.

Breadth and Diversity

We maintain a multijurisdictional, complex litigation practice that involves an array of physical and legal settings. We take pride in our ability to handle all aspects of insurance coverage litigation, including sensitive negotiated resolutions, trials before juries and judges, and appellate practice. Our cases are geographically diverse—extending from coast to coast—and exemplify the breadth of our practice. For example, our cases involve the following:

  • Property policies and catastrophic losses (such as Hurricane Katrina)
  • Corporate-owned life insurance losses
  • Intellectual property coverage advice
  • D&O and fiduciary liability policies, including securities-related losses and options backdating
  • Successful reorganization pursuant to Section 524g of the United States Bankruptcy Code
  • Use of IRC Section 468B–qualified settlement funds in lieu of bankruptcy reorganization to provide dedicated asset protection
  • Long-term structured transactions
  • Business interruption loss
  • Environmental, silica, and asbestos-related disputes under general liability, umbrella, and excess policies
  • MtBE suits
  • Derivative liability in the case of insurer liquidation or insolvency
  • Coverage for sexual abuse claims
  • Collection litigation to enforce settlements
  • Coverage for civilian contractor casualties in the Iraq war

Advisory Practice

Many of our clients have asked our lawyers to assist them with due diligence being conducted in connection with corporate acquisitions and other transactions. We bring a unique perspective to due diligence that allows us to analyze a target company’s insurance portfolio, review its claims history, and advise our clients as to issues we see that might not otherwise be apparent.

But our advising work is not limited to the transactional setting. We regularly advise our clients on their insurance programs and seek out ways to improve them.