Events

Publications

Patricia B. Santelle Partner

Managing Partner and Chair, Executive Committee
Philadelphia, PA | Direct 215.864.6205 | Fax 215.789.7505
 | santellep@whiteandwilliams.com
vCardPrint to PDF

Patti Santelle is recognized by her clients and peers as a leading attorney in the field of complex insurance coverage.  She has devoted the last 20 years to the representation of insurance company clients in matters involving asbestos, environmental, toxic tort and long-tail claims.  She is known for her depth of experience, responsiveness, drive and ability to craft solutions for her clients, whether they are in litigation or not.  Patti thoroughly understands the needs of her insurer clients. 

Patti’s practice includes the prosecution and defense of insurers in coverage actions in state and federal courts around the country as well as alternative dispute resolution proceedings.  She also negotiates the resolution of disputed coverage claims and counsels insurance company clients on claims litigation strategy, claims resolution procedures and coverage questions. 

While she is an experienced litigator, Patti’s practice is not limited to litigation.  She devotes a substantial portion of her practice to counseling her clients outside the context of litigation.  Patti is also a frequent speaker at industry seminars and conducts in-house training seminars for her clients.   

While in law school, Patti was President of the Student Bar Association, winner (overall and best brief) of the Hunter Advanced Moot Court Competition and a member of the school’s National Moot Court Team.  After graduation, she served as Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Daniel J. O'Hern, Associate Justice, Supreme Court of New Jersey, and an associate with the Morristown, New Jersey firm of Pitney, Hardin Kipp & Szuch.  She joined White and Williams in 1990.

Patti is a former member and Past Chair of the District IV Ethics Committee in New Jersey and has been twice appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve as a Special Master on complex ethics proceedings in New Jersey.  She is a 20-year member and Past Chancellor of the Board of the Rutgers-Camden Law Alumni Association.  In 2010, Patti was given the Scarlet Oak Meritorious Service Award by Rutgers University for her contributions as an alumni leader and student mentor at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law.

Representative Matters

  • For the past 10 years, serves as lead counsel for a  group of insurers who are signatories to the landmark “Wellington Agreement"; representation has involved handling multiple phases of alternative dispute resolution adverse to major asbestos producers who also signed the Wellington Agreement and, in most instances, brought about  creative, cost-effective solutions to what has otherwise been described as a crisis in litigation in this country
  • Serves as lead counsel for insurer clients in dozens of complex disputes involving hazardous waste sites around the country; adversaries have included a number of Fortune 500 companies
  • Tried multiple coverage cases, including serving as lead counsel in a two-month bench trial involving the largest waste management company in North America 
  • Served as lead counsel for a major insurance company before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a case which affirmed the dismissal of a claim seeking unaggregated coverage for asbestos-related bodily injury claims
  • Assisted in a two-week jury trial involving pollution at a manufactured gas plant in New England and a multi-day bench trial involving issues presented by underlying asbestos claims
  • Served as lead or co-counsel on appeals in state and federal courts on significant procedural issues such as forum non conveniens and choice of law, and substantive issues such as allocation and applicable limits
  • Obtained favorable and/or otherwise dispositive rulings for insurance company clients on key issues such as the duty to defend, application of pollution exclusion, after-acquired/involved sites and “trigger” of coverage
  • Assisted insurance company clients in limiting policyholders’ attempts to get broad declaratory relief
  • Aided clients in preventing underlying claimants from pursuing “direct actions” under the state’s Spill Act
  • Counseled insurer clients on cutting-edge issues presented by chemical/indoor exposure and Chinese Drywall claims

Recognition & Involvement

Since 2005, Patti has been selected in a survey of her peers as a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics magazine. 

For the past two years, Patti was selected as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation for her work in the Insurance field, and nominated by her peers and named to Who’s Who in Legal for her work in the field of Insurance and Reinsurance.

In addition to her involvement in her law school alumni group, Patti is President of the Board of Trustees of the C. Wallace Stuard Sailing Foundation and a former Board Member of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May.

Events

Publications

Bar and Court Admissions

Pennsylvania

New Jersey

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Education

Rutgers University School of Law-Camden, JD, 1985

Boston College, AB, magna cum laude, 1982