- January 10, 2022
- Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith AlertNovember 29, 2021
Cases & Deals
Patricia B. Santelle Partner
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Patti Santelle is Chair Emeritus of the firm. For seven years, as the Managing Partner and Chair of the Executive Committee, Patti was responsible for carrying out the strategic plan and policies of the firm, overseeing the management of the operations of the firm and such other duties and responsibilities as are typically associated with being a chief executive officer. When Patti was appointed to that position in December 2013, she was the first woman in the firm’s history and in the City of Philadelphia to serve in that role in a major law firm. During her tenure, the firm grew to over 200 lawyers in 10 offices in 6 states. Prior to being Managing Partner, Patti served as Chair of the Commercial Litigation Department, as well as Co-Chair of the firm’s Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Practice.
Patti is recognized by her clients and peers as a leading attorney in the field of complex insurance coverage. She has devoted more than 30 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 appointed three times by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to serve as a Special Master on complex ethics proceedings in New Jersey. She was 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. In 2020, she was appointed as one of the first Co-Chairs of the Executive Committee of the newly established Rutgers Law Alumnae Network. The network’s mission is to bring together alumnae from both law schools to support each other as well as current law school students. Patti is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur E. Armitage Sr. Distinguished Alumni Award, which honors Rutgers Law graduates who have achieved an extraordinary level of success through their legal and professional experience and exemplary community leadership.
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of multiple insurers, defeating a policyholder’s novel efforts to invalidate asbestos exclusions contained in insurance policies on the ground that they had not been submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance for approval prior to use and, therefore, were unenforceable
- For almost 20 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 2016, Patti has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer and eminent practitioner in Pennsylvania Insurance law. She is described by clients as a "formidable" litigator who provides high-quality advice on sophisticated insurance coverage matters and is well-versed in asbestos and long-tail claims with an impressive roster of carriers on regional and nationwide disputes.
Since 2005, Patti has been selected in a survey of her peers as a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyers. Patti has also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for the practice area of Insurance Law.
For the past several years, Patti has been nominated by her peers and named to Who’s Who in Legal for her work in the field of Insurance and Reinsurance. For a number of years, Patti was selected as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation for her work in the Insurance field. In 2016, she was among the 25 women recognized by The Legal Intelligencer as "Top Women In Law."
In 2015, Patti was appointed to the inaugural Corporate Council for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The council is comprised of top executives who serve as advisers and advocates for CHOP, providing strategic insight to strengthen the hospital's partnerships. Its members act as public ambassadors for the hospital and are committed to advancing CHOP's research, teaching, clinical priorities, and innovative research initiatives.
Since 2018, Patti has served as a Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Large Firm Management Committee.
In 2021, Patti was appointed to the Large Firm Management Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
In 2021, Patti was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Committee of Seventy, an independent, non-partisan nonprofit organization which advocates for better government in the City of Philadelphia. The Board consists of business, legal and civic leaders.
Patti is President of the Board of Trustees of the C. Wallace Stuard Sailing Foundation and a current member of the Legal Committee and former Board Member of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May.
Patti has handled pro bono matters for the Homeless Advocacy Project, the Senior Law Center of Philadelphia, and Volunteers for the Indigent (VIP) Tangled Title Program, and recently completed training to handles cases through the Support Center for Child Advocates.
- January 10, 2022
- Rutgers Camden MagazineNovember 2021
- November 10, 2021
- November 1, 2021
- August 19, 2021
- May 20, 2021
- Patti Santelle Honored by Rutgers School of Law with Arthur E. Armitage Sr. Distinguished Alumni AwardFebruary 10, 2021
- December 16, 2020
- November 5, 2020
- August 20, 2020
- April 23, 2020
- Law360February 3, 2020
- January 16, 2020
- December 20, 2019
- October 17, 2019
- August 15, 2019
- June 14, 2019
- April 26, 2019
- October 23, 2018
- October 18, 2018
- August 15, 2018
- July 27, 2018
- May 10, 2018
- April 20, 2018
- November 11, 2017
- May 26, 2017
- Temple Law NewsroomMay 1, 2017
- October 18, 2016
- September 16, 2016
- May 31, 2016
- May 10, 2016
- April 29, 2016
- December 9, 2015
- October 21, 2015
- October 22, 2014
- September 22, 2014
- April 4, 2014
- January 23, 2014
- December 9, 2013
- August 28, 2012
- October 6, 2011
- September 23, 2011
- May 25, 2011
- Patti Santelle Honored by Rutgers University for Outstanding Service to Rutgers School of Law-CamdenOctober 22, 2010
- December 22, 2021
- WebinarDecember 14, 2021
- Is Your Insured in a Financial Crisis? Not Sure What to Do Next? Part II: Assignments for Benefit of Creditors (ABCs)WebinarDecember 7, 2021
- Webinar | November 30, 2021 | 2:00 - 2:20pm
- October 21, 2021
- Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel WebinarOctober 19, 2021
- Philadelphia Bar Association 2021 Virtual Bench Bar & Annual ConferenceOctober 1, 2021
- Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel | WebinarMarch 11, 2021 | 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
- Webinar | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PMAugust 11, 2020
- Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor's ForumDecember 2, 2019
- Philadelphia Diversity Law GroupNovember 16, 2018
- Rutgers Law School (Camden, NJ)October 16, 2018
- A View from the Top: Current and Future State of the Insurance Claims Industry12th Annual Coverage CollegeOctober 4, 2018
- 2018 Federal Bench-Bar Conference (Philadelphia, PA)June 15, 2018
- 10th Annual Philadelphia Credit and Restructuring SummitMarch 30, 2017
- Philadelphia Bar Association Bench-Bar and Annual ConferenceSeptember 23, 2016
- Emerging Insurance Coverage & Allocation Issues (Perrin Conferences, Philadelphia, PA)May 19, 2015
- Restatement of Law of Liability Insurance Conference, Rutgers School of Law-CamdenFebruary 27, 2015
- A Year in the Life of Litigating Long-Tail Coverage Claims: Annual Update on Asbestos/LTE/Environmental Liability and CoverageWhite and Williams Coverage CollegeOctober 4, 2012
- Going Green: Emerging Environmental Insurance Coverage IssuesWhite and Williams Coverage CollegeOctober 6, 2011
- A Year in the Life of Litigating Long-Tail Claims Coverage - Annual Update on Asbestos/LTE/Environmental Liability and CoverageWhite and Williams Coverage CollegeOctober 6, 2011
- Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith AlertNovember 29, 2021
- Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith and Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy AlertNovember 12, 2021
- NJ Supreme Court Declines to Review Decision that Exxon Has No Duty to Indemnify Insurers for Environmental Liability Under Prior Settlement AgreementInsurance Coverage and Bad Faith AlertNovember 11, 2021
- Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith AlertOctober 4, 2019
- Law Practice TodayJanuary 2018
- Law360December 12, 2013
Cases & Deals
- May 3, 2018
- June 13, 2017
- May 15, 2017
- White and Williams Defeats Claims Brought by Insured’s Alleged Successor in Environmental Coverage DisputeMarch 23, 2016
- April 14, 2015
- January 18, 2013
Bar and Court Admissions
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
Rutgers University School of Law-Camden, JD, 1985
Boston College, AB, magna cum laude, 1982