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Practice Highlights

  • We understand the financial and reputational risks that complex, high-stakes claims disputes present to insurers.
  • We are recognized industry thought leaders and strategists in D&O and professional liability.
  • We have an unparalleled network of active relationships to draw on in crafting creative solutions to complex, high-stakes claims.

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Directors and Officers

The Directors and Officers Group represents professional liability insurers in high-stakes, complex claims. While most of the claims we handle arise from directors & officers liability (D&O) policies, insurers that underwrite D&O insurance typically also underwrite errors & omissions (E&O) insurance for financial institutions and financial services firms, as well as for other business professionals, including investment banks, investment advisors, accounting firms, and large law firms. For this reason, we regularly handle large E&O claims involving the same kinds of underlying litigation and governmental investigation claims activity that involve D&O policies.

Our insurer representations as coverage and monitoring counsel for D&O/FI insurer clients typically include the following component tasks:

  • Following an initial assessment of the claim documents and relevant insurance coverage information, the preparation of an initial report and draft coverage position letter for our insurer client;
  • Contact with the insured or defense counsel to arrange and conduct a liability, damages and coverage investigation;
  • Ongoing monitoring of the litigation and regular contact with defense counsel, while maintaining a regular reporting line of communications with the insurer client;
  • Damage analysis; and
  • Active participation in claim settlements where client insurer funds are being contributed. These tasks require work performed at different levels of seniority and experience, necessitating a team approach to the handling of these matters.

Our lawyers have been at the forefront in dealing with insurance coverage issues arising out of transactional insurance products, including representations and warranties insurance. We are regular speakers and writers on the relevant insurance coverage issues arising out of transactional insurance products, and are one of the few law firms representing insurers that have acted as both coverage and arbitration counsel in coverage disputes arising out of representations and warranties insurance policies. We bring a unique approach to handling disputes arising under these products. The representations and warranties insurance practice is comprised of members of D&O Practice Group and Business Department, who work collaboratively to provide insurance company clients with a full understanding of the underlying deal being insured, the potential exposures under these types of policies, and the relevant liability and insurance coverage issues that may arise. 

The D&O Practice Group has an insurance practice focused on the representation of professional liability insurers as coverage/monitoring and coverage litigation counsel. Other practice specialty areas include representations of insurance brokers on regulatory, transactional and litigation matters and the defense of employment-practices claims.

Our attorneys work with primary and excess domestic U.S., European and Bermuda insurers on a wide variety of significant claims involving directors and officers of public and private companies, as well as similar kinds of reputational risk litigation involving financial institution and financial services insureds.

Our team has significant involvement with respect to some of the last decade's largest scandals involving directors and officers and financial and professional insurance, including:

  • Adelphia
  • Enron
  • Lehman Brothers
  • IPO Laddering
  • Madoff-Related Litigation
  • Options Backdating-Related Litigation.
  • Subprime/Credit Crisis-Related Litigation
  • Tyco
  • Worldcom

In addition to our involvement as coverage and monitoring counsel in these complex claims, we also represent insurers in coverage litigation and arbitration arising under these types of insurance policies.

D&O insurers also call on our lawyers to assist in drafting policies and endorsements as well as in identifying risk management and risk evaluation tools to assist insurers in better managing these insured exposures.

Lawyers in our D&O Practice Group are also regularly involved in educational and insurance industry programs and seminars for D&O insurance professionals dealing with cutting-edge issues in the law and in the D&O marketplace. 

Representative Matters

  • Ongoing Coverage Litigation in Florida State Court: We are representing a primary insurer that denied coverage for a securities class action and derivative action based on the prior acts and prior litigation exclusions; this case remains ongoing
  • Antsul-BWW I, LLC, et al. v. QBE Insurance Corporation, et al., Case No. MID-L-003023-12 (N.J. Sup. Ct.  Jan. 25, 2013) (granting insurer’s cross-motion for summary judgment on the basis that the alleged bodily injury did not arise in the course of employment).  We represented an insurer that denied coverage for a bodily injury claim under the Employers Liability insurance part of a Workers’ Compensation and Employers’ Liability policy on the ground the alleged bodily injury did not occur in the course of employment;  the court agreed with our client’s denial of coverage and granted our cross-motion for summary judgment in favor of the insurer
  • Isilon v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., et al., Case No. 10-01392 (W.D. Wash. April 10, 2012), (granting insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment in connection with the breach of contract and violations of the Consumer Protection Act causes of action asserted in a bad faith litigation); we represented an insurer in a bad faith litigation arising out of the insurer’s denial of coverage based on misrepresentations in the application for insurance for a directors and officers liability insurance policy; the court granted partial summary judgment, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract and violations of the Consumer Protection Act because the insurer demonstrated that the insured could not establish damages
  • Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, Twin City Fire Insurance Company, et al., Case No. N12C-07-311 (Superior Court of the State of Delaware, July 25, 2012); we represented an excess insurer that tendered its limits on the settlement of an underlying litigation against the directors and officers of insured and was subsequently sued by the non-settling directors; we represented the excess insurer on the underlying insurance coverage determination and continue our representation through the insurance coverage litigation
  • American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., Twin City Fire Insurance Company, U.S. Specialty Insurance Company and Navigators Insurance Company v. Morris Gelb, et al., Case No. 11 civ 9266 (RJS)(S.D.N.Y., November 23, 2011); we represented an excess insurer in a declaratory judgment action commenced against the former directors and officers of the insured; while the primary insurer exhausted its limits of liability by advancing defense costs, the excess insurers have denied coverage. 

  • Eisenhandler v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., et al., Case No. CV 09 5031716-S(Conn. Super. Ct. Oct, 21, 2011), (granting insurer’s summary judgment motion based on the prior knowledge exclusion in a lawyers professional liability policy); we represented an insurer that denied coverage for a legal malpractice claim based on a prior knowledge exclusion; the court agreed with our client's denial and granted summary judgment in favor of the insurer.

  • PNY Technologies, Inc., et al. v. Twin City Fire Insurance Company, Case No. 11-cv-04647 (D. N.J. August 22, 2011); we represented the primary insurer in a declaratory judgment action brought by insured seeking judgment that the insurer is obligated to pay insured’s investigation and defense costs arising out of underlying actions against insured’s CEO; seeking judgment that the insurer is obligated to pay any judgment or settlement resulting from the underlying matters; and seeking damages for breach of contract
  • Federated Investors, Inc. et al. v. Federal Insurance Company et al. Case No. 2:11-cv-00775 (W.D. PA, May 23, 2011); we successfully settled this declaratory judgment action on behalf of an excess insurer where the plaintiff sought a declaration that the defense costs and “settlement amounts” incurred in connection with the underlying lawsuit against insured’s directors and officers were covered “Loss.”
  • Modern Technologies Group Inc., et al. v. Twin City Fire Insurance Co., 2010 WL 3908685 (D.N.J. Sept. 30, 2010), (granting insurer’s motion for summary judgment based on late notice of a claim under a claims-made professional liability policy);  we represented an insurer which obtained an order granting summary judgment in its favor against a limousine parts seller, denying coverage for a claim under a professional liability policy on the basis of late notice
  • Russoniello v. Twin City Fire Insurance Co., 2010 WL 2024084 (D.N.J. May 20, 2010) (granting insurer's motion for summary judgment based on late notice of a claim under a lawyers professional liability policy); we represented an insurer which obtained an order granting summary judgment in its favor against a solo practitioner, denying coverage for a claim under a lawyers professional liability policy on the basis of late notice; the court held that a letter from the lawyer’s client constituted a claim because it was a demand for money and alleged completely inadequate representation that could be considered malpractice
  • Executive Risk Indem. Inc. v. Pepper Hamilton LLP, 2008 WL 6808243 (Trial Order) (N.Y.Sup. Jan 29, 2008), rev'd by 56 A.D.3d 196, 865 N.Y.S.2d 25 (1 Dep't Sep 23, 2008), affirmed as modified by 2009 WL 3347222, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 07453 (N.Y. Oct 20, 2009) (granting insurers' summary judgment motions on prior notice exclusions in a lawyers professional liability policy); we represented an excess insurer which obtained an order granting summary judgment in its favor against a large law firm, denying coverage for a malpractice claim under a lawyers professional liability policy on the ground of a prior knowledge exclusion
  • Schwartz v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co. et al., 492 F.Supp.2d 308 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) judgment affirmed by 539 F.3d 135 (2nd Cir.(N.Y.) Aug 19, 2008). (granting primary D&O insurer's post-trial motion to dismiss D&O excess insurers' cross-claims for bad faith); we represented an excess insurer whose denial of coverage under a D&O policy was the subject of a bad faith action tried to a jury and successfully concluded by post-trial motions to set aside the verdict
  • Indotronix International Corp. v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., No. 06 Civ. 2688 (S.D.N.Y. April 30, 2007) (finding after inquest on insured's claim for reimbursement of $520,000 incurred in defense costs and expenses, that only $117,000, after application of $100,000 SIR, were reasonable and necessary and therefore recoverable from D&O insurer); we represented a D&O insurer that challenged a request by the insured for reimbursement of $520,000 the insured incurred in defense costs and expenses in defending an underlying action; after an inquest before the court, the court denied the insured’s request for reimbursement of $520,000, finding that, after application of a $100,000 SIR, only $117,000 were “reasonable and necessary” and therefore recoverable from the D&O insurer
  • CNL Hotels & Resorts, Inc. v. Twin City Fire Insurance Company, et al. 06 CV 324, Order 113 (MD FL October 16, 2006) (granting insurer's motion to dismiss bad faith claim under Florida law because the insured had not first established that coverage was available for the claim in question)
  • Vigilant Insurance Co. v. Credit Suisse First Boston, 10 A.D.3d 528, 782 N.Y.S.2d 19 (App. Div. 1st. Dept. 2004) (affirming trial court and extending ruling to also exclude coverage for defense costs associated with uncovered claim); we represented a quota share excess insurer in an action arising from denial of coverage on the ground of uninsurability of intentional acts and, alone among the insurers, obtained reversal on appeal of the trial court’s decision ordering payment of defense expenses.

Recognitions and Awards

Since 2015, White and Williams has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading law firm in Pennsylvania for achievements and client service in the area of insurance law. 

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