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White and Williams Expands on Strategic Goals - Adds New Directors and Officers Practice Group and Increases its Presence in New York and Boston

New practice group will be led by industry leader, John F. McCarrick


White and Williams LLP is expanding with the formation of a new practice group specializing in issues involving Directors and Officers (D&O) liability, the addition of ten new attorneys, and the growth of our presence in the New York and Boston areas.

The D&O Practice Group will be led by industry leader John F. McCarrick, formerly of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. Joining McCarrick will be nine other attorneys, Scott H. Casher, partner; Maurice Pesso, partner; Samuel B. Mayer, counsel; Karen B. Mariscal, counsel; Wegard D. Holby, counsel; Peter M. de Boisblanc, associate; Sarah D. Downey, associate; Daniel H. Simnowitz, associate and Leor J. Kaplan, associate - all from Edwards Angell.

"We're always looking for the right opportunities that will allow us to grow strategically and enable us to provide the high level of service that our clients have come to expect from us," said George Hartnett, Managing Partner of White and Williams. "This D&O practice will allow us to build a key practice area and expand on our existing capabilities in both the New York and Boston offices."

"D&O is a growth area and being able to build a practice around John and his team will greatly benefit our department," adds Guy Cellucci, Chair of the Commercial Litigation Department. "The D&O Practice Group will increase the firm's national and international platform for providing high caliber services to clients in the insurance industry and the business sector. It is exciting to have been able to find a new group that has such a synergy with the lawyers, clients and the practices of our firm."

John adds, "White and Williams is a great match for our group, our clients, and our practice because we are connecting with a firm we know and trust as leaders in the insurance industry."

The D&O Practice Group primarily focuses on the representation of D&O liability insurers in high-stakes, complex claims, including securities class action litigation. In addition, McCarrick and his team represent insurance brokers in regulatory, transactional and litigation matters and the defense of employment practices claims.

John will be the managing partner of White and Williams' new Westchester County office in New York and will be joined there by Scott H. Casher and Samuel B. Mayer. Maurice Pesso, Wegard D. Holby, Sarah D. Downey, Peter M. de Boisblanc, Daniel H. Simnowitz and Leor J. Kaplan will reside in the firm's New York City office. Karen B. Mariscal will practice from the firm's Boston office.


About the Attorneys

John F. McCarrick, Partner
John has been practicing law for more than 20 years and represents professional liability insurers - both in and out of the U.S. - in connection with insurance coverage and liability issues arising from complex antitrust, customer, shareholder, and bankruptcy-related litigation.

In addition to professional liability insurers, John also works with reinsurers and insurance brokers on compliance and corporate governance issues, and in business transactions. Working closely with his insurer clients in both product development and policy drafting, John understands the critical issues and strategies underpinning a profitable underwriting portfolio. Clients turn to him for strategic insight and advice to creatively address complex business issues, and to negotiate difficult, multi-party settlements and other agreements.

Outside the insurance industry, John works with clients in assessing and deploying enterprise risk management solutions - addressing policy, process, and technology - with a particular focus on data capture and retrieval in the rapidly emerging area of electronic data discovery.

John is also frequently asked to speak, and regularly writes on issues related to insurance law.

Aside from his legal practice, John is the co-founder of Grateful Nation Montana, Inc., a non-profit Montana organization that provides college scholarships and outreach services to children of Montana soldiers killed on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Working with the Montana University System, Grateful Nation Montana works to provide these children with the financial support and outreach guidance necessary for a successful college experience.

Scott H. Casher, Partner
Scott represents insurance and reinsurance companies and other business entities with respect to a wide variety of complex claims and coverage matters, as well as commercial disputes, in state and federal trial and appellate courts, at arbitrations and in mediations. He defends claims involving bad faith, products liability, employment discrimination, personal injury and property damage, among others.

Maurice Pesso, Partner
Maurice regularly advises domestic and foreign insurance companies in complex coverage matters under major professional liability lines, including directors and officers, bankers and financial professional liability, errors and omissions and fiduciary liability. Maurice has significant involvement with respect to some of the decades' largest scandals involving directors and officers and financial and professional insurance, including Madoff-related litigation, subprime/credit crisis-related litigation, and options backdating-related litigation. He also represents professional liability insurers in mediations and arbitrations, and in coverage litigation before state and federal courts across the country.

Maurice works with insurance company clients on developing new insurance products, and advises corporate clients on structuring their insurance programs at renewal or in the context of M&A activity.

Wegard D. Holby, Counsel
Gard brings 20 years of legal experience to White and Williams. He represents professional liability insurers primarily in the areas of insurance coverage and liability issues arising from shareholder, employment and bankruptcy-related litigation. Gard also works closely with his clients in developing creative resolution strategies for resolving complex claims. Additionally, his practice extends to maritime law and the satellite industry.

Karen B. Mariscal, Counsel
Karen is a seasoned litigator who serves as insurance coverage and monitoring counsel, focusing on claims under Directors and Officers, Professional Indemnity and Employment Practices Liability policies. She has extensive experience assessing coverage and managing all forms of civil litigation against corporations and their directors and officers, including securities fraud litigation under federal and state laws, investigations by governmental agencies, shareholder derivative suits, professional indemnity claims, employment practices claims and civil rights claims. Karen is also an expert at handling London Market claims and claims involving non-US policyholders. In her role as monitoring counsel, Karen maintains contact with defense counsel regarding status and strategy and provides the carrier with her assessment of potential liability, exposure and damages. She also reviews and audits defense fees and costs, negotiates allocation agreements for defense fees and settlement contributions and represents the carrier at settlement conferences and mediation.

In addition to insurance coverage work, Karen has served as defense counsel in such areas as complex commercial litigation, asbestos-related litigation and employment litigations.

Samuel B. Mayer, Counsel
Sam has more than 10 years experience in insurance coverage and defense work for various types of professional liability matters. He has handled coverage litigation related to financial products and financial institutions insurance and defended attorney professional liability claims. Prior to acquiring this experience, Sam handled litigation of patent and trademark infringement and licensing claims, along with some real estate and contract matters as part of a general practice.

Peter M. de Boisblanc, Associate
Peter advises professional liability insurance companies with regard to complex claims, and has particular experience with claims implicating directors and officers liability policies. Peter has also assisted in the litigation of insurance coverage disputes.

Sarah D. Downey, Associate
Sarah focuses her practice on Insurance and Reinsurance-related matters. She assists liability insurers with complex claims, and coverage and bad faith litigation in state and federal courts.

Sarah has represented and counseled primary and excess insurers in coverage matters involving directors and officers liability policies, property and casualty insurance, architects and engineer policies, professional, pollution and general liability policies, as well as environmental and contractors liability policies. She also represents and counsels clients in matters involving various aspects of commercial litigation.

Leor J. Kaplan, Associate
Leor represents insurers in state and federal courts in coverage actions involving a wide variety of coverage issues including rescission, bad faith and allocation. Leor has also represented primary and excess insurers in matters involving D&O, E&O and general liability insurance policies.

Daniel H. Simnowitz, Associate
Dan advises domestic and foreign insurers in connection with complex claims under professional liability policies, including directors and officers liability, errors and omissions, bankers professional liability and fiduciary liability. Additionally, Dan represents professional liability insurers in arbitrations and coverage litigation.

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This correspondence should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation with any specific legal question you may have.

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