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Wiley Rein's Insurance Group Receives Top Ranking from Chambers USA; Eight Insurance Partners Named Leading Lawyers

June 29, 2007

The 2007 edition of Chambers USA:  America's Leading Lawyers for Business has named Wiley Rein's Insurance Group as one of the best in Washington, DC, ranking the "highly regarded insurance giant" in the top tier of insurer-side practices.  Reflecting the depth and breadth of the 40-person group are the partners recognized as Leading Lawyers:  Thomas W. Brunner, Daniel J. Standish, Laura A. Foggan, Craig A. Berrington, Jason P. Cronic, William E. Smith, David H. Topol and John C. Yang. 

Thomas Brunner heads the Insurance Practice, a group which peers told Chambers, has "real clout in the national market" and is "gaining in strength all the time." Mr. Brunner is commended for his "wealth of historical insurance knowledge," and is "relied upon for his creative and practical advice."  Those interviewed for the directory report that the group of attorneys he has united is notable for being "extremely intelligent and professional."  

Accolades extend to Daniel Standish, Chair of the firm's significant Professional Liability Practice, who is rated in the top tier of Insurance attorneys and receives praise as "the best there is."  Calling him "extraordinarily talented," clients told Chambers they admire his abilities as both a writer and litigator: "He's an exceptionally well-rounded individual, with terrific analytical skills and judgment."

Noting that the Insurance Group is litigation-oriented, Chambers writes that Appellate Practice Co-Chair Laura Foggan is "credited with being 'one of the leading lights in the industry.'" "Peers admire her 'nuanced understanding of legal issues,' and admit to regularly referring complex problems to her," while clients tell the publisher that "because of her intelligence and clarity" she is "listened to and trusted."

With a nod to the group's expanding work in the regulatory field, Chambers reports that group's profile in this area has been raised by the addition to the firm of former senior vice president and general counsel of the American Insurance Association, Craig Berrington, who received acknowledgement as "incredibly bright and delightful to work with" and "the person to call for an insurance regulatory matter."

Several attorneys specializing in Professional Liability are singled out as "Up and Comers" in their field.  "Rising star" Jason Cronic is commended for his "level of professionalism, understanding and expertise," while William Smith, who acts for clients in complex civil litigation matters and is particularly recommended for D&O matters, is praised by his peers as "a very bright young man who has a great basis of legal analysis, which makes him a terrific brief writer."  David Topol is lauded for being "experienced and analytical" and "a tough, effective negotiator," and John Yang, who represents the insurance industry in major coverage cases, including general liability and professional liability coverage issues, "continues to impress the market with his practice."  "He knows the business like the back of his hand and never drops the ball," sources told Chambers.

The Chambers ratings are based on extensive interviews of law firms' clients, colleagues and competitors.  Inclusion in the directory is determined through a rigorous vetting process whereby Chambers researchers evaluate law firms and attorneys on a number of factors. 

Read the full Chambers editorial here:  http://www.chambersandpartners.com/usa/resultseditorial.aspx?fid=2865&cid=223&pid=20&solbar=1&grouptype=2#2865