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

June 18, 2008

The 2008 edition of Chambers USA:  America's Leading Lawyers for Business has rated Wiley Rein's Insurance Practice in the top tier of Washington, DC insurer-side practices and identified eight of the group's members as "Leading Lawyers" in their field.  Singled out for accolades are partners Thomas W. Brunner, Daniel J. Standish, Laura A. Foggan, Craig A. Berrington, Jason P. Cronic, William E. Smith and David H. Topol and consulting counsel John C. Yang.   

In giving the Insurance Practice its highest ranking, Chambers recognized the breadth of the practice and the depth its bench, reporting, "The team excels in the professional liability area . . . It also advises individual insurers and trade associations on issues concerning general liability policies. One example of its work in this regard was its representation of [the] American Insurance Association in the high-profile appellate court decision involving insurance coverage after Hurricane Katrina.  D&O liability and securities class action expertise round off a practice that offers clients absolute depth in insurance litigation."  Clients, who "agree that 'when you work with Wiley, you know the work is going to be accurate and on target,'" told the publisher, "The group handles the largest cases without skipping a beat.  It is simply preeminent-a national leader for insurance work."

Accolades extend to Wiley Rein's Insurance attorneys, who are praised for providing "consistently high-quality advice and counseling."  Practice chair Thomas W. Brunner is described as "just first rate, a strategic and careful thinker with a broad understanding of all things insurance.  He is a priceless resource, with a Rolodex of contacts that always prove useful."

Rating the "fantastic" Daniel J. Standish, chair of the firm's Professional Liability Practice, in the top tier of insurance attorneys, Chambers reports that clients praise his commitment to go "above and beyond the call of duty." While he receives recognition for his representation of "Chubb Specialty in claims arising under various policies, including D&O liability policies issued to public and private corporations and E&O policies issued to financial institutions," clients told the publisher that he is "excellent in all regards, his technical skill is second to none, while the service and responsiveness he offers is superb." 

Joining Mr. Standish on Chambers list of top lawyers are members of the Professional Liability team who are recognized as "Up and Comers."  "Bright tactician" David Topol "brings his negotiating skills to bear on matters for clients such as AXIS and CNA."  William Smith, praised for his "sharp analytical eye," represents clients in complex civil litigation matters, and Jason Cronic received kudos as a someone who "knows his stuff."

Insurance partner and Appellate Practice co-chair Laura A. Foggan "earns plaudits for her hard work and attentive approach to clients," who call her "gifted in her written work and a joy to work with."  Of note is her representation as counsel to the Complex Insurance Claims Litigation Association, and AIG-related entities in large third-party liability environmental and other complex claims.

As the practice continues to expand in the area of Insurance Regulation & Legislation, group co-chair Craig A. Berrington, a former senior vice president and general counsel of the American Insurance Association, is recognized for his "impressive experience."  Clients told Chambers, "He is frighteningly knowledgeable in legislative and regulatory matters: a tremendous intellect," and describe him as "calm in a storm - if you have a regulatory or antitrust issue, he knows what to do."

Consulting counsel John C. Yang, who represents the insurance industry in coverage cases, including general liability and professional liability coverage issues, receives recognition for being "in demand for his regulatory and trade association work."

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.