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Wiley Rein Named Washington, DC Litigation Department of the Year for Insurance by The National Law Journal

June 30, 2014

Wiley Rein has been named Washington, DC Litigation Department of the Year for insurance by The National Law Journal (NLJ).  The firm was one of only nine honored by the publication for standout litigation work in the nation’s capital.

The firm’s litigators represented insurers in connection with the bankruptcies of Dewey & LeBoeuf and Washington Mutual, the largest law firm failure and bank collapse, respectively, in U.S. history.  Those cases, among others, have “bolstered the Washington firm’s presence as a national player in complex insurance cases, especially involving professional liability,” NLJ said in a profile published today.

The 50-member Insurance Practice represents the side of insurers in disputes, and often finds itself across the table from larger New York firms representing companies or financial institutions, according to the article.  “People perceive us as bigger players because we're a K Street law firm,” practice chair Daniel J. Standish said in an interview.  “We have the benefit of three national airports in our area, and our Practice spends a lot of time on the road.”

Mr. Standish told NLJ he has made a habit of following news of potential insurance conflicts long before they land on his desk.  “ There's always an insurance angle to it,” he said.  “From a defense counsel's perspective, they don't care if a case settled as long as it pays.  A lot of times there's complicated negotiations around that.”

Mr. Standish said the firm’s “keys to success” include the following:

  • Know your client's business and how your role in insurance meshes with their business.  Often we're in the delicate the position of representing a business in dispute with a customer.
  • Maintain a deep and talented bench of lawyers.
  • Partner closely with clients on all key litigation decisions.
  • Constantly evaluate how the litigation is unfolding, manage risk and consider the client's overall objectives—both in the case and for the legal portfolio.  Is this the best case to establish a key precedent?