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Patricia O'Connell
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Wiley Rein’s Charles Lemley Named an “Insurance MVP” by Law360

December 12, 2014

Charles C. Lemley, a partner in Wiley Rein’s prominent Insurance Practice, has been named a 2014 “MVP” by Law360, which noted his key role in “several important insurance-related victories this year.”  He was recognized as one of two Insurance MVPs nationwide.

In a December 11 “Insurance MVP” profile, Law360 cited Mr. Lemley’s role in this year’s high-profile case that stemmed from the 2008 collapse of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu)—the largest bank failure in United States history.  Serving as lead counsel for 10 insurers facing $250 million in exposure, Mr. Lemley persuaded the Delaware Supreme Court to reverse a trial court ruling and order the dismissal of the claims against the insurers.

Mr. Lemley told Law360 he was honored to have been involved in the WaMu case, which presented interesting legal challenges and allowed him to collaborate with other smart and savvy attorneys—including Wiley Rein associate John E. Howell.

“It was obviously a very compelling case, or the Delaware Supreme Court would never have agreed to hear it,” Mr. Lemley said, noting that the court only agrees to hear interlocutory appeals in about 5 percent or 10 percent of cases. “It was kind of a one-of-a-kind case, starting with the fact that you never have bankruptcies this big.”

A self-styled litigator, Mr. Lemley said the WaMu case was a good illustration of why he got into insurance law in the first place.  Practicing in that area of law enables him to work with intelligent and capable attorneys from inside the insurance companies, who often come to him with interesting and challenging legal questions, he said.

“I think a lot of people think of lawyers as problem-spotters, and I think good litigators are problem-solvers,” he told Law360.  “Having gotten into [insurance], I realized it really is an almost endless source of interesting, challenging legal issues that need to be solved, and that’s what I like to do.”