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Wiley Rein’s Karen Toto Profiled by Law360 as ‘Rising Star’

September 16, 2019

Washington, DCKaren L. Toto, partner in Wiley Rein’s Insurance Practice, was profiled by Law360 as a 2019 “Rising Star” in Insurance. Ms. Toto was recognized as one of the top five lawyers in her practice area on this elite national list of attorneys under the age of 40.

Law360 highlighted Ms. Toto’s role in helping XL Specialty ward off a $20 million claim related to allegations that its insured UBS AG lost investors billions of dollars by manipulating Puerto Rico’s municipal debt bond market; however it was a case in which the Delaware Supreme Court reversed a decision that Travelers Indemnity Co. was liable for $13.7 million in asbestos insurance claims that Ms. Toto cited as the biggest of her career.

“When you’re talking about thousands of underlying asbestos cases that span decades, there’s a lot of facts, a lot of information to marshal, a lot of weeding through, figuring out what’s significant to the case and what isn’t,” Ms. Toto said. “That’s a lot of what we deal with, and I really enjoy it.”

Ms. Toto’s perseverance throughout the Travelers case eventually led her client to victory even though she and her team lost in the trial court on nearly all issues. According to Ms. Toto, she was ultimately successful because she was always thinking of how to best position the client if the case were to be appealed. “We always had our eye on the future, so it was a satisfying win,” Ms. Toto said.

When asked what motivates her, Ms. Toto told Law360: “It’s about how to best marshal teamwork and resources at a large law firm. I love trying to figure that out.”

Ms. Toto said she anticipates certain types of insurance litigation to remain in demand, especially cases involving the opioid crisis and a variety of civil rights issues.

“Everything is impacted by coverage, so think of the next big wave of litigation, and insurers will be at the table,” Ms. Toto said. “That's what I like about this practice.”

Ms. Toto’s full Law360 “Rising Star” profile can be found here (subscription required).