Wiley Rein’s Insurance Group is one of the most prominent insurer-side practices in the United States with a deep bench of 35 lawyers. The team provides strategic counseling and litigation services to insurers on professional liability; general liability; property; and cyber, technology, and media insurance issues. We provide innovative, pragmatic solutions that respect our clients’ business objectives and relationships. In high-profile and business-critical matters, insurers rely on our deep knowledge of the insurance industry and underlying exposures, effective negotiation at the mediation table, and persuasive advocacy in trial, appellate, and bankruptcy courts nationwide.

Recent representative matters include the following:

  • Wiley Rein secured dismissal of a declaratory judgment action over insurance coverage for Washington Mutual’s directors and officers. The trial court held that the liquidating trust for Washington Mutual, Inc., the former parent of Washington Mutual Bank, had standing to pursue $250 million in directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance coverage. Acting as lead counsel for the tower, Wiley Rein sought and obtained leave to pursue an interlocutory appeal. The Delaware Supreme Court held that the controversy was not ripe and dismissed the trust’s claims. XL Specialty Ins. Co. v. WMI Liquidating Trust, 93 A.3d 1208 (Del. 2014).
  • Wiley Rein established that an insurer has the right to appoint defense counsel absent an actual conflict of interest between the insurer and insured. After the insured law firm was sued for malpractice, the insurer accepted the defense of the claim subject to a reservation of rights. The law firm demanded independent counsel. The court disagreed that independent counsel was necessary. Although the claimant sought potentially covered consequential damages and non-covered return of fees, no conflict existed where the same facts would establish liability for either form of relief. Coats, Rose, Yale, Ryman & Lee, P.C. v. Navigators Specialty Ins. Co., 489 F. App’x 769 (5th Cir. 2012).
  • Wiley Rein represented insurer-side trade associations in the first state Supreme Court decision concerning coverage for data breach losses under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. The policyholder lost data tapes containing a client’s employment-related information. The Connecticut Supreme Court held that there was no “personal injury” because there was no showing that any person actually accessed the information on the tapes, and the loss of the tapes and triggering of state breach notification statutes alone did not constitute “personal injury” under the policy. Recall Total Information Management, Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co., 317 Conn. 46 (2015).
  • Wiley Rein represented the insurer that issued a $25 million management liability policy to Dewey & LeBoeuf, LLP, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2012. Wiley Rein represented the carrier’s interests in resolving multi-million dollar mismanagement claims against the law firm’s senior leaders and successfully defending the proposed settlement from a collateral attack during the bankruptcy court approval process. In re Dewey & LeBoeuf, LLP, No. 12-12321 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.).
  • Wiley Rein conducted a comprehensive review of environmental, mass tort and other excess claims for a major property and casualty insurer and provided legal advice relevant to its reserving practices.

In December 2015, we were named a Law360 Insurance Practice Group of the Year – the only insurance group to receive that recognition four of the past five years – and one of three Insurance Practice Group All-Stars nationwide that “have consistently shown they can win big in significant insurance cases.” In 2014, The National Law Journal (NLJ) named our Group the Washington, DC Litigation Department of the Year for Insurance. The Insurance Group consistently ranks in Chambers USA’s top tier. Chambers describes us as “highly responsive,” with clients who are “universally pleased with the quality of their work” (2015); “fantastic,” with “top quality control” (2014) and a “consistently excellent level of representation” (2013). The Legal 500 US also applauds our “readily accessible attorneys,” noting our “high level of industry knowledge” and “unparalleled depth of knowledge regarding D&O coverage issues.” (2013).

We keep our clients informed of key developments impacting professional and general liability through Client Alerts available by RSS feed and email. Our Executive Summary Blog reports on recent developments in the area of professional liability insurance. To learn more, and to subscribe to this and other complimentary Wiley Rein publications, click here.

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Daniel J. Standish
202.719.7130 |

Our People

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Rachel A. AlexanderPartner202.719.7371Download vCard
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Matthew W. BeatoAssociate202.719.7518Download vCard
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Jason O'BrienSpecial Counsel202.719.7464Download vCard
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Dorthula H. Powell-WoodsonPartner202.719.7150Download vCard
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Karen L. TotoAssociate202.719.7152Download vCard
John B. WyssSenior Counsel202.719.7038Download vCard

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