Insurance

As counsel to some of the most significant players in the insurance and reinsurance industries, we are able to efficiently diagnose and predictively coordinate novel solutions to our clients’ greatest legal concerns. We have represented insurers and reinsurers in pioneering claims that recovered billions of dollars in precedent-setting coverage disputes. We have also successfully helped clients navigate complex, bet-the-company litigations, including scores of matters involving breaches of representations and warranties in state and federal courts, as well as arbitration.

Unlike many law firms that have corporate practices, we can be, and frequently are, adverse to Wall Street banks. Our attorneys set the standard for RMBS and related putback litigation following the 2008 financial crash, obtaining several of the largest recoveries and settlements ever achieved for clients. We have also represented hedge funds, private equity funds and trustees, as well as monoline insurers in landmark victories in the New York state and federal courts, as well as the Delaware Chancery Court.

Our representative engagements include:

  • Transamerica, one of the largest U.S. insurance companies, in connection with potential claims by the Securities Exchange Commission arising out of certain funds managed by entities associated with Transamerica. The matter was successfully resolved without litigation.
  • Markel CACTCo, a Bermuda-based reinsurance company, in connection with potential claims arising out of certain catastrophe reinsurance transactions. The matter was successfully resolved without litigation.
  • Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC), a monoline insurer, in its action for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligence against The Putnam Advisory Company arising out of Pyxis ABS CDO 2006-1. The case has moved past summary judgment and is currently awaiting trial before Judge Torres in the Southern District of New York.
  • Ambac, a municipal bond insurance company, in an action for fraud and breach of contract, seeking recovery of more than $2 billion in damages from Countrywide Financial (and its parent, Bank of America) for misconduct relating to 17 residential mortgage-backed securitizations that played a substantial role in causing the global financial crisis of 2008. The case has moved past summary judgment and is currently awaiting trial in the New York Commercial Division before Justice Sherwood.
  • CIFG, a monoline insurer, against Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan (as successor to Bear Stearns) in separate actions for fraud in connection with certain collateralized debt obligations created by defendants in 2006-07. We obtained a substantial arbitration award against Goldman Sachs, and a related lawsuit in the New York Commercial Division was subsequently settled on terms that allowed CIFG to recover 40% of its losses. The action against JPMorgan survived a motion to dismiss before Justice Friedman in the New York Commercial Division and was subsequently settled on favorable terms.
  • National Public Finance Guarantee and MBIA Insurance Corporation, a monoline insurer, in a $720 million lawsuit to hold eight major Wall Street banks accountable for inequitable conduct that contributed to Puerto Rico’s economic collapse. Plaintiffs are bond insurers that have been presented with, and fully honored, over $1 billion dollars in claims after the municipal debt underwritten by the banks–without proper due diligence or disclosures–became unsustainable for Puerto Rico and its agencies, leading to massive defaults.
  • MBIA, a monoline insurer:
    • Against Bank of America, Countrywide, and related entities in litigation in New York state court arising out of securitization insurance. Secured series of rulings, including crucial ruling at summary judgment that set the basic framework for RMBS litigation nationwide, ultimately allowing MBIA to survive as a going concern and to achieve a multi-billion dollar settlement including the commutation of $7.4 billion in swaps.
    • In New York Supreme Court, in obtaining confidential settlement in multi-billion-dollar action concerning credit default swaps and financial guaranties written by Merrill Lynch on CDOs.
  • Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., a monoline insurer, in various lawsuits in the Southern District of New York and the New York Commercial Division alleging fraud and breach of contract in connection with Assured’s provision of financial guaranty insurance on certain residential mortgage-backed securities. All of these cases survived motions to dismiss and were subsequently settled on terms that allowed Assured to recover most of its losses.
  • Two monoline insurers, Syncora and Assured, directing the US Bank trustee against a mortgage originator in a breach of reps and warranties action in the New York Commercial Division before Justices Friedman and Scarpulla, culminating in a successful settlement in December 2017, recovering more than 50% of losses.
  • AIG, a multinational finance and insurance company:
    • In Article 77 proceedings initiated by RMBS trustees over the distribution methodology of a $8.5 billion settlement with Bank of America and a $4.5 billion settlement with JPMorgan.
    • In claims against Wall Street sponsors of RMBS, achieving over $2 billion in recoveries.
    • In a dispute with former AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg, C.V. Starr & Co., Inc. and its affiliates in arbitration and federal and state actions concerning ownership of $1 billion+ in insurance and reinsurance business, as well as issues concerning trademarks and corporate governance.
  • The Department of Insurance, as New York Solicitor General, before the New York Court of Appeals in a challenge to a state insurance regulation.
  • Lockton, the world’s largest independent insurance brokerage, in multiple employment disputes.
  • MassMutual, one of the largest U.S. insurance companies, in a corporate governance suit arising out of its investment in Scottish Re, twice achieving dismissal of all claims with both rulings successfully upheld on appeal.
  • Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., a managed care company:
    • As the defendant in a suit seeking $1 billion in damages, successfully secured dismissal of antitrust and RICO claims regarding payment of out-of-network benefits, and also obtained the denial of class certification for ERISA claims brought by plan subscribers.
    • In clawback litigation brought by the Madoff Trustee. After years of litigation, settled the Trustee’s claims for pennies on the dollar and a cross-claim against a purportedly indemnified third party.