Schiff Hardin’s Insurance and Reinsurance Group is dedicated to advancing the interests of the insurance and reinsurance industry. Our clients include reinsurers and insurers located throughout the world. These clients have come to rely on us for assistance on a wide variety of arbitration, litigation, corporate and regulatory issues.
Our attorneys have cost-effectively handled a broad range of matters including bet-the-business allegations involving hundreds of millions of dollars. These include not only specific areas such as insolvency, reinsurance and coverage, but also a variety of complex commercial disputes that do not fit within the usual categories.
We have served as national coordinating counsel in complex claims litigation. We often serve as appellate counsel in cases other firms have handled at trial. We represent insurers in ERISA cases, class actions, intellectual property disputes, employment cases and managing general agency disputes.
Our coverage practice spans the full breadth of issues, including first-party property and business interruption, excess liability, professional liability, self insurance, environmental, intellectual property, directors’ and officers’ liability, construction defect, and product liability. Acting for insurers, our attorneys have prosecuted actions involving construction of policy provisions, bad faith, conflict of interest, and self-insured retentions. We have routinely handled disputes between primary and excess carriers, agents/brokers and insurers, and consumers and insurers.
We have dealt with most of the important coverage issues that have arisen in the industry, including the scope of pollution exclusions; the definition of “occurrence” and other critical policy terms; the determination of coverage triggers; the extent of coverage for advertising injury; the insurability of punitive damages awards or the defense of alleged intentional torts; the good-faith duties of primary carriers; notice and cooperation requirements; the resolution of conflicting “other insurance” clauses; the potential liability of brokers and their legal status as agents of the insured and/or insurer; and the impact of tort reform measures.
Reinsurance Dispute Resolution
Our lawyers have arbitrated cases in the United States, England and Bermuda and have tried to verdict reinsurance disputes in both state and federal court. We have represented both cedents and reinsurers in matters relating to coverage of property, casualty, life, health and every other form of reinsurance. These matters include warranty claims, asbestos and environmental claims, property damage, personal accident, disability, and workers’ compensation carve-out schemes.
Liquidation and Rehabilitation
We have counseled receivers, guaranty associations, reinsurers and claimants on questions encompassing virtually all aspects of delinquency proceedings.
Our attorneys have advised a state guaranty fund on regulatory issues respecting replacement life and health coverage. We have appeared on behalf of a client in liquidation proceedings in which we persuaded the Illinois Office of the Special Deputy to agree to our client’s method for valuing a life insurance product with contingent cash values. We have represented numerous out-of-state liquidators in ancillary proceedings brought in Illinois involving disputes over assets located within this state.