Litigation and Arbitration

Stroock represents national and multinational insurers and reinsurers in substantial and complex high-exposure insurance and reinsurance matters. Our experience includes the representation of parties in some of the largest reinsurance disputes, with more than $10 billion in aggregate losses at risk. Stroock’s insurance litigators try cases and handle appeals throughout the country in federal and state courts, including in the defense of class actions and unfair business practice claims. Leading insurance and reinsurance companies rely on Stroock to protect their interests because we have the ability to deploy a range of litigation professionals with a deep understanding of the industry.

Our attorneys help clients proactively avoid disputes through policy and reinsurance contract wording revisions. We also act as settlement counsel to companies already engaged in disputes. When litigation cannot be avoided, Stroock brings a wealth of experience to bear.

Reinsurance

In the reinsurance arena, we handle complex disputes at the forefront of the industry, including:

  • Catastrophes/Natural Disasters: Stroock has represented both cedents and reinsurers in reinsurance disputes relating to losses from catastrophic events, including the World Trade Center; numerous natural disasters, including Hurricanes Ivan, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma; California wildfires; and financial disasters, including Enron, financial frauds, and financial guarantees. We have also represented parties in connection with catastrophe losses ceded under whole account treaties, as well as property-specific and ocean marine treaties. Additionally, we have successfully argued for rescission on behalf of reinsurers/retrocessionaires based upon misrepresentations and non-disclosures made by the reinsured/retrocedent at placement relating to the make-up of the underlying business.
  • Asbestos and Environmental: Stroock has represented cedents and reinsurers in losses emanating from asbestos and other toxic torts and environmental pollutants. We have handled matters relating to challenges to allocation and application of trigger, as well as the application of asbestos exclusions. We have also represented clients in asbestos and mass tort matters involving alleged failures to provide adequate loss information.
  • Workers Compensation: Stroock has handled disputes arising out of reinsurance of workers compensation, including statutory workers compensation, accident and health, and workers compensation carve-out. We have also handled disputes arising between cedents and their reinsurers, pool members and fronting companies, and pools and their agents. These disputes have addressed a variety of issues, including the scope of coverage, the allocation of losses, and sunset and commutation provisions.
  • Program Manager/MGA: Stroock has handled disputes arising out of insurance and reinsurance business written by Managing General Agents (“MGA”) and Program Managers. We have represented ceding companies in arbitrations in which reinsurers alleged failure to properly monitor and supervise the conduct of MGAs, and in disputes in which reinsurers alleged that business written by MGAs was not as represented. Stroock has also represented ceding companies in disputes against their MGAs, and has successfully represented MGAs on claims of wrongful termination. In addition to representing clients in connection with disputes relating to MGA business, Stroock has provided transactional advice to clients on such issues as MGA agreements, rent-a-captive arrangements, and the structuring of program business.

Insurance

Stroock’s coverage litigation spans first and third party issues under primary and excess policies in the commercial and personal lines, property/casualty, and life insurance markets. Our work for insurers includes handling direct litigation with insureds over issues of coverage and bad faith involving underlying claims for environmental, toxic tort, financial guarantee, advertising, directors and officers, E&O, fidelity, and professional liability claims. We have been involved in litigating cases that created new law or established leading precedent favorable to insurers relating to a variety of issues. Stroock’s litigation attorneys have also prosecuted a variety of fraud cases against insureds and third parties and recovered millions of dollars on insurers’ behalf in cases involving fraudulent claims and embezzlement by agents and brokers. These matters include defending insurers’ claims asserted in connection with bankruptcy court proceedings, providing insurers with advice and counsel on the investigation of claims and coverage decisions, and providing national and international insurers and brokers with advice on policy construction and wording.
We also have defended insureds from claims under various types of policies. Stroock has defended corporations, directors, and officers against claims brought by shareholders, creditors, and governmental entities. We also have substantial experience defending professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and architects, and we are certified as panel counsel for several large insurers.

Brokers

Leading insurance and reinsurance brokers rely on Stroock to both handle and proactively avoid disputes.  Stroock’s insurance and reinsurance litigators have routinely handled matters on behalf of insurance and reinsurance brokers, as well as insurance companies in their dealings with brokers.  Stroock has also represented insurance brokers in contentious regulatory matters in conjunction with our insurance regulatory partners.

Stroock has defended insurance and reinsurance brokers against claims brought by clients for alleged errors and omissions. Our attorneys have also represented insurers in disputes with reinsurance brokers relating to reinsurance coverage obtained by the brokers on behalf of the cedent. Stroock has brought claims on behalf of cedents against reinsurance brokers relating to (1) failure to obtain proper coverage, (2) failure to advise the insurer as to the best coverage, and (3) mishandling of the cedent’s account. 

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