Contenzioso Assicurativo e Legale


McDermott’s experienced team represents insurers and reinsurers in high-profile disputes affecting the global insurance and reinsurance markets. Clients frequently call upon us to handle their largest and most contentious matters. McDermott’s insurance practice is ranked as a leading national practice by Benchmark Litigation and Legal 500 USA; is recognized as a leading practice in Washington, DC, by Chambers USA; and is a recipient of The Financial Times’s “Innovative Lawyers” award for its historic settlement of 10,116 personal injury cases against the City of New York arising out of the rescue, recovery and debris removal operations at the former World Trade Center site on and after 9/11.

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  • Won a seven-day bench and a six-week jury trial in Portland, Oregon, on behalf of longtime client Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company. These complex trials turned upon fact and expert testimony related to 1,500 asbestos cases against truck manufacturer Freightliner Corporation, in addition to Freightliner’s environmental liabilities in Oregon, Washington and Indiana, including at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, widely considered the most complex ongoing Superfund site in the United States. Portions of the trials required reconstruction of 60-year-old insurance programs in the London market and testimony regarding a complex 1981 cross-border stock transaction. Following a bench trial in which McDermott prevailed on every issue in dispute, and a subsequent six-week trial featuring 27 witnesses, McDermott convinced a jury that historical policies must contribute to Allianz’s funding of Freightliner’s asbestos and environmental liabilities. Through judgment and verdict, as well as pre-trial settlements, Allianz recovered most of its pre-trial payments and stands to recover tens of millions of dollars more over the life of the underlying claims.
  • Represented Allianz with respect to the settlement of 517 childhood sexual abuse cases against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. McDermott led all aspects of the negotiations with the Archdiocese and its 12 insurance carriers, and formulated a global deal structure that resulted in a very favorable resolution for Allianz. The settlement followed five years of negotiations and appellate litigation challenging successfully impermissible judicial mediation conduct. See Travelers Cas. & Surety Co., et al. v. Superior Court, 126 Cal. App. 4th 1131 (2005), cert. denied, No. S132595 (Cal. Jun. 15, 2005) (en banc). The cases settled for $660 million, the largest settlement of its kind worldwide.
  • Represented the WTC Captive Insurance Company, Inc. in negotiating the landmark settlement of the World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation with over 10,000 plaintiffs. The WTC Captive was established to defend and indemnify the city of New York and the contractors it hired to conduct the rescue, recovery and debris removal operations on and after 9/11 at the WTC site. McDermott has served as its sole outside general and litigation counsel since the company’s licensing in 2004. The plaintiffs, who received over $625 million in compensation, were first responders and workers who alleged injuries as the result of participating in the rescue, recovery and debris removal efforts at Ground Zero following the terrorist attack of 9/11.

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Key Contacts

Margaret H. Warner

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Ryan S. Smethurst

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Contenzioso Assicurativo e Legale

Insights & Events / Media

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance / December 14, 2020

New York Law Journal / December 11, 2020

Insurance Thought Leadership / December 9, 2020

Project Finance International / November 5, 2020

Pubblicazioni / November 4, 2020

Contenziosi e Risoluzione delle Controversie / Homeland Security Today / October 17, 2020

The New York Law Journal / October 2, 2020

Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance / September 15, 2020

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands / Speaking Engagements / December 5, 2019

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands / Speaking Engagements / December 4, 2019

Phoenix, Arizona / McDermott Event / October 28-29, 2019

Insurance Coverage Law Report / Summer 2019

Scottsdale, AZ / Speaking Engagements / May 20-22, 2019

Miami, FL / Speaking Engagements / January 30, 2019

Insurance Coverage Law Report (FC&S) / Fall 2016