Ryan S. Smethurst - McDermott Will & Emery


Ryan S. Smethurst is co-head of McDermott’s Insurance Litigation & Counseling Team. He has tried numerous insurance coverage cases to judges and juries, has litigated insurance coverage appeals presenting questions of first impression, and has arbitrated reinsurance disputes to final award. For nearly two decades, Ryan has represented insurers in insurance coverage litigation and claims disputes with respect to their most difficult and high-profile exposures, including more than 11,000 personal injury actions against the City of New York and 140 of its contractors in In re World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation; approximately 750 childhood sexual abuse cases against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and other Roman Catholic, Episcopal and youth organizations nationwide; and nine-figure environmental and asbestos liabilities.

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  • Co-lead trial counsel for Allianz in successful 2014 bench and six-week jury trials in inter-insurer contribution litigation arising out of thousands of asbestos cases against Freightliner Corporation nationwide and Freightliner’s Superfund liabilities in Oregon, Washington and Indiana (Allianz Global Risks U.S. Ins. Co., et al. v. ACE Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., et al., No. 1204-04552, Multnomah County (Oregon) Circuit Court)

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  • Legal 500 US, 2021-2023
  • Chambers USA, District of Columbia, Insurance – Insurer side representations; according to Chambers interviewees, Ryan is “a very smart lawyer, strategic thinker and skillful trial attorney,” 2013-2023

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  • Alexandria Country Day School, board of trustees 2015 to 2018
  • Belle Haven Community Association, board of directors 2013 to 2014


George Mason University School of Law, JD, cum laude, 1999
Cornell University, BA, 1993

District of Columbia

Courts / Agencies
US District Court for the District of Columbia
US District Court for the District of Maryland