Our Practice

Insurance & Reinsurance Disputes

The team at Chaffetz Lindsey LLP is ‘very intelligent, hardworking, knowledgeable about the pertinent industry issues, and savvy in achieving the desired results’.
– Legal 500 USA
They are high-quality, excellent lawyers and leave no stone unturned.
– Chambers USA
... offers expertise in direct insurance coverage disputes and boasts an impressive client roster of leading insurance market clients.
– Chambers USA
The firm is big enough to handle any reinsurance dispute, and its talent level is surely comparable to what one would expect to find at the bigger firms.
– Chambers USA
Where Advocacy Meets Business

We are New York’s leading insurance and reinsurance disputes firm. Our team has helped clients resolve the most significant issues confronting the industry for more than 30 years. We handle insurance litigation in New York courts and across the country and are the go-to firm for complex insurance and reinsurance arbitrations. Our matters have arisen from losses under property & casualty, life, E&O, surety, finite risk, and political risk policies and reinsurance contracts, under Bermuda Form coverage and under other more unusual forms of coverage. We have had extensive experience acting against and sometimes for the liquidators of insolvent insurers.

The leading industry guides recognize our insurance capabilities: No firm, regardless of size, has more New York insurance disputes partners ranked in Chambers. We have authored numerous articles of importance to the industry and a leading text on reinsurance. Our clients and peer firms regularly turn to us for amicus support.

Many reinsurance disputes are arbitrated. We have been long-time supporters of ARIAS-US, a nonprofit trade association dedicated to improving the insurance and reinsurance arbitration process for the international and domestic markets. We regularly attend and speak at ARIAS conferences and partner Steve Schwartz sits on the ARIAS board of directors. Our deep engagement in the industry, combined with our working experience with most of the leading reinsurance arbitrators, gives us powerful insight for the selection of arbitrators and umpires.

We have worked on some of the largest arbitrations the market has seen, but have also pioneered the use of stripped-down procedures for the economical resolution of smaller disputes.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS: Insurance

We represent or have represented:

  • Insurer in $100 million+ coverage dispute (international arbitration) over environmental contamination claims.
  • Insurer in $20 million coverage dispute over municipal liability for widely-publicized malicious prosecution scheme.
  • Insurer in multiple state court litigations over coverage for MTBE contamination.
  • Insurer in multiple state court litigations over lead paint claims.
  • Insured in $100 million+ property/business interruption arbitration.
  • Insured in disputed claims on employee fidelity bonds.
    Insured in dispute over multi-million dollar property damage to engine turbine.
  • Insurer in $100 million+ international arbitration over products liability exposure.
  • Insurer in $75 million+ E&O and CGL dispute over defense costs arising out of antitrust action.
  • Insurer in $25 million excess claim for catastrophic personal injury.
  • International life insurer in a putative securities class action arising from losses in client funds that resulted from indirect investments in Bernard L. Madoff Securities LLC.
  • International insurance and reinsurance company in litigation regarding representations and warranties in a Commission Purchase Agreement.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS: Reinsurance

We represent or have represented:

  • Reinsurer in a pending appeal to the Second Circuit of a $66 million jury verdict concerning allocation of asbestos losses.
  • Insurer in multiple cases to recover reinsurance on losses totaling well in excess of $1 billion based on asbestos, environmental and other mass tort claims. We have prosecuted these cases in court in New York and Massachusetts and in a series of arbitrations.
  • Major domestic insurer in two arbitrations for collection of reinsurance protecting insurance-wrapped residential mortgage-backed securities and variable rate demand obligations.
  • UK subsidiary of a leading financial guarantee insurer in connection with insolvency proceedings commenced against its US parent and ultimately in the commutation of a 90 % quota share reinsurance contract involving hundreds of millions of dollars in premium and claim payment obligations.
  • Domestic insurer by providing New York law advice to London counsel in support of High Court actions against reinsurer and reinsurer broker.
  • A small, independent reinsurer in a successful challenge to one of the largest domestic carrier’s retroactive reallocation of large losses under a highly complex program for the insurance of major league sports disability losses.
  • Reinsurer in a dispute with another reinsurer concerning exposure to losses on a portfolio of securities.
  • Insurer in an action alleging fraud and breach of contract related to reinsurance contracts covering premiums paid on aviation contracts covering losses related to the 9/11 attacks.
  • Foreign run-off administrator in a dispute with a domestic cedant concerning claims on a series of reinsurance contracts with a dissolved reinsurer.
  • Property insurer in a successful arbitration against a reinsurer to determine the number of occurrences implicated by extensive construction defects that required the reconstruction of a large apartment complex.
  • Property insurer in an arbitration against multiple reinsurers concerning the interpretation of an hours clause.
  • Reinsurance brokers as amici curiae in a successful effort to overturn a major Second Circuit reinsurance decision.
  • Cedents and reinsurers in multiple disputes arising from finite risk arrangements. In one case we achieved a favorable settlement for a reinsurer of a liquidator’s state RICO claim seeking treble damages of approximately $75 million on the theory that a finite contract had caused the ceding company’s insolvency.
  • Life reinsurer in an arbitration with the liquidator of a cedent.
  • Life reinsurer in multiple arbitrations arising from losses in excess of $2 billion on workers’ compensation carve-out reinsurance.
  • Insurer and reinsurer in connection with nearly $1 billion exposure to losses arising out of the destruction of the World Trade Center.
  • Reinsurer in New York state court action concerning losses on residual value insurance programs.
  • Insurer in $150 million arbitration to enforce surety reinsurance coverage.
  • Insurer in an action alleging fraud and breach of contract related to reinsurance contracts covering premiums paid on aviation contracts covering losses related to the 9/11 attacks.
  • Multiple acquirers of reinsurance companies in federal and state court litigation regarding representations and warranties in Stock Purchase Agreements.

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