Steven C. Schwartz

Partner

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+1 212 257 6940
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+1 212 257 6950
Where Advocacy Meets Business

“Over the years our group has developed a deep understanding of the insurance industry that helps us provide more sophisticated advice.”

Steve Schwartz is a nationally-recognized reinsurance litigator. Over the past 25 years, Steve has handled disputes involving the biggest names and most important issues in reinsurance. He is also the author of a leading treatise on reinsurance law.

Experience

Steve has been the lead lawyer in arbitration hearings and in state and federal trials involving virtually every kind of reinsurance. In addition, he represents clients in insurance coverage litigation, as well as disputes arising out of acquisitions of reinsurance companies and other insurance transactions.

Steve is highly regarded. According to Chambers USA, “[s]ources praise his ‘thorough, dedicated and creative approach,’ as well as his ‘very well-prepared, analytical style.’” Another source told Chambers: “We are happy to give our biggest cases to him.”

In recognition of his industry leadership, in 2017 Steve was elected to the Board of Directors of ARIAS-US, an organization that promotes sound practices and high ethical standards in reinsurance arbitration. He is a frequent speaker and author on reinsurance issues.

Before joining Chaffetz Lindsey, Steve was a partner at Locke Lord and Clifford Chance.

Representative Matters

  • Won a complete victory for a ceding company client in an arbitration concerning the allocation of a large property loss.
  • Won a complete victory for another ceding company in an innovative streamlined arbitration regarding the interpretation of a casualty reinsurance treaty.
  • Authored amicus briefs that helped persuade the Second Circuit and New York Court of Appeals to abandon the 1990 Bellefonte decision.  In Bellefonte, the Second Circuit had held that the “reinsurance accepted” provision of a facultative certificate was an absolute cap on the reinsurer’s liability, even where the underlying policy covered defense costs in addition to limits.
  • Dramatically reduced potential exposure for a finite risk reinsurer in connection with fraud claims by the cedent’s liquidator. Careful analysis of the cedent’s statutory financial statements showed that the reinsurance did not increase the company’s surplus, and therefore that the liquidator’s claims made little sense. This work led to an efficient and favorable settlement for the client.
  • Won a favorable settlement for the purchaser of a stream of commission receivables in a litigation over breaches of representations and warranties in a Commission Purchase Agreement.
  • Representing a ceding company in an arbitration concerning the application of an “hours clause” in a property catastrophe reinsurance treaty to a massive forest fire loss.
  • Won a bench trial in New York federal court and a related arbitration hearing for a large European reinsurer in disputes arising out of its acquisition of a U.S. reinsurer.
  • Represented the buyer of a runoff reinsurer in litigation arising out of breaches of representations and warranties in a Stock Purchase Agreement relating to reserves for September 11 aviation losses.
  • Represented both cedents and reinsurers in disputes relating to the allocation of asbestos and other losses.
  • Represented a life reinsurance in a successful arbitration against the liquidator of its cedent.
  • Advised parties in connection with U.S. aspects of Part VII transfers.

Publications

  • Reinsurance Law: An Analytic Approach (Law Journal Press, published 2009 and updated regularly).
  • “Global v. Century: Bellefonte Stops Tolling,” ARIAS-US Quarterly, (Q3/Q4 2017), Co-Authored with Peter R. Chaffetz and Gretta L. Walters.
  • “Follow-the-Settlements and Allocation: New York’s High Court Weighs In,” Harris Martin Reinsurance Report (April 9, 2013).
  • “Arbitrator Disclosure Requirements and Enforceability of Awards,” New York Law Journal (October 2010).

Speaking Engagements

  • ARIAS-US Spring Conference, Co-Chair (May 8-10, 2019).
  • “The Intersection Between Catastrophic Loss and the Regulatory Response,” ARIAS-US Spring Conference, Panelist (May 8, 2019).
  • “Litigation on the Brink:  Handling Disputes Before and After Liquidation,” ARIAS-US Spring Seminar, Panelist (March 13, 2019).
  • “A Tale of Three Jurisdictions:  Recent Decisions on Arbitrator Disclosure in England, the Cayman Islands and the United States.,” ARIAS-US Fall Conference, Panelist (November 9, 2018).
  • “Exit Bellefonte,” IRUA networking lunch (June 20, 2018).
  • “Arbitration 201:  A Peek Inside The Hearing Room,” Casualty Actuarial Society, Reinsurance Seminar, Panelist (June 5, 2018).
  • “Expert Testimony by Actuaries,” Casualty Actuarial Society, Loss Reserving Seminar, Panelist (September 12, 2017).
  • U.S. Insurance Developments, IntAP Spring Meeting (June 7, 2017).
  • “Arbitration 101,” Casualty Actuarial Society, Reinsurance Seminar, Panelist (June 6, 2017).
  • Ethics Panel, ARIAS-US Spring Conference (May 4-5, 2017).
  • ARIAS-US Fall Conference, Co-Chair (November 17-18, 2016).
  • “Arbitration 101,” Casualty Actuarial Society, Loss Reserving Seminar, Panelist (September 20, 2016).
  • ACI Insurance Allocation seminar, Panelist (June 24, 2016).
  • ACI Insurance Allocation seminar, Panelist (June 26, 2015).
  • ACI Insurance Allocation seminar, Panelist (October 29, 2014).
  • ACI Reinsurance Regulation seminar, Panelist (July 30, 2014).
  • “Dispute Resolution Mechanisms,” AIRROC Rendez-Vous, Panelist (October 14, 2013).
  • “Ethical Issues in Arbitration,” ARIAS Spring Conference, Facilitator (2013).

Professional Affiliations

  • Vice President and Director, ARIAS-US
  • American Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., Columbia Law School (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar)
  • A.B., Princeton University cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • All U.S. District Courts in New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Recognition

Chambers USA

  • Band 2 for Dispute Resolution: Reinsurance — Nationwide;
  • Band 2 for Dispute Resolution: Insurer – New York.

Legal 500

  • Leading Lawyers for Advice to Insurers: Reinsurance
  • Listed in Legal 500’s Hall of Fame for having been recognized as elite leading lawyers for six consecutive years or more

International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers.

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