Disputes in today’s insurance marketplace have become exponentially more complex. With the expansion of global business and new technologies, risks are more numerous and government regulation is increasingly robust. This landscape has spawned intricate disputes requiring counsel with a deep knowledge of the insurance industry.
We know this complicated, highly regulated industry well and bring that knowledge to bear in representing our clients in their most significant litigation across a wide range of insurance disputes.
Our primary areas of focus include:
- Insurance class action defense—Sidley has defended the insurance industry in nearly all of the major class action claims brought in recent years and has served as lead counsel in more than 100 insurance class actions in more than 30 jurisdictions across the United States. This experience spans a range of areas, including life insurance/annuity, ERISA/health, property and casualty, title insurance and California § 17200. We have served as lead counsel in numerous high-profile securities fraud class actions filed against the insurance industry, including classic stock-drop class actions, as well as ERISA/securities fraud class actions. We also defend insurance clients in class actions involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporation opportunities and other alleged wrongdoing, and represent boards of directors, individual officers and directors, and companies in D&O and shareholder derivative litigation.
- Regulatory, white collar and internal investigations—We advise in the full spectrum of current areas of focus for state insurance regulators and attorneys general, including the financial condition of long term care insurers, provision of medically necessary health treatments, cybersecurity and contestable claim payments. We also represent clients in responding to attorney general subpoenas, and advise in matters relating to interpretation of the risk adjustment and risk corridor provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and unclaimed property audits in both the life and health insurance sectors.
- Reinsurance disputes—A hallmark of our practice is our experience with reinsurance disputes arising from both treaty and facultative placements, as well as alternative risk vehicles. We are well-versed in the substantive challenges associated with workers’ compensation carve-out, property and casualty business, long-tail liabilities, life business, accident and health business, finite reinsurance contracts and other structured products. Members of our team have helped shape the law on fundamental issues applicable to reinsurance business, including the follow-the-fortunes doctrine, the duty of utmost good faith, allocation, rescission and late notice.
- Other insurance disputes—Insurers and reinsurers face an extraordinarily broad range of disputes in addition to class actions and those relating to regulatory and reinsurance issues, and we represent clients in an array of these industry-specific issues. We advise on and litigate a variety of complex coverage issues, and have dealt with complex and emerging risks such as environmental and asbestos claims. We handle a number of commercial disputes for our insurer/reinsurer clients, and defend these clients in patent lawsuits, including those alleging infringement related to software commonly used in the industry. We regularly advise insurers and their affiliates in connection with the litigation implications of insurer insolvencies. In addition to our reputation at the trial court level, in arbitrations and before regulators, the industry views Sidley as having uncommon appellate capabilities in the insurance and reinsurance areas. We have one of the preeminent Supreme Court practices in the country, and also frequently represent clients before state supreme courts, federal courts of appeals and other appellate forums.
Strong leadership in advising clients has earned us recognition from numerous industry publications. Sidley was named insurance “Law Firm of the Year” by Reactions magazine for 2017 and was the only law firm to be named “Insurance Powerhouse,” the highest ranking, in the BTI Client Relationship Scorecard 2014-2015, the most recent edition of the survey. The firm also received first-tier insurance rankings in National, Illinois and New York in the 2011 to 2018 editions of U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.”