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Robin Cohen, head of McKool Smith’s insurance recovery practice, has been recognized as a 2020 “New York Trailblazer” by New York Law Journal based on her achievements in a series of high-profile insurance recovery disputes over the past year. 

Robin is a seasoned trial lawyer who has secured more than $5 billion in insurance assets for a “who’s who” list of top corporations. She leads an elite group of 35 trial lawyers across offices in New York, Texas, and California who have built an impressive record of litigating and trying many of the nation’s largest insurance recovery cases.

This past year, Robin served as lead counsel for the Associated Press (AP) when the company’s insurers declined coverage after the Second Circuit ruled that an underlying suit could continue past the motion to dismiss stage, exposing AP to substantial liability. Shortly after filing suit, Robin secured “significant payments” from all the insurers in support of the settlement of the underlying action.

Robin also served as lead counsel for Pfizer in securing a critical Delaware Superior Court decision in July 2019, which granted Pfizer’s motion for partial summary judgment and held that excess carriers Arch and U.S. Specialty cannot invoke certain specific exclusions in their policies to deny coverage for Pfizer’s costs of settling an underlying shareholder dispute. The decision allows Pfizer to continue pursuing recovery of its costs to defend and settle multidistrict litigation.

Robin also served as lead counsel to Medidata Solutions in securing a Summary Judgment ruling allowing Medidata to access coverage under a commercial crime insurance policy for a loss that the company suffered as a result of a computer fraud incident. The decision is one of the first involving coverage for email “spoofing,” a threat faced by many companies, in which fraudulent transfers of money are induced by emails to employees that appear to be from the email accounts of senior company officers, but are sent by perpetrators.

Finally, in one of the most significant coverage cases during the last five years, Robin served as lead counsel for Warren Pumps in securing landmark decisions from the New York Court of Appeals on the allocation of long-tail claims and the Delaware Supreme Court on critical issues, including assignment of policy rights and the trigger of coverage, which have allowed Warren to access more than $500 million dollars in asbestos insurance coverage limits. Thousands of policies throughout the country contain non-cumulation and prior insurance provisions, including policies issued in states, like New York, that previously have applied a pro-rata allocation to policies without considering the impact of those provisions.

Robin is perennially recognized as a leading insurance litigator by all the major legal directories and industry publications. She has been named one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” and “Insurance Lawyer of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation. She is ranked in Band 1 (highest rating) both nationally and in New York for corporate policyholder insurance disputes by Chambers USA.

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With 150 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured 11 nine-figure jury verdicts and 13 eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal “Top 100 Verdicts” over the last 10 years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.


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