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Mike McKool was honored with Benchmark Litigation’s prestigious “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 2017 Benchmark Litigation U.S. awards reception in New York City on February 16. Robin Cohen, head of the firm’s insurance recovery practice, was also awarded “Insurance Lawyer of the Year.” 

As Chairman and a Founder of McKool Smith, Mr. McKool is largely responsible for creating what The Wall Street Journal described as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.”  Since founding the firm in 1991, his leadership and courtroom successes have helped McKool Smith grow from an 11-attorney litigation boutique in Dallas to a national litigation powerhouse with 185 trial lawyers across eight offices coast-to-coast.  Over the past 11 years, the firm has won more than $2.5 billion in jury verdicts and more "Top 100 Verdicts" than any other law firm in the country. 

Over the course of his 40-year career, Mr. McKool has tried more than 100 jury trials and developed an enhanced understanding of the psychology that governs how juries decide cases.  His courtroom prowess has secured substantial verdicts, settlements, and defense rulings for a “who’s who” list of industry leaders, including major airlines, energy companies, telecommunications firms, investment banking houses, and industrial conglomerates, among others.  He is currently preparing to represent music icon Quincy Jones in a high-profile breach of contract trial against the Michael Jackson estate and Sony Entertainment.

As the head of McKool Smith’s insurance recovery practice, Robin Cohen leads an elite group of 25 trial lawyers across offices in New York, California, and Texas that has built an impressive national profile by handling and trying many of the country’s largest insurance recovery disputes. To date, the group has obtained more than $8 billion in insurance-related recoveries for a wide range of corporate policyholders.  Ms. Cohen’s recent courtroom victories include serving 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. The Court of Appeals victory topped Law360’s listing of the “Biggest insurance Rulings of 2016.”

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