McKool Smith has been named an “Insurance Group of the Year” by Law360 based on the firm’s success in a series of significant coverage wins over the past year, including a $400 million coverage victory for New Jersey Transit Corporation and courtroom achievements for Pfizer and AR Capital, among others. The firm has received this honor three times in the past four years.
Led by insurance powerhouse Robin Cohen, McKool Smith’s insurance recovery practice spans offices in New York, Texas, and California, and includes more than 40 trial lawyers who have earned a national reputation for handling and trying some of the largest, most complex coverage cases, obtaining more than $10 billion in insurance recoveries for clients.
In the firm’s Law360 feature, Robin noted that McKool Smith’s conflict profile is a major competitive advantage. “We're one of the few firms that have picked a side and have stuck to it, and as a result, we're able to freely sue the entire insurance industry,” she explained, adding that this freedom allows the firm to pursue more complicated, bet-the-company cases.
McKool Smith’s achievements over the past year include serving as lead counsel for New Jersey Transit Corporation (“NJ Transit”) in securing a high-profile win before the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. In November 2019, the Court affirmed a trial court’s decision granting summary judgment that entitles NJ Transit to pursue up to $400 million in coverage for substantial storm surge damage it sustained as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
The firm also served as lead counsel for Pfizer in securing a critical Delaware Superior Court decision 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.
This achievement followed a December 2018 decision that the firm obtained before the Delaware Superior Court as lead counsel for AR Capital. Here, the Court ordered that insurers must pay in excess of $70 million to cover costs that the company incurred to defend and resolve underlying securities matters.
With 165 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 14 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.