Wilford Conrad LLP’s directors and officers’ insurance practice is rooted in decades of accumulated experience counseling domestic and international insurers in connection with some of the most high-profile cases in the United States, Canada, and the world including securities lawsuits involving Enron, WorldCom, JDS Uniphase, Nortel Networks, British Petroleum, Fortis N.V., Petrobras, as well as various lawsuits and disputes arising from the Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford scandals. In this capacity, we have represented insurers on primary and excess policies from those issued to Fortune 500 companies to smaller private companies, as well as non-profit organizations, venture capital firms, investment funds, and other financial services organizations.
Our comprehensive directors and officers practice draws on the depth of our experience handling all types of matters including securities litigation, shareholder derivative actions, ERISA litigation, merger and acquisition disputes, complex business disputes and regulatory investigations and proceedings pursued by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Ontario Securities Commission in Canada.
We understand risks and legal issues facing directors and officers in conjunction with evolving insurance industry practices just as we understand our insurer clients’ business operations, priorities and objectives. Accordingly, although directors and officers’ claims can often involve protracted litigation, we undertake every effort to resolve these matters as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our claims-handling process involves an immediate and thorough investigation of the underlying claim, both factually and legally, with concurrent application and analysis of the policy terms, provisions and exclusions, followed by a comprehensive assessment of damages, cost of defense and policy exposure. This approach not only serves the purpose of obtaining an optimal resolution early on in underlying claim, it sets the stage for what our clients should expect in regards to the course of the litigation, potential liability, and policy exposure.
Each matter presents its own unique circumstances and warrants a tailored approach to successful resolution. Once and if coverage is established, we work closely with defense counsel, the insureds, and their brokers to develop strategies to control the potential exposure and posture the matter for resolution. We are routinely involved in settlement negotiations and mediations to achieve the best possible result for the insured and the insurer.
In matters where coverage is questionable or contentious, we undertake a balanced approach taking into consideration an insurer’s available defenses in conjunction with their commercial relations and business objectives. We are cognizant of the historical relationships our insurers have with their insureds and the brokerage community. We strive to maintain open and cooperative relationships with all involved parties to efficiently and successfully resolve any coverage disputes. We pride ourselves on promptly responding to all queries and concerns regarding pending claims, emerging trends, and key legal developments.
In addition to providing superior claims administration and litigation services, we also assist insurers in drafting and revising policy forms and endorsements designed to meet the needs of a specific insured or transaction or respond to general trends impacting this line of coverage.