THE FIRM Covington continues to be the dominant force in the field, with market competitors conceding it is the benchmark for policyholder representation. The firm is regularly involved in the most high-value and high-profile coverage matters, with particular expertise in asbestos and environmental disputes. While much of the team's critical mass lies in Washington, DC, the practice maintains an excellent standing in California and has grown its footprint in New York. Key clients come from a range of industrial sectors and include BP, UnitedHealth and Vulcan Materials.
Client Service "The lawyers are extremely responsive and very easy to deal with. They make themselves available a lot from multiple locations."
Commercial Awareness "The main thing that stands out is that Covington has great experience in the field of insurance litigation. They know all about old cases that can be applied to the situation at hand and argue cases in front of judges very well."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers and clients alike are full of praise for California partner Donald Brown. "He is an excellent tactician and any client would be happy to have him working on their behalf," say impressed sources. He has been involved in a series of insurance coverage arbitrations relating to product damage.
Also in California, David Goodwin is identified as one of the strongest players around in contentious insurance cases. Clients say he is "a world-class litigator and an expert in insurance disputes." He took the lead in the firm's representation of BP in four coverage actions arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill worth a combined $1.1 billion.
Lawrence Hobel is another key member of the firm's California team. His recent practice has focused on a range of toxic tort and asbestos coverage disputes.
In Washington, DC, practice chair Mitchell Dolin is regarded by the market as "a skilled practitioner with tremendous trial experience." He is experienced in complex coverage disputes both in the USA and in London, and has been particularly involved in high-value asbestos cases.
"Very talented lawyer" William Greaney takes the lead on a series of major matters from his DC base. He is heavily involved in the firm's work in major environmental coverage disputes, and has also taken a lead role in a series of complex cross-border disputes.
Sources on the insurer side admit DC partner William Skinner is "a formidable adversary in arbitrations." He recently represented Chiquita Brands International in coverage claims relating to underlying tort lawsuits.
Also in DC, John Buchanan earns praise from the market for his extensive knowledge and understanding of this practice area. He recently represented Consolidated Rail in a multimillion-dollar coverage dispute in Pennsylvania.