January 18, 2012

Jenner & Block’s Insurance Litigation and Counseling Practice has been named a Law360 Insurance Group of the Year for 2011.  In a lengthy feature profiling the group, Law360 attributed this prestigious recognition to the Firm’s noteworthy insurance coverage work for clients such as Tyson Foods, Duke University, Amgen and others.

The article focuses on the practice’s work such as helping Tyson Foods obtain coverage for $30 million in defense costs tied to environmental litigation, in a suit against several insurers.  The underlying actions against Tyson sought more than $800 million in damages for the sale of poultry waste to be used as fertilizer that allegedly polluted the Illinois River Watershed.  Tyson sued its insurers in Delaware state court seeking coverage under commercial general liability policies.  On Aug. 31, 2011, the Delaware Superior Court granted summary judgment to Tyson, finding that, because the pollution exclusions in their policies were ambiguous, four of its insurers had a duty to pay what the chicken producer had spent to defend itself.

Partner and Practice Chair John H. Mathias, Jr. is quoted in the piece while Partner Mary Craig Calkins is mentioned in connection with their joining the practice in the Firm’s Los Angeles office in 2011.  

Mr. Mathias is quoted as saying that the “excellent” ability of Jenner & Block attorneys to litigate makes the practice particularly formidable.  “We'll take a case all the way to trial if need be," he said, adding that the ability to take that route and win is the ultimate weapon in securing a client's desired outcome.

With members of the practice spread fairly evenly among Jenner & Block’s offices, the article also highlights the group’s national strength.  Collaboration with other areas of the Firm is another important facet to the success of the practice.  Mr. Oshinsky noted, “We have lawyers on both coasts and in the middle, which I think gives us a tremendous leg up. What we've put together here is a cadre of very experienced coverage lawyers supported by a large firm with large resources on a national basis.”

 Please click here to read the full text of the article.