Environmental Insurance Counseling & Recovery

Latham & Watkins helps insurance policyholders involved with Superfund sites and other environmental claims maximize their insurance assets and litigation defense coverage, both throughout the claims process and, when necessary, through the largest and most complex insurance litigation and arbitrations in the world, often establishing new law in the process.

Why Latham

Shaping the Policies, Shaping the Law

Latham insurance lawyers advise clients on policies providing coverage for environmental claims throughout a policy’s entire lifecycle; from negotiation and drafting, to claims, and through any necessary litigation, arbitration, or dispute resolution.

Latham insurance counseling and recovery lawyers have longstanding working relationships with insurers and insurance brokers in the US and around the globe to help clients negotiate policies that will facilitate clients’ transactions and protect their operations. 

When clients need to submit claims, Latham lawyers draw on more than three decades of experience advocating on insurance issues and negotiating with insurers to secure coverage. If claims are disputed, the firm has demonstrated the ability to litigate aggressively and effectively, setting case law precedent in jurisdictions across the US on the full spectrum of first- and third-party insurance issues. Dozens of reported insurance decisions reflect Latham’s involvement in and influence on the insurance field over the past three decades.

Experience With Complex Matters

Latham insurance counseling and recovery lawyers have assisted clients in negotiating trillions of dollars in coverage, and in obtaining billions of dollars in contested recoveries through litigation, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation in the US and around the globe.

Significant representative matters include:

  • Representing a chemical manufacturer in state court litigation to secure US$ hundreds of millions in defense and indemnity coverage through a series of complex overlapping policies for historical liabilities related to EPA litigation over DDT manufacturing operations. Among the successes over the course of the representation, Latham lawyers have made new law in the California Supreme Court on multiple occasions. 
  • Successfully representing a major automobile manufacturer in connection with 250-plus site environmental coverage claims (believed to constitute the largest environmental insurance matter pending at the time) and first- and third-party claims in connection with the catastrophic explosion of its historic steel plant.
  • Representing a major construction and engineering company in hard-fought coverage litigation over historical coverage for asbestos claims, which secured more than US$70 million for thousands of ongoing cases. After the company changed its corporate structure, litigation proceeded to the California Supreme Court, where Latham lawyers prevailed in convincing the Court to reverse its own earlier precedent-setting decision, significantly changing the way policyholders can assign coverage in corporate transactions.

Our Experience

Latham’s “dramatic, fit-for-television victory that caused the California Supreme Court to overturn its own recent precedent” led to the Insurance Group being named “Insurance Group of the Year.” Law360 noted, “The ruling is likely to have a sweeping effect on the state’s insurance landscape.”

Law360 2015


Firm Joins World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Thought Leadership

Insurance Coverage: US State Courts Rule for Insureds in Three Recent Policyholder Decisions