Risk and Recovery

Legal Insights for the Insured

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Nathan Lander

Partner

Nathan Lander is a partner in the Insurance Recovery & Counseling Group who represents clients in high-stakes disputes with their insurance companies as well as counseling them regarding a wide array of insurance issues.  Clients have praised Nate in Chambers and The Legal 500 as “having extensive knowledge regarding insurance coverage issues,” providing “sound strategic advice in navigating difficult coverage disputes, and litigation strategy,” and being “responsive, knowledgeable and creative,” a “zealous advocate” and “absolutely amazing to work with.”

Nate is an experienced litigator and trial attorney. He represents policyholder clients – including Fortune 500 companies, asset managers, and professional sports teams, among others –in litigations, arbitrations and mediations with their insurance carriers. During the course of his career, Nate has assisted clients in recovering more than $1 billion in disputes with their carriers.

Nate also previously served as a Public Service Attorney for the Manhattan Tort Division in the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York. In that position, he was lead trial counsel in numerous cases brought against the City of New York in Supreme Court, New York County, as well as in Kings County. He defended the city as lead trial counsel in a variety of cases, ranging from allegations of negligence by city employees to allegations of police misconduct.

In addition to his litigation practice, Nate frequently advises clients on risk management issues, including structuring of insurance programs and the negotiation and drafting of policy language. Nate also advises clients on insurance-related issues in the context of various corporate transactions. Although Nate counsels clients in all industries, he has particular experience advising clients in the asset management space, including private equity firms, hedge funds, registered funds, and venture capital firms.

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Policyholder Warning: What One Provision Giveth (Defense Costs), Another Provision May Taketh Away

Professional liability insurance policyholders often breathe a sigh of relief when their insurer begins funding the costs of defending against a civil claim or government investigation. That is one of the reasons they bought the insurance in the first place! However, as one policyholder recently learned, just because the insurer advances defense costs doesn’t mean … Continue Reading

More “Texas Justice” For Policyholder On Contractual Liability Exclusion

On October 29, the Fifth Circuit reversed itself for the second time this year in a case involving the interpretation of a contractual liability exclusion in a CGL policy.  This recent decision by the Fifth Circuit in Crownover v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., coupled with decisions from the Texas Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit earlier this … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Recognizes That A Payment Required By Law Is Not A “Voluntary Payment” Requiring The Insurer’s Consent

If you are required by law to perform an act, the act is not “voluntary.”  This proposition may seem obvious enough to most, but one insurer recently needed to be reminded of this common sense point by a Pennsylvania federal court in First Commonwealth Bank v. St. Paul Mercury Insurance Company.  There, the Court held … Continue Reading

Calling a Letter a “Reservation of Rights” Does Not Necessarily Make It So

Many insurers are in the habit of sending perfunctory “reservation of rights” letters to their insureds throughout the lifetime of a claim.  The reason they do so is not a very well-guarded secret in the insurance industry.  An insurer that acknowledges coverage must pay any eventual settlement or judgment, while an insurer that denies coverage … Continue Reading

New York’s High Court Finds Contractual Limitation Period Unenforceable, Where it Places Policyholder in Impossible Catch-22 Situation

How is a policyholder supposed to obtain coverage under a policy that requires the insured to bring its claim within two years of the loss and also imposes preconditions on bringing a claim that cannot reasonably be satisfied within two years?  Recognizing the fundamental unfairness of such inconsistent policy provisions, the New York Court of … Continue Reading

New York’s High Court Holds That An Insurer’s Delay in Disclaiming Coverage Could Be Excused When The Delay Resulted From Unsuccessful Attempts To Secure The Policyholder’s Cooperation

Until recently, New York’s Insurance Law presented something of a dilemma for insurance companies concerning how quickly they were required to inform their policyholders that they were denying coverage for a claim.  On the one hand, the law requires insurers to inform them “as soon as is reasonably possible” when disclaiming coverage for certain types … Continue Reading

Policyholders Beware: New York Court Finds Policyholder Forfeited Excess Coverage By Settling With Underlying Carriers For Less Than Full Limits

Many excess insurance policies provide that coverage is not available unless all underlying insurers have first paid the full limits of their policies. Relying on such language, excess insurers argue that when a policyholder settles a claim with an underlying insurer for less than the full limits of their policy, the policyholder forfeits any coverage … Continue Reading

New York Court Reaffirms That Grand Jury Subpoenas Constitute “Claims” Under Language Commonly Used In Liability Policies

Syracuse University and National Union Fire Insurance Company recently settled a much-watched coverage battle over National Union’s obligation to cover Syracuse’s costs in responding to grand jury subpoenas.  Fortunately for policyholders, National Union’s decision to settle came after Syracuse prevailed in the trial and intermediate appellate courts, yielding a pro-policyholder decision that such subpoenas fall … Continue Reading

Delaware Court Finds That Horizontal Exhaustion Does Not Apply To Excess Policies Under New York Law

Companies facing lawsuits filed by plaintiffs claiming continuous or progressive injuries or property damage, such as environmental damage, construction defects, or asbestosis, often try to maximize their insurance coverage for such claims by looking to all policies in force during the multiple, successive years in which the alleged injuries or damage took place.  A Delaware … Continue Reading

“Public Policy” Arguments for Denying Coverage Limited by New York’s Highest Court

It is an unwelcome experience for any policyholder to receive a claim denial letter in which the insurer contends that the language of the policy excludes the claim in question.  Even more frustrating for the policyholder, however, is when the insurer contends that even if the policy language does cover the claim in question, “public … Continue Reading
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