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Coronavirus: Insurance Coverage for Event Cancellation, Travel and Supply Chain Losses

Speaker(s): Selena J. Linde, Vivek Chopra
Recorded on: Mar. 17, 2020
PLI Program #: 298183

Selena J. Linde has more than 20 years of experience representing policyholders in complex insurance coverage matter. She is a nationally ranked policyholder attorney and is a primary author and editor of the Association of Corporate Counsel's "A Policyholder's Primer on Insurance." Selena was named by Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 250 Women Litigators in 2019 and three of her cases were profiled in Law 360’s write-up of Perkins Coie as Insurance Group of the Year. Selena is a trial attorney and represents her clients, which include utilities, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, financial institutions, and retailers in federal and state courts throughout the country. She has represented corporate policyholders in a wide variety of insurance coverage cases that have involved environmental liability, directors and officers liability, data breach, cyber and privacy liability, fraud, employee dishonesty, mass torts, asbestos, products liability, business interruption, construction defect, first-party property, trademark infringement, mortgage backed securities, subprime auto loan risk default insurance and bad faith. She is regularly hired in high profile bankruptcies and by post-bankruptcy trusts to maximize the coverage available to the debtors’ estates, creditors’ committees, and trust beneficiaries.

Approximately a quarter of Selena’s practice is devoted to counseling and advising clients on coverage audits, policy renewals and policy language. Throughout her career, she has been involved in all aspects of litigation, arbitration and mediation and has successfully recovered more than a billion dollars for her clients. Selena is a sought-after speaker on insurance coverage issues and regularly presents for organizations including the Association of Corporate Counsel, HB Litigation and LEXIS.

In addition to her insurance coverage work, Selena has handled substantial commercial litigation matters and represented clients in fraud actions and contract disputes including conducting internal investigations for her clients.

Vivek Chopra is a partner with the firm's Insurance Recovery practice.  He is a nationally ranked policyholder attorney.  In 2012, Vivek was named both as one of eleven National Litigation Insurance Stars and a Local Litigation Star - District of Columbia in Benchmark Plaintiffs Litigation, the Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys.  Every year since 2013, he has been listed as a Washington, D.C. Super Lawyer for his policyholder-side insurance coverage work.

As a trial attorney, Vivek represents major energy, pharmaceutical, financial services and telecommunications policyholders in insurance-related trials, arbitrations and mediations, and he has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.  Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Vivek was a partner in the insurance coverage practice at Dickstein Shapiro LLP.

Vivek speaks regularly on insurance coverage issues and trial practice at industry and bar conferences, including at the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2012 national conference and the 2011 ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s CLE meeting.

Vivek's recent coverage matters include the following:

  • Representing the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility, in securing insurance coverage for the clean-up costs associated with the largest coal ash spill in U.S. history. In the last 3 years, we have recovered over $317 million from property and liability insurers through settlements and two complete victories in two month-long arbitrations against two Bermuda-based excess liability insurers. The first arbitration win, for over $170 million on a $150 million policy, is reportedly the largest trial win over a Bermuda insurer in the last decade.
  • Representing Residential Capital and the Residential Capital Liquidating Trust on insurance issues related to the packaging and sale of mortgage-backed securities as part of the largest bankruptcy action filed in 2012. In 2015, Perkins Coie filed suit in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of the Liquidating Trust against 10 professional liability insurers regarding over $300 million in claims.
  • Representing a national bank in a series of coverage disputes with its bankers' professional liability insurers for defense and indemnity costs related to class action overdraft fee litigation. Perkins Coie successfully resolved the bank’s claims.
  • Representing Level3 Communications in litigation in Louisiana federal district court with its liability insurers over hearing loss-related bodily injury claims; this litigation resulted in millions of dollars in defense coverage and several favorable settlements.
  • Representing a Fortune 50 pharmaceutical company in a four-month trial in New Jersey state court against more than 30 of its primary and excess liability insurers; the trial resulted in settlements worth several hundreds of millions of dollars and a liability verdict almost entirely in client’s favor.
  • Representing Carnival Cruise Lines in litigation in New York and Florida federal courts against six first-party property insurers and its broker over the destruction by hurricane of a major installation in Mexico; mediation resulted in payment of the claim.
  • Representing Merrill Lynch in two month-long trials in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, Business Litigation Session; defeated claims for punitive and consequential damages.

Prior to his work in private practice, Vivek served as an Assistant State's Attorney with the Montgomery County, Maryland State's Attorney's Office.  In this position, he successfully investigated and prosecuted a wide range of crimes, including fraud and homicide; conducted numerous grand jury investigations and represented the state as first chair in numerous jury and bench trials.

In 2006, Vivek was the co-lead prosecutor of the Montgomery County Sniper Prosecution Taskforce.  He organized and managed the operations of a team of FBI, ATF and local law enforcement agents and conducted the month-long trial of Washington, D.C.-area sniper John Allen Muhammad.

On a pro bono basis, Vivek represents juveniles charged as adults in cases involving felonies. He has repeatedly succeeded in arguing for the suppression of confessions made by minors in violation of their Fifth Amendment rights, and his defense of a child in Prince George’s County, Maryland, resulted in reductions in the length of pretrial incarceration of children charged as adults.