We are settlement specialists.
We know that most disputes are resolved consensually, so we specialize in settlement. Unlike many other firms, we do not view settlement efforts as an afterthought to litigation. Indeed, we don't assume that every insurance coverage dispute requires litigation. We have strong relationships, long track records, and deep credibility with senior insurer claims personnel and outside counsel throughout the insurance industry, and as a result we often can resolve insurance claims for our clients on a favorable basis without filing litigation or arbitration. But even when a proceeding is pending, settlement is always in the forefront of our minds, a central part of our overall strategy, and a primary focus of our dispute-resolution efforts.
Compared with litigation or arbitration, negotiation generally is cheaper and faster, imposes less burden, disruption, and risk, and allows for greater confidentiality of process and outcome. A negotiated resolution also permits the parties to craft creative resolutions that serve their needs better than the formal legal remedies available through litigation or arbitration.
Recognizing the importance of settlement in achieving our clients’ goals, we pioneered the use of separate settlement and litigation tracks in appropriate cases. At many other firms, litigators, by default, tend to handle both litigation and settlement responsibilities. In our view, it often is more effective to create a separate settlement track led by a lawyer who is not the public face of the litigation. There are several benefits to this approach:
- Settlement counsel approach settlement with a clean slate, untainted by the adversarial atmosphere and even animosity that litigation can create.
- Litigation and settlement require different mindsets, approaches, and relationships. Having one person spearhead both may undercut his or her full engagement and effectiveness in either.
- Cases often settle on the courthouse steps. Separating litigation and settlement allows litigators to maintain maximum pressure on the other side at crucial moments, while settlement counsel can devote their total effort to consensual resolution outside the courtroom.
- Litigation and settlement are specialized skills. They call on different abilities and personal qualities, and they involve different mindsets. Many of our lawyers therefore focus on settlement and have unique relationships, insights, and skills as a result.
Our track record on settlement would speak for itself if it weren't for the fact that most of our settlements are confidential. We routinely reach settlements with individual insurers involving millions, tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Aggregate settlements on behalf of individual clients often are at the upper end of those ranges, in some cases exceeding one billion dollars. As the saying goes, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. But it is a pretty good indicator. Our consistent and unparalleled performance should give you some sense of our experience and skill as negotiators and our reputation and effectiveness as litigators.