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Prominent Insurance/Reinsurance Group Joins Mintz

Group of Five Attorneys Bring Extensive Experience Handling Insurance and Reinsurance Matters

Mintz is pleased to announce that the firm has added a group of five leading practitioners to its nationally renowned Insurance and Reinsurance Practice. Specifically, Deirdre G. Johnson, Paul W. Kalish, Suman Chakraborty, and Ellen MacDonald Farrell join as Members, and Elaine Panagakos joins as Special Counsel. All five attorneys previously practiced at Squire Patton Boggs, and will practice out of the firm’s Washington D.C. office, with the exception of Mr. Chakraborty, who is based in New York. Ms. Johnson, Mr. Kalish and Mr. Chakraborty are all Chambers ranked practitioners.

“When highly accomplished lawyers such as Deirdre, Paul, Suman, Ellen, and Elaine decide to come to Mintz, we think it makes an important statement about our firm, both in terms of our growth trajectory and our exceptionally collaborative culture,” said Bob Bodian, Managing Member of Mintz. “This group has practiced together for years with great success and complement and augment our existing capabilities. We are pleased to welcome them to support our clients’ complex insurance and reinsurance needs.” 

Ms. Johnson is a seasoned litigator who focuses her practice on representing insurers, reinsurers, and captive insurers in a broad spectrum of coverage disputes and handling domestic and international arbitration proceedings and litigation involving insurance and reinsurance matters. She represents companies in disputes concerning life reinsurance treaties and defends public corporations in class action lawsuits, securities litigation, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions.

In the reinsurance/insurance litigation side of her practice, Ms. Johnson has extensive experience with all types of coverage disputes, including those involving professional liability, life and health, variable annuity, general liability, surety, product liability, first-party property, and environmental matters. She has represented numerous clients in disputes arising under policies on the Bermuda form. Her work also encompasses guiding clients through U.S.-based, Bermuda, and London arbitration proceedings. 

Mr. Kalish is a litigator with more than 30 years of experience serving the insurance and financial services industries. He focuses his practice on insurance and reinsurance matters, frequently representing clients in coverage disputes involving tort and environmental claims, class actions related to claims handling practices, international arbitrations, and liquidations.

Since 2000, Mr. Kalish has also served as counsel for the Coalition for Litigation Justice, Inc., a nonprofit established by property and casualty insurers to address abuses and inequities in mass tort litigation. He also advises insurers and captive insurers on new insurance products and policy language. 

Mr. Chakraborty is an industry-recognized first-chair litigator with decades of experience advocating for major insurers and reinsurers in high value arbitrations, and in state and federal court litigation across the country. His disputes practice confronts a broad range of issues affecting clients in both the life and property and casualty industries.  

Ms. Farrell has more than 20 years of experience representing domestic and international clients in matters involving asbestos, environmental, financial lines, sexual assault and employment-related claims, and in claims against educational institutions. She advises clients on policy language, counsels clients on coverage issues, and litigates complex insurance disputes. 

Finally, with over 30 years of litigation experience, Ms. Panagakos works with insurers both to resolve coverage disputes as they arise and to apply the lessons learned from those experiences to reduce the likelihood and frequency of future disputes. She has represented and advised insurer clients in cases involving coverage for widely publicized, highly controversial allegations of misconduct by institutional policyholders, and developed expertise in the emerging areas of insurance coverage law that such matters have generated. 

The arrival of this prominent insurance group comes on the heels of Mintz’s addition of leading litigator Courtney Rockett in New York last month; and distinguished communications industry attorneys Scott Thompson and Daniel Reing to the firm’s Technology, Communications & Media (TechComm) practice in Washington, D.C. last week.