Financial and Professional Liability, Business Interruption, Cyber-Risk and Property Insurance

Hoke LLC represents clients throughout the U.S. and abroad in financial services and business insurance matters arising out of failed business ventures, shareholder disputes, cyber-risk, investment management decisions, malpractice, breaches of fiduciary duty, environmental pollution, natural and man-made disasters, and other crises. Insurance implicated in these representations included:

  • D&O, E&O and Cyber-Risk coverages, including industry-specific policies;
  • ERISA, fiduciary liability, employment practices, employee benefits, and workers’ compensation coverages;
  • Business interruption coverage, found in pollution liability, property, and other first-party policies;
  • Commercial crime, kidnap and ransom, and other crisis coverage.

Steve Hoke, Rob Muriel, Charlie Philbrick, Gina Pacula, Laura Geiger and Claudia Temple have extensive experience litigating and advising clients regarding financial and professional liability issues. In addition to Steve’s extensive FinPro coverage litigation, he has also drafted D&O and GL policy forms for major insurers. He has conducted and supervised the annual renewal of D&O and all other coverages for a major Fortune 500 policyholder. Steve has a Kellogg MBA, and he has experience as an investment banker serving the real estate, insurance and banking sectors.

Rob Muriel is the former Director of Insurance for the State of Illinois. Charlie Philbrick has a long record of success litigating complex issues across the FinPro spectrum. Gina Pacula has eleven years of intense litigation coverage experience in all areas of complex insurance and liquidation matters.  Laura Geiger, formerly of Reed Smith and Morgan Lewis, has spent the majority of her twenty-year legal career providing FinPro and business insurance advice to major corporate policyholders.

Our in-house Risk Management Consultant, Claudia Temple, is the former Risk Manager at Mondelez, Kraft, BorgWarner, Brunswick and Brightview and has 30 years of deep hands-on experience working in all areas of commercial insurance including property, liability, FinPro, and business interruption insurance.

Select representations include:
  • Within six months of filing suit on behalf of our national custodian trust firm client, successfully settled the case seeking coverage under an AIG-issued D&O and Bankers Professional Liability policy for suits by underlying plaintiffs claiming they were victims of a $100M Ponzi scheme.
  • Using a ninety-year-old statute, obtained a first-ever judicial finding that one of the largest insurers in the world was not properly admitted to do business in Illinois, forcing the insurer to post a bond for the full amount at issue in the underlying cases in order to be allowed to defend itself in the coverage action. Within a week of the ruling, the insurer agreed to begin covering our Fortune 500 client’s 50,000 asbestos claims after refusing for years to do so.
  • Within a month of being hired by our Fortune 500 publicly traded mining equipment client due to a claim denial by its Fiduciary Liability insurer, managed to settle the matter recovering approximately 65% of the underlying settlement despite the fact fiduciary policies generally only cover defense expenses.
  • Obtained full defense from Hartford under a D&O liability policy for a lawsuit alleging that an important recently launched product was based on misappropriated trade secrets. The complaint was filed by a competitor and alleged that one of its former employees that had been hired by our client had stolen intellectual property, which included the design of the product. The claim was tendered for a defense but was denied on various grounds including that trade secret theft was excluded. Within a month of being retained, and without filing suit, we developed a compelling argument for coverage and the carrier reversed its position agreeing to provide a full defense for both the claim against the company as well as a separate claim against the employee.
  • Steve Hoke was retained by a Fortune 500 company to direct the annual multi-line renewal when the Risk Manager left unexpectedly before year-end. He supervised the placement of the D&O, General Liability, general FinPro and other relevant coverages.
  • Precedent setting dismissal of a $600M coverage action on behalf of our Fortune 100 insured by successfully arguing that it would prejudice the defense of the underlying claim: preserved an estimated $5M-$10M per annum defense expense. Sustained on appeal.
  • Successful representation of an asset management firm in coverage dispute over claims by local union chapter involving alleged errors and omissions in its management of retirement funds.
  • Principal outside counsel for national broker-dealer selling fixed-income products, including representation on issues such as suitability of products, employment, and shareholder disputes.
  • Obtained insurance coverage for two class actions: 1) an EU manufacturer of over 1,000,000 allegedly dangerous and defective vehicles from a complicated international insurance program with substantial SIR and captive components; and 2) a national food distributor prominently accused in the media of systematic racial discrimination in hiring.
  • Successful representation of a prominent fixed income broker-dealer against a North Carolina corporation and its Directors & Officers over a failed business venture.
  • Prevailed in an arbitration in which a CEO and majority shareholder in a prominent financial services firm allegedly over-paid himself approximately $30M, resulting in the CEO filing personal bankruptcy. Represented the minority shareholders throughout the process, including the purchase of the CEO’s stock in bankruptcy, and later represented the company successfully in post-purchase regulatory and insurance litigation and other proceedings.
  • After an initial claim denial, full recovery for a Fortune 500 policyholder for damage to yachts stored in a Spanish boat yard building destroyed by fire.
  • Full recovery via settlement of a first-party property claim for a fire that destroyed a commercial building and grocery store within 6 months of the original full claim denial and without resort to litigation.
  • Steve served as a registered lobbyist on behalf of a Fortune 500 client with respect to legislation that would have seriously limited the value of its outstanding insurance, successfully lobbying for defeat of adverse legislation.
  • Successful representation of a company whose business was interrupted by a roof explosion that resulted in denial of access to the building for an extended period of time.

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