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Insurance Litigator René Siemens Joins Covington in LA

March 6, 2015

LOS ANGELES, March 6, 2015 — Covington is pleased to announce that René Siemens will join the firm as a partner in its new Los Angeles office, where he will continue to represent corporate policyholders in complex insurance coverage disputes. He is expected to join by March 16.

Mr. Siemens is a nationally recognized coverage practitioner. His practice includes a broad array of coverage problems ranging from substantial environmental and mass tort claims to complex property and business interruption losses. He also handles disputes under director and officer, errors and omissions and fiduciary liability policies, as well as aviation and nuclear claims. He has extensive experience addressing coverage for cyber risk, from both placement and claims perspectives. Over the course of his career, he has helped clients recover more than $2 billion from their insurers.

Mr. Siemens’ significant insurance recovery engagements have included:

  • Acting as lead counsel for one of the country’s largest electrical transmission companies in prosecuting claims against its insurers for multi-billion dollar claims arising out of the 2007 San Diego wildfires.
  • Representing a company in structuring its cyber insurance policy and then recovering from its insurers tens of millions of dollars of costs incurred to expel a foreign government-backed attacker from its network.
  • Representing an aerospace company in securing hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance recoveries to remediate environmentally contaminated sites.

On a pro bono basis, representing Holocaust survivors and their heirs in multi-jurisdictional, worldwide class actions against European insurance companies alleged to have denied benefits wrongfully under life insurance policies issued from the 1920s to the 1940s.

“René is a tremendous addition to the firm,” said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm’s management committee. “Our coverage practice has long been one of the firm’s crown jewels, and this further strengthens the practice with a leading coverage lawyer in Los Angeles where we’ve handled many important matters over the years.”

Chambers USA describes Mr. Siemens as “an encyclopedia of insurance law.” The PLC Cross-Border Insurance and Reinsurance Handbook has ranked him in the top tier of policyholder attorneys, and The Legal 500 describes him as “the smartest guy in the room.”

“René is regarded as one of LA’s top policyholder-side insurance coverage lawyers,” said Ben Lenhart, co-chair of Covington’s global insurance recovery practice. “His skills as a counselor and advocate, as well as his substantive command of insurance law, make him an excellent addition to the firm as we launch our office in LA.”

Covington has one of the world’s preeminent practices representing corporate policyholders in their efforts to recover insurance proceeds through negotiation, litigation, and domestic and international arbitration. With over 30 years of experience and more than 100 lawyers practicing in London, New York, California and Washington, the firm has long been regarded as a leader in the field. Covington’s insurance recovery practice is the only such practice ranked in the top tier by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 on a national basis.

“I'm delighted to join Covington and to work with such a distinguished group of lawyers, many of whom I have known for years," Mr. Siemens said. “Covington has a uniquely deep and talented group of insurance recovery attorneys who are rightly regarded as the very best.”

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Mr. Siemens has a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Winnipeg.

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