Our Website Uses Cookies 

We and the third parties that provide content, functionality, or business services on our website may use cookies to collect information about your browsing activities in order to provide you with more relevant content and promotional materials, on and off the website, and help us understand your interests and improve the website.

For more information, please contact us or consult our Privacy Notice.

Your binder contains too many pages, the maximum is 40.

We are unable to add this page to your binder, please try again later.

This page has been added to your binder.

An accomplished trial lawyer recently named as one of the Daily Journal's 2017 Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers in California, Gretchen Hoff Varner represents a wide range of companies in high-stakes coverage litigation and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars from insurers on behalf of her clients. Her clients range from Fortune 100 companies to family-owned businesses, with a particular focus on claims related to the agriculture industry. She has successfully handled cyber-liability, first-party property damage and business interruption, product liability, professional liability, general liability, automobile insurance, and bad faith claims, as well as a range of other coverage disputes.

  • First-chaired a jury trial on behalf of major agricultural company resulting in favorable judgment, and ultimate resolution of related coverage and bad faith claims.
  • Second-chaired an insurance coverage trial on behalf of major corporation that resulted in a highly favorable ruling and ultimate resolution of coverage and bad faith claims.
  • Successfully recovered tens of millions of dollars in insurance coverage on behalf of major retailer after a highly publicized data breach.
  • Successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of oil and gas company related to product-related losses.
  • Representing several products manufacturers in obtaining coverage for highly-publicized underlying product defect litigations.
  • Representing major oil and gas company in seeking coverage for liabilities stemming from groundwater contamination.
  • Representing major utility seeking insurance coverage for legacy environmental liabilities.
  • Representing a hospital system seeking coverage for multiple antitrust lawsuits.
  • Representing a major corporation seeking insurance pursuant to a D&O policy based on post-acquisition shareholder litigation.
  • Advising several companies in pursuing insurance recovery for data and privacy breaches.
  • Representing major corporation in obtaining insurance for Mexico trademark liabilities and U.S. trademark/trade dress litigation.
  • Represented several agricultural clients for losses related to property damage, crop loss, contingent business interruption, and other agricultural issues.
  • Representing major corporation in seeking coverage for first party property loss and business interruption resulting from collapse of manufacturing facility, and related litigation in the Eastern District of California.
  • Representing major corporation in litigation against insurance agent for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and professional negligence in procuring insurance policies.
  • Representing major industrial manufacturer in seeking marine cargo coverage for losses resulting from marine transport.
  • Representing major corporation in seeking coverage under D&O policies.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of complaint alleging violations of the False Claims Act on behalf of Gilead Sciences, Inc., in United States ex rel. Campie v. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (N.D. Ca).
  • Achieved a highly favorable settlement for the New York Stock Exchange in a widely reported SEC action involving the exchange’s dissemination of market data

Pro Bono

  • Lead Covington trial counsel in Floyd v. City of New York, a landmark federal class action that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policies and practices under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
  • Representing prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in a class action lawsuit alleging Eighth Amendment violations against the State of Mississippi.
  • Successfully obtained asylum and prosecutorial discretion on behalf of two unaccompanied minors from Guatemala.
  • Represented plaintiffs in Harris et al. v. Atlanta Independent School System, a class action lawsuit that successfully challenged the Atlanta Independent School System’s practice of placing students in privately-run, taxpayer-funded alternative schools.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Council

Previous Experience

  • The World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, Program Coordinator (2000-2003)
  • Daily Journal, "Top 40 Under 40" (2017)  
  • Legal 500 US, Insurance - Advice to Policyholders (2017)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Insurance Litigation Super Lawyer (2020)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, Insurance Litigation "Rising Star" (2015-2018)
  • Charles C. Ruff Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (2013)