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Steve - Lawyer
Office: Beverly Hills, CA
Business Phone: 844-326-4555 | Fax: 877 304 2072
For nearly 25 years, Mr. Watson has represented the international market. His client base includes insurers from the London market, continental Europe, Australia, Bermuda, and domestic U.S. insurers and reinsurers. In addition to the numerous syndicates, he has also represented cover holders and TPAs caught up in bad faith litigation nationally.
As the head of a national boutique law firm with offices in six strategic cities throughout the U.S., Mr. Watson has extensive experience with the nuances of the London market such as the London subscription market and the jurisdictional issues and privilege issues involving communications between London brokers and Underwriters.
Recently, Mr. Watson has been devoted to the critical issues involving protecting communications between syndicates through London brokers. Also, he has recently been protecting clients from intrusive bad faith discovery using such techniques as the Hague Convention to thwart intrusive fishing expeditions. He has also provided counseling regarding the requirements of the various states' insurance statutes and regulations governing the training and certification of claims professionals, as well as the new federal e-discovery rules and federal court personal jurisdiction diversity issues.
Mr. Watson is an accomplished trial lawyer, having tried several complex commercial, professional liability, employment, insurance coverage and "bad faith" cases. He has conducted numerous arbitrations and appraisals involving first party property and reinsurance issues. He also has extensive post trial and appellate experience.
Mr. Watson has acted as lead insurer counsel on several environmental and intellectual property mega-cases. He has also handled numerous disputes between multiple and successive insurers and disputes among primary insurers, excess insurers, and reinsurers. He has extensive expertise in resolving excess verdict claims and property adjustment disputes before they result in "bad faith" actions. He also counsels the firm's clients' SIU units regarding arson and fraud cases.Mr. Watson is also an experienced coverage lawyer. He has drafted and supervised hundreds of coverage opinions and counseled the firm's clients involving all aspects of property and liability policies, facultative certificates and treaties.
Aggregate Extension Clauses Offset Right to associate Follow the Fortunes and Settlements Declaratory Judgment Expenses Fraud and Collusion Late Notice Bad faith
First party property and extended coverages Specialized policy forms including emerging technology, boiler & machinery, builders risk, differences in conditions, inland marine, jeweler's block and computer hardware and software coverages Time element coverages including business interruption and extra expense Negligent inspection by loss prevention departments Y2K and other sue & labor claims Loss in progress and fortuity Allocation of losses
General & Product Liability
The occurrence issue The suit issue Lost policies After acquired companies Additional insureds Coverage territory Breach of contract Economic loss and diminution in value. Loss of use property damage Emotional distress Contractual liability Construction defect and construction injury Toxic exposure and environmental Continuous injury and progressive property damage Employment related claims including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, ADA, age, gender or other discrimination Sexual molestation Personal injury and wrongful entry Advertising injury Intellectual property and other intangible property rights Faulty workmanship Products liability and recall Impaired property Sudden and accidental and absolute pollution exclusions Intentional acts Voluntary Payments Late notice Fraud and rescission Medical lines Personal lines including PIP and automobile Business automobile Business risk Workers compensation and employers liability Primary versus excess and drop down issues Other insurance Defense and indemnity allocation Cumis
E&O and D&O
Allocation and advancement issues "No-loss" arguments * Claims made issues Indemnity of directors and officers Rights and duties of primary and excess insurers Notice and reporting issues Constructive non-renewal Misrepresentation and rescission issues Filing issues Other insurance issues including the potential applicability of general liability and specialty policies The application of regulatory, insured v. insured, securities, prior and pending litigation, and other exclusions.
Mr. Watson's practice also includes extensive work in recovery matters. He has handled hundreds of large loss property and high dollar workers compensation recovery matters. In addition, he focuses on finding recovery opportunities for his clients where multiple policies cover the same insured resulting in the re-allocation of defense and indemnity costs incurred by his clients.
Mr. Watson was born in Denver, Colorado in 1959. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois in 1984, and his J.D. degree from the University of San Diego in 1988, where he graduated cum laude and was awarded the American Jurisprudence award.
Mr. Watson is admitted to the State Bar of California (1988); the State Bar of Minnesota (1995); the U.S. District Court, Central and Southern Districts of California (1988); the U.S. District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts of California and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1992).
Mr. Watson's reported post trial work includes W.H. Breshears v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., 38 F.3d 1219 (9th Cir. 1994). This was the first case decided in the insurance industry's favor regarding the issue of whether liability for environmental contamination is covered under the personal injury coverage grant in standard CGL policies.
Legal Articles & Publications
Mr. Watson's publications include: Comment, Haskel v. Sup. Ct., International Insurance Law Review, 1995; Comment, Montrose v. Admiral, International Insurance Law Review, 1995.
Mr. Watson is a member of the State Bar of California (Member, Insurance, Labor and Employment Law Sections) and the Los Angeles County, Ventura County and Santa Barbara County Bar Associations (Sections on Insurance, Labor and Employment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution). Mr. Watson is also a member of the Defense Research Institute, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity, the American Inns of Court, and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.
Mr. Watson is a member of the Property Loss Research Bureau, the Loss Executives Association, the National Association of the Professional Surplus Lines Offices, Ltd., and the Professional LiabilityUnderwriters Society.
Mr. Watson is an active member of CAI and an affiliate member of CACM.