Law360's annual MVP awards honor attorneys for exemplary work on critical litigation, mammoth deals and first-of-their-kind global matters. Mr. Passannante was one of five attorneys honored by Law360 in the Insurance practice area in 2013.
In its MVP profile of Mr. Passannante, Law360 noted his success in reported cases that one client was owed a complete defense by its primary insurance company for thousands of asbestos-related claims, and that an AIG subsidiary was not entitled to recoup defense costs advanced to another client to defend former executives who were fully cleared of criminal charges.
Law360 also noted Mr. Passannante's role in a settlement negotiation obtaining insurance coverage for a municipality which had agreed to settle with a claimant asserting wrongful conviction for murder and spent 16 years in prison. After first asserting that the municipality was covered only for the year in which the conviction was obtained, the insurance companies agreed to pay the full settlement amount, minus the municipalities' deductible.
Mr. Passannante explained to Law360 that winning coverage for policyholders in complex cases often comes to down basics:
"Explaining to judges and juries where the policies started and where they are now helps them understand what the policies are supposed to do, instead of having them interpret five words in a vacuum," Passannante said. "When you understand the purpose behind the insurance, sometimes it's easier to understand what all the words in the insurance policy mean."
Asked to reflect on Mr. Passannante's approach to litigation, Robert M. Horkovich, co-chair of Anderson Kill's Insurance Recovery Group and the firm's managing shareholder, told Law360:
"Bill understands and well articulates to courts and juries that the purpose of insurance is to insure," Anderson Kill managing shareholder Robert Horkovich, who has worked with Passannante for more than two decades, told Law360. "He makes it easy to understand because he presents cases in a straightforward and truthful way, and courts and juries can see the honesty and integrity in his claims."
About Anderson Kill
Anderson Kill practices law in the areas of Insurance Recovery, Commercial Litigation, Environmental Law, Estate, Trusts and Tax Services, Corporate and Securities, Antitrust, Bankruptcy, Real Estate and Construction, Public Law, Government Affairs, Anti-Counterfeiting, Employment and Labor Law, Captives, Intellectual Property, Corporate Tax, and Health Reform. Recognized nationwide by Chambers USA for Client Service and Commercial Awareness, and best-known for its work in insurance recovery, the firm represents policyholders only in insurance coverage disputes - with no ties to insurance companies and has no conflicts of interest. Clients include Fortune 1000 companies, small and medium-sized businesses, governmental entities, and nonprofits as well as personal estates. Based in New York City, the firm also has offices in Ventura, CA, Stamford, CT, Washington, DC, Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA.
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Carol A. Ueckerman