All posts by Brian Friel

Insurance Recovery Law: Two General Practice Areas

Our insurance recovery law firm delivers two distinct kinds of services to corporate policyholders. In today’s video Managing Partner Brian Friel walks through each of these services and demonstrates how these services can help businesses maximize insurance coverage.  

Insurance Recovery Law Practice Area One: Policy Advisory Service

The first service we offer, our insurance policy advisory service, may be performed before an insurance claim has arisen.  This service, through careful negotiation and policy review, helps clients improve insurance policy language to bring it closer to perfection over time.  Here, we make sure that each policy has the most current and most meaningful terms, conditions, and exclusions. Our goal is to ensure that each policy is so well crafted that future claims are covered under the policy.  Then, if an insurance claim needs to be made, denial of that claim will be difficult for the insurer to justify.  

Insurance Recovery Law Practice Area Two: Negotiating and Resolving Insurance Claims

The second and larger part of our practice is negotiating and resolving insurance claims.  If one of our corporate policyholder clients has a loss, we assist with noticing that claim to the carriers, and making sure that the carrier pays the claim.  Carriers oftentimes deny claims.  When this happens, it is important to retain counsel to bring the claim to resolution.  Maximizing available recoveries requires knowledge of the insurance industry, but more importantly, it requires knowledge of the law interpreting relevant insurance policy language.  At Miller Friel, we are experienced at all levels of handling insurance recovery claims, from negotiation though, if necessary, litigation and trial. 

To learn more about how we can help your company, please explore our blog and website. If you believe that we are a good fit for any insurance issues you may have, please give us a call at 202-760-3160.

Insurance Recovery Law
Founding Name Partners of Miller Friel, PLLC, Brian Friel (Left) and Mark Miller (Right)

Continue reading

The Ugly Truth About Excess Insurance

Excess Insurance and Underlying Limits

In today’s video, managing partner Brian Friel walks us through an example of how ignoring excess insurance policy language can lead to disastrous results, but more importantly, how experience in the area of insurance recovery law allows us to effectively solve problems before they happen.  The issue addressed is how often ignored excess policy language dealing with exhaustion of underlying limits can get in the way of both meaningful settlements, and, if ignored, can lead to a forfeiture of excess coverage.  See Settling With Underlying Insurers for Less Than Policy Limits – The Good, the Decent and the Ugly.  This illustrates the kind value added services that we provide both for insurance policy review and claims assistance. 

Recognizing this and other insurance issues is only possible when legal counsel understand the nuances of insurance policy language and the impact of case law interpreting that language.  Watch the video to learn how businesses can better structure multi-layer insurance programs to elevate excess policy nightmares in the future.  

At Miller Friel, we have decades of experience in corporate insurance recovery law, and our singular focus on this area of law directly benefits our clients’ bottom lines. We are trusted advisors and litigators to many of the world’s most well-known companies.  If you have a coverage dispute or even questions about your current policy, please give our office a call to see how we can put our experience to work for you.  Our Washington, DC office number is 202-760-3160.

Continue reading

Insurance Recovery Lawyers as Profit Centers

When businesses engage a law firm for representation they are typically thinking about spending a sizable amount of money to minimize future losses, and that money is often well spent.  As an insurance recovery law firm, we operate under a slightly different financial model.  We consider ourselves a profit center for our clients.  

Time and again our clients have told us that the money we generate from insurance recoveries far outweighs the cost of representation. Whether we are recovering $20 million dollars, or $100 million dollars, the money we generate for our clients can have a substantial impact on their financial health. Good insurance recovery representation is often the difference between obtaining no coverage for a claim, and securing a successful result.

We have years of experience representing our corporate policyholder clients and our results of maximizing our client’s insurance recoveries on claims naturally flows from this expertise.  If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or need representation with a claim, please don’t hesitate to call us at 202-760-3160.

Continue reading

Paying D&O Insurance Claims is Not Morally Wrong

Judicial Fabrication of Public Policy Exclusions is Not Permitted
The Judicial Fabrication of “Public Policy” Exclusions Should Not Be Permitted

Insurance carriers have seldom been considered protectors of public morality.  When insurers make the argument that they are denying claims for the benefit of the public, more often than not, judges and juries see through the nonsense and hit them with bad faith and punitive damages awards for putting their financial interests above the interests of the policyholder they agreed to protect.  Nonetheless, insurers keep trying.  Their newest twist is arguing that it is immoral for them to pay certain kinds of Directors & Officers (“D&O”) insurance securities claims.  Their argument is that covering breach of contract claims arising out of the sale and purchase of securities creates a “moral hazard.”  If they pay these claims, the insurers’ reason, corporations will be incentivized to breach securities-related contracts because insurance would protect them on the back-end of a deal gone bad.  Although this argument has no support in policy language, insurers continue to raise the argument, and this will likely do so until courts see the argument for what it is, a bad faith attempt to avoid paying legitimate D&O securities claims.

Typical Stock Purchase Agreement Scenario

A public company in its early stages of development, secures additional funding from an investment firm, but the company gets sued by that outside investor claiming that the company failed to honor an agreement giving the outside investor the right to purchase securities, in exchange for that investor’s promise to provide the company with much needed funding.  At the time of the alleged breach, the investor had not paid any money for company shares, which at the time were trading at $2.50 a share. Ten months later, it is trading at $14.75 a share, and magically the investor contends that it was ready, willing and able to purchase those lower price shares ten months earlier, and has since lost out on the share price increase.   The good news is that the company’s D&O insurance policy covers claims alleging wrongful acts or omissions in the sale or purchase of company securities, and, as with many D&O insurance policies, the company’s policy does not contain an exclusion for breach of contract claims. Continue reading

The D&O Insurance Report Card

An annual audit of corporate insurance policies by insurance recovery lawyers has become the norm for most organizations.  This audit helps identify which terms need to be included or excluded from off-the-shelf insurance products.  One of the areas where an insurance audit is most helpful is with D&O insurance policies.  For these, we have devised a proprietary, simple to understand, D&O insurance report card.   

We find that insurance audits also help to get everyone on the right page by jumpstarting important discussions between clients, insurance brokers and underwriters.  These discussions ultimately lead to better more comprehensive coverage. An audit can also function as an educational tool, providing insight into critical (and oftentimes evolving) insurance policy terms and conditions, giving clients the information they need to make prudent choices with respect to coverage. 

In this video, managing partner Brian Friel talks about the value of our auditing system, and how Miller Friel can help your business negotiate the coverage it needs rather than take the coverage it is offered. 

To contact Miller Friel, please give us a call at: 202-760-3160.

Continue reading

How Do You Find Objective Advice For Insurance Claims?

Objective advice for corporate insurance claims can be difficult to find.  Given the intertwined relationships between insurers, insurance brokers and many lawyers, it can be difficult to determine who is looking out for your business and who is looking out for the interests of your insurance carrier.  Conflicts of interest are incredibly important in the world of insurance recovery law and these conflicts are often times not disclosed to policyholders.  Known or unknown, deliberate or unintentional, these conflicts can arise whenever a law firm or insurance professional is forced to share allegiances between an insurance carrier and a policyholder.

At Miller Friel, we exclusively represent policyholders. We do not represent insurers and we do not accept panel counsel defense work from insurers.  Often times, clients come to us despite the fact that their insurance broker representative urged them not to pursue a claim. Time and time again, we have recovered on those claims.   Having freed ourselves of all potential conflicts, we can provide much needed objective insurance claims advice, and vigorously represent our clients’ best interests.

In this video, managing partner Brian Friel talks about the importance of objective advice, both for insurance advisory services, and for claims handling.

To contact Miller Friel, please give us a call at: 202-760-3160.

Continue reading

Insurance Recovery for Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies

Drug & Device Defense conference

On October 20, 2015, HB Litigation sponsored an all-day conference in Philadelphia addressing the most pressing litigation and regulatory issues facing the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.  Attending the conference were some of the most respected law firms in the country, officials from the Food & Drug Administration, and senior in-house counsel for some of the world’s largest life sciences companies, including Merck, Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, and Eli Lilly & Co.   Conference program brochure.

Miller Friel’s managing partner, Brian Friel, led the insurance panel discussion,  “Insurance Coverage for Government Investigations.”   In Brian’s presentation, he focused on the critical issues involved in identifying when a government investigation triggers a company’s obligations to provide claim notice to its insurers, navigating around the key exclusions in D&O policies, and best practices to secure insurance to cover the exceedingly expensive attorneys’ fees associated with responding to and defending government investigations involving the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and similar federal and state laws.

As pharmaceutical, medical device and other major companies have experienced first-hand, there has been a steady increase over the past few years in FCA and FCPA government investigations and related litigation, and the associated legal costs have exploded.   The numbers are staggering – Wal-Mart incurring over $600 million in attorneys’ fees and costs responding to FCPA charges, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer each paying well over $2 billion to settle FCA and related claims.

For most companies, insurance is a critical source of funding to help cover the costs of these claims.  If your company is involved in a government investigation, by way of a formal order of investigation, a subpoena, a Civil Investigative Demand, or the like, please contact Brian or one of Miller Friel’s other insurance recovery lawyers.

Miller Friel, PLLC is a specialized insurance coverage law firm whose sole purpose is to help corporate clients maximize their insurance coverage. Our Focus of exclusively representing policyholders, combined with our extensive Experience in the area of insurance law, leads to greater efficiency, lower costs and better Results. Further discussion and analysis of insurance coverage issues impacting policyholders can be found in our Miller Friel Insurance Coverage Blog and our 7 Tips for Maximizing Coverage series. For additional information about this post, please email or call Brian Friel ( or 202-760-3162).

We Focus on High Stakes Areas of Insurance Recovery Law

High Stakes Legal Matters + Exceptional Insurance Recovery Expertise = Business Solutions
High Stakes Legal Matters + Exceptional Insurance Recovery Expertise = Business Solutions

At Miller Friel, we provide comprehensive insurance representation for corporate policyholders. Our attorneys are some of the best in the world in the area of insurance recovery law, and have focused for decades on the nuances of this specific area of law.  This is one of the factors that has enabled us to deliver an incredible record of success for our clients.

At Miller Friel, we concentrate on high stakes insurance recovery law.

Given the sophisticated nature of our clients, our practice tends to focus on high stakes areas of insurance law having a great deal of money at risk.  In the recent past, these kinds of high risk claims have been in the area of directors and officers and fiduciary claims, what we call employee theft. These two sub-areas within the umbrella of insurance coverage law require a deep understanding of the particular policies and the ever-changing case law controlling the interpretation of those policies.  We have been asked, time and time again, to help our corporate clients navigate through these kinds of claims, which frankly, can put the very health of their business on the line. Corporate clients put their faith in us because we specialize in this area of law, we have extensive experience dealing with these claims, and we have, time and time again, produced outstanding results for our clients.

Learn more about some of our expertise in D&O Insurance and fidelity claims by watching managing partner Brian Friel’s views on the subject.

To contact us, please call 202-760-3160.

Continue reading

Insurance Advisory Services

Miller Friel’s Insurance Advisory Services leverage our extensive expertise in Insurance Recovery Claims to bring value to our clients before a claim has been made.  Because one word in an insurance policy can make the difference between recovering hundreds of millions of dollars, or nothing, many of our clients have come to the understanding that it is less expensive to fix a problem before a claim has been made, than it is to litigate coverage after the fact.  Because we have such detailed knowledge of this area of law, we can add value to our clients while they are negotiating coverage.  By suggesting enhanced policy wording to address the ever changing legal landscape, costly claims issues can be avoided, and additional policyholder claims flexibility can be achieved.   This kind of legal preparation and forethought can save your company millions of dollars in the long run.

To learn more, watch the video and please call us if you have any questions about your existing coverage or about any policies that you are in the process of renewing.

Miller Friel, PLLC is a specialized insurance recovery law firm whose sole purpose is to help corporate clients maximize their insurance coverage.  Our Focus of exclusively representing policyholders, combined with our extensive Experience in the area of insurance law, leads to greater efficiency, lower costs and better Results.  Further discussion and analysis of insurance coverage issues impacting policyholders can be found in our Miller Friel Insurance Coverage Blog and our 7 Tips for Maximizing Coverage series.

For additional information about this post, please email or call Brian Friel (, 202-760-3162).

Continue reading

Insurance Recovery Law Firm with 100% Record of Success


At Miller Friel, we deliver results, for every client, on every claim. Our track record of success in insurance claims recovery is unparalleled in this practice area, with insurance recoveries in excess of $2 billion for our clients.  In this video, our managing partner, Brian Friel, explains how years of Focus on the specialized field of insurance recovery law has led to our unblemished record of delivering for our clients.

If you would like to know more about how Miller Friel can help your company maximize your insurance coverage, please contact us.

Continue reading