April 22, 2016

Recommendation for Best Insurance Recovery Law Firm for Technology Company

Posted by Miller Friel

We recently sat down with some businesses, to see what recommendations they had for insurance recovery law firms.  Their stories described astounding successes achievable only when the right law firm was selected to pursue an insurance claim.  They also described how they achieved those successes, and what those successes meant for their respective companies. 

Clarissa Cerda’s perspective, featured in this video, is particularly interesting.   With the help of Miller Friel, her efforts turned the legal department of a technology company from a cost center into a significant source of revenues for the company.  The results were so significant that, for one year, the legal department provided a major source of funding for year-end employee bonuses. 

Previously, Clarrisa Cerda, provided General Counsel Tips on Insurance Policy Review.   As a former partner at a top law firm, Assistant Counsel to the President of the United States in the White House Counsel’s Office, and General Counsel to a publicly traded technology company, she draws from a great deal of experiences.  Her approach to the selection of counsel is both insightful and inspiring. 

Clarissa Cerda

Clarissa Cerda

We hope that you enjoy the video. 

Below is a transcript of the video:

Recommendation for Best Insurance Recovery Law Firm for Technology Company

My name is Clarissa Cerda, and I’m the chief legal strategist of a public company. I’m here today to tell you about my experiences with the law firm of Miller Friel. One of the things that I enjoyed about Miller Friel is, it was never boring. What I liked about the firm being part of a tech company is they were very collaborative, they were very creative.

They thought outside of box, they definitely thought about how they could put the company first. Whether it was in flexibility in fees, whether it was in creative legal arguments. Whether it was in tiering, when you went to litigation on which issues and how. Whether you let an excess carrier off the hook on one situation so that you had a more focused case with the primary carriers.

Every single moment really evaluating the options in a very strategic way. They worked very closely with me in trying to keep to certain matters in mediation and arbitration to get the best result for the company. I actually remember the very first time that I hopped on a plane and flew to New York to meet Mark on one of these cases.

I had been on the plane and I had already drafted what the argument should be from my perspective in mediation if we were going to get the correct result, mainly because of some external factors that the company was facing that might not necessarily be obvious to someone just looking at the legal issues in the case and looking at the more holistic view.

I know that Miller Friel had spent a long time preparing all of their arguments and getting ready for this and they knew the legal technicalities of this case better than anybody. I’m confident of that. But what I liked about them is, they didn’t just say, “Hey, Miss General Counsel, we are the experts here, and your view doesn’t matter”

They actually were very open, very collaborative. And, in fact, Mark I think stayed up significant portion of the evening rewriting his opening remarks and adjusting the strategy to take into account a non-legal issue that was going to be, a big factor in the mediation. I can tell you that Mark and I still joke about it today. In fact it was a very critical issue for the mediation.

It ended up turning a situation where most people would have thought we were likely to lose into a huge victory for the company. Often times a company is looking to select its carrier based on the amount of the premium. They neglect the fact that, in fact, the policy exclusions and the scope of the coverage are the important things when an issue actually arises for the company. In deciding whether or not you are going to be able to reimburse the loss by your policy.

In my situation I chose over the course of our partnership with Miller Friel to keep them on retainer. On a regular basis to review all of our policies and all of our different types of insurance policies.

Whether it was D&O or E&O, cyber, to make sure that we understood what we were actually paying for in our premiums. As a result we ended up being able to negotiate better coverage for the same premium. In fact it was the use of Miller Friel that helped us to come up with some of the best policies to help us manage risk for the enterprise overall.

One of the reasons I put Miller Friel on retainer is, we worked with Miller Friel to improve our insurance coverage year over year. When you start off as a private company and you move into a being a public company or when you start as a smaller company into a larger company the options you have available to you in your coverage change.

Having somebody like Miller Friel help you navigate that change or that growth in your business not just in the business but in how you cover your loses is a very helpful collaboration that you want to have with a law firm that understands the intricacies of policy exclusions and coverage.    

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