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Nancy Sher Cohen

Nancy Sher Cohen leads Lathrop Gage's Insurance Recovery and Counseling practice team, is the Partner in Charge of the firm's Los Angeles office and is a member of the firm's Executive Committee. She practices in the area of insurance coverage, product liability, toxic & mass tort, class actions, and general commercial litigation. Her insurance practice includes prosecuting insurance coverage cases, providing counsel to clients with regard to designing insurance coverage strategies, conducting policy review, advising on policy implications resulting from a merger or acquisition, and other insurance related issues.

Nancy has been lead counsel in the prosecution of many insurance coverage lawsuits related to life insurance claims and environmental and product liabilities, resulting in recoveries in excess of $1.5 billion. Her extensive insurance coverage practice has included first-party claims involving business interruption, third-party claims involving reimbursement for environmental liabilities and prosecution of claims by Holocaust survivors against insurance carriers that failed to pay life insurance benefits. She was lead counsel for the lender on the World Trade Center in prosecuting claims for insurance coverage for the towers. She is also trial counsel for an international bank on prosecuting coverage claims involving life insurance policies. Nancy also advised on insurance issues related to Los Angeles' successful bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics. Nancy is also lead counsel in complex environmental litigation including cost recovery litigation in connection with a Southern California Superfund Site.

In addition, Nancy has extensive experience, including pre-trial and trial, in state and federal courts handling mass tort and complex multijurisdiction tort actions and as lead counsel in toxic tort cases. She has represented aerospace companies and chemical suppliers in actions brought by individuals for personal injuries allegedly resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace. She has also represented a consumer electronics company in class action litigation nationwide.

Nancy advises, counsels and litigates cases for biotechnology companies in product liability and insurance matters arising from clinical trials of investigational new drugs.

She also has represented talent in entertainment litigation, including representation of Clint Eastwood in the trial of Locke v. Eastwood and David E. Kelley in copyright litigation.

Her clients have included Fortune 500 and similar companies such as Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Aerojet, Alpha Therapeutic, ARCO, Arconic, BP, GMAC Commercial Mortgage, Heinz, Capmark, McDonald's, PinnOak Resources, Sony Electronics, Inc., Block Real Estate Services, Mitsubishi Chermical, and Meggitt Corporation.

Nancy has been listed as a leading insurance coverage attorney in Chambers USA since the ranking's inception in 2003, which describes her as “exceptional” and “highly experienced.” In 2017, she was named to The Legal 500’s Hall of Fame list. She is frequently featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, which has named her one of the top women litigators and most influential lawyers in California. Nancy also has been featured in numerous articles in the legal and business press, including The RecorderCalifornia Law BusinessLos Angeles TimesSan Francisco Chronicle, and San Francisco Examiner. In 2017, for the fourth consecutive year, Nancy was named a National and Local "Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation. She was also named to the publication’s "Top 10 Insurance Stars in the U.S." list.

She was Deputy General Counsel for the Rampart Independent Review Panel, which was charged by the Los Angeles Police Commission with performing a review of the Los Angeles Police Department, and was the Deputy General Counsel for the Los Angeles County Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence.

A dedicated community leader, Nancy currently serves on the board of directors or as an active member of the following organizations: Jewish Federation; President, Valley Beth Shalom (2014 – 2016); International Academy of Trial Lawyers (Board Member, 2006-2016); Loyola Law School Board of Overseers (Board Member, 2000-present); California Women’s Law Center (1999-2005); Chancery Club (1997-present); Bet Tzedek Legal Services (former President, 1998).

Nancy is an accomplished trial lawyer and is a fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.

Representative Matters

Insurance

  • Advisor and Counsel Los Angeles on insurance issues related to successful bid for 2028 Summer Olympics
  • Lead counsel for the institutional lender in prosecuting claims for property and business interruption coverage for World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, 4 and 5. SR Int’l Business Ins. Co. Ltd. v. World Trade Center Properties LLC, et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York 
  • Lead trial counsel in connection with attorneys' fees claims resulting in one of the largest jury verdicts involving attorneys' fees in Tarrant County, Texas history. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al. v. West Coast Life Insurance Company, 153rd Judicial District Court, Tarrant County, Texas
  • Lead trial counsel for a West Virginia coal mining company in successfully prosecuting property and business interruption claims. PinnOak Resources v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London,  Wyoming County Circuit Court, West Virginia
  • Lead counsel for a pharmaceutical company in successful prosecution of nine-figure claims for mass tort suits arising out of alleged HIV- and HCV-tainted blood clotting medicines.  Alpha Therapeutic Corp v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Lead counsel for a major oil company in successfully prosecuting nine-figure insurance claims under comprehensive general liability policies for environmental cleanup costs at sites across the country.  Arco v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co, Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Lead counsel for a major oil company in successfully prosecuting nine-figure insurance claims under business interruption policies arising from the Olympic pipeline explosion.  Arco v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London, Washington State Court
  • Lead counsel for a Los Angeles-based conglomerate in successfully prosecuting eight-figure insurance claims under comprehensive general liability policies for environmental clean-up costs.  Teledyne Inc. v. Continental Casualty, et al., San Francisco Superior Court
  • Lead counsel for Holocaust survivors and their heirs in worldwide class actions against European insurance companies alleged to have denied benefits wrongfully under life insurance policies issued from the 1920s to the 1940s.  Smetana v. Assicurazioni Generali S.P.A., et al., San Francisco Superior Court; In re Holocaust Insurance Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York 
  • Counsel in matters throughout the country involving claims concerning alleged Stranger Originated Life Insurance 
  • Lead counsel for medical device manufacturer in securing defense and indemnity under product liability policies for worldwide personal injury claims involving intraocular lenses

Product Liability, Toxic Tort and Environmental 

  • Lead counsel for over 25 companies in cost recovery claims related to the Omega Superfund Site. Alcoa, Inc. et al. v. APC Investment Co., U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • National Coordinating Counsel for biopharmaceutical company faced with personal injury claims arising out of clinical trial for monoclonal antibody medicine.  Breaux v. Medarex, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana; Krantz v. Medarex, U.S. District Court, Utah Central Division; Janssen v. Medarex, Florida State Court
  • Lead counsel for a defense contractor in toxic tort lawsuits arising out of alleged groundwater contamination or air pollution near ordnance assembly and testing, R&D and rocketry facilities in Northern and Southern California.  Baier, Kerr, Taylor and Yeh v. Aerojet-General Corp., U.S. District Court, Central District of California; Gatter v. Aerojet-General Corp., Los Angeles Superior Court; Haynes v. Aerojet-General Corp., Sacramento Superior Court; Caldwell v. Aerojet-General Corp., Sacramento Superior Court 
  • Lead counsel for global U.S.-based food company in defense of litigation brought by the California Attorney General under Proposition 65.  People of the State of California v. Frito-Lay, Inc., et al. 
  • Lead counsel for a major electronics manufacturer in defense of alleged product liability class actions.  Beaver v. Sony Electronics, Circuit Court, Third Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois; Niemeier v. Sony Electronics, Missouri Circuit Court, City of St. Louis; Graham v. Sony Electronics, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Atlantic County; Vargo v. Sony Electronics, Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny, Pennsylvania; Ameen v. Sony Electronics, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee; Ziegler v. Sony Electronics, Connecticut State Court  
  • Lead counsel for a major oil company in defense of mass tort and property damage suits arising out of claims related to the Stringfellow and McColl disposal sites.  Stringfellow, Riverside (California) Superior Court; McColl, Orange County (California) Superior Court 
  • Lead counsel for a major oil company in defense of claims brought by an environmental group alleging that issuance and extension of permit by the Army of Corps of Engineers allowing construction of addition to oil refinery dock violated Magnuson Amendment to Marine Mammal Protection Act and National Environmental Policy Act.  Ocean Advocates v. BP West Coast Products, LLC, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington 
  • Advise and counsel major internet drugstore company on insurance coverage and product liability issues 
  • Lead counsel in defense of biotechnology company in personal injury claims arising from a clinical trial.  Hogan v. Medicinova, 13th Judicial District, Navarro County, Texas 
  • Counsel for asbestos mining company in defense of numerous asbestos personal injury claims 
  • Lead counsel in defense of coordinated tort actions brought on behalf of relatives and friends of decedents allegedly improperly cremated, including documentation of a mandatory non-opt-out class action settlement.  Harbor Lawn Cremation Litigation, Orange County (California) Superior Court 
  • Representation in series of personal injury and products liability cases brought in connection with consumption of soft drink products 
  • Defense of major component manufacturer of aerospace products in multiple actions arising out of a Mexico City air crash

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Counsel for institutional lender in a lawsuit against Silverstein Properties and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for claims arising out of the loan on World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, 4 and 5.  GMAC Commercial Mortgage v. 1 World Trade Center, LLC, et al., Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York 
  • Lead counsel in defense of franchisor in a lawsuit alleging breach of franchise agreements. Johnson v. McDonald’s Corp., U.S. District Court, Central District of California 
  • Trial counsel for national church entity in a five-month jury trial defending client in a multimillion-dollar class action growing out of the financial collapse of multistate retirement facilities.  Pacific Home Litigation, San Diego (California) Superior Court 
  • Counsel for national health care company in trademark, trade secret and contract litigation against breakaway franchisees.  Bradley Medical, Inc. v. Home Americair of California and Parkman-Merritt, Inc.Home Americair of California, Orange County (California) Superior Court 
  • Lead counsel in defense of class action lawsuit involving financial difficulties at a retirement facility in Ojai, California.  Grey Gables v. American Association of Retired Persons, Ventura (California) Superior Court

Court Memberships

  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, California, Central District
  • U.S. District Court, California, Northern District
  • U.S. District Court, California, Southern District
  • U.S. District Court, New York, Southern District
  • U.S. District Court, Michigan, Eastern District
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America: Insurance Law, 2006-2019
  • Chambers USA:
    • Nationwide: Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder, 2007-2018
    • California: Insurance: Policyholder, 2003 – 2019
  • Institutional Investor, Benchmark Litigation Guide 
    • Benchmark California Star, 2019 
    • Top 250 Women Litigators in America, 2012-2018 
    • Litigation Star - United States, 2014 - 2017
    • Local Litigation Star - California, 2014 - 2017
    • Top 10: Insurance, 2017
  • The Legal 500 United States:
    • Hall of Fame, 2017
    • Insurance – Advice to Policyholders, 2011-2014, 2016, 2018
  • Southern California Super Lawyers
    • “The Top 50 Women,” 2010 – 2017
    • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2004-2019
    • “Top 100 Lawyers in Southern California,”2008
  • Daily Journal
    • "Top Women Lawyers," 2011
    • "Top Women Litigators," 2010
    • “Top 75 Women Litigators in California," 2008
    • “Top 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California,” 2002
    • “Top 30 Women Litigators in California,” 2002
    • “Top 75 Women Litigators in California” and “Top 50 Women Litigators,” 2006
  • LawDragon
    • "3000 Leading Lawyers in America," 2010
    • "Top 500 Lawyers Nationwide," 2006
  • Loyola Law School
    • "Distinguished Alumni of the Year," 2004
    • "Trial Lawer of the Year," 1998
  • Bruce I. Hochman Maimonides Torch of Justice Award, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Legal Division, 2014
  • Community Service Pro Bono Award, ACLU Foundation of Southern California, May 2013
  • Burton Awards: National Law Firm Legal Writing, 2012
  • "Woman of Achievement," Century City Chamber of Commerce, 2010
  • "Vanguard Award," Disability Rights Legal Center, 2010
  • Louis M. Brandeis Award for Achievement in the Legal Profession, American Jewish Congress, 2006
  • “Top 75 Women Litigators,” California Law Business, 2005
  • “The 50 Most Powerful Women in Los Angeles Law,” Los Angeles Business Journal, 1998

Professional Affiliations

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers - Fellow and Member of Board of Directors
  • American College of Coverage Counsel, Fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America - Senior Fellow 
  • Loyola Law School Board of Overseers
  • Bet Tzedek Legal Services - Current Member, Former President, 1998
  • Chancery Club
  • Loyola University of Los Angeles Law School Law Review - Member

Publications

  • Featured, A Midwestern Soul, Super Lawyers, February 2019
  • Featured, Nancy Sher Cohen: Professional Pioneer, Legal Lioness, Attorney at Law, April 2018
  • Co-Author, The Potentially Far-Reaching Impact of Fluor, Daily Journal, November 2014
  • Quoted, $1B Temblor Should Prompt Cos. To Revisit Quake Insurance, Law360, August 2014
  • Co-Author, A Practical Approach to Getting Defense Costs Covered, Insurance Coverage Litigation: ABA Section of LitigationDecember 2013
  • Co-Author, Claims of Promissory Fraud Against Insurers, Insurance Coverage Law Report, June 2013
  • Quoted, BigLaw Diaspora | Women Who StayedForbes, March 2013
  • Quoted, Q&A With Proskauer's Nancy Sher Cohen, Law360, March 2013
  • Co-Author, Stacking Insurance Coverage in CaliforniaLaw360, September 2012
  • Author, Surviving the Rise in Natural Disasters, Law360, December 2011
  • Quoted, Japan Losses Highlight Complexity of Supply Chain Risks, Business Insurance, May 2011
  • Quoted, Catastrophes Break Critical Links in Supply ChainsBusiness Insurance, May 2011
  • Quoted, Proactively Anticipating Business Insurance Needs, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, May 2011
  • Co-Author, The Global Impact of Japan's DisastersLaw360, March 2011
  • Quoted, Complicated Claims Process Ahead in Japan, Business Insurance, March 2011
  • Quoted, Japan Earthquake Causes Business Temblors Worldwide, Best's Review, March 2011
  • Quoted, An Attorney's Point of View, Best's Review, March 2009
  • Quoted, In Today's Financial Crisis Market, More, Not Less, Insurance Protection is in Order, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, January 2009
  • Author, Learned Intermediary Doctrine, National Law Journal, August 2008
  • Author, Finding Insurance for Product Recalls, BNA Product Liability & Safety Report, June 2008
  • Author, The Most Influential Moments: Industry Retrospective Look, Risk Insurance Management Society, April 2006
  • Author, World Trade Center: Update From the Trenches, Risk Insurance Management Society, January 2004, January 2003

Presentations

  • Speaker, "A Practical and Winning Approachto Getting Defense Costs Covered," ABA Women in Insurance Network a Networking and CLE Workshop, Chicago, IL, October 15, 2013
  • Speaker, ABA ICLC Women in Insurance Networking and CLE Workshop, Washington, DC, October 18, 2012
  • Speaker, "The Silverstein Properties Trial and the Issue of Contract Certainty in the Aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001," Where Are We Today? Lessons Learned and Progress Made in Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, September 15, 2011
  • Speaker, "Insurance Implications of Japan's Devastation and Its Global Impact," Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Annual Conference & Exhibition, Vancouver, May 3, 2011
  • Speaker, "Filing a Claim for Business Interruption, Property Damage or Other Economic Losses," Oil in the Gulf: Litigation & Insurance Coverage Conference, Atlanta, GA, June 25, 2010
  • Speaker, "Up in Smoke - A Study in Disaster Readiness," Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Annual Conference & Exhibition, Orlando, FL, April, 20, 2009
  • Moderator, "Women and the LAPD," California Women's Law Center Policy Forum, June 2001
  • Speaker, "Effectively Managing Your Lawyers," Fulcrum Seminar, May 2001
  • Panelist, "Effective Strategies for Litigation, Business Origination and Managing Client Relationships," Women in Products Liability: Perceptions of Women Trial Lawyers, January 2000
  • Speaker, "Justice," National Conference for Women Litigators, January 1997
  • Speaker, Supreme Court Mock Argument, Benchmark LA, January 1997
Photo of Nancy Sher Cohen
  • Los Angeles

    1888 Century Park East
    Suite 1000
    Los Angeles, CA 90067-1623
F: 310.789.4601

Assistant

Laura Brayton
310.789.4667

Education

Loyola University of Los Angeles Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1978

University of Texas, Austin, B.A., with honors, 1973