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John B. Berringer

Partner

Education

  • University of Chicago Law School, J.D.
  • Williams College, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court - District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Second Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Third Circuit

John is a litigator who has represented clients in a broad variety of practice areas, including environmental, product liability and directors and officers insurance coverage litigation, contract, bankruptcy and employment litigation.  He has written articles and lectured extensively on insurance coverage issues.

John has been recognized, for the third year in a row, by Chambers USA 2009: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a "'real team player' who is known for his extensive knowledge and experience in representing clients in insurance coverage and bankruptcy cases.” In addition, Chambers USA recognizes John by saying "Berringer is held to be one of the regions foremost authorities on insurance matters, with expertise across a wide range of issues."

John has been rated "AV" by Martindale Hubbell.

Representative Matters

Representative matters in which John has served as counsel include the following:

Environmental Insurance Coverage

  • Lead counsel on environmental insurance coverage case against numerous insurance companies; successfully negotiated settlement with primary insurer providing coverage from the 1940s to 1977, as well as excess and umbrella insurance companies.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of action seeking insurance coverage for liability at cleanup site in Connecticut.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of actions seeking insurance coverage for cleanup sites in New York and Georgia.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement of action seeking insurance coverage for cleanup site in Atlanta, Georgia under environmental "Cleanup Cost Cap" insurance policy.
  • In addition to these cases, where Mr. Berringer has served as lead counsel, he has been a member of the litigation teams on the FMC, Monsanto, Witco and Coors environmental insurance coverage litigations.

Construction Defects Insurance Coverage Litigation

  • Lead counsel in insurance coverage action in Michigan involving 180-home subdivision in Colorado; has also advised client on insurance coverage issues involving subdivisions in Maryland, Florida and Texas.

Insurance Coverage for Employer’s Liability

  • Successfully litigated $3 million claim for insurance coverage for age-discrimination liability; won summary judgment at trial court, which was fully sustained on appeal.

Insurance Coverage for Trademark Infringement

  • Successfully litigated claim for insurance coverage for trade dress infringement through to final judgment, which was affirmed on appeal.
  • Lead counsel in insurance coverage action involving claims of trade dress infringement (settled).

First Party Insurance Coverage

  • Successfully negotiated settlement of this insurance action seeking recovery for losses to Panamanian subsidiary sustained during U.S. invasion of Panama.

Bankruptcy and Restructuring

  • Lead litigation counsel to the designated members of the official committee of unsecured creditors, representing the interests of the bondholder and trade creditor members of that committee, and their constituencies, with respect to intercreditor issues in the Owens Chapter 11.

Reorganization

  • Lead litigation counsel in connection with contested Contested Plan Confirmation hearings involving El Commandante race rack in Puerto Rico.
  • Successfully defeated two competing plans of reorganization and won confirmation of plan supported by clients.

ERISA and Pension Litigation

  • Represented Trustee of ERISA pension plan in successfully arguing to the U.S. Supreme Court that pension funds held in an insurance company’s general account were subject to ERISA’s fiduciary rules.
  • Represented pension plan seeking recovery against insurance company for breach of fiduciary duties and breach of contract; successfully negotiated a settlement of the action before trial.
  • Successfully settled case against life insurance company in connection with the sale of "vanishing premium" key man life insurance.

Employment History

  • 2008 - Reed Smith
  • 1987 - Anderson Kill & Olick
  • 1980 - Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • New York State Bar Association