Catherine Serafin Partner

Washington, DC
T 202.753.3754 | F 973.597.6227

A “litigation star” (Benchmark Plaintiff), Cathy has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance payments over her 30-year career representing policyholders nationwide. She has substantial lead counsel experience in federal and state court trials, mediations, and arbitrations. She also helps policyholders develop and execute strategic prelitigation insurance recovery plans for high-value, complex claims. Her tailored approach to each matter, and focus on practical and creative solutions, helps policyholders efficiently and effectively maximize their insurance assets.

With extensive experience resolving policyholders’ complex insurance disputes, Cathy obtains coverage for clients facing liability claims alleging securities fraud, mismanagement, products liability, environmental liability, and defamation, among others. She also assists clients with coverage claims for business interruption losses and theft, and has significant transactional experience working on deal teams to find solutions to problematic insurance coverage issues.

Cathy represents large corporations, municipalities, individual company officers, and other policyholders facing insurance claim problems under many types of insurance policies, including:

  • Directors and officers
  • Commercial general liability
  • Errors and omissions
  • Primary and pool mortgage insurance
  • First-party property policies and financial institution bonds

Cathy has successfully represented Fortune 100 companies as well as individuals.

The author of numerous articles on insurance and policyholders’ rights, Cathy frequently lectures at programs sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Federal Publications, and the American Bar Association, among others.

Representative Engagements

Currently representing a Pennsylvania policyholder in a declaratory judgment and bad faith lawsuit in New Jersey federal court for coverage under errors and omissions liability insurance policies in connection with claims alleging misrepresentation in investment advice.
Represented Goodrich Corporation against more than 30 insurance companies in an environmental liability coverage dispute regarding tens of millions of dollars in liabilities. Served as lead counsel in the mediation with the company’s carriers and later shared first-chair trial responsibility against the remaining carriers, eventually obtaining a $42 million verdict that was upheld on appeal.
Represented several Blue Cross Blue Shield entities in litigation to obtain insurance coverage for RICO class actions. Obtained significant rulings about the broad scope of reinsurance discovery. The matter settled on the eve of trial.
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Other Distinctions

  • Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (2014) 
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers (2012–2017)  
  • Benchmark Plaintiff: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Plaintiff Litigation Firms and Attorneys (2013) 


Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Developing a Healthy Appetite for Risk," Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference, Washington, D.C., October 10-12, 2017

  • Panelist, "Cyber Insurance:  Underwriting and Claim Strategies to Maximize Coverage," Lowenstein Sandler and Marsh & McLennan Seminar, April 5, 2017

  • Panelist, "The Insurance Company Has Denied Coverage Or Agreed to Defend Subject to a Reservation of Rights. Now What?," Women, Influence & Power in Law Annual Conference, September 22-23, 2016

  • Insurance Concerns in Commercial Contracts: Addressing Unique Risk Profiles for Your Deal, Insurance Considerations Webinar, October 21, 2015, February 4, 2016, May 18, 2016

  • Panelist, “Privilege and Ethical Considerations in Insurance Relationships,” Women, Influence & Power in Law Annual Conference, October 28-30, 2015

  • What’s the Deal? - Assessing an Insurance Claim by Reference to the Contracting Parties’ Meeting of the Minds at the Moment of Contracting, 22nd Annual FETTI Conference, October 7-9, 2015

  • Insurance Coverage for Additional Insureds - Navigating the Minefield, April 16, 2015 & October 22, 2015 

  • Latest Developments in Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance, December 3, 2014

  • Managing Coverage and Costs: Significant Claim Concerns and Reasonableness of Defense Costs, American Conference Institute's 16th Annual Summit on D&O Liability, December 1, 2010 
  • Cutting the Gordian Knot: Settling Complex D&O Claims, March 2009 

  • What's New in D&O Claims and Coverages, Howrey and Marsh, March 27, 2008 

  • Insurance as a Climate Change Risk Management Tool, American Conference Institute's Advanced Forum on Preparing for Climate Change Liability, November 2007

  • Beyond Legal: A Business Approach to Corporate Governance, ABA TIPS Conference, May 2007


When One Insurance Claim Is Better than Many
CFO, April 3, 2017
Catherine Serafin, Eric Jesse
Making Smart Settlements When Insurance Is Involved
Corporate Counsel, March 23, 2017
Catherine Serafin
How to Excuse Late Notice to an Insurer
Risk Management Magazine, March 1, 2017
Catherine Serafin
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Press Mentions

Andrew Reidy, Catherine Serafin, and Joseph Saka are mentioned in Law360 regarding the tentative settlement of a lawsuit that resulted from defaulted loans which are being sought out by the issuing company. , Law360 , October 28, 2015
Andrew Reidy and Catherine Serafin are mentioned in Law360 regarding the Eleventh Circuit’s decision to overturn the lower court and hold that defendant had to provide insurance coverage for an underlying claim. , Law360 , December 17, 2014


October 26, 2017
Insurance Coverage for the Additional Insureds

Related Areas

Insurance Recovery Group


Villanova University School of Law ( J.D. , 1986 )
King’s College ( B.A. , 1983 ) , summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
U.S. District Court, District of Delaware


  • American Bar Association
    • Section on Litigation
    • Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee 
      • Co-Chair, D&O Subcommittee 
  • King’s College 
    • Board of Directors
    • Chair, Enrollment Management Committee
    • Executive Committee