Areas of Practice
Forrest Booth is a member of the firm in the Insurance Group, and heads the firm’s maritime and energy practice. He has extensive trial experience, both in jury and non jury trials, as well as considerable appellate experience in both state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Booth represents marine insurers, vessel owners and operators, marine equipment manufacturers, oil and gas companies, charterers, brokers, pilots, marinas and marine and oilfield service providers.
Mr. Booth also serves as a consultant and an expert witness on marine insurance and maritime law issues, and he has testified in both state and federal courts as an expert. He has also been an expert on U.S. maritime law in the courts of the United Kingdom and Australia.
Mr. Booth is a graduate of the Harvard Law School, and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Maritime Law Association of the United States.
Mr. Booth's primary areas of legal practice include:
Litigation, admiralty and maritime claims, insurance coverage, marine insurance, oil and gas and energy matters. Expertise in representing shipowners, vessel pilots, Underwriters and P&I Clubs in the London and Scandinavian markets, and in Asia. Expert witness on marine insurance.
Mr. Booth's specific experience includes:
Admiralty: Defending claims involving personal injuries, collisions, cargo damage, oil pollution, charter parties, maritime contract disputes, pilotage, marine insurance coverage, ship building and ship repair, vessel arrests, products liability, oil industry indemnity agreements, marine salvage, maritime fraud, stevedoring, and cargo subrogation.
General Liability: Defending a broad array of claims and business disputes involving personal injuries, property damage, products liability, construction defect, breach of contract, commercial and oil and gas/energy matters. Defense of and advice regarding CGL coverage claims.
Joined Severson & Werson 2006 (Member)
Cozen O’Connor, San Francisco, CA, Senior Partner (2000-2006)
Booth Banning, LLP, San Francisco, CA, Senior Partner (1990-2000)
Hancock, Rothert & Bunshoft, San Francisco, CA, Partner (1978-1989)
McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, San Francisco, CA, Associate (1976-1978)
Graham & James, Washington, D.C., Associate (1975-1976)
Military: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, 1968-1972.
Education: B.A. cum laude, Amherst College, Amherst, MA. J.D., Harvard Law School
Admitted to Practice:
Washington, D.C., 1976. California, 1977.
Supreme Court of the U.S., 1979.
Numerous U.S. District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Professional Affiliations: Best Lawyers in America; American Bar Association: International Law and Practice, Litigation and Tort, and Insurance Practice Sections; State Bar of California; The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA); Pacific Admiralty Seminar (PAS); International Bar Association (IBA); Asia-Pacific Lawyers Association; Association of Average Adjusters (UK); and Defense Research Institute (DRI).
Obtained judgment for contract salvor seeking to recover cargo of gold lost in Alaskan waters in 1901; decision affirmed on appeal.
Represented London Underwriters in some of the largest and most complex environmental pollution coverage cases, including Aerojet, Lockheed Martin, Exxon-Mobil, and Shell-Rocky Mountain Arsenal.
Obtained dismissal on motion for London market insurers on the basis of lack of personal jurisdiction, in a complex matter in Los Angeles Superior Court; decision was affirmed on appeal.
Obtained summary judgment for London marine insurers in a major environmental pollution case in federal court in Los Angeles; appeal by plaintiff was dismissed.
Obtained summary judgment for Underwriters in over $28 million coverage litigation brought by a major oil company arising out of construction of a pipeline in Myanmar (Burma).
Obtained summary adjudication of statutory defenses available to the San Francisco Bar Pilots, resulting in their dismissal from the COSCO BUSAN civil litigation.
Received judgment for subrogated London property insurers after federal court trial in Guam.
Represented insurance broker in defense of negligent misrepresentation and professional negligence claims
Represented defendants in purported class action involving neighborhood dispute and nuisanace claims