Trial-Tested Insurance Attorneys in San Francisco & Irvine

Our experienced insurance attorneys defend clients in claims involving most insurance coverage lines including property & casualty, commercial, professional liability, energy, labor and employment, products liability, professional liability, employment practices liability and sports, leisure & entertainment. We provide coverage analysis of all types of policies, monitoring and Underwriters’ Representative services to primary and excess United States, Bermuda-based, London Market, European, and Asia-based Insurers on domestic as well as international matters, including protection of coverage decisions and participation in international coverage arbitrations and reinsurance disputes. We routinely advise carriers on new products and provide extensive policy drafting services. Insurers routinely engage us to assist with claim programs and facility management.


For over 50 years, Severson & Werson has effectively represented clients in all types of appeals, extraordinary writs, and post trial motions in critical insurance cases. The firm has membership in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and argued the first case presided over by United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.


We have many years experience and expertise in oil and gas energy matters, both from the defense and coverage perspectives. We have handled many cases involving losses in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Asia, and both on-shore and off-shore California. We are privileged to be able to assist and represent leading market insurers in losses involving some of the largest oil and gas producers and oilfield contractors in the world.


Our environmental and land use practice attorneys address the challenging and complex interplay of federal and state environmental law in a multidisciplinary fashion, utilizing strong ties with our real estate, construction, professional liability, and commercial litigation groups. We effectively and efficiently handle all manner of issues involving environmental and land use law, include the full range of litigation, transactional and regulatory compliance matters. Our focus is results-oriented, creative, and efficient, representing real property developers, professional liability insurance companies, engineering consultants, architects, construction managers, and manufacturing, mining and utilities industries, among many others.

Insurance Coverage & Underwriters Representation

With the avoidance of costly coverage litigation being our first priority, we provide effective strategic claims handling policies and procedures and prompt, in-depth analysis of coverage questions when they arise. Our experienced attorneys work closely with clients to develop and implement claims procedures designed to prevent first and third party disputes. We routinely assist clients in developing new insurance products and markets, drafting policies, evaluating target insureds, and devising claim prevention and claim handling protocols. We deliver superior coverage analysis from personal lines to complex specialty lines issues, from commercial liability to professional errors and omissions policies, providing the critical analysis necessary to provide thorough, comprehensive policy interpretation and advice.

When judicial interpretation of coverage issues is necessary, our well-versed attorneys handle declaratory relief actions in both state and federal courts. From environmental and toxic tort matters to personal and property damage issues, from construction defect claims to complex business disputes, Severson attorneys aggressively pursue equitable and legal contribution actions in primary and excess insurer disputes and successfully defend coverage actions.

Insurance Defense

Severson’s seasoned litigators routinely assist insurers and their policyholders in the resolution of all types of pre-litigation claims, including business disputes, catastrophic injuries and death cases, allegations of professional liability (errors and ommissions) and directors’ and officers’ liability. When litigation is unavoidable, we work with our clients to develop a winning strategy with a cost effective approach to move the matter forward as efficiently as possible, while providing a vigorous defense throughout all aspects of the litigation, including trial and appeal.

Severson attorneys in the Insurance Defense group are experienced and adept in efficiently and timely handling the defense of an incredible diverse array of claim types to our clients’ satisfaction, including product liability, professional liability, commercial disputes, premises liability, habitability, media-tech and sports, leisure & entertainment. Often utlizing our vast and in-depth experience with local experts, opposing counsel and the courts, we have achieved innumerable successes, including the defense of major financial claims, wrongful death, and brain damage & catastrophic bodily injury claims.


Severson’s Employment attorneys advise, counsel and represent clients on all aspects of the employment relationship confronting employers today, stressing prevention and early intervention to avoid costly employment disputes so that our clients can focus on business, not distracting and expensive legal controversies. We work closely in tandem with clients to develop and implement policies and procedures specifically fitted to each client’s unique needs and concerns. We have extensive experience preparing employment contracts, non-disclosure, non-competition and severance agreements, employee handbooks, and training materials for businesses and professionals in a wide variety of industries, and advise businesses on a myriad of employment law issues, including wage and hour, employee leaves of absence, employee relations, layoffs, disability accommodation and terminations. We also routinely guide employers through harassment and discrimination complaint investigations and represent and defend employers before a wide range of administrative forums, including the EEOC, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Department of Justice, and the California Labor Commissioner. We have sucessfully mediated, arbitrated and litigated numerous employment cases, defending employers of all sizes, both directly and through Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI), D&O and other insurance policies, drawing upon our vast experience to identify cost-effective solutions.

Product Liability

Severson & Werson attorneys represent a broad spectrum of clients in products liability and toxic tort litigation, serving as lead counsel and as local, regional and national counsel and drawing on well-developed working relationships with an extensive group of independent, trial-tested consultants and expert witnesses. Our successfully defended clients include designers, manufacturers, and insurers of high-profile products, including medical devices, hospital equipment, automobiles and trucks, wheel assemblies and other automotive components, construction equipment, sports equipment, food and beverage processing equipment, industrial chemicals, asbestos containing products, loading dock equipment, cleansers, industrial glues and adhesives, and a myriad of other products. We represent well-recognized and respected corporations throughout the country and world in all forms of products liability litigation, including defense of product class actions in federal and state courts and complex matters involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and the collapse of structures and equipment at building sites. We also act as monitoring counsel on massive, high-profile products liability cases throughout the U.S. and beyond.

Professional Liability/Professional Responsibility & Ethics

Severson’s attorneys have decades of in-depth, extensive experience successfully representing business professionals and their insurers in a multitude of cases involving professional liability and professional responsibility and ethics. Our client base includes attorneys, health care professionals, architects, engineers, insurance brokers and agents, real estate brokers and agents, accountants, financial planners, and insurers of miscellaneous E&O coverage. Drawing upon industry specific “best practices,” we provide comprehensive risk management advice and counseling and carefully reasoned guidance to our clients, helping them navigate the complexities of conducting sophisticated business in a wide range of geographic, cultural, and political environments. We understand and pay close attention to the highly specialized issues facing business professionals in litigation, skillfully balancing our clients’ reputation and business needs with strong and cost-effective legal advice. We combine in-depth knowledge of our clients’ business operations, extensive understanding of the complexities of the insurance industry and practical experience to provide outstanding client representation. We are proud to have developed and maintained solid working and reporting relationships with errors and omissions insurers world-wide.

Sports & Athletics

Severson & Werson attorneys specialize in defending professional, semi-professional, and amateur athletes and sports teams in liability lawsuits and claims. Commencing with efforts to resolve disputes early through the enforcement of contractual provisions such as assumption of risk, waiver of release, and pursuit of express and equitable indemnity, trial and appeal, we adroitly and successfully represent athletes. In close and constant consultation with our clients, we carefully manage the nuances involved in representing high-profile individuals, and sensitively navigate the public scrutiny involved when legal assistance is required by a publicly recognized team, school, or individual.