Mr. Lerman represents policyholders in the most difficult and challenging insurance coverage disputes they face. His clients include the largest corporations in the United States and prominent officers and directors of those corporations. In addition to his policyholder clients, he also represents insurance subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway, including General Reinsurance Corporation and Geico. He also represents one of the largest international insurance brokers. This diverse group of clients gives him a unique perspective and hard-to duplicate experience in approaching insurance disputes, whether in litigation or, as is often the case, short of litigation. Mr. Lerman has a real world view of the interests of insureds, insurers, and brokers, and he brings that unusual experience to bear in representing all his clients.
In addition to trials and international arbitrations, Mr. Lerman counsels companies on insurance-related issues involved in acquisitions, mergers or demergers in order to ensure that coverage is maximized and preserved -- and not lost -- in the process of reorganization. He also reviews clients’ insurance programs and advises on weaknesses or gaps in coverage.
Mr. Lerman’s practice focuses on all lines of property and casualty and errors and omissions liability insurance, including general liability policies, officer and director liability policies, legal malpractice policies, fidelity bond and crime policies, electronic errors and omissions policies, environmental impairment policies, engineering and architecture liability policies, cyber-security policies, aviation policies and first party property damage policies, including business interruption insurance.
These matters involve insurance coverage for environmental contamination, construction defects, product liability, securities law violations, employee theft, mass tort personal injury claims, advertising, trademark, copyright and privacy violations, and space launches, among others.
As a trial lawyer, Mr. Lerman’s practice includes litigating insurance coverage disputes and other claims in state and federal court. He has successfully tried general insurance coverage and bad faith claims. He won a multi-million dollar jury verdict against a national insurance company under a third-party liability policy, obtaining a finding of bad faith and punitive damages, and won, on summary judgment, a bad faith finding against more than one national insurance company in two separate lawsuits.
His work on behalf of his clients has resulted in recoveries well in excess of $2 billion.
Mr. Lerman’s practice also includes complex business litigation and arbitrations, including defending class action lawsuits, securities litigation, investment advisory claims, reinsurance transactions, legal malpractice claims, claims arising from Ponzi schemes, complex commercial disputes and consumer unfair trade practices actions.
Mr. Lerman is a fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel Association, and is a frequent lecturer and author of articles on domestic and international arbitration. He has repeatedly been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA.
He regularly teaches at law schools in Russia and elsewhere on international arbitration, negotiation skills, and the rule of law, including in Kazan and Samara, Russia, Odessa, Ukraine, and Baku, Azerbaijan. He was the founder and organizer of the first Russian team to compete in the International Client Counseling Competition.
Mr. Lerman is also active in the arts and art law. He represents visual artists, art publishers, galleries, art representatives and cartoonists in negotiating contracts and in litigation. He also represents museums in litigation, arbitrations and negotiations. And he has taught museum law courses to graduate students studying to become museum directors, curators and registrars.
He graduated from UCLA School of Law (1972), where he served as notes and comments editor of the UCLA Law Review. He was the recipient of the Alumni Award for the highest academic achievement in his graduating class.