David A. Attisani - Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

David A. Attisani

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2013
Phone: 617-248-5271

David Attisani is co-chairman of the firm’s Insurance & Reinsurance Group, one of the leading practices of its kind in the US, which is top-ranked by Reactions (#1 reinsurance and litigation firm in 2012) and by The 2013 Legal 500 guide to preeminent law firms.  He is also co-chairman of the ABA’s Reinsurance Subcommittee. 

Mr. Attisani was named one of Law360's "10 Most Admired Insurance Attorneys in America" for 2010—out of 1016 nominations from 100 firms.  He was also elected to The International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers (2005-2012), and to the World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers (2006-2013).  Mr. Attisani was also elected to Best of the Best USA (2009-2013) in Insurance & Reinsurance, which recognizes only 30 US industry professionals.  He is one of only 12 reinsurance lawyers listed in The 2013 Legal 500’s elite “Leading Lawyers” category, a designation he also received in 2012 and 2011.  Mr. Attisani is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Insurance Law (2012-2017).

Mr. Attisani is also a fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, a group of preeminent insurance and reinsurance lawyers in the US and Canada.  Membership is by nomination only and is limited to 1,000 lawyers who must have at least 15 years of experience.

Practice Focus

Insurance & Reinsurance Litigation:  
insurance coverage and reinsurance arbitration and litigation on behalf of reinsurers, cedents and intermediaries; risk management; alternative dispute resolution; coverage arbitration and litigation for insurance companies involving financial issues, environmental damage, E&O/D&O, variable annuities, asbestos, 9/11 losses, clergy abuse claims, toxic
tort and health insurance.

Representative Engagements

· Currently represent top reinsurer in well-publicized dispute involving fungal contamination allegedly attributed to pharma products.
· Currently serve as lead counsel in the “Big Dig”/Central Artery Connector coverage litigation.
· Currently represent top cedent in connection with clergy abuse claims.
· Currently represent domestic reinsurer in $100 million property/captive reinsurance dispute.
· Currently represent top 10 global reinsurer in connection with losses emanating from allegations of sexual abuse by clergy.
· Currently represent domestic cedent in connection with losses emanating from the financial crisis.   · Recently and successfully represented top reinsurer in connection with World Trade Center (9/11) losses.
· Recently and successfully represented major US ceding company in connection with World Trade Center (9/11) losses.
· Recently and successfully represented domestic cedent in connection with claims involving the Boy Scouts of America.
· Recently and successfully represented top reinsurer in dispute involving treaty’s mechanism for “special acceptances.”
· Recently and successfully represented domestic reinsurer in dispute over cover for unallocated expenses.
· Recently and successfully represented domestic cedent in aggregation dispute involving food-related injuries.
· Recently and successfully represented domestic cedent with respect to claims emanating from large asbestos losses.
· Recently and successfully represented London insurer in coverage dispute adverse to California and English policyholders.
· Recently and successfully represented top US cedent in dispute over declaratory judgment expenses.
· Recently and successfully represented MGA in contract wording dispute.
· In 2010-2011, represented 14 different reinsurers located in Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States in domestic litigation involving ECO, XPL, and allocation disputes.
· In June 2010, obtained summary adjudication award for Top 10 reinsurer in net retention dispute. · Successfully represented major domestic cedent in three arbitration matters and collected more than $60M in principal reimbursements, plus interest, from 2006-2008.
· Argued summary judgment on behalf of Swiss Re in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts in 2003 and in the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 2005. Commercial Union Ins. Company. v. Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation
· Obtained dismissals for two Bermudan MGA’s in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and Second Circuit in 2000-2001. Odyssey Re (London) Limited v. Stirling Cooke Brown Holdings Limited (“Sphere Drake”).
· Successfully represented Hartford affiliate on appeal of fraudulent inducement/RICO decision.             
  Compagnie de Reassurance d’Ile de France. v. New England Reinsurance Corporation, 1st Cir. 1995.

Publications and Presentations

Mr. Attisani is the 2012 reinsurance editor of the Appleman Insurance treatise.  He has served on the faculty at ARIAS-US (leading trade association for the insurance and reinsurance arbitration industry), the Excess & Surplus Lines Claims Association (now, IACP), Mealey’s Reinsurance, ABIR (Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers), the ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Midyear Meeting, Perrin Conferences (London 2012), the PWC/Hawksmere Reinsurance Congress (Bermuda) and other seminars.  Mr. Attisani co-chaired the Spring 2012 ARIAS Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, and the Fall 2006 ARIAS Meeting in New York City.  He has been quoted in various trade publications and written several articles, including:

· “Q&A With Choate’s David Attisani,” featured, Insurance Law360, March 2013.
· “Recent Developments in the Selection, Conduct, and Disqualification of Reinsurance Arbitrators,” moderator, American Bar Association’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, AZ, March 2013.
· “Cyber Risk,” speaker, Swiss Re, Overland Park, KS, February 2013.
· “Emerging Risks: Hydrofracking and Clergy Abuse,” panelist, Swiss Re’s 2012 Americas Claims Conference, Chicago, IL, June 2012.
· “Inside the ‘Secret Garden’: Audit and Access to Records,” speaker, New York, NY, June 2012.
· “Cyber Risk,” speaker, 2012 Gen Re Claims Seminar, Stamford, CT, June 2012.
· Counsel, mock organizational meeting and “Contrast: Evidence and Trial in Litigation Proceeding,” speaker and conference co-chair, ARIAS-US 2012 Spring Conference, Palm Beach, FL, May 2012.
· “Insurance Cases to Watch in 2012,” quoted, Insurance Law360, January 2012.
· “Managing Discovery in Arbitration: Bob Dylan & the Asymmetry Principle,” ARIAS 2011 Spring Quarterly, May 2011.
· “Insurers Gained Ground in Key 2010 Rulings,” quoted, Insurance Law360, January 2011.
· “Inside the Locker Room: Recent Judicial Review of Arbitrator Conduct,” The International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers, June 2010.
· “Q&A with Choate Hall’s David Attisani,” featured, Law360, July 2009.
· “An Elephant in the (Arbitration) Room – The Power of Panels and Its Outer Limits,” The ARIAS Quarterly, Vol. 15 (2008), Vol. 16 (2009). 
· “New Capital Flow Slows,” Best’s Review, May 2007.
· “Carrying the Weight,” Risk Management Magazine, 2006.
· “Reinsurance Security Rules Need Scrutiny,” Business Insurance, 2003.
· “Reinsurance Coverage for Declaratory Judgment Expense,” The Journal Of Reinsurance, 2001.

Professional and Community Involvement

Mr. Attisani is a member of the Massachusetts and American Bar Associations.  He served as a special prosecutor in the Suffolk County (City of Boston) District Attorney’s Office, where he tried nineteen cases to verdict.

Williams CollegeBA 1987Harvard Law SchoolJ.D. 1991

Office Location

Two International Place
Boston, MA 02110
United States


Practice Areas

Insurance Law