Donald W. Kiel - K&L Gates

Donald W. Kiel

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006
Phone: 973-848-4064

Mr. Kiel’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including commercial insurance coverage litigation and counseling, as well as environmental and toxic tort and tort litigation.

He has handled some of the largest insurance coverage disputes for corporate policyholders in state and federal courts throughout the country. Mr. Kiel’s experience includes litigation, arbitration, appraisals and counseling concerning insurance coverage for environmental, asbestos, directors and officers, antitrust, product (including pharmaceutical and chemical), employment practices, entertainment event cancellation, e commerce and gun liability, as well as for first party losses (including business interruption) arising from natural disasters and 9/11 and claims under life insurance policies. He also counsels clients concerning the purchase and negotiation of commercial insurance policies. Mr. Kiel’s recent insurance coverage matters have included the following:

Appointed as special insurance coverage counsel for Bankruptcy Chapter 11 debtor in asbestos bankruptcy, resulting in establishment of bankruptcy trust funded almost exclusively with hundreds of millions of dollars of insurer-paid funds;

Represented large pharmaceutical product manufacturer in two coverage litigations involving underlying mass tort product liability claims and obtained settlement at amounts close to policy limits;

Represented chemical products manufacturer in coverage litigation resulting in insurer agreement to defend and indemnify manufacturer;

Representing health care company in D&O insurance coverage litigation involving recovery of substantial costs to defend multiple former officers and directors in substantial criminal matters;

Representing health care company in E&O insurance coverage litigation and arbitration arising from underlying antitrust claims;

Representing industrial manufacturing client in coverage litigation against historical general liability insurers involving coverage for substantial alleged environmental liabilities arising from former manufacturing facility;

Represented large commercial client in coverage litigation against employment practices liability insurer involving large underlying employment discrimination class action;

Representing New Jersey bank in connection with coverage issues arising out of underlying construction litigation;

Representing industrial manufacturing client in litigation involving rights to historical general liability insurance policies among client and numerous corporate successors to client;

Represented large water utility in appraisal proceeding over major first-party insurance flood loss to water pumping plant and equipment;

Represented beneficiary under “key person” life insurance policy in connection with dispute over change of beneficiary by policy owner.

Mr. Kiel's practice includes serving as counsel and arbitrator in several commercial arbitrations throughout the United States.  He has been selected by policyholders to serve as a party appointed arbitrator in a number of large insurance coverage arbitrations, including claims involving a loss of a gas and oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Rita; and multiple D&O insurance coverage disputes.  Mr. Kiel has also handled several large insurance coverage arbitrations on behalf of policyholder clients involving both first party losses and D&O insurance coverage disputes.

Mr. Kiel has also defended several significant environmental and toxic tort litigations, including precedent setting environmental justice litigation, CERCLA and similar state statutory cost recovery litigation, along with related toxic tort class actions, wrongful death litigation and multiple plaintiff lawsuits.  He also regularly counsels and represents clients in litigation concerning contractual indemnity claims for asbestos, environmental and other liabilities.

Mr. Kiel has also handled numerous commercial litigations and counseled clients on the resolution of commercial disputes short of litigation.  His commercial litigation matters have included the following:

Coordinated and handled numerous commercial equipment lease litigations on behalf of large national bank-owned equipment leasing company;

Successfully represented national franchisor in large consumer fraud litigation;

Successfully defended telecommunications company in RICO actions.

Bucknell UniversityBA 1979American UniversityJ.D. 1982

Case History

Other Court Admissions
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Client Comments

"Don Kiel is a consummate insurance law practitioner and tenacious advocate for corporate clients seeking redress from carriers who may be initially reluctant to honor the terms of the policies issued to their insureds. He is our "go to" guy on all insurance matters in the U.S., and has never failed to secure a successful outcome for our constituent companies. "

-Jack Adler
Pentax of America Inc.

"Don Kiel is top notch. Our company could not think more highly of him than we do. He is aggressive, polished, and knowlegeable. I would hire him for any coverage issue, even if outside of his normal jurisdiction. He is timely, effective, clear, and very persuasive. We have had great results. "

Office Location

One Newark Center, 10th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102-5285
United States

Practice Areas

Insurance Law (Bad Faith, Coverage, Dispute Resolution, Plaintiffs)

Other Information

Gender: Male