Kevin J. O’Connor is a shareholder and founding member of Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing, P.C. Kevin is a trial lawyer with broad and deep experience in the trial, arbitration and appeal of insurance and reinsurance coverage, construction, surety, insurance defense, environmental and other commercial cases.
Kevin represents and provides advice to major national and international property and casualty insurers, reinsurers, insurance claim administrators, risk managers, insurance brokers and other stakeholders in the insurance industry in complex insurance coverage matters involving environmental, toxic tort, asbestos, sexual abuse, professional liability, products liability, general liability, fidelity, directors and officers, bad faith and other claims. His wide-ranging experience extends to the surety and construction industries, in which he has represented surety companies and contractors in a wide variety of commercial surety and construction related litigation.
Since early in his career, Kevin has been involved in cases at the cutting edge of developing insurance coverage issues, appearing as counsel for litigants or other interested parties in cases such as Home Ins. Co. v. Camp Dresser & McKee (1991, duty to defend), Trustees of Tufts University v. Commercial Union Ins. Co. (1993, trigger of coverage), SCA Services v. Transportation Ins. Co. (1995, known loss), Hakim v. Mass. Insurers Insolvency Fund (1997, owned property exclusion), Feinberg v. Commercial Union Ins. Co. (2002, pollution exclusion), Emhart Industries, Inc. v. Home Ins. Co., (2007, excess insurer's duty to defend), Emhart Industries, Inc. v. Century Indem. Co. (2009, termination of duty to defend), Boston Gas Co. v. Century Indem. Co. (2009, allocation of long term losses).
Kevin is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and regularly appears as counsel in state and federal courts throughout the Northeast.
Professional & Community Involvement
— Massachusetts Bar Association
American Bar Association
- Civil Litigation and Environmental Law Sections
Massachusetts Reinsurance Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Surety Claims Institute
- Torts and Insurance Practice, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law and Litigation sections
- Director and Vice President
OneBeacon America Ins. Co. v. The Narragansett Electric Co.
Represented insurers in large multi-site environmental coverage dispute involving historic gas manufacturing and electricity generation facilities. Obtained summary judgment as to all claims at all sites.
Stonewall Ins. Co. v. Travelers Cas. and Sur. Co. — Represented insurer in trial of equitable contribution claims seeking recovery of defense costs. After settling with most defendants, successfully recovered against others at trial.
United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Bordieri — Represented construction surety in fraudulent conveyance claim. Obtained injunctive relief attaching assets fraudulently transferred by defaulting prime contractor.
Emhart Industries, Inc. v. Home Ins. Co.
Jury verdict for client excess insurer that its coverage was not triggered under Rhode Island “discoverability” trigger of coverage rule.
Elwood Ins. Ltd. v. OneBeacon America Ins. Co. — Represented ceding insurer against a reinsurer’s challenge to an arbitration award. Obtained summary judgment in favor of ceding insurer on both the arbitration challenge and on statutory bad faith claims. Also obtained order requiring foreign reinsurer to post collateral as a condition of filing any appeal.