Mitchell L. Lathrop - Law Office of Mitchell L. Lathrop

Mitchell L. Lathrop

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006

Mitch is a sole practitioner whose practice focuses on alternative dispute resolution, reinsurance and insurance law, complex civil litigation, domestic and international arbitration, and environmental law.  He frequently serves as an expert witness on insurance and reinsurance matters in both state and federal courts.  Over the past few years Mitch has successfully mediated complex civil disputes involving tens of millions of dollars.

Mitch received his B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy and his J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law.  He also has a Diploma in International Arbitration Law from the College of Law of England and Wales.  He is admitted to practice in New York, California, and the District of Columbia.

Mitch is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; a Distinguished Neutral for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution; and serves as an arbitrator for the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration; the Reinsurance Association of America; the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"); and the London Court of International Arbitration.  He is a Certified arbitrator of the Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society, U.S. (ARIAS•US).  He has served as sole arbitrator, party arbitrator or counsel in over 100 mediations and arbitrations.


College of Law of England & WalesUnited States Naval AcademyBS 1959University of Southern CaliforniaJ.D. 1966
Chartered Institute of ArbitratorsAmerican Board of Trial AdvocatesInternational Institute for Conflict Prevention & ResolutionLondon Court of International ArbitrationARIAS-USAmerican Arbitration AssociationFinancial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

Case History

Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. v. Allstate Ins. Co. — 283 A.D.2d 322, 724 N.Y.S.2d 853 (2001), leave to appeal granted, 97 N.Y.2d 603, 760 N.E.2d 1288, 735 N.Y.S.2d 492 (2001), aff’d, 98 N.Y.2d 208, 774 N.E.2d 687, 746 N.Y.S.2d 622 (2002).  A unanimous jury verdict was received in New York Supreme Court in an environmental contamination insurance coverage case.  The jury verdict was affirmed on appeal by New York's highest court.
Aerojet-General Corp. v. Transport Indemnity Insurance Co. — 50 Cal.App.4th 354, 53 Cal.Rptr.2d 398 (1996); aff’d in part, rev’d in part, 17 Cal. 4th 38, 70 Cal. Rptr. 2d 118, 948 P.2d 909 (1997).  One of the largest environmental contamination lawsuits filed in California.  The case involved insurance coverage for environmental contamination.  Dozens of insurers were involved in the case, with the claims spanning decades.
Shell Oil Company v. Winterthur Swiss Insurance Company — 12 Cal.App.4th 715, 15 Cal.Rptr.2d 815 (1993), as modified, February 22, 1993, 1993 Cal. App. LEXIS 156.  This was the largest environmental insurance coverage case ever tried in the United States.  The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict for the insurers.
Fibreboard Corporation v. Puritan Insurance Co. — No. A054898, Cal. Ct. App. (unpublished), publication denied, No. S030092, Cal. Supreme Ct., March 31, 1993, 1993 Cal. LEXIS 1946.  The case involved failure to disclose material information on the part of a major corporation.  The insurer denied coverage.  The case was tried to a jury in San Francisco.  The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the insurer.
Trone v. Smith — 553 F.2d 1207 (9th Cir. 1977); later decision, 621 F.2d 994 (9th Cir. 1980).  The case arose out of the collapse of U.S. National Bank, the largest bank failure up to that point in time.  It also involved Westgate California Corporation, headed by the late C. Arnholdt Smith.  The case was a securities fraud suit which involved private investors, as well as departments of the U.S. government.

Client Comments

"Mitchell Lathrop is a U.S. litigation expert in insurance and reinsurance disputes. He wrote the book on Environmental and Asbestos claims. I know of no other lawyer who has greater depth of experience in those two areas. Another one of Mitch's tremendous unique skills is his ability to appear in courts in virtually every state and to be very comfortable in all levels of trial and appellate courts. Mitchell has taken to trial cases of tremendous exposure and in areas of cutting-edge matters. He has tremendous relationships with judges and juries. Mitchell has represented multiple national and international insurers as monitoring national counsel for claims numbering in the hundreds. "

"Of the dozens of talented lawyers with whom I have worked closely over two decades, Mitch Lathrop ranks as the finest attorney it has ever been my privilege to know. He is the consummate counselor. A seasoned trial attorney and tactful negotiator, Mitch's advice and strategies in tackling difficult cases always demonstrate not only a keen insight into the core legal issues at hand, but also a pragmatism for achieving the most economical resolutions for disputes. Simply put, he has natural gifts for advocacy and for crafting business-savvy solutions to his clients' problems. Always reliable, articulate, cost-conscious, and possessing a genuine charm and intelligence that inspire respect in both clients and adversaries alike, Mitch is at the top of my list of the best lawyers in America."

-Vincent Nadile
Vice President & Assistant General Counsel
Converium Insurance (North America) Inc.

"It is my pleasure to respond on behalf of Mitch Lathrop. I have known Mitch for 15 years and have used him on both domestic and international cases because of his level of experience and the results he achieves. I have gone to him with more than one "bet the company" case and would do so again. Mitch is extremely easy to work with and gives good counsel. I trust his judgment implicitly. Both he and his staff have always responded in a timely fashion, even when I do not provide much lead time. He understands my needs internally and helps me be effective. I have always been impressed with Mitch's ability to distill a case to its core issues and effectively communicate with both internal and external parties. Mitch has my highest unqualified recommendation. He is and remains one of my top-tier, go-to attorneys "

-William Fawcett
Chief Legal Officer
AXA Liabilities Managers

Office Location

600 West Broadway, Suite 500
San Diego, CA 92101-3357
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2012 Lawyer of the Year in Insurance Law of the San Diego Metro Area
Mitchell L. Lathrop has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2012!

Practice Areas

Insurance Law (Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Environmental, Professional Liability, Property, Reinsurance)

Other Information

Gender: Male