The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented uncertainty to every area of our lives, and the legal community will surely be on the front lines of navigating the uncharted regulatory waters for years to come.

Phillip Greer, CEO of Best Lawyers, moderates the first panel discussion on COVID-19-related legal issues. This panel was created with the intent to develop a better understanding of the current issues companies are facing during this pandemic while also discussing potential long-term effects.

The topic for this roundtable is the legal complications of business-interruption insurance claims resulting from COVID-19 closures. We spoke to three insurance law thought leaders to get their input.


Lorelie S. Masters
Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth
Washington, D.C.

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Insurance Law since the 14th Edition.
The 2015 Washington, D.C. Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year.”

A nationally recognized insurance coverage litigator, Lorie handles all aspects of complex, commercial litigation and arbitration. Lorie has advised clients on a wide range of liability coverages, including insurance for environmental, employment, directors and officers, fiduciary, property damage, cyber, and other liabilities. She also handles various types of first-party property insurance claims. She currently serves on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. 

Scott P. DeVries
Partner, Winston & Strawn
San Francisco, CA

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Insurance Law since the 12th Edition, Commercial Litigation since the 16th Edition, and Mass Torts / Class Actions – Defendants since the 24th Edition.
The 2020 San Francisco “Lawyer of the Year” for Mass Torts / Class Actions – Defendants.

Chair of the firm's insurance recovery practice and an experienced trial lawyer, Scott routinely represents clients throughout the country facing insurance recovery issues, as well as in class and mass torts, product liability, and complex civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels. His insurance practice covers the gamut of insurance issues, including coverage for major property damage and business interruption losses, advertising-related liabilities, errors and omissions claims, director and officer claims, product liability claims, employment liability, fiduciary liability such as ERISA, False Claims Act liabilities, theft and other criminal-related claims, environmental and mass tort matters, and personal injury claims such as the right to privacy and false imprisonment.

William F. “Chip” Merlin  
Founder, Merlin Law Group 
Tampa, FL

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Insurance Law since the 15th Edition.

Chip was noted as the “Babe Ruth of Hurricane lawyers” in the Asbury Park Free Press for his work on behalf of 23 municipalities and hundreds of policyholders following Superstorm Sandy. The Tampa Bay Times dubbed him “the Master of Disaster” for his nationwide catastrophe work and helping policyholders following Hurricane Katrina. He was provided a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Florida Association of Public Adjusters for his advocacy on behalf of policyholders. He is on the Board of Directors of United Policyholders, has been a guest commentator on CNN and Fox News and is past Chair of the Insurance Bad Faith Litigation Group of the American Association of Justice.