Insight

Insuring Success

Atlanta’s 2020 Litigation/Insurance “Lawyer of the Year,” Lisa Bondurant, on leadership, learning, and how to forge a true understanding of your clients.

Lisa Bondurant
JZ

Janice Zhou

March 31, 2020 08:00 AM

Two words best exemplify Lisa Bondurant’s laudable career: experience and focus. A partner at Womble Bond Dickinson, Bondurant—named Atlanta’s 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation - Insurance—has been doing legal work for multinational insurance companies for 30 years. “I think I’ve just become known as one of the lawyers who truly represents insurance companies in a broad way but also with good success,” she says.

In addition to her extensive work as an insurance attorney, Bondurant has held a number of leadership positions in a variety of insurance-industry organizations. She’s past chair of the Life, Health, and Disability Committee for the Defense Research Institute, as well as for the Life Insurance Committee for the American Bar Association, Litigation Sect and Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section, and many others.

Those leadership roles highlight “my focus on the industry,” she says. “Ultimately, one thing I could point to [as a reason I’ve been named ‘Lawyer of the Year’] is certainly not a recent accomplishment—it’s 30 years of sustained and focused work for the insurance industry.”

Aspects of her practice area that Bondurant finds especially worthwhile are the constant learning and the insights she gains into her clients. “When you’re working in the insurance industry, you’re often confronted with a task of learning a new business, because the insurance company will relate to providing coverage to that business—so the variety of what you handle is really rewarding,” she says. “I found so much pleasure in doing a deep dive into particular industries and understanding their business in order to represent the insurance companies as best I can.”

Also gratifying are the relationships she’s made. “There’s a small group of lawyers around the country who do a lot of work for insurance companies, and I’ve gotten to know many in this space,” Bondurant says. “I consider them not just colleagues but good friends because we’ve litigated together, we’ve been together at industry meetings, we’ve taken on the insurance companies as our clients and advocated for them.”

Her advice for anyone looking to become a successful lawyer: Know the importance of truly understanding your client. “What makes a great lawyer is the same no matter what clients you represent, but understanding a client’s business, understanding their goals, understanding what’s driving decisions before you jump into a case—that’s what really helps you distinguish yourself,” Bondurant says. “You really have to dive deeply into your client’s business and be willing to roll up your sleeves and understand what the client needs.”

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