Erik Kowalewsky focuses his practice on insurance coverage, including among other lines D&O, E&O, tech, cyber, general liability, property, healthcare, marine and energy, in the primary, excess and reinsurance context. He has particular experience with manuscript policy forms under U.S. and English law, including those providing difference in conditions/difference in limits coverage, and master-local coverage programs. Mr. Kowalewsky advises London Market and other international insurers on scope of coverage, monitoring and settling underlying litigation by third parties, advice on wordings, as well as litigating disputed coverage claims.
Mr. Kowalewsky also has substantial experience representing parties in maritime litigation, including hull and machinery loss and pollution claims. He has handled major commercial litigation, including contract and business tort claims, real estate disputes, and copyright and trademark disputes.
Mr. Kowalewsky was seconded to a major Lloyd’s syndicate in London, where he worked closely with the professional liability and directors and officers claims teams.
Mr. Kowalewsky regularly gives seminars to insurers in-house on compliance with the California Fair Claims Settlement Regulations.
Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in May 2015, Mr. Kowalewsky worked for more than a decade in the San Francisco, New York and London offices of major insurance law firms.
Mr. Kowalewsky's law school accomplishments include having been a member of the Dean's List. He received Legal Research and Writing Honors, and participated in pro bono litigation through the Legal Clinic: D.C. Law Students in Court.
- Chartered Insurance Institute, Member
A selection of Mr. Kowalewsky's representative matters includes:
- A claim under an oil company's worldwide offshore program, arising from rig losses and damage in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Katrina.
- An oil services company's claim for liability coverage, involving alleged constructive total loss of cargo aircraft in Africa.
- A first-party claim arising from expropriation of and insured's oil rig by the Venezuelan government.
- An oil company's claim for liability coverage involving alleged coorosion to underground storage tanks caused by gasoline contamination, and a resulting class action in West Virginia.
- An oil company's claim for liability coverage involving its use of MTBE as a gasoline additive, and resulting nationwide MDL and individual lawsuits.
- A first-party claim arising from the loss of a French music company's master recordings during a warehouse fire in California.
- A major insurance broker's claim for errors & omissions coverage arising from its alleged formation of reinsurance spirals in the PA/LMX markets.
- A first-party claim arising from the loss of river revetments in Bangladesh during a monsoon.
- Instituted a subrogation program on behalf of an insurer for all of its losses in Scandinavia, including negotiating all agreements with the insurer, formulating protocols for handling recoveries and engaging local experts.
- Handled losses under fidelity policies, includ9ing investigating disposition of stolen money and obtaining emergency court relief to freeze assets.
- Handled cargo losses involving air, ocean and ground transport.
Commercial Litigation and Other Matters
- Represented an English supplier of cables in negotiation resolution of a dispute against its Korean subcontractors, after the subcontractor caused the client to lose a government contract to outfit United States warships.
- Represented the individuals and entities which owned nightclubs in New York City in a RICO action seeking damages from former owners and employees of the clubs.
- Represented a Florida company in an action seeking lost investment and lost profits from its Brazilian joint venture. Obtained a $58 million judgment against the joint venture partner after extensive default prove-up.
- Obtained the largest Foreign Claims Act recovery ever granted by the United States Army (as of mid-2009).
- "Emerging Insurance Issues," "Differences Between English and American Insurance Law," Insurance Market Conference Seminar Series, Cambridge University
- "California Fair Claims Settlement Regulations," presented to clients in-house
- "Going it Alone," Maritime Risk International, September 2008
- "Navigating – and Working to Reconcile – a Sea of Conflicting Cargo Laws," co-author, Maritime Risk International, October 2007
- "U.S. Court Applies the Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel," co-author, Insurance Day, July 13, 2007
- August 4, 2015Firm expands office space in one of San Francisco's premier addresses in the heart of the Financial District
Qualified Lawyers Transfer Test program, College of Law, London, 2008
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1999
B.A., cum laude, Philosophy, University of California at Los Angeles, 1995
- District of Columbia
- New York
- Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California