Insurance Group Of The Year: Pillsbury
Robert L. Wallan
Robert Wallan is a senior litigation partner in Pillsbury’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Wallan tries cases in the state and federal courts and in binding arbitrations, and often argues in state and federal appellate courts. As plaintiff's counsel, Mr. Wallan has recovered nearly $3 billion for the firm's clients. For the defense, Mr. Wallan has helped clients avoid liability in numerous "bet the company" cases. Having tried dozens of cases in the courts and before arbitration panels, Mr. Wallan advises clients on litigation avoidance strategies, and regularly helps clients shift exposure to insurers.
Mr. Wallan served as managing partner of the firm's Los Angeles office and litigation department for many years, and currently serves on the firm’s finance committee and as co-chair of its Insurance Recovery and Advisory practice. Mr. Wallan also serves as Secretary and General Counsel of the UCLA Alumni Association Board of Directors.
- In the two decade old $9 billion Executive Life Insurance Company insolvency proceeding, Mr. Wallan has served as trial and appellate counsel to the company's largest policyholder group, major banks serving as indenture trustees for a dozen municipal bond issues.
- On the first day of trial, Mr. Wallan helped a major Japanese electronics manufacturer achieve an extremely favorable settlement in a matter involving the licensing of patents for DVD-ROM drives.
- Following the Chrysler bankruptcy, Mr. Wallan represented a major bank in a binding arbitration and related state court proceedings against defaulting borrowers and guarantors who controlled numerous Nevada automobile dealerships. After a week long hearing, he defeated lender liability claims, and helped the bank collect its outstanding balances, fees and costs.
- Mr. Wallan recovered more than $25 million for a former subsidiary of ITT Corporation in an extended binding arbitration and related trial court proceedings concerning the accounting for certain assets under the subsidiary’s spinoff agreement.
- Mr. Wallan defended a domain name start up in a federal suit alleging fraudulent misrepresentations in a merger and sale agreement. The settlement near trial resulted in the plaintiff dismissing its claims and paying defendant most of its legal fees and costs.
- In Global Health Sciences v Richard Marconi, et al. Mr. Wallan recovered more than $17 million for a litigation trust in prosecuting fraudulent transfer claims against former shareholders who cashed out of the corporation shortly before bankruptcy via a leveraged buy out.
- In separate class actions against frozen yogurt chains Pinkberry and Yogurtland, Mr. Wallan negotiated very favorable settlements of claims alleging false advertising and unfair competition.
- In FACTA class actions alleging billions of dollars in statutory damages against In-N-Out Burger, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and other chains, Mr. Wallan defeated class certification, and obtained complete dismissals.
- In a case where a terminated distributor sued its former customer for damages exceeding the customer's earnings to date, Mr. Wallan tried the arbitration to conclusion and judgment. The plaintiff distributor took nothing and was found liable for our client’s legal fees and costs.
- Mr. Wallan has been engaged in many of the nation's major insurance insolvencies, including Executive Life Insurance Company, Executive Life New York, Home, Mission, Superior National, Fremont Indemnity, and Reliance.
- Mr. Wallan regularly obtains insurance coverage for clients through negotiations, mediation, trials and arbitrations. In more than twenty claims, Mr. Wallan helped chain restaurants obtain coverage for wage & hour class actions. Mr. Wallan has maximized insurance payments relating to long-tail environmental claims, including claims arising from wood treatment operations in the Southeast United States as well as mass tort claims arising from groundwater contamination in Southern California.
American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association (Litigation section)
U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Central Districts of California, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Texas Commerce Bank v. Garamendi, 11 Cal. App. 4th 460 (1992)
Commercial National Bank v. Superior Court, 11 Cal. App. 4th 393 (1993)
Texas Commerce Bank v. Garamendi (TCB II), 28 Cal. App. 4th 1234 (1994)
In re Executive Life Insurance Company, 32 Cal. App. 4th 344 (1995)
SWH Corporation v. Select Insurance Company, 2006 WL 2786930
Bank of New York v. Fremont General Corporation, 514 F. 3rd 1008 (2008)
Zevnik v. Superior Court, 159 Cal. App. 4th 76 (2008)