LOS ANGELES – Pillsbury has recruited well-known California insurance litigators Steven Knott and Joan Cotkin to join the firm’s Los Angeles office and the firm’s market leading national Insurance Recovery & Advisory practice.
“We are very excited to welcome Steve and Joan, who represent an ideal fit for our practice,” said Insurance Recovery and Advisory practice co-chair Robert Wallan. “Both are excellent lawyers and fierce client advocates, who fit right in with our firm’s culture. Our insurance practice has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years and adding to our bench of talented litigators on the West Coast was essential for us to keep up with increasing client demand.”
Knott has tried more than 40 jury and bench trials as lead counsel in cases covering a wide variety of issues including insurance recovery, fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, groundwater contamination, asbestos, computer network disputes, petroleum franchise disputes and product liability defense. In addition, he provides review and analysis of insurance and indemnity provisions for infrastructure contract documents, and he teams with owner’s representatives in the assessment and resolution of disputes with contractors. His clients include CalPERS, NRG Energy, Precision Castparts Corp., Textron Inc., Dun & Bradstreet Emerging Businesses, and Klein Financial Corporation.
Before pursuing a career in law, Knott served as a field artillery cannon battery officer in the United States Marine Corps. He began his legal career with Texaco Inc. and went into private practice in 1993. He has also worked extensively with the Los Angeles Trial Attorney Project as a volunteer prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney and the Los Angeles District Attorney.
Cotkin is an insurance coverage veteran whose spouse Raphael Cotkin founded the insurance boutique firm Cotkin Collins in Los Angeles, which she joined in 1988. She has litigated a wide variety of insurance claims under commercial general liability (CGL) policies, Directors & Officers (D&O), Errors & Omissions (E&O) and other forms of liability coverage and has been involved in property and other first-party insurance recoveries, including disability and life claims. She has litigated to verdict scores of jury trials and recovered hundreds of millions for her policyholder clients. She has also assisted commercial clients on renewals and insurance policy endorsements, and manuscripted forms. Cotkin is Chambers rated, a National Law Journal “Trailblazer” in Litigation, and has twice been named one of “California’s Top Women Litigators” by The Los Angeles Daily Journal. She has been designated a “Super Lawyer” for insurance coverage continuously since 2006. Cotkin has also qualified and testified as an expert witness on insurance coverage issues since 1993. Her clients include CalPERS, Smart and Final, Guitar Center, and Azusa Pacific University.
“Pillsbury has a market-leading insurance recovery practice that is one of the busiest shops in the country,” Knott said. “The firm’s sterling reputation and clear commitment to policyholder representation offers Joan and me a rock-solid platform that will greatly benefit our clients and enable our practices to grow even further.”
Pillsbury’s policyholder-side Insurance Recovery & Advisory Group boasts one of the largest and most versatile insurance practices in the United States, with over 50 dedicated lawyers located in Washington DC, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco and Hong Kong. The group advises clients in the placement and structuring of insurance programs, in claim negotiation and in coverage disputes, with a lengthy track record of success at trial, arbitration and appeal. The group has been lauded by Chambers USA, The Legal 500 U.S. and Best Lawyers and is a three-time Law360 “Insurance Practice of the Year” honoree.