• Villanova University School of Law, JD, 2002
  • University of Notre Dame, BA, 1999

Sean is the firm’s head of US Financial Lines and a partner in the Philadelphia office. His experience spans a broad range of complex commercial insurance coverage matters.

Sean routinely serves as lead counsel for commercial primary and excess insurers with respect to both coverage evaluations and litigation involving complex coverage disputes arising out of directors and officers and management liability insurance programs, fiduciary and ERISA liability insurance policies, errors and omissions policies, and employment practices liability insurance policies, as well as commercial general liability and professional liability policies and life insurance disputes. He is frequently called upon by both primary-layer and excess commercial liability insurers to evaluate coverage for specific claims and to serve as lead trial counsel in coverage litigation, which often involves disputes between multiple insurers and coverage towers.

Sean has extensive and successful trial and litigation experience in state and federal courts, as well as in numerous private arbitrations involving complex commercial insurance coverage, financial lines coverage, and life insurance disputes. He has achieved significant victories as lead counsel representing insurers in jury and federal bench trials, in many private arbitrations, and as an appellate advocate in both state and federal appellate courts. Commercial insurers have also frequently called upon him to oversee and litigate disputes involving the collection of premiums, managing general agents, retail agents, insurance producers, and third-party claims administrators.

Insurers often seek Sean’s advice and counseling with respect to insurance coverage disputes prior to litigation and/or in connection with mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. He has frequently negotiated favorable resolutions for insurers and other clients involved in disputes with third parties that have avoided costly and protracted litigation.

Sean regularly delivers presentations to clients and general audiences and publishes articles about many important and current insurance coverage issues. He has been published in The Legal Intelligencer and has also spoken at CLE events on many diverse insurance industry topics.

Sean is also an active member of his local community in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, where he has served as the league commissioner for the local youth basketball league, served upon the board of the Swarthmore Recreation Association, and volunteered his time in connection with various local community events.

Qualifications and admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • US District Court, New Jersey
  • US District Court for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania
  • US Court of Appeals for the First and Third Circuit

Market recognition

  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America: Insurance Law (2022, 2024)
  • Recognized as a Pennsylvania “Rising Star” in Insurance Coverage and Business Litigation 2007-2020

Work highlights

  • Prevailed at summary judgment in September 2023 in multi-million dollar commercial general liability coverage arbitration in which three-member arbitration panel concluded that insurer client had no duty to defend or indemnify insured under professional liability architects and engineers policy in connection with underlying negligent design and inspection lawsuit.
  • Achieved favorable settlement in August 2023 for global insurer participating in one of three towers insuring a national healthcare services provider sued in securities class action.
  • Prevailed in jury trial representing professional liability insurer in multi-million dollar legal malpractice insurance coverage dispute when the District Court granted insurers’ motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict entirely in favor of insurer and against plaintiff, Stormo v. State National Ins. Co., No. 19-10034-FDS, 2023 WL 5515823 (D. Mass. Aug. 24, 2023).
  • Achieved favorable settlement for global D&O insurer in multi-million dollar coverage dispute in August 2023 over costs incurred by insured entity in connection with grand jury investigation against several officers of insured entity.
  • Achieved favorable settlement for global Errors and Omissions insurer in February 2023 in eight-figure liability insurance coverage dispute over asserted defense and indemnity coverage for multiple underlying malpractice actions against insured.
  • Prevailed after oral argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court in Crystal Point Condo. Assoc. v. Kinsale Ins. Co., 251 N.J. 437 (N.J. Jul. 18, 2022), in which the Supreme Court concluded that a judgment creditor’s direct action against client insurer was subject to binding arbitration provision of applicable professional liability insurance policies.
  • Achieved favorable settlement for global D&O insurer in January 2023 in coverage litigation arising out of asserted defense coverage for multiple underlying criminal proceedings against officer of insured.
  • Achieved favorable settlement for global D&O insurer in September 2021 in multi-tower nine-figure coverage dispute over asserted coverage for underlying securities class action.
  • Prevailed after oral argument in the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and after prevailing in the district court, representing ERISA liability insurer in multi-tower dispute over whether subsequent lawsuits against the insured constituted “related claims” with respect to prior litigation against the insured, Northrop Grumman Corp. v. AXIS Reins. Co., et al., No. 19-1949, 809 Fed. Appx. 80 (3d Cir. Apr. 22, 2020).
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of commercial liability insurer in Pennsylvania federal court concluding that lower, $100,000 policy limit for reimbursement of defense costs only, without any indemnity coverage, applied instead of higher, $1 million indemnity limit with unlimited defense cost reimbursement and further obtained judgment against insured for reimbursement of defense costs.
  • Obtained a six-figure award from a three-member private arbitration panel for a large commercial insurer in a dispute against an insurance producer over failure to remit commercial liability insurance premiums.
  • Achieved a favorable settlement in 2013 a $20 million reinsurance dispute representing a London-based reinsurer sued by a liability insurer over hundreds of unpaid claims.
  • Prevailed as lead trial counsel representing commercial liability insurer after trial to favorable jury verdict in Kentucky in August 2013 and successful appealed to increase client’s award to achieve high-six figure award for client insurer in dispute over audited and unpaid commercial liability insurance premiums, James River Ins. Co. v. Bates Contracting and Construction, Inc., No. 2012-CA-002066-MR, 2015 WL 1197532 (Ky. App. Mar. 13, 2015).
  • Successfully defended a commercial liability insurer in a federal bench trial in against allegations that a premium refund was due as a result of alleged mid-term cancellation of liability insurance and achieved ruling of no liability for client insurer.
  • Secured arbitration award from a three-member AAA arbitration panel in favor of a professional liability insurer finding that insurer had no duty to defend/indemnify attorney in an underlying professional liability action.

Presentations and publications

  • Co-author, “Nevada burning limits: The end of defense within policy limits,” published for Kennedys (October 2023)
  • “D&O and AI Insurance,” In-House Client Training (September 2023)
  • “D&O insurance trends-2023,” In-House Client Training (March 2023)
  • Co-author “Oklahoma Supreme Court joins majority of COVID-19 decisions and finds for insurer in COVID-19 coverage dispute with Cherokee Nation,” published for Kennedys (October 2022)
  • "An overview of the rise of US derivative actions," In-House Client Training (September 2022)
  • “Effective Coverage Investigation,” In-House Client Training (May 2022)
  • Co-author, “Mending the Gap (in Pleadings): Texas Supreme Court allows for consideration of entrinsic evidence in evaluating an insurer's duty to defend,” published for Kennedys (February 2022)
  • Co-author, “Wisconsin federal court interprets “Bump-Up” provision in D&O policy,” published for Kennedys (October 2021)
  • Co-author, “The implications of the Delaware Supreme Court’s pronouncement that D&O liability for actual fraud is insurable,” published for Kennedys (June 2021)
  • Co- Author, "Delaware Supreme Court expands the application of Delaware law in D&O coverage disputes," published for Kennedys (March 2021)
  • “Coverage 101,” In-House Client Training (February 2021)