Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • US Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Fourth and Eleventh Circuits
  • US District Court, New Jersey
  • US District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin

Education

  • George Washington University Law School, JD (with honors), 2005
  • University of Richmond, BA (cum laude), 2002

Heather is a Partner in the Basking Ridge office and handles disputes throughout the United States. Her practice focuses on insurance coverage and commercial litigation matters. She has extensive experience in litigating and pursuing alternative dispute resolution of insurance coverage disputes involving professional liability, general liability, construction, environmental, products liability and employment claims. In recent years, Heather has handled numerous insurance claims arising from class action and mass tort litigation asserted against various sports leagues by former athletes alleging long-term brain injury as well as sexual abuse claims asserted against various religious, sports, and recreational organizations. Heather also handles insurance disputes arising from talc, asbestos, and opioids. As part of her work on complex coverage matters, Heather has developed expertise in overseeing e-discovery efforts including the negotiation of e-discovery protocols and vendor contracts as well as the collection and review of large volumes of electronically-stored information. Heather also has experience handling appeals in both state and federal courts.

 

"Heather's legal skills and professionalism in every case she handles are unmatched."

Chambers USA 2022

Market recognition

  • Ranked as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ by US Legal 500 (2021-2022)
  • Ranked lawyer and notable practitioner for 'Insurance (New Jersey)' 
    Heather Simpson was recognized for her “exceptional level of understanding and analysis”. Another client praised, "Heather's legal skills and professionalism in every case she handles are unmatched."
    Chambers USA 2022
  • Ranked lawyer and notable practitioner for 'Insurance (New Jersey)'
    "Heather Simpson has significant experience defending insurers in coverage disputes involving sexual abuse and personal injury claims."
    "Heather Simpson is absolutely excellent - she combines common sense with an eye for detail."
    Chambers USA 2021
  • Ranked as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ by US Legal 500 (2021)
  • Ranked as an 'Up-and-Coming' lawyer and notable practitioner for 'Insurance (New Jersey)'
    Sources commend Heather Simpson for her "methodical and detail-oriented" approach and her "excellent client service." She has significant experience defending insurers in coverage disputes involving sexual abuse and personal injury claims."
    Chambers USA 2020
  • Ranked as an 'Up and Coming' lawyer by Chambers US (2019)
    Heather Simpson provides counsel on a range of insurance coverage matters, including professional and general liability claims and environmental disputes. One client observes: "She is excellent. She is creative, shows great attention to detail and is responsive and thorough."
    Chambers US 2019
  • Named a 2018 Rising Star from Law360

Work highlights

  • Represented insurers in connection with insurance claims and litigation arising from class action and mass tort lawsuits asserted by former athletes alleging long-term brain injury against various sports leagues, including the National Football League, the National Hockey League, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • Represented insurer and achieved settlement in connection with litigation arising from hundreds of sexual abuse claims against USA Gymnastics involving Dr. Larry Nassar.
  • Represented insurer in environmental declaratory judgment action and defeated arguments by policyholder seeking to undermine longstanding allocation principles in New Jersey pursued all the way to Supreme Court of New Jersey.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment on behalf of insurer in connection with challenge to settlement of 41 catastrophic burn and death cases arising from explosion at sugar refinery and handling appeal.
  • Successfully defended insurer against claim for advertising injury coverage for underlying antitrust claims and prevailed on appeal.

Presentations and publications

  • Panelist, "2022 Claims Trends Webinar: Abuse and Sports Head Injuries,” AIRROC/IRLA (January 2022)
  • Panelist, “Duty to Protect from Third-Party Harm in Sexual Abuse Cases,” Strafford Webinar (January 2022)
  • Co-author, “Discovery Considerations Presented by Group Collaboration Tools” published for the American Bar Association (December 2021)
  • Co-author, “The duty to protect from third-party harm: Brown v. USA Taekwondo and beyond,” published for the American Bar Association (August 2021)
  • Co-author, “California Supreme Court clarifies the special relationship requirement in abuse cases,” published for Kennedys (April 2021)
  • Co-author, “New York Appellate court holds liability insurer cannot recoup defense costs absent policy provision,” published for Kennedys (January 2021)
  • “Getting into the weeds - updates on cannabis and Roundup,” presented at Bermuda Hot Topics Seminar (October 2019)
  • “The Insurer and Policyholder Relationship and Its Impact on Asbestos Litigation”, Perrin National Asbestos Litigation Conference, San Francisco, California (October 3, 2018)
  • “Spiked: Could the Viking Pump Decision by the New York Court of Appeals Signal a Broader Trend Nationwide on Long Tail Coverage Issues?” ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Seminar (March 4, 2017)

Reported decisions

  • Premcor Refining Group, Inc. v. Matrix Service Industrial Contractors, Inc., 2013 WL 6113606 (Del. Super. Ct. Nov. 18, 2013)
  • National Football League v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, 157 Cal. Rptr. 3d 318 (Cal. Ct. App. 2013)
  • MF Nut Co., LLC v. Continental Casualty Co., 2013 WL 164425 (D. Haw. Jan. 15, 2013)
Market recognition
  • Chamber USA 2019 Heather E. Simpson

    Heather Simpson - Chambers USA 2019