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Richard Johnson

Senior Counsel


Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Senior Counsel

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Profile & Experience

Regions covered
Full Profile

For over 23 years, Richard Johnson has represented insurers in complex coverage and litigation matters, focusing on Directors & Officers, Professional Liability, Errors and Omissions, Employment Practices, and Fiduciary coverages. Richard also has extensive experience with environmental, mass tort, business interruption, data breach, event cancellation, property, general liability, crime, and aviation coverages.

Richard handles jury trials and bench trials, arbitrations, complex motion practice, and appeals in both federal and state appellate courts throughout the United States. He has achieved victories resulting in reported decisions on issues including rescission, statutory interpleader, late notice, settlement without consent, applicability of policy exclusions, apportionment of coverages between carriers and policies, legal insurability of restitution/disgorgement, and “bad faith.”

Richard has also handled cases for Bermuda and London carriers, as well as coverage disputes under English and Hong Kong law. He has also been involved in the drafting of policy language and was recently asked to provide guidance to London carriers in connection with the drafting and interpretation of pandemic exclusions for business interruption and event cancellation coverages. 

A member of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, Richard has served as a Vice-Chair in the Professionals Officers and Directors Liability Committee and the Corporate Governance Task Force.


  • California
  • US District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
  • US Courts of Appeals for the First, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits


  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1998
  • B.A., St. John’s College, 1991


  • American Bar Association – Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
  • Successfully utilized groundbreaking action in the nature of interpleader to manage under multi-year insurance program, and effect class-wide settlement of, several thousand pelvic mesh claims against financially distressed Insureds, and prevail on summary judgment and on appeal to the Ninth Circuit in resisting efforts of non-insured claimed indemnitees to intervene and derail settlement.
  • Obtained summary judgment enforcing disclaimer of coverage Insured allegedly in the business of conducting anti-competitive activities based on broad antitrust exclusion against charges of illusory coverage, and prevailed on appeal to the First Circuit
  • Secured rescission on summary judgment of directors and officers policy based upon Insureds’ restatement of public audited financial statements included in application, and prevailed on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment ruling upholding disclaimer of coverage based on breach of consent to settle clause without proof of prejudice, against Insured’s argument that settlement in principal was not final at time it gave belated notice, and prevailed on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
  • Successfully managed, and settled, eight-figure primary and excess insurance claims under multi-year policy program for interrelated series of employment discrimination suits based upon race, sex, and national origin.
  • Obtained summary judgment in Western District of Washington holding no employment practices liability insurance coverage for claims of misclassification as temporary workers and denial of benefits for common law employees.
  • Secured ruling on summary judgment that unpaid pension liabilities constituted uninsurable disgorgement under New York law, and prevailed on appeal in the New York Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained summary judgment upholding under Florida law disclaimer of coverage under Claims-made-and-reported policy based on notice late by a few hours, and prevailed on appeal in the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Succeeded in private arbitration in upholding disclaimer of coverage for multimillion dollar settlement based upon insured persons’ lack of legal obligation to pay and several million in attorneys’ fees based upon failure to obtain consent of carrier to retention of particular firm.
  • Secured ruling, in complex multi-phase bench trial of eight-figure claim by insured private equity firm, that coverage disclaimer based upon uninsurability of disgorgement/restitution under California law not subject to adjudication requirement, notwithstanding policy’s inclusion of a profit exclusion with an adjudication requirement.
  • Assisted in successful defense of big four public accountants against retrospective application of ambiguous new rule improperly penalizing innocent failure to detect fraud, and their ultimate victory in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • Successfully utilized Buss and Blue Ridge to manage and settle underlying litigation, cap exposure, and recoup uncovered advances of settlement sum and defense fees and costs for uncovered aviation claim aggressively asserted by difficult recovery counsel.


  • Private Conference Presentation, “The Surge: Marking the Substantial Uptick in Securities Class Actions,” 2019
  • Private CLE Presentation, “Use of Statutory Actions in the Nature of Interpleader in Insurance Disputes,” 2020
  • Private CLE Presentation, “Doubts and Misconceptions regarding the Uninsurability of Restitution/Disgorgement,” 2020
  • Private CLE Presentation, “War Stories: Lessons Learned from Monitoring and Investigation of Third Party Claims,” 2018
  • Private CLE Presentation, “Using Buss and Blue Ridge to Cap Risk and Recoup Uncovered Advances,” 2017


  • Aviation

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

  • Professional Practices



  • Commercial Disputes

  • Corporate

  • International Arbitration