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Attorney-Client Privilege in Insurance Disputes: Preserving Confidentiality, Meeting Legal Ethics Standards

Waiver and Exceptions to the Privilege, the Tripartite Relationship, and the Role of Counsel in Claims Handling and Litigation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, April 11, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will offer insurance counsel strategies for protecting confidential communications and preserving the attorney-client privilege. The panel will discuss waiver and exceptions to the privilege, the interplay with reinsurance and reporting to reinsurers, the tripartite relationship, the role of lawyers in insurance disputes, and relevant legal ethics standards.


Insurance disputes trigger unique areas of concern in protecting the confidentiality of client communications, especially when insurance counsel are asked for coverage advice or must report to reinsurers. Whether pre-suit communications are subject to discovery is litigated with increasing frequency and increasingly volatile results.

Beyond those issues, serious legal ethics issues arise from the attorney's requirement of undivided loyalty to the client. Insurance defense counsel must be transparent about his role from the outset.

Counsel must determine whether he will be able to provide the insured a vigorous and uncompromised defense, immediately disclose any potential conflicts, and obtain the full informed consent of the insured to proceed. Insurance defense counsel may, in some cases, be required to recommend independent counsel.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance law specialists examines confidential attorney communications in insurance claims and suits, the role of counsel when working for insurers, and approaches to maintaining and protecting attorney-client privilege.



  1. Overview of the attorney-client privilege in insurance litigation, including the interplay with reinsurance
  2. Tripartite relationship issues and exceptions to privilege
  3. Best practices for preserving the privilege
  4. Meeting legal ethics standards and guidelines when serving as insurance defense counsel


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What privilege challenges do counsel to insurance companies face on claims disputes and litigation?
  • How does the role of the insurance company counsel undermine the attorney-client privilege and sometimes lead to an unintended waiver?
  • What are some exceptions to attorney-client privilege that arise in insurance disputes?
  • What are best practices for insurers' counsel to protect the attorney-client privilege?
  • What are insurance defense counsels' legal ethics obligations to the insured, and how can counsel ensure strict compliance with applicable ethics standards?


Baldwin, Brad
Brad A. Baldwin

Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby

Mr. Baldwin's practice focuses primarily on defending financial lines of insurance coverage disputes concerning...  |  Read More

Devlin, Kathleen
Kathleen J. Devlin

Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby

Ms. Devlin is an experienced litigator who provides advice to insurers and litigates coverage issues relating to...  |  Read More

Villaverde, April
April T. Villaverde

Hinshaw & Culbertson

Ms. Villaverde concentrates her practice in insurance coverage litigation and counseling. For over a decade, she...  |  Read More

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