Brendan is a nationally recognized lawyer focusing his practice on insurance recovery for policyholders, and on legal matters with significant insurance issues – such as construction, real estate, marine, environmental pollution, consumer protection, personal injury, and business law, to name a few.
Brendan spent more than a decade solely representing insurance companies before switching sides to solely represent policyholders. He first worked as an agent for Safeco Insurance Company before attending law school. He then worked in Safeco’s legal department while in law school. After graduating from law school, Brendan climbed the ranks and became a partner at the international law firm Cozen O’Connor. There he represented the world’s largest insurance companies in their most complex and high-stakes matters.
Brendan switched sides and joined Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell in 2017 because wanted to represent policyholders instead of insurance companies. Brendan’s in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry has made him one of the most sought out policyholder lawyers in the Pacific Northwest.
Brendan is proud of the strong reputation he has built in the legal community. His accomplishments include:
- In 2016, the American Bar Association (ABA) named Brendan among the top 40 lawyers in the United States under the age of 40 (when Brendan was still under the age of 40).
- Brendan was named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers and Seattle Met magazines in 2022.
- Brendan was named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and Seattle Met magazines each year from 2012 to 2021 (being eligible for that honor until reaching the age of 40).
- Brendan is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF), which is an invitation-only honorary society whose membership is limited to the top 1 percent of lawyers admitted to practice in the United States.
- Brendan is a Fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA), which is an invitation-only honorary society whose membership is limited to the top 1,200 construction lawyers in the United States and internationally.
- Brendan holds the Certified Litigation Management Professional (CLMP) designation from Loyola University School of Law in Chicago. The CLMP designation is the insurance industry’s certification program for insurance company claims managers and their counsel.
- Brendan is the former Washington president for the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (the CLM), which is the largest professional association in the insurance industry with more than 50,000 members. Brendan is also a former member of the CLM’s national construction law committee.
- Brendan has been invited to speak at more than 30 national and regional conferences on a wide array of topics including complex insurance claims and ethics.
- Brendan has been published by Litigation Management, Construction Today, and Business Insurance magazines. He was also a contributing author to the Washington Real Property Deskbook series on environmental regulation.
- The Washington State Supreme Court nominated Brendan in 2014, 2015, and 2016 to their Pro Bono Publico Honor Roll for his contributions to public service.
- The International Refugee Assistance Project, which is the nation’s leading refugee assistance organization, commended Brendan in 2014 and 2015 for his work in international refugee rights.
- Environmental Pollution – Counsel to numerous insurance companies and policyholders for environmental pollution claims brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (and state agencies) arising at industrial sites located throughout the United States.
- Construction and Real Estate – Counsel to a group of international insurance companies in a dispute involving the construction of one of the largest granular polysilicon production plants in the world. Counsel to a global real estate investor in a dispute involving the construction of a 450 unit, four-tower apartment building. Counsel to an insurance company in a dispute arising from the largest planned unit development ever built in Spokane, Washington. Counsel to one of the largest construction companies in the United States handling a wide array of contract and insurance matters for the company. Counsel to numerous property owners, property managers, and construction companies in disputes with their insurance carriers.
- Agriculture – Counsel to one of the largest frozen food processors in the United States for a product recall triggered by listeria contamination. Counsel to one of the largest agricultural companies in the Pacific Northwest in a dispute involving the total loss of their production facilities caused by a fire. Counsel to a food processor involving the breakdown of their processing equipment during production runs.
- Consumer Protection – Counsel in a class-action lawsuit against a paint manufacturer who falsely advertised that their paint contained no volatile organic compounds (when in fact it did contain such compounds).
- Anti-competition and Intellectual Property – Counsel to a pet insurance company in an anti-competition and intellectual property dispute with its largest competitor in Canada. Counsel to a Pacific Northwest tech company in an anti-competition and intellectual property dispute with its largest competitor in the United States.
- Transportation and Marine – Counsel to a Port Authority in its dispute with one of the largest shipping companies in the world. Counsel to owners and insurers of yachts that were damaged or sunk while at sea. Counsel to group of international insurers involving a fraudulent scheme orchestrated by the president of one of the largest fishing companies in Spain. Counsel to numerous trucking companies for wrongful death claims, property damage claims, and cargo losses arising from trucking accidents.
- Energy – Counsel to one of the largest petroleum companies in the world for claims arising out of their refinery operations in Washington. Counsel to group of insurance companies in a dispute with one of the largest oil companies in the United States relating to their Washington refinery operations.
- Life and Health – Counsel to a family in a life insurance matter after father (a high-ranked executive and bread earner) unexpectedly passed away in his 40’s leaving behind his wife and two children. Counsel to numerous individuals in health insurance matters adverse to their health insurers. Counsel to numerous hospitals and medical providers in matters adverse to their insurance carriers.
- Professional Liability and Directors & Officers Liability – Counsel to one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage firms in the Pacific Northwest involving allegations against their directors and officers. Counsel to a national third-party claim administrator in a professional liability lawsuit brought against them by a domestic insurance company. Counsel to numerous law firms, accounting firms, physician groups, and other professionals and organizations in matters against their insurance companies.
- Governmental and Employer Liability – Counsel to an insurance company who insured governmental entities that wrongfully imprisoned innocent people and who were later exonerated through DNA evidence (by the Innocence Project). Counsel to insurance companies who insured the Catholic Archdiocese (and other organizations of faith) for claims involving sex abuse against children. Counsel to insurance company that insured nation’s largest ambulance provider in a matter involving sexual assault by its EMT against more than 20 women. Counsel to numerous Pacific Northwest companies for sex abuse and assault claims brought against them for alleged misconduct by their employees. Counsel to a former King County Sheriff in a defamation lawsuit brought during his political campaign for reelection.
- Emerging Markets – Counsel to a cannabis producer in lawsuit alleging lung injuries caused by vaporizing cannabis oil (i.e. the vape injury lawsuits).
- Regulatory Proceedings – Counsel to the largest insurance company in the United States in a regulatory proceeding brought against it by the Washington Insurance Commissioner to suspend their license to write insurance in Washington.
- Small Businesses and Sole Proprietors – Counsel to numerous small businesses and sole proprietors in a wide array of commercial-lines insurance matters.
- Individuals and Families – Counsel to family trust in a dispute with the developers of a luxury home built for the trust. Counsel to numerous individuals and families in a wide array of personal-lines insurance matters.
- Expert Witness – Retained as an insurance expert in a legal malpractice lawsuit.
PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC INVOLVEMENT
- Successfully represented Gambian refugee in asylum claim before the US Department of State
- Successfully represented Iraqi citizen in proceedings before the US Department of State to secure a Special Immigrant Visa for his loyal service as a translator for the US Military during the Iraq war
- Have worked on several other refugee and asylum cases
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Co-Author, “Don’t Overlook Building Information Modeling in Construction Defect Litigation”, Litigation Management Magazine, October 2015 (Co-authored with Carrie Ciliberto, Senior Counsel for AGC)
- Author, “Mind the Gaps in General Liability Coverage for Construction Companies Operating in Multiple States”, Business Insurance Magazine, March 2014
- Author, “That’s a Wrap”, Construction Today Magazine, March 2012
- Contributing Author, Real Property Deskbook series, Environmental Regulation, Chapter 17 on Insurance Coverage for Environmental Clean-ups, 4th Edition, 2013
- Also published several other publications regarding insurance coverage, construction, and ethics
- Speaker, GTTC Insurance Recovery Seminar, Health Care, Long-Term Care, and Long-Term Disability Claims, June 2022, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, GTTC Insurance Recovery Seminar, Covenant Judgments, December 2021, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Propel Insurance, Lunch and Learn, Advertising Injury Coverage, October 2021, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Lockton Insurance, Lockton Law Days, Modern Pollution Insurance Specialty Policies, October 2021, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Washington Autism Alliance, Health Insurance Appeals, August 2021, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, GTTC Insurance Recovery Seminar, The Wild West of Insurance – Insuring the Cannabis Industry, November 2020, Seattle, WA
- Moderator, Puget Sound Claims Managers Council, Education Luncheon, Roundtable Discussion of COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Issues, April 2020, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Propel Insurance, Lunch and Learn, August 2019, Tacoma, WA
- Speaker, GTTC Insurance Recovery Seminar, Lightning Round — Developments to Watch in Washington and Beyond, June 2019, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Convention, How to Successfully Challenge an Insurance Company’s Denial of Mental Health Benefits, June 2019, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Puget Sound Claims Managers Council, Education Luncheon, Insurance Case Law Updates and Traps for the Unwary, May 2019, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, National Alliance on Mental Illness, The Search for the “Real” Dual Diagnosis Treatment and the Insurance to Pay for It, February 2019, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, RIMS Cyber Liability Symposium, Making the Cyber Insurance Claim, April 2018, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, Annual Tort Law Update, The Highs of Marijuana Litigation, December 2017, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar, Pacific Northwest Construction Claims, May 2017, Anaheim, CA
- Speaker, Puget Sound Claims Managers Council, Education Luncheon, Reefer Madness: How Legal Marijuana Will Give Rise to the Next Wave of Mass Tort Litigation, May 2017, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, CLM National Construction Conference, Pacific Northwest Construction Claims, September 2016, San Diego, CA
- Speaker, Cozen O’Connor Client Seminar, Reefer Madness: How Legal Marijuana Will Give Rise to the Next Wave of Mass Tort Litigation, September 2016, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Puget Sound Claims Managers Council, Educational Luncheon, Do Insurers Have a Duty to Settle Even When No Firm Demand Within Policy Limits Has Been Made?, March 2016, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, CLM National Construction and Insurance Conference, Wrap-up Insurance, November 2015, Atlanta, GA
- Speaker, Marine Insurance Association, Educational Luncheon, Ethics in the Insurance Industry, April 2015, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, ACI National Forum on Construction Claims, Wrap-up Insurance, February 2015, New York, NY
- Speaker, Northwest Insurance Coverage Association, Educational Luncheon, Ethics in the Insurance Industry, November 2014, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Marine Insurance Association, Educational Luncheon, Ethics in the Insurance Industry, September 2014, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, CLM National Construction Conference, Enforcing Indemnity and Insurance Provisions in Construction Contracts, August 2014, Boston, MA
- Speaker, CLM National Conference, Ethics in the Insurance Industry, April 2014, Boca Raton, FL
- Speaker, CLM Educational Luncheon, Understanding Choice of Law, May 2013, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Conference, The Big Risk – Seattle’s Big Dig, July 2012, Stevenson, WA
- Speaker, Puget Sound Adjuster’s Association, Annual Convention, The Big Risk – Seattle’s Big Dig, March 2012, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, RIMS Winter Conference, The Big Risk – Seattle’s Big Dig, February 2012, Seattle, WA
- Speaker, Cozen O’Connor Client Seminar, The Big Risk – Seattle’s Big Dig, September 2011, Seattle, WA
- Also spoke at several other conferences and events regarding insurance and related areas of the law
I cherish my time outside the office. I love spending time with my wife and our three boys. If you get to know me personally, you will quickly learn that I am an avid “travel hacker.” That is, I am obsessed with accumulating miles and points in order to take my family on free trips around the world. I have traveled to nearly 40 countries. Needless to say, my kids have had many amazing adventures and have traveled to more places than many adults (they are spoiled brats!). I am also obsessed with skiing, cooking, and enjoying life. I used to be a college ski racer. I now spend every weekend in winter skiing with my boys. I also love to cook and will happily invite you to my house for a “cook-off.” Besides that, I am obsessed with living the good life in the great Pacific Northwest!