Sergio F. Oehninger

Sergio represents companies in complex insurance coverage disputes nationally and internationally.

Sergio counsels multinational corporations on insurance coverage and risk management issues arising in various industries – including financial services, retail, manufacturing, energy, technology and real estate.

His insurance coverage advice focuses on risks such as: cyber and data breach; commercial general liability; directors and officers; professional liability/errors and omissions; employment practices; property and casualty; business interruption; excess, umbrella and integrated risks; and other insured and reinsured risks under occurrence based or claims-made policies. As part of his Latin America practice, Sergio frequently advises Spanish-speaking corporate clients on cross-border exposures in connection with transactions, projects, operations, products and services.

Sergio’s experience includes matters cumulatively exceeding one billion dollars in losses or exposures before federal and state courts throughout the United States and ADR tribunals. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and US District Courts in Virginia, Colorado and Washington, DC.

Sergio frequently makes presentations and writes alerts, articles and contributions to the the firms Insurance Recovery Blog.

A strong advocate of public service, Sergio has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations and his pro bono work includes advice to a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to combating gang violence and raising funds benefitting children living in poverty.

Relevant Experience

  • Litigated multimillion dollar claims by multinational chemical company for declaratory relief, breach of contract and bad faith regarding defense and indemnity insurance coverage for environmental class action and dozens of suits alleging bodily injury from exposure to contaminated air and groundwater.
  • Arbitrated multimillion dollar dispute in New York concerning global insurance and reinsurance pool manager’s breach of contractual and fiduciary obligations and failure to properly manage portfolio of risks, set loss reserves and comply with applicable accounting principles.
  • Litigated billion dollar dispute under professional liability/E&O policy arising from allegations of insurer bad faith failure to settle class action brought under Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Advised major electric utility regarding insurance coverage under claims-made-and-reported policies for class actions asserting environmental claims.
  • Counseled manufacturers on coverage for class actions alleging property damage from products and facility emissions.
  • Advised global manufacturer on “personal and advertising injury” coverage for claims by competitor alleging disparagement of goods.
  • Represented policyholder in multimillion dollar dispute concerning additional insured coverage for claims arising out of major construction site accident.
  • Counseled policyholder concerning rules applicable to determining defense obligations under legal professional errors and omissions insurance policy.
  • Advised joint venture participant on coverage under directors and officers and professional liability policies for claims of aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, defamation and other claims.
  • Analyzed coverage for losses arising out of undetected theft of University funds under entity’s crime and dishonesty insurance policy and auditor’s professional liability policy.
  • Arbitrated and litigated multimillion dollar claims for breach of contract and fiduciary duties relating to management of long-tail environmental, mass tort and asbestos claims under marine and casualty occurrence-based umbrella and high excess liability risks for Fortune 500 policyholders, as well as reinsurance collections and commutations.
  • Counseled real estate developer on coverage for property damage and business income loss resulting from explosion during construction.
  • Litigated and appraised multimillion dollar first-party insurance dispute arising from fire damage concerning property and extra expense coverage and bad faith.
  • Litigated claims against Lloyds of London entities for coverage under event cancellation insurance policy for multimillion dollar business income losses associated with US government shutdown.
  • Counseled multinational consumer goods manufacturer on insurance coverage for environmental class actions brought in United Kingdom, the United States and its territories.
  • Advised multinational bank on insurance coverage issues in connection with corporate transaction.
  • Confirmed commercial arbitration award in New York state court in multimillion dollar dispute between insurers and pool manager.
  • Counseled global retailer concerning recovery of insurance proceeds for class action covered under fiduciary liability policy.
  • Litigated claims of specialty chemicals manufacturer for insurance coverage for bodily injury claims arising out of asbestos exposure and for remediation of industrial sites.
  • Litigated coverage dispute over multimillion dollar business interruption loss arising out of terrorist attack on World Trade Center.
  • Counseled global retailer on recovery of insurance proceeds as additional insured for wrongful death and product liability claims.
  • Advised contractor on coverage under cyber risk and liability policies for claims arising out of event on US Government property.
  • Counseled creditor’s committee on coverage under debtor’s directors and officers insurance for claims against European-based parent and its directors and officers arising out of operations in Asia.
  • Advised Spanish-based commercial vehicle technology company on cross-border insurance coverage for its US subsidiary.
  • Advised reinsurer on coverage under professional liability policy for claims for claims of bad faith denial of coverage and refusal to approve settlement within policy limits.
  • Litigated and arbitrated bet-the-company litigation and arbitration between government contractors involving allegations of trade secret theft, civil conspiracy, corporate raiding, tortious interference with Department of Defense contracts and other business torts.
  • Litigated multimillion dollar dispute involving claims of fraud in sale of real estate securities and negligence in design and construction of luxury residential property in New York City.
  • Protected rights of ceding company in dispute with reinsurer regarding payment of balances and securities for reserves under applicable reinsurance treaties and facultative certificates.
  • Provided counsel to interstate compact entity concerning indemnity issues under its bylaws.
  • Advised policyholder on common interest doctrine.
  • Counseled financial services policyholders on insurance coverage issues.
  • Represented multinational corporation against mass toxic torts putative class action by citizens of Ecuador in US federal court.
  • Represented global investor in international arbitration alleging Argentina’s breach of bilateral investment treaty with US and analyzed contracts and court opinions written in Spanish.
  • Advised South American real estate holdings company on authentication of foreign public documents pursuant to The Hague (Apostille) Convention for use in transaction with affiliate of US-based apparel company.
  • Coordinated legal advice to global private equity fund, including drafting and negotiation of commercial leases and construction agreements and insurance provisions for same.
  • Drafted insurance provisions for subcontract between international professional services firm and service providers in connection with US government efforts to shelter and care for unaccompanied children crossing US border from Central America.
  • Drafted provisions concerning cybersecurity and insurance for agreement between global investment and advisory firm and compliance software service provider.
  • Served as local counsel to financial guaranty insurer in case against federal savings bank under FDIC receivership arising out of disallowance of proof of claim for breach of indemnity contract in connection with securitization of home equity mortgage loan asset-backed notes and mortgage pass-through certificates.
  • Represented executives in high-stakes compensation disputes with software companies.
  • Participated in internal investigation of allegations against county school board in employment dispute by conducting confidential interviews of Spanish-speaking employee witnesses.
  • Tried and obtained favorable jury verdict in case involving claims of negligence and gross misconduct.
  • Prepared or argued hundreds of dispositive, discovery, in limine or other motions in disputes before state and federal courts or arbitration tribunals; conducted dozens of fact and expert depositions, including of directors and officers of publicly and privately held companies.

Memberships

  • Hispanic Bar Association of DC, 2002-Present; Board of Directors, 2011; Vice President, 2009; Endorsements Committee, 2008-2016 (co-chair 2008, 2013 & 2014); Task Force on Advancing Latino Attorneys, 2012-Present; Elections Committee, 2012-2013; Equal Justice Awards Steering/Development Committee, 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2013, 2016 & 2017; Website Committee, 2009
  • DC Bar Board of Governors Nominations Committee Member, 2014-2015; Board of Governors Candidate, 2014; DC Bar Pro Bono Center Development Committee, 2017
  • The George Washington University Law School Alumni Board of Directors, 2012-2016; Latino Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors, 2012-Present, and Vice Chair of Steering Committee, 2010-2012; Alumni Association Class Reunion Committee, 2007, 2012, 2017
  • The Esperanza Education Fund, Board of Advisors, Development and Scholarship Committees, 2009-2016
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, 2002-Present; Annual Convention Keynote Speaker Committee, 2011; Midyear Corporate Counsel Conference Panelist, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017; Annual Convention Panelist, 2014, 2015, 2017
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, 2012-Present; LCLD Fellow, 2015; Law School Mentoring Program Mentor, 2012-2014
  • Member, World Services Group

Insights