Scott D. Greenspan, Co-Chair of the Sills Cummis & Gross Insurance Practice Group and Chair of the Firm’s New York Insurance Practice Group, is a trial lawyer and lead counsel, with a national practice that focuses on the largest, high-stakes insurance coverage and commercial litigation cases and insurance counseling matters.

Mr. Greenspan is a prominent insurance coverage attorney who is frequently quoted in the insurance industry publications as a thought leader. What sets him apart is that, at different times, he represented both policyholders and insurers at a senior level in many of the largest insurance litigations and coverage advice matters in the country. Mr. Greenspan’s strong and respectful relationships with both insurers and their counsel afford his policyholder clients the unique benefit of his 360-degree view of insurance disputes, often leading to rapid, favorable insurance recoveries without litigation.

Mr. Greenspan is also known in the national and New York legal community as a bet-the-company litigator of choice to help achieve the best results for his insurance coverage and commercial litigation clients. Mr. Greenspan has represented his clients in courts in more than 20 states in every region of the country. He has a vibrant practice covering insurance, commercial litigation, business divorce, shareholder disputes and real estate litigation.

Mr. Greenspan is well-known for his creativity in settling and litigating difficult cases, taking them over mid-stream from other lawyers and turning them around. As such, Mr. Greenspan believes that the best way to achieve the most favorable results for clients whose cases are not amenable to settlement is to prepare those cases as if they were going to trial—and to be willing to go to trial if needed.

Prior to joining Sills Cummis, Mr. Greenspan practiced in the New York office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, focusing on insurance recovery litigation and counseling. Prior to his tenure at Pillsbury, Mr. Greenspan served as an Equity Partner in a national firm, where he represented insurance carriers in the litigation of large coverage cases.

Practices

  • Insurance and Reinsurance
  • Litigation

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Representative Matters

  • Served as lead litigator and lead trial counsel representing policyholders and insurers on large commercial and bad faith insurance coverage litigation matters, many involving hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. Lines of insurance included directors and officers, first-party commercial property, CGL, umbrella, excess, errors and omissions, pollution liability insurance, EPLI and professional liability, life insurance for ultra-high net worth individuals as well as traditional risk transfer, risk-sharing and fully fronted insurance products. Forms involved have included U.S. policies, Lloyd’s policies and Bermuda forms.

  • Spearheaded AmLaw 100 law firm’s global efforts, acting as the firm’s chief strategist and coordinator, for all its COVID-19 business interruption coverage matters and litigation. Led and managed all COVID-19 matters in 14 states, supervising over 50 lawyers in 7 firm offices at all levels of seniority and all local counsel seeking over $10 billion in insurance recoveries. As part of those efforts, argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and obtained the first policyholder reversal of a judgment for insurers in the history of COVID-19 insurance recovery litigation in the United States.

  • Served as lead coverage counsel to bankrupt New York City boys and girls club in large child sexual abuse actions under the New York Child Victims Act. Negotiated both the settlement with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (“UCC”) and the insurance aspects of the club’s chapter 11 reorganization plan with the insurers and the UCC. Drafted the reorganization plan’s insurance-related provisions, leading to one of the first plan confirmations in the history of sexual abuse litigation in the United States without any objections from insurers.

  • Litigated, as lead trial counsel, a successful defense of a $100 million insurance coverage litigation action in California, representing a major insurer in an over two-month trial, involving over 20 witnesses. Won a complete defense verdict and recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs from the policyholder.

  • Obtained summary judgment for insurer client from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against a $20 million duty to defend claim brought by the world’s largest record company.

  • Represented the sole defendant in Florida state court litigation over the management of and investments by a family limited partnership valued at over $80 million and obtained a dismissal of that action. Forced the partnership to pay substantially all of the client’s legal fees by filing an action in Delaware state court to enforce defense provisions in the partnership agreement.

  • Acted as lead counsel to minority shareholders in a fiercely litigated battle with majority shareholders over corporate control of an over $100 million chain of nursing homes, stopping the other side’s attempt to oust the minority shareholders and resulting in a business divorce and favorable settlement.

  • Served as lead counsel to the world’s largest privately held fitness company in cases in multiple states and Canada. Saved the lease and that client’s possession of its largest health club in the world. Defeated a $14 million claim by the landlord on summary judgment after winning a Yellowstone injunction ex parte to stop the landlord from terminating the lease.

  • Acted as lead counsel defending a major cosmetics and home fragrance manufacturer against breach of contract/defective product lawsuit seeking approximately $50 million in lost profits and damage to business enterprise.

  • Obtained summary judgment in a very large breach of contract case for a major cosmetics and home fragrance manufacturer—within four hours of the motion being fully briefed—and defeated defenses to breach based on COVID-19 hardships.

  • Served as lead counsel to a leading multinational geotechnical engineering firm in a $40 million professional liability action arising from the largest retaining wall collapse in New York City history, ultimately achieving a very favorable settlement that saved the client’s business and the jobs of its 1,000 employees.

  • Represented a Central American restaurant franchisee in an international arbitration against the world’s largest restaurant franchisor and won a decisive victory, soundly defeating one of the top five New York City-based law firms.

  • Defended tobacco and medical device manufacturers against products liability lawsuits throughout the United States.

  • Fended off bankruptcy adversary proceeding against top-tier investment bank claiming that the bank lost its security interest on a large loan by comingling the collateral.

  • Represented leading cable news network in commercial litigation actions in various states.

  • Served as lead national outside litigation counsel to large publicly traded specialty finance and advertising corporation in lawsuits across the United States.

  • Acted as lead counsel to one of the world’s largest wireless telecommunications companies and to one of the nation’s largest convenience store chains in land use and zoning cases.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Representative Decisions

Newsroom

In the News

Presentations

Publications

Rankings and Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell®* AV rating

* See Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Affiliations

  • Member, American Bar Association

    — Member, Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section
    Member, Litigation Section

  • Member, Law360 2023 IA Property Editorial Advisory Board

  • Member, United Policyholders COVID-19 Loss Recovery Volunteer Working Group

  • Former Member, New York City Bar Association

    — Former Member, Council on Judicial Administration

  • Former Member, Manhattan Community Board Six

    — Former Member, Business & Government Affairs Committee, responsible for State Liquor Authority issues


Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law
  • B.A., American University, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • District of Columbia