Barbara Hopkinson Kelly Partner




Barbara Hopkinson Kelly focuses her legal practice on environmental and toxic tort litigation and insurance coverage, including issues involving employment law. She also has more than 25 years of significant litigation experience in the professional malpractice and business tort fields. Barbara has served as liaison counsel to numerous Fortune 500 clients, defending many of them in class action lawsuits with financial exposures in excess of $100 million.

Known for successfully arguing even the most difficult motions, Barbara is also a master negotiator. Her problem-solving skills have earned a loyal following among her clients and peers alike. Barbara brings to the table an innate ability to coordinate ideas and strategies with her clients, forging productive, long-term relationships. An avid equestrian and skier, Barbara applies that same energy and tenacity to her legal practice.

Areas of Focus

Environmental / Toxic Tort
Barbara has litigated numerous environmental cases involving various claims, including natural resource damage claims throughout the United States. She maintains a national CERCLA practice and routinely appears before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, Barbara advises clients in brownfield cleanups and redevelopment of contaminated properties. This part of her legal practice also includes securing environmental insurance products to protect the firm’s clients against cleanup cost overruns and pollution legal liability.

Insurance-Reinsurance Coverage
Barbara has extensive experience in insurance coverage, including representation of multinational insurance companies. She has handled coverage issues in complex general liability claims and defended clients in related litigation. Barbara focuses on saving insurers legal and indemnity expenses. She has worked with underwriters in developing insurance policies in a myriad of areas and is a member of Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS). Her comprehensive experience in insurance coverage allows her to handle complex cases in various industries. She has also published material in the arena of alternative claims resolution.

Professional Liability
Barbara has significant litigation experience in the professional malpractice and business tort fields. She has defended real estate agents, attorneys, accountants, securities brokers and other professionals against negligence and related claims under federal and state laws.

Barbara has defended municipalities and their police departments in civil rights actions. She has successfully defended actions falling under section 1983 and tried a complex section 1983 claim involving allegations of police misconduct. She has also mediated class actions, including a significant 5,000 class member “strip search” action against a municipality. Additionally, she has represented municipalities in cases alleging wrongful termination. She has defended numerous municipalities in New Jersey and Connecticut regarding environmental and toxic tort matters related to Superfund sites, as well as municipal owners /operators of sites having national exposure.

Real Estate
Barbara has worked with underwriters in developing insurance policies in a myriad of areas. With respect to real estate litigation, she has handled breach of contract, fraud and related claims in both the residential and commercial real estate contexts.

Representative Matters

Represented Fortune 500 company in major class action suit.

Liaison counsel in large environmental clean-up action in National Priorities List matter.

Represented Fortune 500 company in environmental litigation.

Represented major insurance companies in complex coverage litigation.

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