James K. Thurston Partner




Jim Thurston is a coverage lawyer who focuses his practice on insurance and bad faith litigation in the professional liability field. Jim’s career has been distinguished by the successful litigation of a large number of complex insurance coverage cases, including those resulting in precedent-setting decisions in bankruptcy and other areas. He takes a pragmatic approach in resolving claims for his clients taking calculated risks when necessary while avoiding unnecessary litigation.

Jim’s clients include primary and excess insurers, as well as reinsurers and retrocessionaires, that issue policies for directors and officers, financial institutions, architects, accountants, insurance company E&O and miscellaneous E&O. He also has represented environmental impairment and general liability insurers. Jim’s practice extends worldwide and has involved insurance policies issued from England, France, Germany, Greece, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, India, Spain, Ireland, Russia, Japan, Italy, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, the Island of Saipan, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.

Jim has been involved in insurance coverage matters arising from some of the largest corporate scandals, including Madoff, Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, Global Crossing, Satyam, Dynegy and Qwest, as well as the IPO Laddering Lawsuits. In connection with such matters, Jim works on behalf of carriers to revoke coverage for corporate officers and directors found to have engaged in malfeasance and to indemnify and defend those officers not involved in any wrongdoing. He also utilizes his extensive knowledge of insurance coverage case law to counsel carriers on policy drafting and negotiation.

Jim has successfully litigated coverage disputes on behalf of his clients throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, England, Norway and the Netherlands.

Representative Matters

Drivetrain, LLC. v. Ironshore Indemnity Inc., Adv. Pro. No.: 22-50457 (Bankr. D. Del. Mar. 1. 2023), granting insurer’s Motion to Transfer Venue to the Nevada District Court of Trustee’s coverage litigation filed in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court.

Adelman v. U.S. Specialty Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 35554 (9th Cir. Dec. 23, 2022), affirming District Court’s granting insurer’s motion to dismiss based on the WARN Act Exclusion in D&O policy. 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 225646 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 17, 2021).

Ironshore Indemnity Inc. v. Kay, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168561 (D. Nev. Sept. 16, 2022). Enforcing Warranty Exclusion in D&O Excess Policy with two non-imputation provisions. On appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

AKN Holding, LLC v. Great Am. E&S Ins. Co., 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 18903 (9th Cir. July 8, 2022). Enforcing Contract Exclusion in D&O policy, affirming: 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142777 (C.D. Cal. 2021).

Ironshore Indemnity Inc. v. Kay, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17723 (D. Nev. Feb. 1, 2022). Debtor’s motion to intervene in D&O coverage litigation denied.

Twin City Fire Ins. Co. v. Alcast Co., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 237693 (C.D. Ill. Dec. 13, 2021). Allocation provision of D&O policy trumps the “reasonably related” rule for Defense Expenses.  Bench trial on November 29, 2022, awaiting decision from judge on proper allocation of Defense Expenses.

Paraco Gas Corp. v. Ironshore Indemn., Inc., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166118 (S.D.N.Y. 2021). Enforcement of D&O arbitration provision. 

Sycamore Partners Mgmt., L.P. v. Endurance Am. Ins. Co., 2021 Del. Super. LEXIS 182 (2021). Insurability of restitution under D&O policy. 

Hanover Ins. Co. v. Fla. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185746 (N.D. Fla. 2020). D&O policy and indispensable parties.

Segner v. Admiral Ins. Co., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 1659 (Bankruptcy, W.D. Tex. June 4, 2018): Issues related to application of Insured v. Insured Exclusion to claims of liquidation trustee.

Astellas US Holding, Inc. v. Starr Indem. & Liab. Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89725 (N.D. Ill. May 30, 2018): Whether DOJ investigation constitutes a “claim” under D&O policy.

Hanover Insurance Co. v. Vemma International Holding, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99554 (D. Ariz. July 29, 2016):  Denying Preliminary Injunction to advance fees of Insured Corporation in Ponzi scheme analysis of “Related Claim” provision and other coverage defenses.

Citrus Course Homeowners Association v. Great Am. Ins. Co., 2016, U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10199 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 7, 2016): Granting insurer’s motion to dismiss based on late notice of Claim 1, “related” Claim 2 also not covered.

LIG Insurance Co. v. AIG-Korea Ins. Co., 2013-74013 (2016): Duties between cedent and reinsurer on raising rescission of underlying D&O policy. Decided by the South Korean Supreme Court.

Great American Ins. Co. v. Re Veteran’s Support Organization, 166 F.Supp. 3d. 1303 (S.D. Fla. 2015): Issues related to discovery dispute under Nonprofit D&O Policy.

W Holding Co., Inc. v. AIG Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94005 (D.P.R. 2014): Whether FDIC Lawsuit is "interrelated" to prior Securities Class Action Lawsuit.

Carolina Casualty Ins. Co. v. Team Equipment, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2138 (9th Cir. 2014): In coverage litigation, insurer permitted to plead diversity on information and belief.

W. Holding Co., Inc. v. Chartis Ins. Co., 748 F. 3d 377 (1st Cir. 2014): Application of D&O policy’s Insured v. Insured exclusion to FDIC lawsuit against failed bank’s directors and officers. 

Macey v. Carolina Casualty Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174746 (D. Conn. 2012): Application of D&O policy's “other insurance” clause.

Connolly v. Admiral Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 25392 (9th Cir. 2012): When insurance policy is rescinded, insurer may subtract from the premium paid back to the insured the amount of defense costs paid to the insured ($589,043) until rescission is effectuated.

SonicBlue, Inc. v. Admiral Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 19864 (9th Cir. 2011): D&O policy rescinded for misrepresentations in policy application. 

Biltmore Associates, LLC v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 572 F.3d 663 (9th Cir. 2009): Claim by debtor-in-possession that falls within Insured v. Insured Exclusion. 

Gregory v. Venbrook Ins. Services, LLC, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58653 (C.D. Cal. 2009): Insured v. Insured exclusion and fraudulent joinder.

Macey v. Carolina Casualty Co., 585 F.Supp.2d 277 (D. Conn. 2008): Dismissal of claims brought by shareholders who were directors and officers for “nanosecond” based on Insured v. Insured Exclusion; appealed to Second Circuit, 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 13326 (2d Cir. 2010).

In re Laminate Kingdom, LLC, 2008 Bankr. LEXIS 1594 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. 2008): Finding that a D&O policy with entity coverage is not an “asset” of bankrupt debtor’s estate. 

Onvoy, Inc. v. Carolina Casualty Ins. Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47198 (D. Minn. 2006): Whether DOJ subpoena constitutes a “claim” under D&O policy.

Biltmore Associates, LLC v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56034 (D. Ariz. 2006): Dismissal of a bad faith/breach of contract lawsuit based on $175 million in consent judgments against an excess D&O insurer. 

Alanco Technology v. Carolina Casualty Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31988 (D. Ariz. 2006): Finding that a claim for defense expenses related to a stock-for-asset purchase does not constitute “loss” under a D&O policy. 

Equifin v. Admiral Ins. Co., MON-L-3075-00 (Super. Ct. N.J.): Creditor’s exclusion applies to transactional lawsuit.

New Hampshire Insurance Co. v. Beckoff, case no. 4553, London Court of International Arbitration, June 22, 2005: Decision that a claim by a creditors’ committee against the debtors’ former directors and officers falls within the Insured v. Insured Exclusion. 

Westcott Holding, Inc. v. Monitor Liability Managers, Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20149 (S.D. Tex. 2005): Finding that an insured entity’s failure to indemnify its officers is not “loss” under a D&O policy.

Alanco Technology, Inc. v. Carolina Casualty Co., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28266 (D. Ariz. 2004): Insured v. Insured Exclusion applies to claims by a former officer not with company for eight years. 

Physicians Corp. of America Securities Litigation, case no. 97-3678 (S.D. Fla. 2002): “No Action” clause bars coverage action against D&O insurer. 

Foster v. Summit Medical Systems, Inc., 610 N.W.2d 350 (Minn. App. 2000): The Past Acts Exclusion applies to securities class action, even where all of the causes of action were based on post-policy conduct; SEC investigation does not constitute a “Securities Action Claim”

Natural Gas Utility District v. Virginia Surety Insurance Co., 99-214 (E.D. Tenn. 2000): General liability insurer responsible for “lion’s share” of six-figure defense expenses of an employment practice claim instead of D&O insurer.

In Re Roasters Corp., adversary pro. 98-9013 (Bank M.D.N.C. 1999): Excess miscellaneous E&O policy did not follow form to duty to defend primary.

S&S Healthcare, Inc. v. Virginia Surety Co., 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21810 (W.D. Va. 1998): "No Action" clause bars action against D&O insurer. 

Edward Gray Corp. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5834 (N.D. Ill. 1997): General liability insurance policy, examining duty to defend for construction accident.