Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London (“Underwriters”) brought an action in Massachusetts Superior Court against Liberty Mutual and its counsel, Sidley Austin LLP, seeking to disqualify Sidley from representing Liberty Mutual in a coverage action involving a Lloyds reinsurance treaty, where Liberty Mutual was adverse to Lloyds. Sidley had also been retained by Resolute Management, Inc.. (f/k/a Equitas), which is Lloyds’ long-tail asbestos reinsurance claims management arm, to represent it in connection with a federal appeal. Sidley claimed that there was no conflict in its representation in the two actions, but that if there was a conflict, it was nevertheless disclosed to Lloyds, and implicitly waived thereby. The Court agreed with Sidley, finding the two representations did not involve substantially similar issues, and that Lloyds had been appropriately apprised of Sidley’s representation of Liberty Mutual when it retained Sidley in the federal appeal. The Court denied the motion for disqualification, and dismissed Lloyds’ action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. Apparently, Lloyds was not upset enough about Sidley’s dual role to fire it from representing Equitas in the appeal. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v. Sidley Austin LLP, No. SUCV2010-04663 (Mass. Super. Ct. March 5, 2012).
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Lloyds’ disqualification action against opposing counsel dismissed
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Senior Patent Counsel
Royal DSM NV