Will Bennett is a career insurance coverage attorney, having advocated for policyholders at SDV since he was a Summer Associate in the firm's Northeast office. After beginning his national practice in the Northeast, Will relocated to California to help start the firm's West Coast office.
Will represents policyholders in all aspects of insurance and risk transfer, and is regularly called upon to assist in the policy placement process. In this role, Will helps policyholders and their brokers put together a comprehensive coverage program where all lines of coverage work seamlessly together to avoid gaps. This work with brokers and underwriters gives him a broad practical understanding of the market and its intent. Will regularly assists with other aspects of risk transfer and is often asked to draft and revise contracts to ensure successful risk transfer occurs when disputes later arise.
Will maintains an active litigation practice focused on complex insurance recovery actions across the country. In addition to his bar admissions in California, Connecticut, and New York, Will is often admitted pro hac vice in other state and federal court jurisdictions, having represented clients in Washington, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Massachusetts, Missouri, Iowa, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Delaware. He has handled cases from the initial stages of strategy all the way through trial to verdict as lead counsel. His extensive experience includes serving as insurance coverage counsel for commercial, civil, and residential construction and real estate companies, non-profits, universities, manufacturers, retailers, jewelers, engineers, architects, rental companies, environmental companies, cannabis producers, farmers, food suppliers, solar companies, restaurants, and individuals. These disputes have involved a huge array of subject matter, from construction catastrophe and defect to pollution liability to contaminated food recalls to vicarious liability for sexual molestation by volunteers and affiliated individuals.
Will has helped policyholders recover hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance money across a broad array of different lines of coverage involving the following types of insurance policies:
- Commercial General Liability
- Property Insurance
- Builders’ risk
- Cyber Insurance
- Pollution Liability
- Professional Liability (including directors and officers, errors and omissions, and contractors’ or owners’ professional and protective indemnity)
- Product Recall
- Product Contamination
- Excess Workers’ Compensation
- Employment Practices Liability
- Jewelers Block
- Private All Risk Jewelry
- Marine Cargo
- Homeowners’ Insurance
He is also intimately familiar with non-traditional variations of these lines of coverage such as consolidated insurance programs, additional insured coverage, pooled limits policies, high-SIR and close of escrow homebuilder programs, self-insurance, and captive insurance.
Will has helped the owner of a collapsed high-rise hotel and condominium building secure nine figures of coverage from multiple policies and lines of coverage, with minimal litigation. He joined with pre-existing counsel and appeared in a case for the first time one week before a case’s trial date and secured a settlement for nearly 100% of the disputed amount after fighting to add bad faith allegations in the days before trial. Will secured a trial verdict for significant indemnity dollars in favor of an international transportation company, having only appeared in the case after years of handling by other counsel, and having only originally been tasked with defending insurance and indemnity claims against his client. When an insurer changed its position years into underlying litigation regarding a number of occurrences which would have cost the insured seven figures in additional self-insured retentions, he sued the insurer and convinced it to accept less than 10% of the additional retentions it was demanding within only a few months of filing.
Will regularly presents on insurance coverage and risk transfer topics at seminars and conferences nationwide. He has authored dozens of articles, white papers, and insights, for numerous publications including Risk Magazine and Los Angeles Daily Journal. Outside of the office, Will enjoys anything and everything outdoors. He surfs regularly, plays with a local band, and loves to cook and barbecue. He lives in Temecula, California with his wife, who practices immigration law.