February 25, 2005, Washington, D.C. – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network…

February 25, 2005, Washington, D.C. – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network –Steptoe & Johnson LLP today announced the addition of a partner and two associates to the insurance litigation practice in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Partner Frank Winston, and associates John Casciano and Hillary Coombs, will be joining Steptoe on March 9, all currently at Shaw Pittman.

“The addition of this group underscores Steptoe’s emphasis on the continued expansion of our insurance practice in the US and abroad,” said Toni Ianniello, partner in charge of Steptoe’s insurance practice. “Along with recent additions to the firm’s London insurance practice group, these three lawyers join a group that handles the most challenging contentious matters in the area of insurance and reinsurance. The firm’s growth reflects our commitment to providing our insurance clients the highest possible level of service.”

Mr. Winston, co-founder of Shaw Pittman’s insurance coverage group, has significant expertise in complex litigation, including insurance coverage litigation and counseling involving bad faith and coverage matters in state and federal courts across the US. His experience includes representation of insurance carriers in asbestos and environmental liability claims, bankruptcy and specialty insurance contracts.

A 1986 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and a 1979 graduate of Duke University, Mr. Winston writes and speaks extensively on insurance litigation and coverage issues including technology-based litigation and emerging coverage and litigation trends. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia.

Mr. Casciano represents insurers in coverage disputes that arise under liability and first-party insurance contracts, including issues involving toxic tort, environmental contamination and construction defects. In addition to his insurance experience, he has broad litigation experience, representing clients in a range of civil matters, including professional malpractice, professional liability, toxic tort and premises liability and general commercial litigation. Mr. Casciano graduated from the New England School of Law in 1996. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Massachusetts.

Ms. Coombs’ experience includes coverage disputes related to general liability, commercial property, excess, umbrella and e-commerce contracts. She also handles disputes involving construction defects, mold intrusion and water damage claims and often provides advice regarding environmental liability and asbestos matters. Ms. Coombs graduated from the School of Law at Washington & Lee University in 2002. She is admitted to practice in Virginia.

Now comprising more than 45 lawyers, Steptoe’s insurance group is one of the core practices of the firm. In addition to Mr. Winston, Mr. Casciano and Ms. Coombs, the group recently added Angus Rodger and Neil Ellis as partners and Andrew Schütte as an associate in London. Mr. Ellis’ broad experience in complex reinsurance arbitration continues to augment the firm’s focus on a global insurance practice.

This group regularly provides representation in high-stakes insurance litigation involving an array of insurance products, including general liability, first party property, professional liability, directors and officers, surety, fidelity and reinsurance claims. It also provides counseling and advice to carriers regarding a broad spectrum of coverage and reinsurance disputes and maintains one of the top tier insurance tax practices in the US.

“I have very much enjoyed my practice at Shaw Pittman and leave behind trusted colleagues,” said Mr. Winston. ”Given Steptoe’s top-flight reputation, the sheer strength of its insurance industry practice, and its commitment to continue expanding its national and international reach, the opportunity to join the firm is a great choice for my practice and my clients.”

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