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Steven P. Wright

Partner
+1.617.261.3164
Fax +1.617.261.3175
Mr. Wright is a partner in the Boston office of K&L Gates and has a broad-based commercial litigation practice, including complex commercial litigation, and defense of derivative actions and securities class actions. Mr. Wright has been actively involved in the trial and management of cases in federal and state courts in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Illinois and a variety of other jurisdictions around the country. Mr. Wright also has extensive experience representing corporate and individual clients in arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution settings.

In addition to his general commercial litigation practice, Mr. Wright maintains a substantial focus on the insurance coverage area. In the insurance coverage area, he has represented a wide range of policyholders, including publicly traded corporations, privately held corporations, financial services companies (including broker-dealers, registered advisers, mutual funds, hedge funds, and independent directors of funds), non-profits, quasi-governmental entities and public entities. Mr. Wright has litigated coverage issues arising out of directors and officers (“D&O”) policies, errors and omissions (“E&O”)/professional liability policies, commercial general liability policies, fidelity/crime policies, property policies and a variety of specialty insurance policies. Mr. Wright regularly assists clients in the claims process, seeking to resolve disputes with insurers through negotiation or mediation prior to litigation. He also regularly counsels clients concerning risk mitigation, including the purchase, renewal, and negotiation of insurance policies.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Boston Bar Association
  • Co-Chair, Insurance Law Committee, Financial Services Section, Boston Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • “D&O Issues for Financial Institutions,” (panelist), Boston Bar Association, May 5, 2016.
  • “Taking a Bite out of Insurance Coverage Food Recall Issues,” (presenter), webinar, May 4, 2016
  • “Understanding Cyber Risk Coverages For Community Bank Senior Officers and Directors,” The Spofford Group / K&L Gates LLP Joint Presentation (panelist), February 24, 2016.
  • “Cybersecurity Developments Affecting Asset Managers,” (panelist), Boston Bar Association, December 2, 2015.
  • “Insurance Coverage for Government Investigations,” (panelist), Boston Bar Association, September 9, 2014.
  • “Financial Institution Bonds: Claims Trends and Practical Tips,”-- The Spofford Group Banking Summit (panelist), May 20, 2014.
  • “Issues Arising from SEC Investigations of Private Fund Managers,” (presenter), webinar, May 2, 2013.
General Commercial Litigation
  • Lead trial counsel for Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (“RIRRC”), the quasi-public agency responsible for the solid waste disposal for the State of Rhode Island, in connection with breach of contract and professional malpractice claims against RIRRC’s former accounting and auditing firm, which resulted in a favorable jury verdict and a $5.7 million judgment in favor of RIRRC.
  • Representation of RIRRC in multiple actions against various entities arising from widespread corruption involving the former commissioners and executives of the corporation. These various actions have been favorably resolved for RIRRC and have resulted in the recovery of approximately $17 million from a variety of sources, including the corporation’s former D&O policy and its commercial crime policies.
  • Lead trial counsel for a national bank in litigation concerning construction loans and personal guaranties. During the course of the litigation, successfully secured summary judgment on all of the bank’s affirmative claims and attachments on the assets of the defendants. After trial, the Massachusetts Superior Court found in favor of the bank on defendants remaining claims and entered judgment in favor of the bank in the amount of $14 million, plus interest and attorneys’ fees. Following judgment, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s judgment in its entirety.
  • Lead trial counsel for a telecommunications company in a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to enforce obligations under an asset purchase agreement. The action concluded within four months of filing the complaint with the recovery of the entirety of the amount owed and attorneys’ fees.
  • Representation of closed-end mutual funds in derivative action brought in the Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court of Massachusetts against funds, trustees and adviser arising out of redemption of auction rate preferred securities. The action concluded with the dismissal with prejudice of all claims.
  • Representation of a mutual fund complex and related defendants in putative class action brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The class action alleged various claims, including breach of fiduciary duty and claims under the Investment Company Act based on alleged failure of funds to participate in securities class actions in which the funds were putative members. The action was resolved within months of filing after the court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss on all claims.

Insurance Coverage Litigation
  • Representation of Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation ("RIRRC"), the quasi-public agency responsible for the solid waste disposal for the State of Rhode Island, in connection with insurance coverage claims arising from widespread corruption involving the former commissioners and executives of the corporation. The matter resulted in the full recovery of the $5 million limit available under the corporation’s D&O policy and recovery of $3.3 million from the corporation’s commercial crime policies.
  • Representation of RIRRC in connection with insurance claims arising out of odor releases at the landfill. After initiating lawsuit, RIRRC received more than $4 million from various insurers.
  • Representation of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority against property insurers to successfully recover repair costs associated with the ceiling collapse in the Central Artery and Third Tunnel Project, or “Big Dig” project in Boston.
  • Representation of a network communications company in civil action under which the company sought and secured insurance coverage under its primary and excess D&O policy, for costs incurred defending against various actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. This action ultimately concluded with settlements in excess of $50 million.
  • • Trial counsel for an agricultural cooperative and food processing corporation in litigation to recover defense costs under a commercial general liability policy. Matter settled after jury verdict secured in Massachusetts Superior Court in favor of policyholder.
  • Representation of a multi-tier marketing company in litigation involving recovery of defense costs under D&O policy. Settlement resulted in recovery of defense costs for civil and administrative proceedings and costs of settlement of underlying claims.
  • Lead trial counsel for composite decking manufacturer in connection with insurance coverage dispute with manufacturer’s commercial general liability insurers. Representation resulted in favorable settlement for policyholder and contemporaneous settlement of underlying matter after defeat of insurers’ motions for summary judgment.

Insurance Coverage Negotiation and Counseling
  • Representation of a mutual fund complex in connection with various insurance coverage disputes under D&O and E&O policies.
  • Representation of various hedge funds and mutual fund complexes in connection with procurement of D&O, E&O and cyberliability policies.
  • Representation of a technology company in connection with denied coverage claims under an E&O policy. The settlement of this matter covered the entirety of more than $1 million of defense costs incurred in the underlying matter.
  • Representation of a nonprofit resulted in coverage for defense costs and investigation costs in excess of $2 million under the company’s D&O policy prior to initiation of coverage litigation.