John T. Wolak

Biography

Mr. Wolak was recently named "Insurance Lawyer of the Year" (Newark, NJ) by Best Lawyers® and selected for the New Jersey Super Lawyers list, for Insurance Law. For almost 25 years, he has litigated matters involving hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance coverage for a broad range of clients and regularly provides strategic counseling and analysis of potential risks and exposures, policy terms and conditions, and claims resolution. He also represents clients on a broad range of complex commercial disputes, including contract claims, intellectual property matters, real property disputes, and restrictive covenant cases.

 

A wide variety of clients – including pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing companies, financial and educational institutions, telecommunications companies, professional service providers, and insurance companies – rely on Mr. Wolak’s advice and representation to achieve their objectives and resolve both insurance coverage matters and commercial disputes. He has also been retained as an expert witness/consultant on insurance issues and is a frequent speaker on insurance law topics. Prior to joining Gibbons, Mr. Wolak served as a law clerk to the Honorable Nicholas H. Politan of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

 

Representative Experience

  • As specially retained appellate counsel, obtained reversal of a multimillion-dollar summary judgment award against his clients – the policyholder and its liability insurer – because the adversary lacked standing to prosecute its claims for indemnification, both directly and under the applicable policy 
  • Served as lead counsel for the firm in a confidential, three-week international arbitration in London under the English Arbitration Act commenced by a policyholder seeking $90 million of insurance coverage for personal injury claims arising out of the use of prescription medication
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims by all parties against an insurer client, after extensive motion practice before the trial court and several appellate arguments, seeking to impose liability (directly and as co-insurers) in excess of $5 million for damages arising out of a construction site accident
  • Obtained multimillion-dollar insurance recovery for a claim based on construction defects and property damage to the substructure of residential units and a parking garage, as insurance coverage counsel for condominium development owners
  • Represented a large regional law firm in a dispute over the availability of insurance coverage and the extent of damages in connection with a business interruption claim based on direct property damage at law firm’s headquarters
  • Obtained insurance coverage for defense costs and indemnification for various claims asserted against an international brokerage firm involving employment practices liability coverage and employee dishonesty coverage that had initially been denied by the insurers
  • Represented a prominent university in New Jersey in successfully negotiating the resolution of an insurance coverage dispute with various insurers of a general contractor and subcontractors, concerning insurance coverage for construction defects in connection with major renovations to a science/chemistry facility
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims asserted against an insurer client for alleged extra-contractual damages under a D&O policy for defense and potential liability of individual directors and officers for Fair Labor Standards Act violations
  • Successfully negotiated reimbursement of defense costs incurred in connection with a regulatory investigation by various state and federal agencies for a prominent New Jersey medical doctor

Practice Areas

  • Insurance Law

4 Courses by John T. Wolak