Colleen M. Murphy
- Direct — 716.844.3412
- Fax — 716.566.5401
Colleen Murphy is the leader of the firm’s insurance agents and brokers practice within its Professional Liability Practice Group. Over the past 25 years, she has represented hundreds of agents and brokers in complex matters and brings a deep understanding of their business concerns, the regulatory climate surrounding the industry, their errors and omissions (E&O) risks, and the contractual agreements and relationships with their carriers and insureds. She has also performed loss control audits, rewritten agency contracts, and gone to bat for agents and brokers’ insureds in contentious coverage disputes. Colleen’s clients rely on her to provide strategic counsel on risk management, E&O loss control, regulatory matters, and other big-picture issues affecting their businesses.
Colleen has successfully defended hundreds of insurance agents and brokers — including Top 10 insurance agencies and brokerages and agencies associated with banks — in E&O litigation across New York State. She is routinely appointed E&O counsel of choice by E&O carriers at the request of major insurance agencies. As a nationally recognized authority on the defense of insurance agents and brokers, Colleen has been called upon to oversee their defense in numerous states, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maine. A significant part of her practice includes representing insurance agents and brokers in insurance regulatory and licensing matters as well as consumer complaints in state insurance departments.
Colleen also successfully defends third-party administrators, independent adjusters, engineers, financial professionals, and miscellaneous professionals in E&O claims. She also has a significant amount of experience representing broker-dealers and registered representatives in FINRA arbitrations involving securities-related claims, including those alleging unsuitable investment recommendations, improper sales practices, negligent supervision, churning, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
Her expertise is frequently called upon in complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation across the country. She has worked extensively alongside Thomas Segalla, author of the renowned insurance law treatise Couch on Insurance 3d, on numerous matters in which he was retained as a bad faith and insurance coverage expert by major insurance carriers and policyholders in jurisdictions across the United States.
Colleen has represented and advised clients across the nation in their relations with regulatory authorities, including the state insurance departments of New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and California. Her victory in the landmark case of Lee v. State of New York Insurance Department, 222 AD.2d 1050 (4th Dept.1995) highlights her experience defending insurance agents before insurance regulatory authorities. In this case, Colleen successfully stopped the New York State Insurance Department from acting outside the scope of its investigational authority and prevented it from ordering the insurance agent to appear before it and to submit to questioning in the presence of a disgruntled agency customer with respect to a consumer complaint.
- USLAW Network, Professional Liability Group
- Defense Research Institute, Professional Liability Committee
- Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, Western New York Chapter
- Attorney Member, Agents Council for Technology, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
- Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2012-2016
- Business First’s Who’s Who in Law (Insurance)
- Best Lawyers in America 2016-2017 (Insurance Law)
Admitted to Practice
- New York
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York
- Western New York Autism Society, Conference Planner and Co-Chair
- Volunteer/Guide for Children’s Adaptive Ski Program: Phoenix Adaptive Snow Sports Program at HoliMont, Ellicottville, New York
- Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., 1990
- State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 1987
- Co-Author, “How to Swim When Insurers Sink,” Primary Agent, May 2015
- Presenter, "Legal Ethics of Cloud Computing Locally," National Business Institute, December 9, 2014
- Co-Author, “Staying In or Going Out: The Value of Teamwork Between a Bank’s Inside and Outside Counsel,” Inside Counsel, July 18, 2014
- Co-Author, “Staying In or Going Out When the Government Comes a-Knockin’,” Inside Counsel, June 10, 2014
- Co-Author, “Staying In or Going Out? Identifying Potential Pitfalls for Banking’s In-House Counsel,” Inside Counsel, May 12, 2014
- Co-Author, “Understanding an Agent's E&O Risks When an Insurer Becomes Insolvent,”Property Casualty 360, April 9, 2014
- Panelist, “Whether and When to Settle,” New York State Bar Association CLE Program — Securities Arbitration and Mediation 2014: Telling Your Story, New York, NY, March 1, 2014
- Quoted in “NY High Court Chips Away at Broker Liability Shield,”Law360, March 3, 2014
- Co-Author, “Moving Target: State Law Variances Require Agents to Be Diligent With Referral Fees,”American Agent & Broker, August 2013
- Quoted in “Fla. High Court Limits Tort Claims Doctrine In Marsh Suit,”Law360, March 7, 2013
- Quoted in “Ignorance on $1.25M Deductible Isn't Bliss: Miss. High Court,”Law360, February 25, 2013
- Co-Author, “Fortify Loss Control: N.Y. Ruling Makes It Easier for Insureds to Sue Agents,”American Agent & Broker, February 2013
- Quoted in “Insurance Brokers Should Brace For Sandy Suits After NY Ruling,”Law360, November 26, 2012
- Co-Author, “Social Missteps: Web 2.0 raises risks for defamation, libel, copyright and security breaches,” American Agent & Broker (Avoiding Errors and Omissions Column), November 2012
- Presenter, “What Professionals Should Know About Managing and Insuring Cyber Liability Risk and Defending Those Professionals in the Event of a Claim,” USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, D.C., October 4-6, 2012
- Presenter, “Successfully Defending Insurance Agents in Consumer Complaints Before the State Insurance Department,” USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, D.C., October 4-6, 2012
- Presenter, “E&O Loss Control for Agents and Brokers Procuring Insurance for Owners, Contractors, and Subcontractors,” in-house client seminar, August 15, 2012
- Author, "E&O Loss Control for Insurance Agents and Brokers Using Social Media," March 2011
- Author, "Proactive, Long-term Corporate Crisis Management: The Hunter, The Ostrich, and The Spin Master," March 2011
- Author, "New Insurance Agent and Broker Rules Regarding Disclosure of Contingent Commissions Which Take Effect in New York January 2, 2011," Professional Liability Monthly, November 2010
- Presenter, "How Insurance Agencies and Brokerages, Registered Representatives, and Lawyers Can Benefit From The Upside of Social Networking While Minimizing The Downside of a Possible E&O Risk," USLAW Fall Client Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, October 2010
- Presenter, "Agency E&O Considerations When Social Networking," Agents Council for Technology of the Independant Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Webinar, May 2010
- Presenter, "E&O Loss Control for Social Media Networking," New York, April 2010
- Podcast, "E&O and the Social Web," Insurance Journal, March 2010 (Click here to listen)
- Co-Author, "How Insurance Agencies and Brokerages Can Benefit From the Upside of Social Networking While Minimizing the Downside of a Possible E&O Risk," January 2010
- Presenter for a top-ten broker, "Unfortunate Letters/Emails and Heading Off Potential E&O Claims," Orange, CA, 2010
- Presenter, "Best Practices in Managing E&O Exposures and Losses," CPCU Society, Malvern, PA, May 2009
- Author, "Photo Inspections - A Continuing Source of Potential E&O Liability"
- Co-Author, "Insurer vs. Insurance Agency E&O Lawsuits: When Your Company Is Not on Your Side"