Christa Santos Thorpe is a counsel in our Insurance/Reinsurance Group in Washington, D.C. For seventeen years, she has represented reinsurers and ceding companies in all aspects of dispute resolution, with particular emphasis on reinsurance arbitration/litigation and insurance coverage.
Christa has handled numerous insurance and reinsurance arbitrations and litigations in the U.S., London, and Bermuda markets in the following areas:
- Life insurance;
- Variable annuity products;
- Surety bonds;
- Products liability; and
- Professional liability.
She has also handled insurance disputes under The Bermuda Form.
Her reinsurance experience includes:
- Recovery of declaratory judgment expenses;
- Late notice;
- Follow the fortunes/follow the settlements; and
- Duty of utmost good faith.
Christa's representative matters include:
- Represented a Bermudian insurer in a London arbitration arising under The Bermuda Form involving underlying personal injury settlements made by a major pharmaceutical company.
- Represented London market reinsurers in a U.S. arbitration arising out of losses arising from a Brazilian oil rig platform.
- Represented a U.S. reinsurance company in litigations and arbitrations relating to underlying asbestos and environmental losses.
- Provides coverage advice to U.S. insurance companies with regard to losses arising from various tort and environmental matters.
In addition to her arbitration and litigation experience, Christa has conducted investigations into captive and finite reinsurance transactions for one of the world's largest insurance companies.
Christa began her career on the direct insurance side, where she acted as coverage counsel to Lloyd's Syndicates, representing insurers' interests in claims made under professional liability insurance policies underwritten by Lloyd's. As an extension of her direct insurance practice, she also acted as monitoring counsel to an insurer of mutual fund companies with respect to directors and officers and errors and omissions coverage. More recently, Christa has represented insurance companies in coverage disputes involving asbestos liabilities where she has extensively litigated a variety of issues, including products vs. non products, number of occurrences, trigger of coverage, and allocation. She has also worked on allocation and number of occurrences issues in the context of sexual abuse claims relating to institutional policyholders such as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. In addition, Christa presented to a major European insurer with respect to U.S. asbestos bankruptcies. She has also handled insurance disputes arising under The Bermuda Form.
Christa also dedicates time to pro bono matters including landlord/tenant disputes, ethical duties surrounding guardians ad litem, and homelessness. She is also a member of the Firm Life Committee and served for seven years as team captain for the annual Lawyers Have Heart event which supports the American Heart Association. At Brooklyn Law School, she was the recipient of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship and spent her first summer during law school working in the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project at Northeastern University School of Law.
Prior to joining Crowell & Moring in 2009, Christa worked in the reinsurance/insurance groups of three major New York law firms. She also worked in the President's Office of Government & Community Relations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she assisted staff attorneys with lobbying and advocacy efforts.
Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, New York, Massachusetts (inactive)
Christa has been active as a faculty member of ARIAS in the Intensive Arbitrator Training Workshops and has contributed to the ARIAS Quarterly newsletter. Christa is also a member of PLUS, the Professional Liability Underwriting Society.
Speeches & Presentations
"Access to Records, Privilege, Waiver & the Voluntary Disclosure of Privileged Documents to Reinsurers," Mealey's Reinsurance Litigation & Arbitration Conference
Speaker: Christa Santos Thorpe.
“USA” Ch. 36, The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Insurance & Reinsurance 2016, Global Legal Group Ltd., No. 5
Authors: Ellen MacDonald Farrell and Christa S. Thorpe
"Louisiana Saftey Ass’n of Timbermen – Self Insurers Fund v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London," (U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Overturn Decision Permitting International Arbitration Where State Law Prohibited Arbitration Provisions in Insurance Contracts) Insurance/Reinsurance Client Alert
(October 20, 2010).
Co-Author: Christa Santos Thorpe.
"Regence Group v. TIG Specialty Ins. Co.," (Oregon District Court Rules that Sharing of Privileged Documents with Reinsurers waives Protections Afforded by Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine) Insurance/Reinsurance Client Alert
(March 4, 2010).
Co-Author: Christa Santos Thorpe.
"The Power of Arbitrators to Grant Attorneys' Fees and Interest," ARIAS U.S. Quarterly, Vol. 11, Number 1
(First Quarter 2004).
Co-Authors: John Nonna and Christa Santos Thorpe.
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