Photograph of Michael T. Carolan


  • University of Michigan, B.A.
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D.


  • District of Columbia
  • Michigan
Michael T. Carolan, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2911
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004-2595

Michael T. Carolan is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Insurance/Reinsurance Group in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on litigating and arbitrating domestic and international disputes involving reinsurance, complex insurance coverage, and brokers' liability. Michael has represented both company and intermediary clients in life, health, and property/casualty disputes regarding issues such as policy and contract interpretation, yearly renewable term reinsurance premiums, notice, aggregation of losses, underwriting practices and claims management, life settlements, reinsurance allocations, follow the fortunes and follow the settlements, rescission, fraud, misrepresentation, and sunset and commutation clauses. In 2015, Michael was recognized by Expert Guides as a “Rising Star” in insurance and reinsurance.

In addition to dispute work, Michael counsels clients on business and settlement strategy, insolvency and liquidation issues, and bad faith exposures. He has also written on reinsurance issues related to credit default swaps and financial products.

Representative examples of his practice include:

  • Represented a cedent arbitrating against a reinsurer which sought rescission of dozens of reinsurance contracts and the return of millions of dollars in loss payments, obtaining 100 percent relief, including all of the attorneys' fees incurred by our client.
  • Represented a reinsurer in a dispute with its retrocessionaire involving the reinsurer's obligations and ability to increase premiums on a large book of yearly renewable term life insurance.
  • Secured on appeal the reversal of summary judgment against a primary insurer in a suit by an excess insurer revolving around application of the anti-subrogation rule and the primary carrier's claims handling process.
  • Defended a Bermuda excess insurer in a London arbitration involving complex insurance coverage claims relating to significant environmental losses.
  • Represented a reinsurer in a dispute with its cedent over a facultatively reinsured life insurance policy containing material misrepresentations that the insurer's agent was aware of at the time of underwriting but that were never disclosed to the reinsurer, achieving a complete victory for our client, with the cedent repaying one hundred percent of the amount in dispute, plus interest.
  • Represented a global reinsurer in a dispute involving the acquisition of a large block of North American life insurance business through a coinsurance agreement that contained unsatisfied conditions to closing. The dispute centered on the interpretation of those conditions to closing and the impact of temporary impossibility of performance on the parties’ rights and obligations under the coinsurance agreement.
  • Represented a London-based reinsurance broker in a dispute involving allegations of errors in the placement of a reinsurance program for international energy risks.
  • Represented a reinsurer in several arbitrations over whether it could raise premiums on a book of yearly renewable term life reinsurance treaties.
  • Advised a domestic property and casualty insurer on its appellate chances and bad faith exposure following a judgment against its policyholder in excess of policy limits.

Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Michael represented a variety of domestic and offshore captive insurance companies owned U.S. corporations, providing counseling on tax and health care issues, reinsurance and fronting arrangements, policy drafting, claims management, and commutation agreements.  Prior to entering the practice of law, Michael was a consultant on energy and environmental issues.


Admitted to practice: District of Columbia, Michigan

Speeches & Presentations

  • “Life Insurance: Arbitration and Claim Issues,” ARIAS-U.S. Webinar (2015). Panelist: Michael T. Carolan.
  • 2015 ARIAS-U.S. Spring Conference, Palm Beach, FL (2015). Faculty Member: Michael T. Carolan.
  • “Legal Issues in Contract Writing: Lessons Learned from the U.S. and U.K.,” Reinsurance Association of America ReContracts Seminar (2013). Presenter: Michael T. Carolan.
  • ARIAS-U.S. Intensive Arbitrator Training Workshop, Tarrytown, NY (2013). Faculty Member: Michael T. Carolan.


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Firm News & Announcements

Jan.04.2016 Crowell & Moring Elects Nine New Partners and Promotes 15 Associates to Counsel
Jan.26.2012 Crowell & Moring Elects Seven New Partners and Promotes 22 Attorneys to Counsel Positions