John Jacobus is a skilled, veteran trial lawyer who handles complex commercial litigation, particularly within the insurance and reinsurance industry. He also handles internal investigations and government compliance matters. As a former law clerk to a US District Court Judge and a former Trial Attorney in the Honors Program at the US Department of Justice, he applies his extensive jury trial experience and wisdom to every client matter. He tries complex cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States, and handles disputes conducted within the framework of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and other arbitration centers around the world.
In the insurance realm, John regularly conducts arbitrations representing cedents, reinsurers, and retrocessionaires in all lines of business. His work on behalf of insurers and reinsurers has involved a wide range of issues in the life, health, property, and casualty sectors, as well as many specialty areas, including financial guarantee and surety products. Within the insurance space, he also provides extensive counseling on coverage for cyber risks, a topic on which he frequently gives lectures and seminars. John is internationally recognized in the insurance realm, as a long-standing member of the Aida Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society (ARIAS-US) and the LCIA, and as Chairman Emeritus of the Insurance and Reinsurance Practice Group of Lex Mundi, the world’s largest private association of law firms.
As a former Justice Department attorney, John is sought out for his management of internal corporate investigations and government compliance matters. He has led internal corporate investigations in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, and the West Coast of Africa, among other places.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- Supreme Court of the United States
- US District Court, District of Columbia
- US District Court, District of New Jersey
- US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
- US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- Hon. Maryanne T. Barry, US District Court, District of New Jersey, 1989-1991
- J.D., Harvard Law School, 1989, Senior Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
- A.B., Harvard University, 1986, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Represented Park Avenue Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company, in a reinsurance arbitration and subsequent court proceedings, see Park Avenue Life Insurance Company v. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, Civil Action No., 2019-CV-1089, US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Steptoe successfully initiated arbitration on behalf of Park Avenue (a reinsurer), which objected to a request to indemnify early payouts imposed on the reinsured business pursuant to regulatory sanctions included in Allianz's settlements with state regulators over Allianz's handling of unclaimed property issues.
Represented Zurich American Life Insurance Company in Jerome Boyer v. Jay Mulein, et al., 2:17-cv-04243-GW-FFM, in the US District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles). In that proceeding, it was alleged that the plaintiff, Mr. Boyer, was misled into replacing existing insurance coverage with new coverage via a series of false statements and inducements made by non-company representatives, all to his financial detriment. The case was favorably resolved via private meditation.
Represented Zurich American Life Insurance Company in Prema Thekkek, et al. v. AJ Rana, et al., Civ. No. MISC 15-00973, in the Superior Court of the State of California (Contra Costa County). In that proceeding, it was alleged that certain insurance producers engaged in the practice of "twisting," that is, churning the account of the plaintiff insureds through the excessive replacement of insurance coverage. The case was favorably resolved via private mediation.
Represented Zurich American Life Insurance Company in Hilary Gold and Louis Filoso, as Trustees of the Abraham Gold Family Trust, et. al., v. Kenneth Jordan, et al., Civ. L-3166-16, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division (Monmouth County). In that proceeding, it was alleged that an insurance broker had engaged in malpractice and a breach of his fiduciary duty towards two insureds, inducing them to discard their existing life insurance policies and to replace those policies with $130 million of unsuitable policies. The matter was settled on favorable terms.
Served as lead counsel to a major Swiss reinsurer that sought to challenge material misstatements uncovered as to the placement of the risks with the reinsurer, producing a $300 million victory for the client.
Successfully achieved a summary judgment ruling for Zurich Insurance Co. in asbestos coverage litigation brought by Maremont Corp. in Delaware federal court. In the suit, Maremont sought coverage from Zurich for asbestos claims filed against it over the past 35 years. The federal court's summary judgment ruling for Zurich slashed its potential liability in the case from up to $1.5 billion to a fraction of that, finding that four out of five years of the policy at issue did not offer coverage for Maremont's asbestos-related issues (Maremont Corp., v. Ace Prop. & Cas. Ins., Co., 107 F. Supp. 3d 417 (D. Del. 2015)).
Served as lead counsel to Royal & SunAlliance in one of the largest multi-district litigations (MDL) ever conducted, involving antitrust compliance in the placement of insurance (In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1663, 2008 WL 3887616 (D.N.J. Aug. 20, 2008)).
In his prior work for the government, represented the President and Cabinet Officers/US agencies, as to both the enforcement and defense of the policies of the United States. Matters included representation of the Attorney General in litigation involving the role of US Attorneys as to presentments to Grand Juries, and representation of the US Treasury Department as to its supervisory authority over savings and loan institutions. Also provided briefing to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as to ownership of the Presidential papers and tapes created during the Nixon administration (Nixon v. United States, 978 F.2d 1269 (DC Cir. 1992)).
"Insurance Coverage for Cyber Risks," CIAB, October 19, 2016
News & Publications
April 17, 2020
February 10, 2020
June 3, 2019
June 6, 2018
May 30, 2018
May 29, 2018
September 18, 2017
October 11, 2016
June 15, 2016
March 22, 2016
- Super Lawyers, Washington, DC, Business Litigation (2020)
- Legal 500 US, Insurance: Advice to Insurers (2015-2016, 2018, 2020)
- Special Achievement Award, US Department of Justice (1994); In Appreciation and Recognition of Sustained Superior Performance of Duty
- Special Achievement Award, US Department of Justice (1993); In Appreciation and Recognition of Meritorious Acts or Services Performed on Behalf of the Department
- Regularly presents lectures on current legal issues, particularly in the field of insurance and reinsurance
- Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice, Civil Division (1991-1995); Attorney General's Honor Program
- American Bar Association
- Aida Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society, ARIAS - US
- London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)