Areas of Practice
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1989, Senior Editor, Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy
  • Harvard University, A.B., magna cum laude, 1986, Phi Beta Kappa
Judicial Clerkships
  • Hon. Maryanne Trump Barry, US District Court, District of New Jersey, 1989-1991
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • US Supreme Court
  • US District Court, District of Columbia
  • US District Court, District of New Jersey
  • US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

John L. Jacobus

1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 6276
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

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, he 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. Mr. Jacobus 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, he is also 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.

Representative Matters


  • Mr. Jacobus has represented major corporations in high-stakes litigation, involving challenges to their core business practices.  He 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)).
  • 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 dollar 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 do 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)).
  • In his prior work for the government, Mr. Jacobus was responsible for representing the President and Cabinet Officers/US agencies, as to both the enforcement and defense of the policies of the United States. Those 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. He 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 (D.C. Cir. 1992)).   


  • The Legal 500 US, Insurance: Advice to Insurers, 2015-2016
  • Special Achievement Award, US Department of Justice, 1993 – In Appreciation and Recognition of Meritorious Acts or Services Performed on Behalf of the Department 
  • Special Achievement Award, US Department of Justice, 1994 – In Appreciation and Recognition of Sustained Superior Performance of Duty 
  • Mr. Jacobus regularly presents lectures on current legal issues, particularly in the field of insurance and reinsurance.  Recent appearances include:  
    -  Cyber Risk at Aida Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society’s 2013 Spring Conference, May 9, 2013
    -  Noerr LLP Reinsurance Conference in Munich, Germany on the distinctions between US and international arbitrations, April 30, 2013

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Selected Publications

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Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • ARIAS - US
  • ARIAS - UK
  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)