Ellen MacDonald Farrell is a Washington DC-based litigator with a diverse background largely dedicated to insurance and reinsurance disputes.

    Ellen has more than 20 years of experience representing domestic and international clients in matters involving asbestos, environmental, financial lines, sexual assault and employment-related claims, and in claims against educational institutions. Ellen advises clients on policy language, counsels clients on coverage issues, and litigates complex, high-stakes insurance disputes. She frequently participates in educational speaking engagements, contributes to various publications on the nuances of insurance and reinsurance law, and is a member of the American Bar Association. Ellen also recently served as an in-house coverage counsel for a national insurance carrier group, where she advised the primary casualty claims unit on a wide range of coverage issues.

    Ellen earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law where she graduated with high honors and was a member of the Order of the Coif. Prior to law school, she graduated magna cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

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    • Representing insurers in Kentucky state court against a policyholder’s claim for insurance coverage for alleged asbestos liabilities.
    • Representing a carrier group in connection with the rehabilitation of a Delaware reinsurer.
    • Represending a carrier in connection with coverage claims involving methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE).
    • Successfully defended insurers against bad faith claims in California state court involving an employment practices liability insurance policy.
    • Successfully defended an insurance carrier group in New York state court against a Fortune 100 company’s coverage claims for alleged asbestos liabilities.
    • Represented an insurance carrier group in liquidation proceedings involving an insolvent New Hampshire insurer.
    • Negotiated settlements of a tire manufacturer’s claim for insurance coverage for alleged asbestos liabilities on an expedited basis.
    • Resolved a California-based valve manufacturer’s claim for insurance coverage for the company’s alleged asbestos liabilities through a creative settlement.
    • Negotiated the settlement of a manufacturer’s claim for insurance coverage for pollution liabilities in New Jersey.
    • Represented an insurer with respect to a college’s claims for insurance coverage for liabilities arising out of an employment dispute.
    • Represented an insurer with respect to a secondary school’s claim for insurance coverage for liabilities arising out of molestation claims.
    • Represented an insurer with respect to a university’s claim for insurance coverage for alleged liabilities arising out of a failed dorm construction project.
    • Represented an insurer with respect to a university’s claim for insurance coverage for alleged liabilities arising out of sexual assault and Title IX claims.
    • Successfully capped an insurer’s coverage obligations with respect to claims against a New York contractor.
    • As in-house counsel to an insurance carrier group, provided advice on coverage and claims-handling issues presented by primary liability insurance policies.
    • Was seconded for more than two years to the reinsurance department of a large US property-casualty insurance company.

    Education

    • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law, J.D., with high honors and order of the coif, 1994
    • Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1991

    Admissions

    • District of Columbia, 1997

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    Speaking Engagements

    • Co-author, “A Brief Review of Reinsurance Trends in 2018,” Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage, March 22, 2019
    • Speaker, “Insurance Coverage for Data Breaches and Privacy Violations,” Clear Law Institute Webinar, November 14, 2017.
    • Panelist, “Disruptive and Emerging Technologies for and Beyond Transportation – Insurance and Liability Issues for the New Era,” ABA-2017 Section of International Law Spring Meeting, Washington DC, April 26, 2017.
    • Panelist, “The Regulatory View on IoT,” 2017 Advisen Cyber Risk Insights Conference, San Francisco, CA, February 14, 2017.
    • Speaker, “Insurance Coverage for Data Breaches and Privacy Violations,” Clear Law Institute Webinar, January 24, 2017.
    • Speaker, “Coverage for ‘Cyber’ Risks – The Emerging Body of Case Law,” ARIAS U.S. Webinar, September 27, 2016.
    • Moderator, “Update on Cyber Liability,” 2016 ARIAS U.S. Spring Conference, Palm Beach, FL, May 12, 2016.
    • Co-Moderator, “Discovery of Would-Be Confidential Settlement Agreements: Legal Principles and Practice Pointers,” 2016 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, AZ, March 4, 2016.
    • Speaker, “The Privacy Cybersecurity Landscape and Cyber Insurance,” IRU Next Generation Reinsurance Leadership Seminar, July 16, 2014.
    • Moderator, “The Cyber Insurance Market and Risk Allocation: Evolving Solutions for Escalating Risks in Cyberspace,” Co-Sponsored by the ABA Public Contract Law Section’s Cybersecurity, Privacy and Data Protection Committee and the ABA Science & Technology Law Section’s Security, Privacy and Information Law Division, September 24, 2013.
    • Panelist, “The Bodily Injury Concept in Liability Policies Revisited,” ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, February 28, 2013.
    • Panelist, “Cyber Risk and Insurance Coverage,” First Annual West Coast AIRROC Insurance and Reinsurance Conference, September 20, 2012.
    • Speaker, “The Rapidly-Evolving Landscape of Cyber Risk,” RAA ReUnderwriting Conference – Building Professional Expertise, March 20-21, 2012.
    • Moderator, “2011 Global Catastrophes – Market and Insurance Coverage Considerations for Claims Professionals,” LexisNexis Webinar, September 21, 2011.
    • Speaker, “The Rapidly Evolving Nature of Cyber Risk,” RAA ReUnderwriting Conference, July 20, 2011.
    • Panelist, “Preparing Reinsurance Agreements for New Emerging Risks (Cyber Risk, Climate Change and Other Emerging Issues),” ACI’s 6th Annual Advanced Forum on Reinsurance Agreements, April 2010.
    • Speaker, “Cyber Risk: A Primer,” presented to the Underwriting Committee of the Reinsurance Association of America, October 2009.
    • Speaker, “Security Breach: The Law; the Risks; the Coverage Ramifications,” presented to the Emerging Issues Working Group and Claims Committee of the Reinsurance Association of America, May 2009.
    • Speaker, “Climate Change Litigation, Weather Events and Reinsurance Claim Handling,” ReClaims: Reinsurance Claims Management for Claims Professionals by Claims Professionals, September 2008.
    • Faculty Member, ARIAS U.S. Intensive Arbitrator Training Workshop, March 2008.
    • Speaker, “Contract Wording Pitfalls/Common Errors,” ReContracts: The Art of Designing Reinsurance Contracts and Programs, June 2007.
    • Speaker, “Grand Co. v. Super Re: a Reinsurance Claim Hypothetical,” ReClaims: Reinsurance Claims Management for Claims Professionals by Claims Professionals, March 2007.

    Publications

    • Co-Author, “Insurance Coverage Issues Created by the Internet of Things,” New Appleman on Insurance, Current Critical Issues in Insurance Law, Summer 2017.
    • Co-Author, “Missouri District Court Relieves Insurer of Duty to Defend TCPA Suit,” Crowell & Moring Data Law Insights Blog, January 1, 2017.
    • Co-Author, “Internet of Things Raises Complex Insurance Coverage Issues,” Crowell & Moring Data Law Insights Blog, October 20, 2016.
    • Co-Author, “Insurance Implications of ‘The Internet of Things,’” Law360, October 3, 2016.
    • Co-Author, “Arizona District Court Determines Scope of Coverage Provided by Cyberinsurance Policy,” Crowell & Moring Data Law Insights Blog, June 30, 2016.
    •  Co-Author, “Cybersecurity and Consumer Data Privacy in the Insurance Sector: The Current Framework and a Look Ahead,” BNA Daily Report for Executives (May 11, 2016). Also published as part of the 2016 ARIAS U.S. Spring Conference, Palm Beach, FL, May 11-13, 2016.
    • Co-Author, “Fourth Circuit Affirms Carrier’s Duty to Defend Against Security Breach Claims Under Traditional Insurance Policy,” Crowell & Moring Data Law Insights Blog, April 19, 2016.
    • Co-Author, “USA” Ch. 36, The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Insurance & Reinsurance 2016, Global Legal Group Ltd., No. 5, February 2016.
    • Co-Author, “Data Breaches Bring D&O Insurance Issues,” Law360, September 9, 2015.
    • Co-Author, “Eleventh Circuit Holding Highlights Importance of Choice of Law on Insurance Coverage for Cyber Incidents,” Crowell & Moring Data Law Insights Blog, September 3, 2015.
    • Co-Author, “California District Court Dismisses Suit, Without Prejudice, Over Stand-Alone Cyberinsurance Policy,” Crowell & Moring Data Law Insights Blog, July 21, 2015.
    • Co-Author, “California District Court Called Upon to Determine Scope of Coverage Provided by Stand- Alone Cyberinsurance Policy,” Crowell & Moring Data Law Insights Blog, May 29, 2015.
    • Co-Author, “Disputes Over Insurance Coverage for Alleged TCPA Violations,” Insurance Coverage Law Bulletin, May 2015.
    • Co-Author, “Coverage Disputes Over Data Breach,” Insurance Coverage Law Bulletin, February 2014.
    • Co-Author of Program Materials, “Key Principles and Concepts in Reinsurance,” presented at the Mealey’s program Reinsurance Litigation & Arbitration, February 2008.
    • Author of Program Materials, “Key Follow Fortunes/Follow Settlements Allocation Cases,” presented at the ACI program Reinsurance Claims and Arbitration, September 2007.
    • Co-Author, “Arbitration and the Insolvent Insurer,” Legal Times, January 11, 1999.
    • Co-Author, “Time’s Up for Good Faith,” Legal Times, January 13, 1997.
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