Gary Svirsky is a partner in O’Melveny’s New York office. He is an accomplished litigator who has tried both jury and bench trials. He represents clients in all types of complex commercial cases with a special focus on disputes involving insurance coverage, distressed debt investments, and various sophisticated securities.
He also has extensive experience at the intersection of bankruptcy and insurance law, and has been involved in most major mass-tort bankruptcies involving insurance over the last decade and a half.
Gary has published many articles on insurance and bankruptcy issues. Recently, his work has appeared in a law review, Crain’s New York Business, and the New York Law Journal. And he speaks regularly at national conferences on insurance as well as bankruptcy law.
Gary has consistently been recognized as a New York Metro Super Lawyer (since 2016). Legal 500 lists Gary as a go-to member of O’Melveny’s nationally top-ranked insurance practice. And Chambers & Partners has recognized Gary as a leading practitioner in the insurance category, observing that he is “highly regarded in the insolvent carrier space and lauded for his courtroom abilities.
Clients praise his ‘powerful intellect and ability to analyze complex circumstances and then explain it to non-lawyers.’” Clients also comment on his “notable expertise in sophisticated insurance litigation, particularly those involving securities and bankruptcy issues,” referring to him as “a very impressive lawyer who is incredibly smart.”
- Represent industry group in challenge to New York State regulation imposing fiduciary duties on life insurance sales.
- Lead trial counsel in a bankruptcy dispute involving a distressed debt investment in an energy company.
- Lead counsel in a first-of-its-kind dispute under New York law involving reformation of a contract to buy and sell warrants.
- Lead counsel in four-week trial for group of insurers against two large industrial manufacturers where jury found that defense payments fall within indemnity limits.
- Led successful litigation with unsecured creditors’ committee and bondholders about standing to control debtors’ main asset.
- Co-lead counsel in contested bankruptcy that resulted in precedent-setting Ninth Circuit decision on insurer bankruptcy standing and equitable mootness.
- Co-lead counsel in sex abuse case involving one of Connecticut’s largest charitable hospitals.
- Co-lead counsel for major insurer in large coverage dispute in New York that has resulted in several precedents, including on allocation.
- Reported significant decisions that Gary has litigated include the following:
- Warberg Opportunistic Trading Fund, L.P. v. GeoResources, Inc., 151 A.D.3d 465 (1st Dep’t 2017)
- In re Thorpe Insulation Co., 677 F.3d 869 (9th Cir. 2012)
- Mt. McKinley Ins. Co. v. Corning, Inc., Index No. 602454/02 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., N.Y. Cty. Sept. 7, 2012)
- Pacific Employers Ins. Co. v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co., 888 F.Supp.2d 271 (D. Conn. 2012)
- In re Biovail Corp. Securities Litigation, 247 F.R.D. 69 (S.D.N.Y. 2007)
- In re Congoleum Corporation, 426 F.3d 675 (3d Cir. 2005)
- In re Baron & Budd v. Unsecured Creditors Committee, 321 B.R. 147 (D. N.J. 2005)
- In re Congoleum Corporation, No. 03-51524, 2005 WL 712540 (Bankr. D. N.J. March 24, 2005)
- New York
- US District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
- US Court of Appeals, Second, Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits
- US Supreme Court
- Columbia University, LL.M. (Stone Scholar; Bretzfelder Constitutional Law Fellow)
- Osgoode Hall Law School, LL.B.
- University of Toronto, M.A.
- University of Western Ontario, B.A. (S.F. Glass Gold Medal)
- Honorable John I. Laskin, Ontario Court of Appeal
- Honorable Rosalie Silberman Abella, Ontario Court of Appeal (now Supreme Court of Canada)
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