Martin S. Checov is in his second decade as the General Counsel of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and was a founding partner of the Firm’s San Francisco office. Martin is recognized as a leading insurance coverage litigator and consulting and testifying expert for his representation of domestic and foreign insurance carriers and reinsurers in coverage, financial, regulatory and cost-recovery disputes, environmental disputes, and bad faith claims.
In his capacity as General Counsel, Martin is the chair of the Business Intake Committee and Firm-wide chief ethics compliance officer. He serves as counselor to the Firm’s attorneys at all levels, providing guidance with regard to a vast range of matters, including client intake, engagement documentation and management, policy development and enforcement, conflicts, proposed pro bono matters, fee disputes, the interpretation, refinement and enforcement of the Firm’s partnership agreement, data management and security, document requests to the Firm, lateral intake and integration issues, separation and retirement matters, and the defense of malpractice lawsuits and arbitrations.
Martin also maintains practice visibility by advising clients with regard to insurance-related issues, and plays a central role in the negotiation and management of all aspects of O’Melveny’s multi-faceted insurance program.
In addition, he organizes and presents risk management training programs for new and lateral partners, as well as other selected groups, throughout the Firm’s offices, and has been a leader for many years in the Firm’s attorney recruiting efforts.
- Handled complex construction insurance coverage litigation, including as counsel for a liability insurer in an action brought by third-party claimants for alleged fraud and concealment in the management of underlying construction and product defect litigation (resulting in new state legislation enacted for the express purpose of overruling appellate decision affirming dismissal of client).
- Acted as lead counsel for ACE U.S.A. in prominent cases such as Shell Oil, FMC and Aerojet-General Corp., establishing California law on scope of insurance coverage in asbestos, environmental and toxics litigation.
- Defended class actions and lawsuits under California’s Business & Professions Code §17200 relating to insurance sales, claims handling practices, and regulatory issues, including a challenge to a major property and casualty insurer’s asbestos and environmental restructuring and the investigation of a reinsurer for its purported links to historical episodes of criminal misconduct.
- Obtained favorable California Court of Appeal decision limiting scope of duty to defend in sexual molestation cases.
- Represented ACE U.S.A. in a coverage trial and appeal regarding antitrust and ostensible false advertising claims.
- Regularly advises insurers and policyholders on professional liability, directors and officers, construction defect, environmental and other current insurance coverage issues.
- U.S. District Court for the Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits
- California Supreme Court
- Northwestern University, J.D., 1980: cum laude; Order of the Coif; Northwestern University Law Review, 1978-80
- University of British Columbia, B.A., honors history, 1977
- Litigation Section and Tort and Insurance Practice Section, and Center for Professional Responsibility, American Bar Association
- Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
- Bar Association of San Francisco
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Northwestern Law Advisory Board
- Lambda Legal National Leadership Council
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