Partner Mikaela Whitman, a complex commercial litigator, specializes in the representation of policyholders in a variety of insurance coverage matters. She has represented domestic and international companies in state and federal courts involving high stakes, bet-the-company insurance litigation, including cases that involve commercial general liability, professional liability, directors and officers, and media liability.
With a keen ability to anticipate potential obstacles to insurance recovery and devise risk mitigation strategies, Mikaela’s comprehensive analysis of issues, candid communication style, and warm demeanor have garnered her respect from clients and colleagues alike. Mikaela’s prowess has been acknowledged by prominent publications such as Best Lawyers, Benchmark, and Super Lawyers.
Mikaela’s unique in-house experience equips her with the skills to tackle business concerns holistically. While developing her legal practice, Mikaela served three years as the Director of Business Affairs for Blue Élan Records, an independent record label. Here, she handled artist and third-party contract negotiations, music licensing, financial planning/strategy and general business concerns.
Recently, she was seconded full-time to AECOM, a Fortune 500 global infrastructure firm. At AECOM, Mikaela advised on insurance policy language and claims navigation across the company’s portfolio of coverage and supported various business units on risk management and mitigation strategies as well as insurance due diligence. She also managed domestic and international coverage disputes, drafted and negotiated commercial agreements, and collaborated with teams across the company. With the knowledge gained from her in-house tenures and as a litigator in private practice, Mikaela guides companies through all aspects of policy placement and insurance recovery.
In addition to her legal work, Mikaela is a prolific writer and sought-after speaker on complex commercial disputes and insurance recovery. She has shared her insights through podcasts, national conferences, and presentations at higher education institutions. Her recent speaking engagements include programs hosted by the American Bar Association, Wharton School of Business, Association of Corporate Counsel, RIMS, Sports Business Journal, and Perrin Conferences. Mikaela’s contributions to the legal field include authoring the Practicing Law Institute (PLI) treatise, A Policyholder’s Primer on Coverage (2022 & 2023) and serving as a contributing author of the New Appleman Sports and Entertainment Insurance Law & Practice Guide, a LexisNexis treatise (2015-2023).
RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- Author, “How to Maximize Insurance Recovery for TVPA Lawsuits,” Hotel Executive (Dec. 22, 2022)
- Author, “Tips to Maximize Insurance Recovery,” Today’s General Counsel (Oct. 10, 2022)
- Author, “Human Trafficking and Insurance Coverage Implications for the Hospitality Industry,” Daily Journal (July 29, 2022)
- Speaker, “Maximizing the Value of Your Company’s Liability Policies,” General Counsel Conference Midwest by ALM/Law.com (June 14, 2022)
- Author, “The Related Claims Provision in Insurance Coverage Disputes,” New York Law Journal (May 23, 2022)
- Speaker, “Protecting Your Assets – Post Pandemic Insurance Checklist: Insurance/Risk, Business Interruption, Cyber, Trafficking, EPLI, and Dram Shop” Choice Hotels Conference (May 3, 2022)
- Speaker, “The In-House Attorney’s Guide to Insurance,” Association of Corporate Counsel (Mar. 2, 2022)
- Author, “COMMENTARY: Key Developments in D&O Insurance Law in 2021,” Mealey’s Emerging Legal Disputes (Feb. 2, 2022)
- Speaker, “The High Points of Insuring the Cannabis Industry,” Florida RIMS Annual Conference (July 29, 2020)
- Author, “The Legalization of Cannabis in New York and the Need for D&O Insurance Coverage,” New York Law Journal (May 21, 2021)
- Quoted, “Insurers Knew They Might Have to Pay Virus Claims,” Insurance Business Magazine (May 7, 2021)
- Author, “What You Should Know about D&O or R&W Insurance in Mergers & Acquisitions,” ABA Business Today (May 5, 2021)
- Speaker, “Sexual Abuse Litigation and Insurance Coverage,” Perrin Conferences (Mar. 18, 2021)
- Author, “What Will ‘G&G Oil’ Mean for New York Businesses Seeking Insurance for Ransomware Attacks,” New York Law Journal (Feb. 26, 2021)
- Author, “Recent Hot Pockets Recall for Plastic Contamination Highlights the Various Types of Potential Insurance for Food Recalls,” Lexology (Feb. 19, 2021)
- Speaker, “Plastics-Related Liabilities and Insurance Recovery with Mikaela Whitman,” Emerging Litigation Podcast (Feb. 1 2021)
- Quoted, “Plastics and the Planet: Who Will Bear the Costs?” The Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) (July 30, 2020)
- Speaker, “A Guide to Legislative and Regulatory Pandemic Responses,” COVID-19 Virtual Insurance Litigation Summit (July 23-24, 2020)
- Quoted, “In-Depth Insurance and Legal: The Jury is Still Out On How Event-Insurance Policies Will Help Sports Recover From the Pandemic,” Sports Business Journal (July 13-19, 2020)
- Speaker, “State of the Practice Area Roundtable: Insurance Law” Lawline (June 17, 2020)
- Author, “The Coming Wave of Plastic Liabilities and Insurance Coverage,” New York Law Journal (May 31, 2020)
- Speaker, “SBJ Unpacks – Weathering Covid-19 Podcast,” Sports Business Journal (Mar. 19, 2020)
- Author, “Event Cancellation Insurance and March Madness,” AthleticBusiness (Feb. 27, 2020)
- Author, “Insight: Tips To Maximize Coverage and Limit Insurers’ Deductions to Defense Cost Invoices,” Bloomberg Law (Feb. 4, 2020)
- Author, “Insurance Trends to Watch in 2020,” Insurance Services Network (Feb. 2020)
AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS
- Best Lawyers in America: Named to The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list for work in insurance law
- Benchmark Litigation: Named a “Future Star” in New York
- Super Lawyers: Named a New York Rising Star in insurance coverage since 2014
OUTSIDE THE FIRM
Mikaela is a black belt in Okinawan Shorin-Ryu, a lifelong dancer at Broadway Dance Center in New York City and actively involved in various bar associations and alumni groups for the University of Chicago.
- New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University (J.D.)
University of Chicago (B.A.)