Brian Z. Bark brings a unique background to his insurance litigation practice. As a former insurance investigator and adjuster with one of the world's largest insurance companies, Brian has investigated, processed and resolved thousands of claims. This experience provides him with the skills to aggressively litigate cases as well as the ability to find creative and exceptional solutions to resolve matters.
Brian’s insurance practice focuses on litigating complex first-party and third-party insurance coverage disputes. He has assisted individuals and companies in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars under various insurance policies including commercial general liability, directors and officers, professional liability, fidelity and crime, multi-media, homeowners, employment practices liability, property, fine arts, environmental, and umbrella and excess liability insurance.
He has also advised on the placement of billions of dollars of insurance coverage, including the drafting of complex insurance products, directors and officers policies, art programs, errors and omissions, project-specific property insurance programs, wrap-up programs, and difference-in-conditions coverage. Brian routinely reviews policy language, insurance programs and insurance requirements on behalf of public and private companies, foundations, museums, government entities, and trusts, as well as individuals.
Brian has also engaged in numerous pro bono activities including assisting non-profit organizations in various disputes. He litigated on a pro bono basis the rights of members of the Catholic Worker Movement to pursue their religious mission to feed, clothe and shelter the homeless after a city declared their work a public nuisance. Brian also participated with a team of Irell & Manella LLP and ACLU attorneys who successfully represented homeless residents on a pro bono basis against a city’s anti-camping ordinance that essentially criminalized homelessness. The ACLU Foundation of Southern California awarded the firm’s litigation team, including Brian, the 2010 Social Justice Award for their work on this matter.
Brian is also a shareholder of his own small law firm.
- Provided insurance advice concerning a litigation action involving $150 million in coverage for asbestos claims.
- Represented a project developer in connection with severe and catastrophic water damage to a waterfront eight-story apartment building.
- Assisted numerous large entertainment clients with various insurance issues, including acting as coverage counsel for class action lawsuits.
- Represented the owners of large commercial and apartment buildings that sustained severe damage, including water damage, mold damage and soil movement.
- Negotiated over a billion dollars of insurance coverage to facilitate public museum display of private art collections.
- Advised regarding the structuring of insurance coverage for billions of dollars of M&A transactions.
- Provided insurance advice for construction projects valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Represented numerous broker-dealers in obtaining insurance recoveries as a result of various Ponzi schemes.
- Prosecuted bad faith claims against insurance companies on behalf of clients in numerous industries resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.
- Acted as co-trial and insurance counsel in a federal jury trial involving breach of contract and bad faith by an insurance company that denied coverage for a construction defect lawsuit, resulting in a jury verdict of six times the policy limits.
- Provided handling and advice on cyber claims and insurance recovery in connection with the loss of tens of thousands of private records.
- Provided advice and policy negotiation for complex international art insurance relating to what was internationally recognized as the world's most valuable painting at the time.
Honors & Awards
- Named to the Southern California Rising Stars list (2006 and 2009)
- As part of a team of Irell and ACLU attorneys, recognized with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California’s Social Justice Award for successful pro bono representation of homeless residents against a city’s anti-camping ordinance that essentially criminalized homelessness (2010)
- “Some Pragmatic Advice for the Non-Insurance Litigator,” Daily Journal (2012)
- “White Collar Litigation’s Attendant Insurance Issues,” Law360 (2012)
- “Claims Handling and the Duty of Good Faith,” California Insurance Law & Practice, 13.01, LexisNexis (2010)
- “A Few Random Insurance Issues in Business Litigation,” OC Lawyer (2007)
- Ch. 19c on insurance coverage, Nimmer on Copyright (2006)
- “A Long Walk On A Short Pier: 16 Months Of Insurance Law For Real Estate Lawyers,” Benjamin S. Crocker Real Estate Symposium (2004)
- “EPL Insurance – Punitive Damages, Intentional Acts and Public Policy,” Mealey’s (2002)
- “Coverage for SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19,” YPO, Beverly Hills Chapter (2020)
- “Litigating Insurance Issues and Bad Faith Claims in the Construction Industry,” The Seminar Group (2016)
- “Identifying and Using Insurance Coverage in Business Litigation,” CEB (2002)
- Guest lecturer at UCLA School of Law relating to courses on insurance law
UCLA School of Law (J.D., 2001); Order of the Coif
California State University, Fullerton (B.A., Economics)