Marc Maister concentrates his litigation practice on high-profile insurance disputes, general civil litigation, cyber liability and privacy matters and professional liability defense. He serves in a leadership role as chair of Irell & Manella LLP’s Insurance practice and co-chair of the Cyber Liability and Privacy practice.

Marc has recovered over $1 billion from insurers on behalf of clients in multiple sectors, including technology, entertainment, construction, healthcare, manufacturing and government. He has successfully litigated cases in state and federal courts throughout the U.S., as well as in arbitration proceedings, to recover funds for major losses involving cyber theft, natural disasters and environmental matters. Marc has experience in disputes involving a range of coverages, including commercial general liability, professional liability, fidelity and crime, cyber liability, directors and officers insurance, multimedia, employment practices liability, environmental and umbrella and excess liability, property insurance, disability and life insurance.

Marc’s creativity and relentless drive to achieve his clients’ goals are key to his success as a litigator. When crafting a case strategy, he typically prepares for trial whether or not the case will come before a judge. Marc’s extraordinary level of preparedness gives him substantial leverage to negotiate favorable settlements for his clients.

Marc regularly counsels businesses and individuals on a wide range of insurance matters. He helps clients evaluate their insurance needs before losses occur or claims have been asserted to determine if there is sufficient protection in place. He also negotiates and enforces various insurance agreements pertaining to self-insured retentions, minimum premium arrangements, captive insurance and reinsurance programs, group and association agreements and similar arrangements. Together with clients, brokers and risk managers, Marc advises on the structuring of insurance programs and works closely with transactional lawyers on various sophisticated insurance issues such as cyber exposure.


  • Secured over $27 million from insurers of behalf of a medical device manufacturer.
  • Recovered over $50 million from insurers arising out of environmental claims against a client.
  • Secured a several hundred million dollar insurance recovery in connection with Hurricane Katrina.
  • Recovered $150 million on a claim involving asbestos.
  • Represented an apartment complex owner in a first party earth movement claim and recovered over $60 million.
  • Defended an international law firm on several legal malpractice claims, including obtaining summary judgment and winning the appeal on a $20 million claim.
  • Recovered over $70 million from insurers regarding a malpractice claim.
  • Represented the County of San Bernardino on several insurance recovery matters, with a recent recovery of well over $60 million.
  • Represented a claimant in the Highlands Insurance Company receivership proceedings.
  • Defending several apartment management entities in defense of class action ICRA claims.
  • Successfully retained insurance coverage on behalf of a client and negotiated a settlement in the then-largest ERISA case in the country.
  • Successfully obtained insurance coverage on behalf of clients and payment of defense costs in numerous construction defect actions.
  • Assisted numerous entertainment clients with various insurance issues, including fidelity losses.
  • Assisted with multimillion-dollar cyber matters, including preparation, the placement of insurance and the actual loss.
  • Successfully won summary judgment on a $100 million fidelity loss in the high tech industry.
  • Litigated and recovered $20 million on a life insurance claim.

Honors & Awards

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of insurance law (2007-2020)
  • Named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2005-2019)
  • Recognized by Chambers USA as a leading insurance lawyer and a "legal malpractice and consumer class action specialist” (2010-2019)
  • Recognized among the "Top 50 of Orange County" by Los Angeles Magazine (2007-2012)
  • Named to the Daily Journal’s “Top 20 Lawyers Under 40” in California (2004)
  • Selected as one of Southern California's best lawyers by the Los Angeles Times Magazine for his work in commercial litigation and insurance law


  • "Chapter 9: Insurance and Mediation," Financial Services Mediation Answer Book (2017)
  • "Breaking Down Liability Insurance for Transactional Lawyers," Daily Journal (November 2012)
  • "Some Pragmatic Advice for the Non-Insurance Litigator," Daily Journal (October 2012)
  • "In Vogue: A-Side DIC D&O Insurance Coverage," New Appleman on Insurance: Current Critical Issues in Insurance Law (December 2008)
  • "The Choice of Law Conundrum," Appleman Editorial Board (2006)
  • Chapter on insurance coverage for Nimmer on Copyright, release 70 (2006)
  • "Employment Practices Liabilities and Coverage Conference," Mealey's Publications (January 2003)
  • "California Insurance Conference," Mealey's Publications (July 2001)
  • "The Executive Management Liability Landscape," Aon Risk Management Services (June 2001)
  • "Construction Defect: Litigation and Coverage Conference," Mealey's Publications, (December 1998)
  • "Birth of an Insurance Claim--The Trigger of Coverage and the Tender of a Claim to the Insurer," American Bar Association (1995)
  • "Trigger of Coverage: A Contract Approach," American Bar Association (1995)

Speaking Engagements

  • "Bad Faith and Extra Contractual Claims: The Policyholder’s Perspective – Part I," Litigating Insurance Issues and Bad Faith Claims in the Construction Industry conference (January 2016)
  • "Allocation of Indemnity Where Multiple Claimants and Claims are Involved," Insurance Allocation Conference (October 29, 2013)
  • "Insurance Litigation 2004," CJA/TheRutter Group (January 2004)
  • "Corporate Governance Conference," CLE International (November 2002, March 2004)
  • "Mold Insurance Litigation," Bridgeport Continuing Education (March 2003)
  • "Directors & Officers Liability In Turbulent Times – The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002-The Role of Independent Directors and the Changing D&O Insurance Marketplace," DLD Insurance Brokers (November 2002)
  • "Identifying and Using Insurance Coverage in Business Litigation," CEB program (Spring 2002, Fall 2003)
  • "Fundamentals of Insurance Litigation," CEB program (April 2001)
  • "Year 2000 Insurance Seminar," Mealey's Publications (July 1999)
  • USC Institute for Corporate Counsel seminar (March 4-5, 1999)
  • "Identifying and Using Insurance Coverage in Business Litigation," CEB program (July 1998)
  • "Insurance Coverage Seminar," Mealey's Publications (1996-1998)

Professional Activities

  • Member of the American Bar Association and the Orange County Bar Association
  • Past co-chair of the Orange County Bar Association Insurance Law Section
  • Member of the Mealey's Publications Insurance Advisory Council
  • Lectured for two years on insurance law at the UCLA School of Law
  • Member of the advisory committee for the Lexis/Nexis Appleman Editorial Board
  • Serving as editor-in-chief of Matthew Bender's California Insurance Law and Practice Guide


University of California, Berkeley School of Law (J.D., 1991); Order of the Coif

University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) (Bachelor of Commerce, 1987)


  • California, 1991
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Central and Northern Districts of California
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