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Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Lawrence J. Bracken

Lawrence J. Bracken

Partner

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
Georgia, U.S.A.

tel: +1 404 888 4035
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Profile

Larry Bracken has more than 30 years of experience litigating and investigating insurance coverage, class action, technology, environmental and commercial matters.

Larry has represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States in a broad range of cases, particularly the litigation of insurance coverage disputes, class actions and other cases involving allegations of unfair trade practices, environmental matters, and complex contract disputes. Larry has extensive experience representing technology companies and their customers in litigation and investigations involving technology service and IT infrastructure agreements; licensing; cyber security and privacy issues; and alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.

Larry is admitted to practice in Georgia, New York and Virginia, as well as before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. After earning his law degree, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable D. Dortch Warriner of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel.

Relevant Experience

  • Negotiated, arbitrated and litigated more than 500 insurance coverage matters involving general and excess liability, D&O liability, E&O, technology E&O, cyber and data security, property, business interruption and time element, pollution liability, builders risk, inland marine, and other insurance.
  • Class action practice concentrates on the defense of unfair trade practice/false advertising claims, privacy and data security issues, consumer class actions, and environmental claims.
  • Advising major petroleum pipeline company about insurance coverage issues arising out of recent accidents and environmental incidents. Also advising the client about potential recoveries from contractors’ insurers and additional insured coverage.
  • Advising one of the U.S.’s largest energy infrastructure companies concerning insurance coverage issues arising out of petrochemical plant explosion. Assisted client in recovering more than $200 million from liability insurers.
  • Advising major U.S. electric utility concerning insurance coverage for alleged emissions from power generation plants.
  • Litigating claim to recover defense costs and amounts paid to settle class claims concerning allegedly improper bank fees and assessments.
  • Advising major REIT concerning first-party insurance coverage issues arising out of property damage and construction errors at residential housing complex.
  • Advising U.S. energy company about insurance coverage issues arising from U.S. Attorney investigation of alleged mining regulation violations.
  • Represented municipality in litigation involving municipality’s commercial property policy seeking reimbursement for flood-related property damage and extra expense. Recovered $13.7 million on client’s behalf.
  • Represents clients in dispute resolution and litigation involving outsourcing, IT infrastructure and other technology service agreements; alleged breaches of consumer agreements and consumer protection laws; allegations of trade secret misappropriation (often including alleged breach of confidentiality or non-disclosure terms); and privacy and data security issues. Clients include customers of IT infrastructure providers and software development companies, technology companies, manufacturers, public entities, international banks, consumer lenders, retailers and electric utilities.
  • Represents companies in the investigation of privacy issues, actual and threatened cyber security events, cyber intrusions and cyber extortion, as well as in the defense of class actions and other claims arising from such events. Advises clients regarding the management of litigation and other risks arising from cyber security and privacy issues.
  • Represented clients in more than 75 environmental and petroleum pipeline industry litigation matters, involving claims asserted under CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act of 1990, Pipeline Safety Act and other federal statutes, as well as related state statutes and common law.
  • Defended Fortune 50 financial services company in suit by IT infrastructure provider alleging breach of a technology services outsourcing contract. Conducted fast-track discovery and obtained summary judgment for client on vast majority of issues, resulting in favorable settlement of the few remaining claims.
  • Represent major manufacturing company in dispute with IT infrastructure provider regarding outsourced technology services. Case is currently in litigation.
  • Have advised multiple Fortune 500 clients in confidential negotiations and dispute resolution procedures arising from IT infrastructure and technology services agreements.
  • Represented electric power company in dispute with engineering/construction firm regarding construction of biomass-burning power plant. Obtained favorable settlement for client prior to trial.
  • Defended national homebuilder and its affiliated mortgage company in defense of purported nationwide class action asserting violations of California Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 and 17500, as well as common law causes of action, alleging a scheme to increase home sale prices through improper practices and nondisclosures in the brokering and arranging subprime mortgages. All claims were dismissed on standing and Rule 12(b)(6) grounds before discovery commenced.
  • Represented nation’s largest residential mortgage lender and one of the nation’s largest banks in putative class action seeking statutory damages for alleged failures to cancel mortgage instruments within statutory period. Negotiated favorable settlement prior to class certification decision.
  • Represented Fortune 50 company in a 226,000-member consumer class action in which plaintiff alleged false advertising and violation of unfair trade practices statutes in the advertising and sale of consumer electronics products. Obtained defense verdict after a three-week trial.
  • Represented Fortune 50 company in multiple consumer class actions in nine different jurisdictions, involving allegations of unfair trade practices in the advertising and sale of consumer electronics and computer products.
  • Represented a national grocery store chain in a privacy class action in which plaintiff asserts violations of state consumer tampering statute, as well as common law claims. The putative class claims that the defendant's website utilized flash cookies to track plaintiff’s web browsing activities.
  • Represented major payment processor in data breach class action. Case resolved favorably for client prior to discovery and after all except a single count of the complaint were dismissed on motions. The matter involved issues of first impression concerning standing and substantive causes of action.
  • After cyber intrusion at major payment processor client, advised client concerning risk mitigation procedures and preparation for potential litigation claims by customers and consumers.
  • Defended suit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets by global software development company in the development of health insurance claims software. Led external legal team that assisted client’s General Counsel in the internal investigation of the allegations. Investigation involved interviews of hundreds of witnesses and the analysis of more than 5 million documents and software development data, as well as coordination with multiple experts. Negotiated successful settlement of related litigation.
  • Represented a major subprime mortgage lending company in a series of allegedly predatory lending class actions asserting violations of state unfair trade practice and usury laws.
  • Represented national mortgage lender in putative class action seeking refunds of closing fees and charges that allegedly exceeded limits allowed under state law, resulting in favorable settlement after District Court granted motion for summary judgment on all counts.
  • Negotiated the successful resolution of a business interruption/cost of replacement power claim on behalf of a major electric generation company, which arose from the failure of a transformer at a 575 MW coal generation unit, resulting in the extended shutdown of the unit. The insurers involved were Lloyd's, London syndicates and seven London Market insurers. During negotiations, we prepared a complaint against the insurers that assisted in reaching a settlement of the coverage dispute.
  • Negotiated the successful resolution of a property damage/business interruption claim on behalf of a major electric generation company, which arose from a fire at a 565 MW coal generation unit, resulting in the extended shutdown of the unit. The insurers involved were Lloyd's, London syndicates and eight London Market and U.S. insurers. During negotiations, we prepared a complaint against the insurers that assisted in reaching a settlement of the coverage dispute. In addition to assisting the client in negotiating usual proof of loss and coverage issues, the claim involved unique issues arising from the policy's waiting period, deductible and cost of replacement power provisions.
  • Represented multiple clients in claims involving property damage and business interruption arising from fire and explosion damage to industrial facilities and other operations.
  • Represented national petroleum pipeline company in defense of riparian landowners’ claims for property damage resulting from spill of fuel oil from pipeline. Obtained favorable settlement for company.
  • Pro bono representation of prisoners in habeas corpus and other actions involving violations of constitutional rights. Received Justice Ally of Year from the Southern Center for Human Rights for work with SCHR.
  • Practice lead for pro bono adoption practice in the firm’s Atlanta office.

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia
  • New York
  • Virginia

Education

BA, University of Virginia, with high distinction, 1981
Areas of Practice
Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Class action practice concentrates on the defense of unfair trade practice/false advertising claims, privacy and data breach claims and consumer class actions.
  • Represents companies in the investigation of privacy issues, actual and threatened cyber security events, cyber intrusions and cyber extortion, as well as in the defense of class actions and other claims arising from such events. Advises clients regarding the management of litigation and other risks arising from cyber security and privacy issues.
  • Represents banks, consumer lending and servicing companies, and mortgage lenders in class actions and other civil litigation involving allegations of unfair and deceptive trade practices, fraud, wrongful foreclosure, fraudulent transfers, and violations of federal statutes such as the Truth in Lending Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Represents clients in internal investigations and related litigation involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation (often including alleged breach of confidentiality or non-disclosure terms), privacy and data security issues, disputes arising out of outsourcing and other technology service agreements, alleged breaches of consumer agreements and consumer protection laws, and claims of fraud and other commercial torts. Clients include software development companies, other technology companies, manufacturing companies, international banks, consumer lenders and other clients. Also advises clients in the investigation and legal response to such issues prior to litigation.
  • Represents a national grocery store chain in a privacy class action in which plaintiff asserts violations of state consumer tampering statute, as well as common law claims. The putative class claims that the defendant's website utilized flash cookies to track plaintiff's web browsing activities.
  • Represented major payment processor in data breach class action. Case resolved favorably for client prior to discovery and after all except a single count of the complaint were dismissed on motions. The matter involved issues of first impression concerning standing and substantive causes of action.
  • After cyber intrusion at major payment processor client, advised client concerning risk mitigation procedures and preparation for potential litigation claims by customers and consumers.
  • Defended suit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets by global software development company in the development of health insurance claims software. Led external legal team that assisted client’s General Counsel in the internal investigation of the allegations. Investigation involved interviews of hundreds of witnesses and the analysis of more than 5 million documents and software development data, as well as coordination with multiple experts. Negotiated successful settlement of related litigation.
  • Defending national homebuilder and affiliated mortgage company in defense of purported nationwide class action asserting violations of California Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 and 17500, as well as common law causes of action, alleging a scheme to increase home sale prices through improper practices and nondisclosures in brokering and arranging subprime mortgages.
  • Representing nation's largest residential mortgage lender in putative class action seeking statutory damages for alleged failures to cancel mortgage instruments within statutory period.
  • Represented a major subprime mortgage lending company in a series of allegedly predatory lending class actions asserting violations of state unfair trade practice and usury laws.
  • Represented national mortgage lender in putative class action seeking refunds of closing fees and charges that allegedly exceeded limits allowed under state law, resulting in favorable settlement after District Court granted motion for summary judgment on all counts.
  • Represented Fortune 50 company in a 226,000-member consumer class action in which plaintiff alleged false advertising and violation of unfair trade practices statutes in the advertising and sale of consumer electronics products. Obtained defense verdict after a three-week trial.
  • Represented Fortune 50 company in multiple consumer class actions in nine different jurisdictions, involving allegations of unfair trade practices in the advertising and sale of consumer electronics and computer products.
  • Represented clients in more than 75 environmental litigation matters, involving claims asserted under CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and other federal environmental statutes, as well as related state statutes and common law.
  • Represented national petroleum pipeline company in defense of riparian landowners' claims for property damage resulting from spill of fuel oil from pipeline. Obtained favorable settlement for company.


Professional Associations

  • Board of Directors, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Georgia State Bar Disciplinary Rules and Procedures Committee, 2008-2011, 2015-2018 
  • Master, Bleckley Inn of the American Inns of Court

Professional Activities and Experience

  • Listed in Chambers USA Client’s Guide, Litigation, 2008-2017
  • Named Best Lawyer, Insurance Law, The Best Lawyers in America - Georgia, 2012-2018. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Best Lawyers’ webpage.
  • Named Best Lawyer, Commercial Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America - Georgia, 2012-2018. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Best Lawyers’ webpage.
  • Named Best Lawyer, Litigation – Banking & Finance, Georgia, The Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2018. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Best Lawyers’ webpage.
  • Named a Litigation Super Lawyer, Atlanta Magazine and Georgia Super Lawyers magazine®, 2005-2018. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Super Lawyers’ webpage.
  • 2015 Justice Ally of the Year Award – Southern Center for Human Rights

Articles

Year in Review: Top Insurance Cases of 2018
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, January 2019

2018 was a busy year for courts deciding insurance coverage disputes. Many of those decisions will shape the coverage landscape for years to come. Policyholders enjoyed their fair share of the wins, including substantial victories in areas involving social engineering to disgorgement of corporate gain. We take this opportunity to reflect on some of the year’s most notable coverage decisions...

Additional Articles

  • Georgia Environmental Law Handbook (Litigation and Insurance Coverage)
  • Practical Advice in a Changing Landscape: Exhaustion of Underlying Limits and Resolving Coverage Issues Under a Multilayer D&O Insurance Program, Financier Worldwide
  • AAA Releases Rules on the Administration of Class Actions, ABA Franchise Law Journal
  • Insurance Mitigates Cyber-Related Risk, The American Oil & Gas Reporter
  • Insurers Win Series Against Lakers In TCPA D&O Shootout, Law360
  • General Insurance Policies May Provide Coverage for Data Breaches, American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  • Be Careful When relying on Insurance Coverage to Contain Utilities’ Wildfire Risks, Electric Light & Power
  • Insurance Mitigates Cyber-Related Risk, American Oil & Gas Reporter
  • 3 D&O Questions Regarding Event-Driven Securities Litigation, Law360
  • Energy industry: Is Your Insurance Sufficient to Handle a Major Cyber Event?, Electric Light & Power
  • Arbitration Agreements and Class Action Waivers - Practical Steps In An Uncertain Landscape, U.S. Law Week, 80 U.S.L.W. 1649
  • D.C. Circuit Steadies the Barko Bus: Clarification of the Attorney-client Privilege in Corporate Internal Investigations and Post-Barko Developments, Bloomberg BNA Corporate Law & Accountability Report

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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