Firm / Organisation

Hermes, Netburn, O'Connor & Spearing, P.C.

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President: Kevin J. O’Connor
Executive Committee: Kevin J. O’Connor, Peter G. Hermes, Holly M. Polglase, Michael S. Batson
Number of shareholders: 9 Number of lawyers: 21
Languages: English

Firm Overview:
Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor & Spearing, P.C. was founded in 1994. Its attorneys are committed to providing clients with creative and practical solutions at unsurpassed value. Hermes, Netburn represent national and international businesses, insurance companies and individuals in a wide range of matters throughout the Northeastern United States and beyond. Its attorneys are experienced litigators who try cases but more importantly know when not to try cases. The firm has the flexibility to handle cases both large and small. Its facilities and systems accommodate large document cases, cases spanning many years and multiple witnesses and cases involving dollar amounts which require smart and efficient management.

Main Areas of Practice:
Hermes, Netburn’s seasoned appellate litigators handle all phases of appeals in the state and federal courts from the lowest level to the Supreme Court of the United States. In cases presenting important issues, Hermes, Netburn is often asked to prepare and file amicus curiae briefs in the appellate courts on behalf of clients in a wide variety of industries such as insurance, construction and manufacturing.

Bad Faith:
Hermes, Netburn represents insurers in connection with bad faith and unfair claim practice claims arising out of various insurance lines, including commercial general liability, property, professional liability, directors and officers' liability, umbrella and excess policies and fidelity and surety bonds. Hermes, Netburn’s lawyers handle the various types of bad faith claims its clients encounter, including claims of statutory violations, failure to respond reasonably and promptly to demands for coverage, refusal to defend or pay claims without reasonable investigation or basis, failure to affirm or deny coverage within a reasonable time and failure to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements when liability has become reasonably clear.

Breach of Warranty:
Hermes, Netburn handles cases and advises clients regarding alleged breaches of warranties for consumer products as well as commercial products and warranties given in condominium construction. Hermes, Netburn’s practice includes counseling automobile manufacturers in connection with a broad range of breach of warranty matters including alleged violations of 'lemon laws'.

Class Actions:
Hermes, Netburn represents insurance companies, business owners and shareholders in connection with class action lawsuits of all types. Hermes, Netburn’s attorneys have an extensive background in solving the problems that threaten businesses, and class actions are no different. When facing a class action lawsuit, Hermes, Netbrun’s clients rely upon its attorneys’ distinct ability to promptly analyze the case and present them with a clear strategy for resolving all of the related issues.

Construction Law:
Hermes, Netburn represents and advises developers, contractors and subcontractors in all phases of planning and constructing projects. Its lawyers negotiate and draft construction-related contracts and see those contracts through to completion. The firm provides corporate, real estate, business and legal services and, where necessary, represents its clients with respect to their construction-related disputes and litigation.

Directors & Officers:
Hermes, Netburn represents insurers, businesses and individuals in claims against corporate directors and officers. Its attorneys have years of experience advising insurance and business clients regarding the complex coverage issues often arising in D&O matters. In addition, Hermes, Netburn monitors D&O lawsuits and reports on the liabilities involved and it defends the corporate directors and officers accused of wrongdoing.

Environmental Law:
Hermes, Netburnoffers a full range of environmental legal services. Its lawyers represent clients in federal and state Superfund Enforcement claims as well as private environmental response cost recovery actions. Hermes, Netburn advises clients in a wide range of environmental regulatory and permitting matters and in connection with the redevelopment of contaminated properties. Hermes, Netburn’s attorneys also represent and advise environmental engineers and other environmental professionals in connection with claims and liabilities arising out of their professional services. In addition, Hermes, Netburn’s lawyers have years of experience handling personal injury cases involving exposures to products alleged to be hazardous.

Insurance Coverage:
Hermes, Netburn is one of the leading insurance coverage firms in the country. Its clients include major domestic and international insurance companies and groups, third party claims administrators, reinsurers, agents and brokers and other stakeholders in the insurance and reinsurance industry. Many of its client relationships in this area have lasted for decades.
Hermes, Netburn provides coverage opinions and prosecutes and defends insurance coverage litigation regarding construction, environmental, hazardous waste, sexual abuse, latent injury, personal injury, general liability, products liability, advertising liability, directors and officers’ liability, professional liability, intellectual property, fidelity and other claims. In claims handling and investigation matters, the firm represents insurance clients in connection with environmental, complex product liability, financial loss and other claims across the United States. Its coverage lawyers frequently appear as speakers at educational conferences and seminars.
Hermes, Netburn’s lawyers also represent insurers, reinsurers and retrocessionaires in a wide range of reinsurance litigation and arbitration. Its reinsurance practice focuses on the litigation, trial and arbitration of complex reinsurance disputes arising out of long tail insurance claims such as asbestos, bodily injury and toxic tort claims, environmental claims and sexual abuse claims.

Insurance Law:
Hermes, Netburn is panel counsel to some of the world’s largest insurance companies. Insurers trust its lawyers to defend construction defect cases as well as complex product liability, environmental, asbestos, latex/allergy sensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivity, toxic mold and "sick building" cases involving personal injury, bodily injury and property damage. In addition, Hermes, Netburn represents businesses and financial institutions in connection with their general premises liability, construction and Uniform Commercial Code-related claims and lawsuits. It defends professionals and corporate directors and officers accused of negligence or wrongdoing.

Intellectual Property:
Hermes, Netburn handles a wide range of intellectual property matters including copyright, trade mark and trade secret issues. It handles these types of business matters from prevention, with appropriate risk assessment and management, through trial and appeal.

Internet & Media Law:
Hermes, Netburn’s attorneys represent clients in a wide array of media-related disputes, including intellectual property enforcement, defense against claims of infringement, defamation and invasion of privacy, protection of newsroom staff and newsgathering activities as well as other complex tort and contract litigation.

Product Liability:
Hermes, Netburn’s attorneys have well over thirty years of experience defending products in claims for personal injury, property damage and economic loss. It successfully defends designers, manufacturers, distributors and sellers of commercial and consumer products. Its vast experience in this area encompasses matters involving a broad range of items such as motor vehicles and their components; drugs and medical devices, farm, heavy, industrial and manufacturing equipment; consumer products such as appliances, furniture and toys; outdoor lawn and garden products; safety equipment, ladders and step stools, among many others. Hermes, Netburn’sr work handling these many types of matters means that we have extensive knowledge and skill regarding fire cause and origin, accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, pharmaceuticals, industrial hygiene, electrical systems, chemistry, mechanical systems, manufacturing processes, materials science, as well as about the experts who work in these fields.

Professional Liability:
Hermes, Netburn represents professional service firms, law firms, corporate general counsel and individual professionals in a wide range of complex negligence and malpractice actions related to professional liability and disciplinary matters. It protects professionals against claims related to the standards associated with professional conduct and ethics, as well as allegations of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty or breach of contract. It also counsels clients regarding compliance programs aimed at avoiding professional liability claims.

Risk Management:
Hermes, Netburn's nationally and internationally recognized risk management practice assists clients to protect themselves through proactive measures. Finding that 'off-the-shelf' insurance policies are often inadequate for our clients' needs, Hermes, Netburn’s attorneys have become leaders in drafting and negotiating custom-designed insurance policies that fit the requirements of clients and contain clear and unambiguous terms and conditions without overbroad exclusions or unrealistic prerequisites to coverage. Hermes, Netburn helps clients identify and obtain the coverage best suited to them, whether it is a general commercial liability policy or the latest form of 'cyber policy' relating to online communication and data security. Beyond insurance coverage, Hermes, Netburn’s lawyers help businesses in a wide variety of industries develop risk management philosophies and structures that reflect their goals. It works with clients to design and implement comprehensive risk management plans, including self-insurance programs, policies for financial reporting compliance, standards for quality control and safety, and controls for computer and network security (including security for third-party personal and financial information).

Surety & Fidelity:
Hermes, Netburn represents surety companies, owners, developers and contractors in surety and construction bond-related disputes. It prosecutes claims on behalf of sureties, obligees and contractors. In addition, it regularly advises and represents clients regarding commercial surety and fidelity claims and handles, negotiates and litigates claims made under financial institution bonds, commercial blanket bonds, crime policies and other bond products. Hermes, Netburn’s attorneys represent issuers of contract and various other surety bonds, together with financial institution bonds, throughout the United States. The firm has extensive experience in arranging for completion of bonded projects, negotiating with banks, contractors and governmental agencies, and handling the various types of litigation that arise out of such matters. It drafts and negotiates bond forms and endorsements, handle all aspects of claims from investigation through litigation and appeal and performs default analyses and related negotiations.

Toxic Torts:
Hermes, Netburn’s attorneys regularly handle personal injury and property damage cases arising from a variety of toxic substances including asbestos, mold, lead paint and various chemicals. Its clients include general contractors and subcontractors; insulation and refractory contractors; manufacturers of machinery, distilling plants, pumps, valves, and other process equipment; companies that sold or made friction products, including brakes and clutches; roofing, floor tile and other construction product providers; manufacturers of boilers, wire and cable and scientific equipment; talc processors; and various distributors of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials.