Biography

Erica Villanueva advises policyholders seeking to maximize coverage under their insurance policies and litigates insurance coverage disputes. She helps her clients navigate the insurance claims process, pursues breach of contract and bad faith claims against insurers, and advises on policy wording and insurance renewals. She frequently handles claims under media liability, errors & omissions liability (E&O), directors & officers liability (D&O), general liability (CGL), employment practices liability (EPL), venture capital/private equity liability, and property insurance policies. She also works with policyholders and their insurance brokers to negotiate favorable policy terms, addressing their unique risk profiles. Some of Erica’s representative engagements include:

  • Represented private equity firm seeking insurance coverage for litigation filed against it and numerous other defendants by a disgruntled co-founder of a portfolio company. Persuaded insurer to fund far greater than the private equity firm’s proportionate share of the settlement, to protect the client’s interests and its investment.
  • On behalf of hotel-owner client, initiated litigation for breach of contract and bad faith against insurer who unreasonably refused to fund a personal injury settlement. Promptly moved the case into mediation and negotiated a favorable settlement.
  • Negotiated insurer-funded resolution of contentious employment case on the eve of trial. Within a week, persuaded the insurer to abandon its aggressive coverage position and fund settlement.

Erica is active in a number of professional organizations. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), and is a past chair of the BASF Insurance Section. She is a regional representative to the Yale Law School Alumni Executive Committee, and a 2019 fellow in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Program.

Distinctions

  • Chambers USA, Insurance: Policyholder (2019)
  • Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hotlist (2017-2018)
  • Client Choice Award in the Insurance category for California from International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology (2016)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2018-2019)
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Outstanding Alumni Award (2018)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (2019)
  • Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco (2019-2021)
  • Board Member, Centro Legal de la Raza (November 2016-present)
  • Regional Representative, Yale Law School Alumni Executive Committee (2017-2020) 
  • Edward J. McFetridge Inn of Court, Barrister & Pupilage Group Leader (2014-2017) 
  • Chair, Insurance Law Section, Bar Association of San Francisco (2018); Executive Committee Member (2015-2017) 
  • Judiciary Committee, Bar Association of San Francisco (2016-2018)

Firm Highlights

News

Ashley Breakfield Appointed to CREW Network Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

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News

Dan Cohn Named to Jewish Community Federation Board of Directors

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Publication

Is your company covered by California's new privacy law?

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Event

Litigating Civil and Criminal Trade Secret Cases: Trends, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Trade secret litigation is on the rise, both civil litigation and follow-on criminal prosecution for trade secret theft. Companies are grappling with how to protect their valuable information and minimize risk in their technological...

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Publication

End of a Decade - Checklist for California Nonprofits

As 2019 comes to a close, we thought about our customary note to nonprofit officers and directors to take a few moments to confirm that important year-end responsibilities have not been overlooked. But since this...

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News

Hemp Legal Limbo Challenges Sonoma County's Delta Separations, Other Equipment Makers

Ryan Lowther provided commentary in a North Bay Business Journal article discussing banking and regulatory challenges facing the hemp industry. Read the full article, here .

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Event

PFAS Litigation Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at Law Seminars International's PFAS Litigation Conference program, "Lines of Defense" on December 10. Details: Assessing and choosing among the legal options for defending toxic tort, mass tort, and...

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Event

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium

Tyler Gerking will be speaking at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium session, "The Role of Cyber-Insurance." Details: How much should you buy, what does it cover and how does it fit with an overall...

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Publication

Are Losses Resulting from Phishing Incidents Covered by Crime Policies Insuring Against Computer Fraud?

It is an all-too-common dilemma. As phishing schemes have become more prevalent and more sophisticated, businesses of all sizes have fallen victim to these attacks where a fraudster will use a spoofed email or other...

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Publication

New California Housing Laws: AB 68 Accessory Dwelling Units

On January 1, 2020, several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor take effect. We will explain the upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first update...

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