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 a fellow of the prestigious American College of Coverage Counsel. 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 - California, Band 4 (2019-2022)
  • 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 in Insurance Coverage since (2018-2022)
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Outstanding Alumni Award (2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Land Use and Zoning Law (2023)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Coverage Counsel
  • 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

Publication

Changes in the VCAP Liability Coverage Market

Over the past few years, there's been a dramatic rise in premiums in the venture capital liability insurance market and a steady increase in claims being submitted under those policies. We're also seeing a...

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News

Farella Attorneys Named to 2022 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-four Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2022. Super Lawyers: Carly Alameda – Business Litigation George Argyris &ndash...

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News

50 Farella Lawyers in 2023 The Best Lawyers in America® and the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™; 4 Lawyer of the Year Awards

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Publication

Illinois Courts Largely Favor Coverage for BIPA Cases Under CGL Policies

Since Illinois passed its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in 2008, there has been a proliferation of class action lawsuits filed pursuant to the statute. BIPA generally bars private entities from collecting, capturing, purchasing...

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News

Chambers USA 2022 Recognizes Farella Braun + Martel Lawyers, Practices

Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that Chambers USA has recognized 14 lawyers and 6 practice areas in the legal directory’s 2022 edition. Individual California and Western U.S. Rankings: Sarah Bell &ndash...

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News

Welcome to Upside: A podcast by Farella's Private Equity and Venture Capital Group

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Publication

What You Need To Know About Representation and Warranty Insurance

The allocation of post-transaction risk is a key area where bids for assets can differentiate themselves. And representation and warranty insurance is a great arrow to have in your quiver, whether you are a seasoned...

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