Mary McCutcheon represents corporate and individual policyholders in a wide variety of insurance coverage disputes. She also chairs the firm's Financial Services Industry Group.

Her wide-ranging experience includes disputes arising out of a variety of scenarios, including securities actions, venture capital and private equity litigation, intellectual property and technology errors and omissions disputes, highly sensitive employment claims, mass casualty personal injury actions, professional liability and construction and delay claims.

Mary has special expertise advising companies and individual directors regarding issues involved in the placement of directors' and officers' liability, management liability and other insurance products available in the financial services liability, and related indemnification issues, as well as handling claims under those policies.

Her day-to-day practice typically involves using a hybrid of legal expertise and interpersonal and negotiating skills to craft workable solutions. This often requires simultaneously working with her clients, the insurance broker, the client’s defense counsel and other parties to the litigation to achieve the client’s goals. By emphasizing a collaborative and strategic approach, a dispute can be understood as a problem to be solved rather than an adversarial situation, with correspondingly better results. Although litigation, as a last resort, is always a viable option, Mary strives instead to convince her opposing counsel that a practical, agreed-upon solution is a better outcome for everyone concerned.

Mary is a past member of the editorial boards of the ABTL Newsletter and the CGL Reporter and former editor of the “Directors & Officers Liability Insurance” chapter in the California Practice Guide Insurance Litigation. She speaks on insurance topics at professional conferences, such as those sponsored by the American Bar Association, the American College of Coverage Counsel; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Association of Corporation Counsel.


  • Chambers USA, Insurance: Policyholder - California (2005-2021), Band 1 (2020-2021)
  • Daily Journal “Top Women Lawyers” in California (2019)
  • Legal Momentum’s Women of Achievement Award (2016)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law (2013-2022)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2004-2021)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Past President, Founding Member of the Board of Regents, American College of Coverage Counsel, Chair of Membership Committee and Member of the Executive Committee
  • Board of Directors, past President, chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, National Center for Youth Law
  • Member, Past Chair, Bar Association of San Francisco's Committee on Attorney Fee Disputes
  • Former Co-chair, Directors and Officers Subcommittee of the American Bar Association's Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee

Firm Highlights


In Verizon Decision Careful Review of Insurance Policies Expands Coverage

In Verizon Communications Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa ., the Delaware Superior Court ruled that Verizon was entitled to a defense under its D&O policy for fraudulent transfer claims. Although...

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51 Farella Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

Forty-six Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America © .  Five Farella lawyers were named to Best Lawyers: Ones to...

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Insurance for Nonprofits: Managing Risk in Risky Times

Mary McCutcheon, Cynthia Rowland and guest speaker, Joan Dove from Gallagher, discuss "Insurance for Nonprofits: Managing Risk in Risky Times" at the April Nonprofit Education Series. Nonprofit organizations—and their directors and staff—are not immune to...

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Chambers USA 2021 Recognizes Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys, Practices

Farella Braun + Martel announces that Chambers USA has recognized 13 lawyers and 6 practice areas in the legal directory’s 2021 edition. Individual Rankings: Tyler Gerking – Insurance: Policyholders Jeffrey Hamilton – Cannabis Law...

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Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named to 2021 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Thirty-seven Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2021. 2021 Farella Northern California Super Lawyers: George Argyris – Estate...

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“Unfair Trade Practices” Exclusion Does Not Extend to Consumer Protection Claims

Two phrases combined in a single exclusion—“alleging, arising out of, based upon or attributable to any violation of any law…” and “as respects… unfair trade practices” could inspire carriers to make trouble for policyholders...

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