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, and construction defect 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 financial services liability insurance, 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 has edited the “Directors & Officers Liability Insurance” chapter in the California Practice Guide Insurance Litigation.  She is a past member of the editorial boards of the ABTL Newsletter and the CGL Reporter.  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.


  • Daily Journal “Top Women Lawyers” in California (2019)
  • Legal Momentum’s Women of Achievement Award (2016)
  • Chambers USA, Insurance: Policyholders (2005-2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2004-2019)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • 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, 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


40 Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named to 2019 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

SAN FRANCISCO, July 8, 2019: Forty Farella Braun + Martel attorneys across practice areas were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2019. Farella attorneys...

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Daily Journal Names Mary McCutcheon Among Top Women Lawyers in California

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Ninth Circuit Asks the California Supreme Court to Interpret the Scope of Personal Injury Coverage

On January 15, 2019, the Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the California Supreme Court: Does a commercial liability policy that covers “personal injury,” defined as “injury… arising out of… [o]ral or written...

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Insurance in a Time of Crisis: Role of Insurance Counsel in Crisis Management

I recently participated in a panel at the Association of Business Trial Lawyers Annual Meeting – “Bad News Delivered: The Board Meeting and Crisis Management.” Among other topics, the panel discussed the role of...

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Farella Braun + Martel Insurance Recovery Partners Participate in American College of Coverage Counsel Annual Meeting

Tyler Gerking was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel’s 7th Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois on May 9, 2019. Mary McCutcheon presided over the meeting as she completed her term...

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Farella Braun + Martel Recognized by Chambers USA 2019

SAN FRANCISCO, April 25, 2019:Farella Braun + Martel announces that Chambers USA has recognized 11 lawyers and five practice areas in the legal directory’s 2019 edition. Practice Area Recognition:  Of note, this year the...

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