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: Policyholders (2005-2020), Band 1 in 2020
  • Daily Journal “Top Women Lawyers” in California (2019)
  • Legal Momentum’s Women of Achievement Award (2016)
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2004-2020)

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


Directors & Officers Liability Issues and the Coronavirus: Is That a “Thing”?

Over the last few weeks we have seen a number of informative articles discussing the crucial issue of coverage for business interruption claims arising out of government shutdowns of businesses to inhibit the spread...

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Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys, Practices Recognized by Chambers USA 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel announces that Chambers USA has recognized 12 lawyers and five practice areas in the legal directory’s 2020 edition. Individual Rankings: Tyler Gerking – Insurance: Policyholders...

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Calif. Justices Set Montrose's Excess Enviro Coverage Path

Insurance recovery partner Mary McCutcheon commented on the California Supreme Court's decision in the Montrose Chemical Corp. of California v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County case. In the article, Mary noted that although...

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52 Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021

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Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named to 2020 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Forty-one Farella Braun + Martel attorneys across practice areas were named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists of top attorneys in Northern California for 2020. Farella attorneys named among 2020 Northern California...

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D&O Liability Insurance in a Time of Financial Uncertainty

As companies scramble to mitigate losses arising from government shelter-in-place directives intended to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the insurance world has focused on business interruption coverage disputes and lawsuits.  But if...

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