Neel Lane

Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

San Antonio
United States
T:+1 210 270 7170
San Antonio
United States
T:+1 210 270 7170
Neel Lane

Neel Lane

vCard

Related services and key industries


Biography


Mr. Lane's practice principally consists of representing insurers in coverage litigation, class action suits, reinsurance arbitrations and other disputes. He is known for his knowledge and appreciation of the client's business operations and interests, and for formulating strategies that best serve those interests.

Mr. Lane has also handled a wide range of commercial litigation disputes. He has conducted more than 30 jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations and has argued before numerous state and federal appellate courts.

Mr. Lane has also handled numerous matters on a pro bono basis, including cases involving death penalty habeas corpus petitions and lawsuits challenging state restrictions on same-sex marriage. 

Additionally, he has testified before the legislature in support of needle exchange legislation and restrictions on payday lending practices that impact the working poor.


Professional experience

Expand all Collapse all

JD, University of Texas School of Law, 1988
BA, Columbia University, 1984

  • New York State Bar
  • Texas State Bar

Mr. Lane has represented a diverse body of clients in engagements that include:

Representation of Insurers in D&O Coverage Disputes

  • representing underwriters of D&O and PI policies in numerous suits brought in state and federal courts based on coverage disputes related to the failure of Stanford Financial Group. In one notable case brought in federal court in Houston, underwriters obtained a finding that indicted directors and officers had engaged in acts of money laundering, triggering a policy exclusion. Numerous other cases remain pending
  • representing underwriters of a D&O policy issued to bank directors in declaratory judgment action brought in federal court in Atlanta, Georgia
  • representing underwriters of excess policy issued to an energy company in connection with a dispute over coverage for an SEC enforcement action and bankruptcy adversary proceeding pending in federal court in Dallas, Texas
  • representing underwriters in Delaware Chancery Court in connection with a Side A-only D&O Policy issued to a major corporation
  • representing underwriters in Delaware Superior Court in connection with a D&O Policy issued to a national real estate operating company
  • representing underwriters of D&O policies in numerous disputes resolved prior to litigation


Reinsurance Arbitrations

  • representing ceding companies in arbitration proceedings over coverage of claims submitted under variable annuity death benefit reinsurance treaty. One matter remains pending
  • representing a ceding company in an arbitration proceeding over application of cap on premium rates set forth in variable annuity death benefit reinsurance treaty
  • representing ceding companies in an arbitration proceeding over cession of impaired life claims under automatic reinsurance treaties
  • representing a ceding company in an arbitration proceeding over payment of life insurance claims arising from the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001
  • representing a ceding company in an arbitration proceeding over application of pollution exclusion to ceded property claims
  • representing a reinsurer in an arbitration proceeding relating to a block of long-term care policies


Representation of Life Insurers and Affiliated Broker-Dealers in State and Federal Court

  • representing defendants in a class action suit brought in federal court in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma asserting federal securities claims based on alleged failure to disclose incentive compensation programs for registered representatives in connection with the sale of variable life policies and mutual fund shares. The district court granted motions to dismiss and for summary judgment disposing of all of plaintiffs' claims. The Tenth Circuit affirmed
  • representing defendants in a class action suit brought in state court in Hartford, Connecticut asserting state law claims based on alleged unsuitable sale of variable annuities for use in qualified plans. After removal to federal court, plaintiffs' claims were dismissed in their entirety under SLUSA. The Second Circuit's decision affirming the district court's order (Lander v. Hartford Life) remains the leading case on SLUSA preemption involving sale of hybrid insurance products representing defendants in a class action suit brought in federal court in Texarkana, Texas asserting securities violations for the alleged unsuitable sale of variable annuities for use in qualified plans. After the close of class discovery, the district court denied plaintiff's motion for class certification. Plaintiffs did not appeal
  • representing defendants in a pre-SLUSA class action suit brought in state court in San Diego, California alleging state law remedies based on alleged unsuitable sale of variable annuities for use in a large qualified plan for county employees. The court granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification on a narrow question. The court granted judgment in favor of the defendant after a five-week trial. Plaintiffs did not appeal
  • representing defendants in a pre-SLUSA class action suit brought in state court in Los Angeles, California alleging state law remedies based on alleged unsuitable sale of variable annuities for use in a large qualified plan for municipal employees. The court denied plaintiff's motion for class certification, and the case thereafter was dismissed
  • representing defendants in a class actions brought in state court in St. Clair and Madison Counties, Illinois asserting state law contract and negligence claims based on defendants' allegedly permitting market timing in subaccounts offered within variable annuities. After removal and transfer of venue in the cases, the district court dismissed plaintiffs' claims. The Fourth Circuit affirmed and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari
  • representing defendants in a class action suit brought in state court in Tucson, Arizona asserting state law and federal claims based on alleged omissions and misrepresentations relating to the sale of variable annuities for use in qualified plans. After removal to federal court, and the close of discovery, the court struck plaintiffs' expert witness, vacated an order granting class certification, and granted summary judgment in favor of defendants. The Ninth Circuit affirmed
  • representing defendant in a multiple-plaintiff suit brought in state court in Marin County, California asserting numerous state law tort and statutory claims based on alleged negligence in sponsoring financial education seminars by financial advisors who allegedly made unsuitable investment recommendations to seminar participants
  • representing defendants in a class action suit brought in state court in Phoenix, Arizona asserting federal claims based on alleged omissions and misrepresentations relating to the sale of variable annuities for use in qualified plans. After defendants won a motion to transfer venue to the Southern District of Texas, the district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss. The case is currently on appeal to the Fifth Circuit
  • representing defendants in class action suit brought in federal court in Atlanta, Georgia asserting federal securities claims based on alleged unsuitable sale of variable annuities for use in qualified plans. After taking the case over from a firm that lost a motion to dismiss, we obtained dismissal of the case prior to certification. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed
  • representing defendants in class action suit brought in federal court in Oakland, California asserting federal securities claims based on alleged unsuitable sale of variable annuities for use in qualified plans. After defendants won dismissal of two plaintiffs and transfer of venue to the Middle District of Florida, the district court granted defendants' motion to dismiss the remaining plaintiffs' claims
  • representing defendants in class action suit brought in state court in Charleston, West Virginia, alleging defendant committed fraud and misrepresentation in connection with the sale of fixed annuities within a government-sponsored qualified plan. The case remains pending.
  • representing respondent in an arbitration involving a dispute over alleged breach of a marketing agreement relating to the sale of insurance products in qualified plans
  • representing broker-dealer affiliate in an arbitration arising from a dispute over fees alleged to be due under a technology licensing agreement


Representation of Property & Casualty Insurers in State and Federal Court

  • representing defendants in a class action suit brought in state court in Norman, Oklahoma alleging bad faith and breach of contract based upon failure to pay general contractor's overhead and profit on homeowners' claims. After the defendants obtained dismissal of all but one defendant entity on procedural grounds, the case settled
  • representing defendants in a class action suit brought in state court in Beaumont, Texas alleging insurer wrongfully withheld depreciation in paying homeowner insurance claims. Case was settled on an individual basis after court failed to certify class
  • representing defendants in a class action suit brought in state court in Austin, Texas alleging defendants wrongfully refused to pay for OEM parts in connection with repairs made under auto insurance policies
  • representing defendants in numerous suits brought in Texas state courts alleging the insurer had wrongfully denied claims in bad faith. Many of these cases were tried to a jury
  • representing defendant in a suit brought in federal court in Minneapolis, Minnesota alleging insurer wrongfully denied payment of claims under employer-sponsored health plan. The district court granted defendant's motion to dismiss. The plaintiff dismissed its appeal of the order
  • Finalist, Attorney of the Year, Texas Lawyer, 2015
  • Outstanding Lawyer, San Antonio Business Journal, 2015
  • Empire State Counsel, New York State Bar Association, 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2009 - 2016, 2018 - 2020
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Insurance Coverage, Thomson Reuters, 2014 - 2019
  • Author, "The Arbitration Trap," Insurance Journal, Nov. 5, 2012

Mr. Lane is involved in community, civic and charitable activities that include current and previous membership on the boards of:

  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • Texas Appleseed
  • Good Samaritan Community Services
  • Texas Law Review Association

Mr. Lane is also a member of The William S. Sessions American Inn of Court.