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McDermott, Will & Emery L.L.P.
An accomplished trial attorney, Peg Warner litigates cases for large insurance-related companies such as Allianz Global Risks US, Travelers Cos. Inc. and Aon Corp. Ms. Warner tries cases in courts throughout the country or in international arbitration tribunals. She focuses on strategic corporate exposure created by public policy and risk transfer. She also is a strategic adviser representing a wide band of participants in the international insurance markets on issues at the convergence of public policy and risk transfer. She has been recognized by Chambers USA, a publication that ranks attorneys and firms considered leaders in their field, as a leading insurance lawyer.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE INDUSTRY: "I was a first year associate at a law firm. A senior partner called me into his office and said he needed me to go down to the D.C. circuit court and pick up an important decision that had just been handed down. I went up to the chambers of Judge David L. Bazelon, a legendary jurist, (expecting to pick up the decision from an assistant). Judge Bazelon walks in his chambers, though, and I said, "I'm here to get the Keene decision," and he said, "I knew there would be a lot of you coming for this one." It was the seminal decision in insurance coverage law. It set the tone for cases that subsequently followed. It had to do with insurance coverage from latent diseases. As a result of the Keene decision a large number of insurance coverage cases were filed in the federal courts of Washington and I started working on them. "
THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED: "With regards to practicing law, learn the business of your clients and help them with their business, not just the legal issues that are presented. Clients want lawyers that understand their business and that understand what the practical results are of the legal problems they're bringing to you. They want to know they have a lawyer that can deliver the results they need for their business."
ADVICE FOR THOSE STARTING IN THE INDUSTRY: "Invest in your career by spending time understanding the business. Meet with people and seek advice of people who have been in the business for years. Be a student of the business and see what the issues are that have affected the insurance markets. Speak with people who have been in business to understand what trends are. Predict what the issues will be going forward."
WHAT YOU WANTED TO BE PROFESSIONALLY WHILE GROWING UP: "I wanted to be a lawyer, always. I wanted to be a lawyer that goes in court. I never had an identity crisis. I think the fun thing about being the kind of lawyer I am is I'm asked to understand really complex things and I'm asked to be able to explain them to executives, adversaries, judges and juries in a way that makes them understandable and hopefully be persuasive. You get to become a mini expert in many subjects. It's fun to take the complex and be persuasive and understandable when you project your client's position."
Business Insurance’s Women to Watch feature is our attempt to identify some of the women who do outstanding work in commercial insurance, risk management,employee benefits and related fields.