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2015 Women to Watch: Cara Tseng Duffield

2015 Women to Watch: Cara Tseng Duffield

Cara Tseng Duffield


Wiley Rein L.L.P.


Age: 41

As a young attorney working at a general litigation firm in Washington, Cara Tseng Duffield decided specializing was a “very practical thing to do professionally.”

As it turned out, all the law firms she contacted were only interested in hiring for their insurance practices, so Ms. Duffield took a position in Wiley Rein L.L.P.'s insurance practice, where she became a partner in 2009.

It was a good match, said Ms. Duffield, who represents insurers and specializes in directors and officers liability and other professional and general liability coverage. “I really like the clients,” she said. “It's such a luxury to represent clients who are so practical and rational about things. It's very rare. “

“The mindset is very appealing to me because there's a sense that "there's a right answer here and how can we achieve a practical resolution,' which I find very appealing.”

In addition, “there's a good mix of things being consistent, but also having a lot of variety, which I think keeps the practice very interesting.”

Ms. Duffield said, “I think that most insurers would prefer to avoid litigation when they can, so being sensitive to their business relationships” and finding a solution that works for everyone is “an extremely important part of our practice.”

Ms. Duffield, whose husband is a lobbyist and who has a daughter, 9, and a son, 7, said being a woman has never been an issue at Wiley Rein. “It's just an extraordinary group of people, men and women here,” she said.

Ms. Duffield works to help other women as a participant in the Women in Insurance Subcommittee of the American Bar Association's Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee.

She likes the idea of staying just where she is.

“I would love nothing more than to finish my career right where I am. I love this firm, and I love what I'm doing right now.”

“I have had a fantastic experience with her,” said client Scott Ostericher, Chicago-based vice president and unit manager for General Star Management Co. “She's definitely one of the go-to lawyers for coverage matters” he said. “It's been a pleasure working with her.”

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