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Office managing partner, Orange County; chair of litigation
Michelman & Robinson LLP
Mona Hanna had a plan.
“I always wanted to be an attorney. Both my parents were attorneys,” said Ms. Hanna, office managing partner in Orange County and department chair of litigation for Michelman & Robinson LLP in Irvine, California.
She first came to M&R in September 2000, and her work in insurance and regulatory matters on behalf of large insurers got her involved in “all sorts of litigation dealing with insurance,” something she liked.
“It’s something I’ve enjoyed, and as my practice has grown I’ve moved to more complex litigation, class action litigation,” she said. “Insurance needs continue to be there, so it seems like regardless of where my practice takes me, I continue to have contact with the insurance industry and insurance clients.”
Most recently, she was involved in a large class action suit of some 70,000 class members on behalf of an insurer that went to trial, where her client prevailed, though the case is now on appeal.
“That kind of thing, that kind of cutting-edge, unprecedented issue that can come up, is the reason it’s so exciting working in this practice area,” Ms. Hanna said.
“What I’ve always found impressive about Mona is a business person’s grasp on litigation,” said Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink LLC in Los Angeles. “The strategic side, the tactical side, the overarching grasp of strategy. I’ve found Mona to be one of those people you can really scenario-plan with.”
Ms. Hanna is also focused on the advancement of women in the field.
“The professional development of women attorneys is something I’m passionate about,” Ms. Hanna said, adding that she founded Women Attorneys of Michelman & Robinson, which is “specifically designed to provide an opportunity for mentorship and professional growth.”
The more women advance, the more they will bring even more forward with them, and there are signs of positive change, she added. “I feel that as we have more women in leadership roles and reaching back and leading the way for other women, I feel like we’re getting to the point where we’re going to reach critical mass.”
The Business Insurance Women to Watch Award program is evolving as we continue to celebrate the achievements of outstanding female executives in the insurance and risk management sector.