Hitchcock and Cummings LLP is a law firm with specialized skills and extensive experience in two significant areas of practice: defending claims against professionals and servicing the business needs of the insurance industry
Our litigation practice focuses on defending professionals such as attorneys, accountants, actuaries, insurance representatives and other licensed professionals. Chris Hitchcock leads this practice with over 25 years of experience defending professionals and representing businesses ranging from large public corporations to small private firms. Chris has also represented real estate entities for many years in construction claims and disputes, insurance coverage matters and claims brought against cooperatives and condominiums.
Our business practice is headed by Terry Cummings, a nationally recognized expert with over 20 years in licensing, regulatory matters and corporate transactions for the insurance and reinsurance industries. In addition, our experience advising risk purchasing groups is unmatched by any other law firm.
With substantial integration between our principal practice areas, we are well suited to handle complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage litigation, commercial and reinsurance arbitrations and other areas of dispute resolution.
Our partners personally supervise all client matters and employ associates with strong writing, research and people skills. Hitchcock & Cummings LLP is delighted to offer the depth of our experience and creative problem solving to businesses of all sizes.
120 West 45th, Suite 405
New York, NY 10036
Our litigation practice includes commercial litigations ranging from defending complex class actions to every type of civil matter for a wide range of clients.
For example, our firm has recently handled litigations in diverse areas such as fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, shareholder derivative claims, employment disputes, insurance coverage and partnership law. In handling these matters, our attorneys are aggressive, pragmatic and result-oriented.
Insurance Coverage Litigation and Counseling
The firm's lawyers for many years have been involved in representing businesses involved in the insurance industry, including drafting insurance policies for specific insurance programs, with a focus on both regulatory and coverage concerns. This experience was a natural segue to becoming involved in insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes. As a result, we are familiar with insurance declaratory judgment actions for both policyholders and insureds, and with the reinsurance arbitration process.
The firm-wide awareness of insurance coverage issues also has allowed our clients to successfully tender and obtain coverage from contractors, vendors and lessees. In addition, in drafting commercial contracts for business ventures of all kinds we are able to draw on our insurance coverage experience to draft insurance, indemnification, and other risk shifting provisions that provide the maximum protection for our clients, and to counsel our clients on the insurance implications for their business ventures.
Our regulatory practice specializes in advising clients with respect to matters involving the New York Insurance Law and Insurance Department Regulations. We advise insurance producers, carriers, and others concerning compliance issues and licensing issues.
-We have experience in forming and obtaining licenses for new insurance companies and producers. Our services include Holding Company Act compliance, corporate governance advice, and ongoing compliance and reporting needs of licensees.
-We represent licensees before the New York State Insurance Department in connection with regulatory complaints and problems.
-We have a unique background in the regulation of medical malpractice insurers and physicians' and surgeons' liability insurance in New York State.
-Since the federal Liability Risk Retention Act of 1986 was passed by Congress, our staff has formed and represented many risk purchasing groups, in all likelihood more than any other law firm in the country.
-We provide a full range of support services to the insurance industry, including policy drafting and regulatory approval services, as well as reinsurance contract drafting. Our experience includes large property catastrophe "sidecar" reinsurance arrangements, loss portfolio transfers, and "fronting" transactions.
-Insurer insolvency, including liquidation and rehabilitation, issues are within our experience and expertise.
In addition, we help to design alternative risk transfer solutions, including captives, risk retention group programs and reinsurance programs.
Our practice is not limited to property/casualty business. We also have extensive experience in the life insurance and health insurance fields, including ERISA compliance issues.
We are also extensively involved in drafting transactional documents of all kinds, including stock purchase agreements, shareholder agreements, LLC operating agreements, employment contracts, and other documents.
Christopher Hitchcock has thirty years of experience as a litigation lawyer in New York's federal, state and appellate courts. Chris has extensive experience in the areas of commercial litigation, professional malpractice, construction litigation, employment litigation and insurance coverage. He is a leading authority on legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty claims, partnership disputes and dissolutions, and ethics questions involving law firms. He is also an advisor to real estate entities and contractors regarding their insurance programs. Significant representations include:
Defense verdict following eight week trial of wrongful termination claims by contractor against not-for-profit school;
Dismissal of multiple law suits against law firm in connection with allegations arising out of the settlement of pharmaceutical litigation;
Successful representation of reinsurer prosecuting fraud and RICO claims;
Dismissal of legal malpractice action arising from underlying lawsuit claiming catastrophic injuries;
Dismissal of claims by liquidator of hedge fund against not-for-profit to recover alleged overpayment of investment;
Ongoing representation of administrator of workers' compensation trusts in multiple class actions;
Successful representation of not-for-profit in action for professional negligence and breach of contract against health insurance administrator.
In his defense of professional liability claims, Chris has represented more than 100 law firms in the New York metropolitan area. He also has had extensive experience in other complex litigation matters throughout his career.
Washington University School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1979
Terry Cummings has a reputation as a highly experienced lawyer in the field of insurance regulation; her practice involves representing clients before insurance regulatory agencies, and in particular the New York Insurance Department. Although insurance regulatory issues are a major focus of her practice, she also has considerable experience as a litigation lawyer. For over 25 years, Terry has represented small, medium sized, and large organizations with business interests in the insurance and reinsurance industries. These include property/casualty insurers, life, and accident & health insurance companies, reinsurers, intermediaries, managing general agencies, insurance producers of every description, as well as policyholders. The breadth and depth of Terry's experience with the U.S insurance industry since 1982 makes her unique among lawyers who practice commercial insurance law. The types of matters that Terry routinely handles include:
-Representing licensees before the New York Department of Insurance involving all areas of compliance;
-Formation and licensure of new insurance agencies/producers;
-Formation and licensure of new insurance carriers;
-Formation of Risk Retention Groups;
-Formation of Risk Purchasing Groups;
-Designing captive insurance programs;
-Drafting insurance policies and reinsurance agreements;
-Professional liability issues for various professionals, including medical malpractice issues;
-Insurance coverage disputes.
Terry's career began in the 1970s at one of the United Kingdom's largest insurance conglomerates. After three years working in an underwriting and sales environment, Terry attended the London School of Economics and Political Science to read law. After graduating with a bachelor of laws degree (LLB) in 1979, Terry moved to the U.S. and worked as a litigation paralegal for one of the country's leading law firms.
Terry was admitted to practice law in New York in March. 1982. Following admission, Terry was an "in-house" litigation attorney at one of the nation's largest life insurance companies, and since 1985 has been engaged in the private practice of law at three major firms prior to founding Hitchcock & Cummings LLP with Christopher Hitchcock in February, 2007.
University of London
John Hanson has significant experience as a litigation attorney in New York's federal, state and appellate courts. Specifically, John's litigation experience includes legal and medical malpractice, construction accidents, commercial disputes, premises liability and fair debt collection practices.
Some of John's successes include:
-Dismissal of legal malpractice claims against an attorney stemming from the drafting and filing of various loan documents;
-Dismissal of New York State Labor Law and negligence claims against an apartment building owner stemming from personal injuries sustained by a construction worker;
-Dismissal of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims against a corporation stemming from the collection of debts owed by a consumer;
-Dismissal of negligence claims against apartment building owner stemming from personal injuries sustained by a tenant;
-Dismissal of negligence claims against a commercial building owner stemming from personal injuries sustained by an employee who worked at the building; and
-Obtained indemnification from elevator maintenance company for a claim stemming from personal injuries sustained by a tenant of the building.
Juris Doctorate, 2005
Areas of Practice
-Gettysburg College (B.A. 2003)
-Hofstra University (J.D. 2007).
-New York State 2008
Juris Doctorate, 2007
Areas of Practice
-Corporate Commercial Law
-Amherst College (B.A. 1975)
-New York University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1979).
-New York State 1980
New York University School of Law
Juris Doctorate, 1979