Matthew S. Foy

Partner

  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography
    Matthew Foy is a partner in the San Francisco office of Gordon & Rees and serves both as the National Practice Group Leader of the firm's Property and Casualty Insurance practice as well as the Practice Group Leader of the San Francisco Insurance group. Mr. Foy has more than 20 years experience representing national insurers at the claims stage, in trial, and on appeal.
     
    Mr. Foy’s practice focuses on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation and advice involving first party property policies as well as primary and excess liability policies with an emphasis on personal and advertising injury, cyber-liability, complex fire litigation, environmental, asbestos, other mass torts, and construction defect matters. He also regularly handles all aspects of insurance cases involving professional liability insurance, D&O, E&O, inland marine, and life, health, and disability insurance products.
     
    Mr. Foy assists clients with drafting policy language and claims manuals. He also provides in-house client seminars on coverage and claims handling issues, as well as litigation planning.
     
    In addition to his insurance practice, Mr. Foy regularly represents corporate clients in connection with contract negotiation, dispute resolution and related litigation. He also maintains a professional liability defense practice which focuses on the defense of insurance brokers and legal professionals.
     
    Mr. Foy is a frequent speaker on issues confronting the insurance industry and is active with DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, for which he was the immediate past Chair of its Insurance Law Committee and the current Chair of its ALI Task force, which was formed to address concerns with ALI’s Insurance Restatement Project. Matt is also a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel. 
     

    Admissions

    California
    Massachusetts

    Memberships

    California State Bar Association
    San Francisco Bar Association
    Massachusetts State Bar Association
    DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar - Immediate Past Chair, Insurance Law Committee
     

  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience

    Representative Experience

    Examples of Mr. Foy’s broad based insurance background and coverage practice include the following.

    • Successful handling of trials including on insurer duty to defend, indemnity, and primary versus excess issues
    • Successful handling and resolution of all manner of mass tort, “long tail,” personal and advertising injury, and cyber-liability coverage claims
    • Advising/litigating asbestos bankruptcies
    • Providing underwriting and reinsurance counsel
    • Drafting policy language
    • Judgement in favor of insurer following trial of total fire loss case in Shasta County Superior Court.  After securing dismissal of hotly contested Unfair Competition claim in advance of trial, and barring plaintiff from submitting critical evidence allegedly supporting their bad faith claim, judgment was entered in favor of insurer client including based on determination that national headquarters for a hierarchical religious organization was not an insured or otherwise entitled to coverage under policy issued to local congregation.
    • Secured summary judgment in hotly contested multi-million bad faith case in Los Angeles County Superior Court.  The insured contractor was sued by school district for delay in the completion of contracts for the installation of fire alarm systems.  Relying on extrinsic evidence, the insured argued that the delay was caused by its disturbance of asbestos and that this claim was potentially covered under a pollution liability policy.  Summary judgment in favor of insurer client was based on a finding of no potential for coverage because the school district’s complaint did not allege a potentially covered “pollution event” which caused “property damage” as required to trigger coverage and, further, a determination that the extrinsic evidence relied upon by the insured was inadmissible and supported only impermissible speculation insufficient to trigger a duty to defend.
    • Represented insurer in connection with litigation arising out of underlying arbitration involving construction and design issues with Harbor City Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.  Underlying claims exceeded $100 million and coverage disputes with insured design-builder under professional liability policy resulted in litigation of choice of law, claims handling, self-insured retention, allocation, independent counsel, and voluntary payments issues which would cut off insured’s multi-million defense cost reimbursement claim.  Favorable resolution following New York mediation.
    • Favorably settled multi-million dollar fire loss bad faith case right before trial while dispositive motions pending, involving allegations of underinsurance / inadequate limits and failure to afford agreed-to coverages, including “Code Upgrade” coverage.
    • Secured arbitration ruling in favor of lawyer client, who was sued by litigation funding company in connection with its investment in lawyer’s prosecution of multi-million intellectual property claims involving iconic Marvel characters.  Litigation funding company alleged that lawyer client converted invested funds and committed malpractice in his handling of the underlying litigation, which had been dismissed.  Arbitration ruling in favor of lawyer client including on grounds that he did not have a legal or contractual relationship with the litigation funding complaint and, as a result, litigation funding company lacked standing to assert claims against lawyer client. 
    • Secured dismissal of direct action claim premised on stipulated judgment for $7.6 million against insured and assignment of insureds’ rights under at-issue policy.  Court determined that direct action statute did not support claim under a professional liability policy and, further, that purely personal tort claims including claims for punitive damages were not assignable. 
    • Secured summary judgment on behalf of insurer client based on determination that underlying competitor lawsuit involving allegations that insured misappropriated plaintiff’s experience in its own website were not covered as use of another’s advertising idea in your advertisement.
    • Secured summary judgment on behalf insurer client against large national retailer facing multiple national class actions premised on improper collection of consumer Zip codes on ground the class actions did not seek potentially covered damages, but instead only sought uncovered civil penalties.
    • Favorably settled bad faith litigation pending in Illinois involving large national retailer while motions for summary judgment were pending on issues of whether underlying data breach class actions involving compromised Pin Pad machines alleged potentially covered claims for invasion of the right of privacy.
  • Publications & Presentations

    Selected Presentations

    • Annual Fair Claims Handling Presentation, Select California Insurance Issues, Insurer Client (March 2020)
    • Insurance Coverage: Sexual Harassment Claims in the #MeToo Era, DRI Insurance Coverage & Practice Symposium, New York (December 2019)
    • New Trends in Insurance Coverage Law, Gordon & Rees Legal Education Conference, New York and Hartford (May 2019)
    • Emerging Cyber Coverage Issues, Insurer Client (March 2019)
    • Bad Faith in the Western United States, Insurer Client (March 2019)
    • Insurance Coverage Issues Resulting From Sexual Harassment Claims in the #MeToo Era, DRI Annual Meeting, San Francisco (October 2018)
    • Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions and Trends, Gordon & Rees Legal Education Conference, New York and Hartford (May 2018)
    • Business of Law: A Changing Legal Landscape, Gordon & Rees Legal Education Conference, New York and Hartford (May 2017)
    • Eroding Limits, Prior Knowledge, and the Related Acts Limitation (May 2016)
    • Professional and Pollution Liability Coverage Issues, Insurer Client (December 2015)
    • Defending Under a Reservation of Rights, Just Because You Can Does Not Always Mean You Should, DRI Insurance Law and Claims Conference, Hartford (October 2015)
    • Application of the Pollution Exclusion to Indoor and Other Non-Traditional Exposures, Insurer Client (April 2015)
    • The Future of the Privacy Offense:  Coverage B and Beyond, DRI Insurance Coverage Practice Symposium, New York (December 2014)
    • Additional Insured Tenders and Contractual Indemnity Problems, Insurer Client (December 2014)
    • Consorting with the Enemy: What Both Sides in a Coverage Dispute Can Learn from Each Other, RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition, Los Angeles (April 2013)
    • The Worm That Byte Me:  Emerging Issues in Insurance Coverage for Data Breaches, Invasion of Privacy Claims, and Cyber Crimes, DRI Insurance Coverage Practice Symposium, New York (December 2012)
    • California Insurance Regulations, Insurer Client (September 2012)
    • Handling Policy Limits Demands, Insurer Client (August 2012)
    • Complex Duty to Defend Issues under California Law, Insurer Client (April 2011)
    • DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, New York, New York (December 2011) - Conference Chair
    • Long-Tail Claims – Recurring Issues and Recent Developments, DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago (April 2011)
    • Insurance for Third Parties:  Additional Insureds and Contractual Indemnitees, Insurer Client, Los Angeles (May 2010)
    • Bad Faith Issues, DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago, Illinois (April 2010) -- Chair of Bad Faith Track
    • Insurance Coverage for Intellectual Property Claims:  A Primer on Coverage B and "Advertising Injury" Issues, Insurer Client, Dallas, Texas (November 2009)
    • Excess Pressure! A Review of Issues Related to Excess Insurer Defense Obligations, DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago, Illinois (April 2009)
    • Post-MacKinnon Application of Pollution Exclusions and "Stacking" Issues, Insurer Client, Los Angeles, California (February 2008)
    • Papered To Death: The Use And Abuse Of Written Discovery, DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago, Illinois (April 2007)
    • Fiess v. State Farm, A Nightmare For The Plaintiffs' Bar, DRI Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California (October 2006)
    • Duty to Defend Lawsuits Alleging Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation, DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Seminar, New York (December 2004)

    Selected Publications

    • Ramifications of Defending Under a Reservation of Rights, Defense Research Institute (2015)
    • Sony's Interview Quagmire: A Watershed Moment for Cyberinsurance, Co-Author, DRI In-House Defense Quarterly (2015)
    • The Future of the Privacy Offense:  Coverage B and Beyond, Defense Research Institute (2014)
    • A Comprehensive Review of the Oral and Written Publication Requirement Under Coverage B, Defense Research Institute (2013)
    • Emerging Issues in Insurance Coverage for Data Breach, Invasion of Privacy Claims, and Cyber Crimes, Defense Research Institute (2012)
    • Long-Tail Claims Revisited, Defense Research Institute (2011)
    • Insurance Bad Faith, Regional Editor, Defense Research Institute (2010)
    • A Review of Issues Related to Excess Insurer Defense Obligations, Defense Research Institute (2009) 
    • The Use And Abuse Of Written Discovery In The Context of Insurance Coverage Litigation, Defense Research Institute (2007)
    • Covered Property Damage, Construction Defects Claims and Coverage, Defense Research Institute (2007)
    • Carbon Monoxide and the Pollution Exclusion, DRI For the Defense (May 2003)
  • Education

    Education

    J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1996

    B.S., University of Southern California, 1992

    Honors

    Recipient of the Moot Court Best Brief Award (1996, SCU School of Law)

    American Jurisprudence Award for Insurance Law (1996, SCU School of Law)

    Best Business Plan (1992, USC Marshall School of Business)

    Super Lawyers® distinction in the field of Insurance Coverage (2016-2020)

    Best Lawyers in America© distinction in Insurance Law (2019-2020)