“A great policyholder lawyer”
“Extremely smart”

Chambers USA 2020

Robert J. Gilbert

  • 200 Clarendon Street
  • Boston, MA 02116
  • USA

Bob Gilbert is counsel in the Boston office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the Litigation & Trial Department. Mr. Gilbert advises clients on: 

  • Policyholder-side insurance counseling and litigation
  • Complex commercial, corporate, and business litigation
  • Business interruption claims
  • Event cancellation insurance counseling

Over the last 30 years, Mr. Gilbert has advised clients and handled trial and appellate cases in matters across more than 40 states as well as Canada, Western Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim. His clients include multinational and Fortune 100 companies, regional and local business enterprises, closely held entities and their shareholders, trusts and trustees, state and local governments, and high net-worth individuals. Mr. Gilbert was one of only five Massachusetts policyholder counsel achieving band recognition from Chambers USA 2019-2020. He has also been listed in the 2015 through 2020 editions of Best Lawyers in America as a leader in insurance law.

Mr. Gilbert primarily represents corporate, governmental, and individual policyholders seeking coverage for mass torts, defective products, construction defects and defective building materials, directors and officers disputes, intellectual property claims, first-party losses, business interruptions claims, event cancellation claims, and a wide range of securities violations, partnership and close-corporation disputes, trademark, copyrights, and other business claims.

In addition to his insurance experience, Mr. Gilbert has represented some of the world’s most recognizable business entities in a wide range of commercial, corporate, and business disputes, including high-stakes real estate, intellectual property, products liability, and contract disputes.

In addition to his active trial practice, Mr. Gilbert is involved in a range of charitable and pro bono activities, including current service as an officer, trustee, and chair of Lawrence General Hospital.

Mr. Gilbert’s experience includes advising:

  • A major manufacturer of compact discs, phonographic records, cassette tapes, and toys in a successful litigation to obtain insurance proceeds from 22 insurers for defense costs and environmental liabilities*
  • Major regional banks, for their own account and on behalf of managed trusts, in insurance coverage, lending, and other business disputes*
  • A former chemical manufacturer in numerous successful lawsuits to obtain insurance coverage for defense costs, remedial costs, and damages for personal injuries, including insurance proceeds recovered for claims arising from DDT contamination in Santa Monica Bay, Henderson, NV, and the Stringfellow Acid Pits in California*
  • Major New England, American, and international manufacturers in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance proceeds relating to environmental, asbestos, silicosis, and other mass tort liabilities*
  • A multi-national valve and flow control manufacturer to obtain environmental insurance from primary and excess insurers for up to US$20 million in cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney’s fees, and other damages arising out of two state-issued cleanup orders (successfully resolved in Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)*
  • A leading uniform supply company to successfully recover nearly US$25 million in defense and cleanup cost for solvents contamination of groundwater (Massachusetts State and Federal Court)*
  • A multi-national safety mask manufacturer that successfully recovered more than US$50 million in asbestos-related and silica-related defense and settlement costs (United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and Queens Court, England)*
  • A large manufacturer of military-grade glass products in an environmental insurance litigation against its comprehensive general liability insurer to recover approximately US$1 million in cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney’s fees, and other damages arising from private, state, and federal lawsuits and cleanup orders (United States District Court for the District of Connecticut)*
  • The successor of an aerospace manufacturing firm to successfully recover more than US$2 million in primary and excess coverage for defense and cleanup costs relating to solvent-contaminated soil and groundwater (Massachusetts State and Federal Court)*
  • The successor of one of the largest silverware manufacturers in the country in successful recovery of more than US$1 million in primary and excess coverage for cleanup costs, defense costs, attorney’s fees, and other damages arising out of state-issued cleanup orders (Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)*
  • A major Midwestern manufacturer to successfully recover US$5 million dollars in defense and environmental cleanup costs arising from five sites in four states (Illinois State Court and Indiana State Court)*
  • A regional gasket manufacturer to successfully recover more than US$2 million in primary and excess insurance proceeds for asbestos liabilities (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania)*
  • The successor to a major valve manufacturer litigation ultimately resulting in the recovery of more than US$100 million in asbestos-related defense and settlement costs (Los Angeles, California Superior Court)*
  • Mutual fund and securities industry companies in obtaining directors and officers liability coverage for claims arising from securities law violations*
  • A major tobacco company in a dispute over the application of a retrospective premium endorsement to long-tail environmental and product liability claims*
  • A Massachusetts produce company in litigation to obtain return premiums under retrospectively-rated workers compensation policies*
  • Businesses and individuals in litigation to recover insurance proceeds arising out of the failure of roofing and construction products*
  • A major distributor of tobacco products in litigation against a US$1.2 billion products liability/Chapter 93A suit brought by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to recover Medicaid expenditures for smoking-related illnesses and nearly 50 personal injury suits alleging smoking-related illnesses (Superior Court for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)*
  • Northern New England’s largest marble and granite fabricator in numerous successful corporate, shareholder, and non-competition litigations (Superior Court for the State of New Hampshire)*
  • A manufacturer of agricultural growth agents in a Chapter 93A/products liability action (voluntarily dismissed with prejudice for zero damages upon presentation of FIFRA preemption defense)*
  • Non-profit clubs and organizations in wrongful death and serious personal injury cases (Massachusetts State and Federal Court)*
  • A large class-action lawsuit brought against a Southern California developer, in which the trial judge ordered the name plaintiffs to pay 100% of the attorney’s fees incurred by the client*
  • A consortium of insurers in their successful Constitutional challenge in the California Supreme Court to portions of Proposition 103, a voter-passed initiative which would have imposed confiscatory rate-setting standards on automobile, casualty, and other insurers in California*
  • A class of employees in successful representation in a major early retirement ERISA action arising from the sale of a business unit of a major Massachusetts life insurer (United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts)*

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

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