Bert Wells

Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

Bert Wells

Bert Wells

Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

Biography

Bert Wells is a partner in the New York office of Covington and Burling LLP, where his practice is devoted to representing policyholders in insurance coverage matters as part of the firm's highly recognized global insurance recovery practice. He advises clients about cutting-edge insurance coverage issues, including cyber insurance. His work spans litigation matters, non-litigated coverage disputes and claims, and insurance advisory matters, including complex policy renewal negotiations. He also counsels clients and negotiates for them in merger and acquisition and other types of transactions.

In addition to litigating disputed matters, Mr. Wells has settled numerous high-value claims through negotiation, both before and after commencing litigation. His approach to advisory and transactional matters is informed by his broad experience with a wide range of lines of coverage and the practical reality of completing insurance recoveries.

Mr. Wells is a leading cyber insurance lawyer. For many years he has advocated for clients in disputes over recovery of cyber insurance claims, procurement and renewal of cyber insurance policies, and in engagements involving the interplay between cyber insurance and information technology transactions, such as outsourcing and cloud computing agreements. Mr. Wells also brings unique expertise to his cyber insurance practice including experience in complex information technology transactions and as a research mathematician in academia and industry. He was also tapped by Lexis-Nexis to serve as the lead author of the first-ever chapter on cyber insurance published in one of its leading online treatises.

Mr. Wells’s substantive experience includes mass tort, catastrophic loss, ransomware, privacy and other cyber losses (as just noted); directors and officers liability (D&O) and professional liability (E&O) claims; environmental, product liability, asbestos, business interruption, property damage and employment-related claims; fiduciary (retirement and benefit plan) coverage; mortgage guarantee insurance; representation and warranty insurance; crime and theft coverage and punitive damages coverage.

Clients Mr. Wells has served include some of the largest institutions in the investment banking, fund management, private equity, consumer credit and other financial industry sectors; industrial corporations such as United Technologies Corporation, LafargeHolcim, ITT, LyondellBasell and Uniroyal Holding; transportation stalwarts such as American Airlines and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA); consumer products industry leaders including PepsiCo and Bacardi; biotech and pharmaceutical industry clients; and cultural and educational institutions including New York University and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Among his achievements have been representing the MTA in its recovery of approximately $700 million of coverage for business interruption and property damage losses sustained from Superstorm Sandy; achieving a nine-figure recovery for a regional bank in a mortgage guarantee insurance matter; and obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars in coverage for clients in a wide range of other claims.

Mr. Wells’s pro bono engagements have included representations of United Policyholders, the National Academies of Science, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Safe Water Network, as well as ACLU of Ohio in connection with its challenge to Ohio’s 2011 Congressional redistricting.

Mr. Wells was a member of the New York City Bar Association Insurance Law Committee from 2011 to 2016, the chair of the Information Technology Law Committee from 1998 to 2001, and a member of that Committee from 1994 to 2001. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers (2009-2020) and Super Lawyers (New York Metro 2006-2008, 2012-2017).

Mr. Wells is admitted to the New York Bar and the U.S. Patent Bar. He is a graduate of the Yale Law School (J.D., 1987), the Oxford University (D.Phil. (Ph.D.) Mathematics, 1982) and The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) (B.S., M.S., 1978).

Mr. Wells is a member of Covington’s Insurance Practice Group. According to legal rating guides published by Chambers, The Legal 500, and Benchmark Litigation, Covington alone has the top-ranked policyholder practice in the U.S. as well as one of the leading practices in the UK. For more than a decade, Covington has been the only law firm ranked in “Band 1” by Chambers USA in its policyholder category. The firm has also been awarded the “Chambers Award for Excellence” in policyholder-side insurance a numerous times over since the awards’ inception. The Legal 500 has written that “clients and peers agree that ‘there is no comparison’ and its practice is ‘truly best in class.’” The firm has achieved coverage victories in trial and appellate courts, as well as domestic and international arbitrations. Covington also has a leading negotiation practice in the U.S. and abroad, helping policyholders reach business resolutions with their insurers both in direct negotiations and in mediations. And a significant portion of the practice involves advising clients as to how best to position themselves for future coverage disputes or to avoid such disputes altogether. The firm has experienced policyholder coverage lawyers practicing in our London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington offices.

Overview
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Chairman, Corporate Practice at Covington & Burling LLP

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Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

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Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

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Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP

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Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

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Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

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Partner at Covington & Burling LLP

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President & Chief Executive Officer at New York Hall of Science

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Former President & Chief Executive Officer at WNYC Radio

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Chief Operating Officer at Covington & Burling LLP

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Bert Wells
Partner at Covington & Burling LLP
Family Members
Spouse
Former President & Chief Executive Officer at WNYC Radio

New York Public Radio operates radio stations. It consists of WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820, and WQXR 105.9 which New York-based public radio stations, broadcasting programs from National Public Radio and Public Radio International, as well as a range of signature local programming. WNYC FM and AM extend New York City's cultural heritage to the whole country and air offerings from affiliate networks national public radio and public radio International. WNYC FM 93.9 broadcasts a range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a focus on breaking news and international/ global news reporting. The company was founded on June 8th, 1924 and is headquartered in New York, NY.

Career History
Partner
Current

Covington & Burling LLP provides legal consulting services. They represent clients in litigation, white collar defense, transactional, governmental affairs, international, life sciences and other matters. The firm offers legal services related to intellectual property, international trade, mergers & acquisitions and tax practices. The company was founded by J. Harry Covington and Edward B. Burling on January 1, 1919 and is headquartered in Washington, DC.

Boards & Committees
Member, Board of Trustees
Prior

New York Hall of Science presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and participatory activities that explain science, technology, engineering, and math. A visit to NYSCI is a hands-on, energetic educational experience where you can indulge your curiosity and nurture your creativity. NYSCI offers professional development for teachers, produces curricula and resources for classrooms, and studies how technology, gaming and play affect how we learn. NYSCI was founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair and has evolved into New York’s center for interactive science, serving a half million students, teachers, and families each year.

Vice President, Board of Directors
Prior

The Metropolitan Opera Guild, Inc. is a nonprofit company headquartered in New York, NY. The firm provides event management services. It was founded in 1935.

Non-Profit Donations & Grants

Learn how non-profit organizations benefit from RelSci
$10K - $20K
2016

New York Hall of Science presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and participatory activities that explain science, technology, engineering, and math. A visit to NYSCI is a hands-on, energetic educational experience where you can indulge your curiosity and nurture your creativity. NYSCI offers professional development for teachers, produces curricula and resources for classrooms, and studies how technology, gaming and play affect how we learn. NYSCI was founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair and has evolved into New York’s center for interactive science, serving a half million students, teachers, and families each year.

$20K - $50K
2015

New York Hall of Science presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and participatory activities that explain science, technology, engineering, and math. A visit to NYSCI is a hands-on, energetic educational experience where you can indulge your curiosity and nurture your creativity. NYSCI offers professional development for teachers, produces curricula and resources for classrooms, and studies how technology, gaming and play affect how we learn. NYSCI was founded at the 1964–65 World’s Fair and has evolved into New York’s center for interactive science, serving a half million students, teachers, and families each year.

$5,000 - $10K
2015

New York Public Radio operates radio stations. It consists of WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820, and WQXR 105.9 which New York-based public radio stations, broadcasting programs from National Public Radio and Public Radio International, as well as a range of signature local programming. WNYC FM and AM extend New York City's cultural heritage to the whole country and air offerings from affiliate networks national public radio and public radio International. WNYC FM 93.9 broadcasts a range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a focus on breaking news and international/ global news reporting. The company was founded on June 8th, 1924 and is headquartered in New York, NY.

Political Donations
$250
2012

Senator from Virginia

$250
2009

President & Chief Executive Officer at Better Medicare Alliance

$500
2008

Former President of United States

Transactions
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Ascom Holding AG purchases GE Healthcare /Nurse Call Business from General Electric Company

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Integral Systems, Inc. - Maryland purchases CVG, Inc.

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Warner Chilcott Ltd., Warner Chilcott Plc purchase Procter & Gamble Co. /Global Pharmaceuticals Business from Procter & Gamble Co.

Other Affiliations
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