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Local Litigation Star

National Practice Area Star

Top 250 Women in Litigation

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Mary Beth Forshaw, Head of Simpson Thacher’s Insurance and Reinsurance Practice, is a Partner in the Firm’s Litigation Department. She previously served as the Firm’s Co-Administrative Partner and for eight terms on the Firm’s Executive Committee. Mary Beth represents clients in a range of commercial litigation matters, particularly in the areas of insurance, reinsurance, banking, bankruptcy and international arbitration. 

Her key matters include:

  • Lead trial counsel in a high profile reinsurance recovery action; settlement in client’s favor after jury selection.
  • Lead trial counsel in an arbitration involving a $100 million-plus indemnification claim; award entered in her client’s favor. 
  • Lead trial counsel in a Nevada-venued dispute involving construction claims; directed verdict entered in client’s favor.
  • Lead counsel in multibillion-dollar dispute against General Motors over coverage for several decades of asbestos and environmental claims; client awarded summary judgment on all claims on eve of trial.
  • Co-counsel in the defense of insurer in a three-month trial in New Jersey state court relating to allocation issues; client reached favorable settlement after the close of testimony.
  • Representation of a major financial institution in multiple proceedings alleging financial benchmark manipulations.  
  • Representation of insurer in a dispute over multiple hazardous waste claims against a defense contractor; client awarded summary judgment.
  • Representation of Hanwha Group and ORIX Corporation in a billion-dollar ICC arbitration arising out of the sale of Korea Life Insurance Company; unanimous award entered in client’s favor, rejecting claims of fraud.
  • Representation of insurer in various asbestos-related bankruptcy proceedings, including In re ACandS, Inc., in which client, the sole objector, defeated the proposed plan of reorganization. This widely-cited decision is a roadmap for insurers contesting reorganization plans.

Mary Beth was recently named among Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America,” and as Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation 2021 Insurance Lawyer of the Year, which she also won in 2016. She was recognized in Crain’s New York Business’ “Notable Women in Law,” and as “Best in Insurance and Reinsurance” at Euromoney’s Women in Business Law Awards 2018. She is consistently recognized by Chambers USA, which describes her as “a top litigator” with “impeccable judgment,” by Legal 500, where she is ranked in the Hall of Fame and which describes her as having “great trial skills” and “exemplify[ying] the firm’s best qualities,” and by Benchmark Litigation as a National “Litigation Star” in Insurance Litigation and a “New York Star.” 

Mary Beth received her B.A., magna cum laude, from Barnard College, Columbia University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School. She is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Legal Action Center and on the Board of Trustees of the International Print Center New York. 


Updated Sep 2021