Melissa Brill

Co-Chair, Global Insurance Department

New York

(212) 908-1257

(866) 825-3144

Melissa Brill represents major professional liability, property and general liability insurers in complex insurance coverage, bad faith litigation, dram shop and product liability throughout the country. Melissa counsels and represents insurers in a wide variety of coverage disputes, including complex commercial matters, bank failures, mass toxic torts, September 11 and Hurricane losses.

Melissa renders coverage opinions and advises insurers on insurance-related matters. She also represents clients in commercial litigation and appeals.

She actively supports non-profit and for-profit boards. Melissa has served on the Board of Directors of Homesite Insurance Company of New York and non-profits: Young Leadership Counsel, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Park Slope Afterschool Center Corps (PSACC). Melissa has been named to Cozen O’Connor’s Pro Bono Honor Roll every year for the past 12 years for her representation of pro bono clients. Her pro bono representations include enforcing women’s rights under the Violence Against Women Act, seeking asylum in the United States on behalf of unaccompanied minors and obtaining reparations for Holocaust victims.

Melissa regularly presents on various topics including Excess and Umbrella Insurance, Negotiation Strategies, Roll of Coverage Counsel, Issues Impacting Multi-National Claims Handling, Construction Defect Coverage and more.

Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies and Japanese Language from Pennsylvania State University in 1991. Melissa earned her law degree, with honors, from Temple University School of Law in 1995. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Edward Biester of Pennsylvania.

Experience

Publications

NY Appellate Court: Liability Insurer Cannot Recover Defense Costs Absent Express Policy Provision [Alert]

January 11, 2021

Melissa Brill, Laura Dowgin, and Farrell Miller discuss the decision in American W. Home Ins. Co. v. Gjonaj Realty & Mgt. Co. and what insurers in New York need to do if they want to recover its defense fees when there is ultimately no duty to indemnify.

Hurricane Laura: What Can Insurers Expect with Claims in Texas and Louisiana? [Alert]

September 02, 2020

Joseph A. Ziemianski, Melissa Brill, Alycen A. Moss, Stephen P. Pate, and Paul C. Ferland discuss what insurers can expect based on prior hurricanes.

Property Insurance Coverage Issues Associated with COVID-19 [Alert]

March 16, 2020

Joe Ziemianski, Melissa Brill, Alycen Moss, Stephen Pate, and Paul Ferland discuss how courts have analyzed and applied first-party property policies for these types of non-physical losses, potential coverage under a civil authority provision, and pollution/contamination exclusions.

7th Circuit: Damage to Property Exclusion Applies Broadly to Damage Caused by Defective Work

January 08, 2018

Melissa Brill and Alexander Selarnick discuss the Seventh Circuit's decision in W. Side Salvage, Inc. v. RSUI Indem. Co.

New Jersey Court: Continuous Trigger Ends When Nature of Damage Is Known [Global Insurance Alert]

October 26, 2017

Melissa Brill and Laura Dowgin discuss the decision in Air Master & Cooling, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of Am., and its impact on progressive property damage claims in New Jersey.

Allocation Governed by “All Sums” Where Policy Contains “Prior Insurance” or “Non-Cumulation” Clause

July 24, 2017

Melissa Brill and Alexander Selarnick discuss the Second Circuit adoption of the New York Court of Appeals’ previous holding that the “all sums” provision in the insuring agreement permits an insured to access the limits of all policies in any triggered year, when the insurance policies contain “prior insurance” or “non-cumulation” clauses.

New York High Court: No Coverage for Additional Insured Where Named Insured Is Not Partially Liable [Global Insurance Alert]

June 07, 2017

Melissa Brill and Laura Dowgin discuss a Court of Appeals decision that expressly rejects that there is no material difference between the phrases “arising out of” and “caused, in whole or in part by” in additional insured endorsements.

Industry Sectors

Education

  • Temple University School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.A., 1991

Awards & Honors

Expert Guides: Insurance & Reinsurance

Selected to N.J. Super Lawyers. This award is conferred by Super Lawyers. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Northern District of New York

Honorable Edward Biester, The Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County, 7th Judicial District of Pennsylvania

  • Defense Association of New York
  • Defense Research Institute
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance