Nossaman LLP has boosted its insurance law practice with the addition of Joan Cotkin and Terry Leuin.

Cotkin and Leuin, who joined the downtown L.A. firm last week as partners, represent policyholders in high-stakes insurance coverage litigation, including directors’ and officers’ coverage disputes and bad faith litigation. The attorneys previously practiced together at Cotkin Law Group in downtown Los Angeles.

Cotkin said she and Leuin opted to join Nossaman in an effort to grow their practice while offering existing clients the legal resources of a larger firm.

“Our existing firm was so small that it was hard to attract the larger cases,” Cotkin said. “And with the work we’ve done with existing clients, we wanted to expand the services that we can provide.”

Nossaman houses about 150 attorneys in its seven U.S. offices. While the firm handles health care, financial services and insurance coverage matters, it is best known for expertise on public infrastructure projects and water issues.

Cotkin and Leuin have practiced together for more than 20 years. Cotkin has spent the majority of her legal career handling insurance-related cases, while Leuin focuses on both insurance law, product liability litigation and real estate matters.

Throughout the years, Cotkin said that she and Leuin started representing insurance companies in litigation but have since shifted to representing policyholders. She believes the experience of handling cases for companies and policyholders gives her and Leuin an edge.

“I find it helpful to be able to see both sides of the issue,” Cotkin said.

Merging Boutiques

Partners at boutique law firms Petillon Hiraide & Loomis and Zagzebski Brothers have merged their practices and formed Petillon Hiraide Loomis Zagzebski & Zagzebski LLP.

The new firm, which launched in March, houses six attorneys in downtown Los Angeles and Torrance, and focuses on general business litigation, corporate and securities matters, and transactional work such as mergers and acquisitions.

Senior Partner Lee Petillon said the merger will allow him and his partners to take on more cases.

“There are certain matters that we were capable of handling,” Petillon said. “But we felt that if we had a little more heft, then we might be able to bring in more matters and clients.”

For example, he added that he is helping form four different private equity funds at the same time, which would have been a difficult task to handle before the firm’s merger.

“I’m not sure I could have handled that by myself,” Petillon said. “But now we can handle those kinds of matters.”


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