Wiley Rein's Laura Foggan Honored By Business Insurance Magazine

Monday, January 16, 2012 - 12:58

Business Insurance magazine has named Laura A. Foggan, chair of Wiley Rein's Insurance Appellate Group, to its select list of "2011 Women to Watch" in the insurance industry. The award spotlights an "exceptional group of women who are doing extraordinary work" in risk management, benefits management, commercial insurance and the legal field. On December 6, the 25 recipients were honored at a luncheon in New York.

Ms. Foggan represents trade groups in critical trial and appellate cases that often set key legal precedents. A "go-to" lawyer for environmental and asbestos coverage matters, Ms. Foggan litigates coverage for claims pertaining to consumer privacy, construction defects, mass tort and pharmaceuticals, climate change, fracking and bad faith exposures. Frequently recognized for her work, Ms. Foggan has been named one of Law360's "10 Most Admired Insurance Attorneys" and selected as one of the DC area's "Best Lawyers" by Washingtonian magazine.


Effective January 1, 2012, Wiley Rein's partnership has named Richard E. Wiley chairman of the firm and Peter D. Shields to serve a three-year term as managing partner.  Reporting to the chairman, Mr. Shields will help execute Wiley Rein's business strategy and day-to-day operations. 

Mr. Wiley, who has served as the Firm's Managing Partner since its inception in 1983, is not new to the title of chairman, having once served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.  He leads Wiley Rein's preeminent 80-member Communications Practice and is widely regarded as the nation's top communications lawyer.

Mr. Shields has held a number of leadership positions within the Firm and has been a partner in its Communications Practice since 1997.  Like Mr. Wiley, he is a past President of the Federal Communications Bar Association, and has almost 25 years of experience working with clients across the communications industry.  

In keeping with the precedent set by Mr. Wiley, both he and Mr. Shields will remain active in their professional practices while holding their new management positions. 


Wiley Rein Communications Practice partner Henry M. Rivera was recently feted at a ceremony to honor his 25 years as chairman of the Minority Media & Telecom Council (MMTC). Mr. Rivera—a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner – will be stepping down from his post at the end of the year. Wiley Rein Chairman Richard E. Wiley was on hand to offer remarks during the event, as were FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Rob McDowell. Former Chairman Bill Kennard and former Commissioner Meredith Baker, along with Assistant Commerce Secretary Lawrence Strickling and Deputy Assistant Secretary Anna Gomez, also spoke at the ceremony.


Wiley Rein is pleased to announce the election of two new partners, Thomas R. McCarthy and Mark B. Sweet, effective January 1, 2012.  The firm has also promoted three associates - Robert E. DeFrancesco, III, Rebecca L. Saitta and Maureen E. Thorson - to of counsel.  In addition, former associate Elbert Lin rejoined the firm as a partner in November, after completing a clerkship with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The Firm's Newest Partners

Elbert Lin is a partner in the Appellate and Telecommunications Practices.  In addition to his clerkship at the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Lin served as a law clerk for Judge William Pryor, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and law clerk for the Judge Robert E. Keeton, senior judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  He also was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch. 

Thomas R. McCarthy, previously of counsel in the Appellate and Communications Practices, represents clients in litigation before federal and state trial and appellate courts and in proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission and other federal agencies.  Mr. McCarthy serves as co-director of the George Mason University School of Law Supreme Court Clinic, a partnership between George Mason University and Wiley Rein.

Mark B. Sweet, promoted from associate in the White Collar Defense Practice, counsels clients on complex issues for government investigations, whistleblower complaints and mandatory disclosures.  Mr. Sweet conducts internal investigations for corporate clients and negotiates with government agents.  He advises clients on best practices for collection and production of electronically stored information in response to government subpoenas and discovery requests.  His practice spans civil and criminal investigations for government contractors, food and drug companies and communications firms, among others.

The Firm's Newest Of Counsel

Robert E. DeFrancesco, III, promoted from associate, is a member of the International Trade Practice and focuses on all aspects of trade remedy proceedings.  He has particular expertise in U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and has appeared before the U.S. Commerce Department, the International Trade Commission, the Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 

Rebecca L. Saitta, previously an associate in the Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring Practice, represents debtor and creditor clients on a variety of bankruptcy and insolvency issues in bankruptcy courts across the country.  She also focuses on various aspects of commercial litigation in state and federal courts.  Before joining the firm, Ms. Saitta served as a law clerk for Judge Barry R. Poretz (ret.), U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and as a law clerk at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and at America Online, Inc. 

Maureen E. Thorson, formerly an associate in the International Trade Practice, represents clients in all areas of customs law, compliance and international trade litigation.  She is a licensed customs broker and has particular expertise in the development of customs compliance programs and obtaining import licenses and permits.  Ms. Thorson previously was a law clerk for Judge Donald C. Pogue, U.S. Court of International Trade and a legal clerk for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. 


Law360 has recognized Wiley Rein's Government Contracts, Insurance and International Trade Practices as being among the nation's best in 2011.  These "Groups of the Year" honors are based on each practice's notable work and significant litigation matters over the past twelve months.