03 January 2018 at 12:54 BST

Former General Re GC swaps his insurance boutique for BigLaw

A former general counsel who set up an insurance litigation boutique to provide better value legal services has joined Duane Morris after a year in business.


Former General Re Corporation president and general counsel Damon Vocke had most recently run his own firm, the Vocke Law Group, with locations in New York, Chicago and Stamford, Connecticut. After just over a year, he has shut it down and, along with partner Ronald Lepinskas and special counsel Mark Holton from the Vocke firm, opted to become part of the Duane Morris 100 lawyer strong insurance industry practice group.

Optimal platform

Mr Vocke will be working with the group nationally and particularly in New York as the  insurance division's head of corporate and regulatory litigation. Commenting, Mr Vocke said: 'With its national reputation in the insurance industry, Duane Morris offers my clients an optimal platform.' Matthew Taylor, the new chairman and CEO of Duane Morris, said of the move: 'The sophisticated nature of Damon’s, Ron’s and Mark’s respective practices in class actions, regulatory and investigations fits well with our overall trial practice and our insurance division specifically.'

Executive responsibilities

As president of General Re Corporation, Vocke had executive responsibilities for a $6 billion business across 30 countries. He was also chairman of a Lloyd’s syndicate, chairman of the supervisory board of a German affiliate and chairman of United States Aviation Underwriters in New York. In his capacity as group general counsel of Gen Re, he also had responsibility for legal, regulatory, governance, compliance and claims. Both for Gen Re and for major insurance clients of his own firm, Mr Vocke has led high-profile reinsurance, regulatory and white collar criminal defense matters. 

Global casualty

Mr Lepinskas, who will be resident in the Duane Morris Chicago office as partner, was also most recently at Gen Re prior to joining the Vocke firm, serving as global casualty and liability claims manager overseeing professional lines, general casualty lines and workers’ compensation involving thousands of claims valued at several billion dollars. Previously, as a litigator at major firms including DLA Piper and Locke Lord,  he handled re/insurance coverage, class action defense, mass torts, securities and RICO actions. Mr Holton, who joins the Duane Morris New York office as special counsel, has represented investment banks,insurance brokers, insurance and reinsurance firms, accounting, consulting and law firms, the federal government and major news media organisations. He previously worked for Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.


Max Stern, chair of the Duane Morris insurance practice, said, 'With the addition of Damon’s group, we are substantially expanding our insurance capabilities in the East Coast, Midwest, London and broader international markets, focusing on complex work with visibility to the C-suite at major insurers.' 


Also read...

Bar Council revolutionises membership

Legal profession disruption leads Bar Council of England and Wales to open up its membership.