Photo of Thomas M. Contois
  • PRACTICE FOCUS
  • EDUCATION+
    • Duke University School of Law
      J.D., 1990
    • Duke University
      A.B., 1986
  • ADMISSIONS+
    • North Carolina
    • South Carolina
    • District of Columbia
  • CLERKSHIP+

Tom Contois works to never be caught off guard when representing clients. He approaches every case with the possibility that it will be decided in court, and he plans for every detail. Every task has a purpose. Every decision based on what issues need to be addressed. While many of his cases do not end up in court, that preparation gives clients confidence in Tom’s judgement about what should be done in each unique situation.

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Tom Contois works to never be caught off guard when representing clients. He approaches every case with the possibility that it will be decided in court, and he plans for every detail. Every task has a purpose. Every decision based on what issues need to be addressed. While many of his cases do not end up in court, that preparation gives clients confidence in Tom’s judgement about what should be done in each unique situation.

For nearly 20 years, Tom has represented insurance carriers in coverage and bad faith disputes in trial courts and arbitrations throughout the U.S. His practice focuses primarily on first-party commercial property, inland marine and builder's risk coverages. Tom also advises carriers with respect to their obligations and the coverage issues presented by a variety of third-party liability policies. He counsels carriers on and litigates issues arising under commercial general liability policies, errors and omissions policies, pollution legal liability policies, employment practices liability policies and excess and umbrella coverages.

In addition to coverage issues, Tom's work with carriers has frequently included defending against bad faith and other extra-contractual claims.

Practice Focus

Experience

  • Obtained a favorable outcome for a market group of insurers in connection with a claim under builder’s risk policies for losses resulting from a design defect in a marine bulkhead that was part of the foundation of a $200 million hotel development project.
  • Successfully represented carrier in connection with earth movement claim at a student living facility which resulted in property damage to a residence building, pool and clubhouse, and claims for time element losses extending over two school years.
  • Secured a decision for a major carrier in a confidential arbitration proceeding in which the insured sought coverage for pollution cleanup costs at hundreds of locations. The insured was a major lender for commercial real estate loans; the policy provided that if loans defaulted and the real estate securing the loans was contaminated, the carrier would pay the lesser of the cleanup costs or loan balance.
  • Served as international coordinating counsel for a major carrier for claims arising out of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011. Supervised counsel in Europe and Japan to provide a consistent and coordinated response to common claims issues, including those arising out of Master/Local coverage programs. Prepared analysis of various coverage issues under carrier's form and manuscript forms of various major brokers, including contingent business interruption, power outage, civil authority, nuclear hazards and others. Created a claims handling guide for use by front line adjusters addressing these issues.
  • Represented insurance carriers in multimillion-dollar claims stemming from hurricanes, earthquakes, soil movement, arson fire and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks

Memberships & Affiliations

  • North Carolina Bar Association, Insurance Law Section
  • South Carolina Bar, Torts and Insurance Practice Section
  • Loss Executives Association
  • Property Loss Research Bureau

Recognition

  • Insurance Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2019-2020)

Education

  • Duke University School of Law
    J.D., 1990
  • Duke University
    A.B., 1986

Admissions

  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • District of Columbia
  • Obtained a favorable outcome for a market group of insurers in connection with a claim under builder’s risk policies for losses resulting from a design defect in a marine bulkhead that was part of the foundation of a $200 million hotel development project.
  • Successfully represented carrier in connection with earth movement claim at a student living facility which resulted in property damage to a residence building, pool and clubhouse, and claims for time element losses extending over two school years.
  • Secured a decision for a major carrier in a confidential arbitration proceeding in which the insured sought coverage for pollution cleanup costs at hundreds of locations. The insured was a major lender for commercial real estate loans; the policy provided that if loans defaulted and the real estate securing the loans was contaminated, the carrier would pay the lesser of the cleanup costs or loan balance.
  • Served as international coordinating counsel for a major carrier for claims arising out of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March 2011. Supervised counsel in Europe and Japan to provide a consistent and coordinated response to common claims issues, including those arising out of Master/Local coverage programs. Prepared analysis of various coverage issues under carrier's form and manuscript forms of various major brokers, including contingent business interruption, power outage, civil authority, nuclear hazards and others. Created a claims handling guide for use by front line adjusters addressing these issues.
  • Represented insurance carriers in multimillion-dollar claims stemming from hurricanes, earthquakes, soil movement, arson fire and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Insurance Law Section
  • South Carolina Bar, Torts and Insurance Practice Section
  • Loss Executives Association
  • Property Loss Research Bureau
  • Insurance Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2019-2020)