Colleen Murphy is the leader of the firm’s insurance agents and brokers practice within its Management and Professional Liability Practice Group. Over the past 25 years, she has represented hundreds of agents and brokers in complex matters and brings a deep understanding of their business concerns, the regulatory climate surrounding the industry, their errors and omissions (E&O) risks, and the contractual agreements and relationships with their carriers and insureds. She has also performed loss control audits, rewritten agency contracts, and gone to bat for agents and brokers’ insureds in contentious coverage disputes. Colleen’s clients rely on her to provide strategic counsel on risk management, E&O loss control, regulatory matters, and other big-picture issues affecting their businesses.

Colleen has successfully defended hundreds of insurance agents and brokers — including Top 10 insurance agencies and brokerages and agencies associated with banks — in E&O litigation across New York State. She is routinely appointed E&O counsel of choice by E&O carriers at the request of major insurance agencies. As a nationally recognized authority on the defense of insurance agents and brokers, Colleen has been called upon to oversee their defense in numerous states, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, South Carolina, and Tennessee. A significant part of her practice includes representing insurance agents and brokers, third-party administrators, and independent adjusters in insurance regulatory and licensing matters as well as consumer complaints in state insurance departments.

Colleen also successfully defends third-party administrators, trust administrators, independent adjusters, engineers, financial professionals, and miscellaneous professionals in E&O claims. She also has a significant amount of experience representing agents and brokers in FINRA arbitrations involving securities-related claims, including those alleging unsuitable investment recommendations, improper sales practices, negligent supervision, churning, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.

Her experience is frequently called upon in complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation across the country. She has worked extensively alongside Thomas Segalla, author of the renowned insurance law treatise Couch on Insurance 3d, on numerous matters in which he was retained as a bad faith and insurance coverage expert by major insurance carriers and policyholders in jurisdictions across the United States.

Colleen has represented and advised clients across the nation in their relations with regulatory authorities, including the state insurance departments of New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and California. Her victory in the landmark case of Lee v. State of New York Insurance Department, 222 AD.2d 1050 (4th Dept.1995) highlights her experience defending insurance agents before insurance regulatory authorities. In this case, Colleen successfully stopped the New York State Insurance Department from acting outside the scope of its investigational authority and prevented it from ordering the insurance agent to appear before it and to submit to questioning in the presence of a disgruntled agency customer with respect to a consumer complaint. 

  • Woman in the Law, Best Lawyers Business Edition (Insurance Law), 2018
  • Woman in the Law, Best Lawyers Business Edition, 2017
  • Influential Woman in Re/Insurance, 2017–18
  • Upstate New York Super Lawyers, 2012–18
  • Business First’s Who’s Who in Law (Insurance)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law, 2016–19
Professional Affiliations
  • Defense Research Institute, Professional Liability Committee
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, Western New York Chapter
  • Attorney Member, Agents Council for Technology, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York
Civic Activities
  • Western New York Autism Society, Conference Planner and Co-Chair
  • Volunteer/Guide for Children’s Adaptive Ski Program: Phoenix Adaptive Snow Sports Program at HoliMont, Ellicottville, New York
  • Albany Law School of Union University, J.D., 1990
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., 1987
  • "A Proactive Approach to Avoiding Bad Faith Within the Title Insurance Arena" (Co-Presenter), American Bar Association, New York City, July 19, 2017
  • "Updates and Hot Trending Topics Affecting Insurance Coverage — Architects and Engineers," May 12, 2017
  • "Legal Ethics of Cloud Computing Locally," National Business Institute, December 9, 2014
  • Panelist, "Whether and When to Settle," New York State Bar Association CLE Program — Securities Arbitration and Mediation 2014: Telling Your Story, New York, NY, March 1, 2014
  • "What Professionals Should Know About Managing and Insuring Cyber Liability Risk and Defending Those Professionals in the Event of a Claim," USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, D.C., October 4-6, 2012
  • "Successfully Defending Insurance Agents in Consumer Complaints Before the State Insurance Department," USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, D.C., October 4-6, 2012
  • "E&O Loss Control for Agents and Brokers Procuring Insurance for Owners, Contractors, and Subcontractors," in-house client seminar, August 15, 2012