Margo Brownell leads Maslon’s policyholder-only coverage practice, where she zealously represents top-tier corporate clients, as well as individuals, religious institutions, and nonprofit organizations. She is often retained by Fortune 100 and 500 companies to pursue coverage for class action/MDL/mass tort/product liability claims, most recently involving clergy abuse claims, PFAS products, medical devices, plumbing products, pharmaceuticals, and shareholder claims. Her advocacy has resulted in high-stakes insurance recoveries through litigation, arbitration, and negotiation in the United States and abroad.
Margo was recognized as a 2018 Attorney of the Year for her work in securing almost $200M in insurance proceeds for the settlement of the clergy abuse claims brought against the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
In addition to extensive mass tort and product liability work, Margo's broad expertise includes a wide range of insurance products and coverage areas, spanning directors' and officers' (D&O) and professional liability, antitrust and securities liabilities, employment practices liability, asbestos and other toxic torts claims, environmental liability, cyber liability, intellectual property liability, and corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) used for funding executive benefit plans, as well as other life insurance products.
In addition, Margo litigates commercial property claims, such as those arising from major catastrophic events like the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, as well as claims under financial institution bonds and commercial crime policies. Most recently, she has pursued COVID-19 business interruption claims and property claims arising from damage occurring in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing.
Margo is also dedicated to helping her clients proactively minimize their commercial risks. She assists in the review, procurement, structuring, and negotiation of complex insurance programs, and advises on company-wide exposures and potential liabilities. In the mergers and acquisitions context, she advises clients on issues of long-tail liabilities, legacy insurance programs, litigation assessment, and reps and warranties coverage.
Margo is engaged with advancing both the profession and the community. Of particular note, she served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she taught insurance law and founded the Insurance Law Clinic, which provides student-led representation for individuals and small businesses with insurance claims and/or coverage disputes, often on a pro bono basis for low-income individuals.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Margo was a freelance journalist for Newsweek International, The Nation, and The New York Observer, among other publications. She also had the privilege of serving as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Marrakech, Morocco.