Sean M. Hanifin Partner

(202) 778-4070


J.D., University of Chicago, 1981

B.A., Swarthmore College, 1978,
High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa

Sean Hanifin has more than thirty years’ experience counseling and representing insurers in insurance coverage matters including coverage allocation matters, reinsurance, excess judgment and “bad faith” claims. His practice is not geographically limited, as he has appeared on behalf of insurers in trial and appellate courts in more than forty states.

Sean’s general liability experience includes personal and advertising injury matters; mass tort claims including asbestos, food borne illness, and pharmaceutical claims (e.g., ephedra,
Fen-Phen, and PPA); railroad claims; liquor liability claims; construction defect claims; structure collapses and catastrophic fires (including the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas Hilton, DuPont Plaza Hotel, and Station Nightclub fires).

Sean has resolved disputes in a wide range of professional liability areas, including architect and engineering design, real estate agents, title insurance agents, directors and officers, and healthcare professionals and organizations, including managed health care matters and medical device matters. He has served since 1992 as the national claims counsel for the Title Industry Assurance Company, RRG, a risk retention group formed by the American Land Title Association. In that capacity, he has assisted in the resolution of more than 2,400 title agent, abstracter, and escrow agent professional liability claims.

Sean regularly assists insurers in policy and endorsement drafting and in resolution of disputes that involve unusual insurance arrangements and manuscript policies including retroactive coverages, captive insurance, and complex fronting arrangements and reinsurance structures. He has performed reserve adequacy studies in a range of areas, including employment practices, title insurance, liquor liability, and design professionals.

Sean also enjoys a selective commercial litigation practice.

Sean is a contributing author to Law and Practice of Insurance Coverage Litigation (West Publishing) and is a fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel.

Practice Areas


Bad Faith

General Liability

Professional Liability

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Courts of Appeal
– Second Circuit
– Third Circuit
– Fifth Circuit
– Ninth Circuit
– Tenth Circuit
– Eleventh Circuit
– District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. District Courts
– District of Columbia
– Maryland

Other Professional Affiliations


Speaking Engagements and Publications