When it comes to complex commercial litigation and insurance matters, an attorney needs to understand her clients’ big-picture business goals and objectives. Approaching disputes from this business-oriented perspective, Leslie C. Thorne has successfully represented the nation’s largest and most prominent corporations, as well as smaller and emerging companies. Leslie not only develops and executes effective strategies; she also makes sure that her clients are part of the process at every step. The better informed her clients are, the better able they are to make critical decisions affecting their businesses.
In recent litigation matters, Leslie secured dismissal of fiduciary duty and minority oppression claims against major shareholders of a healthcare corporation, obtained a temporary restraining order and injunction against a foreign sovereign pending an international arbitration of an oil and gas dispute, obtained a total trial victory for a corporate defendant in a breach of contract dispute, and secured a multi-million dollar settlement for a national energy company in connection with a failed ethanol venture.
Clients also rely on Leslie’s counsel in dealing with underwriting and risk management issues, including drafting and negotiating insurance policies, insurance and indemnification provisions in corporate transactions, and claims presentation to insurers. Leslie is a relentless advocate for her policyholder clients, representing them in connection with policies covering cyber liability, environmental and pollution liability, products liability, trade credit risks, professional liability, intellectual property claims, general liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, commercial crime, property losses and business interruption. Her extensive experience and strength in creatively analyzing complex coverage disputes enables her to develop the best strategies for quickly and cost-effectively obtaining the maximum recovery. For instance, Leslie has secured complete coverage for a client in connection with asbestos claims by calling on many decades of policies, all without resorting to litigation. Leslie also considered dozens of policies in crafting a multi-million dollar settlement with various carriers in connection with MTBE-related claims made against a Fortune 50 client. Recently, Leslie convinced a carrier to post a supersedeas bond and provide appellate defense for an energy company, despite a jury finding of intentional conduct in connection with its oil and gas operations.
Apart from the work for her clients, Leslie is widely recognized as a leader in the legal community and the community at large. Leslie currently serves on the Robert W. Calvert Inn of Court and as an ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Additional Insured Subcommittee co-Chair. Consistently named a Texas Lawyer Rising Star, Leslie and her work have appeared in—among others—Insurance Journal, Texas Lawyer, Austin Business Journal, Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, Corporate Counsel Review, Executive Counsel Magazine, Law360, and many ABA publications. Leslie also speaks frequently at local, state and national conferences and seminars on all manner of insurance, energy and construction-related topics, from cyber coverage to indemnification agreements to negotiating large construction projects. Leslie serves as the Board Chair for non-profit Manos de Cristo, which provides basic needs, education and dental services to Austin’s disadvantaged population.