DC law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley opens San Juan office
SAN JUAN – Washington, D.C.-based law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley (WMC) announced Thursday a new office in San Juan, and that Puerto Rican José Nieto has joined as a partner. The acclaimed litigation and insurance-recovery boutique is involved in hundreds of policyholder recovery efforts on the island in the wake of Hurricane María, according to its news release.
“Shortly after Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico, our firm responded to calls from dozens of commercial clients looking for representation against their insurance company,” WMC Chairman Augie Matteis said. “We needed top leadership. I’ve known José Nieto since we both practiced at Skadden Arps in the 1990s, and I know how fortunate we are to have him at the helm in San Juan.”
More than 200 policyholders, WMC said, have already hired the firm “to fight their insurance company” over property damage and business interruption losses. The firm added that its experts say the insurance companies operating on the island “are among the worst they have encountered,” according to the release.
“In Puerto Rico, insurance companies believe they can drastically underpay claims with no repercussions, and their conduct has been outrageous,” adds Joshua Katz, a WMC partner who focuses on Puerto Rico claims.
The firm emphasized that Nieto, who grew up in Puerto Rico, “is a highly respected litigator and professor at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law.” It further details that Nieto earned law degrees from the University of Puerto Rico and Harvard Law School “and began his legal career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom working on complex litigation in Latin America and the Caribbean,” and that he continues to “concentrate on complex litigation and has been involved in some of the highest profile cases in Puerto Rico.”
WMC’s clients in Puerto Rico include various businesses, shopping centers, schools, and churches, as well as homeowners. The firm added in its announcement that its new partner “predicts substantial growth in the San Juan office over the next year.”
WMC was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 10 “hottest” litigation boutiques in the United States, and has more than 35 lawyers in its offices in Washington, Fort Lauderdale, Mississippi, Philadelphia and now San Juan.
Several stateside law firms have offices in San Juan, and other large U.S. firms, “including Greenberg Traurig; O’Melveny & Myers; Paul Hastings; Proskauer Rose; and Willkie Farr & Gallagher, have capitalized on work stemming from the struggling territory’s debt reorganization,” according to the National Law Journal.