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Gretchen Hoff Varner
Gretchen Hoff Varner
Associate
San Francisco +1 415 591 7056 ghoffvarner@cov.com Download V-card

Gretchen Hoff Varner represents a wide range of companies in high-stakes insurance coverage litigation, where she has helped her clients to recover millions of dollars from their insurers.  She has successfully tried cases in both federal and state court, and, notably, led the Covington trial team that successfully challenged and overturned New York City’s racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk policy after a three-month trial in the Southern District of New York.

  • Second-chaired an insurance coverage trial on behalf of world’s largest family-owned alcoholic beverage company that resulted in a highly favorable ruling and ultimate resolution of coverage and bad faith claims.
  • Representing several products manufacturers in obtaining coverage for highly-publicized underlying product defect litigations.
  • Advising major retailer in pursuing insurance recovery for highly publicized data breach losses.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of complaint alleging violations of the False Claims Act on behalf of Gilead Sciences, Inc., in United States ex rel. Campie v. Gilead Sciences, Inc. (N.D. Ca).
  • Achieved a highly favorable settlement for the New York Stock Exchange in a widely reported SEC action involving the exchange’s dissemination of market data

Insurance Coverage Litigation

  • Representing major retailer in pursuing insurance recovery for highly publicized data breach losses.
  • Representing world’s largest family-owned alcoholic beverage company in obtaining insurance for Mexico trademark liabilities and U.S. trademark/trade dress litigation involving tequila bottle designs.
  • Representing several agricultural clients for losses related to property damage, crop loss, contingent business interruption, and other agricultural issues. 
  • Representing world’s largest family-owned alcoholic beverage company in litigation related to insurance broker issues.
  • Representing oil and gas company in obtaining coverage for product-related losses.
  • Representing products manufacturer in pursuing insurance recovery for nationally-publicized product defect claims.
  • Represented major healthcare organization seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance coverage under its professional liability policies.

Government Investigations & Enforcement Actions    

  • Achieved a highly favorable settlement for the New York Stock Exchange in a widely reported SEC action involving the exchange’s dissemination of market data
  • Representing major health care provider in False Claims Act investigation by Department of Justice.
  • Representing start-up company in an investigation by the Enforcement Division of the SEC into unregistered offerings.
  • Represented director of public company in connection with an SEC investigation.
  • Successfully represented defendants and cooperating witnesses in numerous criminal prosecutions.

Complex Commercial Litigation & Antitrust Litigation

  • Representing multiple suppliers of automobile components in multidistrict federal antitrust class action litigation alleging price-fixing in various component markets.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of multiple federal antitrust class actions relating to hotel bookings.
  • Successfully enforced a multi-million dollar promissory note on behalf of an individual investor in parallel state and federal actions.
  • Successfully obtained settlements on behalf of major software company in asserting breach of contract and copyright infringement claims in multiple federal district courts.
  • Named 2015 “Rising Star” by Northern California Super Lawyers
  • Charles C. Ruff Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year (2013)