April T Villaverde

April T Villaverde

Partner Basking Ridge, United States

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • US Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • US District Court, Southern District of New York
  • US District Court, New Jersey

Education

  • Rutgers University, School of Law - Newark, JD, 2006
  • Rutgers University New Brunswick, BA, 2001

April is a Partner in the Basking Ridge office and concentrates her practice in insurance coverage litigation and counseling. For over a decade, she has represented insurance carriers in connection with coverage issues and disputes including general liability, directors’ and officers’, errors and omissions, employment practices, commercial property, environmental and contractual liability. April has particular expertise on matters that concern long-tail environmental contamination and construction defect claims. She also aggressively defends lawyers and other professionals in matters involving claims of malpractice.

April has provided strategic advice concerning the application of policy terms and exclusions under the law in almost every jurisdiction and has successfully defended clients throughout the United States. April understands the importance to her clients in assessing and pursuing early resolution. She has been successful in having adversaries agree to voluntarily dismiss lawsuits or withdraw claims, including bad faith claims, early in the litigation.

In 2016, April completed a 6-month secondment with Markel Service Incorporated, where she worked with the Assistant General Counsel and in particular with the Extra-Contractual group, which concentrates on overseeing bad faith litigation and instituting proactive measures to prevent extra-contractual exposures.

April attended Rutgers University where she obtained both her undergraduate and law degrees. While in law school, she served as Managing Editor of the Rutgers Computer & Technology Law Journal. 

After earning her law degree, April was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Ariel A. Rodriguez, P.J.A.D. at New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division.

April is an active member of the firm’s Hiring Committee and Women’s Initiative. She is a member of the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association and New Jersey State Bar Association.

Presentations and publications

  • Contributor, US Construction Defect Insurance Coverage Law Compendium (September 2019)

Work highlights

  • Manages environmental contamination declaratory judgment actions involving claims arising out of the alleged contamination and remediation of the Lower Passaic River (a clean-up assessed by the EPA to cost over $1.6 billion).
  • Successfully led the defense of a major insurer in a complex IP coverage dispute arising from the insured’s alleged false advertisements.  Obtained summary judgment based on a favourable ruling that the insured’s alleged false advertising about its own product falls within the scope of the “failure to conform” exclusion.
  • Successful on allocation motions based on complex and novel issues concerning Carter-Wallace allocations and a corporate successor’s rights to its predecessor’s insurance assets following an asset purchase. 
  • Obtained summary judgment ruling based on the employer’s liability exclusion and “bodily injury to contractors and subcontractors” exclusion. 
  • Obtained summary judgment ruling on behalf of the insurer against the insured’s bad faith failure to pay benefits claim based on the entire controversy doctrine.
  • Obtained summary judgment on the issue of the first-filed rule, which resulted in the transfer of the declaratory judgment action to a venue favorable to the insurer, and the ultimate dismissal of the action as against our client based on a late notice defense under New York law. (The underlying defamation case ultimately resulted in the largest 2017 verdict case in New Jersey at $40.5 million).