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Attorneys of the Year: Charles Spevacek

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When Chuck Spevacek argues a case for his insurance company clients, he champions their interests in high-stakes matters while often helping establish legal precedents. For the past 34 years, Spevacek has been an indispensable advocate for insurance companies across the country, guiding them through litigation and appeals regarding all manner of coverage disputes.

His diverse insurance practice covers everything from property and casualty, errors and omissions, and cyber liability similar to Target’s recent data breach. Spevacek recently secured three significant victories for clients, where he put his strong analysis, finely honed arguments, and deep experience on display.

“We’re really good at what we do,” says Spevacek, who emphasizes that partners Bill Hart and Mike McNamee were critical to the three victories. “We get good results and we win most of the time. I would say clients feel comfortable that they’re in good hands and that competent people are taking care of their interests.”

In one victory, Spevacek took Travelers Indemnity Co.’s case to the Minnesota Supreme Court, where he got a Court of Appeals ruling overturned regarding “additional insured” provisions. The ruling also set a precedent for commercial liability policies in Minnesota covering contractors and subcontractors. Now if a contractor gets sued for defective construction — and the subcontractor is not found liable — the contractor cannot get access to the sub’s additional coverage.

Spevacek had another victory for Travelers in which he kept the company from having to pay more than $30 million in aggregate damages. Spevacek effectively argued that the statute of limitations had run out for Land O’Lakes to seek defense cost and indemnity coverage for an EPA-ordered clean-up on contaminated oil refinery land in Oklahoma. In winning this case in federal district and the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, Spevacek garnered high praise from one of the justices, who commented, “You’re Minnesota’s greatest living insurance lawyer. You know more about insurance law than anybody.”

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