Brian D.McDonald


San Francisco + 1.415.875.5762

Brian McDonald has represented policyholders in major coverage disputes over the past two decades and has helped clients secure hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance recoveries for extraordinary losses. He represents policyholders in litigation and negotiations on a broad range of insurance claims, including coverage for cyber liability, securities class actions, derivative actions, complex commercial lawsuits, employee class actions, asbestos bodily injury and other toxic tort claims, product liability claims, environmental hazards, and property damage claims. He also advises clients on the design, negotiation, and purchase of corporate insurance programs.

Brian counsels policyholders relating to a broad array of insurance lines, including cyber insurance, directors and officers liability, representation and warranty, commercial general liability, employment practices liability, property and business interruption, errors and omissions, environmental, and umbrella/excess insurance. Brian also counsels clients on alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and corporate risk management.


  • Sensata Technologies acquires Spear Power SystemsJones Day advised Sensata Technologies in its acquisition of Spear Power Systems, a leader in lithium-ion based energy storage solutions for mission-critical and demanding end user applications.
  • Jones Day secures third-in-a-row victory defeating bankrupt law firms' claims over former clients' mattersOn February 13, 2020, the D.C. Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of Jones Day in the years-long lawsuit brought by the bankruptcy estate of Howrey LLP asserting claims for so-called "unfinished business."
  • Sony Pictures obtains insurance coverage for losses arising from liabilities arising from 2014 cyberattackJones Day represented Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in obtaining insurance coverage for the 2014 cyberattack by North Korean hackers, from 2015 to 2019.
  • LensCrafters defeats insurer challenge to coverage for data privacy class actionsJones Day represented Luxottica Retail North America and its affiliate LensCrafters in obtaining insurance coverage under a Managed Care E&O Policy for the cost of defending consumer class action litigation.
  • Jones Day team wins asylum for two Guatemalan women and their four minor childrenA Guatemalan woman and her daughter-in-law who had both endured extreme violence and oppression fled Guatemala and entered the United States with their four minor children.
  • Major healthcare non-profit organization negotiates funding agreement among three insurers to defend class action lawsuitJones Day represented a major healthcare non-profit organization in obtaining insurance coverage for the cost of defending class action litigation alleging data privacy claims.
  • Jones Day joins Swords to Plowshares veterans pro bono projectJones Day is partnering with the non-profit organization Swords to Plowshares to offer pro bono legal services to Bay Area veterans.
  • San Francisco office joins local bar association's Right to Civil Counsel ProgramThe San Francisco Office recently joined the Right to Civil Counsel Movement spearheaded by the local bar association's Justice and Diversity Center.
  • Century Aluminum successfully resolves insurance coverage litigationJones Day represented Century Aluminum Company in a case involving insurance for large electric transformers, which were used by Monterey, California-based Century’s Icelandic subsidiary Nordural ehf to produce aluminum products and are valued at approximately $5 million each. 
  • Dignity Health acquires U.S. HealthWorksJones Day advised Dignity Health, the fifth largest health system in the nation, in its acquisition of U.S. HealthWorks, the largest independent operator of occupational medicine and urgent care centers in the United States.
  • Eastman Chemical acquires Solutia for $4.8 billionJones Day advised Eastman Chemical Company, a global chemical company that manufactures and sells a broad portfolio of chemicals, plastics, and fibers, in its $4.8 billion acquisition and related $3.5 billion financing of Solutia Inc., a global leader in performance materials and specialty chemicals.
  • Isilon Systems receives settlement for D&O coverage disputeJones Day represented Isilon Systems, Inc. (now part of EMC) in this D&O coverage dispute with member companies of the Hartford Insurance Group over indemnification for securities fraud lawsuits and an SEC civil action. 
  • Fluor companies pursue insurance coverageJones Day represented Fluor companies in pursuing insurance recoveries for Fluor’s liabilities in the FEMA trailer formaldehyde litigation, in which tens of thousands of victims of Hurricane Katrina claim in MDL and related litigation that Fluor’s installation of emergency housing units resulted in the release of toxic levels of formaldehyde in the units, resulting in bodily injury and other damages. 
  • Epsilon/Westford Funds and affiliates defend against bankruptcy related claimsJones Day is defending Epsilon/Westford Funds and its Cayman Island and BVI entities against claims brought by the chapter 11 trustee for Petters Company, Inc. and its affiliates.
  • Full insurance recovery is obtained for fire victimsJones Day took on representation of a couple from Richmond, CA who had inherited a small house which was destroyed in a fire, unfortunately due to an accident involving a developmentally disabled family member who was a smoker.
  • Speaking Engagements

    • January 28, 2021
      The Year of Working Remotely: Ethical Issues and Telework
    • January 27, 2021
      Insurance Coverage: What Your Company Needs to Know About Emerging Legal Issues for COVID-19 Risks
    • September 30, 2020
      ABA Civil Commotions Insurance Claims Webinar
    • September 15, 2020
      GDPR and CCPA Insurance Coverage Issues: Disclosure/Deletion Violations, Regulatory Claims, Statutory Damages
    • January 27, 2017
      Top 10 Tips to Help In-House Counsel Maximize Their Company's Insurance Assets
    • January 24, 2017
      Cybersecurity and Data Privacy: 2016 Year-End Review and What Lies Ahead in 2017
    • January 5, 2017
      Bad Faith Claims When Verdicts Exceed Policy Limits: Navigating Nuances of the Insurer's Duty to Settle
    • January 2016
      Insurance Coverage Fundamentals and Best Practices – What In-House Counsel Needs to Know to Manage Risk on the Front End and After A Loss or Claim
    • July 16, 2014
      Insurance and Bankruptcy: Coverage Issues When Insured Files for Bankruptcy, Bar Association of San Francisco
    • April 15, 2010
      Insurance 101: What Every In-House Lawyer Needs to Know, Bar Association of San Francisco
    • January 13, 2010
      Insurance Essentials for In-House Lawyers, Jones Day CLE Event, Jones Day San Francisco
    • November 7, 2007
      Deposition Skills Training Workshop, Bar Association of San Francisco