FOUNDING PARTNER, FIELDS PLLC
Richard W. Fields is a highly successful lawyer with a proven track record of resolving a wide range of large scale, complex business and mass tort disputes.
Previously, Mr. Fields was a partner at major Washington, D.C.-based law firms, addressing complex litigation and dispute resolution, with a focus on a wide range of complex business disputes and terrorist-financing cases. After training at Arnold and Porter, Mr. Fields was a partner at Howrey & Simon (1989-1994), Swidler Berlin (1994-1999) and Dickstein Shapiro (2003-2008). In 2007, he founded Juridica Investments Limited (“Juridica”), one of the first litigation funding firms in the world. After 7 years of financing complex commercial litigation for many of the world’s largest corporations and Am Law 100 law firms, Mr. Fields brings to his law practice, Fields PLLC, a much broader perspective to the litigation and resolution of complex claims. Moreover, with a market reputation in both law and finance, he brings access to virtually unlimited amounts of capital to finance both fees and expenses in the largest cases and, indeed, in a large portfolio of cases.
Mr. Fields’ experience and relationships enable him to bring a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers, consultants, investigators and people from other disciplines to prosecute and resolve major claims. Moreover, his financial resources will allow the team to finance all expenses and to bring in specialists as needed, regardless of how large the portfolio of cases.
Early in his career Mr. Fields practiced as an environmental specialist and insurance cost-recovery lawyer at Arnold & Porter, Howrey and Simon, and Swidler Berlin. Mr. Fields developed a then novel multi-disciplinary economic approach to the resolution of insurance cost recovery claims, working with teams of scientists, engineers, economists, accountants, software developers and others to efficiently achieve large settlements based on empirical analyses of legal and financial risk. As a result, Mr. Fields became known as an expert in the resolution of insurance recovery claims. He settled his own cases, often without litigation, and settled cases of other law firms as separate settlement counsel for policyholders. By the late 1990s, much of his business was referred by insurance companies who encouraged policyholders to retain Mr. Fields and his team to resolve long-standing insurance litigation. At Swidler Berlin, Mr. Fields managed the firm’s insurance coverage practice. Under his leadership, the practice grew rapidly and became one of the most profitable of its kind in the United States.
During his legal career, Mr. Fields recovered several billion dollars for numerous Fortune 500 clients. These disputes involved professional negligence, securities fraud, pollution, asbestos, products liability, and mass torts for major oil, chemical, utility, banking, and manufacturing concerns. Over the course of his career, Mr. Fields resolved many of the largest claims ever presented to London market insurers and became a widely recognized authority on the resolution of London market insurance and reinsurance disputes.
In 2006, during his tenure at Dickstein Shapiro, Mr. Fields was named by Lawdragon magazine as a “Leading Lawyer” and described as “widely considered one of the top lawyers in the field working on behalf of policyholders…he brings an expertise in resolving insurance disputes in both the United States and Europe.” He was ranked in the 2006 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business annual guide as a leader in the area of Insurance: Dispute Resolution for New York. According to the guide, he was widely recognized as a “leading light on complex insurance disputes.”
Over the years, Mr. Fields has represented Credit Suisse First Boston, Amtrak, and Professional Services Insurance Corporation Limited after the collapse of Arthur Andersen (the captive insurer of Arthur Andersen LLP), among others. In the oil industry, Mr. Fields represented numerous global oil companies, including BP Amoco (and its predecessor companies, British Petroleum and Amoco), Phillips Petroleum, Ultramar Diamond Shamrock, Ashland Oil Company, and British Gas. He helped Amoco Oil Company settle, in just a few months, a 10-year-old insurance dispute with the London market involving claims related to plastic pipe products as well as a multi-year dispute involving environmental and toxic tort claims.
In the gas and electric industry, Mr. Fields represented dozens of national and regional companies, including Edison International, Pacificorp, Niagara Mohawk, Florida Power Corporation, and many others. He represented major industrial and commercial companies such as General Electric, American Airlines, and General Motors Corporation.
In the area of products liability insurance, Mr. Fields represented 3M Company in resolving a major insurance dispute with the London market arising out of breast implant claims. Although the case had been in litigation for over a decade, Mr. Fields settled the case with London insurers within 60 days of being retained as settlement counsel. In the products liability space, he also represented numerous multinational companies facing asbestos and other major product liability claims.
While at Juridica from 2007 to 2015, Mr. Fields was involved in resolving a broad range of claims including antitrust, trade secret disputes, intellectual property, fraud, and money laundering. He took the leading role in selecting cases for the firm’s portfolio and, in doing so, broadened his relationships with top law firms in the United States and London. In several early-stage cases, Mr. Fields selected counsel and experts to work the case. In cases in which Juridica bought the entire claim, Mr. Fields selected litigation counsel and also took a leading role in settlement negotiations.
Long before founding Juridica, Mr. Fields was a successful entrepreneur (2000-2003) as well as a lawyer. In 1999, he founded an internet company that developed a software platform for placing commercial insurance and resolving insurance claims. The company was successfully sold to a Bermuda insurer and London insurance broker. In 2001, he founded an international consulting firm in London called Global Risk Strategies that bought and sold insurance coverage claims in the United States and abroad. The model that Mr. Fields developed—trading claims against insolvent London market insurers—is still used today. For Mr. Fields, it was an important venture as it crystallized his thinking about claims as assets that can be traded like any other kind of asset or derivative.
Mr. Fields is also known as an advocate for human rights. Since the September 11th attacks, he has represented victims of terrorism and their families that have pursued claims against those alleged to have assisted in the financing of terrorism. While at Dickstein Shapiro, he was instrumental in developing the cases against Arab Bank for financing the Second Intifada. He actively supports Human Rights Watch, where he served as Co-Chairman of the New York Committee and is currently a member of the Audit Committee.
Mr. Fields is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Indiana University, B.A. (1977), and received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Indiana University (1982). He is an active member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the American Bar Association and the International Bar Association. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the McKinney School of Law at Indiana University and previously served on the Advisory Board of the Rand Corporation’s Institute for Civil Justice. He also serves on the Board of two privately held biotech companies.