Jeffrey D. Masters

Partner

Overview

Jeff is a litigator and co-chair of the Development Risk Management and Insurance Coverage Practice. He handles insurance coverage claims and litigation matters for regional and national public and private owners, homebuilders, developers, investors, contractors, and lenders.

He also provides strategic counsel to clients on contractual risk transfer issues, operational risk management matters and the structuring and implementation of liability and property insurance programs ranging from project-specific to enterprise-wide coverages.

He has extensive experience with residential and commercial owner controlled (OCIP) and contractor controlled (CCIP) insurance programs and other innovative insurance structures.

Representative
Matters

Representative Claims And Litigation Matters

Prevailed on a motion for partial summary judgment for a national public homebuilder. The court ruled that Chinese drywall losses in over 200 homes constituted a single occurrence under a contractors pollution liability policy, which required the client to pay only one self-insured retention.

Obtained a mediated settlement for a national public homebuilder under its umbrella liability policies on a Chinese drywall coverage claim involving over 200 homes, despite adverse law on the pollution exclusion in the forum state.

Obtained a favorable settlement for a major commercial building owner of a complex builder's risk soft costs coverage claim, including the issue of the number of occurrences and deductibles.

Obtained a favorable settlement for a regional private homebuilder under its umbrella liability policies on a Chinese drywall claim involving over 175 homes, including the issue of the number of occurrences and self-insured retentions

Successfully negotiated a settlement for a national homebuilder of complex insurance coverage litigation in U.S. District Court concerning underlying construction defect class action involving over 400 homes, with parallel actions in out-of-state court.

Obtained a mediated settlement for a bank and its homebuilding subsidiary under multiple CGL and umbrella liability policies in a $350 million reformation and bad faith action arising out of soils and concrete conditions in several hundred homes.

Prevailed on a motion for summary judgment by our client, a general contractor, against a subcontractor's CGL insurer in a complex fatality action and shifted liability for a $6 million underlying judgment to the subcontractor's insurer under an additional insured endorsement, recovered the client's defense costs, and obtained substantial Brandt fees for the insurer's bad faith.

Recovered 100% of defense costs and indemnity payments for a regional private homebuilder as an additional insured in a construction defect bad faith action against a subcontractor's CGL insurer.

Obtained a favorable settlement for a national REIT under its permanent property insurance policy for a substantial water intrusion loss involving multiple dwelling units and common area in a major mixed-use development.

Representative Transactional Matters

Insurance coverage and risk management counsel for the developer of a major mixed-use community in Los Angeles, comprised of more than 2,000 for-sale and apartment units, retail and commercial space, including negotiation of design professional and construction contracts and negotiation, structuring and contractual implementation of a multi-line rolling OCIP.

Insurance coverage counsel for the negotiation and contractual implementation of a project-specific OCIP for a large mixed-use commercial project in Washington, D.C.

Insurance coverage counsel for the negotiation, structuring and contractual implementation of a rolling OCIP covering several thousand apartment units in multiple states for a national apartment developer and operator.

Insurance coverage counsel for a regional land developer in connection with the negotiation of a rolling OCIP covering more than 400 lots in Las Vegas.

Insurance coverage and risk management counsel for a regional developer in connection with negotiation and contractual implementation of a rolling OCIP covering more than 800 for-sale and apartment units in Northern California.

Represented a national public homebuilder in implementing a new, company-wide liability insurance program, which combined traditional CGL insurance with a special coverage for certain of the builder's warranty obligations to its customers, including legal review and negotiation of the insurance policy form and endorsements, and counsel on legal changes needed to the builder's consumer sales documents, warranty form and operations procedures to implement the new insurance program.

Served as risk management counsel for the developer of a 16-story condominium tower in Southern California, including negotiation and drafting of architect, engineer, and general contractor agreements and legal review and negotiation of insurance policy forms and endorsements for the project-specific OCIP and professional liability insurance programs.

Represented a major land developer in the design, structuring, and implementation of a liability insurance program for a $100 million residential building lot development in Las Vegas.

Risk management counsel for a prominent California non-profit housing developer in connection with for-sale residential development projects with total construction value in excess of $300 million, including insurance coverage counsel for the design, structuring, and implementation of a $45 million rolling OCIP.

Represented a large Southern California property owner in the design, structuring, and implementation of a $100 million rolling OCIP for a portfolio of mixed-use projects comprised of over 2,000 condominium and apartment units and over 100,000 square feet of retail space.

More »

Served as risk management counsel for a California-based multi-family developer in connection with a $350 million (construction value) portfolio of condominium projects in California, Washington, and Nevada, including negotiation and drafting of design professional and construction contracts and negotiation, structuring and implementation of a rolling portfolio OCIP.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Recent Publications

Exculpation, Indemnification and Insurance, Office Leasing: Drafting And Negotiating The Lease, The California Continuing Education Of The Bar (CEB) 

Contractual Risk Transfer: Strategies For Contract Indemnity And Insurance Provisions, International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), chapters on risk transfer in commercial leases, mortgages, purchase and sale agreements and property management agreements, including exculpation, limitation of liability, indemnity, waiver of subrogation and insurance provisions

Broad Form Property Damage Coverage (3d ed.), International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI) (technical consultant)

California Liability Insurance Practice: Claims And Litigation, The California Continuing Education Of The Bar (CEB) (technical consultant)

Notable Appellate Cases

Glenfed Development Corp. v. Superior Court,  53 Cal. App. 4th 1113 (1997) (liability insurer’s claims manual held discoverable; issue of first impression in California)

Recent Speaking Engagements

Frequent lecturer for real estate and construction industry groups such as the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), the Building Industry Association (BIA), Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing

L/P Insurance Services May 2013 Risk Management Seminar, 5/23/2013

West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Conference, 5/16/2013

The Third Wave: What's Next in Residential Construction Insurance Issues, 5/2/2013

SB474 And The New Insurance Market, 1/22/2013

CGL Coverage For Rip & Tear Costs, IRMI Construction Risk Conference, 11/14/2012

Managing the Risks Of Distressed Real Estate Assets, IRMI Construction Risk Conference, November 2011

Managing And Insuring The Risks Of Non-Profit Housing Development, Housing California Conference, 2010

Public Agency Construction Risk: Building For The Future, California Association Of Joint Powers Authorities, 2009

Flip That Sub-Division, Building Industry Show, 11/20/2009

Role Of Green In Real Estate: Managing Risk and Finding Rewards In Green Building, 2009 ULI Fall Meeting And Urban Expo, 11/5/2009

Managing And Insuring Risks In OREO Operations, Trigild Lender Conference: Roads To Recovery, 10/23/2009

Public Agency Construction Risk: Building For The Future, California Association of Joint Powers Authorities Annual Fall Conference & Training Seminar, 9/10/2009

Latest Developments In Wrap-Up Insurance, HB Litigation Conferences, 8/13/2009

OREO Assets: Successfully Managing The Transition From Lender To Owner, California Bankers Association Webinar, 8/5/2009

Risk Management For California Home Builders And Developers During These Challenging Times, BIA Baldy View Chapter, 2/11/2009

Minimizing Legal Risks In Distressed Real Estate Acquisitions And REO Operations, CLE International Real Estate Restructuring Conference, 1/23/2009

Best Practices To Analyze Insurance And Contract Risks, Building Industry Show, 11/14/2008

Advanced Risk Management for Mixed-Use Projects, Mixed Use Development Conference, 8/21/2008

Beyond Risk Transfer: A New Risk Management Model For Wrap Projects, Mealey's Wrap-Up Insurance Conference, 6/23/2008

Reducing Risk: A New Risk Management Model For Builders And Subcontractors, West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar, 5/9/2008

Latest Developments In Risk Management and Insurance, Associated Owners And Developers 2008 National Conference West Coast, 5/5/2008

Using OCIPs And CCIPs In California, Lorman Seminars, 4/15/2008

Everything A Construction Player Needs To Know About Insurance In California, Lorman Seminars, 3/19/2008

Building Green: New Opportunities & Emerging Legal Issues In Commercial Construction, Strafford Publications, 3/4/2008

Everything A Construction Player Should Know About Insurance, Lorman Education Services, 2/13/2008

Managing the Risks Of Mixed Use SB 800, Insurance And More, CLE Mixed Use Development Conference, 1/10/2008

Construction Defect Risk Management and Insurance, IRMI, 2006-2008

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Recommended Attorney, Real Estate - Construction, Legal 500 USA, 2017
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2010-2017

Professional Affiliations

  • California Building Industry Association (CBIA)
  • National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1980
  • M.B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, 1980
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1976, summa cum laude, phi beta kappa