Rich has been an Equity Partner since 1994 and has been with the firm since 1980. He is Head of the Complex Claims and Litigation Department and was a past member of the Firm's Management Committee. Rich’s high-profile legal experience and his innovative approach to the area of complex insurance coverage disputes, long tail claims and product liability matters has helped elevate the prominence of Mendes in these areas of Complex Insurance Coverage Disputes. He is respected by Insurers and Assureds and is often called upon to assist with the resolution of complex litigation matters.
Rich has been at the forefront of cutting edge initiatives, settlements, and litigation involving asbestos and other health hazard claims. Rich’s leadership qualities and unique problem solving abilities have been showcased repeatedly through his legal career when dealing with extremely controversial issues such as asbestos, silica, benzene, and other toxic chemicals.
Rich spent his first 10 years with Mendes in its Aviation Department where he became a Non-Equity Partner. Rich was involved in numerous product liability matters and assisted in a variety of complex trials involving many well known airlines, aircraft product manufacturers and suppliers, aviation maintenance facilities and other unique aviation-related products such as airships and hot air balloons.
A substantial portion of Rich’s career involved handling complex asbestos coverage matters and has negotiated numerous Coverage-In-Place Agreements as well as Commutation, Structured-Buybacks and Schemes of Arrangement.
Rich is currently responsible for the defense and supervision of a volume of aviation-related exposure claims on behalf of a variety of assureds. Rich was instrumental in the creation of an innovative Protocol and Database which assists assureds and insurers with exposure related claims to better defend, manage, allocate and fund such matters. Rich continues to handle numerous complex asbestos coverage matters.
As Head of the Complex Claim Department, Rich focuses his time on Asbestos and Health Hazard matters, as well as Aviation Product and Marine matters. He is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York, the Southern and Eastern District of New York and the United States Supreme Court.