William S. Wachenfeld, Contract Partner

Practice Areas /

Mendes is one of the largest firms in the country entirely devoted to the practice of insurance law.

Bill has been representing the interests of various domestic and foreign insurers for over 30 years.  He has also handled general litigation and various environmental matters.  He has represented attorneys, accountants and various healthcare professionals.

While most of Bill’s work involves litigated matters in the State of New Jersey, he has handled cases in West Virginia, Alabama, Wisconsin and Washington.  The majority of his efforts relate to the defense of environmental coverage claims and the sites at issue are located throughout the country.  The majority of the claimants involved are Fortune 500 companies.

Before Mendes, Bill was an Associate and, later, Partner, with Tompkins, McGuire & Wachenfeld.  He was also a member of Priestley, Barile and Wachenfeld before joining Mendes.  Bill enjoys deep sea fishing and golf.

Some of Bill’s more significant reported cases are:

  • Morton Intern. v. General Acc. Ins., 134 N.J. 1 (1993), the seminal case on the interpretation of the pollution exclusion in New Jersey.
  • Cromartie v. Carteret Savings & Loan, 277 N.J. Super. 88 (App. Div. 1994), a significant decision relating to the liability of mortgagees.
  • First Indemnity of America Ins. Co. v. Letters, Meyler & Co., 326 N.J. Super. 233 (App. Div. 1999), affirming 326 N.J. Super. 366 (Law Div. 1998), addressing the potential liability of an accountant for the preparation of unaudited financial statement.
  • Hampton Medical Group, P.A. v. Princeton Ins. Co. 366 N.J. Super. 165 (App. Div. 2004), addressing the duty to defend of a medical malpractice insurer.