A recognized leader in the field, Stradley Ronon has helped define fidelity and surety law over the past six decades. During that span, our lawyers have advised clients on nearly every problem in the area and have litigated nearly every issue sureties and fidelity carriers encounter. Our clients range from the largest companies in the industry to smaller specialty or “niche” market companies. We tailor our approach to meet our individual client’s needs and objectives.
The American Bar Association has distinguished our partners, appointing them as leaders of its prestigious Fidelity Law and Surety Committee (FSLC). Our partners also have served on other industry committees such as the National Bond Claims Association, Surety Claims Institute and the fidelity and surety law committees of the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. We frequently make presentations on current legal issues and regularly publish in industry journals and newsletters. Our lawyers maintain the FSLC’s database of fidelity and surety articles and conference proceedings, which we summarize, index and code for computer research and retrieval; the Fidelity and Surety Bar considers Stradley Ronon to be the authoritative resource for fidelity and surety information.
When not applying surety law, our lawyers write it. Recommended because of their knowledge and reputation, our partners were American Bar Association Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Advisors for the Restatement of the Law of Suretyship and Guaranty. One of our partners was the associate reporter for that project. Stradley Ronon has developed case law for clients and the industry nationwide.
Our surety work encompasses the gamut of bonding issues, including:
- Defending claims against sureties.
- Pursuing actions to enforce common law and contractual rights of exoneration and indemnification.
- Suing principals, owners, subcontractors or third parties to recover funds for the surety as subrogee or in its own right.
- Negotiating as well as drafting takeover, loan and security agreements.
- Pursuing principles, owners, subcontractors or third parties to recover funds for the surety.
Our dealings with fidelity cases range from the early days of individual fidelity bonds to the latest commercial blanket bonds and policies.
We have dealt with claims on financial institution bonds and the securities litigation that often accompanies large defaults of limited partnerships. Our lawyers have handled major litigation involving the claims of Resolution Trust Corporation. Matters involving all kinds of bonds – including guardian and administrator bonds, liquor bonds, warehouse bonds, notary bonds, appeal bonds and donated food-processing bonds – make up a significant part of our practice.
Full-Service Support in Related Areas of the Law
Because Stradley Ronon lawyers concentrate their practices in specific substantive areas, the firm provides its fidelity and surety clients with the business, bankruptcy, banking and real estate perspectives needed to analyze fidelity and surety claims and to negotiate construction, loan and security agreements.
Evaluating claims against sureties involves more than legal skill. It requires common sense and the judgment that comes with practical application. We evaluate every claim and issue first to determine how it can best be resolved: by mediation, arbitration, negotiation or litigation. We look for the most cost-effective way to protect and satisfy our surety clients, taking into account the nature and size of the risks and business realities. The practice of fidelity and surety law is problem solving – resolving past disputes and finding effective ways of moving forward. We work with our clients to accomplish these goals.