Michael R.


Mike Nelson represents national and international insurers, Fortune 100 companies and other corporations in complex business litigation and regulatory matters. Mike’s litigation experience includes class action defense, multidistrict litigation, mediation, arbitration, bench and jury trials and appellate arguments. With more than 35 years of legal and insurance industry experience, Mike has litigated on issues relating to antitrust, consumer protection, regulation, government enforcement, extracontractual and tortious interference for Top 10 U.S. domestic insurers, small to midsize property/casualty insurers as well as insurers in London and Bermuda. Mike is licensed to practice in five jurisdictions and admitted to practice in 12 U.S. District and Circuit Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Mike’s practice also includes vast insurance regulatory experience at the state level as well as at the federal and international levels. His in-depth knowledge in these areas makes Mike a sought-after speaker on insurance regulation modernization concepts such as the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), Europe’s Solvency II, China’s C ROSS and the International Association of Insurances Supervisors’ proposed solvency standards, ComFrame/ICPs. Mike has interceded on behalf of insurers regarding insurance statutes and regulations in virtually every state. His regulatory and litigation experience naturally results in Mike consulting for businesses in the insurance sector on strategies relating to broker relationships, corporate governance, marketplace behavior, competitive advantage, new product introduction and platform positioning. 

Mike has testified four times before the Federal Court’s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure and has been invited to participate in the Federal Court Rules Advisory Committee Judicial Conference on Ediscovery (Fordham University, 2006) and pleading standards in the wake of Twombly/Iqbal (Duke University, 2010).

Before joining Sutherland, Mike was a founding partner and chairman of Nelson Brown & Co., which he grew to be an internationally recognized insurance boutique firm. Before becoming an attorney, Mike was employed for 11 years at MetLife. He left the insurance industry as MetLife’s Field Claim Manager for a regional office overseeing activity for MetLife’s six state mid-Atlantic region. While employed in the insurance industry, Mike was an accredited arbitrator with Arbitration Forums, Inc., a Pennsylvania licensed appraiser; accredited as a Property Claims Law Specialist (PCLA) and fully certified in auto collision repair through I CAR.

Awards and Rankings

Selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers®  (2006-2007, 2013-2016)

Recognized by The Legal 500 United States in the area of dispute resolution - general commercial (2016)

Professional Activities

Committee Member, American Bar Association, International Law Section
Vice President, Board of Directors, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
Member, Defense Research Institute
Member, Loss Executives Association
Member, Association Internationale de Droit des Assurance
Member, International Insurance Law Society, Inc.
Member, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel
Member, Life Insurance Council of New York

  • J.D., Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law
  • B.S., State University of New York College at Cortland
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern, Eastern and Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third, Fourth and Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Client Tools

Our Story

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is an international law firm helping the Fortune 100, industry leaders, sector innovators and business entrepreneurs solve their biggest challenges and reach their business goals. Dedicated to unfaltering excellence in client service, we are known for our business savvy and industry intelligence, providing creative and custom solutions for each of our clients. Industry and business experience makes the difference for our clients.

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