Photo of Sean M. Hanifin

Sean M. Hanifin Member

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit


University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1981

Swarthmore College, B.A., with high honors, 1978, Phi Beta Kappa

Sean Hanifin counsels and represents insurers, reinsurers, and other risk bearing entities in insurance coverage matters, including excess judgment and insurance “bad faith” matters.  His practice is not geographically limited, as he has appeared in trial and appellate courts in more than forty states.

Sean’s general liability practice currently focuses upon intellectual property claims under personal and advertising injury coverages. He has extensive experience in mass tort matters including asbestos, food borne illness, and pharmaceutical claims (e.g., ephedra, Fen-Phen, Vioxx, and PPA); railroad and trucking claims; liquor liability claims; construction defect claims; structure collapses and catastrophic fires (including the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas Hilton, DuPont Plaza Hotel, and Station Nightclub fires).

Sean has resolved both coverage disputes and underlying claims in a wide range of professional liability areas, including real estate agents, insurance agents, title insurance agents, captive insurance managers, corporate and financial institution directors and officers, design professionals, and healthcare professionals and organizations, including managed health care and medical devices.

Sean has served since 1992 as the national claims counsel for the Title Industry Assurance Company, RRG, a risk retention group formed by the American Land Title Association. On behalf of TIAC and other insurers, he has assisted in the resolution of more than 2,800 title agent, abstracter, and escrow agent professional liability claims.  These include more than two dozen matters that involved escrow account losses, aggregating in excess of $3.4 million, as a result of email hacking, phishing, or other cyber intrusions or artifices.

Sean assists insurers in policy and endorsement drafting and in resolution of disputes that involve alternative risk structures including captive insurance (both domestic and offshore), fronting arrangements, and reinsurance structures. He has performed reserve adequacy studies in a range of areas, including employment practices, title insurance, liquor liability, construction defect, and design professionals.

Sean is a contributing author to Law and Practice of Insurance Coverage Litigation (West Publishing), a fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, and a member of the American Land Title Association.