Joseph G. Grasso


Joseph G. Grasso
office Philadelphia
phone 215-988-8312
view LinkedIn profile


Joe has spent three decades advising, representing, and defending clients in a wide range of insurance matters, helping underwriters and other clients avoid litigation when possible and prevail when it is unavoidable. He possesses deep familiarity in marine insurance as well as the London insurance market.

Joe co-chairs Wiggin and Dana's Insurance Practice Group. He is also a Partner in the Litigation Department and in the Art and Museum Law Practice Group.

For nearly 20 years, Joe has been the principal outside counsel for the American Institute of Marine Underwriters and the Inland Marine Underwriters Association, and he has been involved in legislative and regulatory monitoring, governance issues, drafting policy forms, and filing Supreme Court amicus briefs on behalf of those organizations. He is adept at handling issues around marine casualties, including collisions, groundings, allisions, and piracy, and is a thought leader on the future of marine insurance, including issues arising from autonomous, crewless ships. Joe's extensive experience in representing London-based insurers includes a stint in the office of the general counsel of one of the premier syndicates at Lloyd's of London.

Joe helps clients analyze coverage issues and to defend and monitor complex claims under various types of insurance and reinsurance coverages, including aviation, marine (hull, liability, cargo, and yacht), fine art and specie, energy, property & casualty, general liability, professional liability, and political risks.

In addition to representing underwriters, Joe represents brokers and multinational manufacturers in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other jurisdictions. He has represented clients in numerous court arbitration and mediation proceedings and has personally served as an arbitrator and a mediator.

Joe recently

  • Won dismissal of a criminal case against an art dealer from whom Iranian antiquities were seized by New York City police.
  • Successfully defeated a ship owner's claim that a vessel detention by the Libyan government constituted a total loss.
  • Successfully monitored and resolved several complex claims in the US for London insurers, cost-effectively resolving high-stakes claims at minimal expense.

Joe is admitted to practice in New York and Pennsylvania and in Federal Courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Fifth Circuits. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, the Associations of Average Adjusters of the United States and United Kingdom, and the U.S. Maritime Law Association.

Joe writes and speaks extensively on numerous insurance industry topics, including coverage issues and policy interpretation, investigation and resolution of claims, and state and federal legislation and regulation. He has been recognized in Best's Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys, Who's Who Legal, and The Legal 500.

Before joining Wiggin and Dana in 2008, Joe was a partner at Thacher Proffitt & Wood in New York.

Joe received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his B.A. cum laude from Yale University. In addition to being active in alumni affairs at Yale, Joe has served on the Board of Trustees of Tuskegee University since 1995. Joe is also a member of the firm's Diversity Committee and is the firm's co-hiring partner.


  • American Bar Association
    • Tort and Insurance Practice Committee
  • Association of Average Adjusters
    • United States and Canada
    • United Kingdom
  • Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals
  • British Insurance Law Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
    • Director; past Chair, Committee on Marine Insurance and General Average
  • Tuskegee University
    • Board of Trustees
  • Yale Alumni Fund
    • Board of Directors
  • Yale Club of New York City
    • Board of Directors


08.03.2018Insurance News, Summer 2018
11.06.2017Insurance News, Fall 2017
05.16.2017Insurance News Spring 2017
01.06.2017Although Delayed, New York's Aggressive Cybersecurity Law Expected to Affect Financial Services and Insurance Firms
12.15.2016Insurance News, December 2016
08.11.2016Insurance News, Summer 2016
04.21.2016Insurance News, Spring 2016
12.16.2015Insurance News, December 2015
09.08.2015Insurance News, Summer 2015
05.01.2015Art and Museum Law Update
02.24.2015Insurance News, Winter 2015
02.17.2015The $750 Million Comma? BP Is Not Entitled to Coverage for the Gulf Oil Spill as an Additional Insured Under Policies Issued to Transocean
08.05.2014Insurance News, Summer 2014
12.18.2013Insurance News, Winter 2013
04.30.2013Insurance News, Spring 2013
12.11.2009Insurance News - Rotterdam Rules

Published Works

06.27.2018The Handbook on Additional Insureds, Second EditionABA Publishing
02.08.2018High Stakes For Seamen In The Second Circuit: The Application Of Res Ipsa Loquitor In The Context Of Seamens' Personal Injury ClaimsTerraLex Connections Newsletter, 2018, Edition 1
07.26.2016Eight Years after Bi-Economy and Panasia, What is the Law of Bad Faith in New York?Insurance Litigation Reporter Vol. 38, No. 12
12.01.2015Navigating Cyber-riskBest's Insurance News and Analysis
11.01.2015Two Small Words, One Great DivideInsurance Coverage Law Bulletin
02.19.2015The $750 Million Comma? Texas Supreme Court Rules BP Is Not Entitled to Coverage for the Gulf Oil Spill as an Additional Insured Under Policies Issued to Transocean.Insurance Ltiigation Reporter, Vol. 37, No. 2
09.30.2013In Re: Deepwater Horizon Insurance Litigation - The Fifth Circuit Reverses the District Court's Additional Insured Decision but then Withdraws its Decision and Certifies Issues to the Texas Supreme Court
03.18.2013In Re: Deepwater Horizon Insurance Litigation - Fifth Circuit Reverses in Favor of BP's Additional Insured ClaimInsurance Litigation Reporter, Vol. 35, No. 4
06.21.2012Interpretation and Enforceability of Indemnity Provisions in Maritime Contracts: We Really Do Have to Ask, Is It Salty Enough?U.S.F. Maritime Law Journal, Vol. 24, No. 2
01.19.2012The Handbook on Additional InsuredsABA Publishing
12.08.2011In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010Insurance Litigation Reporter, Vol. 33, No. 20
02.02.2011Lloyd's Syndicate Named as Defendant in U.S. Suit Against BP and OthersInsurance Litigation Reporter, Vol. 33, No. 1
09.30.2010What is the Law of Bad Faith in New York - Two Years After Bi-Economy and Panasia - Have the Questions Been Answered?*Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Newsletter, Fall 2010
08.30.2010Gulf Oil Catastrophe Insurance Coverage Claims – Update: BP Counterclaim against Transocean's Excess InsurersInsurance Litigation Reporter, Vol. 32, No. 14
03.08.2010What is the Law of Bad Faith in New York Two Years after Bi-Economy and Panasia -- Have The Questions Been Answered?Insurance Litigation Reporter, Vol. 32, No. 3
06.01.2007Insurance Dispute Resolutions ProceedingsAspatore Inside the Minds

office Philadelphia
phone 215-988-8312
view LinkedIn profile



  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • Yale University, B.A., 1983, cum laude


  • New York
  • Pennsylvania


  • US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US District Court (Eastern District of New York)
  • US District Court (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
  • US District Court (Southern District of New York)
  • US Supreme Court

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