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Vanessa Wells

Silicon Valley

Vanessa Wells

As a litigator, negotiator, and subject-matter authority, Vanessa Wells focuses her skills on supporting the needs of insurance industry clients. Vanessa calls upon her 20 years of experience in insurance rating, operations, and state regulation of insurance companies to help clients fashion rational solutions to litigation and regulatory issues.

Known for both her integrity and strategic creativity, Vanessa brings immediate credibility in advocating for her clients. Vanessa represents both insurance clients and Department of Managed Health Care-regulated healthcare service plans on non-coverage matters. She also represents industry trade associations on matters of broad significance. Her experience spans civil actions implicating insurance pricing or business operations issues, rate negotiations and contested rate proceedings, market conduct exams, constitutional regulatory challenges, rulemaking proceedings, and public policy advice and negotiations.

Vanessa takes great pride in litigation successes such as representing party insurers. At least equally satisfying are the opportunities to channel her experience, legal skill, and creative flair to guide new business strategies and products.

Vanessa represents clients in California chiefly, but acts more broadly with respect to her primary specialty in insurance rates.



Areas of focus

Representative experience

In Re Insurance Installment Fee Cases, 211 Cal. App. 4th 1395(2012) (represented party insurer installment fee income is not premium).

McCarthy Finance v. Premera, 347 P 3d 872 (Wash. 2015) (represented amici PCIAA/ NAMIC filed rate doctrine applied to bar action against insurer).

MacKay v. Superior Court, 188 Cal. App. 4th 1427 (2010) (represented amici PIFC, PCIAA, AIA filed rate doctrine applied).

Spanish Speaking Citizens et al v. Low, 85 Cal. App. 4th 1179 (2001) (represented party insurer favorable result re auto rating factors).

State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. v. Quackenbush, 77 Cal. App. 4th 65 (1999) (represented insurer at admin, trial and appellate level no "rollback").

Education and admissions


  • J.D., summa cum laude, University of Santa Clara School of Law, 1985
  • A.B., Stanford University, 1981


  • Member, California State Bar Insurance Law Committee

Bar admissions and qualifications

  • California

Court admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


Insurance: Insurer (California)

Chambers USA

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