Laura H. Smith

blank image Laura H. Smith
101 Montgomery Street
Suite 2300
San Francisco, CA 94104, US

T: 415.890.5155 F: 415.745.3771
Laura has more than 25 years of experience counseling domestic and foreign insurers about coverage. She has analyzed coverage for claims under a wide variety of policies and advised insurers about related issues including bad faith allegations, other insurance, and policy limits demands.

Laura’s insurance experience includes the following types of coverages:

  • Commercial General Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Directors and Officers
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Commercial Auto
  • Umbrella and Excess
  • Property

Laura regularly evaluates coverage for claims involving attorney and real estate broker errors and omissions, habitability, construction defects, products liability (including asbestos), and environmental concerns.  Recently, Laura has addressed emerging coverage issues relating to technology, privacy, and alleged clean-up and business interruption losses due to avian flu. 


Laura has been appointed to the California State Bar’s Committee on Group Insurance Programs for a three-year term.  The Committee advises the State Bar about its sponsored insurance programs available to member attorneys. 

Laura also is a member of the Defense Research Institute’s Insurance Law Committee. 

Before Nicolaides

Prior to joining Nicolaides, Laura was a partner in the insurance practice group of a large national law firm. Laura was a judicial extern for the California Court of Appeal during law school and began her legal career at an insurance coverage boutique firm in San Francisco.

Outside Nicolaides

Laura has held volunteer positions with a variety of schools and other organizations, including the Family Law Center’s TRO Clinic and the San Francisco Library’s adult literacy program.  Laura also volunteers with First Graduate in San Francisco which helps students working to be the first in their family to graduate from college.

  • Advised insurers regarding coverage under commercial general liability policies for new exposures relating to "hacking" and other cyber-risks.
  • Evaluated intellectual property infringement claims in the U.S and Europe, including the scope of "Coverage B," choice of law, and related issues.
  • Drafted unusual claims-made policy endorsement, with the goal of ensuring the intended effect upon priority of coverage in situations involving multiple claims.
  • Successfully resolved coverage, allocation and bad faith allegations for insurer client at mediation.
  • Conducted claims audits to aid insurers in complying with claims-handling regulations, considering other available insurance, and developing strategies to resolve complex matters.
  • Successfully served as coverage and monitoring counsel for London-market insurers with respect to lawyers' professional liability and other programs.
  • Handled first-party real and personal property claims through appraisal.


  • Co-Presenter, "New Strategies for the New Year," January 2017
  • Update Author, CEB’s California Liability Insurance Practice: Claims and Litigation, Ch. 23, Contribution, Subrogation and Indemnity, 2015
  • Coauthor, Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Compendium, Defense Research Institute (DRI) Seminar 2014