This Women in Subro blog series highlights powerhouse women in the industry while discussing leadership, management, and success in subrogation. In our interview with Cheri MacArthur, Chair of the Rocky Mountain Region of Cozen O’Connor’s Subrogation & Recovery Department and Office Managing Partner of the Denver office, we recognize and appreciate that she is homegrown and hardworking.
Cheri has been with the firm for 13 years. Accolades, awards and titles don’t seem to interest her; she is humbly “just Cheri” and “just doing her job.” Well, to us that means she hit the ground running and worked her way up to being one of two female shareholders in the department, handling large caseloads, including wildfires, and caring for her family.
Q: When you were a child, what was your dream job?
A: I wanted to be an attorney from a young age, as I loved to argue.
Q: If you were not where you are today, what would you be doing?
A: If irrespective of talent, then I would want to be a backup dancer for a pop artist. No singing.
Q: How do you describe subrogation to friends and family?
A: Subrogation is the process by which we seek to assign fault to a responsible party. It is easily illustrated with a car accident scenario – “If you were rear-ended, do you want your insurance company to pay for the damages, or the person who hit you.” Each time we are pursuing that responsible party, in addition to obtaining reimbursement for our insurer clients, we are hoping that next time the at-fault party will be more cognizant of their conduct, whether that is performing construction services or designing a product or something else, in order to keep the public safe.
Q: What is it about subro that catches your attention and keeps you interested?
A: It makes watching the news more exciting. If we get an early referral from a client, I might have some insight on the story. If not, I am curious if that is the new file that will hit my desk the next day.
Every day is different and interactive. I like to go out in the field, make personal connections with insureds, clients, experts, court personnel, and opposing counsel.
Subro is also a constant learning process. I get to learn more about specialty fields with each case.
Q: What does Cozen do well?
A: We are a full-service law firm so attorneys in our department can obtain advice on tangential issues. For example, we can run issues regarding the at-fault party’s liability coverage by our Global Insurance Defense attorneys, or insolvency issues of targets to those attorneys in our Bankruptcy department.
Q: What are your strengths?
A: Creativity and tenacity. I do not hesitate to work on challenging files and serve as a strong advocate for clients.
Q: How have you excelled in the industry?
A: Success is in knowing the industry, knowing the law, the ability to deliver consistent results, working hard, sacrifice, and timing. I am grateful to Cozen O’Connor for providing me with the opportunities and support to be successful.
Q: What is one of your greatest professional accomplishments?
A: Working with one of our local experts to identify defects in cooking ranges and develop theories of recovery to pursue the manufacturers. I was working up several range fires and was about to abandon pursuit of subrogation because the insureds, or their pets had accidentally activated the range, but it didn’t seem right. With the clients’ permission, we performed additional investigation and pursued the claims to successful resolutions. Cozen O’Connor attorneys now regularly handle these claims. Recently, class actions have been filed by consumer groups against certain of the manufacturers. Ideally, manufacturers will begin making the range control knobs safer. In subrogation, we do not necessarily tackle national issues like environmental change, we do it from a smaller scale and hope it trickles up.
We thank Cheri MacArthur for this interview and for being a true leader in our firm and in the industry! Cheri is a leader with grit and persistence.
We leave you with Cheri’s shout out to the 1990s legal TV series “Ally McBeal”:
Stay tuned for the next post highlighting another prominent subro leader.