Karen Y. Bonvalot
Shareholder and Director
28th Floor, Two PNC Plaza
620 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Ms. Bonvalot is a Shareholder and Director of the firm and is a member of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Services and Litigation Services Groups. Ms. Bonvalot is actively involved in insurance coverage matters as well as matters relating to advising and litigating issues faced by local universities. The remainder of her practice principally has been devoted to litigation involving family and closely held business disputes.
With respect to insurance coverage, Ms. Bonvalot litigates claims relating to business policies, such as director and officer liability, fiduciary responsibility, employment practices liability and professional error and omissions policies. During the past ten years, Ms. Bonvalot has been lead litigation counsel in insurance coverage litigation, including declaratory judgment actions, general coverage actions and bad faith claims, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Iowa and Alaska.
She also actively consults with the firm’s Corporate practice to determine how various state and federal courts have interpreted or are likely to interpret specific policy provisions and assists in the development of strategies designed to resolve coverage issues without the need for litigation.
In the field of higher education, Ms. Bonvalot defends colleges and universities against claims raised by students seeking redress for various perceived inadequacies in the education process. She has secured four summary judgment verdicts in the last four cases instituted by students alleging some form of educational malpractice, and has defeated a student’s demand for an injunction compelling an educational institution to change a student’s grade. Ms. Bonvalot also advises and represents colleges and universities with respect to charitable pledge matters, and provides assistance for real estate transactions and securing tax-exempt status for the same.
In the business litigation arena, Ms. Bonvalot offers assistance to shareholders, members or partners of privately owned businesses that are facing ownership or other types of management disputes. She understands the additional difficulties created by these relationships, often involving companies owned and/or managed by family members, which can be exacerbated when new generations become involved in the business.
A native of Pittsburgh, Ms. Bonvalot worked for a number of years within the hospitals that now comprise the UPMC health care network before returning to school to earn her law degree.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Bonvalot was an attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC. Ms. Bonvalot was an attorney with Klett Rooney Lieber & Schorling when it merged with Buchanan in 2006. There, she oversaw the Summer Associate Committee and was a member of the Recruiting Committee.