Graham C. Mills


Graham Mills is a partner in the Walnut Creek office and regularly advocates on behalf of both businesses and individuals when they face issues with their insurance companies.  Graham’s practice area is focused on complex insurance law with an emphasis on insurance recovery, construction litigation, real estate litigation, and business litigation. 

Graham focuses on developing practical solutions to his clients’ needs.  Because not all disputes need to be resolved through litigation,  he has successfully negotiated settlements in multiple cases where that was in his clients’ best interest.  As part of informally resolving one such dispute without the need for litigation, Graham secured payment of his clients’ legal fees and costs from insurance companies, totaling more than $1 million. 

Graham also obtained insurance coverage for a client being sued in a class action employment lawsuit that was seeking more than $5 million.  As a result of these efforts, the insurance company paid his client’s legal bills and significantly contributed to the settlement resolving the class action employment lawsuit.

Similarly, Graham regularly counsels clients regarding risk management strategies during contract negotiations. 

Graham recently led a seven-member team to prepare case for trial, producing and reviewing more than 170,000 pages of documents, deposing multiple witnesses, and arguing key motions.

Also, Graham developed and planned litigation strategy to obtain insurance coverage to protect his client in a lawsuit seeking more than $100 million for damages related to a multi-unit residential construction project in Colorado.

Graham has experience representing businesses and individuals in a variety of insurance related disputes, such as toxic torts, environmental claims, construction defect claims, employment suits, business interpretation claims, and securities lawsuits.

His experience includes litigating a multi-year coverage dispute pending in California on behalf of a contractor seeking recovery of insurance proceeds from more than 30 defendant insurers for asbestos bodily injury suits.  

Currently Graham is litigating insurance coverage claims for a lawsuit pending in Louisiana seeking more than $300 million in damages related to long-term environmental damage.  His representation in that case involved him engaging in discovery in five different states.

Graham is passionate about giving back to his community through legal efforts. For example, he has litigated a property dispute on behalf of a family to enforce their historical right to walk across a field to obtain access to a family cemetery that had been continuously used by the family for decades.  Graham deposed numerous witnesses and developed a trial strategy that removed several key defenses of the landowner prior to trial.  Once those defenses had been resolved in favor of his client, Graham was able to obtain a settlement ending the litigation and securing his client’s right to use their easement.

• Author, "How One Squirrel Taught us a Surprising Amount About Insurance Investigation Lessons Learned From the Iowa Supreme Court," Newmeyer & Dillion, February 28, 2019.
• Quote Source, "One California Wildfire Bill Becomes Law but Others Are in Limbo," Insurance Insider, July 16, 2018.
• Quote Source, "25 Small Business Insurance Mistakes That Cost You Money," Fit Small Business, April 4, 2018.
• Quote Source, “What to expect from the fallout following a catastrophic jobsite incident” Construction Dive - April 2, 2018.
• Quote Source, “How Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Are Boosting Insurance Coverage to Protect Against Harassment Claims” San Francisco Business Times - April 2, 2018.
• Co-Author, "You Make a Better Wall Than A Window: Why Policyholders Can Rest Assured That Insurers Should Pay Legal Bills For Claims With Potential For Coverage," Newmeyer & Dillion, March 6, 2018.
• Author, "Buyer Beware: Primary and Excess Insurance Coverage is not Always Coextensive," Newmeyer & Dillion, March 29, 2016.
• Author, "Subcontractor Must Pay for General Contractor's Defense, Including its Litigation Mistakes, After Ignoring General Contractor's Tender Under Express Indemnity Provision," Newmeyer & Dillion, December 16, 2015.
• Author, "CLM Around the Nation: Employee Error Corrected in Duty to Defend," CLM, December 15, 2014.

Graham received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of The Law.  While there, he was awarded “Best Oral Argument” for his oral argument in his moot court class.  He received his undergraduate degree from Macalester College.

• California, 2004
• United States District Court, Eastern District of California
• United States District Court, Northern District of California

• Bar Association of Contra Costa County

Graham enjoys travel, films, and learning about scotch.