Tristan Swanson is a commercial litigator focused on preventing and resolving insurance coverage and construction disputes. He frequently litigates claims against the world’s largest insurers, resulting in successful outcomes valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. His subject matter expertise has made him one of the most sought-after coverage attorneys nationwide and, simultaneously, he maintains a robust, multi-state construction practice. Tristan’s litigation work results in successful recoveries and his transactional work ensures that the necessity for these recoveries is avoided in the first place.
Tristan has frequently been able to settle disputes at their earliest stages by cutting to the chase, providing accurate, comprehensive risk analyses, and deploying the appropriate leverage to get the job done. Tristan’s clients are not professional litigants—they are companies and individuals who want to make the best decisions relative to their dispute(s) and find ways to avoid the dispute next time.
Tristan is regularly invited to speak on topics related to insurance coverage and construction. He is widely recognized as a thought leader on topics such as business income loss coverage, construction defect litigation, and trends and new developments in the insurance and construction industries.
Insurance Coverage Plus
Assisted commercial policyholders in recovering tens of millions of dollars from builder’s risk policies issued by Lloyd’s of London syndicate insurers.
Defended multiple national insurance brokerages against malpractice claims by proving that the coverage placed was, in fact, owed to the policyholder.
Resolved a multitude of cyber liability claims on behalf of commercial policyholders.
Obtained millions of dollars of indemnity from EPL, MGL, CGL and E&O carriers on behalf of non-profit and for-profit organizations caught up in long-tail abuse/molestation litigation.
Successfully litigated more than a hundred breach of duty to defend/breach of duty to settle cases.
Ensured that hundreds of developer and contractor clients paid nothing to settle construction defect cases by forcing their Commercial General Liability carriers to pay the indemnity amounts necessary to achieve resolution.
Achieved an advantageous settlement for two Washington contractors in multistate litigation arising from the construction of the Apple “Spaceship” campus.
Obtained a high-six-figure payment on a Miller Act payment bond claim without filing suit.
Assisted a site-work contractor in foreclosing on a six-figure mechanic’s lien against a prominent Washington developer.
Helped to resolve multiple lawsuits brought by and against contractors resulting from public works contracts.
- Washington State Bar Association, Member
- Construction Law Section
- University of Washington School of Law, Moot Court Honor Board, Advisory Member
- Associated General Contractors of America, Washington Chapter, Member
- Risk Insurance Management Society, Member
- Global Chapter, Member
- Washington Chapter, Member
- Downtown Seattle YMCA, Board of Managers, Former Member
- Queen Anne Little League, Coach
- Selected for inclusion as a Washington Super Lawyer, 2023-present
- Selected as a Rising Star, 2015-2022
Outside the Office
Tristan enjoys camping in the San Juan Islands, reading good fiction and, when his kids allow, going out for interesting food and wine. While he can barely hold a golf club, he’ll never say no to pick-up basketball, soccer, table tennis or disc golf.