Patrick Begos

Patrick W. Begos


Patrick W. Begos


  • Overview


    Pat Begos is a member of the firm's Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation Group. He has almost 30 years of litigation, arbitration, mediation, and negotiation experience, representing companies and individuals in a wide array of commercial disputes. 

    Pat has represented clients in cases with high financial stakes, such as a feud among several countries over ownership of $70 million in Roman silver, claims regarding defective nuclear power plant components, and a $23 million breach of contract dispute.

    Employee and Group Benefits Litigation

    Pat handles claims, litigation, and appeals related to group welfare benefits, pension benefits, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), health insurance, disability insurance, and life insurance coverage.

    He is known nationally for his representation of employers, insurers, and plans in ERISA and employee welfare plan litigation, and has litigated hundreds of ERISA cases, shaping the development of ERISA case law in multiple jurisdictions.

    Pat prevailed in a key ERISA case, Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., which went to the U.S. Supreme Court and resolved a national issue over the enforceability of time limits on an individual’s ability to sue for benefits after being denied.

    He is a regular speaker on ERISA litigation topics, and has written extensively for various nationwide publications. He is also the editor of the firm's ERISA Claim Defense Blog.

    Commercial and Business Litigation

    Pat has broad experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in commercial and business litigation, including recovering a $23 million summary judgment against hedge fund owners for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and deceptive trade practices.

    Pat has represented banks, investors, factors, and other lenders in lending and investment disputes. He advises and represents owners of family-owned and closely-held businesses in management and ownership disputes. He has regularly handled litigation involving real property development and conveyance, art and antiquities, specialty insurance coverage, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

    Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, he was the head of Begos Brown & Green's ERISA and Contract Dispute groups for 18 years.

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Employee and Group Benefits Litigation

      • Obtained first ruling nationwide holding that COVID test providers cannot assert a private right of action for payment under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

      • Successfully obtained dismissal of ERISA benefit claim due to expiration of a contractual limitations period, and had that dismissal affirmed on appeal, in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co.. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit’s decision, resolving a conflict among Circuit Courts regarding the interplay between contractual limitations provisions and case law regarding accrual of ERISA claims.

      • Obtained appellate ruling that an insurer’s dual status as both claims reviewer and payor did not establish per se good cause to allow the introduction of evidence outside the administrative record in Locher v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America. The case has had broad implications for procedures in ERISA matters.

      • Convinced appellate court that district court could preclude all discovery in an ERISA claim where the plaintiff did not establish good cause to seek evidence outside the administrative record. 

      • Represented insurer in multiple appeals and a remand regarding question whether alleged delegation of authority to determine claims to an affiliate precluded arbitrary and capricious review of the claim.

      • Represented multiple insurers in claims where disputes centered on question of whether a disability was due to a mental illness or a physical cause, such as traumatic brain injury or “chronic” Lyme disease.

      • Defeated claim that a disability was not due to intentionally self-inflicted injuries where alleged aim of attempted suicide was death, not disabling injuries.

      • Obtained defendant’s federal jury verdict in claim by the principal of one of the country’s largest Social Security Disability law firms that he qualified for disability benefits.

      • Obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal, finding that an ERISA claim administrator does not have a fiduciary obligation to evaluate whether LTD plan terms conformed to current medical standards. The lower court and the appellate court both ruled that it was reasonable for the plan in question to state that a mental illness is any disorder classified in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), because the DSM is an objective and widely accepted authority.


      • Obtained summary judgment dismissing claim that decision awarding SSDI benefits, which was obtained with the assistance of the disability insurer, estopped the insurer from denying claim for disability benefits under group policy.

      • Commercial and Business Litigation

      • Recovered $23 million summary judgment against hedge fund owners for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and deceptive trade practices. Represented same clients in connection with federal criminal forfeiture by defendants, as well as receivership proceedings brought by Securities and Exchange Commission.

      • Won over $500,000 jury verdict in 2016 jury trial for breach of contract related to client’s real property acquisition.

      • Obtained court-directed defense verdict prior to the close of plaintiff’s case (based on admissions obtained in cross-examination of plaintiff) in 2014 jury trial involving a dispute over joint venture to share profits generated by financing taxi medallion loans in commercial paper market.

      • Represented specialty pharmaceutical company in insurance coverage dispute arising out of losses incurred from an employee’s participation in a multi-million dollar prescription drug diversion scheme.

      • Successfully represented wholesale food distributor and grocery store financier in multi-state dispute regarding seizure of multiple grocery stores in New York and Connecticut following defaults.

      • Represented auction house in dispute with multiple sovereign countries over ownership of $70 million in Roman silver.

      • Litigated dispute over alleged improper sale of one of the original printings of the Declaration of Independence.

      • Represented manufacturer in disputes with multiple electric utilities over allegedly defective component in nuclear power plants.

      • Successfully replevied diverse assets, including collectible cars, race horses, retail stores and computer equipment, for various clients.

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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      Connecticut Bar Association

      American Bar Association

      New York State Bar Association

      Defense Research Institute
      Chair of Strategic Planning Subcommittee
      Past Program Chair of 2019 DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Conference
      Past Program Vice Chair of 2018 DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Conference.
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Listed in Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star for Connecticut in the areas of ERISA and Employment since 2020.

      Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Litigation-Insurance for 2024 and 2023. 

      AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell™ (Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings is a trademark. AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc.)

      Recognized by Corporate Counsel magazine as a member of "Go-To" Firm for Unum Group

      Recognized by Connecticut Law Tribune as “Dozen Who Made a Difference.” 

    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      School Governance Council at Brien McMahon High School

      Senators' Success Fund
      Former Member

      Rowayton Beach Association
      Former President

      Shakespeare on the Sound
      Board Member

      United Church of Rowayton
      Chair of Board of Household Concerns
    • Publications


      "Emergency Laws and Private Rights of Action," published in For the Defense (June 2022)
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      "Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process (ABA, 3d ed. 2022)," (4/28/2022)
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      "Insurance Policy Rescission Compendium, Connecticut," co-authored with Gregory J. Bennici, published by the Defense Research Institute (DRI) (March 2019)
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      "Stock plans do not substitute for an ERISA plan," published in Employee Benefit Adviser (4/5/2018)

      "The Probate Exception to Federal Jurisdiction," published in For the Defense, co-authored with Gregory J. Bennici (August 2017)
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      "Personal Jurisdiction under ERISA: Forget About Minimum Contacts," published in DRI ERISA Report (12/20/2016)

      "Sorry, I Can’t Write This Article," published in GP Solo (January/February 2014)

      "Defenses to Offensive Collateral Estoppel," published in DRI Today (June 2011)

      "How to Seize Stuff," published in GP Solo (July-August 2010)

      "Carefully Balanced By Design: Using Congressional Policy to Persuade the Court," published in DRI For The Defense (September 2008)

      "Worst Case Scenarios From the Files of an Employee Benefit Plan Litigator," published in Corporate Counsel (October 2007)

      "Me and My Elmo: A Middle-Tech Approach to Presentation of Evidence," published in Defense Research Institute (Fall 2007)

      "The Subprime Lending Crisis: What Does it Mean to the Leasing Industry?" published in Equipment Leasing Newsletter - American Lawyer Media (May 2007)

      "The Virtual Law Firm," published in GP Solo (July-August 2003)

      "A Map To The Minefield: Discovering and Minimizing Business Litigation Risk," published in CBIA News (June 1999)

    • Presentations


      "Disability 101," (7/25/2022)
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      "COVID Testing Fee Disputes," as part of the 2022 DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee (5/18/2022)
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      "What Every Litigator Should Know About ERISA," (2/12/2021)
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      "Defense Research Institute's (DRI) Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA seminar," in Chicago Illinois (4/3/2019 - 4/5/2019)
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      "ERISA Remedies: Key Enforcement Provisions and Scope of Equitable Relief for Benefit Claims—Statutory and Plan Provision Violations, Section 502(a)(1)(B), Relief Under 502(a)(3), Limiting Equitable Remedies," live CLE webinar, presented by by Strafford (11/27/2018)
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      "The New DOL Disability Claim Regulations," presented during DRI's Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA seminar in Boston, Massachusetts (4/11/2018)
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      "A View from the Inside Looking Out," at the Defense Research Institute's (DRI) annual Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Conference in Chicago (4/26/2017)
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      "Risk Management and Litigation Issues Arising Out of the January 2017 Amendments to ERISA Disability Claim Regulations," co-presented with Theodore J. Tucci (January 2017)
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      "The Fiduciary Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege in ERISA Cases and Other Ethical Considerations," at American Conference Institute (October 2016)

      "Enforcement of ERISA Plan Limitation Provisions in the Post-Heimeshoff World," at American Conference Institute (October 2015)

      "Disability Law Update," at Defense Research Institute, Life Health Disability & ERISA Conference (April 2015)

      "I Write the Rules that Make the Whole Claim Untimely - Supreme Court Holds in Heimeshoff that Contractual Statutes of Limitations Under an ERISA Plan are Controlling," at Practicing Law Institute (January 2014)

      "The Supreme Court: Hartford’s Heimeshoff Case and other Noteworthy Developments," at The Hartford Legal Summit (September 2013)

      "ERISA Equitable Remedies After McCutchen and Amara," at Stafford (July 2013)

      "Advanced ERISA Claim Handling," at Defense Research Institute, Life Health Disability & ERISA Conference (April 2013)

      "Practical Evidence," at ABA National Solo and Small Firm Conference (October 2010)

      "How to Expand Your Practice Areas," at ABA National Solo and Small Firm Conference (October 2009)

      "Preventing, Managing, and Reducing Costs Associated With Disability Claims Litigation," at American Conference Institute (2009)

      "ERISA Claim Litigation 101," at Connecticut Bar Association (2008)

      "Taking it to the House: Law Firm Management," at ABA National Convention (2008)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • June 20, 2022

        Patrick Begos Writes For the Defense Article on Pandemic Emergency Laws and Private Rights of Action

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      • May 6, 2019

        Greg Bennici and Pat Begos Co-Author Chapter in 2019 DRI Rescission Compendium

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      • April 8, 2019

        Pat Begos, Jeannine Jacobson and Ted Tucci Speak at DRI Seminar

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      • December 4, 2018

        Pat Begos Presents Webinar on ERISA Remedies

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      • April 17, 2018

        Pat Begos Presents on the New DOL Disability Claim Regulations During Annual DRI Seminar

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      • August 21, 2017

        Patrick Begos and Greg Bennici Co-author Article Published in For the Defense

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      • March 15, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Conduct Roundtable on Claims Litigation

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      R+C News Releases

      • October 10, 2023

        Robinson+Cole Recognized in 2024 Edition of Benchmark Litigation

      • August 17, 2023

        78 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024

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      • September 30, 2022

        Robinson+Cole Recognized by Benchmark Litigation

      • August 18, 2022

        74 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2023

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      • October 7, 2021

        Robinson+Cole Recognized by Benchmark Litigation

      • October 8, 2020

        Robinson+Cole Recognized in Benchmark Litigation

      • October 2, 2019

        Robinson+Cole Recognized by Benchmark Litigation

      • January 3, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Welcomes New Litigation Partner

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    • Legal Updates/Newsletters

      Legal Updates/Newsletters

      "New EBSA Relief Notice Affects Extension of ERISA Claim Deadlines" co-authored with Jean E. Tomasco (3/5/2021)

      "EBSA Notice and COBRA Extension Expiration" co-authored with Virginia E. McGarrity, Jean E. Tomasco, Alisha N. Sullivan and Bruce B. Barth (3/1/2021)

      "COVID-19: EBSA Notice and Final Rule Regarding Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefits Plans" (5/1/20)