Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order
by firm name.
Insurance - Illinois
THE FIRM This Chicago policyholder group has been involved in a number of high-value insurance recovery disputes on behalf of its clients. For example, the team recently acted for General Growth Properties on the recovery of over $100 million losses arising from damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Other key clients include Georgia-Pacific, First Bank & Trust Co. of Illinois and the City of Chicago.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Adam Hollander takes a lead role on many of the firm's most significant insurance disputes, particularly in professional liability and business interruption claims. He has recently continued his involvement in the firm's high-value representation of Georgia-Pacific.
THE FIRM This specialist insurance firm is known and respected for its longstanding representation of the insurance industry on both a domestic and international basis. The team offers expertise across a range of insurance areas including direct insurance, reinsurance and professional liability. The group also has a prominent presence in construction and transport insurance claims.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Bates is known as a "tough, smart and very tenacious lawyer" among commentators. He handles a range of reinsurance and insurance coverage disputes on behalf of domestic and international clients.
Founding partner Scott Carey handles coverage, reinsurance and professional liability claims. According to sources, he is "smart, responsive and an excellent lawyer."
Maria Enriquez has a broad practice which takes in international arbitrations relating to sophisticated Bermuda Form issues as well as general liability and commercial insurance disputes.
THE FIRM This firm is known for its deep experience and expertise in reinsurance dispute resolution. The team regularly acts on behalf of various insurers and reinsurers, and has an impressive client list including Argonaut Insurance and CIGNA. It recently resolved a major case on behalf of Clearwater Insurance and Hudson Insurance against a commutation plan. Clients are particularly impressed by the firm's cost-effectiveness and customer service.
Sources say: "An excellent firm – highly skilled and experienced in reinsurance disputes."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Reinsurance expert James Rubin is described as "one of the deans of this area," and has been involved in various complex matters, including the representation of Liberty Mutual in a landmark case against AIG. According to commentators, he has "very deep knowledge and experience" and "conducts himself like a gentleman."
Ira Belcove has been instrumental in several high-value reinsurance matters and has particular skill in arbitrations. Sources say he is "an excellent, quality lawyer who takes the time to properly understand the specific issues involved, is easily reachable and responsive."
Robert Hermes is known in the field for his expertise in arbitration and litigation. In the past year he steered a plaintiff client through the complexities of its multimillion-dollar case against a reinsurer.
Catherine Isely is described by sources as "a highly skilled professional." Her extensive experience in reinsurance defense work has cemented her place as an expert litigator and arbitrator in the field.
Julie Rodriguez Aldort is commended for her ability to "cut to the heart of the issue" and for her commercial approach. She has recently acted for TIG in a reinsurance case against AIU Insurance of more than $22 million.
Client favorite Teresa Snider "is always well briefed and well organized and seems to take inordinate amounts of hard work and planning in her stride." She notably worked on the Clearwater Insurance and Hudson Insurance reinsurance matter.
THE FIRM The Chicago group at this well-regarded national practice is known for its comprehensive litigation experience in complex matters as well as upholding the firm's longstanding tradition in regulatory issues. The dispute resolution arm has been involved in a range of coverage, mass tort and insurance bad faith claims on behalf of major insurers such as The Travelers Companies and Chartis. On the transactional and regulatory side, the team has dealt with insurance M&A and complex insolvency issues.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Johnson focuses on complex insurance disputes and is regarded by commentators as "a very tough but reasonable advocate." He has recently represented MMIC and Chartis in coverage litigation, as well as acting for Travelers on a range of asbestos, toxic tort and environmental cases.
Coverage litigator Donna Vobornik has represented insurance companies in a variety of environmental cases across the country, particularly on behalf of major insurer Travelers. Peers respect her expertise in this arena and identify her as a target for referrals.
Transactional and regulatory specialist Corinne Carr regularly represents insurance and reinsurance companies in sophisticated issues. She has recently been involved in a number of regulatory issues on behalf of major insurance brokers and property and casualty insurers.
THE FIRM This household name has a broad insurance and reinsurance practice across the world, with a deep level of transactional and regulatory expertise in Chicago. The team regularly advises industry clients on both local and international insurance and reinsurance regulations. As well as acting for insurers and reinsurers, the firm also advises financial institutions and government officials on regulatory issues.
Sources say: "The firm is excellent; it has done an exemplary job representing us on all transactions to date."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stephen Schwab is praised by commentators for being "very attentive to the client's needs and good on strategy." He recently worked on behalf of SCOR in the $55 million sale of Investors Insurance Corporation to Athene Holding.
"Excellent lawyer" David Mendelsohn regularly handles a range of reinsurance transactional and regulatory matters. He also counsels clients on a range of risk management issues and investigations.
THE FIRM This firm's Chicago insurance team is regularly involved in a range of high-stakes insurance and reinsurance disputes. The team has recently been involved in a number of matters on behalf of various members of ACE Group including Century Indemnity and Pacific Employers Insurance. Other key clients include AIG, Munich American Reassurance and Excalibur Reinsurance.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Haab is renowned for his skill in litigation and regularly deals with significant insurance cases including issues such as asbestos and silica losses. He is described by sources as "a very fine reinsurance practitioner."
Neal Moglin's expertise lies in life/health and property/casualty insurance disputes. He is held in high regard by sources, who say: "You're in safe hands with Neal. He knows what he's doing."
Gail Goering maintains an international practice and advises clients on a range of issues, including property/casualty and life/health reinsurance contracts. She has a particularly strong focus on life insurance.
THE FIRM This internationally recognized insurance practice has a prominent Chicago presence in coverage claims on behalf of policyholders. The firm has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in various high-value matters in the past year, including working on Fiserv Solutions's case against XL Specialty Insurance. Major clients include American Electric Power and Kellogg.
Sources say: "There is no comparison – they are excellent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "Really great lawyer" John Mathias receives praise from peers and clients for his skill as a trial lawyer. He recently represented Fiserv Solutions in its case against XL Specialty Insurance.
Christopher Dickinson has recently worked on behalf of HSBC against Princeton Eagle West relating to a securities fraud case. According to clients, he is "great at strategy, a great brief writer and very calm against aggressive lawyers on the other side."
THE FIRM This market-leading firm has a wealth of experience in disputes involving sophisticated insurance programs and high-stakes coverage litigation involving a range of professional and product liability claims among other issues. Key policyholder clients include Abbott Laboratories, Boeing and Aon. The practice has recently acted in coverage litigation for Viking Pump against multiple insurers regarding liability claims for asbestos products.
Sources say: "These guys will travel anywhere and do consistently great work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nader Boulos worked on behalf of TOUSA against 12 D&O insurers in a high-value coverage action. Sources recommend him as "a very skillful litigator and strategist who is extremely smart and creative and very responsive."
Michael Foradas is known for being "a fantastic lawyer and good litigator who gives good business advice." He has a specific focus on insurance coverage as part of a broad litigation practice.
THE FIRM This firm has a large transactional and regulatory practice which demonstrates a capacity to handle the most complex insurance issues. The firm also maintains an impressive dispute resolution group, with deep expertise in both direct insurance and reinsurance. Both arms of the insurance department have a diverse range of clients, including Humana, Berkshire Hathaway and Brit Insurance. The group continues to cultivate its links with the healthcare industry, particularly through its transactional dealings.
Sources say: "The go-to firm for underwriters."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nick DiGiovanni chairs the reinsurance and insurance litigation practice in Chicago and remains a firm favorite with insurance clients due to his familiarity with the industry. Sources say: "Nick is very experienced and has seen all of the problems that the industry has faced. He has tried dozens of cases and his skill set is complete for that. He is accessible and easy to talk to."
Regulatory and transactional insurance group cochair Jon Biasetti recently advised Humana on its acquisition of Arcadian Management Services. He has deep expertise in the full range of corporate issues, while peers commend his good reputation for customer service.
Paige Waters specializes in insurance regulation and is held in excellent regard for her handling of the most sophisticated issues. Sources consider her to be "very good on regulatory insurance and very practical," while noting that "she has good relationships with a lot of regulators."
Jay Kallas works on a broad range of insurance-related transactions and acts on behalf of a variety of clients, including offshore reinsurance companies and property-casualty insurers. Sources comment that "he is very knowledgeable, has a good work ethic and is motivated."
THE FIRM This large Chicago team is noted for its expertise in transactional and regulatory insurance matters. Links with the firm's international insurance team coupled with extensive expertise in corporate matters means it is equipped to deal with a wide range of complex insurance transactions.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Edward Best receives accolades from sources who describe him as "excellent, a good communicator and an extremely hard worker." His experience in insurance transactions is backed by his expertise in corporate and capital markets deals.
Larry Hamilton's international practice focuses on the regulatory compliance of insurance companies. Sources commend his attention to detail and deep knowledge of the industry.
THE FIRM This well-established Chicago insurance group centers its practice around insurance dispute resolution, and has a dedicated focus on professional and general liability claims, construction defect matters and reinsurance arbitrations. The firm regularly acts for some of the most prominent insurers in the country including Zurich, Farmers and Allstate.
Sources say: "On the insurance carrier side, a firm that really deserves note is Meckler Bulger. They are just terrific."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Marick focuses on complex insurance coverage cases and appeals. Sources regard him as "a guy that's worked hard and developed himself into one of the most sophisticated insurance coverage guys in Chicago." He has recently represented Zurich in various high-value insurance coverage and litigation matters.
Scott Seaman is respected for his expertise in bad faith and reinsurance matters as well as complex insurance coverage cases. He has recently been involved in a series of significant litigation matters and reinsurance arbitrations.
"Brilliant trial lawyer" James Kallianis is experienced in professional liability cases and has represented a variety of clients including accountants, insurance brokers and lawyers.
THE FIRM This impressive policyholder practice is held in high regard for its prominent work in contentious matters including litigation, arbitration and mediation. The team regularly acts for clients from a range of industrial sectors, with particular recent activity on behalf of Ameren in the energy industry. Other major clients include ExxonMobil, Waste Management and Alliant Credit Union.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice chair Jill Berkeley is hailed as "an outstanding lawyer with encyclopedic knowledge of case law." She is known for her extensive expertise across the full range of insurance coverage disputes.
Angela Elbert is considered by sources to be "a very tough litigator, but reasonable at the same time. She works hard to find solutions to problems and is very knowledgeable in this area." She is well versed in all manner of insurance disputes, and has recently acted on behalf of Euromarket Designs and Keeley Asset Management.
THE FIRM The Chicago arm of this large insurance group deals in arbitration and litigation on behalf of policyholders as well as in nonlitigation matters, including advising on risk management, negotiation and insolvency actions. The firm also handles reinsurance claims and has expertise in the niche area of cyber risk coverage. The firm's client list includes Dow Chemical and Union Carbide, and it recently represented Cargill in a coverage litigation case concerning property damage and personal injury claims.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marc Rosenthal has a broad practice which takes in insurance coverage litigation, insurance company formation and M&A. He is noted as a "very skilled counselor with very strong practice judgment."
Paul Langer is hailed by sources as "a very strong litigator and adviser on policy issues." He has extensive experience in coverage litigation and in litigation concerning healthcare entities, managed care claims and IP.
Steven Gilford has been involved in a number of major asbestos matters and has deep experience in all areas of coverage litigation. According to one source, "Steven must be one of the most sensible people I've ever met. He's got excellent judgment."
THE FIRM More than 20 lawyers make up the Chicago arm of this leading international practice, which specializes in representing policyholders in coverage disputes concerning a variety of commercial insurance products. Recent cases have concerned asbestos liability matters, mortgage insurance litigation, property damage and product recall claims. Bank of America/Countrywide is part of the firm's impressive client list and retains the team in high-value mortgage insurance matters.
Sources say: "There's a small community of insurance claims lawyers out there in the market and Reed Smith's are right up there. They know the people involved, know the issues and are responsive and pleasant."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The focus of John Shugrue's practice is on acting for major policyholders, in both domestic and international matters. He has recently been representing Anadarko in ongoing high-value claims concerning the 2010 Gulf oil spill. Sources describe him as "bright, dedicated and encyclopedic" in his practice.
James Davis regularly represents Fortune 500 companies in a range of insurance coverage disputes. He is experienced in handling the intricacies of sophisticated litigation and has expertise in innovative areas including global warming coverage and data privacy.
The "experienced and bright" Thomas Marrinson specializes in professional and fiduciary liability insurance, and first-party property/business interruption insurance.
John Vishneski "has drive, is very bright and gets great results in his cases," according to continually impressed sources. Complex insurance coverage litigation cases lie at the heart of his nationwide practice and his experience spans environmental and toxic torts liability.
Carolyn Rosenberg is a "well-known and respected lawyer" who specializes in developing areas of insurance coverage, including data privacy and cloud computing. She maintains a strong reputation for her work both in mediation and in litigation.
Stanley Nardoni is recognized as an experienced professional in coverage litigation with a particular focus on antitrust, IP and environmental claims.
Paul Walker-Bright works predominantly on behalf of corporate policyholders in complex insurance recovery and litigation. He was recently involved in representing Tribune Company in the insurance aspects of a bankruptcy matter.
THE FIRM This practice focuses on a range of corporate, litigation and regulatory matters within an insurance context, but earns particular recognition in Illinois for reinsurance. The team has recently been involved in a number of reinsurance disputes, especially in the areas of toxic and asbestos torts, workers' compensation and London market arbitrations.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources say David Spector is the person to call on "if you're looking for someone that can do it all, someone that's bright, articulate and dedicated and who has the complete set of skills." As well as leading the way in reinsurance, he is also vastly experienced in insurer solvency and coverage litigation.
Antony Burt has a particular focus on reinsurance and insurance insolvency, but also handles complex litigation including professional liability disputes.
Dennis LaGory has deep expertise and experience in reinsurance issues as part of a broad practice which also incorporates professional liability and coverage litigation.
THE FIRM This international firm has a large reinsurance dispute resolution department which handles a range of domestic and cross-jurisdictional claims. The practice also includes a dedicated insurance and financial services team which acts for a variety of clients on the full range of transactional and regulatory issues. The group is known as a market leader in catastrophe bond transactions, having continued to be involved in a number of such matters recently.
Sources say: "They are fine lawyers who are consistently good."
KEY INDIVIDUALS William Sneed is known for his methodical and analytical approach to reinsurance disputes, with sources describing him as "a very effective advocate." Recently, he successfully defended a claim at trial on behalf of TIG brought by Transport Insurance.
The "brilliant" Susan Stone is known for her strong links with the insurance industry. She has recently been involved in matters for key client Trustmark, in addition to various arbitration cases.
Thomas Cunningham is "energetic with a good demeanor – he has a very strong set of people skills." He recently succeeded in defending Transatlantic Reinsurance in a matter brought against it by Allstate.
Daniel Neppl is commended by sources for being "very secure in his own skill set and confident without being arrogant – bright, articulate and absolutely committed." He has been involved in a number of recent reinsurance arbitrations.
Insurance and financial services group cochair Michael Goldman is known for being a "hard-working and bright" lawyer. In the past twelve months he led the team in a $3.4 billion matter on behalf of Transatlantic surrounding regulatory issues arising from its proposed merger with Allied World Assurance.
Perry Shwachman co-heads the insurance and financial services team. He recently represented Liberty Life Insurance in a reinsurance matter involving $3.1 billion of liabilities.
Michael Pinsel represents the insurance industry in a range of transactional and regulatory matters. He has been particularly active in a number of catastrophe bond transactions.
"Fine regulatory lawyer" Kenneth Wylie is well known for his deep experience across the range of insurance regulatory matters. He has been involved in the firm's advice to the insurance industry on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act.
Anthony Ribaudo recently represented UBS in a $397 million Regulation A-XXX letter of credit solution matter for Pacific Life Insurance. His broad practice also takes in securities, M&A and private equity.
THE FIRM The Chicago office of this established national insurance practice handles a range of disputes on behalf of the industry. It is particularly involved in high-value coverage disputes for major insurance companies including The Travelers Companies, XL and Chubb Group. The team has maintained its longstanding relationship with CNA insurance companies, exemplified by its recent representation of Columbia Casualty in bad faith claims.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rebecca Ross is held in high regard by commentators thanks to her expertise across a range of insurance issues. She took a lead on the firm's bad faith work for Columbia Casualty, and also handles environmental and asbestos mass torts.
David Cutter remains popular with clients thanks to his broad litigation experience. He recently played a key role in the firm's nationwide representation of XL subsidiary Indian Harbor Insurance.
Also at Freeborn & Peters, Mark Goodman handles transactional and regulatory insurance matters including large M&A deals on behalf of major insurance companies. Sources describe him as "a quality lawyer and person."
Joe McCullough of Freeborn & Peters LLP is known for reinsurance dispute work both locally and internationally. Peers note that "his business is reinsurance and he has done well in this niche."
Thomas Jones of McDermott Will & Emery LLP has a tax background which has informed his successful insurance regulatory practice concerning captive insurance. He acts for a variety of clients, including joint ventures, healthcare providers and trade associations.
Paula Litt of Schopf & Weiss LLP frequently represents corporate clients in insurance recovery disputes. According to commentators she is "savvy, smart and understands the practicality of cases."