THE FIRM This leading firm offers plenty in terms of practice depth, with standout expertise in reinsurance, transactional and regulatory work. It has been particularly active in insurance and reinsurance disputes in the asbestos and financial litigation areas. The reinsurance team recently represented various Safeco companies in general liability disputes. On the transactional and regulatory side, the practice has acted on behalf of a series of major financial institutions, including Aegon, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.
Sources say: "Sidley's nerve center is in Chicago and it has a great group of people that work in the insurance finance space." "An outstanding firm with some very good young lawyers and some good older ones too."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "First-rate lawyer" Michael Goldman cochairs the firm's global insurance and financial services group, and dedicates his practice to transactional and regulatory insurance work. He recently represented AIG/Chartis, handling the insurance aspects of its joint venture with Best Buy.
Peers describe Perry Shwachman as "ferociously intelligent." He is a transactional and regulatory specialist, and recently represented Athene Holding in its $628.1 million acquisition of Liberty Life Insurance.
Michael Pinsel focuses his practice on insurance capital markets and alternative risk matters. He has been particularly involved in a series of catastrophe bond issues on behalf of a series of insurer clients.
Insurance regulatory specialist Kenneth Wylie has in the past year been particularly active on licensing, agency and compliance matters. He is respected in the field as an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner.
Anthony Ribaudo is active in the life insurance space, with a focus on insurance capital markets and alternative risk transfer.
On the dispute side, William Sneed is one of the most highly respected reinsurance litigators in the state. Sources describe him as "an absolute student of the business" and "a truly first-class lawyer."
Susan Stone is similarly praised by market sources, and lauded as "creative, energetic and ambitious." She also dedicates her practice to reinsurance disputes, and has recently been involved in a series of matters on behalf of Safeco companies.
Younger partner Thomas Cunningham earns positive reviews from interviewees as his profile continues to grow. "A very smart, solid lawyer," he recently represented Transatlantic in its dispute with Allstate, arising from asbestos losses.
Daniel Neppl has also impressed the market with his prowess in reinsurance disputes, particularly those involving Liberty Mutual.