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Paul R. Walker-Bright

Partner

Education

  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, J.D., with highest honors, Order of the Coif
  • University of Chicago, B.A., with honors

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • Illinois

Paul concentrates his practice on complex litigation and insurance recovery, primarily for large corporate policyholders. He has successfully obtained recoveries on behalf of clients under a variety of insurance policies, including general liability policies and directors & officers insurance. He has also handled litigation involving environmental liability, toxic torts, commercial disputes including bankruptcy, and various pro bono matters.  Paul has been recognized by Chambers USA 2007-2014: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, stating that "he receives a wealth of endorsements from clients due to his extensive knowledge of the field” and his “professionalism and dedication to excellence.” 

Paul has represented clients of all sizes from diverse industry sectors, including public utilities, oil, transportation, news media and industrial manufacturing. He customizes his approach to the needs of every client and, having counseled both Fortune 100 corporations and single-owner businesses, he is sensitive to cost and time considerations as they apply to each. Reflecting this diverse practice, Paul is regularly involved with client personnel at every level, from senior management and general counsel to hourly workers.

At the start of every matter, Paul strives to identify clearly the client's goal. He formulates as early as possible a legal and factual theory of the case to achieve that goal, then pursues it consistently. As one example, a client seeking to maximize its cost recovery will require a different strategy from one seeking a quick resolution. Because most of his cost-recovery litigation is for large corporate policyholders, he often counsels on matters with substantial financial and economic impact.

Arbitration and mediation are important elements of Paul's cost recovery practice. He has been involved in alternative dispute resolution of directors' & officers' liability claims and other coverage issues. ADR is often a policy requirement for the large corporations that he represents, and he is frequently successful in obtaining resolutions that secure the highest possible percentage of the claims made by his clients.

Employment History

  • 2008 - Reed Smith
  • 2005 - Anderson Kill & Olick
  • 2003 - Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • 2001 - Zevnik Horton
  • 1997 - Jenner & Block
  • 1996 - Keck, Mahin & Cate
  • 1994 - Stellato & Schwartz

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in Chambers USA as one of America's leading lawyers (2014)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association

Notable Quotes

Paul has been quoted or cited as an authority on insurance law. The following are recent representative samples:

  • "Filling New Consumer Agency Post Is Just the Start Under Dodd-Frank," BNA's Daily Report for Executives (August 5, 2010)
  • "Industry Weighs In on Feds Creating Office to Watch Insurance," BestWeek (July 26, 2010)
  • "Business Exclusions Defined: Recent Liability Case is a Win for Energy Companies—Perhaps All Policyholders," Risk & Insurance (May 1, 2006)
  • "Insurers Denying Oil B.I. Claims," National Underwriter (Dec. 13, 2005)
    Armstrong Cleaners, Inc. v. Erie Ins. Exchange, 364 F. Supp.2d 797, 809 (S.D. Ind. 2005)
  • "An insurer may not reserve its rights to assert otherwise unidentified defenses with a general statement to the effect that such defenses may arise during the course of its investigation of the claim. Consequently, if the insurer fails to set forth specific defenses in its reservation of rights letter, it may be held to have waived those defenses or be estopped from asserting them at a later stage." James M. Davis and Paul Walker-Bright, Insurers' Use of Boilerplate Affirmative Defenses and Rule 11 – Where's the Outrage, 15 Coverage 1, American Bar Association Section of Litigation (January/February 2005)