Ashlee M. Knuckey is a Partner in Locke Lord’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice group and Leader of the Firm’s Food, Beverage & Cosmetics industry group. She is also a member of the Firm's Board of Directors. Ashlee has been recognized as an Emerging Lawyer by Leading LawyerSM for Commercial Litigation and Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law (2015-2020) and as a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers (2018-2019).
Ashlee focuses her practice on complex litigation and arbitration, including handling matters involving breach of commercial contracts, fiduciary duty and/or the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraudulent transfers, unfair business practices, successor liability, competition/antitrust issues, regulatory compliance and enforcement issues and all manner of insurance and health care disputes involving loss-sensitive insurance programs, insolvency issues and Medicare/Medicaid issues. She represents clients throughout the country in state and federal courts, arbitrations, mediations, and before state and federal regulatory agencies. She has experience with all aspects of the litigation process including initial case evaluation and risk assessment, discovery, depositions, pleadings and motions, hearings, pre-trial, trial, post-trial and appeals. Ashlee has defended and prosecuted numerous multi-million dollar cases.
In addition, Ashlee handles various corporate and regulatory matters. She regularly counsels clients on antitrust, competition and other regulatory compliance issues. She also assists clients in obtaining regulatory approval of acquisitions from state insurance departments. She also drafts and negotiates a wide range of contracts, such as non-disclosure, membership and customer agreements, both up and down stream.
What sets Ashlee apart from other attorneys is her business acumen. Ashlee’s business background has given her the understanding that all companies, even when faced with legal issues, must make business decisions, and the lawyer’s role in dealing with any transactional, regulatory or litigation issue is to assist the client in weighing legal costs, benefits and risk in making such business decisions.
Ashlee was also the inaugural recipient of Locke Lord Chicago’s Mike Ditka Award.
Food & Beverage Practice
Ashlee is the Leader of the Firm’s Food, Beverage & Cosmetics industry group and regularly provides regulatory counseling concerning all manner of issues related to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). For example, she regularly provides counsel concerning labeling and claims, including those related to proper ingredient labeling and use of terms such as natural, organic, non-GMO, Made in (a particular location) and the like. In addition, Ashlee is outside general counsel to the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA).
Insurance & Health Care Practice
A large part of Ashlee’s practice involves insurance and health care-related matters. She has significant experience representing insurers, reinsurers, guaranty funds and hospital systems. A large percentage of Ashlee’s cases have involved insurance and health care disputes and arbitrations, and include complex issues surrounding the business of insurance, insurance regulatory matters, Medicare/Medicaid disputes and False Claims Act litigation. Ashlee also has experience with insurance insolvency and rehabilitation proceedings. She has handled matters across various lines of business, including property and casualty, life, health and long term care insurance.
- Regularly represents a major insurance company in breach of contract disputes in both arbitration and litigation, which to date have resulted in recoveries on negotiated settlements, arbitration awards and judgments often close to or above 100% of principal amounts owed
- Recently obtained $7.6 million allowed claim amount for national insurance company following bankruptcy court bench trial in dispute with large commercial insured
- Counsel for national health insurance company before state insurance departments to obtain approvals for proposed $38 billion and $8.7 billion transactions
- Currently arbitrating $100 million breach of contract dispute for reinsurer over long-term care insurance policies
- Partner, Locke Lord LLP (2018-Present)
- Associate, Locke Lord LLP (2010-2017)
- Law Student Clerk to the Honorable Matthew F. Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois (Jan.-May 2008)
- Extern to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois (Sept.-Dec. 2007)
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Named a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers (2018-2020)
- Member, Women’s Auxiliary Board of the Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital
- Member, The Executives’ Club of Chicago (including Food & Beverage Committee Member and Operations Committee Member)
- Inaugural Recipient, Locke Lord Chicago’s Mike Ditka Award
- Named, Emerging Lawyer by Leading LawyerSM for Commercial Litigation and Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law (2015-2020)
- Member, Coalition of Women’s Initiatives
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Chicago Bar Association