Steve Whitmer is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and chairs the Chicago Litigation Department. Steve focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation and arbitration matters. Over the past twenty years, he has litigated all types of commercial disputes, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, false advertising, fraud and unfair business practices. Steve has represented clients at all levels of federal and state courts throughout the country, arbitrations, mediations and regulatory proceedings.
Many of the commercial disputes Steve handles arise from the business of insurance. His clients include insurers, reinsurers and state insurance guaranty funds. His insurance-related experience includes complex litigation and arbitrations involving RICO, consumer fraud claims and regulatory disputes. In several multi-billion dollar transactions, Steve has served as lead hearing counsel for national corporations in state insurance department approval proceedings. Steve has argued insurance disputes before the Illinois Supreme Court and state and federal appellate courts throughout the country.
In January, 2019, Steve was selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA). The LCA is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, and superior ethical reputation.
- Obtained $18.1 million verdict in a federal court jury trial for national insurance company in an alter ego action
- Secured $9 million verdict in a federal court jury trial for national insurance company in breach of contract action
- Hearing counsel for retail pharmacy/health care company before state insurance departments to obtain approvals for $69 billion transaction
- Hearing counsel for national health insurance company before state insurance departments to obtain approvals in proposed $38 billion transaction
- Hearing counsel for national health insurance company before state insurance departments to obtain approvals for $7 billion transaction
- Obtained federal court judgment against the US Department of Health and Human Services for state insurance guaranty fund in dispute over the legality of the federal government’s Medicare reimbursement demands
- Obtained injunction against the US Department of Homeland Security for national insurance company in dispute over immigration bonds
- Litigated dispute for national bank as trustee for bondholders in pursuit of $500 million claim in Wisconsin state court rehabilitation proceeding
- Represented 40 state guaranty funds in hundred million dollar dispute against Pennsylvania liquidation estate over ownership of large deductibles
- Obtained $14 million settlement on behalf of state guaranty fund in dispute against Pennsylvania liquidation estate over proper reimbursement of guaranty association expenses
- Argued case before Illinois Supreme Court for state insurance guaranty fund over the definition of “workers compensation claim”
- Prevailed in appeal for state insurance guaranty fund before Illinois Appellate Court concerning the proper scope of workers compensation liens
- Secured appeal for state insurance guaranty fund before Illinois Appellate Court concerning disputes over unearned premiums
- Obtained $30 million arbitration award and judgment in breach of contract action on behalf of national insurance company
- Argued Seventh Circuit appeal on behalf of national insurance company compelling arbitration of insurance disputes
- Argued Fifth Circuit appeal on behalf of insurance company in dispute against the federal government
- Arbitrated $100 million dispute for reinsurer concerning long-term care insurance
Professional Affiliations and Recognitions
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
- Named, The Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation (2019)
- Member, American Bar Association