Insurance Class-Action Defense Group Joins Sidley’s Chicago Office

May 9, 2003

An attorney group focused on the defense of insurance companies against class actions has joined law firm of Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. Joel S. Feldman and Bruce Braverman have become partners in Sidley’s Chicago office, accompanied by Jeffrey E. Crane as counsel and associate Brian W. Bilcer. The four were previously with the Chicago firm of Sachnoff & Weaver Ltd.

Led by Feldman, the group has long been in the vanguard of insurance class action defense across the spectrum of market conduct, fraud and sales practices cases, especially in the life and health policy segments, according to a statement released by Sidley. Over the past six years, Feldman and his colleagues have defended more than 40 market conduct cases in federal and state courts across the U.S. on behalf of the country’s leading insurance companies.

The group’s representations stem from aggressive legal attacks waged against insurance industry products and marketing practices, including cases involving vanishing premiums, modal premiums, industrial insurance, annuity crediting, product differentiation, universal life, health insurance, and ERISA matters. Feldman’s group has been especially successful in turning back class certification in large-scale litigation.

Sidley, which has about 1,550 lawyers around the globe, has an extensive insurance industry practice which, to date, has largely been working with insurance companies, underwriters and financial market participants with insurance-related M&A and securities transactions, as well as handling major reinsurance arbitrations and insurance insolvencies. The new group brings an important added litigation component and expands the services the firm offers to property, casualty, life and health insurers.

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