CHRISTOPHER ASSISE is counsel in the litigation group in Sidley’s Chicago office. Christopher's practice is dedicated to the representation of insurance and financial services companies in litigation and regulatory disputes. For the last several years, three-quarters of Christopher’s practice has focused on defending property, casualty, accident and health insurers against consumer class actions across the country. Christopher also has significant experience counseling insurers in breach of contract disputes against their agents/underwriters, and representing cedents in reinsurance disputes. Some of Christopher’s notable recent experience includes:
CLASS ACTION LITIGATION
- Serving as panel counsel for two of the nation’s largest property and casualty insurers.
- Representing a large property and casualty insurer in a series of approximately two dozen consumer class actions alleging the insurer violated state consumer protection statutes. In each instance, the client prevailed at either the motion to dismiss or summary judgment stage.
- Crafting a unique remediation strategy that allowed a health insurer to resolve a threatened class action challenging the legality of its market withdrawal on an individual basis, thereby saving the insurer tens of millions of dollars.
- Securing a motion to dismiss in a class action against the accident and health division of a large international insurer, in an action challenging its interpretation coverage under a group policy.
- Representing a national property insurer in a force-placed insurance action. After successfully securing transfer of the litigation to a more favorable forum, the action was resolved via a low five-figure settlement.
AGENT AND UNDERWRITER LITIGATION
- Successfully litigating a breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty suit against a health insurer’s MGA. After crafting a new litigation strategy and pursuing legal theories that had not been identified by prior counsel, the action was settled for an amount 40% higher than prior counsel’s largest settlement demand.
- Representing a large public casualty insurer in a breach of contract dispute against its MGA/MGU and their affiliated offshore reinsurance facility.
REINSURANCE LITIGATION AND ARBITRATION
- Successfully litigating a series of reinsurance arbitrations on behalf of two of the nation’s largest property and casualty insurers against their non-performing treaty reinsurers.
- Part of a trial team that secured an eight-figure award against a non-performing reinsurer.
Prior to law school, Christopher worked in an agency-support role for a large mutual insurer. While in law school, Christopher worked with a professional sports league where he was the primary drafter of the league’s drug testing policy and advised on medical insurance, privacy issues and HIPAA compliance.