Ira is a partner with more than 20 years of experience in reinsurance arbitration and complex business litigation. He has tried numerous disputes involving traditional and finite reinsurance, addressing such issues as:
- The consolidation of arbitrations arising out of multiple treaties;
- The aggregation of asbestos claims, and the number of occurrences in other environmental claims;
- The propriety of cessions of construction defect claims;
- The notice required for termination of an MGA agreement;
- The insurability of claims for punitive damages;
- The interpretation of guaranteed minimum death and income benefit reinsurance agreements;
- The application of treaty ultimate net loss clauses to policy supplementary payments provisions; and
- Risk transfer and the interpretation of sublimits, termination clauses, and other provisions found in finite reinsurance clauses.
Ira has also represented reinsurers in connection with the Midland, Pine Top, and Transit insolvencies. In addition to his representation of clients as counsel, Ira has testified as an expert witness before the High Court of Justice in London on questions of U.S. insurance law.
Ira's business litigation practice focuses on complex commercial cases, including enforcement of restrictive covenants, actions under the Uniform Commercial Code, and other contract disputes. He has also argued appeals successfully before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Illinois Human Rights Commission.
Ira joined Butler Rubin after clerking for the Hon. Bernard M. Decker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and practicing for several years at Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw.
Ira has been recognized as a leading lawyer in reinsurance litigation by Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business and as a leader in insurance law in the 2011-2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America. In 2005 and 2009-2012, he was named a leader in business litigation by Illinois Super Lawyers. And, as part of the Law Bulletin Publishing Group’s 2012 survey of the top lawyers in the state, Ira was designated a "Leading Lawyer" in Illinois in Insurance, Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law.
Kemper Reinsurance Co. v. Corcoran, 79 N.Y.2d 252 (1992) — New York’s high court upheld reinsurer’s right of offset against estate of insolvent insurer.
Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Lloyd’s Syndicate 0056 ASH, No. 3:97CV00009 (D. Conn. July 2, 1997) — Federal court held that New York Convention preempted contrary state law, and confirmed arbitration award to cedent of ECO coverage for bad-faith punitive damages on ground that arbitration clause in reinsurance contracts relieved arbitrators from following strict rules of law.
Selvy v. Beigel, 309 Ill. App. 3d 768 (1st Dist. 1999) — Appellate Court of Illinois ruled that where defendant failed to meet the legal requirements for vacatur of default judgment, the trial court did not have discretion to vacate on basis of equity, and court upheld default judgment of $1.75 million in favor of children poisoned by lead paint.