Jill B. Berkeley chairs the firm’s Insurance Policyholder practice group. Chambers USA reports that clients describe her as “a breath of fresh air in litigation,” and “an outstanding lawyer with encyclopedic knowledge of case law.” She is recognized by her peers as having “great stature nationally” and being “a pillar of the policyholder community.” Jill represents policyholders and claimants in insurance coverage disputes involving toxic torts and hazardous wastes, environmental pollution, construction, products liability, intellectual property, first-party property, business interruption and excess liability matters.
In addition to her robust litigation practice, Jill offers her clients strategic advice on insurance coverage to help them manage risk and has served as an arbitrator, mediator, and expert witness. She has counseled clients in connection with all types of insurance policies, including directors’ and officers’ and professional liability, commercial general liability, first-party property and builder’s risk, and personal and advertising injury liability.
Jill’s client base is focused on utilities, general contractors, manufacturers, professional service providers, financial institutions, trucking companies, and real estate developers, though her experience stretches to other industries as well.
Year after year, leading industry publications and legal directories recognize Jill as a top attorney in her field. She is consistently ranked in Chambers USA in the top level in Illinois and nationally, Lawdragon 3000, International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, International Who’s Who of Reinsurance and Insurance Lawyers (2008-2014), Leading Lawyers of Illinois (Top 100 Attorneys and Top 50 Leading Women Business Lawyers in Illinois), and Illinois Super Lawyers (Top 100 Attorneys and Top 50 Female Attorneys). She was also awarded Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in the 2017 edition for "Litigation - Insurance."
In 2012, Jill was elected a Fellow of the newly-formed American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC) in acknowledgment of achieving “the highest standards of creativity, ethics, efficiency and scholarship” in the profession. In 2014, she was invited to serve on the Board of Regents, and in 2016 was awarded the Thomas F. Segalla Service Award in recognition of her dedication and service to ACCEC.
In addition, Business Insurance named Jill to its list of the Top 80 Women to Watch in 2006 and she received the ABA’s Andrew Hecker Memorial Award in 2005. She was featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s annual “Company and Executive Women Worth Watching – 2012” edition. In 2012, she was named Top 25 U.S. Insurance and Reinsurance Attorneys in Expert Guide’s “Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law,” the Chicago Law Bulletin's 2012 list of “Chicago Women in Law: Women Making an Impact. She was named in Benchmark Litigation’s 250 Women in Litigation in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Jill has been named a "litigation star" for the state of Illinois in the 2014 edition of Benchmark Litigation, the Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys.
Court Admissions — U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
Experience — Representing professional service firms sued by Bankruptcy Trustees and others to secure funding from E&O insurers for settlements within policy limits of claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest acts, fraud, and statutory violations in Chicago, downstate Illinois, Louisiana, Delaware, and Florida.
Representing landowners, developers, and manufacturers to secure coverage as additional insureds or indemnities for liability arising out of contractors’ and subcontractors’ work for personal injury and property damage suits brought by injured workers or third parties.
Representing health care providers in securing coverage under E&O and Managed Care Liability policies for alleged class action suits arising from privacy claims, civil rights violations, and other statutory violations in Chicago, downstate Illinois, California, Florida, and Colorado.
Union Elec. Co. v. Energy Ins. Mut., Ltd., 689 F.3d 968 (8th Cir. (Mo.) 2012) — Court reversed dismissal of suit seeking reimbursement of $30 million payment to State of Missouri for environmental remediation holding Missouri public policy may void arbitration clause.
Union Elec. Co. v. Aegis Energy Syndicate 1225, 713 F.3d 366 (8th Cir. (Mo.) 2013), affirming 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119584 (E.D. of Mo. 8/23/12) — Court denied motion to compel arbitration on basis of policy provision agreeing to submit to Missouri courts.
Fox v. Will County, et al., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115255 (N.D. Ill. 8/15/12) — Obtained ruling that Section 1983 attorney award constitutes damages in excess following form policy.
Omegaflex v. Pacific Employers Insurance Company, Mass.App. No. 09-P-628 (11/16/10) — Developed the strategy for obtaining recovery for defense costs incurred by product manufacturer in class action, in which threat of property damage was alleged.
American Economy Insurance Co. v. Holabird & Root, 886 N.E. 2d 1166 (Ill. App. 2008) — Obtained a ruling from the Illinois Appellate Court affirming additional insured coverage for an architect in a subcontractor’s CGL policy.