Bob is one of the original lawyers from Winston & Strawn to join Butler Rubin at its inception. He has more than 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer in all aspects of reinsurance arbitration/litigation and commercial litigation, including jury and bench trials in breach of contract and fraud actions, business torts, defense of officers and directors, shareholder derivative suits, real estate transactions, trade secret and restrictive covenants, insurance coverage disputes, antitrust and class actions. His appellate experience includes both state and federal courts.
Bob was singled out for special recognition and individually ranked #2 (tie) among Illinois reinsurance attorneys in the 2006-2012 editions of Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. “Robert Hermes's reinsurance expertise stretches to the bankruptcy and insolvency areas. He is respected in the field as an effective litigator and arbitrator.” Bob was also named a leader in insurance law in the 2011-2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America. And, as part of the Law Bulletin Publishing Group’s 2012 survey of the top lawyers in the state, he was designated as a "Leading Lawyer" in Illinois in Commercial Litigation.
Reinsurance experience includes disputes involving the scope and applicability of arbitration clauses, placement disclosures, claim handling, adherence to underwriting guidelines, retrospectively rated business, obligations to follow settlements, allocation of settlements, obligations under surplus share reinsurance contracts, excess of loss contracts, application of ultimate net loss and net retained line clauses, clash covers and accounting for premiums and losses. Bob has also provided reinsurance advice to insurance company clients who are involved in the large asbestos bankruptcies including, Western MacArthur, Combustion Engineering, W.R. Grace, Bigelow-Liptak, Kentile Floors and Bendix.
During his career, Bob has been involved in more than 25 major trials and 75 reinsurance arbitrations. Significant cases include:
Antler v. Classic Residence Management, 315 Ill. App. 3d 259 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2000) (successful defense of class-action alleging ordinance violations)
Glass v. Kemper Corporation, 133 F.3d 999 (7th Cir. 1998) (affirming summary judgment for defendants in fraud and breach of contract action)
Winterthur “Swiss” Insurance Company, et al. v. First State Insurance Company, et al., Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance, March 8, 1995, at B-1 (a bench trial in federal court enforcing an agreement to arbitrate and the companion arbitration) First State Insurance Company, et al. v. Winterthur “Swiss” Insurance Company, et al., Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance, March 22, 1995 at A-1 (confirmed D. Conn)
Universal Reinsurance Corporation v. Allstate Insurance Company, 16 F.3d 125 (7th Cir. 1994) (leading case on duty to appoint arbitrators in compliance with contractual deadlines)
In re Rehabilitation of Centaur v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., 158 Ill.2d 166 (Ill. Sup. Ct. 1994) (creditor’s standing to pursue alter ego claim against parent of insolvent reinsurer)
Selcke, Rehabilitator of Centaur Insurance Company v. New England Insurance Company, 995 F2d 688 (7th Cir. 1993) (set-off issues in insolvency and the duty to arbitrate disputes regarding set-offs)
Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. Borg-Warner Corporation, 913 F.2d 1342 (7th Cir. 1990) (Federal abstention in case of insurance insolvency)
McHugh v. McHugh, 676 F. Supp 856 (N.D. Ill. 1988) (successfully represented the defendant in an action alleging violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5)
Daniels, Liquidator of Northern Financial & Guaranty Company, Ltd. v. Powell, 604 F. Supp. 689 (N.D. Ill. 1985) (summary judgment in favor of a government authorized liquidator for conversion against controlling shareholder)
Konstand v. Prime Group Realty Trust, et al., No. 09-CH-40152, Cir. Ct. Cook County, Chancery Division, January 5, 2011, affirmed, 2011 IL App. (1st) 110388-U (September 29, 2011), modified upon denial of rehearing, Id. (November 3, 2011) — Successful defense of a shareholder derivative suit by preferred shareholders seeking the return of $121,000,000 in dividends paid to common shareholders
YPI 180 N. LaSalle Owner, LLC v. 180 N. LaSalle II, LLC, No. 01-09-1979, 2010 Ill. App. LEXIS 720 (1st Dist. July 19, 2010) — Successful defense of an action seeking rescission of a real estate sales contract alleging impossibility of performance due to the credit crisis
Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company v. Ace American Reinsurance Company, 279 Conn. 220 (Conn. Sup. Ct. 2006) — Successful appeal establishing that denial of a motion for pre-hearing security is a final order for purposes of appeal
Bellefonte v. Argonaut, 757 F2d 523 (2d Cir. 1985) — Leading reinsurance case on the finality of settlements
Spray-Rite v. Monsanto, 684 F.2d 1226 (1982), affirmed, 465 U.S. 752 (1984) — An often-cited antitrust case; assistant trial counsel in the successful six-week jury trial against Monsanto