Scott M. Seaman - Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Scott M. Seaman

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2010

Scott M. Seaman is a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in its Chicago office and serves as co-chair of the firm's global Insurance Services Practice Group.  He has a national practice representing companies in complex commercial law and litigation matters, with a special emphasis on insurance and reinsurance trials, appeals, meditations, and arbitrations. Scott has had the privilege of working with some of the most dedicated and talented senior management, legal counsel, and insurance and reinsurance professionals in the world and of serving as counsel in matters involving some of the most challenging contemporary coverage and reinsurance issues confronting the industry.  Previously, he served as chairman of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP's national insurance coverage litigation and counseling practice group. He began his legal career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and was part of its national product liability and insurance group. 


For nearly three decades, Scott has successfully represented insurance and reinsurance companies in trial courts, appellate courts, and arbitrations across the country in a variety of high stakes matters, including cases and cessions involving general liability coverage (primary, umbrella, and excess), professional liability coverage, first-party property coverage, bad faith and extra-contractual matters, fee disputes, and facultative and treaty reinsurance contracts. 

Scott has served as national coverage counsel as well as trial and appellate counsel.  His advice has been sought on emerging coverage issues and a wide-range of case specific and portfolio issues.  He has drafted contract language, trained insurance and reinsurance professionals, and assisted companies in evaluating and resolving issues in the claims and cession stages. 

He also has handled a variety of international, professional liability, tort and product liability, and business and commercial cases. 

Chambers (2015) says:  "'Superior trial lawyer' Scott Seaman is experienced in all forms of insurance dispute. According to clients, 'he is a straight shooter who is experienced and knows the issues. We like the results that he gets us.'"

Chambers USA (2014) notes:  "Scott Seaman is well respected for his longtime experience as a litigator, and he has notable expertise in complex insurance and reinsurance coverage cases. He is also an expert in bad faith insurance matters. Sources describe him as a 'terrific lawyer' and as someone who has the respect of the market."

Chambers USA (2013) adds: "Scott Seaman is respected for his expertise in bad faith and reinsurance matters as well as complex insurance coverage cases. He has recently been involved in a series of significant litigation matters and reinsurance arbitrations."

According to Chambers USA (2012): "[d]epartment head Scott Seaman has a fine reputation among clients and peers alike as 'a leading expert in complex insurance coverage issues.' He splits his practice between coverage litigation and reinsurance arbitration work, and earns particular praise from clients for his expertise in asbestos and environmental coverage issues."

Chambers USA (2011) says: “Scott Seaman is an eminent coverage lawyer with extensive experience in insurance and reinsurance, and besides practicing he writes prolifically on both topics.”



United States Supreme Court

United States Courts of Appeals (Seventh and Tenth Circuits)

United States District Courts (Northern District of Illinois, Central District of Illinois, and Northern District of Florida)

Admitted pro hac vice in numerous matters


Best Lawyers (since 2010)

Martindale & Hubbell – AV Preeminent rating (5.0/5.0) (since 1997)

Chambers USA (since 2009)

Illinois Super Lawyers (since 2005)

Leading Lawyers (since 2009)

America’s Most Honored Professionals

ICFM Leading Lawyers 500 (top 500 lawyers in the world)

International Who’s Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers  

Scott is a fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel. 


Scott received his J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, where he graduated first in his law school class and served as a law journal editor.


Scott is a frequent speaker on insurance, reinsurance, business law, and litigation issues. He has Chaired and Co-Chaired conferences and has presented before and on behalf of various organizations, including: the American Bar Association; the Defense Research Institute; the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education; ARIAS US; the Claims Litigation Management Alliance, the American Conference Institute; the Illinois State Bar Association; the American Conference Institute; the Chicago Bar Association; Bermuda Bar Association; PLRB/LIRB; Lorman Education Services; Strafford; Perrin; and West Legalworks.

He has been quoted in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal, to Crain's Chicago Business, to Law360. His extensive writings on substantive legal issues, insurance and reinsurance topics, and litigation practice matters have been cited by state and federal courts across the county. 

Reuters recently released the new Fourth Edition of his treatise, Allocation of Losses in Complex Insurance Claims (4th  Thomson Reuters 2015), which addresses many of the important issues driving contemporary insurance claims and coverage litigation and reinsurance cessions and arbitrations.  Among his extensive writings, are Pertinent Reinsurance Contract Provisions” Reinsurance Professional’s Deskbook—A Practical Guide (2015-2016 Ed. Thomson Reuters) and Wrongful Death and Survival Actions (5th Ed. IICLE 2014) (General Editor and Contributing Author Chapters 1, 2, 5, and 7).


Scott serves on the National Board of Selector, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service and is  
Co-Chair of Jefferson Awards Chicago.  The Jefferson Awards was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard to create a "Nobel Prize" for public and community service. Jefferson Awards are presented on a national basis and local level.  In addition to nominating, evaluating, and voting on Nobel Prize candidates, Scott has been part of the delegation to present reports to the White House and U.S. Senate on the state of volunteering in America.  He also has been actively engaged in youth leadership and training through the Jefferson Awards Students In Action, Globe Changers, and Lead 360 Challenge.  These programs train leaders of the future and pass the great American traditions of volunteering and philanthropy to future generations.   

Co-author, Battling and Beating Cancer - The Cancer Survival Book

Co-host, Battling and Beating Cancer Radio Show on the Blog Talk Radio Network

Co-host, Battling and Beating Cancer Television Series originating from CAN TV 


Barat CollegeBA 1984Loyola University of Chicago School of LawJ.D. 1987
American Bar AssociationDefense Research InstituteARIAS USJefferson Awards for Public Service (Nobel Prize for Public and Community Service)Claims and Litigation Management Alliance

Case History

Owens-Illinois — Asbestos reinsurance case resulting in a landmark allocation ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
General Electric — Asbestos and environmental coverage action resulting in numerous rulings including an important ruling on number of occurrences by the New York Court of Appeals.  
Liggett — Insurance coverage action resulting in a Delaware Supreme Court decision enforcing tobacco exclusions.   
Dresser/Halliburton — Insurance coverage and bankruptcy matters. 
Griffin Dewatering — California insurance coverage and bad faith action resulting in the 
reversal of an $11 million bad faith/punitive damages verdict. 
CBS/Viacom — Insurance coverage litigation. 

Rushing — Florida construction defect coverage action.
Central Illinois Public Service Company — Coverage action resulting numerous rulings, including a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court that trial court decision binding insurers to a prior ruling violated the insurers' due process rights. 

Owens-Corning — Non-products asbestos coverage action and bankruptcy proceedings. 

Client Comments

"Scott is an increasingly important member of our panel counsel team for complex coverage matters."

-Craig Bacovin
Highlands Insurance Co. In Receivership

"Scott Seaman provides thorough, reliable, and timely legal work which is also cost-effective."

"I consider Scott Seaman of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP to be the country's leading expert in the allocation of losses in complex insurance coverage matters. He possesses comprehensive knowledge of insurance law with a consummate grasp of asbestos and environmental issues. Further, his ability to boil down complicated matters and communicate them in understandable terms (both verbally and in writing) is unsurpassed, and has been enormously helpful to me over the many cases on which we have worked together. While Scott's technical legal abilities are outstanding, his overall business acumen is even more impressive, and his industry knowledge is second to none. He has a unique ability to survey a situation, sum it up succinctly and accurately, and address it in a calm, authoritative manner. He inspires confidence. Lastly, Scott's professional conduct and personal integrity are unquestionable. His commitment to the high standards and values held by my company, as well as his diligence and around the clock availability, has made him an indispensable asset to me."

-Marla Goyne
Factory Mutual Insurance Company

"Mr. Seaman has a high level of experience in complex insurance and reinsurance matters. He always responds in a timely matter. He is well respected in the legal and local community. He is an excellent legal strategist and exceptional trial lawyer. He is the leading author of the Allocation of Losses in Complex Insurance Coverage Claims, which is a superb reference guide for all claim handlers. He provides practical advice that takes into account the need of a particular matter, as well as the company's portfolio interest."

-Norma Newell
Factory Mutual Insurance Company

"Mr. Seaman works harder, writes better, strategizes more thoroughly, and knows more than other lawyers that I have seen. He is highly effective in the court room (an educator and advocate), in the board room, and at the negotiation table (often disarming the opposition and coming up with creative solutions)."

"Mr. Seaman is a first-rate commercial litigator, trial lawyer, counselor, and strategist. His legal analysis and writings are superior to other lawyers. He is a creative, hard-working, practical, cost-effective, and accessible advocate."

"When it comes to insurance coverage, Scott is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys in the country. He is continually ahead of the curve and ready to tackle any complex legal situation. His willingness to provide guidance and educate in a meaningful way is greatly appreciated. His commitment to his clients and community are second to none."

-Gerald Reed
Adjuster In Charge
Columbia Insurance Group

"Scott's extensive experience in the A&E and latent claims coverage arena, coupled with his insightful ability to develop and implement strategic resolutions of high-profile insurance claims, uniquely positions him to complement any claim organization. His treatise "Allocation of Losses in Complex Insurance Coverage Claims" is a must-have reference book for every corporate legal and risk-management claim department."

-Raymond Rizzi
Vice President
Enstar (US), Inc.

Office Location

222 North LaSalle Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60601
United States


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Practice Areas

Insurance Law (Litigation, Reinsurance)

Other Information

Gender: Male