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Scott Seaman

Scott is a commercial litigator and trial and appellate lawyer with more than 34 years of experience. Scott is widely regarded as one of the leading attorneys in the United States representing insurers and reinsurers in property and casualty matters. He is known for employing his deep knowledge of the law and insurance industry, strategic thinking, and honed trial and appellate advocacy to produce creative solutions and outstanding results for clients on a cost-effective basis. Clients regularly turn to Scott and his team for counsel and representation in challenging and high-stakes matters.

Overview of Practice

Scott has a long track record of successfully representing companies before trial courts, appellate courts, and arbitration panels across the country in a variety of cases and matters 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. He has served as national coverage counsel as well as trial and appellate counsel.

He also advises and represents companies on cyber, data breach, IoT, nanotechnology, gig economy, viruses and pandemics, representations and warranties and transactional insurance, social unrest, climate change, and other emerging issues, as well as a wide-range of case-specific and portfolio issues. Scott also has handled a variety of challenging international, professional liability, health/life science, director and officer liability, tort and product liability, and business and commercial cases.

Scott has served as an arbitrator and has been retained as an expert witness on insurance issues. He has drafted contract language, trained insurance and reinsurance professionals, and assisted companies in evaluating and resolving issues in the claims stage.

Practice Group & Industry Leadership

Scott is co-chair of Hinshaw's global Insurance Services Practice Group and serves on the firm's Executive Committee. He has had the privilege of working with some of the most dedicated and talented senior management, legal counsel, and insurance and reinsurance claims and litigation professionals in the world and of serving as counsel in precedent-setting cases involving some of the most challenging contemporary coverage and reinsurance issues confronting the insurance industry.

Scott was named to the inaugural list of Midwest Trailblazers by The American Lawyer magazine. The list recognizes 50 professionals from 12 Midwestern states "who have moved the needle in the legal industry" and "are truly agents of change." He was selected for his "high-profile, complex insurance coverage cases nationwide, which resulted in precedent setting rulings that have altered insurance law.

Scott has earned a Band 1 Ranking by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. According to market comments:

"Scott Seaman receives praise for his representation of insurance carriers in environmental, asbestos, business interruption, and product liability disputes. 'He is very knowledgeable and greatly sought after by insurers.'" (2021)

"Scott Seaman is described by market sources as a 'real intellectual,' Seaman receives praise for his representation of insurance carriers in environmental, asbestos, and product liability disputes. Clients appreciate his 'ability to get to the heart of the issues and come up with creative ways to resolve a case.'" (2020)

"Scott Seaman co-chairs the firm's insurance department and is lauded for his experience in a variety of coverage disputes. His areas of expertise include toxic tort and environmental matters. Market sources report: 'He is very proactive, extremely intelligent and results-oriented.'" (2019)

"Scott Seaman is widely acknowledged for his knowledge across the insurance market, regularly handling complex coverage disputes. One client lauds,

'Scott's expertise is unsurpassed. His ability to present complex issues in a concise and easy-to-understand manner is astounding.'" (2018)

"Scott Seaman highly regarded in the market for his in-depth insurance expertise and is described as both 'extremely gifted' and 'a great attorney.' He is frequently called on to assist with allocation, professional liability and construction defect issues as well as other insurance disputes." (2017)

"Scott Seaman has the 'uncanny ability to make the complex understandable,' according to commentators, who point to his superb knowledge in the insurance space. He is highly respected for his robust insurance and reinsurance litigation practice, with sources particularly highlighting that 'he's the expert when it comes to excess and umbrella policies.'" (2016)"'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.'" (2015)

"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." (2014)

"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." (2013)

"Department 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." (2012)

"Scott Seaman is an eminent coverage lawyer with extensive experience in insurance and reinsurance, and besides practicing he writes prolifically on both topics." (2011)

"Scott Seaman is praised for his specialized experience in complex insurance and reinsurance matters." (2010).

Professional & Educational Background

Prior to joining Hinshaw, Scott was a partner in a litigation firm headquartered in Chicago, where he served as chairman of that firm's national insurance coverage litigation and counseling practice. He began his legal career at the international firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and was a member of its products liability and insurance coverage practice group.

Scott graduated first in his law school class. He was a law journal editor and a recipient of the Illinois Lawyers Auxiliary Scholarship, the Loyola Leadership and Service Award, the Chief Justice Roger B. Taney Award, the Judge John C. Hayes Award, the Thomas L. Owens Award, and the Judge John V. McCormack Award.

Publications & Presentations

Scott is a prolific author and widely sought after speaker on substantive legal issues as well as on litigation practice matters. His writings have been cited by the highest courts in Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Wisconsin and West Virginia and by other state and federal appellate and trial courts across the country.

His treatise, Allocation of Losses in Complex Insurance Claims (10th Ed Thomson Reuters 2021 – 2022), addresses many of the important issues driving contemporary insurance claims and coverage litigation and reinsurance cessions and arbitrations. He previously served on the&n

  • 151 North Franklin Street, Suite 2500
    Chicago, IL 60606
  • English
  • Loyola University Chicago, JD
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois, Illinois
  • American Bar Foundation - Fellow
  • American College of Coverage Counsel - Fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America - Felllow
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society - Member
  • American Bar Association - Co Chair Litigation Section - Business Interuption Insurance Subcommittee; Past Vice Chair Tort and Insurance Practice Section
  • ARIAS US - Member
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance - Co-Chair Reinsurance/Run-Off Advisory Board
  • Defense Research Institute - Alternative Disute Resolution Committee, Insurance Committee, Commercial Litigation Committee, International Law Committee, Climate Change Litigation Task Force, Business Torts SLG
  • Jefferson Awards for Public Service (Nobel Prize for Public and Community Service) - National Board of Selectors, Co-Chair Jefferson Awards Chicago
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court for Northern District of Florida
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for work in:
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation - Insurance
Special Focus:
  • Litigation
  • Reinsurance
  • 2013–2016 Insurance Attorney of the Year in Illinois, Corporate Int'l Magazine
  • Top Tier in Commercial Litigation - Illinois 2015 (Corporate LiveWire)
  • 2015 Insurance Attorney of the Year in Illinois (Global Law Expert Practice Awards)
  • 2014 and 2015 Leading Lawyers 500 (ICFM)
  • Insurance Attorney of the Year in Illinois – 2014 (Global Law Experts Practice Awards)
  • 2014 Litigation Lawyer of the Year – USA (Finance Monthly Law Awards)
  • 2012 and 2013 Lawyers World Leading Lawyer Award (North America Insurance and Reinsurance)
  • InterContinental Finance Magazine Continent Awards Insurance & Reinsurance Litigator of 2013 – North America
  • 2014 Insurance Attorney of the Year in Illinois (Corporate Int’l Magazine)
  • Loyola Leadership and Service Award
  • Chief Justice Roger B. Taney Award
  • Judge John C Hayes Award
  • Thomas L. Owens Award
  • Judge John V. McCormack Award
  • Lymphoma Research Foundation Inaugural Tribute Award Recipient
  • Midwest Trailblazer, The American Lawyer, 2021
  • Top Author (#1) in Insurance, JD Supra Readers' Choice Awards, 2022
  • 2022 International Advisory Award Insurance – Illinois
Additional Areas of Practice:
  • Reinsurance Law

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The Tiring Terrain Of Insurance Contract Exhaustion

"Exhaustion is a fundamental requirement that generally is discussed in connection with excess insurance. "

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Scott M.


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