Concentrating his practice in the areas of insurance coverage, excess monitoring, cyber-risk and data security, Brian prides himself on providing sound, actionable counsel and clear client communication.

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Brian Bassett’s approach is defined by a combination of deep and diverse insurance coverage insights, assertive advocacy, and detailed analysis that never loses sight of the big picture.

Brian understands that insurance disputes do not happen in a vacuum; that effective representation requires consideration of business concerns that transcend the four corners of a specific issue or case. Whether through assertive courtroom advocacy or meticulous coverage analysis, Brian provides his clients with counsel they can rely on in their most consequential matters.

Committed to keeping his clients thoroughly informed so they can make thoughtful strategic choices, Brian represents insurance companies in complex claim disputes, declaratory judgment actions, and appeals, and has extensive experience managing third-party and first-party coverage disputes, including those involving primary and excess liability policies and obligations under commercial property and inland marine policies.

Excess insurers benefit from Brian’s creative and thorough analysis of their rights and obligations in multimillion-dollar third party claims. He supplies the same comprehensive evaluation and guidance as well as policy drafting services for all types of professional liability, D&O, commercial general liability, and cyber-risk policies.

Clients with cyber-risk and data security issues can rely on Brian’s extensive experience with these technologically and legally nuanced matters. He provides proactive counsel to guide entities in the investigation and response to data breach and privacy incidents, and represents insurance companies in complex claim disputes and declaratory judgment actions involving the interpretation of standalone cyber-risk policies and endorsements affording data breach coverage.

Brian also serves as defense counsel to professionals, and has experience defending invasion of privacy claims, as well as suits relating to restrictive covenants in employment contracts.

The diverse range and depth of Brian’s experience and the quality of his representation has earned Brian the trust of his clients and the respect of his colleagues. He was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2013 through 2018, a designation given to only 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois each year. A graduate of the University of Dayton, Brian earned his law degree from the John Marshall Law School, where he served as lead articles editor for the John Marshall Law Review.

A frequent speaker and author of numerous publications on complex insurance coverage and cyber-risk issues, Brian is actively involved in the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, which helps communities by combining the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service, and leadership. He enjoys spending his time away from the office at home with his wife and three daughters.

AREAS OF FOCUS

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
Brian has provided guidance to clients facing challenging coverage disputes for his entire legal career. He acts as a trusted counselor on the coverage laws of almost every jurisdiction nationwide, litigated complex coverage disputes in 15 different states, and successfully argued in state and federal courts of appeals in numerous jurisdictions. His dealings with policyholders in every geographic region provide Brian with the background to provide clients with timely and accurate advice when they are in need of zealous advocacy. Brian’s experience touches almost every type of primary and excess commercial lines policy, including CGL, E&O/Professional Liability, Cyber, D&O, and EPL.

Cyber Risk, Tech and Data Security
Brian has been handling cyber coverage disputes for over five years. He provides clients with a wide range of services, from policy form drafting to complex coverage litigation involving multi-million claims. Brian’s clients count on him to provide guidance on cyber coverage issues nationwide.

Brian also serves as breach counsel to policyholders impacted by breach and privacy incidents. He provides prompt recommendations to ensure that his clients take the proper steps and secure experts to safeguard their interests while minimizing potential liability. He also works closely with clients to satisfy notification obligations with federal and state laws. The firm’s cyber team also interfaces with state and federal regulators to respond to inquiries concerning privacy incidents.

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Education

  • The John Marshall Law School, J.D.
    • John Marshall Law Review, Lead Articles Editor
    • 2005 Scribes Award for best comment in the 2005 John Marshall Law Review
  • University of Dayton, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Co-Chair, CLM Insurance Coverage Committee Publications Sub-Committee
  • Member, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation-IICF- Associate Board of Directors – Midwest Division
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance-CLM
  • Defense Research Institute-DRI
  • Professional Liability Underwriters Society-PLUS
  • Chicago Bar Association

Notable Decisions

  • Landmark Am. Ins. Co. v. VO Remarketing Corp.,2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13279 (10th Cir. 2015). On July 30, 2015, the Tenth Circuit United States Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s holding that Landmark owed no duty to defend or indemnify its insured pursuant to the policy’s auto exclusion.
  • Landmark Am. Ins. Co. v. Sandona Corporation and Brothers Lounge et al., case number 1:13-cv-05120 memorandum opinion and order signed by the Honorable Andrea R. Wood on 3/26/2015
  • Ricky Vosler v Knockouts Sports Bar and Grill, Inc. et al; No. 2011L001646, Circuit Court of Cook County, Law Division.
  • Sarkozy v. Hub International Midwest Ltd. et al.; 9th Circuit Court for the County of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Case No. 13-0156-NZ
  • U. S. Bank N. A. v CoAmerica Incorporated, et. al.; Case N. 2011-77806, District Court of Harris County, Texas, 215th Judicial District

Publications

  • Co-Author, “Where Do We Draw the Line? Liability Coverage for Economic Losses” (In-House Defense Quarterly., Spring 2019)
  • Co-Author, “Is Any Body Safe?” (CLM Magazine, March 2019)
  • Ill. Courts Should Not Conflate Insurers And Defense Counsel (Law360, October 30, 2018)
  • If You Don’t Reach Conclusion, Forget The Exclusion (CLM Magazine, December 2017)
  • Dueling Loyalties: The Right to Independent Counsel  (ABA Section of Litigation, August 2016)
  • Gaps in Security: The Increasing Need for Cyber Coverage (CLM Magazine, Winter 2015)
  • When Is Your Work Really “Your Work?” Construction Defect Claims In The GC Context (ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Newsletter, Fall 2013)
  • Co-Author, Sandy: The Second Wave. Business Interruption Claims Approach Landfall (IACP-Declarations, Fall 2013)
  • Avoiding Broken Promises: Recent ISO Revisions to Additional Insured Endorsements, Litigation Management (Fall 2013)
  • How to Keep the Lights On: An Exploration of the Abrogation of Wholesale Energy Contracts, 38 John Marshall L. Rev. 303 (Fall 2004)

Distinctions

2013 - 2019
Super Lawyers®

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney and "Rising Star"

2015 - 2016
Leading Lawyers

Recognized as an “Emerging Lawyer” in Illinois

2013 - 2019
Super Lawyers®

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney and "Rising Star"

2015 - 2016
Leading Lawyers

Recognized as an “Emerging Lawyer” in Illinois