Michael is the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office and a member of the firm’s management committee who has built a national practice counseling excess insurers in high profile and large exposure cases.

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As an experienced and accomplished litigator, Michael Knippen takes pride in the long list of successful outcomes he has obtained for his insurance industry clients. His acumen for protecting and advancing his clients’ interests in disputed matters is matched by the sound and strategic guidance and attention to detail contained in the opinions and counsel he provides.

A native of Wheaton, Illinois, Mike is the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office and a member of the firm’s management committee who has built a national practice counseling excess insurers in high profile and large exposure cases. In this role, he draws on his extensive experience as a trial attorney defending complex cases in the areas of professional liability, products liability, energy, construction, and transportation to effectively advocate for his clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. His litigation experience also includes representing agents, brokers, and directors and officers.

Additionally, Mike represents primary and excess carriers in complex insurance coverage disputes and declaratory judgment actions in state and federal courts throughout the country, often involving claims of bad faith and extra-contractual liability. Mike’s insurance coverage practice includes counseling insurers and providing coverage opinions concerning general liability, professional liability, and reinsurance matters.

Mike has shared his extensive coverage insights with colleagues and insurance industry professionals as a speaker about emerging coverage issues before the International Association of Claim Professionals and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel. His professional achievements have earned him inclusion on the Illinois Super Lawyers list in Insurance Coverage for the past 15 years. 

A graduate of St. Norbert College who earned his law degree from DePaul University College of Law, Mike is admitted to practice before the United State Supreme Court as well as in state and federal courts in Illinois, Texas, Colorado, and Michigan. When not serving his clients, Mike enjoys hiking in the mountains with his family.

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Education

  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D.
  • St. Norbert College, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District Of Texas
    • In addition to his admissions to these courts, Mike has been admitted pro hac vice in several states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin.

Professional & Community Affliations

  • Society of Trial Lawyers
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Exclusive Litigation member-Lawyer Network in Illinois-2013
  • AVOCA SD 37 Board of Education from 2007 to 2011

Notable Decisions

  • Thornton Tomasetti, Inc. and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, Syndicates 2623 and 623 v. Westchester Surplus Lines Inc., RSUI Indemnity Co., and Ramirez Construction, Court No. 15 CH 18496, Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois (June 28, 2016).
  • Landmark Am. Ins. Co. v. VO Remarketing Corp., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80800, *4 (D. Colo. June 13, 2014).  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.
  • Westchester Fire Ins. Co. v. Admiral Ins. Co., 152 S.W.3d 172 (Ct. App. Tex. 2d Dist., Fort Worth 2004)
  • Melton Truck Lines, Inc. v. Indemnity Ins. Co. of North America, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43179 (N.D. Okla. 2009)
  • BASF AG v. Great American Assurance Co., 522 F.3d 813 (7th Cir. 2008)
  • Audit Bureau of Circulations v. AXIS Specialty Ins. Co., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77195 (N.D. Ill. 2009)

Distinctions

2006, 2008-2019
Super Lawyers®

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney