FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Michael W. Early

Chicago Underwriting Group, Inc.
Assistant General Counsel
Chicago, IL, USA


Michael W. Early is the Assistant General Counsel of Chicago Underwriting Group, Inc.  The Chicago Underwriting Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Old Republic International Corporation, underwrites Old Republic Insurance Company's directors and officers liability and professional liability insurance risks. 

Mike supervises the national handling of claims made against Old Republic's insureds. As the Assistant General Counsel of the Chicago Underwriting Group, Mike has extensive experience with large and complex litigation matters and insurance claims arising from director and officer liability issues. He has helped resolve numerous securities class action cases, derivative actions, plus governmental and regulatory actions asserted against Old Republic's director and officer and corporate policy-holders.  Mike also has wide-ranging experience handling professional liability claims across the United States with a focus on lawyer liability claims. In addition, Mike provides guidance to underwriters on a variety of legal issues.

Prior to joining the Chicago Underwriting Group, Inc., Mike's practice focused on complex commercial litigation, professional liability litigation and insurance coverage litigation with the Hopkins & Sutter and the Grippo & Elden law firms in Chicago.  He also served as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago.  An experienced trial lawyer, Mike has successfully tried numerous civil cases in state and federal courts.  He received his B.A., cum laude, from Miami University and his J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
          
Mike actively participates in professional associations including the: American Bar Association (Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee and Professional Liability Committee); Chicago Bar Association; Chicago Council of Lawyers (Board of Governors and Federal Judicial Evaluations Committee); and Professional Liability Underwriting Society.  He has served on the board of directors of non-profit corporations and community organizations and he currently serves as the chairman of a local school council. 

Mike has been a speaker at numerous conferences and professional association events about professional liability, directors & officers ("D&O") liability, securities litigation and insurance coverage issues.  Some of his public presentations about these topics include:

Co-Chair of the 15th Annual Advanced Forum on D&O Liability for the American Conference Institute in December 2009 and presentation on insurance disputes and D&O claims resolution;

2010 Market Outlook for Directors & Officers Liability sponsored by Aon Financial Services Group in November 2009, presentation on litigation trends, possible new securities legislation and D&O insurance coverage issues; 

HB Litigation Conference on Claims Made Insurance Litigation in October 2009, presentation on claims made insurance policy language variations and the impact on coverage issues;

American Bar Association Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar in March 2009, presentation on the mediation of securities class action litigation with D&O insurance coverage issues;

Professional Liability Underwriting Society International Conference in November 2008, presentation on current developments in lawyer professional liability, including the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, potential e-discovery liability and third-party claims against lawyers;

Co-Chair of the 14th Annual D&O Liability Insurance Conference for the American Conference Institute in May 2008 and panel presentation on insurance coverage issues arising from section 11 claims, option backdating claims and opt-outs in securities litigation;
  
American Bar Association Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar in February 2008, moderator of a panel presentation on current D&O insurance coverage issues and disagreements among layers of insurance carriers; 

Business Litigation Conference sponsored by Lexis/Nexis, Inside Counsel Magazine and Foley & Lardner in December 2007 on current developments in securities litigation and derivative actions;

USLaw National Conference in October 2007 presentation on growing trends in professional liability and insurance coverage;  

Co-Chair of the 13th Annual D&O Liability Insurance Conference for the American Conference Institute in April 2007 and moderator of a panel presentation on current issues in D&O reinsurance; 

Professional Liability Underwriting Society International Conference in November 2006, panel presentation on professional liability claims resulting from bankruptcy;

Mealey's Insurance Contract Wording Conference in September 2006, presentation about hot topic issues affecting D&O insurance coverage;

Co-Chair of the 12th Annual D&O Liability Insurance Conference for the American Conference Institute in May 2006 and moderator of a panel presentation on the condition of the D&O insurance marketplace and securities litigation landscape;    

Chicago Bar Association's Insurance Law Committee presentations in April 2006, February 2005 and May 2004 on the current state of D&O insurance from an insurer's perspective;

American Bar Association Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar in March 2006, panel presentation on Side A Only D&O insurance policy wording and coverage issues;   

Chicago Bar Association Securities Law Committee in February 2006 presentation on current developments in securities litigation and D&O insurance;  

The Ohio Securities Conference for the State of Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Securities and the University of Toledo College of Law, in October 2005, presentation about current securities claims trends and the impact on D&O insurance;   

Co-chair of the 11th Annual D&O Liability Insurance Conference for the American Conference Institute in June 2005 and speaker on the effects of D&O insurance market trends on the underwriting process; 

American Bar Association Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar in March 2005, panel presentation on current issues in D&O insurance coverage;

American Conference Institute's D&O Liability Insurance Conference in December 2004 and in December 2003, presentations about the current state of the D&O insurance market;

Workshop on Containing Damages in Securities Cases sponsored by Wiley Rein & Fielding in October 2004, presentation addressing damages issues in securities litigation;

Towers Perrin / Tillinghast Executive Seminar on D&O Liability in October 2004, presentation on D&O insurance market capacity, D&O claims experience and the impact on insurance carriers;

Utah State Bar's Annual Securities Law Conference in August 2004, panel presentation on avoiding the loss of insurance in securities fraud cases; and
 
Institute for International Research's D&O Liability Insurance Conference in September 2003, presentation about key changes in securities litigation and emerging trends in the D&O liability insurance.

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