Overview

Catherine litigates complex commercial disputes on behalf of local, national and global businesses. She represents parties in sophisticated commercial contracts and relationships, where high-stakes disputes regularly require a multifaceted legal strategy across court and arbitral forums. Always alert to the reputational sensitivities and business considerations of her clients, Catherine understands that decision makers need a clear-eyed assessment of a case to calculate risk and articulate strategy internally.

Catherine believes that successful advocacy – at trial or at arbitration hearing, in deposition or in briefing, with witnesses or with opposing counsel – must be ethical, innovative, disciplined, persistent and agile.

In addition to appearing as trial counsel in courts nationwide, Catherine regularly practices in alternate dispute resolution forums. She successfully represents clients at complex, multi-stage mediations, in high-stakes, commercial arbitrations and in related court challenges as to arbitrability, panel constitution or award confirmation. Catherine partners with clients to develop strategies for disputes ranging from interpretation of contract wording with organization-wide impact to business torts with industry-wide implications.

Early in her legal career, Catherine litigated numerous product liability cases, from initial pleadings, through discovery and at trial, including assisting in jury selection in Madison County asbestos cases. Now, Catherine often litigates and arbitrates disputes with underlying mass torts, products or premises liability actions, workers compensation claims or environmental property damage disputes.

Catherine has provided pro bono legal assistance to clients seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligibility and employment authorization.

She also serves as one of the co-chairs of Porter Wright’s annual Women in Reinsurance program.

Education

  • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law  (J.D., 1996)
  • Duke University  (B.A., 1988)

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Professional Associations

  • ARIAS-U.S.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers USA, Reinsurance law
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers, Insurance, Insurance coverage and Reinsurance law
  • The Legal 500 United States, Insurance: Advice to Insurers (recommended)
  • Intelligent Insurer, Influential Women in Re/Insurance