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Steven Gilford

Steven R. Gilford, Esq.

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Case Manager
Michael McCants
T: 312-655-9199
F: 312-655-0644
71 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60606

Steven R. Gilford, Esq. joins JAMS following 40 years of experience in litigation, insurance and negotiation of complex settlements. 

Mr. Gilford has handled trial and appellate litigation, domestic and international arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. His work has encompassed a wide range of industries and subject areas, including major contract and commercial disputes, consumer class actions, securities cases, technology outsourcing, defamation, trademarks, trade secrets and restrictive covenants. Mr. Gilford has also served as national and regional counsel for defense and coordination of major product liability matters.

In addition to his extensive litigation experience, Mr. Gilford is nationally recognized in the areas of insurance and reinsurance. He has represented clients in all segments of the insurance industry, including policyholders, insurers, reinsurers, captives and brokers. His experience includes virtually every area of insurance coverage, including CGL, D&O, cyber, E&O, product recall, employment practices, political risk/transactional and first-party property and business interruption. 

A longtime board member of various not-for-profits and former member of state and local boards of education, Mr. Gilford has a special interest in disputes in each of these areas.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Mr. Gilford is certified as an arbitrator and mediator by ARIAS U.S. and the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and as a mediator by the Center for Conflict Resolution.

While in practice, he was involved in the negotiation of many complex and creative settlement agreements and structures, including sales of business, bankruptcy and insurance insolvency restructuring and renegotiation of insurance and computer outsourcing contracts as parts of settlements.

Mr. Gilford has extensive experience in the resolution of complex disputes, including in the following areas:

  • Insurance and reinsurance disputes, including:
    • CGL
    • Cyber
    • D&O
    • E&O (including attorneys and accountants)
    • Employment practices
    • Private equity
    • Product recall
    • Products liability, asbestos and mass torts
    • Property/business interruption
    • Terrorism
  • Complex contract disputes
  • Consumer class actions
  • Technology contracts
  • Civil rights cases
  • Multi-jurisdictional experience (U.S., U.K., Bermuda) in both single and tripartite arbitrations

Representative Matters

  • Lead counsel in London-based arbitration and successful mediation between major chemical manufacturer and Bermuda insurer concerning Bermuda form insurance for pesticide and other exposures
  • Counsel in Ontario-based arbitration between leading restaurant company and various Bermuda and London insurers over product contamination/product recall coverages
  • Lead counsel in mediations, Wellington arbitrations and state court litigation concerning billions of dollars of insurance coverage for hundreds of thousands of asbestos claims
  • Lead counsel in London- and U.S.-based arbitrations and mediations with multiple insurers from around the world concerning over $100 million in property and business interruption losses at major chemical manufacturing plant as a result of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina
  • Successful mediation of coverage dispute concerning underlying settlement of mass tort arising from alleged chemical exposures to miners in various mines
  • Lead counsel in successful mediations of major environmental coverage disputes, involving numerous sites and hundreds of millions of dollars, among U.S. and international insurers and pipeline company, railroad and chemical manufacturer
  • Lead counsel in two-week arbitration concerning claim for reinsurance for hurricane loss and counterclaim for rescission of policy
  • Lead counsel in arbitration concerning alleged damage and right to return of waste hazard disposal system in Arkansas
  • Counsel in multi-party mediation resulting in “coverage-in-place” agreement among multiple insurers and bankrupt asbestos manufacturer
  • Lead counsel in successful mediation of dispute concerning insurance coverage for major property loss of leading pharmaceutical company
  • Lead counsel in arbitration and successful mediation of major property and business interruption losses among Trinidad manufacturer and insurer
  • Lead counsel in mediated settlement of multiple class actions concerning alleged securities violations in connection with sale of brokered certificates of deposit by financial institutions
  • Successful mediation of terrorism claim between London-based insurers and major U.S. airline
  • Structure and complete negotiations over $100-million technology implementation contract
  • Structure and complete negotiations over civil rights action concerning state educational funding
  • Member of school board hearing student disciplinary and expulsion proceedings
  • Mediator in various consumer disputes
  • Arbitrator in Cook County court-referred proceedings

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Trial Bar

Memberships and Professional Activities

  • Fellow, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC), 2014–present
  • Certified Arbitrator/Mediator, ARIAS U.S.
  • Certified Arbitrator/Mediator, Cook County Circuit Court, Law Division and Chancery Division
  • Mediation Certifications, Northwestern University and the Center for Conflict Resolution
  • Member, Board of Directors, Center for Conflict Resolution, 2017–present
    • Secretary and Executive Committee, 2018–present
  • Senior Lecturing Fellow, Insurance Law, Duke University Law School, 2015–2017
  • Member, Board of Directors, Illinois State Board of Education, 2009–2017
    • Vice Chair, 2014–2017
  • School Board Member, Evanston Township High School, 1993–2005
    •   President, 1996–1998, 2004
  • Board Member, Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services, 2003–present
    • Chairman, 2005–present
  • Director, Metropolitan Family Services, 2002–present
  • Director, Head Start Board, Metropolitan Family Services, 2015–present

Selected Publications

  • Author, “Insurance Coverage for Data Breaches and Unauthorized Privacy Disclosures,” Chapter 16, Proskauer on Privacy: A Guide to Privacy and Data Security Law in the Information Age (updated annually)
  • Author, “Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Importance of Proactive Counseling,” Inside the Minds: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Settlement and Negotiation, 2006
  • Author, “Prior Attention to Arbitration Clauses Helps Ensure Fairness,” The Review: Worldwide Reinsurance, 1995

Selected Awards

  • Chambers USA: Illinois: Insurance: Dispute Resolution (Star Individual), 2003–2018
  • Chambers USA: Nationwide: Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Policyholder, 2016–2018
  • Chambers USA: Illinois: Insurance: Dispute Resolution: Reinsurance, 2006–2014
  • Expert Guide to Leading U.S. Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, Euromoney Legal Media Group, Euromoney’s Insurance and Reinsurance Expert Guide, 2002–2018
  • Best Lawyers in America, in the practice area of Insurance Law, 2006–2019
  • The Legal 500, United States Hall of Fame
  • Burton Award for Legal Achievement (Distinguished Writing Award in Law), 2012
  • Partner, Proskauer, 2008–2018
    • Chicago Office Head, 2008–2012
    • Co-Head, Insurance Practice, 2008–2017
  • Partner, Mayer Brown, 1988–2008
  • Associate and Partner, Isham, Lincoln & Beale, 1978–1988
  • J.D., Duke University, 1978 (Order of the Coif)
    • Administrative Law Editor and Editorial Board Member, Duke University Law Journal
  • M.A., Public Policy, Duke University, 1978
  • A.B., summa cum laude, Dartmouth College, 1974

Counsel Comments

    • "The person to go to when you have a large conceptual problem to get around."
      - Chambers USA
    • "Remarkable ability to focus on the points that really matter."
      - Chambers USA



    Practice Areas

    • Appellate
    • Arbitration
    • Business/Commercial
    • Civil Rights
    • Class Action & Mass Tort
    • Education/Schools
    • Environmental
    • Federal Law
    • Insurance
    • International
    • Personal Injury/Torts


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