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Christopher T. Conrad, a founding Partner of Wilford Conrad LLP, is an experienced counselor and litigator at the trial and appellate levels.  He counsels international and domestic insurers on coverage issues arising under professional liability, directors & officers, errors & omissions, property, and general liability insurance policies as well as financial institution fidelity bonds. He represents insurers in declaratory judgment, breach of contract, rescission, and bad faith lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country. Mr. Conrad defends insureds in response to negligence, professional negligence and malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, premises liability, product liability, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination claims and lawsuits pursuant to general liability, professional liability, and EPL policies. 

Mr. Conrad also represents business entities and individuals in complex commercial disputes, involving claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, breach of fiduciary duty, trademark infringement, conversion, fraud, violation of Blue Sky Laws, and all manner of business torts, among other theories. Mr. Conrad has served as lead trial counsel on numerous trials and has successfully represented his clients in many mediations and arbitrations. He has authored dozens of appellate briefs in various jurisdictions and has argued before state and federal appellate courts. In addition, Mr. Conrad maintains an active transactional practice, drafting and negotiating sundry commercial contracts, such as asset purchase agreements, franchise agreements, employment agreements and covenants not to compete and solicit, service agreements, leases, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, and many others.

Professional or Trade Affiliation

  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • Chicago Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • “SEC Investigations: Background, Procedures, and Coverage Considerations,” Lloyds of London Market Presentation (June 2015)
  • “Key Considerations in Claims Handling,” Lloyds of London Market Presentation (April 2015)
  • “Hot Air: Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” Hanson Peters Nye Friday Forum (September 28, 2007)

Representative Experience

Secured summary judgment in favor of Indian technology company under the provisions of the Illinois Business Broker Act in response to quasi-contract claims for sales commission brought by “consultant” allegedly involved in providing services in furtherance of Indian company’s acquisition of an Illinois consulting firm, and successfully defended judgment on appeal. Global Tech. & Trading, Inc. v. Tech Mahindra Ltd., 789 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 2015).

Pursuant to arbitration provisions of member firm agreement, obtained dismissal of contract and tort claims brought by partners of former Hong Kong member of international network of accounting firms against UK umbrella entity that oversees the network, and successfully defended dismissal on appeal. Tang v. Grant Thornton Int’l Ltd., 2014 IL App (1st) 1131808-U.

Represented Lloyd’s of London placing broker in response to claims asserted in Arizona court by purchasers of insurance for Arizona properties, and obtained dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Successfully defended appeal challenging summary judgment entered in favor of insurer of municipality which reversed decades-old prior precedent and found that, under Illinois law, a claim for malicious prosecution “occurs” for insurance purposes when a prosecution is instituted, as opposed to when the prosecution is terminated. Selective Ins. Co. of South Carolina v. City of Paris, 769 F.3d 501 (7th Cir. 2014).

Won summary judgment that insurer owed no duty to defend or indemnify insured because pollution exclusion barred coverage for criminal proceedings arising out of violation of air use permit for process equipment.  Arch Ins. Co. v. Commercial Steel Treating Corp., No. 11-cv-15535, 2013 WL 4536163 (E.D. Mich., Aug. 27, 2013).

Secured summary judgment in favor of insurer that it owed no duty to defend or indemnify under E&O policies in response to underlying breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and construction defect lawsuit arising out of the development and sale of residential properties by employee of the Insured.  General Star Nat. Ins. Co. v. Higginbotham, 877 F. Supp. 2d 1181 (N.D. Ala. 2012).

Obtained dismissal in favor of D&O insurer in $54 million coverage and breach of contract action brought by insured’s assignee following entry of consent judgment against insured by arguing that insured did not sustain a “loss” as defined by the policy where the assignee agreed not to execute the judgment against the insured, and successfully defended dismissal on appeal.  U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n v. Federal Ins. Co., 664 F.3d 693 (8th Cir. 2011).

Secured summary judgment on behalf of professional liability insurer in declaratory judgment and rescission action based upon insured’s misrepresentation in the application, and successfully defended the judgment on appeal.  General Star Nat. Ins. Co. v. Boudreau, No. 287456, 2010 WL 143475 (Mich. App. Jan. 14, 2010).

Successfully defended employer in multi-day hearing in employment discrimination and retaliation action brought by former employee before the Illinois Human Rights Commission, after which Administrative Law Judge found no evidence of discrimination or improper conduct and recommended dismissal with prejudice of all counts, and the ALJ’s Recommended Order and Decision was subsequently adopted by the Commission.

Secured jury verdict of no liability in favor of international corporation in breach of contract and fraud action involving performance under licensing agreement, and successfully defended verdict on appeal. Calabash Productions, Inc. v. Encyclopedia Britannica Educ. Corp., 341 Ill. App. 3d 1101 (1st Dist. 2003).

Prevailed on summary judgment motion in favor of property insurer in first-party action initiated by insured to recover “replacement cost holdback” (the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost value of a building) following the destruction of several buildings in a fire, which was affirmed on appeal.  Edward Hines Lumber Co. v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., 329 Ill. App. 3d 1223 (Table) (1st Dist. 2002).

Secured summary judgment in favor of property insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith action following claim for property damage caused by mine subsidence, and successfully defended judgment on appeal. Yost v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 317 Ill. App. 3d 1174 (Table) (4th Dist. 2001).

Prevailed in the defense of an appellate matter of first impression involving the attempt to impose liability on a construction trade group for promulgating roof truss installation instructions.  Bailey v. Edward Hines Lumber Co., 308 Ill. App. 3d 58 (1st Dist. 1998).

Successfully defended manufacturers in numerous products liability matters stemming from catastrophic injury and significant business losses, including: the defense of a manufacturer of aircraft components following a helicopter crash in the Gulf of Mexico; the defense of a manufacturer of hydraulic equipment for large recreational vehicles against a $20 million breach of contract and economic loss suit filed by the vehicle manufacturer; the defense of a foreign artificial hip manufacturer in claims brought by hip replacement patients across the country; and the defense of manufacturers of various types of industrial equipment following injuries to operators of such equipment.

Defended international package-delivery service as the operator of an MD-11 aircraft in response to $5 million cargo loss claim following the crash of the aircraft.

Obtained verdict of no liability following bench trial in negligence action brought by homeowner against water remediation contractor.   

Secured jury verdict in favor of property insurer following week-long trial in a subrogation action against public utility stemming from natural gas explosion that destroyed a municipal water processing building.  

Successfully defended several matters in arbitration, including securing arbitration awards in favor of heavy machinery manufacturer in breach of contract and unjust enrichment action, demolition contractor in negligence action arising out of personal injuries when construction fencing fell on a pedestrian, and night club following an action arising out of an alleged assault by employees of the night club.

Community Involvement

  • Lake Zurich Baseball and Softball Association, Executive Board Member and Secretary
  • Coach, youth baseball, softball, and soccer
  • Assistant Coach, Varsity High School Softball