Jill B. Berkeley chairs the firm’s Insurance Policyholder practice group. Chambers USA reports that clients describe her as “a breath of fresh air in litigation,” and “an outstanding lawyer with encyclopedic knowledge of case law.” She is recognized by her peers as having “great stature nationally” and being “a pillar of the policyholder community.” Jill represents policyholders and claimants in insurance coverage disputes involving toxic torts and hazardous wastes, environmental pollution, construction, products liability, intellectual property, first-party property, business interruption and excess liability matters.
In addition to her robust litigation practice, Jill offers her clients strategic advice on insurance coverage to help them manage risk and has served as an arbitrator, mediator, and expert witness. She has counseled clients in connection with all types of insurance policies, including directors’ and officers’ and professional liability, commercial general liability, first-party property and builder’s risk, and personal and advertising injury liability.
Jill’s client base is focused on utilities, general contractors, manufacturers, professional service providers, financial institutions, trucking companies, and real estate developers, though her experience stretches to other industries as well.
Year after year, leading industry publications and legal directories recognize Jill as a top attorney in her field. She is consistently ranked in Chambers USA in the top level in Illinois and nationally, Lawdragon 3000, International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, International Who’s Who of Reinsurance and Insurance Lawyers (2008-2014), Best Lawyers of America (2006-2017), Leading Lawyers of Illinois (Top 100 Attorneys and Top 50 Leading Women Business Lawyers in Illinois), and Illinois Super Lawyers (Top 100 Attorneys and Top 50 Female Attorneys). She was also awarded Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in the 2017 edition for "Litigation - Insurance."
Jill has been named a "litigation star" for the state of Illinois in the 2014 edition of Benchmark Litigation, the Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. In the 2017 Best Lawyers in America, she is being recognized with "Lawyer of the Year" in the Illinois Insurance Litigation listing.
In 2017, the ABA’s Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee honored her with its first Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions to the Committee and the Section.
In 2012, Jill was elected a Fellow of the newly-formed American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC) in acknowledgment of achieving “the highest standards of creativity, ethics, efficiency and scholarship” in the profession. In 2014, she was invited to serve on the Board of Regents. In 2016, she received the Thomas F. Segalla Service Award in recognition of her dedication and service to ACCEC.
In addition, Business Insurance named Jill to its list of the Top 80 Women to Watch in 2006 and she received the ABA’s Andrew Hecker Memorial Award in 2005. She was featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal’s annual “Company and Executive Women Worth Watching – 2012” edition. In 2012, she was named Top 25 U.S. Insurance and Reinsurance Attorneys in Expert Guide’s “Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law,” the Chicago Law Bulletin's 2012 list of “Chicago Women in Law: Women Making an Impact. She was named in Benchmark Litigation’s 250 Women in Litigation in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
- TIPS Liaison, ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs (2014-2016).
- Member, Board of Regents, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (2014-current).
- Fellow, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (2012-current).
- Chair, TIPS Fellows, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2012-2013).
- Chair, History Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2011-2015).
- Vice-Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2008-current).
- Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2006-2007).
- Chair, Insurance Programs Steering Committee, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2001-2003).
- Member, Governing Section Council, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (1997-2000).
- Member, Association of Professional Insurance Women (1996-current).
- Member, Board of Directors, Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (1989-1997).
- Director and Vice-President, Illinois Captive and Alternative Risk Funding Insurance Association (1994-2002).
- Regent, Academy of Illinois Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association (1999-2002).
- Chair, Insurance Law Section Council, Illinois State Bar Association (1992-1993).
Publications and Presentations:
Jill wrote the reference guide, CGL Reporter - The Insurance Coverage Litigation Handbook, from 1986-1992, and thereafter served as Executive Editor for the publisher, International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) until 2017. She also authored a handbook on insurance, Avoiding Commercial Insurance Pitfalls - A Guide for Corporate Counsel and Business (Callaghan & Company, 1987).
In addition, she was the long-time editor of The Policy, the quarterly newsletter published by the Illinois State Bar Association Section Council on Insurance (1986-1998). She also created a computerized database program that indexes and sorts all of Illinois insurance law cases annotated in The Policy since 1986 and served as the editor of the Internet version through May 2010.
Other recent publications and presentations can be viewed under the Publications and the Events tabs.