Butler Rubin Saltarelli & Boyd LLP
Bob is one of the original lawyers from Winston & Strawn to join Butler Rubin at its inception. He has more than 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer in all aspects of reinsurance arbitration/litigation and commercial litigation, including jury and bench trials in breach of contract and fraud actions, business torts, defense of officers and directors, shareholder derivative suits, real estate transactions, trade secret and restrictive covenants, insurance coverage disputes, antitrust and class actions. His appellate experience includes both state and federal courts.
Bob was singled out for special recognition and individually ranked among Illinois reinsurance attorneys in the 2006-2017 editions of Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. “Robert Hermes is cited by one client as possessing ‘broad knowledge of the industry legal players, including arbitrators and umpires.’ He is also lauded as ‘an excellent trial lawyer and strategic thinker.’” “Prominent partner Robert Hermes is adept at representing major reinsurers, as well as taking on significant coverage work. He is praised by clients for being ‘excellent on his feet when presenting at trial, with very strong industry knowledge.’” “Market sources ‘have a lot of respect’ for Robert Hermes and praise his strong oratory skills.” “Sources praise him for his ‘hands-on’ approach.”
Bob was recognized in the 2018 edition of The Legal 500 United States as a “recommended” leading attorney in Insurance: Advice to Insurers. He was also named a leader in insurance law in the 2011-2019 editions of The Best Lawyers in America. In 2015-2018, Bob was named a leader in business litigation by Illinois Super Lawyers. And, as part of the Law Bulletin Publishing Group’s 2014-2018 surveys of the top lawyers in the state, he was designated as a “Leading Lawyer” in Illinois in Commercial Litigation.
Reinsurance experience includes disputes involving the scope and applicability of arbitration clauses, placement disclosures, claim handling, adherence to underwriting guidelines, retrospectively rated business, obligations to follow settlements, allocation of settlements, obligations under surplus share reinsurance contracts, excess of loss contracts, application of ultimate net loss and net retained line clauses, clash covers and accounting for premiums and losses. Bob has also provided reinsurance advice to insurance company clients who are involved in the large asbestos bankruptcies including, Western MacArthur, Combustion Engineering, W.R. Grace, Bigelow-Liptak, Kentile Floors and Bendix.
During his career, Bob has been involved in more than 30 major trials and 80 reinsurance arbitrations. Significant cases include:
Fox v. Riverview Realty Partners, et al., No. 12-C-9350, 2013 WL 1966382 (N.D. Ill. May 10, 2013) (successful defense of defendant company in class-action on behalf of preferred shareholders alleging breaches of fiduciary duty in connection with the issuance of common stock and subsequent cash-out merger)
Fox v. Prime Group Realty Trust, et al., No. 12-C-9350, 2012 WL 6680349 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 21, 2012) (successful defense of a
Konstand v. Prime Group Realty Trust, et al., No. 09-CH-40152, Cir. Ct. Cook County, Chancery Division, January 5, 2011, affirmed, 2011 IL App. (1st) 110388-U (September 29, 2011), modified upon denial of rehearing, Id. (November 3, 2011) (successful defense of a shareholder derivative suit by preferred shareholders seeking the return of $121,000,000 in dividends paid to common shareholders)
YPI 180 N. LaSalle Owner, LLC v. 180 N. LaSalle II, LLC, No. 01-09-1979, 2010 Ill. App. LEXIS 720 (1st Dist. July 19, 2010) (successful defense of an action seeking rescission of a real estate sales contract alleging impossibility of performance due to the credit crisis)
Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company v. Ace American Reinsurance Company, 279 Conn. 220 (Conn. Sup. Ct. 2006) (successful appeal establishing that denial of a motion for pre-hearing security is a final order for purposes of appeal)
Antler v. Classic Residence Management, 315 Ill. App. 3d 259 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2000) (successful defense of class-action alleging ordinance violations)
Glass v. Kemper Corporation, 133 F.3d 999 (7th Cir. 1998) (affirming summary judgment for defendants in fraud and breach of contract action)
Winterthur “Swiss” Insurance Company, et al. v. First State Insurance Company, et al., Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance, March 8, 1995, at B-1 (a bench trial in federal court enforcing an agreement to arbitrate and the companion arbitration) First State Insurance Company, et al. v. Winterthur “Swiss” Insurance Company, et al., Mealey’s Litigation Report: Reinsurance, March 22, 1995 at A-1 (confirmed D. Conn)
Universal Reinsurance Corporation v. Allstate Insurance Company, 16 F.3d 125 (7th Cir. 1994) (leading case on duty to appoint arbitrators in compliance with contractual deadlines)
In re Rehabilitation of Centaur v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., 158 Ill.2d 166 (Ill. Sup. Ct. 1994) (creditor’s standing to pursue alter ego claim against
Selcke, Rehabilitator of Centaur Insurance Company v. New England Insurance Company, 995 F2d 688 (7th Cir. 1993) (set-off issues in insolvency and the duty to arbitrate disputes regarding set-offs)
Schiller & Schmidt v. Wallace Computer Services, Inc., et al., No. 85-C-4415, 1991 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18652 (April 26, 1991) (successful defense at trial of
Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. Borg-Warner Corporation, 913 F.2d 419 (7th Cir. 1990) (Federal abstention in case of insurance insolvency)
McHugh v. McHugh, 676 F. Supp 856 (N.D. Ill. 1988) (successfully represented the defendant in an action alleging violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5)
Bellefonte v. Argonaut, 757 F2d 523 (2d Cir. 1985) (leading reinsurance case on the finality of settlements)
Daniels, Liquidator of Northern Financial & Guaranty Company, Ltd. v. Powell, 604 F. Supp. 689 (N.D. Ill. 1985) (summary judgment in favor of a government authorized liquidator for conversion against controlling shareholder)Spray-Rite v. Monsanto, 684 F.2d 1226 (1982), affirmed, 465 U.S. 752 (1984) (an often-cited antitrust case; assistant trial counsel in the successful six-week jury trial against Monsanto)