Timothy W. Burns is a partner at Burns Bair LLP. He combines a deep understanding of insurance law and the insurance industry with a broad understanding of the civil litigation system that allows him to bring creative solutions to high-stakes problems.
Before founding Burns Bair LLP, Tim was a partner at three of the largest law firms in the country and led the insurance recovery practice groups at two of those law firms. Tim built from scratch one of the world’s top directors’ and officers’ insurance practices. He has co-authored two books on directors’ and officers’ insurance and lectured and written widely on that topic as well as many other areas of insurance law and public policy. For years, Tim taught at directors’ colleges put on by some of the foremost law and business schools in the country, including Stanford’s Directors’ College and the University of Chicago, Stanford and Dartmouth Directors’ Consortium.
Since the financial crisis, Tim has led a small group of lawyers who have obtained over $1 billion in settlements and judgments from the insurance industry under many different types of insurance policies, including general liability insurance, directors’ and officers’ insurance, professional liability insurance, fiduciary liability insurance, cyber insurance, property insurance, and crime and fidelity insurance.
Tim represents some of the largest corporations in the country and their boards of directors, and he also regularly partners with plaintiffs’ lawyers in seeking insurance recoveries for major liability claims and in holding the insurance industry accountable for financial fraud and other misdeeds.
Tim has been appointed Co-Lead Counsel in In Re: Society Ins. Co. COVID-19 Business Interruption Protection Litigation (N.D. Ill.) and Interim Co-Lead Counsel in the consolidated class litigation relating to COVID-19 business interruption losses captioned: Troy Stacy Enterprises Inc. v. The Cincinnati Ins. Co. (S.D. Ohio).
Tim serves on the boards of directors of the American Constitution Society and the Wisconsin Justice Initiative. In 2019, he was appointed by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to serve on the National Commission on Uniform State Laws. He is a member of the American Law Institute and is the institutional representative for the American Constitution Society at the European Law Institute. Tim chaired the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association. After law school, Tim served as a law clerk to Judge George G. Fagg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In 2015, Senator Tammy Baldwin forwarded Tim’s name to President Obama as one of her choices to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
- Coverage Litigation
- Domestic and International Insurance Arbitration
- Bad Faith Litigation
- Bankruptcy Trustee Litigation
- Insurance Class Actions
- J.D., University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law
- B.A., Weber State University
- State Bar of Wisconsin
- Dane County Bar Association
- American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel
- American Law Institute
- American Bar Association
- American College of Coverage Counsel
- Seventh Circuit Bar Association
- American Constitution Society
- Wisconsin Justice Initiative
- Missouri State Bar
- Wisconsin State Bar
- Illinois State Bar (ARDC)
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for Fifth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for Eighth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- United States District Court for the District of Colorado
- Mutual Fund Litigation and Insurance Practice Guide
- Stipulations and Insurance Assignments Offer Policyholders and Claimants Relief From Bankruptcy Delays, New York Law Journal, 2022
HONORS AND AWARDS
- Law Clerk to Judge George G. Fagg, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters, 2005
- Recognized in Insurance Law – Best Lawyers in America, 2023