Michael Kuiken concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial litigation; insurance and reinsurance advisory work and litigation; directors and officers counseling and litigation; cyber liability counseling; and professional liability litigation. Michael also possesses experience in the additional areas of construction defect, commercial subrogation, premises liability, transportation litigation, tort defense, financial services litigation, and regulatory advisory matters. Michael has represented clients in over 40 jurisdictions.
Over the course of his career, Michael has served as lead trial counsel on numerous matters, obtaining favorable verdicts on behalf of insurance and transportation clients. He has also served as trial counsel in the successful prosecution and defense of commercial litigation matters, including successful representation of an insurer which sought over $100 million in damages from its former managing general agency for losses incurred by the insurer due to the managing general agency’s violations of policy underwriting guidelines. Michael also has experience representing governmental entities, including obtaining a favorable settlement for less than the cost of defense while serving as second chair trial counsel in a construction negligence matter where plaintiffs sought over $20 million in damages.
Michael also represents insurers in a variety of coverage disputes, including a matter arising out a catastrophic crane collapse in Midtown Manhattan, NY. In that case, Michael represented a primary insurer under a CGL policy which was sued by its excess insurer for $25 million in damages related to the defense of the underlying litigation that was filed by various parties claiming injuries and property damage as a result of the crane collapse. Similarly, In Mizyed v. Travelers Home and Marine Ins. Co., Case No. 1:12cv1016 (C.D. Ill.), Michael was the lead associate involved with successfully defending an insurer’s denial of coverage for a home and personal property (contents) claim in excess of $1.5 million arising out of an arson to a luxury home owned by the insured.
Michael has also helped shape Illinois law on key issues relating to construction defect claims, most notably in the matter styled Board of Managers of 15th Place Condo Ass’n. v. South Campus Development Team, et al., 2013 IL App (1st) 122292, where Michael was part of a team that secured victory on the issue of operation of the contractual suit limitations provisions found at Articles 8.3/9.3 of the standard 1997 AIA form Owner-Architect and Owner-General Contractor agreements. The case marked the first time in U.S. jurisprudence that an appellate court had interpreted the suit limitations provision in a third party context.
Similarly, Michael has successfully obtained dismissal in many matters at the trial court level in disputes over whether the Illinois Implied Warranty of Habitability doctrine applied to design professionals. In Board of Managers of Fordham Place v. 25 E. Superior, et al., Case No. 2008 L 2885 (Cir. Ct. of Cook Co., IL), Michael represented project engineer in dispute over The Fordham, a 50 story luxury condominium tower in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Michael obtained summary judgment for his client, a consulting engineer on the project, by successfully arguing that the lack of contractual privity between plaintiffs and the project engineer barred plaintiffs’ claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.
Michael has been named an “Emerging Lawyer” by Leading Lawyers Magazine for the years 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Michael has also conducted numerous CLE seminars for his insurance clients, focusing on key trends in the industry and industry forecasts.
Prior to beginning his legal career, Michael worked professionally as a television sports anchor and reporter for FOX and ABC affiliates in Louisiana and Tennessee, respectively.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Professional and Community Organizations
American Bar Association
Illinois State Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
University of Michigan Law School Club of Greater Chicago (founding board member; member of steering committee)
Chicago Lights (member, Associates’ Board)
University of Michigan, B.A., 2003
University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2007