Why This Litigator Is Happy to Be Back in the Insurance and Reinsurance Space
Risk & Insurance® sat down to talk with Thomas Zurek of Schiff Hardin to discuss his recent move to the company as counsel. He’s joined the firm’s Insurance and Reinsurance and Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Groups. Here’s what he had to say of his new role:
R&I: What aspects of the new role attracted you to the position?
Zurek: Before spending nearly 20 years as an in-house lawyer, I was in private practice for 26 years.
I am looking forward to practicing law again, using both the in-house and law firm perspectives I have developed over my career to benefit our clients.
R&I: Why do you think you got the role? In other words, what skills, talents or capabilities won you the role?
Zurek: Having been a client of Schiff Hardin for many years, I have come to admire the firm’s culture of collegiality and client-first approach.
I bring extensive knowledge of, and experience in, the life insurance space that provides added depth to Schiff Hardin’s already strong insurance and reinsurance practice.
R&I: What will be the biggest challenges for you in this new position?
Zurek: It’s a challenge to build a private practice in the incredibly competitive legal market today. But I am fortunate that my experience as a certified arbitrator and continued role as a senior G.C. in the financial services industry provides a great network and many opportunities.
R&I: What are your goals in this new position?
Zurek: My goals are two-fold: 1) to build a practice at Schiff Hardin that enables me to use my deep experience, particularly in the life insurance space, to help clients navigate the challenges in this sector.
And 2) to contribute to Schiff Hardin’s growing reputation as an important firm in the insurance/reinsurance space.
R&I: What are the biggest challenges facing your industry or profession?
Zurek: The life and reinsurance industries are facing significant issues related to the historic ways the two significant components of the industry work together.
Recent positions taken by life insurers and reinsurers are forcing the industries to be more precise in the way they do business with each other. Historically life insurers and reinsurers had collegial relations where business was grounded in custom and practice; today much more legal precision is required of the relationships.
My practice is focused on these evolving relationships. &