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Barnes & Thornburg Adds Insurance Recovery Group to Growing Minneapolis Office

January 25, 2013   |   Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS – A prominent group of insurance recovery attorneys has joined Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Minneapolis office as partners in the firm’s Policyholder Insurance Recovery and Counseling Group.

The attorneys joining the firm include Thomas C. Mielenhausen, Christopher H. Yetka and Christopher L. Lynch. Mielenhausen, Yetka and Lynch were previously partners at Lindquist & Vennum LLP, where Mielenhausen also chaired the Insurance Recovery Group.

“The addition of these attorneys underscores the firm’s commitment to the strategic expansion of its leading practice groups across the country,” said Alan Levin, managing partner of Barnes & Thornburg. “Their experience in high-profile insurance disputes and recovery litigation will be of great benefit to our colleagues in Minneapolis and nationally.”

“Chris, Tom and Chris have worked with businesses in a wide variety of industries to recover insurance proceeds,” said Andrew Detherage, co-chair of Barnes & Thornburg’s Policyholder Insurance Recovery and Counseling Group. “Their background and experience matches up well with the firm’s strong capabilities in counseling businesses and executives on insurance matters and representing them when coverage disputes arise.”

Mielenhausen, Yetka and Lynch are the latest attorneys to join Barnes & Thornburg’s rapidly growing Minneapolis office, which has increased its attorney ranks to 32 since opening in 2009.

About the Attorneys

For more than 25 years, Thomas C. Mielenhausen has helped business policyholders resolve insurance coverage disputes throughout the U.S., obtaining successful outcomes on behalf of clients through negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation in trial and appellate courts. He has vast knowledge of the insurance industry and the myriad issues associated with different liability and property insurance policies, including: directors’ and officers’; errors and omissions; commercial general; environmental; products; contractors; employment; cyber-risk; advertising; media; intellectual property; technology liability; fidelity and crime loss; and business interruption and property loss.

In 2009, Mielenhausen spearheaded the effort on behalf of clients to pass the Minnesota Business Policyholder Act (Minn. Stat. §60A.0811), which entitles a commercial property/liability policyholder to 10 percent annual interest when it prevails in a coverage dispute.

Christopher H. Yetka focuses his practice on commercial litigation, particularly insurance recovery disputes where he enforces the rights of policyholders across the country in high-stakes coverage matters. He has successfully handled insurance bond and professional liability claims for financial institutions; MCS-90 endorsement claims under commercial auto policies for transportation companies; application of the pollution exclusion stemming from environmental cleanups; insurance disputes stemming from employment practices claims; and coverage claims for directors and officers.

Yetka has also addressed insurance issues faced by property owners, and policyholders with crime, cyber-risk and excess/umbrella insurance policies. He has handled numerous complex settlements, including some involving Miller-Shugart (policy assignment) agreements, Pierringer releases and loan-receipt arrangements.

He serves as vice chair of the ABA’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee and is a program committee member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. He is also frequent author and speaker on insurance topics.

Christopher L. Lynch focuses his practice on insurance recovery, representing business policyholders whose claims have been denied or disputed by their insurance companies. His clients have recovered millions of dollars in insurance proceeds to cover damages and defense costs arising out of products liability claims, environmental clean-up actions, and claims alleging wrongful acts by officers and directors, as well as first-party losses, including damage to business property and loss of income due to business interruption.

Lynch has represented clients in a variety industry’s including life sciences, agribusiness, and chemical distribution and has handled insurance recovery matters in state and federal court actions, arbitrations, and mediations across the county.

Lynch is a member of the Minnesota chapter of The Order of the Coif. He serves on the Annual Seminar Committee of the Minnesota Chapter of the Risk & Insurance Management Society and is member of the ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee. Lynch is also a frequent author and presenter on commercial insurance and litigation topics.

With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from its offices in Atlanta, Delaware, Chicago, Indiana, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com.

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