Core Values in Action

"To me, being an attorney at Freeborn is not just about handling the task at hand for a client, but also looking at how I can take care of their needs going forward, both from a litigation and business perspective."

Kathy Ehrhart is a Partner in the Litigation Practice Group and member of the Insurance/Reinsurance Team.

Kathy has acted as trial and appellate counsel in arbitrations and litigations in federal and state courts throughout the United States, representing a variety of corporations, business and professional firms.

Her areas of focus include complex commercial and class action, reinsurance, antitrust, securities fraud, accountant liability, employment and breach of contract claims.

She has extensive experience working with executives, senior management and in-house counsel of corporations in managing litigation as well as advising on litigation risks and strategy.

Before joining Freeborn, Kathy was a Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP focusing on similar matters.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a German reinsurer in an arbitration against a U.S. insurer where the client raised breach of contract claims as well as breaches of the duty of utmost good faith. In a unanimous decision, the panel found for our client, awarding it over $15 million in compensatory damages plus 6.5% compound interest and $1 million in punitive damages. The award was confirmed by a federal court. AXA Versicherung AG v. New Hampshire Insurance Co. et al, (S.D.N.Y).
  • Defense of nationwide class action alleging securities fraud against developer and marketer of satellite global phone system.
  • Defense of lost wages and benefits claims based on breach of contract and promissory estoppel theories.
  • Defense of claims alleging business conspiracy and race discrimination, summary judgment was granted in favor of client on all counts, affirmed by the Fourth Circuit.  
  • Prosecution of breach of contract claims based on the proposed merger of two large cellular companies to successful outcome. 
  • Defense of antitrust claims alleging price fixing in the linerboard and corrugated container industry.
  • Trial of Illinois class action involving the exempt status of auto and casualty adjusters under the Illinois Minimum Wage Act (which incorporates provisions of the FLSA), resulting in a complete defense verdict for our client.
  • Defense of accounting negligence case for Arthur Andersen. Obtained complete defense verdict in first jury trial the client faced following the Enron indictment.
  • Defense of putative nationwide class action alleging gender discrimination under Title VII and The Equal Pay Act. Successfully defeated two class certification motions and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) Petitions. Successfully defended rulings on appeal in front of Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 
  • Defense of antitrust claims alleging price fixing and market allocation. Obtained summary judgment on all claims and successfully defended judgment on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Honors & Awards: 
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers - 2018 
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers - Emerging Lawyers - 2017 (cited in multiple years)
Publications: 
  • "Policing the Workforce and Litigating Employment cases in the High Tech Era of Social Networking, Blogging and Texting," Chicago Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Committee.
Speaking Engagements: 

Education

J.D., University of Chicago Law School, with honors
B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Broadcast Journalism 1997 Bronze Tablet (Highest Honors - Top 3%)

State Bar Admissions

  • Illinois

Federal Bar Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
http://www.leadinglawyers.com/atty_profile.cfm?TOCUID=1501081

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