Moritz College of Law The Ohio State University
This Month @ Moritz

Insurance Newscast Names Brian Casey '87 Top Insurance Industry Leader

Walt Podgurksi, chairman and CEO of Insurance Broadcasting.com describes those on the list of the 100 most powerful, which also includes Moritz alumnus and Congressman Michael G. Oxley '69: "Most likely they have worked hard and have great integrity and management skills, and the reason they have power is that they have been given that power by others because they are 'trusted.' I believe they believe that their power is but a reflection of the confidence and faith others have in them, and their power is viewed by them as a guardianship, duty, and charge to serve others." Brian exemplifies the description.

Following Moritz graduation, Brain joined a medium-sized Atlanta firm. Then as now says Brian, "Atlanta had the positive characteristics of a large city and the amenities of a smaller community with the added benefit of strong growth." The firm size was conducive to early responsibility and at 30, Brian was handling his own insurance merger and acquisition and reinsurance deals. To better serve corporate clients, Brian wanted to solidify his background in tax, so he earned a Masters in Law in Taxation at Emory University in 1992, while practicing law, participating in the night school program.

During this period, Brian accurately predicted the dramatic changes the Internet would have on business and the practice of law and began preparing himself. While his traditional insurance company clients were sizing up the Internet's impact on their businesses, he built an e-commerce and technology component into his then traditional corporate/transactional and regulatory insurance practice and developed a specialty in representing start-up companies in the insurance, financial services and health care verticals, which introduced him into the venture capital world. He also identified the emerging significance of electronic signatures and educated himself on the topic, eventually publishing articles, speaking nationally on this subject. Later, he was one of the organizers of the Cyberinsurance/Insurance Technology Symposium to bring insurance and technology professionals together to exchange ideas and learn how new technologies are being deployed to increase transactional efficiency, customer satisfaction, and regulatory compliance.

Brian Casey and Lisa Ballman
Brian with Assistant Development Director Lisa Ballman at an Atlanta alumni gathering in January

Once Brian chose the corporate and regulatory aspects of insurance law as his final destination, he committed himself to knowing all facets of the industry, from products spanning many types of commercial and personal lines to insurance distribution systems to people. It wasn't long before he was auditing night courses on the business of insurance in Georgia State's premier risk management and insurance program. There he met a cadre of individuals destined for key management positions in the industry and a faculty anxious to collaborate. Brian was ultimately invited to teach insurance law as an adjunct professor. A prolific writer, he is published in Risk Retention Reporter, California Broker, Life Office Management Association's Resource Magazine, and regularly writes client alerts for his current firm, Lord, Bissell & Brook LLP, a 375-member, Chicago-based firm.

At mid-career, Brian is most proud of the niche he has created for himself as an expert in electronic signatures and privacy. The high standards he has set for himself in mastering these complex issues have led to a reputation that inspires confidence in his clients, as well as a growing national practice.

His ongoing aspiration is to further develop a stable of attorneys within the firm who can draft the contracts and deal with regulatory and administrative agencies to provide a broad array of insurance industry clients, such as insurers, reinsurers, insurance agencies and claims administrators comprehensive, one-stop service. He is committed to the recruiting, training, and mentoring inherent in this goal. When will he know the team of lawyers is complete? He says with a smile, "When I don't have to work on Sundays anymore."

These days Brian is devoting more attention to the business of law. Brian says he wasn't an entrepreneur as a young attorney. It didn't come to him naturally. As he grew as a lawyer, he understood that he had to pay more attention to the business of law. "It involves keeping a stream of business coming in, knowing what your existing clients are doing or planning to do, constantly honing your skills, and effectively teaching these skills to others in your work group." Brian spends the first, noon, and last hour of each day on business development and client relations-building. In between he is constantly taking phone calls because clients come first. The challenge, he says, "is the constant shifting between projects, and redirecting focus throughout the day."

Brian is also tracking the next big trends in the insurance industry. Among them is the increased tension between the federal government and states over regulatory authority, the burgeoning secondary market for in-force life insurance, and constant new privacy related laws, such as the new Telemarketing Regulations and CANSPAM Act. No doubt, Brian will prepare himself and his team to master these new challenges. Classmates wishing to contact Brian can reach him by email at bcasey@lordbissell.com.