Josh Kantrow is a partner in the Chicago office of Lewis Brisbois, is co-chair of the firm’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) practice group, and is a vice-chair of the firm’s Professional Liability Practice. Clients frequently retain Mr. Kantrow to litigate complex, high exposure cases throughout the United States and appreciate his ability to generate great results. Josh has deep experience defending technology litigation matters, including class actions involving data privacy/network security, cyber-security, and technology errors and omissions. Mr. Kantrow also defends class action litigation brought against Illinois-based companies under BIPA, provides counsel on the emerging BIPA legal landscape, and provides strategic direction to address BIPA compliance, insurance coverage, and litigation. Further, Mr. Kantrow defends a wide variety of individuals and companies in professional malpractice claims, and litigates complex insurance coverage cases.
Mr. Kantrow’s experience managing claims enables him to view legal issues from the client’s perspective. Several years ago, Mr. Kantrow worked in London for a Berkshire Hathaway backed insurer. In this role, Josh managed complex professional liability litigation, analyzed claims, counseled on contract wordings, and assessed risk. Mr. Kantrow also served for three years as outside counsel for a national manufacturer based in Chicago, managing claims and providing transactional advice.
Mr. Kantrow has been a speaker at approximately 100 seminars, conducted across the United States, in Europe and in Israel. Mr. Kantrow has also appeared as a guest on dozens of radio and television programs and podcasts, has been interviewed by leading industry publications, and has published articles on various legal topics and issues.
Prior to moving to Chicago, Mr. Kantrow spent a semester in law school at the Université Aix-Marseille in Aix-en-Provence, France, interned for a federal judge at the U.S. Claims Court in Washington, D.C., and practiced in New Orleans for four years.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Professional Liability
- Insurance Law
- Insurance Coverage
- Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)
- Accountants Errors & Omissions
- Bad Faith Litigation
- Class Action & Mass Tort
- Complex Business & Commercial Litigation
- Data Privacy & Cybersecurity
- Directors & Officers Coverage
- Legal Malpractice Defense
- Life Health Disability & ERISA
- London Market Group
- Miscellaneous Professional Liability
- Labor & Employment
Supreme Courts of Illinois, New York and Louisiana
Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S.D.C., Northern District of Illinois (member of trial bar) and Eastern and Western Districts of Louisiana
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
- Professional Liability Underwriting Society
Awards & Honors
- AV® Preeminent™ peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell, reflecting the highest peer recognition for both ethical standards and legal ability
- Selected by peers as current Illinois “Leading Lawyer” for Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law and Professional Liability
- Selected by peers as a Chicago Top Rated Lawyer for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
- Selected by peers for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005 and 2006
In addition to participating as a guest on dozens of radio and television programs and podcasts, Mr. Kantrow has presented at approximately 100 seminars and conferences throughout the U.S., Europe, and Israel, including:
- “Overview of BIPA, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act,” presented with Mary Smigielski to the Chicago Bar Association, November 20, 2019.
- “Overview of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, Defense and Coverage,” presented with Mary Smigielski to various insurers and financial institutions in New York City and Chicago, on June 25, September 17, September 24, September 25, and November 8, 2019.
- “Suits Against Attorneys: Mastering the Minefield,” presented to an insurance industry client, Chicago area, October 25, 2019.
- “Defense and Coverage Issues Under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act,” webcast presented with Mary Smigielski at Lawline Studios, New York City, May 2, 2019.
- “Cyber Breaches: Safeguarding Your Firm and Clients,” seminar presented to Chicago Bar Association on June 5, 2018.
- “Handling and Preventing Accountant E&O Claims,” webinar presented with several colleagues to Lewis Brisbois’s clients on December 21, 2017.
- “Emerging Issues in Technology Liability: Are Policies other than Errors & Omissions at Risk?,” webinar presented with several colleagues to Lewis Brisbois’s clients on December 19, 2016 and March 13, 2017.
- “Duty to Provide Independent Counsel,” presented to insurance industry clients on August 30, 2016, Chicago, Illinois.
- “Defending Insurance Brokers,” webinar presented with Chris White to Lewis Brisbois’s clients on December 17, 2015.
- “Cyber Risk: Threat, Loss Control, Claims and Coverage,” presented with John Mullen to an insurance industry client on November 4, 2015, Chicago, Illinois.
- "Handling Claims Against Real Estate Agents and Brokers,” presented with Jeff Goldwater and Michael Obert on October 14, 2015, in Itasca, Illinois.
- “Social Media Bootcamp - Social Media in an eDiscovery World and Social Media’s Impact on Employment Liability, Ethics, Juries, and Insurance Coverage,” presented to an insurance industry client, on November 14, 2014, in New York, NY.
- “Management Strategies for Efficient Document Review,” webinar presented to Lewis Brisbois clients, November 12, 2014.
- “Common Coverage Issues in Employment Law Matters,” presented to a financial services industry client, on October 21, 2014, in Kansas City.
- “Recent Developments in Legal Ethics in Illinois,” presented to insurance and financial industry clients on May 14-15, 2014, Chicago, Illinois.
- “Insurance Agent and CPA E&O: Do Professional Liability Service providers Have a Duty to Predict the Future Tax Treatment of Employee Benefits Plans”, webinar presented with Connie Anderson to Lewis Brisbois clients, April 17, 2014.
- "Private Companies and Non-Profits’ Management Liability: Exposure, Trends & Opportunities,” presented to an international insurer, on February 13, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois.
- "Cyber and Digital Risk Management for Accountants," Illinois CPA Society, Skokie, Illinois, August 12, 2013.
- "Private Companies and Non-Profits Management Liability: Exposures, Trends and Opportunities," Management Liability Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, August 7, 2013.
- “Recent Legal Developments Affecting the Hi-Tech Industry: Cybersecurity, Patent Law, Crowdfunding & Mergers and Acquisitions, Israel Advanced Technology Industries," Tel Aviv, Israel, July 25, 2013.
- “Tackling the Legal Issues of Privacy & Data Security in a Mobile World,” presented with representatives from the FBI, Federal Trade Commission, and Motorola, Chicago Bar Association, June 4, 2013.
- “So You Have Your Startup: How Will You Protect Your Data, Bottom Line & Reputation?” Technion University workshop, Haifa, Israel, February 21, 2013.
- “Enterprise Risks Caused by Internet Connectivity,” Monomoy Capital Roundtable in Chicago, Illinois, November 13, 2012.
- “Cyber Breaches, Safeguarding Your Firm and Clients,” Association of Legal Administrators Regional Conference, Ledyard, Connecticut, October 19, 2012.
- “Cyber Wars, ‘Hactivism’ and U.S. Government’s Warnings to Business Entities,” Ravinia Capital Roundtable, Chicago, Illinois, July 31, 2012.
- “Ethics & Current Trends in E-Discovery,” presented to a financial services provider client, Deerfield, Illinois, June 26, 2012.
- “Law Firm Cyber Risks: Real World Solutions,” presented to an insurance industry client’s annual meeting with its law firm policyholders, Chicago, Illinois, June 14, 2012.
- “Privacy and Security Exposures: Practical Concerns for Law Firms,” New Jersey Bar Association Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 17, 2012.
- “State of Data Security and Cyber Liability Claims,” Monomoy Capital Roundtable with 25 business leaders in the Chicago area, Chicago, Illinois, May 9, 2012.
- “Ethics & Current Trends in E-Discovery,” presented at an insurance industry conference, New York, NY, April 24, 2012.
- “Fundamental Issues of Network Security and the Risks Facing Law Firms on Cyber Breaches,” Association of Legal Administrators Conference, New York, NY, March 15, 2012.
- “Digital Risk Management,” The Risk Report (published by the International Risk Management Institute), November 2011.
- “Cyber Liability Issues from an Underwriting Perspective,” presented to an insurance industry client, New York City, June 13, 2011.
- “Attorney Client Privilege and E-Discovery,” presented to an insurance industry client, New York City, April 7, 2011.
- “Mock Trial on Cyber Liability Issues,” BCS Group’s Annual Conference, Colorado Springs, September 16, 2010.
- “Resolving Claims Made under Cyber-Risk Policies,” American Conference Institute’s Forum on Cyber Risk Insurance, Philadelphia, September 26, 2007.
- “Technology Risks: Knowledge is Power,” 2006 ASHRM Seminar, San Diego, October 31, 2006.
- “Overview of U.S. Court System and Tort/Class Action Reform,” Illinois State University, Katie Insurance School Seminar, Bloomington, Ill., July 6, 2005.
- “Key Trends in U.S. Law,” Illinois State University, Katie Insurance School Seminar, Bloomington, Ill., July 13, 2004.
- “Defending Complex Claims” – Aggressive Motion Practice presented at insurance client seminars in New York, London and Paris, June 17, 22 and 24, 2004.
- “Rescue Counsel: Strategies for Defending Indefensible Cases in Difficult Jurisdictions,” Illinois State University, Katie Insurance School Seminar, Bloomington, Ill., March 31, 2004.
- “Overview of U.S. Court System and U.S. Litigation” – In-house seminars, London insurance clients, London, October 2002 and March 2003.
- “Recent Developments in U.S. Law at the International Underwriting Association and Lloyd’s Underwriting Association,” London, October 16, 2000.
Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center
Juris Doctor, 1990
Louisiana State University
Bachelor of Arts, 1987
Selected Presentations & Publications
Mr. Kantrow has presented on professional liability and other legal issues at approximately 50 seminars and conferences throughout the United States, and in England, France and Israel, including before the following organizations: American Conference Institute; American International Group Conference; American Society for Healthcare Risk Management; Association of Legal Administrators; BCS Group’s Annual Conference; Chicago Bar Association; Illinois State University; International Underwriting Association; Israel Advanced Technology Industries; Lloyd’s Underwriting Association; Markel Corporation; Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company; Monomoy Capital; Navigators Management Company; New Jersey Bar Association; Ravinia Capital; and Technion University (Israel).
- Successfully defended a media network that provides interactive online advertisements in a high-exposure, high-profile technology class action matter. Plaintiffs alleged that Mr. Kantrow’s client used local shared objects stored in Adobe Flash Media local storage to regenerate certain information stored in internet users’ HTTP browser “cookies” after users deleted those cookies. Josh convinced plaintiffs’ counsel and the California federal court that these allegations were false, and negotiated a favorable settlement for the client that was significantly less than similarly situated defendants.
- First-chaired a first-party bad faith insurance coverage trial for certain London market insurers in in a Mississippi state court involving more than $25 million in claims. The litigation was proceeding adversely against the underwriters, prior counsel did not properly assert federal court jurisdiction, and the policyholder attempted to transfer the case to state court. Mr. Kantrow amended the pleadings, secured the necessary affidavits and convinced the federal court to retain jurisdiction. Mr. Kantrow then persuaded the court to sever the underwriter’s declaratory judgment action from the policyholder’s bad faith claims, and to try the declaratory judgment action first. After first-chairing the declaratory judgment trial and obtaining significant rulings in his client’s favor, the case settled for a nominal amount.
- Won a motion for summary judgment in a federal court on behalf of three insurance broker clients after a tenacious effort and a two-year investigation, which revealed that the plaintiffs submitted a fraudulent claim. As a result, Mr. Kantrow’s clients did not have to pay undisputed damages of several million dollars as a result of several errors and omissions they made in procuring insurance coverage.
- Defeated, on a motion for summary judgment, a claim by a major U.S. telecommunications corporation for D&O coverage of an $11 million verdict that had already been upheld by the Delaware Supreme Court and for $2 million in defense costs. The court found that the underlying class action litigation was not covered by the $25 million fiduciary liability policy issued by London insurers despite the fact that the litigation arguably asserted a covered claim. This victory also protected the remaining limits of the $25 million policy from three other underlying class actions alleging similar conduct. The ruling was upheld on appeal.
- Won a motion for judgment on the pleadings, a rare occurrence in policyholder friendly Cook County, Illinois, defeating an insured's claim for coverage in a $2 million underlying action. What made the victory even more remarkable was the fact that the claim fell within the professional liability policy's insuring agreement. Yet Mr. Kantrow convinced the court that two exclusions were applicable on their face, despite the fact the parties had not yet engaged in discovery.
- Won a motion to dismiss an errors and omission case filed in Illinois against an out of state professional despite the fact that Mr. Kantrow’s client: (a) communicated with its Illinois customer regularly by phone and email, (b) invoiced the customer in Illinois, (c) derived revenue from an Illinois business, and (d) Illinois has a very broad personal jurisdiction statute. Mr. Kantrow nevertheless convinced the court that these activities were not sufficient “minimum contacts” for an Illinois court to exercise jurisdiction over his client.
- Obtained a dismissal of all seven counts against his insurance agent client, including six counts that carried penalties of reimbursement of a plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees and punitive damages. The plaintiffs filed suit after numerous alleged misrepresentations were made to them while procuring a life insurance policy, including threats to report the plaintiffs to immigration officials if they challenged the validity of the policy. The plaintiffs sought several million dollars if the case went to trial. The case was pending in Cook County, Illinois, one of the most Plaintiff-friendly venues in the U.S. and an annual member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Judicial Hellhole” list. Following extensive briefing and an hour-long argument in which the plaintiffs were represented by three lawyers from three different law firms, the judge agreed with Mr. Kantrow’s client’s position that: (1) Plaintiffs suffered no actual damages to sustain a cause of action for consumer fraud, breach of contract and misrepresentation; (2) Plaintiffs’ bad faith claim could only be brought against an insurance company, not an individual insurance agent; (3) the breach of fiduciary claim was foreclosed by Illinois statutory law; and (4) Plaintiffs did not satisfy the heightened requirements to plead a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. As a result, six of the plaintiffs’ seven counts were dismissed with prejudice and the case later settled for a nominal sum.
- Convinced a judge in one of the most plaintiff-friendly venues in America to throw out negligence and breach of fiduciary duty counts against an accounting firm caught up in a bitter dispute between divorcing spouses. The suit, which involves tens of millions of dollars and one of the region’s top divorce attorneys, alleged that the accountant engaged in a conspiracy with other professionals, trustees, and his wife when the firm set up estate planning devices prior to the divorce proceedings. The firm did not advise the parties to secure separate representation even though they had performed work for the wife for years, nor did they have the parties sign an engagement letter. The devices had the effect of substantially reducing the plaintiff’s share of the marital estate assets following the divorce. Josh argued that the statute of limitations barred the malpractice claims based on documents uncovered in the separate divorce proceedings, of which he convinced the court to take judicial notice. This development came after he successfully persuaded the judge not to consolidate the professional liability lawsuit with the divorce case. Following extensive briefing and oral argument, the court ruled that, despite the plaintiff husband not knowing the full extent of his damages or the number of parties involved in the alleged scheme, his knowledge that one device existed prior to the filing of the divorce case put him on inquiry notice to discover any and all malpractice based potential causes of actions and file his complaint within two years, which he did not do. The court dismissed the negligence and breach of fiduciary duty counts with prejudice, an uncommon result in this venue, and the conspiracy count without prejudice.
- Defended certain London market insurers in a complex fiduciary liability coverage lawsuit brought by a major U.S. corporation in its home state of New Jersey, involving a $25 million policy limit. The insurers had reserved the case for approximately 80 percent of the policy limit. The claim fell within the insuring agreement, and the insurers’ sole defense pertained to a single exclusion that was arguably ambiguous. Through aggressive litigation and savvy negotiations, Mr. Kantrow was able to attain a settlement at a significant discount of $12.5 million off the $25 million policy limits claim.
- Following protracted litigation and motion practice, settled several different multi-million lawsuits venued in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana against Mr. Kantrow's directors and officers clients for $10,000,000 under the client’s insurers’ loss reserves.
- Represented two business trade organizations and submitted a brief that helped convince the Kentucky Supreme Court to overturn a $3.75 million punitive damages verdict against a hospital following a medical malpractice trial.
- Convinced a Florida court to dismiss plaintiff's complaint against an online legal rating agency. The court upheld the client’s right to post its ratings of lawyers and doctors online. Significantly, in one of the first tests under the state’s anti-SLAPP statute, the court held that the client is entitled to a $10,000 statutory award and its attorney’s fees.
- Negotiated the favorable resolution of a complex multimillion-dollar claim in Texas involving data in transit against a technology service provider for 20 percent of the value of the claim, despite evidence demonstrating that the service provider was responsible for the loss. The claim, pursued by a major U.S. bank, credit card issuers and a Fortune 500 corporation, involved coordinated data theft from hundreds of automatic teller machines by the Russian mafia. Although there was considerable news coverage of the data breach and involvement by the FBI, Mr. Kantrow assisted the client in maintaining a low profile and avoiding media attention.
- As counsel of record for two pharmacy associations, submitted an amicus brief that assisted a national pharmacy in getting a $5.4 million pharmacy malpractice verdict overturned by a Florida appellate court.
- Assisted a Louisiana business association in convincing the Louisiana Supreme Court to reverse a multi-million dollar punitive damages award against a refinery.
- Settled a multi-million claim against his directors and officer clients for less than $50,000 in an Indiana state court after threatening to seek dismissal of the entire claim based on plaintiff’s failure to pursue a necessary party.
- Project management counsel for insurer regarding over 500 claims asserted against real estate professionals nationwide. Worked directly with the real estate agents, defense counsel and the insurer to significantly reduce the loss exposure.
- Project management counsel for insurers who defended a $50 million negligent software and business interruption claim asserted by a Fortune 100 corporation. Following extensive discovery and motion practice, helped obtained a settlement in the mid-six figures, despite evidence that strongly suggested the software provider was responsible for the loss.
- Through motion practice and savvy negotiating, settled a $4.2 million legal malpractice claim pending in Madison County, Illinois for approximately 15 percent of the value of the claim.
- Defended a high-speed sightseeing vessel captain in a $30 million professional liability claim by a 35-year-old triathlete who was mauled by the vessel while swimming in Lake Michigan. Following a four week trial in Chicago and appellate proceedings, the case was settled for a confidential amount less than the pre-trial settlement demand.
- Defended tour boat operator against a $10 million professional liability lawsuit in Chicago. Notwithstanding adverse findings following several regulatory agencies’ investigations, the case settled for a significant discount off the pre-trial demand following a two week trial.
- Won dismissal of the three out of four counts brought by a putative class of thousands of individuals who alleged data breach and professional liability claims against a health care service company.
- Achieved a remarkable settlement on a case where Mr. Kantrow defended a wholesale insurance broker in a multi-million lawsuit filed in an Illinois state court. Notwithstanding the retail broker’s demand that his client contribute one-third of the multi-million settlement and that his client had authorized a six figure settlement authority, Mr. Kantrow was able to get his client dismissed for $25,000.
- Following an early pre-trial conference, Mr. Kantrow achieved what his insurance consultant client called a “great settlement.” The plaintiff alleged that it suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses due to Josh's client’s alleged failure to advise that a potential gap in coverage may result in changing health insurance programs. Mr. Kantrow was able to achieve a settlement for about 50% of the value of the claim by bringing a motion to dismiss and seeking an early settlement conference, during which the consultant was able to provide informal testimony to the court about the plaintiff’s potential contributory negligence.
- In several cases as “rescue counsel,” including in Illinois, Mississippi and Utah, achieved highly favorable settlements of complex multi-million dollar coverage litigation matters by discovering defenses prior counsel missed and overcoming waiver and estoppel issues asserted by the policyholder. Mr. Kantrow tried one of these cases.
- In cases throughout the United States, has successfully reduced, through litigation and audits, the amount of defense costs that otherwise would have been owed by insurers to policyholders.
- American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Chicago Area Young Leadership Council, co-founder and former co-chair
- Anshe Emet Synagogue Men’s Club Board
- American Technion Society
- Chicago Jewish United Fund Lawyers Division Dinner Committee