Our Attorneys

Ellen D. Jenkins

Ellen's practice has focused on the litigation of complex commercial disputes in federal and state courts across the United States, as well as in provincial courts in Canada.  These disputes have involved numerous areas of law, including securities fraud, breach of contract, fraudulent representations and warranties, breach of fiduciary duty, legal malpractice, employment liability, and personal injury.  In the insurance arena, Ellen has for many years represented insurance companies and Lloyd's syndicates in declaratory judgment and breach of contract actions, prosecuted rescission actions, pursued errors and omissions claims against third-party agents (underwriting and claims handling), and defended insurers against claims of bad faith.  Ellen has authored and argued many winning motions and appellate briefs, and successfully settled scores of cases.

Ellen also has extensive experience analyzing and advising clients on coverage under a wide variety of liability insurance policies, including directors and officers liability policies, employment practices liability policies, fiduciary liability policies, legal malpractice policies, and various types of errors and omissions policies.  In addition to assessing and making recommendations with respect to the meaning of particular policy terms, the operation of policy provisions, and the viability of possible coverage defenses, Ellen has monitored and coordinated the defense and resolution of innumerable claims.  She has also drafted insurance policy forms, exclusions, endorsements and applications, and she has counseled clients in the development of new insurance products. 

Noteworthy recent results include the following:

  • In two complex commercial cases, Ellen's litigation efforts resulted in extremely favorable settlements paid to her client, including one settlement worth $30 million.

  • Ellen obtained a $24.5 million settlement paid to her client in a matter involving deficient underwriting by a managing general agent.

  • Argued in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of the appellant in a case addressing whether a physical assault in an insured vehicle arises out of the "use" of the vehicle.  Rather than affirm, the Ninth Circuit referred the key coverage question to the California Supreme Court.

Noteworthy other case results include the following:       

  • Tawa PLC v. Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Company  (D. Del. January 2015) (denying motion to dismiss twenty-two-count complaint for, among other relief, rescission of a $60 million purchase agreement, rescissory damages and punitive damages).

  • Lincoln General Insurance Company v. Ryan Mercaldo LLP  (S.D. Cal. May 9, 2014) (denying motion to dismiss on limitations grounds legal malpractice action alleging flawed coverage advice).

  • Pemaquid Underwriting Agency, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Sept. 29, 2011) (holding, as a matter of law, that $12.9 million settlement was unreasonable and collusive and, thus, unenforceable against settling TPA's professional liability insurers).

  • Aon Corporation v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London (Cir. Ct. Ill. (Cook County) Dec. 3, 2010) (ruling on summary judgment that insurance broker's settlement of claims seeking the disgorgement of undisclosed contingent commissions was not a covered "Loss" under combined lines professional liability policy).

  • Great American Insurance Company v. Gross, 468 F.3d 199 (4th Cir. 2006) (reversing district court's decision to abstain from entertaining $20 million rescission action brought by liability insurer of defunct reciprocal insurer and its former directors and officers).

  • Danis v. Great American Insurance Company, 823 N.E.2d 59 (Ohio Ct. App. 2004) (deciding comprehensive pollution exclusion in disputed $10 million directors and officers liability policy barred coverage for claims alleging that insureds had acted to avoid obligations under prior settlement of environmental liabilities).


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10 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 1800

Chicago, IL 60603

Phone: 312-466-7212

Email: Ellen.Jenkins@ruberry-law.com

Practice Areas:

Insurance Coverage; Commercial Litigation; Professional Liability; Bad Faith; Personal Injury

Professional Affiliations:

  • Chicago Bar Association


  • College of William & Mary, J.D., B.A.; Phi Beta Kappa


  • Illinois,
  • Maryland,
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,
  • United States District Court for the District of Maryland
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas