• Illinois
  • US Court of Appeals, Sixth and Seventh Circuit
  • US District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • US District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • US District Court, Western District of New York
  • Supreme Court of Illinois


  • Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, JD, 2001
  • University of Illinois–Chicago, BA, 1991

John is a Partner in the Chicago office. His practice focuses on representing clients in all aspects of the insurance and reinsurance business, including claims counseling, litigation, and arbitration. His practice includes the handling of issues involving commercial insurance, primary, bad faith, umbrella, excess and surplus lines, professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and reinsurance.

His experience in the reinsurance area focuses on litigating and arbitrating disputes, representing reinsurers of workers’ compensation programs, insurance pools, and treaty reinsurance programs. He has represented reinsurers of life and health programs in litigation and arbitration matters.

John has served as Vice Chair of the ABA TIPS Excess, Surplus Lines and Reinsurance Section for the last seven years. He has spoken at the ABA ICLC Annual Meeting D&O Exposures for Catastrophe Claims, and at the Reinsurance Association of America Re Basics Reinsurance Issues in D&O Matters. He also gave the Keynote Address at the ARC Annual Congress in London (2011).

"He has proven strategic and analytical skills that help lead a matter to a successful resolution."

Chambers USA 2022

Market recognition

  • Illinois Super Lawyer (2009-2022)
  • Leading Lawyer Illinois (2010-2022)
  • Ranked lawyer and notable practitioner for 'Insurance: Dispute Resolution (Illinois)'
    "He has proven strategic and analytical skills that help lead a matter to a successful resolution."
    Chambers USA 2022
  • Ranked lawyer and notable practitioner for 'Insurance: Dispute Resolution (Illinois)'
    "John LaBarbera is well known for representing clients in an array of insurance coverage disputes. He has particular expertise handling asbestos, bodily injury and environmental claims."
    "He is a great lawyer who is very experienced."
    Chambers USA 2021

Work highlights

  • Lead trial counsel for excess insurer in dispute with policyholder over primary exhaustion involving underlying asbestos bodily injury claims with total value of more than $150 million.
  • Lead trial counsel for treaty reinsurer of workers’ compensation self-insurer fund in regulatory dispute with commissioner of insurance.
  • Lead arbitration counsel for facultative reinsurer in dispute of claim allocation involving significant underlying personal injury claim.
  • Successfully defended excess insurer policyholder claim of vertical exhuastion under Illinois in coverage dispute involving allocation of asbestos bodily injury claims.
  • Successfully defended excess insurer from policyholder claims that excess insurer had an obligation to indemnify for defense costs.

Presentations and publications

  • “What are driving insurance/reinsurance losses in the US?” In-House Client Training (October 2022)
  • “North American Sexual Abuse Claims - Strategic Review,” In-House Client Training (April 2022)
  • Co-author, “The latest challenge to Ohio’s allocation law,” published for Kennedys (March 2021)
  • “Attorney-Client Privilege in the Corporate Setting,” AIRROC (January 2021)
  • “Attorney-Client Privilege in the insurance setting: best practices,” In-House Client Training (January 2021)
  • “Commercial General Liability Analysis”, In-House Client Training (May to July 2020)
  • “Coverage Analysis,” In-House Client Training (July 2020)
  • “Business Auto Coverage,” In-House Client Training (June 2020)
  • “Construction Defect Coverage,” In-House Client Training (September 2019)
  • “The American Law Institute: Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance,” presented for AIRROC London Education Day (June 2019)
  • “Insurance Allocation: A Primer,” presented for Perrin Conferences (June 2018)

Reported decisions

  • John Crane, Inc. v. Admiral Ins. Co., --- N.E.2d ----, 2013 IL App (1st) 1093240-B, 2013 WL 3007233, Ill. App. 1 Dist., June 04, 2013 (NO. 1-09-3240)
Market recognition
  • john labarbera super lawyers 5 years

    John LaBarbera - 5 Years Super Lawyers

  • john labarbera super lawyers

    John LaBarbera - Super Lawyers