• Illinois
  • US District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • US District Court, Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern and Southern District of Indiana
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • US Bankruptcy Court, Central District of Illinois and state of Illinois


  • IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, JD, 1988
  • University of Dubuque, BA, 1984

Jim is a Partner in the Chicago office and focuses on the representation and counsel of insurance companies in litigation and disputes involving insurance coverage issues. Jim’s practice also includes the representation of corporate clients in commercial litigation, compliance, sanctions and employment matters. Jim has served as lead counsel for domestic and international clients in cross-border corporate acquisitions, leading teams in the U.S. and Europe covering a wide range of specialties including corporate, employment law, property and health and safety. Jim also advises international corporate clients regarding compliance with the U.S. sanctions framework, the  U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anti-corruption laws. Jim also defends construction industry clients in litigation involving allegations of defective construction and/or workplace injuries, business owners in negligence suits and product manufacturers in toxic tort and products liability litigation.

Jim has represented insurers throughout the country in a variety of contexts, including the handling of first and third party claims regarding coverage under, inter alia, commercial general liability, commercial property, umbrella, excess and surplus lines, professional liability, cyber liability, contractor pollution liability, onsite cleanup, workers’ compensation and builder’s risk policies, as well as reinsurance disputes.  He has provided coverage analysis and has litigated, in court and through mediation and arbitration, cases involving insurance coverage for claims involving biometrics, data breach, sexual abuse, mass tort liability claims (including talc, asbestos, lead paint, latex, breast implants, tobacco, and polybutylene pipes), personal and advertising injury claims, environmental claims, defective construction claims, premises liability claims, professional liability and legal malpractice claims.

Jim has first-chair trial experience in complex coverage litigation and has served as lead negotiator in a variety of complex insurance coverage settlements. He also represents insurers in connection with coverage issues arising in the context of bankruptcy proceedings involving debtors facing overwhelming losses from mass tort liability claims.

Prior to law school, Jim worked in the Chicago office of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations where he participated in investigations of public and judicial corruption and fraud.

"He provides practical advice in an easy-to-understand format. He knows when to be aggressive and when to massage a situation to reach the optimal result."

Chambers USA 2022

Market recognition

  • Ranked lawyer and notable practitioner for 'Insurance: Dispute Resolution (Illinois)'
    "He provides practical advice in an easy-to-understand format. He knows when to be aggressive and when to massage a situation to reach the optimal result."
    Chambers USA 2022
  • Ranked Lawyer and Notable Practitioner for 'Insurance: Dispute Resolution (Illinois)'
    "James Hickey is a respected insurer-side coverage litigator with notable expertise handling a wide variety of disputes. His experience includes claims relating to injury, professional liability and construction, among others."
    Chambers USA 2021

Work highlights

  • First chaired trials for major property & casualty insurers in declaratory judgment actions regarding coverage for breast implant and asbestos bodily injury claims.
  • First chaired trial and obtained multi-million dollar judgment for major property & casualty insurer in asbestos bodily injury coverage action.
  • First chaired trial and obtained judgment in adversary proceeding in bankruptcy matter involving claims against asbestos product manufacturer debtor.
  • Obtained summary judgments on behalf of construction industry clients in litigation involving defective construction and/or construction site injuries.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of excess insurer with respect to multimillion-dollar contribution claim by primary insurer in connection with thousands of underlying asbestos bodily injury claims.
  • Secured the withdrawal of tenders of claims for coverage in connection with claims for invasion of biometric privacy, defective construction claims, environmental claims, asbestos claims, property claims and general liability claims.
  • Led a team of attorneys in the UK and the US in a cross-border acquisition valued at $21 Million on behalf of a commercial client.
  • Led a team of attorneys in the US, UK and United Arab Emirates in establishing subsidiaries, obtaining employment visas in Dubai for corporate client.

Presentations and publications

  • “Russian sanctions: A global view,” In-House Client Training (October 2022)