Tim Burns is a partner at Burns Bowen Bair LLP. He combines a deep understanding of insurance law and the insurance industry with a broad understanding of the civil litigation system that allows him to bring creative solutions to high-stakes problems.
Before founding Burns Bowen Bair LLP, Tim was a partner at three of the largest law firms in the country and led the insurance recovery practice groups at two of those law firms. Tim built from scratch one of the world’s top directors’ and officers’ insurance practices. He has co-authored two books on directors’ and officers’ insurance and lectured and written widely on that topic as well as many other areas of insurance law and public policy. For years, Tim taught at directors’ colleges put on by some of the foremost law and business schools in the country, including Stanford’s Directors’ College and the University of Chicago, Stanford and Dartmouth Directors’ Consortium.
Since the financial crisis, Tim has led a small group of lawyers who have obtained over $1 billion in settlements and judgments from the insurance industry under many different types of insurance policies, including general liability insurance, directors’ and officers’ insurance, professional liability insurance, fiduciary liability insurance, cyber insurance, property insurance, and crime and fidelity insurance.
Tim represents some of the largest corporations in the country and their boards of directors, and he also regularly partners with plaintiffs’ lawyers in seeking insurance recoveries for major liability claims and in holding the insurance industry accountable for financial fraud and other misdeeds.
Tim serves on the boards of directors of the American Constitution Society and the Wisconsin Justice Initiative. In 2019, he was appointed by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to serve on the National Commission on Uniform State Laws. He is a member of the American Law Institute and is the institutional representative for the American Constitution Society at the European Law Institute. Tim chaired the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association. After law school, Tim served as a law clerk to Judge George G. Fagg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In 2015, Senator Tammy Baldwin forwarded Tim’s name to President Obama as one of her choices to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.