Mike Connery leads the firm’s Settlement Counsel Practice Group.
In creating the role of Settlement Counsel, Mike has redesigned the litigation and risk landscape for the client. It is the only practice of its kind anywhere and provides the client with a unique and powerful asset in controlling and ending risk.
As Settlement Counsel, Mike has created a proven solution for the business owners, boards of directors, c-suite officers, general counsel, heads of litigation and claims, risk managers, third party administrators, bankruptcy trustees, brokers and plaintiff counsel.
He does not litigate the case or mediate. He helps the client find a solution to a case and ends it to the satisfaction of the client.
Mike developed this Settlement Counsel model based on his years of experience in litigation, trial work, national litigation coordination and insurance coverage advice. Some of that experience includes seeing parties incur great expense, and endure risk and distraction, sometimes over periods of multiple years, that could have been avoided with an unrelenting focus on a practical resolution of the dispute. As a result of that experience, Mike rededicated his professional life to helping clients avoid that risk and expense.
Aligning Interests: A Proven Solution
If a case must be tried, it must be tried. However, for most enterprises, a “day in court” is rarely necessary. The business objectives of many clients demand sensible and predictable resolution of claims and litigation. Settlement Counsel operates free of the procedural demands and constraints of litigation, and also of the billable hour. This creates a pragmatic alternative approach to ending a client’s risk with clarity and a singular, focused resolve.
As a product of his training and experience in clinical psychology, Mike has a talent for understanding and creating a dialogue with the opposing side. His communications on behalf of the client are protected and privileged. He focuses his considerable legal acumen into direct, patient and productive discussions which find solutions. His experience as trial lawyer leaves him undaunted by the most outwardly difficult opposing counsel.
There is one goal only: to resolve a case to the client’s satisfaction.
Settlement Counsel engagements are billed only on a contingent fee basis. This arrangement represents Mike’s commitment to the client and confidence in the effectiveness of the Settlement Counsel role.
There are no hourly fees or any “alternative” fees charged regardless of outcome. A contingent fee, based solely upon a successful outcome, is the only fee paid by the client.
Mike brings over 30 years of expertise in litigation, trial, national counsel and insurance coverage to every case.
He has served as chair of a national litigation practice of over 150 lawyers.
For more than a decade, he has been a principal Settlement Counsel and negotiator for one of the largest companies in the world.
As Settlement Counsel, Mike has helped clients resolve some of the largest and most complex matters in the country.
Mike’s clients have avoided thousands of hours of effort and millions of dollars in legal fees that otherwise would have been devoted to the administration of litigation. Mike’s clients have received over $1 Billion in recoveries from responsible parties.
Mike has settled major matters pre-litigation, parallel to ongoing litigation or during appeals.
These resolutions eliminate years of litigation and the consequent legal fee savings for the client can be massive.
His settlement results include:
- numerous class actions of every nature including protected classes, securities classes, consumer classes and employment classes
- complex commercial disputes and IP matters
- major insurance recoveries for policyholders and carriers as part of settlements
- insurance bad faith matters
- pharmaceutical claims
- asbestos cases
- personal injury and death claims
- premises liability
- construction claims
- sex abuse and molestation cases
- professional negligence claims including doctors, nursing, nursing homes, hospitals, design professionals, lawyers, accountants and brokers
University of Nebraska College of Law (J.D.)
United States International University (M.A. in Psychology)
St. Joseph's University (B.S. in Psychology)
Published Articles/Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, “Lessons Learned in a Career in Risk Management,” Houston RIMS Annual Brunch & Learn, July 19, 2023.
- Speaker, “Changing the Settlement Dynamic: A Look Behind the Defense Curtain,” Injury Board Pathfinder Conference, June 26-29, 2022.
- Various presentations on Risk Management and Resolution of Complex Claims