Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information

Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information



Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys

General Defense


Best, Vanderlaan & Harrington

25 East Washington Street, Suite 800, Chicago, Illinois 60602

Established: 1999

Practice Areas

  • General Liability
  • Coverage Issues
  • Opinions
  • Declaratory Judgments
  • Automobile
  • Property Damage
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Defense Litigation
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Class Actions
  • Construction Litigation
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Defect
  • Construction Liability
  • Dram Shop
  • Labor and Employment
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Professional Liability
  • Toxic Torts
  • Trucking
  • Consumer Fraud Litigation
  • Governmental Law
  • Housing Authorities-Compliance and Litigation

Cases Gone to Trial : 100+

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About Us

Our practice is the evolution of a practice started by Jim Best over thirty-five years ago, which has grown into a mid-size firm with a reputation for excellence. We are an AV rated law firm, and several of our attorneys are members of the Leading Lawyers Network in Illinois. Our clients, many of whom have worked with us in multiple matters over a span of years, benefit from our vast experience, dedication to achieving results at reasonable rates and our commitment to quality. Our top priorities are efficient case management and effective communication with our clients. We are accessible to you, our clients, when you need us. We have office locations in Chicago, Naperville, Rockford and Will County, and practice throughout the state of Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.

At BVH, we are active trial lawyers, concentrating in litigation of civil claims, including all types of tort litigation, commercial litigation, employment law, toxic torts, general negligence and personal injury claims, construction law and professional negligence. We serve as coverage counsel for many local and national insurance carriers, and successfully handle first party, property and bad faith claims, as well as declaratory actions. Our attorneys are skilled in and outside the courtroom, and have tried numerous cases to verdict, including many fatality and catastrophic injury cases in recent years.

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Additional Locations

  • Naperville, Illinois
  • 1755 Park Street, Suite 260
  • Naperville, Illinois 60563-8404
    • Telephone: 630-752-8000
    • Fax: 630-752-8763
  • Joliet, Illinois
  • 1000 Essington Road
  • Joliet, Illinois 60435
    • Telephone: 815-740-1500
    • Fax: 815-740-6304
  • Rockford, Illinois
  • 129 South Phelps Avenue, Suite 800
  • Rockford, Illinois 61108
    • Telephone: 815-964-9500
    • Fax: 815-964-8778

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Client Information

Insurance Clients

Non-Insurance Clients

  • Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund

    Self-Insured Clients

    • Management Services, Inc.
    • Township Officials of Illinois Risk Management Association

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    Personnel Information

    Partners


    James F. Best

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 42

    Practice Areas
    • Civil Litigation
    • Coverage Issues
    • Opinions
    • Declaratory Judgments
    • Insurance Defense
    • Medical Malpractice
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 1974
    • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
    Additional Biographical Details:

    Super Lawyer; Illinois Leading Lawyer

    Memberships:
    • Illinois State, DuPage County (Chairman, Civil Law and Practice Committee, 1985-1987, 1991) and Chicago Bar Associations
    • Defense Research Institute
    • Illinois Defense Counsel
    Education:
    • Drake University, B.S., 1971
    • Drake University, J.D., 1974

    Born: 1949

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    Lori A. Vanderlaan, Managing Partner

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 22

    Practice Areas
    • Civil Litigation
    • Insurance Defense
    • Opinions
    • Coverage Analysis
    • Employment Discrimination
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 1995
    • California, 2012
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
    • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    Additional Biographical Details:

    Illinois Leading Lawyers

    Memberships:
    • Illinois State and DuPage County Bar Associations
    • Defense Research Institute
    Education:
    • University of Illinois, B.A. (with honors), 1989
    • The John Marshall Law School, J.D. (magna cum laude), 1995

    Born: 1968

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    Alison Harrington

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 20

    Practice Areas
    • Civil Litigation
    • Insurance Defense
    • Medical Malpractice
    • Municipal Litigation
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 1997
    • Wisconsin
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
    • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois including Trial Bar
    Additional Biographical Details:

    Illinois Leading Lawyer

    Memberships:
    • Illinois State Bar Association
    • Defense Research Institute
    Education:
    • The University of Iowa, B.S., 1994
    • Marquette University, J.D., 1997

    Born: 1971

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    Thomas J. Costello, III

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 13

    Practice Areas
    • Civil Litigation
    • Insurance Coverage
    • General Liability
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 2004
    • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
    Additional Biographical Details:

    Emerging Lawyers by the Leading Lawyers

    Memberships:
    • American and Illinois State Bar Associations
    Education:
    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, B.S., 2001
    • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, J.D. (cum laude), 2004

    Born: 1979

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    Kimberlee Massin

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 24

    Practice Areas
    • Dram Shop
    • Insurance Defense
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 1993
    • U.S. District Court, Central and Northern Districts of Illinois including Trial Bar
    Memberships:
    • Illinois State and Will County Bar Associations
    Education:
    • Illinois State University, B.S., 1990
    • Southwestern University School of Law, J.D. (SCALE Graduate), 1993

    Born: 1968

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    Fritz V. Wilson

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 13

    Practice Areas
    • Civil Litigation
    • Estate Planning
    • Real Estate
    • Insurance Defense
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 2004
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
    Memberships:
    • American (Litigation Section), Illinois State, DuPage County and Chicago Bar Associations
    Education:
    • Northwestern University, B.S. (with honors), 2000
    • George Mason University School of Law, J.D., 2004

    Born: 1977

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    Allie M. Burnet

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 15

    Practice Areas
    • Civil Litigation
    • Employment Defense
    • Insurance Defense
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 2002
    • U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
    Memberships:
    • American and Chicago Bar Associations
    Education:
    • Boston University, B.S., 1998
    • DePaul University College of Law, J.D. (cum laude), 2002

    Born: 1976

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    Mathew K. Hargrave

    Chicago, IL

    Years of Experience: 11

    Practice Areas
    • Breach of Contract
    • Civil Litigation
    • Construction Litigation
    • Insurance Coverage Litigation
    • Insurance Defense
    • Premises Liability
    • Product Liability Defense
    • Property Subrogation
    • Trucking Industry Defense
    Admitted
    • Illinois, 2006
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2007
    Education:
    • Providence College, B.A. Political Science, 2003
    • The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 2006

    Born: 1981

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    High Profile Cases

    Estate of Bryan Casey, et al vs The Clusters Improvement Association, et al; Will County Case Number 05 L 223;
    Brenda Riley vs Patricia D. Haake, et al, Will County Case Number 05 L 173, Illinois Appellate Court, 3rd Dist. Docket Number 3-09-0452;
    Illinois Casualty Company vs Jump Street, Inc., et al, Cook County Case Number 08 CH 31047; 
    Roseanne Stranski vs Homer Township Highway Department, et al., USDC, Northern Dist of Illinois, Eastern Division Case Number 07 C 4731; 
    Robert Cloud vs Earle M. Jorgensen, et al, Cook County Case Number 06 L 12600
    American States Insurance Company, vs Michael Strick, et al., DuPage County Case Number 05 MR 1140, Illinois Appellate court, 2nd Dist. Docket Number 2-09-1188;
    McElmeel, et al vs Safeco Insurance Company, Cook County Case Number 02 CH 8672, Illinois Appellate court, 1st Dist Docket Number 04-1857;
    Mary Suarez vs Italian Village Restaurant, Inc., Cook County Case Number 04 L 14581, Illinois Appellate Court, 1st Dist. Docket Number 08-0790.

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    (See Joliet, Rockford and Naperville, IL Profiles for additional information)


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