Disciplined in Sophisticated Defense and Insurance Litigation

K. Clark Schirle is a Partner at Butler. He has over 28 years of litigation experience. His practice areas include First-Party Property, Business Interruption, Insurance Coverage, Products Liability, Casualty Defense Litigation and International Counseling and Litigation.

Clark has extensive experience and expertise in litigating large, complex, multi-million dollar first-party property disputes across the country, including builder's risk claims, significant business interruption cases, and boiler and machinery claims. He has worked on claims involving concrete caissons, ports, underground tunnels, warehouse and distribution facilities, stadiums, synfuel plants, coal mines, carpet mills, casinos, industrial furnaces, airports, high schools, stadiums and commercial buildings. Clark is involved in all aspects of these claims, from providing initial advice as to coverage, to litigating the case to its conclusion via settlement, mediation, arbitration, trial and appeal.

Clark has extensive international experience and counsels European insurers on claims involving significant liability exposures in the United States.  He has also been involved in claims where foreign entities have been sued in the United States, including defending those actions on jurisdictional grounds.  Clark was also involved in litigating a claim where suits were pending in both London and the United States, and the London court issued an anti-suit injunction in favor of his clients, prohibiting the other party from proceeding with their action in the United States.  He has also mediated cases in London and Germany.

Clark also has commercial litigation experience. He has litigated cases of all size and complexity, both for plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts, as well as bankruptcy courts representing trustees.  Substantive areas include products, banking, securities and commodities, employment, environmental, contracts and defamation.

Clark is a past Chair of the Property Insurance Law Committee, Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, of the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the International and Insurance Coverage Litigation Committees of the Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the ABA, the Inland Marine Underwriters Association, the Defense Research Institute, and the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance. Clark is a frequent lecturer and author in the area of first-party property insurance. He has spoken at PLRB Large Loss conferences, the Loss Executives Association conferences, as well as at the Property Insurance Law Committee's CLE meetings.

Clark received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois in 1985 (Phi Beta Kappa) and his law degree from the U.C.L.A. School of Law in 1988. He is a member of the Illinois Bar.


  • Illinois


  • University of Illinois
    Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science
  • U.C.L.A. School of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence


  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • International and Insurance Coverage Litigation Committees of the Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the ABA
  • Past Chair and a current member of the Property Insurance Law Committee of TIPS


  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois


One Place. Builder's risk case involving construction of a retail/condominium project in Chicago. Summary judgment rulings in favor of client on statutory bad faith claim (2014 WL 1018192), earth movement limit (2015 WL 4977331) and millions of dollars in costs sought from insurer (2015 WL 2226202).

Ports of Indiana.   Property claim in excess of $12 million relating to a dock on Lake Michigan.

The Herrington, Inc. Jury verdict in favor of insurer on claim involving surface water; affirmed on appeal, 2014 WL 1887292 (2d Dist. May 8, 2014).

Walbridge.   Builder's risk claim in excess of $30 million relating to damage to one of the largest sinking concrete caissons in the United States. Jury verdict in Michigan state court in favor of insurer based on design exclusion.

Aztar.   Business interruption claim in excess of $100 million relating to alleged lost revenues at a casino following the collapse of a garage during the construction of an expansion project.

Office Dept.  Property claim in excess of $27 million litigated in London and Florida relating to damage to a warehouse and distribution facility in England.


Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have struck the United States causing damage to businesses.  Companies have lost income because their facilities were physically damaged by wind and/or water.  Some businesses may not have been directly damaged but have lost income because they could not access their operations for a period of time due to a government evacuation order and/or water in the area.  If a company’s facilities were not physically damaged, but they could not access their operations, there might be coverage under an insurance policy under civil authority and/or ingress/egress coverage.  This paper will provide an overview of such coverages.

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September 02, 2015 PUBLICATIONTime Element Coverages in Business Interruption Insurance

Generally, business interruption insurance is designed to compensate an insured for its actual business interruption losses resulting directly from physical damage by a peril insured against to the insured's covered property. Business interruption insurance is tied directly to a first-party property policy's coverage for physical damage to the insured's property. It is not standalone coverage and its purpose is not to compensate the insured for any and all negative effects on its business that may result from a covered peril.

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July 08, 2013 PUBLICATIONPersonal Jurisdiction and the Stream-of-Commerce Theory: The Illinois Supreme Court Holds That Illinois Has Jurisdiction Over A French Company

In April 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court, in the case of Russell v. SNFA, 987 N.E.2d 778, held that Illinois had personal jurisdiction over SNFA, a French company, that supplied tail-rotor bearings custom made for helicopters manufactured by an Italian company.

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December 01, 2005 PUBLICATIONRecent Developments in Property Insurance Law

For the full version of the article, please contact the author.

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PUBLICATIONRecent Developments In Property Insurance Law

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts in New York and New Jersey. These courts are trying to manage their dockets in ever more efficient ways. As the two year anniversary of the storm approached, more and more suits were filed. These suits address numerous issues, including application of flood sub-limits to coverages other than actual property damage, such as debris removal and time element.

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PUBLICATIONTime Element Coverages In Business Interruption Insurance

Time Element Coverages In Business Interruption Insurance.    The Brief, Fall 2007  (ABA, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section)

For the full version of the article, please contact the author.

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PUBLICATIONMeasuring Damage in a Megaloss If "Like Kind and Quality" Does Not Exist

Measuring Damage in a Megaloss If "Like Kind and Quality" Does Not Exist.  The Brief, Fall 2006  (ABA, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section)

For the full version of the article, please contact Clark Schirle.

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PUBLICATIONProperty Insurance Litigation Handbook, 2007

Property Insurance Litigation Handbook,  2007.  Chapter 9, Motions to Dismiss.   (ABA, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section) 

For the full version of the article, please contact the Clark Schirle.

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The recent historic flooding in South Carolina has caused extensive property damage.   As a result, property insurers will face a myriad of coverage issues including the applicability of water exclusions and the enforceability of anti-concurrent cause provisions.

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Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have struck the United States, causing widespread damage.  Dr. Jason Webster, a meteorologist, and Mr. Clark Schirle, a Partner in Butler's Chicago office, provided an informative presentation regarding these storms. Dr. Webster discussed the flooding, storm surge, rainfall and other phenomena associated with the Hurricanes.  Mr. Schirle discussed policy coverages, exclusions and issues, focusing on and discussing case law regarding what constitutes a flood, storm surge, and surface water.

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Blog Posts

July 13, 2017 BLOG POSTRansomware is taking the world by storm; does insurance respond?

Although ransomware attacks have existed for some time, they have recently increased in scope and severity. There will be more in the future. Unfortunately, companies around the world have suffered significant losses from these attacks. If a company submits its losses to an insurance carrier, one has to carefully study and analyze the types of policies the company has purchased, and the policies’ coverage terms, conditions, and exclusions in light of the facts.

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July 05, 2017 BLOG POSTEarth Movement: "Any" Means Any; Home-Owners Insurance Company v. Dominic F. Andriacchi (Michigan Court of Appeals)

For years, courts across the country have considered whether an earth movement exclusion in a policy applies only when the earth movement losses are caused by or stem from natural causes or phenomena, or whether it applies to earth movement losses from both natural and man-made causes.

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June 22, 2017 COMMUNITYCTRL Your Future

For the second year in a row, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig has spread some end of the school year cheer to seniors in eight different locations. Butler’s annual CTRL Your Future essay contest was created by the Firm’s Community Service Committee to recognize deserving high school seniors who have exhibited commitment to their academics. The winners in each city received a brand-new laptop with a full Microsoft Office Suite installed to assist them in their studies in the fall at their four-year college.

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November 15, 2017 EVENTPLRB Large Loss Conference - A Loss Trifecta - Bytes, Bankruptcy & Business Interruption

Clark Schirle from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in Ft. Worth, Texas at the PLRB Large Loss Conference on the topic of "A Loss Trifecta - Bytes, Bankruptcy & Business Interruption".

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June 07, 2017 EVENTLEA's 86th Spring & Education Conference

Clark Schirle from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig along with co-presenters John O’Leary and Thomas Tesoriero presented in Newport, RI at LEA's 86th Spring & Education Conference on the topic of "Investigating and Managing Major Marine Structure Claims" on June 7, 2017.

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May 25, 2016 EVENTBuilder's Risk Claims

Continuing Education Credit Presentation

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April 06, 2016 EVENTAnnual Conference of The Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)

Complex Builder’s Risk Claims

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October 29, 2014 EVENTPLRB 2014 Large Loss Conference

Major Contingent Business Interruption Claims in a Global Environment

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June 12, 2014 EVENTLEA 2014 Spring Meeting & Educational Conference

Builder's Risk Claims

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January 24, 2013 EVENTLoss Executive Association's 82nd Annual Meeting

Rule School 2013 – Adjuster Ethics in Property Claims

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Key Points
Practice Area CASE TYPE
  • Arson
  • Bad Faith
  • Catastrophic Injuries
  • Catastrophic Loss
  • CCIP - Contractor Controlled Insurance Program
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Complex Liability Litigation
  • Coverage - Boiler and Machinery
  • Coverage - Business Interruption
  • Coverage - Business Owner's
  • Coverage - First Party Property
  • Coverage - Property
  • Energy
  • Extracontractual Claims
  • International Law
  • Products Liability
  • Third Party Coverage Issues