Katherine Smith Dedrick, JD MBA


Katherine Smith Dedrick, JD MBA

My education and experience combine my passion for law and business. In addition to earning a law degree with high honors, I received an MBA from the University of Chicago as part of its Executive International Program. The Program allowed me to expand my knowledge of business and finance, and gave me the opportunity to forge relationships with executives and professionals from different industries and countries around the world. I’ve been an equity partner at national and boutique law firms, a co-founder of a consulting company and, I’m an independent trustee for an asset management company.

As a commercial litigator, I handled cases in many jurisdictions throughout the United States, often arguing seminal issues, as I did before the Illinois Supreme Court. In 2007, I was one of the co-founders of an insurance consulting company that worked with clients in the US and other countries. Our company formed a joint venture in New Zealand, and I spent significant time in New Zealand and Australia as a part of the executive team, building the business, working with clients and New Zealand lawyers.

With my legal and business background, I understand the importance of meeting objectives and resolving disputes. When disputes arise, my goal is to resolve matters without the need for litigation. While litigation may be necessary at times, it is a costly and often unsatisfactory response to a problem. When advising general counsel, boards or executives, I am clear, collaborative and goal oriented.

In the insurance arena, I bring a unique perspective as I’ve worked with both insurers and policyholders. Having worked alongside claim handlers, managers and executives in the insurance industry, I understand the process and practices that are necessary to properly respond to claims; whether first or third party. Having worked with policyholders on defense, indemnity, property and many other claims, I understand how they view policies and their need to continue with their business, rather than handle insurance claims.

I also have an interest in mentoring, which led to my founding and chairing, The Women for Achievement not-for-profit, which helped mentor young women into careers and provide scholarship funds for college.


Non-public arbitrator