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Renowned lawyer Ronald Jacks dies


Ronald A. Jacks, an internationally known insurance and reinsurance attorney, died earlier this month.

Mr. Jacks, 71, who resided in both Matapouri, New Zealand, and Annapolis, Md., died July 6, in Auckland, New Zealand. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February.

Mr. Jacks headed the insurance practice group at the Chicago-based law firm now known as Mayer, Brown Rowe & Maw L.L.P. when he retired in 1997. He then continued to engage in international insurance and reinsurance arbitrations and mediations.

During his career, he was chosen as the first president of the Washington-based Reinsurance Assn. of America in 1968 and later served as general counsel of CNA Insurance Cos.

Mr. Jacks also served as president of the U.S. Chapter of the International Assn. of Insurance Law and was a member of its worldwide Presidential Council. He was a founding member and director emeritus of ARIAS U.S., a Mount Vernon, N.Y.-based nonprofit that promotes arbitration.

He was a member of the American Bar Assn.'s Standing Committee on Law and National Security and was chairman of the ABA's Committee on International Insurance and Reinsurance Law.

Mr. Jacks began his legal career as a trial attorney in the appellate section of the civil division of the U.S. Department of Justice, was a special assistant to then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and chairman of the Attorney General's Honor Graduate Program. He was also a partner at the former Chicago-based law firm of Isham Lincoln & Beale.

He graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota's Law School, was an editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He later served on the school's board of governors.

Mr. Jacks was married to Kathryn J. McIntyre, former publisher and editorial director of Business Insurance, who retired in 2001.

In addition to Ms. McIntyre, he is survived by his sons Brian and Bradley; brothers Craig and Gary; and grandson Benjamin.

Mr. Jacks was cremated in Auckland on July 7. A private memorial service was held at his New Zealand home on July 13. A second memorial service will be held at St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago at 10 a.m. August 14.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to City of Hope, a cancer center, at 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, Calif. 91010; or North Haven Hospice in Tikipunga, P.O. Box 7050, Whangarei, New Zealand.