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Insurance industry leader Richards Barger dies


Richards D. Barger, a former California insurance commissioner and National Association of Insurance Commissioners president, and a partner emeritus at Hinshaw & Culbertson L.L.P. who represented the insurance industry for more than 60 years, died Jan. 17 in Pasadena, California, at the age of 87.

Mr. Barger was also a co-founding partner of Barger & Wolen L.L.P., which merged with Chicago-based Hinshaw & Culbertson in 2014, Hinshaw said in a statement issued Wednesday.

He remained active as a practicing lawyer at Hinshaw until shortly before his death, according to the statement.

Mr. Barger, appointed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan, served as California Insurance Commissioner from 1968 to 1972. He left to join Kalmbach, DeMarco, Knapp & Chillingworth, where he started the law firm’s insurance regulatory practice.

In 1976, Mr. Barger co-founded Barger & Wolen, which focused on regulatory compliance and insurance transactional work and had a robust insurance litigation practice. Mr. Barger also started the Denver-based Federation of Regulatory Counsel, an association of attorneys who specialize in insurance regulatory law.

He was a member of the board of regents for Indiana University, Bloomington, from which he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1950. Mr. Barger received his law degree in 1953 from the University of Southern California School of Law, Los Angeles.

“Dick Barger was an extraordinary man who managed to gather together great people wherever he went. In doing so, he built a law firm that reflected his energy and values,” said Richard G. De La Mora, a Hinshaw partner in Los Angeles, who also worked with Mr. Barger at Barger & Wolen. “More importantly, he made the lives of each person he met more productive and joyful. He will be greatly missed.”

Robert W. Hogeboom, also a partner at Hinshaw in Los Angeles, said, “I worked with Dick Barger for 35 years. He mentored me and then others in the law firm as well. He was one of the most renowned figures in the insurance field of law. His love was the firm, and he set the high standards that we all aspire to follow in our practice. His knowledge and enthusiasm will be missed by all.”

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