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2017 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Sean M. Carney

2017 Break Out Awards, Midwest: Sean M. Carney



Sidley Austin L.L.P.


Age: 41

Sean M. Carney is a partner in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin L.L.P. His practice is focused on a variety of corporate, securities and regulatory matters relating to the insurance and financial services industries, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, corporate reorganizations and venture capital/private equity investments. He also counsels insurers in connection with the regulation of insurance holding company systems and the structure and regulation of alternative risk financing mechanisms and complex reinsurance arrangements.

Best advice you’ve been given

To embrace failure as a way to grow.

Top industry concern

State budget cuts (across the country) have affected state insurance regulatory departments. It has made it hard to retain professionals. That may affect their ability to both protect the needs of the consumers and to regulate the industry that allows innovation and growth. Budgets cuts and smaller staff may hinder that.

Best-kept secret about insurance

How dynamic and interesting the legal practice in the insurance industry is. There are not many newly graduated law students who are dying to become insurance lawyers. But because of the nature of the (industry), I think our practice is one of the most innovative practices. The practice is dynamic, and it keeps us on our toes.

Hobbies and interests

Biking in Chicago. I am a pretty active road biker and mountain biker. A long ride is a great way to clear your head.

Something people don’t know about you

Once when I was in college, I spent the night in a Chinese jail. It was a youth hostel for travelers on one side, an administrative office in the middle, and their temporary overnight holding cells on the other side.


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