I am an attorney and counselor who advises my clients on how to successfully navigate everyday business hurdles.

Dan is an experienced attorney who has served in a variety of legal roles in his career, including as general counsel of a large life insurance company, as well as extensive experience in private practice. Dan's mix of clients includes insurance companies and other financial institutions, IT and consulting companies, and nonprofits. He has been working on privacy and cybersecurity issues since 1996, including development of terms and conditions and disclaimers on Fortune 500 websites in the late 1990s. He has been the chief privacy officer of several companies and law firms, and has extensive experience as in-house counsel. Dan is experienced in dealing with complex insurance regulatory issues and transactions, and substantial reorganizations of holding company systems. Throughout his career, he has negotiated thousands of contracts from simple to complex, including outsourcing. He also has substantial experience with internal investigations and employment-related issues.




  • The John Marshall Law School, 1995
    • J.D., summa cum laude
    • Law Review, 1992-1995; Staff Editor, 1994
    • ABA National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, Participant, 1994
  • Monmouth College, 1988
    • B.A., magna cum laude, Accounting
    • Departmental Honors, Accounting, 1988
    • Blue Key Senior Man of the Year, 1988
    • Mortar Board of Honor Fraternity, President, 1986-1987


  • Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals
    • General Counsel, 2020
  • American Bar Association
    • House of Delegates, 2015-present
    • National Conference of Bar Presidents
      • Metropolitan Bar Caucus Committee, Chair, 2012-present
      • Board Member, 2015-2018
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Insurance Law Committee, Chair, 2019-present 
    • President, 2014-2015
    • Board of Managers, 2003-2004; 2005-2007; 2010-2016
    • Young Lawyers Section, Chair, 2003-2004
  • Chicago Bar Foundation
    • Board of Directors, 2004-2011; 2013-2016
    • Treasurer, 2009-2011


  • Illinois, 1995
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional-United States (CIPP/US), 2016
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1995
  • Successfully completed the Certified Public Accountant exam, 1989

Professional Achievements

  • Illinois Super Lawyers, 2017-2020
  • Illinois Leading Lawyers, 2016-2020
  • Monmouth College, Moot Court Judge, 2011-2020
  • "Professional and Medical Corporations." Illinois Business Law: Choice of Entity, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2020 Ed., 8-1—8-33.


Representative Matters

  • Advised Illinois Department of Insurance regarding first two insurance company demutualizations approved under the Illinois Insurance Code.

  • Advised standby purchaser on first life insurance demutualization in Illinois and obtained approval of transaction by Illinois Department of Insurance.

  • Represented buyer in purchase of a Massachusetts-domiciled insurer and redomestication to Nebraska.

  • Obtained certificates of authority for client to expand to more than forty jurisdictions.

  • Advised non-profit entities on complex dissolutions, mergers, and conversions.

  • Conducted an internal investigation of alleged sexual harassment at a non-insurance related entity by a board member.

  • Acted as regulatory counsel on sale of an Illinois-domiciled life and annuity insurer to an Arizona-domiciled insurance group, including regulatory filings and approvals.



Dan has presented hundreds of times throughout his career on a variety of substantive topics. Recent presentations include:

  • BankersWeb, "How to Analyze Financial Statements—What You Need to Know,” February 12, 2021, webinar.
  • BankersWeb, "What Financial Institutions Can Expect From 2021 Federal Government Changes," February 5, 2021, webinar.
  • Chicago Bar Association, Insurance Law Committee, "The Biometric Info Privacy Act (BIPA) and Related Insurance Coverage Issues Under Illinois Law, and Other Various Insurance Coverage Issues," January 6, 2021, webinar.
  • Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals, 2020 Virtual Compliance Checkup, "Ecommerce (General)" and "Complaints 101 (P&C)," December 17 & 18, 2020, webinar.
  • Justinian Society of Lawyers, "The Supreme Court: The Changing Court and Self-Evident Truths, a Look Back and Forward," December 16, 2020, webinar.
  • Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals, 2020 Virtual Compliance Checkup, "Are You up to Speed? Making Ethical Decisions in This Ever-Changing World of Insurance" and "Oh Canada—How is Your Regulatory Climate?" December 15 & 16, 2020, webinar.
  • The 1958 Lawyer Podcast, "Cyber-Insurance, Legal Tech, and the Chief Justices," December 1, 2020, podcast. https://the-1958-lawyer.simplecast.com/episodes/daniel-a-cotter
  • Chicago Bar Association, Cyber Law and Data Privacy Committee, "The CCPA and Other Developments in California Privacy Law," November 17, 2020, webinar.
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Constitutional Democracy Project, 2020 Annual Conference for Teachers in Civics, "The Supreme Court: The Changing Court and Self-Evident Truths, a Look Back and Forward" and "The Constitution: The (Continuing) Miracle at Philadelphia," October 23, 2020, webinar.
  • LawPracticeCLE, "What Lawyers Need to Know About Financial Statements," October 12, 2020, webinar.
  • Chicago Bar Association, "The Opioid Epidemic (and Other Drugs) and Insurance: Impact on Insurance," October 7, 2020, webinar.
  • ApexCLE, "The Supreme Court October 2019 Term: A Pandemic Year," October 7, 2020, webinar. https://www.apexcle.com/courses/516
  • ApexCLE, "Navigating a Pandemic: Advising Clients on Business Interruption Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Claims," September 25, 2020, webinar. https://www.apexcle.com/courses/511
  • LawPracticeCLE, "Piercing the Shield: Schrems II and the Elimination of the EU Privacy Shield," September 10, 2020, webinar. 
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Pandemic Part 5: Where Do We COVID From Here? Insurance Issues Update," September 2, 2020, webinar.
  • American Bar Association, "Privacy and Cybersecurity in the Age of COVID," August 24, 2020, webinar.
  • Association of Insurance Professionals, "COVID-19: How Industry Groups View the Current and Future Impact on Insurance," August 21, 2020, webinar. https://www.aicp.net/membership/081920-COVID19.mp3
  • UIC John Marshall Law School, "Dean's Summer Associate Training Academy: Settlement Agreements," June 19, 2020, webinar.
  • Chicago Bar Foundation, Justice Entrepreneurs Project, "Insurance 101: The COVID-19 Pandemic, Business Interruption and Other Coverages: What JEP Lawyers and Their Clients Should Know," June 18, 2020, webinar.
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents, "21st Century Virtual Town Hall: Metro Bars and the Challenges in a Post-Coronavirus Normal," June 18, 2020, webinar.
  • Smart Business Dealmakers, "Episode 37: Daniel Cotter, Attorney with Howard & Howard, Chicago," June 10, 2020, podcast. https://www.smartbusinessdealmakers.com/podcast/#cotter
  • State Bar of Nevada, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Business Interruption Litigation: What Lawyers and Their Clients Should Know," June 5, 2020, webinar.
  • Chicago Bar Association, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Insurance Part 4," June 3, 2020, webinar.
  • LawPracticeCLE, "Attorneys and Privacy: Obligations Under Professional Responsibility and Model Rules of Professional Conduct," June 3, 2020, webinar.
  • The Rossdale Group, "Suing and Defending COVID-19 Breach and Liability Claims," May 20, 2020, webinar. 
  • Chicago Bar Association, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Insurance Part 3: An Update on Business Interruption and a Visit with Workers' Compensation and Other Coverage," May 7, 2020, webinar.
  • LawPracticeCLE, "Supervisor Liability: When Can Managers and Supervisors Be Held Liable?" and "Judgment Enforcement 101," May 4, 2020, webinar.
  • National Academy of Continuing Legal Education, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Business Interruption: The Developing Rough Coverage Storm Ahead," April 21, 2020, webinar.
  • Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Business Interruption: The Developing Coverage Storm Brewing," April 16, 2020, webinar.
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Pandemic, Part 2: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Business Interruption: What Lawyers and Their Clients Should Know" and "Minority Shareholder Oppression Issues: The Current State of Affairs in Illinois," April 1 & 13, 2020, webinar.
  • LawPracticeCLE, "The COVID-19 Pandemic and Business Interruption: What Lawyers and Their Clients Should Know," March 24, 2020, webinar.
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Pandemics and Insurance—Workers Compensation Issues and Business Interruption," March 4, 2020, Chicago, IL.
  • Chicago Bar Association, "Liability Insurance 101: Understanding What Is Covered," February 6, 2020, Chicago, IL.
  • Union League of Chicago, "The Chief Justices: The Seventeen Men at the Center Seat, Their Courts, and Their Times," January 22, 2020, Chicago, IL.
  • MyLawCLE, "What Attorneys Need to Know about Employee vs. Independent Contractor Status after California’s New Law" and "Judgement Enforcement 101," December 16, 2019, webinar.
  • BankersWeb, "Recent Changes in Cyber, Privacy, and Data Security," December 3, 2019, webinar.
  • BankersWeb, "Negotiating Terms and Controlling Risks in Third Party Contracts," November 7, 2019, webinar.
  • CBA Insurance Law Committee, "Recreational Marijuana and Insurance Issues Raised," November 6, 2019, Chicago, IL.
  • JVP Insurance Forum, "Insurance Business Transfers in Illinois," November 5, 2019, Chicago, IL.
  • BankersWeb, "How to Read an Insurance Policy for Financial Institutions" and "Learn How the Supreme Court Action Affects Your Website," October 29 & 31, 2019, webinar.
  • Celesq CLE, "Corporate Governance and Board Interaction," October 7, 2019, webinar.
  • Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals, 32nd Annual Conference, "What Gets Regulated? Part 1" and "How to Be on Your Best Behavior: Market Conduct–Perspective and Best Practices," September 21 & 24, 2019, Denver, CO.
  • MyLawCLE, "Supervisor Liability: When Can Managers and Supervisors Be Held Liable?" and "What Lawyers Need to Know about Financial Statements: Understanding How Financial Statements Interact with Business and Legal Issues," September 11, 2019, webinar.
  • CBA Insurance Law Committee, "Insurance Division Laws and Insurance Business Transfer Laws," September 4, 2019, Chicago, IL.
  • BankersWeb, "Website Disclosures: Minimizing Risk in an Online Market," August 6, 2019, webinar.
  • MyLawCLE, "Attorneys and Privacy: Obligations Under Professional Responsibility and Model Rules of Professional Conduct," July 30, 2019, webinar.
  • Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, 2019 Supreme Court Summer Institute, "A Little Respect Please: Future of Stare Decisis" and "The Court's Composition and its Impact on Decisions," July 16, 2019, Chicago, IL.
  • ApexCLE, "The Supreme Court of the United States," July 3, 2019, Des Plaines, IL.
  • Celesq/Thomson Reuters, "The Chief Justices," July 2, 2019, webinar.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners, Great Lakes Chapter, "NY Regulation 187—Suitability," June 25, 2019, Madison, WI.
  • CommercialLawWebAdvisor, "Understanding Financial Statements for Lawyers," March 28, 2019, webinar.
  • Chicago Bar Association, Business Divorce and Complex Business Disputes Committee, "Buy-Sell Agreements: Effectively Drafting and Enforcing Them in the Context of the Business Divorce," February 11, 2019, Chicago, IL.



I support Lawyers Lend-A-Hand because of the great work it does for youth in at-risk communities.

In 2002 I started a fundraiser, Lifting to Lend-A-Hand, to support tutoring and mentoring.  In 2019, after a five-year hiatus, I returned to it. To date, I have personally raised more than $350,000 for tutoring and education. In addition to Lend-A-Hand, I have been very involved in bar associations.