Max B. Chester


Max B. Chester focuses his practice on litigation and arbitration of domestic and international commercial business disputes and government enforcement actions, primarily in the areas of insurance and reinsurance, financial fraud, securities enforcement and FCPA. He is a partner in the firm’s Insurance and Reinsurance Litigation Practice Group and the International Arbitration Team.

Representative Experience

  • FCPA compliance review for a Fortune 50 company in Russia and Kazakhstan.
  • FCPA counseling of U.S. entities establishing operations in Russia and Ukraine.
  • Representation of a Ukrainian company in litigation in California state and federal courts against the company’s former U.S.-based financial agent.
  • Representation of a European reinsurer in arbitration of a multimillion-dollar claim made by an insolvent U.S. ceding company regarding a finite risk treaty.
  • Representation of a U.S. financial services company in arbitration with a foreign reinsurer regarding payment of excise taxes.
  • Representation of a U.S. state association covering birth-related injuries in arbitration with a reinsurer regarding mandatory commutation of the reinsurance agreement.
  • Representation of a Bolivian insurance company in Florida state court to recover damages from payments made under insurance bonds for a US$78m construction project in Bolivia.
  • Representation of a publicly traded company in the SEC’s investigation and related securities class actions regarding the company’s ownership of an entity that specialized in investment in and securitization of credit sensitive residential mortgage assets.
  • Internal investigations for privately held and publicly traded clients.


  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin

Pro Bono

Max is also active in pro bono matters. He won political asylum after a trial in the United States Immigration Court in Chicago for a refugee from Iran who was persecuted for converting from Islam and becoming a member of a Bahai faith. He represented an elderly Holocaust survivor in a claims proceeding before the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Max volunteers in the Milwaukee Justice Center and through the American Bar Association (ABA) site,, to provide answers to legal questions posed by low-income individuals. The ABA has recognized Max as the ABA Free Legal Answers 2021 and 2023 Pro Bono Leader for his extraordinary pro bono services through the ABA Free Legal Answers website.


  • Russian (native speaker)
  • Ukrainian (fluent)
01 November 2023 Article

S.D.N.Y. Finds Arbitration Clause in Insurance Contract Unenforceable, Following Second Circuit Precedent that the McCarran-Ferguson Act Preempts the New York Convention

Two recent decisions from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York highlight the split among circuits on whether state insurance laws that prohibit arbitration of insurance and reinsurance disputes are preempted by the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.
23 June 2023 Article

Foreign Holders of Arbitral Awards May Add a RICO Claim to Their Enforcement Arsenal

On June 22, 2023, in a 6–3 decision authored by Justice Sotomayor, the United States Supreme Court held that a foreign national-holder of a foreign arbitration award, which was recognized in the United States, can assert a RICO claim in the United States against the judgment debtor who was accused of impairing enforcement of the judgment by alleged racketeering activity that largely occurred in or was directed from and targeted a U.S. state.
24 May 2023 Article

10th Circ. Highlights US Court Discretion On Arbitral Awards

In Compañía de Inversiones Mercantiles SA v. Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua SAB de CV, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently held in a 2-1 decision that the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado had not abused its discretion when it denied a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5) motion to vacate its prior confirmation of a foreign arbitral award, even though a foreign court in the country where the arbitration took place had annulled the award after the district court's initial recognition.
17 May 2023 Article

In Search for Clarity: U.S. Court Decisions On Whether to Imply Follow -the-Fortunes and Follow-the-Settlements Principles Into Reinsurance Contracts

Undoubtedly, reinsurance practitioners learn early on certain fundamental principles and customary practices that define reinsurance.
17 April 2023 Article

Eleventh Circuit Joins Its Sister Circuits in Holding that the FAA’s Grounds for Vacating Domestic Awards Are Available to Challenge International Arbitration Awards Rendered in the United States or Decided under U.S. Law

The Eleventh Circuit held last week that in primary jurisdiction cases, “Chapter 1 of the FAA provides the grounds for vacatur of an arbitral award.”
10 February 2023 Article

Availability of RICO Claims to Foreign Holders of Arbitral Awards

The United States Supreme Court may soon provide to foreign holders of arbitral awards a powerful tool to enforce the awards in the United States against recalcitrant parties and their enablers — a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).