Texas has a new insurance commissioner.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has named Kent Sullivan to serve as insurance commissioner and head of the Texas Department of Insurance. His term expires Feb. 1, 2019.
The post has been vacant following the death of David Mattax in April. Since then, a delegation order has been in place allowing decisions to be made at the deputy commissioner level, according to Jerry Hagen, a spokesman for TDI. Mattax, who passed away on April 13, 2017, after a battle with cancer, was appointed insurance commissioner in 2015.
Sullivan is a partner at Jackson Walker LLP. He previously served as a justice on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, first assistant attorney general for the Texas Office of the Attorney General and a state district court judge. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association and the Austin Bar Association and a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
Additionally, he is a member of the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee and Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee and previously served on the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee, State Bar of Texas Board of Directors and the Texas Center for the Judiciary Board of Directors.
ICT Executive Director Albert Betts, executive director of the Insurance Council of Texas, said in a statement that ICT looks “forward to working with Commissioner Sullivan, and are happy to have someone with his experience and background in this critical position for the Texas economy and insurance marketplace.”
Similarly, Norma Essary, CEO of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas, said her organization is “looking forward to working closely with Mr. Sullivan and his team at the Texas Department of Insurance. His expertise and background will greatly benefit the insurance industry and Texas as a whole.”
Sullivan joined Jackson Walker in 2015 and has served as co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice group. He also has served as co-chair of the government and internal investigations group, and represented clients in complex civil litigation, government relations and investigations, according to an announcement released by the law firm.
“Kent brought a new dimension to Jackson Walker’s litigation and appellate groups,” said firm-wide managing partner Wade Cooper in the announcement. “We wish him all the best in his new position and know that his deep experience will bring him much continued success in this substantial role.”
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