Four BatesCarey Attorneys Elected to Partnership and Special Counsel Positions in 2021


BatesCarey LLP is pleased to announce that Mark Deptula and Gustavo Otalvora have been elected as Partners, and Joanna Gau Swartout and Kelli Biggam Fleming have been elevated to Special Counsel effective January 1, 2021.

Mark litigates and advises clients in matters involving complex insurance, reinsurance and various business disputes before courts and tribunals across the country. He represents and advises insurers in complex first- and third-party coverage disputes including construction defect, aviation, pollution, property damage, product liability, asbestos and health hazard matters as well as high-exposure extracontractual and bad faith claims. Mark also advises life insurers regarding coverage issues including potentially disputed claims based on the insured's misrepresentations in the application for life insurance. He is recognized as an “Illinois Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine. Mark earned his J.D. from John Marshall Law School and his B.A. from the University of Florida.

Gus represents domestic and foreign insurers and reinsurers in connection with complex coverage litigation, claims analysis and claims resolution. Gus represents insurers at the pre-trial, trial and appellate stages in a wide range of coverage matters, including coverage disputes arising out of environmental contamination, products liability, mass tort liability, construction defects, False Claims Act liability, civil rights violations, copyright and trademark infringement, defamation, sexual misconduct, real estate fraud and bad faith claims handling. He also advises underwriting professionals in connection with the drafting of manuscript policy forms. Gus earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“It has been exciting to watch Mark and Gus thrive in their practices over the years and truly entrench themselves in our clients’ businesses – their progression within the firm exemplifies all the characteristics of what it means to be a BatesCarey partner,” said founding partner Robert J. Bates, Jr.

Joanna concentrates her practice in the areas of general commercial litigation, coverage litigation, public entity coverage, and reinsurance. Her practice includes advising clients on various insurance coverage issues and representing insurance companies in coverage disputes. Prior to her legal career, Joanna worked as a senior manager in the Washington, D.C. and New Delhi offices of a multinational business research firm. Joanna received her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Kelli represents and counsels insurers on fidelity matters involving employee dishonesty, forged or altered documents, commercial crime, and computer fraud coverage. She also serves as coverage and litigation counsel to insurers on complex coverage matters involving professional liability policies, including director and officer liability, errors and omissions, and employment practices liability. In 2015-2017 Kelli received the Emerging Lawyers distinction from the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. Kelli has been honored as an “Illinois Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine in the area of insurance coverage. Kelli earned her J.D. from John Marshall Law School and her B.A. from Purdue University.