Katherine “Katie” Varholak is a seasoned trial attorney with more than twenty-one years of experience representing companies and individuals in high stakes controversies across multiple industries including construction, real estate, professional services, utilities, entertainment, aerospace, oil & gas, and others. Her primary areas of focus frequently touch on complex fiduciary issues and include: insurance recovery, trust and estate controversies, corporate internal investigations and appeals.
In her insurance recovery practice, Katie represents corporate and individual policy holders across the country in pursuing insurance benefits and legal action when the insurers refuse to pay benefits. Katie has helped business and individuals recover more than $100 million in indemnity and defense benefits for policy holders and frequently works with plaintiff and defense attorneys to resolve litigation raising complex coverage issues. She regularly advises clients concerning virtually every type of commercial insurance policy, including general liability, directors and officer’s liability, property, builder’s risk, excess/umbrella, disability, crime, cyber risk, inland marine and others.
Katie’s commercial and civil litigation experience involves complex civil litigation for clients at the trial and appellate level. Among other things, she is the firm’s “go-to” litigator for high net worth trust & estate controversies on behalf of corporate and individual trustees, personal representatives, beneficiaries and heirs.
Katie is also well regarded in the area of internal investigations. Focused on helping companies navigate bet-the-company crises, she has experience conducting investigations involving all manner of misconduct and wrongdoing, including bullying, harassment and discrimination, corporate fraud, fiduciary breaches, nondisclosure and concealment, and ethical violations.
Known to clients and colleagues as a stalwart citizen of the firm, Katie is the first female Chair of the firm’s Litigation, Trials and Appeals practice group. In this capacity, she oversees more than 95 attorneys, paralegals and staff, and holds responsibility for recruiting, mentoring, training, strategic planning and more. Prior to joining Sherman & Howard, Katie clerked for the Honorable Judge Arthur L. Alarcon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and then was selected for the honors program with the Civil Division, Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). During her tenure at DOJ, she represented federal government agencies in federal appeals across the country. She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and recognized by Best Lawyers in the area of Insurance Litigation.