AUSTIN — Attorney and former appeals court justice Kent Sullivan has been appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) as commissioner of insurance for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2019. His appointment was announced Sept. 21.
Sullivan has served as a partner at the Jackson Walker law firm in Austin since 2015.
Sullivan succeeds Commissioner David Mattax, who died April 13.
At Jackson Walker, Sullivan served as co-chair of the firm’s appellate practice group, and recently was also appointed co-chair of the government and internal investigations group.
Jackson Walker reported that Sullivan has represented clients in complex civil litigation, government relations, and investigations.
From 2010 to 2015, Sullivan worked as a partner at the Sutherland Asbill & Brennan law firm.
Sullivan served as a justice on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals, Houston, from 2008 to 2010; as first assistant attorney general for the Texas Office of the Attorney General (under Attorney General Greg Abbott) from 2006 to 2008), and as a state district court judge from 2003 to 2006.
He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association and the Austin Bar Association, and is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation.
He also is a member of the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee and Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee and has 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.
Sullivan received a bachelor of arts degree and a juris doctor degree from the University of Virginia.
Jackson Walker firmwide managing partner Wade Cooper said Sullivan’s colleagues “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.”
Insurance Council of Texas Executive Director Albert Betts said, “We look 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.”
Marit Peters, president and executive director of the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, expressed her intent to work with the new commissioner “as we pursue our mission to support independent agents in Texas.”
“We are looking forward to working closely with Mr. Sullivan and his team at the Texas Department of Insurance,” said Norma Essary, CEO of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas. “His expertise and background will greatly benefit the insurance industry and Texas as a whole.”