Attorneys

Industries

Education

University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1996, with high distinction
 -  Articles editor for the Iowa Law Review

University of Iowa, M.A., 1993

Coe College, B.A., 1989

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
Photo of Sonya R. Braunschweig
Sonya R. Braunschweig
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Sonya Braunschweig is a member of the Business Litigation group. She practices principally in the areas of:

  • Commercial litigation
  • Arbitrations and investigations
  • Class action 
  • Insurance
  • Mortgage banking

Sonya represents Fortune 500 companies, national and international companies in multi-million- and billion-dollar suits involving the insurance and mortgage lending industries. She frequently appears before state and federal courts and is experienced in representing clients in examinations, investigations and civil litigation with regulators and attorneys general.

Her insurance practice focuses primarily on insurance-intermediary professional malpractice, insurance-coverage litigation and reinsurance litigation. She has experience handling insurance cases dealing with major lines of insurance, including general liability, business interruption, umbrella, property and personal injury. Sonya also represented a national financial institution and insurance intermediary in a multidistrict putative class action and attorney general actions involving antitrust and RICO claims arising out of governmental investigations of the insurance industry. She also handled a series of reinsurance cases venued in state and federal courts involving the collapse of a reinsurance pool that resulted in claimed losses in excess of $2 billion.

Sonya's mortgage banking practice involves representing lenders and servicers as well as other financial-related institutions in a variety of disputes. She has represented clients in lawsuits and examinations challenging various lending practices, including foreclosures, private mortgage insurance and challenges to core business models. She also successfully defended a large financial institution in a putative class action suit alleging discriminatory practices in mortgage lending.

In addition, Sonya has worked on many other complex commercial disputes with alleged damages ranging from $1 million to more than $100 million, including second-chairing several trials and arbitrations involving alleged breaches of contract, breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud and negligence. Sonya successfully represented an international financier in cross-boarder litigation involving a standby letter of credit. She also successfully second-chaired a large, international developer in a malpractice suit against an architectural firm relating to a multimillion- dollar high-rise project.

Experience

Insurance

  • Represented a national financial institution and insurance intermediary in a multidistrict putative class action—In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation—involving antitrust and RICO claims arising out of governmental investigations of the insurance industry with alleged damages exceeding $1 billion
  • Represented a national insurance intermediary in claims brought by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer alleging deceptive trade practices and other claims involving alleged kickbacks relating to the placement of insurance and the payment of commissions by insurers
  • Represented a national insurance intermediary in claims brought by former Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal alleging deceptive trade practices involving the placement of insurance and the payment of commissions by insurers
  • Represented a national insurance intermediary in an antitrust and consumer fraud action brought the Attorney General of West Virginia with alleged damages exceeding $1 billion
  • Represented a national insurance intermediary in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty action involving the lack of insurance coverage for business interruption claims where flood damages allegedly exceeded $120 million
  • Represented a national insurance intermediary on breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of an insurance coverage dispute where alleged losses exceeded $25 million
  • Represented a national insurance intermediary on breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of the lack of insurance coverage for the flooding of a concrete paver production plant where the purported losses exceeded $35 million and damages exceeded $15 million
  • Represented a national insurance intermediary in an action alleging unfair competition and breach of a noncompete agreement
  • Represented a national reinsurance intermediary in an action alleging unfair competition and breach of a noncompete agreement
  • Represented a national reinsurance intermediary in federal and state court actions alleging breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims arising out of reinsurance claims causing the collapse of the Unicover Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Pool with alleged damages exceeding $2 billion
  • Represented third-party administrator against claims by subscriber insurer for failing to properly administer claims

Mortgage Banking

  • Represented mortgage bank in disparate impact putative class action suit that immediately settled for nominal amount after bank filed motion for summary judgment and motion to strike the class
  • Represented mortgage registration system in over 25 federal and state court cases across the country in foreclosure-related challenges to core business practices; obtained seminal decision in Jackson v. MERS, 770 N.W.2d 487 (Minn. 2009)
  • Represented mortgage servicer in claims brought by counties on mortgage recording issues
  • Represented mortgage bank in multiple suits against mortgage brokers and borrowers related to fraudulent loans
  • Represented mortgage servicer in putative class action suit related to HAMP modifications and deceptive mortgage servicing practices
  • Represented mortgage broker in predatory lending actions and violations of state statutes related to mortgage lending
  • Represented mortgage insurer in regulatory examination by the Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • Represented mortgage servicer with investigative inquiry by the Minnesota Department of Commerce

Commercial

  • Represented a national financial institution in a federal action involving lender liability and aiding and abetting claims arising out of the collapse of a $500 million Ponzi scheme, where alleged damages sought exceeded $80 million
  • Represented a foreign owner in a suit involving a standby letter of credit and fraud claims in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria and the US
  • Represented a Dubai-based developer in an action against an architectural firm for breach of contract and negligence relating to a multi-million dollar high-rise project
  • Represented a foreign manufacturer in a patent licencing action where the alleged damages sought exceeded $2 billion
  • Represented a wine company in trademark dispute with a prominent champagne house
  • Represented an IT company in a dispute involving a software implementation contract
  • Represented dept servicer with investigative inquiry by the Minnesota Department of Commerce

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Member

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member