Peter J. Birnbaum

President and CEO
Advocus National Title Insurance Company

Peter Birnbaum

Peter Birnbaum has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advocus (formerly Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund, Inc. or ATG) since 1991. Under his leadership, the company has developed into a leading lawyer service organization with annual revenues in excess of $92 million.

His career in the legal profession and title insurance industry has been long and storied, with many accomplishments along the way. In 2015, Peter received the Justice John Paul Stevens Award for those who exemplify the Justice’s commitment to integrity and public service in the practice of law.  In 2014, Peter was proud to receive the Illinois Bar Foundation Distinguished Award for Excellence. In 2011, Birnbaum was also inducted as a Laureate in the Academy of Illinois Lawyers, the highest honor bestowed by the Illinois State Bar Association. In 2013 he received the Chicago Bar Association Vanguard Award for promoting diversity in the profession. Also, in 2005, he received the Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Lend A Hand Foundation “Making a Difference” award. Birnbaum holds or has held leadership positions on several corporate and philanthropic boards. He served as president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. Birnbaum is currently President of the Jesse White Foundation. He led the effort to build the Jesse White Community Center, opened in the Fall of 2014.

A past president of the Alumni Board and current Board of Overseers member of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Birnbaum was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the College in 2004. In addition, in 2013 he was named one of Chicago-Kent College of Law’s 125 Alumni of Distinction of its 125 year history for his outstanding professional and community service achievements. He served on the Board of Governors of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) from 2009-2015.

Birnbaum has authored or been featured in dozens of regional and national newspapers and trade publications, including: The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Illinois Bar Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, and many other real estate and legal trade publications. He has also been interviewed on all the major network TV stations. He has testified in the U.S. Congress, the Illinois Senate, and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee. He speaks to audiences from legal or real estate trade associations across the country.       

In January 2004, Birnbaum was appointed as a judge to the seven-member Illinois Court of Claims. The Court hears cases en banc and rules on claims against the State. He was appointed Chief Justice in 2015 by Governor Bruce Rauner. On January 31, 2022, he was reappointed Chief Justice by Governor Pritzker for a term ending January 17, 2028.

Birnbaum began his career at then-ATG as a law clerk in 1981, while a first-year student at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He advanced to positions of staff attorney and vice president and counsel. Birnbaum lives in Chicago and is a proud dad of three children Madeline, Ben, and Lucy.

Chicago-Kent College of Law, Chicago, Illinois, J.D. 1983; University of Iowa, Iowa City, B.A. 1979.

Prospective Interview Topics and Areas of Expertise

  • Consumers' rights during the housing settlement process
  • Key reasons consumers should have legal representation during a housing transaction
  • Tips for selecting the best real estate attorney
  • Current or pending legislation affecting home transactions and lending
  • Tips to help consumers succeed during the home buying or selling process
  • What home buyers/sellers should know about the roles and responsibilities of an attorney, Realtor and lender
  • How an attorney can help homebuyers steer clear of faulty lending products

[Last update: 5-14-24]