Gardere - Attorney Bio - Kimberly A. Yelkin,  Partner,  Austin Office,  

Kimberly A. Yelkin
Government Affairs
One American Center, Suite 3000
600 Congress Avenue
Austin,  Texas  78701
Phone: 512.542.7001
Fax: 512.542.7201

Area(s) of Expertise

Practice Emphasis

Kim Yelkin is the Executive Partner of the Austin office in charge of Gardere’s Government Affairs Practice Group. She is a nationally recognized expert in government affairs and is routinely consulted by clients for her expertise in strategy and execution. Ms. Yelkin brings a unique blend of legal talent and business acumen to assist her clients in solving complex problems which include high-profile legislative issues, litigation avoidance and routine regulatory matters before various state agencies. She is engaged by clients to coordinate multi-state regulatory and legislative projects to maximize their long-term competitive advantage and defend against governmental action adverse to their interests. Whether it is a project requiring immediate attention, or the development and implementation of a long-term strategy, Ms. Yelkin is expert at coordinating a proactive approach to issues management and strategy development and execution.

Ms. Yelkin not only has over 30 years of expertise in insurance and health care issues, but also represents clients in other industries who have issues with government. Her practice concentration is before the Texas Legislature, the Department of Insurance, the Office of Attorney General, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, the Texas Comptroller, the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and other state agencies.

Prior to joining Gardere, Ms. Yelkin was a Partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld for 12 years. She has a wealth of experience in insurance issues having served as senior government affairs counsel for the St. Paul Companies and associate counsel for the American Insurance Association. Prior to her tenure at the American Insurance Association, she was Deputy District Attorney in Omaha, Neb.

Born and raised in Omaha, Neb., Ms. Yelkin received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1977, and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Creighton University School of Law in 1980.

Clients and Matters

Ms. Yelkin’s representative clients include:

  • Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries
  • Allianz Risk Transfer
  • American Legal Finance Association
  • American Modern Home Insurance Co.
  • Ameriprise Financial, Inc.
  • AmerUs Life Insurance Co.
  • AMT Warranty Corp. and Affiliates
  • Argonaut Group
  • Asurion Corp.
  • Benfield, Inc.
  • Caremark, Inc.
  • Catlin Group Ltd.
  • Children's Medical Center of Dallas
  • Christian Care Ministry, Inc.
  • CNA Insurance Group
  • CUNA Insurance Group
  • CVS Corp.
  • Electric Insurance Company, Inc.
  • Dallas National Insurance Co.
  • Danfoss Chatleff, LLC
  • Eastham Enterprises, Inc.
  • Fair Isaac Corp.
  • Fireman Fund Insurance Co.
  • Global Injury Funding, LLC
  • Grace Health System
  • GS Administrators
  • Highpoint Risk Services, LLC
  • Hochheim Prairie Insurance Cos.
  • HomeWise Preferred Insurance Co.
  • Ideal Settlements
  • Insurance Licensing Services of America
  • Leaders Life Insurance Co.
  • Lexington Insurance Co.
  • Merchants Information Solutions, Inc.
  • National Auto Care Corp.
  • National Council on Compensation Insurers
  • National Guaranty Insurance Co.
  • National Transportation Risk Retention Group
  • Preferred Restaurant Services, Inc.
  • Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.
  • Rainmaker Business Technologies, Ltd.
  • Reinsurance Association of America
  • Rent-A-Center, Inc.
  • Risk Specialists Companies, Inc.
  • R. W. Durham Insurance Agencies
  • The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.
  • Safeco Lloyds Insurance Co.
  • Security Life Insurance Co. of America
  • Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co.
  • Valores Corporativos Softtek, S.A. de C.V.
  • Zurich North America


  • J.D., Creighton University School of Law (1980)
  • B.A., Duke University (1977)

Publications and Speeches


  • Panelist, Address at 2014 Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference: Managing Perceptions When Women Network with Men (Sept. 18, 2014).
  • Panelist, Address at Independent Insurance Agents of Texas Joe Vincent Management Seminar: Captives in Texas - Not Your Father's Risk Financing Mechanism (Jan. 27, 2014).
  • Speaker, Address at the Dallas Reinsurance Symposium III: Texas Legislative and Regulatory Update (Sept. 16, 2013).
  • Speaker, Address at the Independent Insurance Agents of Austin Conference: Texas Legislative Update and Review of the Process — “What we have here is a Failure to Communicate” (Sept. 11, 2013).
  • Speaker, Address at the European Insurance Forum: Insurance Regulation, Dublin, Ireland (2007).
  • Speaker, Address at the National Council on Compensation Insurance Inc. Briefing: Workers’ Compensation Update (Sept. 12, 2005).
  • Speaker, Address at Gardere CLE Conference: The Perfect Storm - When Proposed Legislation Threatens the Life of Your Client’s Business (August 2005).
  • Speaker, Address at Doing Business Online Conference: E-Business Risks and Risk Management Strategies, Dallas, Texas (2000).
  • Speaker, Address at Houston Marine Insurance Conference: New Insurance Laws Affecting the Marine Insurance Industry - The Unique Nature of Ocean Marine Insurance: Do Lawmakers Understand?
  • Speaker, Address to the San Antonio CPCU Chapter: Texas Legislative Update.
  • Speaker, Address to the NCCMMJUA Annual Meeting: Medical Liability Legislation.
  • Speaker, Address at Highlights of Legislation, NAIW 7th Annual Legislative Day: National Association of Insurance Women - Legislative Day.
  • Speaker, Address to the Society of State Filers Annual Meeting: Texas Legislative Update.
  • Speaker, Address to the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas: Insurance Forecast.
  • Speaker, Address at the CPCU Central Texas Chapter: Panel Discussion: House Bill 1461 and Other Insurance Legislation.
  • Speaker, Address at the 40th Annual SIIS Meeting: Tort Reform.
  • Speaker, Address at the NCCI Workers Compensation Fraud Seminar: Workers Compensation Fraud - Advanced Issues, Fresh Perspectives.
  • Speaker, Address at the NAIB Meeting in Dallas: National Association of Insurance Brokers Panel Discussion on Insurance Legislation.
  • Speaker, Address at the DFW Risk and Insurance Management Society: Tort Reform Presentation.
  • Speaker, Address at The Society of State Filers - South Central Chapter: Texas Rate Rollbacks.
  • Speaker, Address to The Texas Association of Insurance Officials: Texas Insurance Legislation - Key New Laws That Will Affect the Industry.
  • Speaker, Address to the Texas Surplus Lines Association: Committee Day Speech.
  • Speaker, NIPA/IAASW Re-Enforcing Premium Audit Fundamentals Seminar: Keynote Address - Current National Insurance Regulatory and Legislative Climate.
  • Speaker, Address to the Texas Surplus Lines Association: The Changing Landscape of the Insurance Industry.
  • Speaker, Address to The Alamo Chapter of the Society of CPCU: Reform - What Does It Really Mean to the Consumer?
  • Speaker, Address at the American Bar Association Tort and Insurance Practice Section Regional Seminar: Panel Discussion on Tort Reform.
  • Speaker, Address at the Texas Insurance Council Mid-Year Property and Casualty Symposium: The Kitchen Sink Panel Discussion on Texas Issues.
  • Speaker, Address to the Big 12 (a coalition of Taco Bell franchisees): Alternative Risk Transfer - An Analysis of Captives and Their Formation.
  • Speaker, Address: Operating as an Admitted Insurer.


  • Co-Author with Leslie R. Robnett, Insurance Captive: A New Solution for Texas Business, Tex. Law. (In-House Tex), May 5, 2014
  • Co-Author with Leslie R. Robnett, A Case For a Texas Captive, FORC J. (Winter 2013).
  • Co-Author with Leslie R. Robnett, S.B. 734 Allows Captive Insurers in Texas, Tex. Law., July 1, 2013, at 19.
  • Co-Author with Val Perkins, Mark Vane and Marcus Schwartz, Highlights of the 82nd Legislative Session, Tex. Law., July 11, 2011, at 15.
  • Co-Author with Leslie R. Robnett, Insurance Regulation in the Dodd-Frank Act; Why You Should Be Concerned, Gardere Fin. Reg. Reform - Ins. Alert, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, Sept. 7, 2010.
  • Co-Author with Leslie R. Robnett, Bumpy Road for OCIPs? How the Texas Legislature Could Drive the Use of Owner Controlled Insurance Policies Out of Texas, 21:3 Fed'n of Reg. Couns. Inc. J. (Fall 2010).
  • Co-Author with David T. Weber, Texas Insurance Agency Under Legislative Review, Law360, Dec. 2, 2009.
  • Co-Author with David T. Weber, Texas Enacts Windstorm Insurance Funding Reforms, 20:3 Fed'n of Reg. Couns. Inc. J. (Fall 2009).
  • Co-Author with Mark Vane and David T. Weber, Lobbying in the State of Texas - Changing the Rules of the Game, 17:9 The Metropolitan Corp. Couns., September 2009.
  • Co-Author with David T. Weber, Texas Windstorm Insurance - What's Next?, Law360, July 2, 2009.
  • Author, GCs Must Stay Abreast of Legislative Actions, Tex. Law., Aug. 4, 2008.
  • Author, States Target Medicaid Fraud in the Pharmaceutical Industry, 18:3 Fed'n of Reg. Couns. Inc. J.(Fall 2007).
  • Author, Bermuda - A Model for Successful Insurance Regulation - An Update on the Bermuda Insurance Regulation Environment and the Insurance Amendment Act 2004, J. Ins. L. & Reg. (September 2005).
  • Author, Alternative Risk Transfer: An Analysis of Captives and Their Formation, J. Ins. L. & Reg. (June 2002).
  • Co-Author with Melissa A. Eason, Recent Legislative Efforts and Changes to Texas Property Casualty Agent Licensing Laws, J. Ins. L. & Reg. (September 1999).


  • Moderator, Women, Influence & Power in Law Conference: Strategic Relationships with Regulators Panel, Washington, D.C. (Oct. 4, 2013).

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, State Bar of Texas
  • Member, State Bar of Nebraska
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federation of Regulatory Counsel, Inc. (FORC - a professional association of insurance regulatory lawyers)
  • Secretary, Austin/San Antonio Chapter, The Texas General Counsel Forum
  • Member, National Association of Professional Women

Honors and Awards

  • Recognized, Texas Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, as published in Texas Monthly (2014)
    • Government Relations
  • Recognized, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Tom Wicker ed., Chambers & Partners) (2008-2015)
    • Insurance: Regulation [Texas]

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Dress for Success®, Austin
    • Chair, Corporate Guild
  • Member, Advisory Board, Austin Children’s Museum
  • Member, Advisory Board, Ronald McDonald House
  • Member, Leadership Texas



Press Releases

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