Ashton T. Kirsch is an insurance litigation attorney and partner with the law firm of Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. Ashton has been with MWL’s Hartford office since 2015, concentrating his practice on litigation of subrogation cases involving large loss casualty, commercial auto, transportation and cargo, and workers’ compensation. He has built and grown the MWL commercial auto and cargo/transportation group into the thriving sector of our firm’s subrogation practice.

Ashton is an expert in the handling of complex interstate transportation claims. He knows the ins, outs, and in-betweens of the labyrinth of federal regulations that can impact a commercial auto or cargo loss. In fact, he has been retained by other attorneys around the nation to serve as an expert and consult/train on both the MCS-90 Endorsement and Carmack Amendment. Through this unique knowledge base, Ashton has successfully litigated and recovered on countless claims where others could not. He also boasts another, unique expertise—high-level negotiation tactics and skills which maximize the likelihood of high dollar recoveries. He travels the country providing seminars and training sessions to attorneys and adjusters on best negotiation tactics and litigation practices. With over 95% of claims settling prior to litigation and 99% of litigated cases settling prior to trial, negotiation skills are at the pinnacle of importance to a successful subrogation attorney. Ashton is currently writing a book on subrogation negotiations practices, which will be published within the next year

Ashton obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, focusing on finance and corporate litigation. In 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, he was named a Wisconsin Rising Star for Transportation/Maritime by Super Lawyers Magazine, an award given only to the top 2.5% of lawyers in the State.

Prior to joining MWL, Ashton was a founding partner and legal counsel with an online lending/banking platform. He was also general counsel for a real estate development consulting group. Ashton is an experienced politician, winning a three-way primary as a candidate for Wisconsin’s 81st Assembly District in 2014, and is a former member of Governor Scott Walker’s legal team. He also served as a judicial intern to Justice Paul Higginbotham in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, IV District.

Ashton is known throughout the field for his knowledge of legal and legislative issues. He has been invited to testify on numerous occasions before legislative bodies and administrative agencies on insurance-related issues. Specifically, he has been asked to testify before legislative committee on tort reform legislation, collateral source rules, insurance mandatory minimum limits, insurance regulatory compliance, and other commercial auto-related issues. Ashton brings precisely the sort of “real world” experience that makes an excellent litigator for the insurance industry.

In his personal life, Ashton enjoys spending time with his wife, Alexandra, his daughter, Laina, and his son, Charlie, taking them hiking, camping, fishing, and participating in many other outdoor activities.


University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin, J.D.

University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, B.A.

  • Major: Political Science and History (South East Asia)
  • Honors: Tau Kappa Epsilon Presidential Award of Excellence

Published Works

Don’t Overlook Loss of Use: Understanding State-By-State Nuances In This Little-Researched Area Will Give You The Advantage, published in Claims Litigation Management’s magazine, August 2020 issue and on August 14, 2020.

Insurers Face Delicate COVID-19 Coverage Decisions, published in Claims Journal on April 29, 2020.

How to Get Paid for Being Use-Less: Understanding Loss of Use Claims, published in Claims Pages, January 31, 2019 and Claims Journal, February 7, 2019.

Following the Money: Subrogating MCS-90 Payments Against an Uninsured Operator, published in Claims Journal on July 19, 2016.

SUBROGATING MAGIC: Creating Something Out Of Nothing, published in Claims Journal on October 11, 2016.

Speaking Engagements

Cyber Subrogation and Technological Trends Impacting Recovery – November 9, 2021 – Webinar presented at the 2021 NASP Annual Conference.

How to Optimize Your Mediation Outcome BEFORE The Mediation – Town Hall Discussion – October 28, 2021 – Webinar co-presented to Claims Litigation Management (CLM).

Nuclear Negotiations: Tips and Tricks to Maximize Subrogation Recoveries or Limit Liability Exposure in Insurance Claims – September 16, 2021 – Webinar presented to American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA).

School of Property – Property Evaluation Level 1 – September 9, 2021, Co-presented a course to Claims Litigation Management (CLM).

Subrogating National Disasters: The surfside Condo Collapse and Acts of God – August 5, 2021 – Webinar presented to The Institutes CPCU Society.

Considering Total Loss Valuations, Diminution in Value, Salvage and Other Topics on Claims Where Subrogation is Implicated – July 13, 2021 – Webinar presented to American Property & Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA).

Nuclear Negotiations – Using Psychology and Advance Techniques to Maximize Recoveries – April 20, 2021 – Webinar presented to the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP).

Hack Attack: Subrogating Data Breaches, Cyber Attacks, and Other Tech Losses – February 10, 2021 – MWL webinar presented to the public (523 Attendees).

Subrogation and Nuclear Negotiations – January 21, 2021 – Webinar presented to the Claims Litigation Management (CLM).

Collecting from the Uncollectible: Using the MCS-90 Endorsement and Other Federal/State Financial Responsibility Rules to Facilitate a Subrogation Recovery When Coverage Has Been Denied – November 16, 2020 – Webinar presented at the 2020 NASP Annual Conference. This was a virtual event.

Nuclear Negotiations: Strategies to Maximize Recoveries by Thinking and Negotiating Like A Plaintiff’s Attorney, webinar presented to National Association of Professionals (NASP) on August 11, 2020.

Hacked! Preparing the Subrogation Industry for Cyber-Related Losses – August 5, 2020 – Webinar presented to Claims Litigation Management (CLM).

Taking Some Downtime: Subrogating Loss-of-Use, Lost Profit Claims, and Downtime Claims – October 28, 2019, presented seminar at 2019 Annual National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Washington, D.C.

Subrogation From The Manufacturer’s Perspective – April 17, 2019 – Seminar presented to Security Captive in Dubuque, Iowa.

Investigation and Implementation of Workers’ Compensation Subrogation Claims – February 21, 2019 – Seminar presented to CSIL Risk Control Workshop in Scottsdale, AZ.

Creating Something Out of Nothing – Subrogating MCS-90 Endorsements, December 5, 2018, Webinar presented to Claims Litigation Management (CLM) membership.

Two Men and a Buck: Subrogating the Residential Home Moving Industry, November 13, 20018, Seminar presented at 2018 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Top Ten Subrogation Mistakes Carriers Keep Making, November 9, 2018, Seminar presented at Claims Litigation Management (CLM) 2018 Southeast Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Subrogation Magic: Creating Something Out of Nothing – MSC-90 Claims Against Uninsured Operators, November 6, 2017, Seminar presented at 2017 Annual National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Austin, Texas.

Hit the Ground Running: Preparing Complex Product Liability Claims for Litigation From Day One, September 20, 2018, Webinar presented to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP)/Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB) membership.

Introduction To Cargo Subrogation, March 14, 2017 – Webinar presented to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP).

Best Claims Practices in Anticipation of Litigation, November 15, 2016, seminar presented to Wisconsin Fire Loss Association, in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin.

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), 2016-Present
  • National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), Legislative Affairs Committee
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM), Member, 2015-Present
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM), Publication/Magazine Sub-Committee, Co-Chair - 2019-Present
  • Claims Litigation Management (CLM), Webinar Sub-Committee, Co-Chair - 2020-Present
  • Inland Marine Underwriters Association (IMUA), Associate Member
  • Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association, Executive Committee
  • Milwaukee Bar Association

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