The Legal 500

Jenner & Block LLP

353 N. CLARK STREET, CHICAGO, IL 60654-3456, USA
Work +1 312 222 9350
Fax +1 312 527 0484

United States

Top-tier recommendations

  • United States: Intellectual property > Copyright


  • United States: Real estate and construction > Construction

United States: Finance

Within Corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy), tier 5

Jenner & Block LLP’s restructuring practice shines in several discrete fields, with avoidance action litigation and commodity broker bankruptcies standing out as particular areas of expertise. Daniel Murray, who chairs the group, is highly regarded for both bankruptcy litigation and transactional matters; he recently advised Public Service Enterprise Group as a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases of Edison Mission Energy and Midwest Generation. In a highlight piece of litigation, Catherine Steege acted with Melissa Root to represent Wellness International Network in a Supreme Court case concerning the constitutional authority of bankruptcy courts to decide whether property in a debtor’s possession belongs to their bankruptcy estate. Vincent Lazar co-chairs the bankruptcy litigation unit alongside Steege and was part of the team that represented the liquidation trustee of Sentinel Management Group in a $1bn investment adviser fraud case. All named lawyers are in Chicago.

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United States: Government

Within Government contracts, Jenner & Block LLP is a second tier firm,

Jenner & Block LLP is highly rated for its transactional expertise and has a successful track-record handling bid protests. It recently assisted W W Grainger with the integration of two newly acquired government contractors, and successfully represented Booz Allen Hamilton in a bid protest concerning the award of a systems engineering and technical support contract for the Joint Satellite Engineering Center to AASKI Technology. In another highlight case, it advised General Dynamics on the A-12 contract termination dispute, settling the long-running litigation after the Supreme Court had reversed the previous federal court decision in favor of the Government. David Churchill has an ‘excellent understanding of business and is terrific at solving problems’, and co-heads the Washington DC-based team together with Jay DeVecchio. Recommended lawyers include Kevin Mullen, Kevin Dwyer, who is ‘a leader in both accounting and bid protest issues’, and Kathy Weinberg, who is ‘extremely skilled at handling claims’. Staff changes in 2014 included the departure of former managing partner Susan Levy, who joined Northern Trust as GC, and the promotion of Damien Specht, co-chair of the government contracts corporate transactions group, to partner.

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United States: Industry focus

Within Insurance: advice to policyholders, Jenner & Block LLP is a second tier firm,

Jenner & Block LLP’s coverage practice represents policyholders on a national and global scale undertaking matters from all industry areas including cyber coverage, environmental issues, asbestos, and corporate and financial disputes. Clients include General Dynamics, CSX Transportation and Southern California Edison; the latter is currently being assisted by the firm in pursuit of business interruption and property damage coverage after the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in 2013. Chair of the insurance recovery and counseling practice John Mathias is leading the aforementioned matter, and has also handled several other significant matters, including providing insurance counseling to Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on an ongoing multi-district litigation consolidating several antitrust lawsuits. Other matters for the firm include representing McGuireWoods LLP in a professional liability coverage claim against Brit Insurance in which the firm collected the full amount of damages sought. Key clients include Hertz, Kellogg’s and Revlon. All attorneys mentioned above work out of the Chicago office, and Matthew Jacobs of Washington DC is also recommended.

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United States: Intellectual property

Within Copyright, Jenner & Block LLP is a first tier firm,

Jenner & Block LLP has an outstanding reputation for representing content owners and is frequently involved in litigation at the forefront of copyright and new online technologies. Practice co-chair Andrew Bart in New York has a large number of recording companies as clients, while co-chair Richard Stone in Los Angeles acts for many motion picture studios and TV broadcasters. Recent highlights included the successful representation of several broadcast television companies, including Fox and PBS, before the Supreme Court in the high-profile case against Aereo, which captured over-the-air television and retransmitted it over the internet. The team continues to act for Fox against DISH Network, which offers a different recording and streaming service of broadcast TV for its customers. In the music industry, the firm recently secured a victory for EMI in a long-running copyright infringement case against now-defunct online music storage service MP3tunes. Other clients include Universal Music Group, Warner Bros, Sony, NBCUniversal, Electronic Arts Inc, and The Motion Picture Association of America.

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United States: Labor and employment

Within ERISA litigation , tier 4

Based in Chicago, the ‘responsive’ team at Jenner & Block LLP advises an impressive array of clients and attracts praise for its ‘exceptional knowledge of ERISA’. Practice co-head Amanda Amert and associate Jenny Beach are ‘particularly helpful’ and ‘quick to step in when needed’. Fellow co-head and recommended lawyer Craig Martin is leading the firm’s representation of Nuveen Asset Management in pending litigation involving claims for breach of fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions under federal law. The plaintiffs allege that the client caused over $1bn in losses to the plan. Martin also heads the firm’s representation of DOW Chemical Company in a pending putative class action alleging miscalculation of pension benefits and violations of ERISA’s anti-cutback and notice provision. Other recent clients include Aon Hewitt, General Dynamics and Cigna.

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United States: Litigation

Within Commercial litigation, Jenner & Block LLP is a second tier firm,

Jenner & Block LLP has ‘a commercial litigation practice that lives up to one’s expectations of a top law firm’. David Bradford and Craig Martin in Chicago lead a national team of 360 litigators known for ‘deep legal knowledge, resources, professionalism and quality of service’. Martin secured a jury win for Olin Corporation in a long-running dispute with its insurance carrier. The firm’s ‘top talent’ also includes Terri Mascherin in Chicago, who led in a five-month bench trial; and in Washington DC ‘exceptionally responsive and skilled litigatorJerome Epstein, who ‘understands what motivates business clients’, and David DeBruin, ‘a superb, client-focused lawyer who makes clients’ problems his own’. Brian Fischer and Katya Jestin in New York, whose clients include CashCall Inc and Dow Chemical, are among many renowned partners in a practice for which ‘commercial litigation is one of its greatest strengths’.

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Within Securities: shareholder litigation, tier 5

Jenner & Block LLP is ‘an outstanding law firm’ where partners are ‘quick to respond and able to craft advice in a bespoke fashion ideally suited to the client’s needs’. Stephen Ascher and Richard Ziegler in New York won a bench trial for natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy and represented Brookfield Asset Management in a declaratory judgment action against AIG in a $1.5bn dispute in federal court. Ascher and Thomas Newkirk in Washington DC advised institutional plaintiffs in a case relating to losses from auction rate securities and CDOs.

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Within Supreme Court and appellate, Jenner & Block LLP is a second tier firm,

The ‘excellent’ group at Jenner & Block LLP is ‘very responsive, provides good advice, and works very well with strong in-house counsel, and staffs matters appropriately’. The ‘highly skilledPaul Smith recently acted for Fox Broadcasting before the Supreme Court against Aereo, securing a 6-3 verdict in favor of the client, establishing that Aereo’s retransmission of copyrighted over-the-air television programming without broadcaster authorization is a violation of copyright law. Matthew Hellman, who is ‘a great young appellate star, a very clear strategic and legal thinker, good on his feet, and a great writer’, is also a force before the Court, securing a win for pro bono client Stephen Law in Law v Siegel, and also leading a team that drafted amicus brief on behalf of the Service Employees International Union in Harris v Quinn. At the appellate level, the firm was particularly active in 2014-5 in the second and third circuits on behalf of clients such as Dow Chemical and Certified Environmental Services. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

Within M&A: middle-market ($500m-$999m), tier 4

Jenner & Block LLP corporate department is well known for advising Fortune 500 and middle-market companies, as well as private equity funds and their portfolio companies. In 2014, the team grew with the recruitment of Martin Glass into the New York office from Goodwin Procter LLP, Thomas Stromberg’s arrival in the Los Angeles office from Kaye Scholer LLP, and the recruitment of Jason Osborn into the Chicago office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Highlights included acting as lead M&A counsel to Archer Daniels Midland on the $440m sale of its global chocolate business to Cargill; advising Novozymes, a Danish industrial biotechnology company, on a $300m strategic alliance with Monsanto; and acting for GSI Group (GSI) on its $93.5m acquisition of JADAK, which marked a key milestone in GSI’s strategy to expand and diversify its product offerings in the medical technology market. It also assisted Frutarom with its $52.4m acquisition of US-based Hagelin & Co, with a view to expanding its market share in the beverage industry; and acted for Schneider Electric on its acquisition of InStep Software. Key figures include Chicago-based corporate practice chair Joseph Gromacki, M&A chair Thomas Monson and Jeffrey Shuman. Mercedes Hill and Peter Rosenbaum are also recommended, as are New York-based Uri Doron and Carissa Coze in Los Angeles. Michael Wolf left the firm in January 2014 for an in-house position at AON Corporation.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Within Technology: data protection and privacy, Jenner & Block LLP is a third tier firm,

At Jenner & Block LLP, practice head Mary Ellen Callahan provides ‘excellent advice and assistance’ on cybersecurity and privacy and has niche expertise in medical privacy matters. The privacy and information governance practice is a relatively new one for the firm, having been fully functional since October 2013, but is already considered ‘top notch’ and is praised for being ‘on top of current issues’. It handles the entire information lifecycle from compliance to data breach incident, and insurance, TCPA, audio and video recording matters as well as advising on the data security risks associated with mergers and acquisitions. AEP Energy and Northern Trust are recent new client wins. The firm welcomed a number of new arrivals: Daniel Rozansky joined the Los Angeles office from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, Joseph Noga joined the New York office as a financial privacy specialist having previously been deputy head of litigation at GE Capital, and Heidi Wachs joined as specialist counsel in education privacy, having previously worked for Gartner for Technical Professionals’ identity and privacy strategies team.

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Within Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory, Jenner & Block LLP is a second tier firm,

Jenner & Block LLP’s team is led by Samuel Feder, a former FCC general counsel who specializes in cable and video-related matters. Highlights included acting for the likes of Cablevision and Charter Communications in FCC proceedings relating to the reform of rules under which broadcasters, cable, and satellite providers negotiate over carriage of broadcast stations. It also advised Charter Communications on obtaining FCC approval for a merger-related subscriber spin-off; the case was pertaining to a deal with Comcast to acquire 1.4 million video subscribers and manage another 2.5 million subscribers. The same client also instructed the firm in FCC proceedings concerning net neutrality. Besides Feder, other names to note include net neutrality expert Luke Platzer, Michael DeSanctis, who is experienced in FCC enforcement matters, and John Flynn, who works for cable and wireless clients in regard to transactions. Nielsen, Crown Castle International, and Comcast also feature on its client roster; the firm represented the latter in the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in support of the FCC’s order to reform the universal service program and intercarrier compensation.

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Within Telecoms and broadcast: transactional, Jenner & Block LLP is a second tier firm,

Jenner & Block LLP has a noteworthy presence on both coasts, with Carissa Coze at the helm in Los Angeles and former general counsel of the FCC Samuel Feder leading in Washington DC. In a recent highlight, Feder, John Flynn, and Luke Platzer assisted Charter Communications with obtaining FCC approval for a subscriber spin-off, related to the high-profile Time Warner Cable/Comcast merger. Other flagship clients include 21st Century Fox and Fox Networks; the former instructed it in its acquisition of additional interests in the YES Network which boosted Fox Network’s ownership to a controlling 80% interest, and the latter instructed it in the creation and launch of television and film production company The Jackal Group in partnership with entertainment executive Gail Berman. The group added strength on the West Coast through the addition of Thomas Stromberg from Kaye Scholer LLP and Jolene Negre’s promotion to partnership.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Within Construction, tier 4

The Chicago-based team at Jenner & Block LLP is led by arbitrator and trial lawyer Joseph Bisceglia. The construction practice works alongside the real estate team to assist owners, contractors, investors, and developers with complex dispute resolution. The nine-attorney group has particular knowledge of nuclear power and infrastructure-related matters. Transactional partner Donald Horvath is another name to note.

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