The Legal 500

Jenner & Block LLP

353 N. CLARK STREET, CHICAGO, IL 60654-3456, USA
Tel:
Work +1 312 222 9350
Fax:
Fax +1 312 527 0484
Web:
www.jenner.com
Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC

United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state) - ranked: tier 3

Jenner & Block LLP

Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 2

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP has ‘one of the strongest appellate practices in the nation’, according to one client. The Washington DC-based team has a diverse case load and, in May 2015, it secured a significant victory at the Supreme Court on behalf of the plaintiff in Wellness International Network v Sharif, which questioned the scope of bankruptcy judges’ powers. The group achieved further success serving as co-counsel for the Alabama Democratic Conference in a case pertaining to Alabama’s voting policy for new district boundaries; ‘masterful’ practice head Paul Smith led the team. The group has also worked in human rights, environmental, energy and securities cases on a range of merits and amicus briefings, including the landmark same-sex marriage case Obergefell v Hodges, where it filed on behalf of the American Psychology Association, among others. In the federal courts of appeals, the group is working across the country on tax, patent and energy matters, most notably representing the Authors Guild in proceedings against Google.

Leading lawyers

Paul Smith - Jenner & Block LLP

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 3

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP’s commercial disputes practice services household-name clients across the media, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and energy sectors, which benefit from the team’s trial expertise, including at the appellate and Supreme Court level. David Bradford and Craig Martin chair the department from Chicago; key figures in the New York office include Brian Fischer, whose broad commercial and regulatory disputes practice takes in fraud, IP and contract law, and Katya Jestin, who represents companies and individuals in regulatory and congressional investigations.

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Securities litigation - defense
Securities litigation - defense - ranked: tier 5

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP’s Mark Harris and Howard Suskin in Chicago represented Merge Healthcare in a 10b-5 class action alleging overstatement of its subscription backlog figures. Stephen Ascher and Richard Ziegler in New York represented Brookfield Asset Management in a declaratory judgment action against AIG in a $1.5bn dispute in federal court. Thomas Newkirk in Washington DC is also recommended.

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United States: Finance

Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): corporate - ranked: tier 6

Jenner & Block LLP

In the two biggest Chapter 11s of 2015, Jenner & Block LLP is acting as local counsel to the parent company in the $18bn bankruptcy of Caesars Entertainment, and is representing a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings in the numerous inter-company claims under its $40bn Chapter 11. Daniel Murray and Richard Levin lead the practice from Chicago and New York respectively, the latter a high-profile lateral hire from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in May 2015.

Leading lawyers

Richard Levin - Jenner & Block LLP

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Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal
Restructuring (including bankruptcy): municipal - ranked: tier 3

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP significantly boosted its workout, bankruptcy and reorganization practice in 2015 by adding Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s former head of restructuring, Richard Levin, to its New York office. While still at his previous firm, he advised the Detroit Institute of Arts on the city’s Chapter 9 filing, protecting the collection and the museum building from the city’s obligations to creditors. Other notable work includes advising the City of Gardena in negotiating a workout with banks, thereby avoiding a Chapter 9 filing.

Leading lawyers

Richard Levin - Jenner & Block LLP

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 1

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP stands out for its expertise in the corporate transactions of government contractors, particularly in the private equity space. An example of this was assisting A-T Solutions during its sale by private equity firms CI Capital Partners and CoVant to PAE, including all government contract and national security matters. Next to transactional work, contentious matters constitute a significant element of the practice, and recently an important appellate victory was achieved for MorphoTrust in a bid protest concerning a contract to produce drivers’ licenses for the Washington DC’s Department of Motor Vehicles. The appeals court ruled that the Contract Appeals Board had, improperly, regularly deferred to agency judgments instead of independently reviewing decisions. In another successful bid protest, the firm represented Collection Technology in a challenge to the client’s elimination from a student debt collection and resolution contract award process by the Office of Federal Student Aid. Kevin Mullen, Kevin Dwyer, Damien Specht, David Churchill and Jay DeVecchio parted ways with the firm and joined the Washington DC and Northern Virginia offices of Morrison & Foerster LLP. On the incoming side, new practice chair D. Joe Smith rejoined the firm from Smith Pachter McWhorter, Mark Nackman joined from General Dynamics, and Matthew Haws and Gregory Petkoff arrived from WilmerHale.

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United States: Industry focus

Insurance: advice to policyholders
Insurance: advice to policyholders - ranked: tier 2

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP advises policyholders from a wide range of industries on matters such as financial disputes, asbestos coverage and environmental issues. Chicago-based John Mathias, who chairs the insurance recovery and counseling practice, recently represented Vail Resorts in a coverage action in connection with construction-related damage at a hotel complex. Matthew Jacobs in Washington DC is defending Danfoss in an action filed by Liberty Mutual relating to two workers’ compensation policies. The firm also has substantial expertise advising transport clients; Jacobs is representing Amtrak with Paul Smith and Jessie Amunson (both of whom are based in Washington DC) in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court regarding coverage of losses resulting from Superstorm Sandy. Other key clients include Southern California Edison, CSX Transportation and HSBC North America.

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United States: Intellectual property

Copyright
Copyright - ranked: tier 1

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP has ‘outstanding expertise’ in the music and motion picture industries, and frequently represents content owners in litigation at the forefront of copyright and new online technologies. After its earlier Supreme Court victory against online TV streaming service Aereo, it continues to represent Fox in cases against similar services, such as Aereokiller, FilmOn and Dish Network. In the music industry, the team successfully represented the Universal Music Group in a long-running copyright infringement case against Escape Media, which resulted in the shutting down of Escape Media’s streaming service Grooveshark. It also successfully defended music artist Jay Z in a copyright infringement case related to an Egyptian song sampled in his song Big Pimpin’. Other clients include the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America, the Entertainment Software Association, Electronic Arts, NBCUniversal, and Warner Music. 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.

Leading lawyers

Andrew Bart - Jenner & Block LLP

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United States: Labor and employment

ERISA litigation
ERISA litigation - ranked: tier 4

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP’s Chicago-based team has expertise in defending stock drop and breach of fiduciary duty class action claims. Practice heads Craig Martin and Amanda Amert are defending Dow Chemical Company in a putative class action case, which alleges a breach of ERISA’s ‘anti-cutback’ rules. The duo also successfully represented General Dynamics in a fiduciary duty case. Other clients include AON and Nuveen Asset Management; the firm acted for the latter in a class action case surrounding alleged breach of fiduciary duty by investing the plan exclusively in equities.

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Employee benefits and executive compensation
Employee benefits and executive compensation - ranked: tier 5

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP’s Chicago-based three-partner team advises a range of regional and national clients on day-to-day and transactional employee benefits matters. Tony Ling has experience in plan termination issues and corporate transactions, while practice head Matthew Renaud’s expertise includes equity plans for executives, ERISA fiduciary responsibilities and the PPACA. Raymond Sinnappan advises private equity investors on ERISA compliance. The team is also recommended for de-risking transactions and ERISA fiduciary duties.

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United States: M&A/corporate and commercial

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

Jenner & Block LLP

Noted for advising Fortune 500 and middle-market companies, as well as private equity funds and their portfolio companies, Jenner & Block LLP’s ‘overall level of service is both excellent and industry leading, with a top-level range of expertise that also retains a personal relationship with its clients’. In the middle market, the team advised Papillon Resources on its $570m merger with B2Gold Corporation. It also acted as M&A counsel to Archer Daniels Midland during the $440m sale of its global chocolate business to Cargill, assisted Honeywell with its $185m acquisition of printer manufacturer Datamax-O’Neil, advised American Natural Gas on its acquisition of Northville NG Fuels, and assisted a Tokyo-based conglomerate with the $400m acquisition of the linkage and suspension business of TRW Automotive Holdings. In large deals, the team acted for Danfoss in the acquisition of Finland-based public company Vacon. Chicago-based corporate chair Joseph Gromacki is ‘an extremely talented lawyer and strong problem solver, who is attuned to clients’ business needs and the operational practicalities of business organizations’. M&A chair Thomas Monson has represented public and private companies in mergers, stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, venture capital transactions, restructurings and joint ventures, and Jason Osborn has managed transactions in industries such as healthcare, financial services, retail services and manufacturing. Jeffrey Shuman, Mercedes Hill and Peter Rosenbaum are also recommended. All the above named lawyers are in Chicago. Also highly rated are Thomas Stromberg and Carissa Coze in Los Angeles and, in New York, Martin Glass and Uri Doron, who is ‘a highly competent lawyer, with a clear ability to give both helpful legal advice and opinion, whilst also adapting and working within a client’s culture in terms of corporate and geographic considerations’. Expansion within the team saw Los Angeles-based Neil Cummings join from Proskauer Rose LLP, and in Chicago, private equity lawyers Alan Roth and Christopher Douglass joined from Locke Lord LLP and Matthew Pacella joined as special counsel from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Pacella advises private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies and public companies on domestic and cross-border business transactions.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Advertising and marketing

The practice at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP excels in media, sport and entertainment, advising clients on promotions, content issues, endorsement agreements and NAD litigation. The team’s extensive client roster includes Snapchat, Paramount Pictures and also Lions Gate Films, which the firm advised on co-promotional agreements with major brands for the final two instalments in The Hunger Games franchise. The team also recently acted for Samsung in the launch of its Gear VR virtual reality platform, and advised the client on its multi-year sponsorship and content distribution agreement with the NBA and an endorsement agreement with NBA player LeBron James. Robert Darwell in Century City is highly experienced in advising clients in the fashion industry, and recently assisted Chanel with its new global advertising campaign for Chanel No. 5. Other retail clients for the firm include Kate Spade, H&M and also Target, which the department advised on its NASCAR sponsorship deal with Ganassi Racing. Brian Anderson and Paul Garrity are the new co-heads of the practice. Former practice heads Benjamin Mulcahy and Gina Reif Ilardi moved to Jenner & Block LLP in April 2016.

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Cyber law
Cyber law - ranked: tier 3

Jenner & Block LLP

The Washington DC-based team at Jenner & Block LLP was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Nancy Libin from Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, Heidi Wachs, who joined as special counsel from Gartner, and Mark Nackman, who joined from Dynamics Fidelis. Recent highlights include acting for a large cable provider in the US as part of an international data breach and cybercrime incident involving third-party service providers. Mary Ellen Callahan leads the team and is highly experienced in advising clients on cyber insurance, breach preparedness and implementing technical tools for cybersecurity protection.

Leading lawyers

Mary Ellen Callahan - Jenner & Block LLP

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Technology: data protection and privacy
Technology: data protection and privacy - ranked: tier 3

Jenner & Block LLP

The Jenner & Block LLP practice engages in cross-border data security activities and is led by Washington DC-based Mary Ellen Callahan. Callahan has recent experience advising a national cable provider affected by an international data breach, and also advised the client on FCC regulatory issues. TCPA litigation is among the core strengths, and new hires included Nancy Libin, who joined from Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, and special counsel Heidi Wachs, who joined from information technology company Gartner. New clients span the education, mobile technology, and communications sectors, and AEP Energy and Northern Trust are clients.

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Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory
Telecoms and broadcast: regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP supplements its Washington DC-based regulatory capability with a broad global footprint that places ‘the telecoms regulatory practice at the top of the field’. In a demonstration of its national reach, Samuel Feder, Luke Platzer and Adam Unikowsky won an appellate victory for Comcast before the Vermont Supreme Court regarding whether or not the Vermont Public Service Board has jurisdiction to regulate interconnected VoIP services. The practice is also advising longstanding client Charter Communications on obtaining FCC and state commission approval for several transactions as well as representing the client in FCC proceedings concerning the right to IP interconnection. Former Department of Justice chief privacy officer Nancy Libin joined the nine-partner team in October 2015. Feder and John Flynn jointly head the practice and are described as ‘truly special: each possesses an incredible breadth of knowledge regarding federal and state regulation, but also pairs that expertise with litigation skills, business acumen and a client-friendly approach’.

Leading lawyers

Samuel Feder - Jenner & Block LLP

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Telecoms and broadcast: transactional
Telecoms and broadcast: transactional - ranked: tier 2

Jenner & Block LLP

Clients single out Jenner & Block LLP for its ‘complete package of regulatory, M&A, litigation and appellate expertise, and for its client service.’ In two key deals in 2015, the predominantly Washington DC-based team advised Charter Communications on a sale-and-swap transactions with Comcast, which marks one of the largest horizontal cable transactions of this decade; and assisted Japanese telecom giant SoftBank and Sprint with a proposed merger with T-Mobile. Other key clients include Fox Sports and Fox Sports Digital, the latter of which the group advised on its acquisition of assets from online sports start-up StraightCast Media, including its ‘Gridiron Grunts’ mobile app. Communications and technology specialist Nancy Libin joined the group, which now counts 11 partners, including department heads Samuel Feder, John Flynn and Carissa Coze, as well as Luke Platzer and Los Angeles-based Jolene Negre.

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