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 24-partner team is driven out of the firm’s Chicago headquarters but also benefits from a considerable New York presence. The ‘tenacious and hardworking’ Daniel Murray chairs a bankruptcy and workout team that leverages off its strong reputation for litigation to shine in complex, and often contentious, restructurings. Although the firm does have debtor-side experience, it specializes in advising lenders and creditors. Recently, Vincent Lazar and Catherine Steege led advice to Frederick J Grede, the liquidation trustee of Sentinel Management Group, on all matters relating to the ongoing $1bn-plus investment advisor fraud case. Patrick Trostle has a busy practice and represented Fir Tree Capital Opportunity Master Fund and Fir Tree Value Master Fund in litigation against Anglo Irish Bank arising from defaults under a $200m note purchase agreement; the complex case involves issues relating to the bank’s claim for immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Michael Terrien is also highly active and led advice to Ronald Peterson, the bankruptcy trustee for the Lancelot family of failed hedge funds, relating to over $1.7bn worth of claims - notably the Lancelot funds are collectively the largest creditor in the Petters Ponzi scheme bankruptcy, which was the largest Ponzi scheme exposed in US history before Madoff.

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United States: Industry focus

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

A real litigation powerhouse’, Jenner & Block LLP is headquartered in Chicago, but also has offices in Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles, where its ‘first rate’ insurance litigation and counseling practice continues to grow. The firm’s selective hiring attitude has resulted in attorneys who are ‘business savvy, efficient and effective’ across the board, and clients remark on the ‘consistent level of intellect and client service from every lawyer’. Legal issues ‘are considered with a high degree of intellectual rigor, tempered by a practical attitude, informed by years of significant legal experience’. Lorelie Masters, Mary Craig Calkins and Linda Kornfeld are among the top coverage litigators in the country. Matthew Jacobs has ‘great experience and wisdom’ and ‘responds promptly to all concerns’. Highly recommended practice chair John Mathias currently handles the large rehabilitation proceedings of Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company. The firm continued to act for longstanding clients such as HSBC and Fiserv, and also attracted high-profile mandates from new clients: for example, it represented AEP in property damage and business interruption claims arising from the 2008 turbine failure accident at DC Cook nuclear plant; News of the World regarding coverage issues arising from the English telephone hacking and bribery scandals; and Penn State University concerning coverage issues arising from the Gerald Sandusky sexual misconduct scandal. (Since publication, Linda Kornfeld has left the firm.)

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United States: Intellectual property

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

Jenner & Block LLP acts for content providers from the media and entertainment sectors on both copyright litigation and counseling matters but is particularly known for its internet-related copyright infringement work. The firm’s content, media and entertainment practice is co-chaired by Steven Fabrizio and Andrew Bart. Fabrizio formerly led the litigation department at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and since then, has regularly represented major film studios and record companies in copyright protection lawsuits. He represented the plaintiffs in American Broadcasting Companies v Aereo, with appellate lawyer Paul Smith leading on the Second Circuit appeal for the case, which examines claims regarding the online retransmission of programming by the defendant. The team is also defending a number of major film studios on an appeal hearing of a case against BitTorrent website Isohunt. Smith worked alongside Susan Kohlmann in successfully obtaining a Second Circuit appeal reversal of a lower court rulingon behalf of the plaintiff in the $1bn case Viacom v YouTube and Google. Non-contentious work included advising on legislative matters and commercial agreements, with Steven Englund recently counseling the RIAA on drafting the Performance Rights Act.

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United States: Litigation

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

Uniformly excellentJenner & Block LLP is known for its attractive brief-writing, and also for its ‘deep understanding of the client’s business, and how to advance the client’s interests through the appellate process in a cost-effective manner’. In addition to its impressive rate of delivering arguments - the firm has racked up 23 Supreme Court arguments in the last ten terms - it also has a lively amicus practice before the Court. Paul Smith is ‘a first-rate Supreme Court and appellate advocate’; Smith is ‘creative but practical in his approach; he produces written work product of the highest caliber, which is clear, fully supported in law and fact, and rhetorically powerful. He is also a superb oral advocate, able to handle the unexpected and to make superb strategic judgments on his feet’. In one recent highlight, the firm - which is ‘one of the elite appellate practices in DC’ - secured a significant win in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit when it reinstated Viacom’s $1bn copyright infringement case against YouTube and Google. Other clients include CRST Van Expedited and Dow Chemical Company.

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Within Trade secrets, tier 4

A substantial portion of Jenner & Block LLP’s trade secrets practice involves non-contentious work advising employers on potential trade secret and non-compete issues concerning new employees, as well as assisting departing employees on similar issues. On the dispute side, Debbie Berman represented the subsidiary of a leading electronic systems developer in a trade secrets misappropriation action against former employees and other individuals. The action was resolved through a series of favorable settlements for the client. The practice has a strong presence in Chicago, and also operates out of offices in Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

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

Jenner & Block LLP’s nine-partner group is led by former FCC general counsel Samuel Feder in Washington DC and combines leading litigation and appellate attorneys with serious FCC expertise. Its major industry clients include Comcast, Cablevision, Charter, Sprint and Sorenson Communications. Feder and his team acted as lead counsel for multiple parties challenging the aborted $39m merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA at the FCC and DOJ. Feder and John Flynn represented Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN) on communications-related aspects of the $780m sale of Alltel to AT&T and are working to secure FCC approval for the deal. They are representing Comcast in the US Court of Appeals concerning the FCC’s Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation Order as well as in multiple state court challenges to the regulation of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol service. Michael DeSanctis is recommended. Marc Goldman has represented Sprint in numerous cases, notably involving regulatory arbitrage. The group handles agency proceedings and regulatory litigation, and represents a diverse group of cable, wireless, satellite, often representing content providers opposing efforts to regulate the distribution of their content.

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United States: Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts

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

Jenner & Block LLP’s lawyers regularly represent the Fortune 500, smaller public and private companies, private equity investors, special committees, financial advisors, ESOP trustees, institutional investors, and other parties, in all types of domestic and cross-border merger and acquisition activities, including acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, MBOs, LBOs, proxy contests, going-private transactions and reorganizations. Chicago-based Thomas Monson and Michael Wolf co-chair the firm’s M&A practice. Monson has represented public and private companies in mergers, stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, LBOs, venture capital transactions, restructurings, and joint ventures. Wolf has represented private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in connection with a wide variety of transaction structures across a broad array of industries, including the aerospace and defense, airline, automotive, consulting, consumer products, financial services, laboratory services, medical equipment, manufacturing, software, steel and telecommunications industries.

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United States: Real estate and construction

Within Construction, Jenner & Block LLP is a third tier firm,

Jenner & Block LLP’s ‘excellent’, ten-partner construction practice is based in Chicago. The team advises on a range of contractual matters and is experienced in handling administrative reviews. It also represents clients in litigation matters ranging from large payment disputes to complex claims involving substantial defects in major commercial and industrial structures. ‘Talented’ practice head Joseph Bisceglia provides ‘clear guidance as to the best course of action’, and has decades of experience conducting construction litigation and arbitration. He recently represented the University of Illinois in a number of multimillion-dollar suits claiming construction and design defects, and defended against related counterclaims for alleged non-payment, all of which were settled favorably. Bisceglia is acting as counsel for the City of Chicago regarding a number of high-value disputes over construction and design defects arising from the $300m renovation of Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

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United States: Tax

Within Domestic tax: Central, tier 4

With four partners and two associates in the Chicago-based tax practice, Jenner & Block LLP handles tax planning for transactions, restructuring, fund formation and related investments as well as representing clients in tax controversy matters. Christian Kimball chairs the tax practice, and Steven Meier co-chairs the firm’s real estate securities practice but has a diverse tax practice involving all aspects of federal taxation, Gail Morse focuses on state and local tax issues and the highly regarded Geoffrey Davis completes the team. Highlights included advising Hertz Global Holdings on the acquisition of Donlen, a vehicle fleet leasing management services company. The team also represented privately held environmental services company Power Fuels and its founder and owner Mark Johnsrud in a merger with Heckmann Corporation. (Since publication, Steven Meier has moved to Seyfarth Shaw.)

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