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Kirkland & Ellis LLP

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Eugene Assaf

Work +1 202-879-5196
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Work Department



Gene is an accomplished trial lawyer who represents clients—including AOL, BASF, Hitachi, Honeywell, Huntsman, Raytheon, SIPC, Siemens and Wyndham Worldwide—on a variety of commercial litigation, environmental and technology disputes matters before judges, juries and arbitration panels across the country. He also advises boards and management on risk and compliance issues. Gene is a member of Kirkland’s worldwide Management Committee.


Litigation Reform Advisory Committee, U.S. Chamber’s National Chamber Litigation Center; Board, Legal Aid Society of New York.


University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 1989; University of Essex, M.A., 1987; Dickinson College, B.A., 1984.

United States: Dispute resolution

General commercial disputes

Within: General commercial disputes

Among the best for highly complex and potentially "bet the company" legal issues’, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s litigation team is ‘client-oriented, creative and smart’. With 500 attorneys in the litigation practice firmwide, it is one of the largest groups in the market. Of particular note is the team’s broad experience in state and federal courts - including at appellate level - and in arbitration proceedings. A team that includes Mark Filip, Donna Welch, Leslie Smith and Jennifer Levy is representing Allergan in the closely watched opioids investigations, which span state and federal governmental investigations, congressional inquiries and civil lawsuits. Elsewhere, James Hurst and Andrew Kassof secured a victory for Abbott Laboratories in a False Claims Act (FCA) jury trial in the Northern District of Texas, which was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit in May 2017. Richard Godfrey is a ‘brilliant class action lawyer’. Andrew McGaan and Washington DC-based Eugene Assaf are also recommended. Above-named partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated. In April 2018, star litigator Sandra Goldstein joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)

Within: Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s product liability and mass tort practice handles MDLs and class actions for manufacturers and distributors. In recent work, Chicago-based Richard Godfrey obtained class settlement for L3Technologies in a class action suit involving allegedly defective military and consumer rifle accessories. In Washington DC, Eugene Assaf and Edwin U continue to represent Henkel in an MDL, involving unfair and deceptive trade practices claims in relation to the effectiveness of the Dial Complete line of antibacterial soaps. Chicago-based Andrew McGaan is another key figure in the department. In July 2017, Matthew Papez departed to Jones Day.

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense

Within: Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense

The toxic tort litigation department at Kirkland & Ellis LLP covers the full array of sector-related work, such as class actions, MDLs, appeals and environmental matters. In Washington DC, Eugene Assaf and Michael Williams continue to act as national counsel and lead trial counsel for BASF Catalysts in several asbestos-related product liability lawsuits. In other work, the team continues to represent Dow Chemical Group in a number of class actions related to groundwater and environmental contamination. Chicago-based Kevin Van Wart led advice to DuPont in a recently settled MDL, in which plaintiffs had alleged that drinking water was contaminated by a chemical used as a processing aid by the client, and led to cancer and other diseases. The firm’s client roster also includes Axiall, BP America and Chesapeake Appalachia. Jay Lefkowitz and Kimberly Branscome are the key contacts in New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

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