The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Work +1 212 446 4800
Fax +1 212 446 4900

Jay Lefkowitz

Work +1 212-446-4970
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Work Department



Jay serves as lead trial and appellate counsel in shareholder disputes, antitrust, product liability, False Claims Act matters, and APA lawsuits against the government. He represents leading companies in the pharmaceutical, private equity, technology and telecommunications industries. Jay is also a leading advocate for religious freedom and education reform, representing parents, children and schools pro bono. He served in two White Houses and as U.S. Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea.


Jay is a member of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee and teaches at Columbia Law School.


Columbia College, A.B.; Columbia Law School, J.D.

United States: Dispute resolution

M&A litigation: defense

Within: M&A litigation: defense

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘a firm that is always prepared to go to trial, which is a mindset that sets it apart from some of its competitors’. The firm is currently involved in many cutting-edge M&A cases, including one of the largest appraisal actions ever filed in Delaware; Matthew Solum, who has nearly 20 years’ experience in M&A litigation in Delaware and elsewhere, and Yosef Riemer are leading the case from New York. They also represent Team Health Holdings in a claim raised by shareholders controlling $600m in stock. Solum represented Dutch company Akzo Nobel in its successful takeover defense against PPG, which had launched a $29.5bn merger proposal. Joshua Rabinovitz and Devon Largio in Chicago are acting as lead counsel to Akorn Inc in three class actions related to accounting issues in acquisitions totaling $4.3bn made in 2014. Jay Lefkowitz in New York and Mark Holscher in Los Angeles are also recommended. In April 2018, the eminent Sandra Goldstein joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.

[back to top]

Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense

Within: Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense

The department at Kirkland & Ellis LLP regularly handles product liability and mass tort litigation for pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies. Led by Washington DC-based Paul Clement, the team represents Johnson & Johnson and its affiliate DePuy Orthopedics in the consolidated appeals of an adverse jury verdict related to a hip prosthetics MDL, in which plaintiffs allege that the implants cause serious health issues. In other work, the team assists longstanding client Teva Pharmaceuticals with product liability lawsuits and class actions. The firm’s client base also includes GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott and AbbVie. Robert Brock in Washington DC and New York-based Jay Lefkowitz are other key figures.

[back to top]

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.

[back to top]

United States: Industry focus

Healthcare: life sciences

Within: Healthcare: life sciences

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s group has notable strength in contentious matters, including product liability, False Claims Act and securities litigation. In Chicago, James Hurst successfully defended Abbott Laboratories in a False Claims Act case brought by a former employee. Jay Lefkowitz and Devora Allon represented Upsher-Smith Laboratories in a price-fixing class action regarding a generic blood pressure medication. Leora Ben-Ami, Thomas Fleming and Christopher Jagoe have been assisting Teva Pharmaceuticals and its subsidiary Actavis Laboratories with patent infringement litigation regarding the Neupro drug. On the corporate side, Peter Martelli advised Blackstone on its $6.1bn acquisition of TeamHealth. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to