Mr Jay Lefkowitz > Kirkland & Ellis LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10022
United States
Jay Lefkowitz photo


Jay Lefkowitz is a litigation partner at Kirkland and serves as lead trial and appellate counsel in shareholder disputes, securities litigation, antitrust, product liability, litigation against the FDA and False Claims Act matters. His clients include companies in the pharmaceutical, private equity, technology and telecommunications industries. He has also conducted numerous internal investigations for public companies and audit committees. In addition to winning two precedent-setting Supreme Court decisions, Jay is also a leading advocate for religious freedom and education reform, representing families and schools pro bono. Jay’s public service career includes serving as a senior White House advisor to two presidents and as U.S. Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea. He currently serves on Advisory Boards for numerous organizations, including Columbia Law School, NYU Alexander Hamilton Center and Barnard College, and is an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School where he teaches a seminar on Supreme Court advocacy. Jay has been named one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal and as a Law360 “MVP of the Year” six years in a row. He has also been recognized by The American Lawyer, Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Benchmark Litigation.

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > Appellate: courts of appeals / Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal)

Kirkland & Ellis LLP houses one of the country’s most admired appellate law practices, which is frequently involved in high-stakes cases before all Circuits. On the US Supreme Court front, the firm continues to secure a dominant volume of precedent-setting matters, notably arguing five cases during the 2020 term, which represented 10% of all cases heard that year. The firm also earns plaudits for its impressive success rate, which saw it win all five of its merits cases over the past year. Former Solicitor General Paul Clement stands out as one of the most seasoned litigators in the market and has argued over 100 cases before the US Supreme Court. Erin Murphy is also a sought-after appellate expert, with an impressive record in constitutional, statutory and administrative law cases. Clement and Murphy recently paired up to successfully represent the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association before SCOTUS in a dispute over whether Alaska Native Corporations are ‘Indian tribes’ under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, and thus eligible for funding available to Tribal governments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. George Hicks is also a high-profile appellate litigator and acted alongside Clement to obtain a victory for Snyder’s-Lance in the Fourth Circuit in a long-running trademark dispute with Frito-Lay. The practice also benefits from the senior experience of John O’Quinn and New York-based Jay Lefkowitz. Among the premier group’s up-and-coming names, William Burgess stand out for his IP expertise, while Harker Rhodes recently represented Windstream Holdings in two appeals arising out of its bankruptcy proceedings, winning both appeals. All attorneys are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

United States > Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices

Kirkland & Ellis LLP ‘s overarching litigation credentials and core ability to try bet-the-company disputes allows it to handle high-profile class actions/mass torts in the space. Indeed, it is this trial-ready-approach which is one of the firm’s main strengths, enabling it to secure early and successful settlement for clients through dispositive motions, as well as, should the need arise, in a jury trial. Mike Brock in Washington DC epitomizes the firm’s strength at trying cases, and is adept at representing pharma and life sciences companies, particularly in product liability and mass tort cases. New York-based Jay Lefkowitz  is also a key member of the team and has secured notable high-profile victories in the space at both a trial and appellate level, including before the Supreme Court.

United States > Industry focus > Healthcare: life sciences

 Kirkland & Ellis LLP‘s ‘top-notch’ team advises on transactions and significant litigation. It is particularly known for its IP litigation practice, with partners Jay Lefkowitz in New York and Matt Rowen in Washington DC particularly regarded for their work on appellate litigations. It also acts on major product liability matters, with Lefkowitz advising GlaxoSmithKline, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Amneal Pharmaceuticals on multiple consolidated class actions related to the drug Zantac. Chicago-based James Hurst is recognized for his work on Supreme Court cases and New York-based Patricia Carson is a key patent strategy advisor.