Mr Richard Godfrey > Kirkland & Ellis LLP > Chicago, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kirkland & Ellis LLP
United States


Rick is a senior litigation partner who for over three decades has represented large publicly-held corporations at trial and on appeal in some of the nation’s largest, most high-profile complex litigation matters. He routinely advises senior management and corporate Boards regarding litigation risks and strategy. For example: Rick has represented BP in Deepwater Horizon; GM in the Ignition Switch and Vehicle Recalls products liability and economic loss class action litigation; Aon in the insurance brokerage antitrust litigation arising out of New York Attorney General Spitzer’s investigation; Windstream in its bond covenant litigation; a large insurance company for over a decade in age discrimination lawsuits brought by the EEOC and in ERISA and age discrimination suits brought by plaintiffs’ class action lawyers; Exxon in gasoline pricing class action litigation; Celanese in alleged defective piping class action litigation; an industrial conglomerate in asbestos litigation; General Motors Corporation in its retiree health care litigation; and BP in various environmental class action lawsuits, among others.


Trustee, member and fellow of numerous institutions and organizations, including serving as a Litigation Member of Kirkland’s Global Executive Management Committee for 16 years, having reached his maximum term limit.


Boston University School of Law, J.D. (magna cum laude)

Lawyer Rankings

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

Kirkland & Ellis LLP takes on a leading role in a wide array of product liability and mass tort matters, for example serving as national counsel and lead trial counsel on behalf of BASF Catalysts LLC in a series of asbestos-related product liability cases. The team is experienced in mass tort matters, including multidistrict litigations, class actions and defect or recall investigations. Richard Godfrey, who has four decades of experience, and nationally recognized trial attorney Andrew McGaan are key lawyers in the Chicago office, while Mike Brock in Washington has served as trial counsel for a variety of industry leading clients.

United States > Industry focus > Energy litigation: oil and gas

(Hall of Fame)

Richard GodfreyKirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a long history of advising clients in the energy industry and has represented large US energy companies before all major federal and state agencies including the Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Securities & Exchange Commission. In addition to agency proceedings, the litigation team has in-depth experience representing clients before state and federal courts, appeals courts, international courts, and arbitration panels. Houston-based Anna Rotman heads up the practice and represents both plaintiffs and defendants in state courts, federal courts, and arbitrations. Daniel Donovan in Washington DC and Richard Godfrey in Chicago are also recommended in the practice group.

United States > Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes

(Hall of Fame)

Richard GodfreyKirkland & Ellis LLP

Fielding a ‘creative and dedicated team with deep expertise in class actions’Kirkland & Ellis LLP‘s nationwide practice group is a popular choice for plaintiffs and defendants in bet-the-company disputes. In a current matter, Mark Filip (Chicago) is leading the team that is defending Allergan in its highly publicized, nationwide opioid litigation involving thousands of civil suits in addition to government investigations. A name to note for class actions is ‘top notch’ partner Richard Godfrey (Chicago), who represents plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of disputes. Highly regarded trial lawyer James Hurst (Chicago) has over three decades’ experience in prominent disputes, with particular strength in the healthcare and life sciences sector. Daniel Donovan (Washington DC) is a go-to partner for clients seeking corporate governance advice, though he also has experience in trials and commercial arbitration. Diana Watral (Chicago), Joshua Greenblatt (New York) and Atif Khawaja (New York) are also key members of the team.