David Bernick is a partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He is a nationally renowned trial lawyer and strategist, having acted as lead trial counsel for major U.S. and international corporations in the chemical, tobacco, technology and life sciences industries for 40 years. His experience spans complex class action and other aggregated litigation, mass torts and product liability, antitrust and competition, business restructuring and reorganization, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, securities and criminal environmental litigation.

David has been repeatedly recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent trial lawyers. In 2016, David was named the winner in the “Litigation: Business Trial Lawyers” category of the 2016 Chambers USA Awards. Chambers USA noted that he is “widely acclaimed as a consummate trial lawyer” with “phenomenal courtroom prowess.” David also has been recognized as a leading US trial lawyer (Band 1) by Chambers Global, where he is touted for his experience as a “tremendous” product liability advocate. This echoed his 2007 national Chambers award for Excellence in Product Liability. In 2016, he was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a "Litigation Star" for his national general commercial and product liability practices and has been described as a “well-seasoned, bet-the-company litigator,” who is a “gifted trial lawyer” and a “top competitor.” The 2015 edition of The Legal 500 also recognized David for his product liability and mass tort defense practice in the areas of consumer products, including tobacco. He has been consistently ranked in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in commercial litigation.



Recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “National Practice Area Star” and “Local Litigation Star” for Commercial, Product Liability and Recall Litigation, 2023–2024

Memberships & Affiliations

Former Member, Federal Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.


Admissions & Qualifications

  • Illinois
  • New York
  • District of Columbia


  • University of Chicago Law SchoolJ.D.1978
  • Yale UniversityM.A.1975
  • University of ChicagoB.A.1974
    Phi Beta Kappa