Overview

Katie Jakola was beyond amazing in the litigation area. Her experience in preparing me and the other potential witnesses was exceptional. Her many years of experience and expertise was obvious to all of us. She also worked tirelessly on our behalf.” - Legal 500, 2022 (Client quote)

Katie Jakola is a litigation partner and trial lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. She has tried and won jury and bench trials in federal and state courts across the country. Katie has more than 20 years of experience in complex commercial litigation and focuses her practice on mass tort, product liability, contract disputes and consumer claims.

Katie has acted as trial counsel for BP in the Deepwater Horizon litigation over the last 12 years and serves as BP’s National Coordinating Counsel for hundreds of personal injury cases. Katie has first- and second-chaired trials to successful verdicts and has advised industry-leading clients, including BP, Macy’s, United Airlines, General Motors, Aon, Nine West, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Avaya and Wayfair. She regularly counsels boards and management of Fortune 100 companies on litigation risk, management, strategy and resolution both in and out of court.

Katie’s trial and litigation work has been featured in The American Lawyer, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The National Law Journal and Law360, among others. Katie was selected as one of “Chicago’s Notable Women in Law” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2020. In its North American Innovative Lawyers Report, The Financial Times “highly commended” her work in two three-week trials for Sabine Oil & Gas for “managing complexity and scale” in those cases.

At the invitation of the federal judiciary, Katie has presented trial and evidence master classes to judges from across the country at the Federal Judicial Center. Katie is active in recruiting, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and trial advocacy training at the Firm and in the community.

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Thought Leadership

Press Mentions

“Ex-Brooks Brothers Owners Can't Duck Suit Over Ch. 11 Sale,” Law360, August 4, 2022

“Suit Over Brooks Brothers Sale Shows Chap. 11’s Shadow,” Yahoo.com, May 20, 2021

“Former Brooks Brothers Minority Shareholder Sues, Claiming ‘Bad Faith,'" The New York Times, May 18, 2021

“Del Vecchio Family Sued Over Brooks Brothers Bankruptcy,” Financial Times, May 17, 2021

“Le Tote’s $12 Million Asset Sale to Saadia Closes After Snag,” Bloomberg Law, November 23, 2020

“BP Gets Win in Oil Spill Florida Injury Cases,” Law360, November 4, 2020

“Chicago’s Notable Women in Law 2020,” Crain’s Chicago Business, September 4, 2020

“Wayfair Can Compel Arbitration in Lawsuit Over Alleged Bedbug Infestation, Brooklyn Federal Judge Rules,” New York Law Journal, October 17, 2019

“Wayfair Buyers Must Arbitrate Bedbug Claims,” Law360, June 7, 2019

Publications & Seminars

Evidence & Trial Skills (presenter to members of the federal judiciary), Federal Judicial Center, 2017, 2020 and 2021

The Polarization of the American Jury (panelist), American Bar Association, Litigation Section Annual Conference, May 5, 2021

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Effective Use of Demonstrative Evidence (contributor), American Bar Association, Litigation Section Annual Conference, May 4, 2017

Defending Your Expert Report in a Daubert Challenge (panelist), American Bankruptcy Institute, The University of Texas School of Law and The Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors, VALCON 2017, March 1, 2017

Arbitrating Consumer Claims Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, 68 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1459, 2001

Recognition

Named as one of “Chicago’s Notable Women in Law” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2020.

Memberships & Affiliations

American Bar Association, Section of Litigation

  • Trial Practice, Trial Evidence and The Woman Advocate Committees

Federal Bar Association

Big Shoulders Fund, Chairman's Advisory Council

Credentials

Admissions & Qualifications

  • Illinois
  • New York

Courts

  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the District of Colorado
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Education

  • University of Chicago Law SchoolJ.D.with Honors2001

    Order of the Coif

    University of Chicago Law Review

  • Northwestern UniversityB.A., Political Science & Environmental Sciences1998