Overview

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. Ms. Jakola has more than 18 years of experience in complex commercial litigation and focuses her practice on mass tort, product liability, contract disputes and restructuring matters.

Ms. Jakola has acted as trial counsel for BP in the Deepwater Horizon litigation over the last 10 years and serves as BP’s National Coordinating Counsel for hundreds of personal injury cases. Ms. Jakola has first- and second-chaired trials to successful resolution and has advised industry-leading clients, including BP, Macy’s, United Airlines, NineWest, PricewaterhouseCoopers, General Motors, Aon, Avaya and Wayfair. She regularly counsels boards and management of Fortune 100 companies on litigation risk, assessment, management and strategy both in and out of court.

Ms. Jakola’s trial and litigation work has been featured in The American Lawyer, The Financial Times, The National Law Journal, Law360, Dow Jones Bankruptcy & Debt, Turnarounds & Workouts and The Deal, among others. Ms. Jakola was selected as a 2017 recipient of the Turnaround Management Association’s Large Company Transaction of the Year Award for her trial role in two three-week trials in the Sabine bankruptcy proceeding and The Financial Times “highly commended” the Kirkland trial team for “managing complexity and scale” in those cases in its North American Innovative Lawyers Report. Ms. Jakola was selected as one of “Chicago’s Notable Women in Law” by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2020. At the invitation of the federal judiciary, Ms. Jakola has presented trial and evidence master classes to judges from across the country at the Federal Judicial Center. 

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Thought Leadership

Publications & Seminars

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

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

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