Chambers & Partners has compiled their independent and objective list of America's Leading Business Lawyers based on comments gathered from thousands of interviews with clients and lawyers from Maine to Hawaii. This guide -- which is designed to reflect market opinion -- contains a view of the firms and attorneys who are considered leaders in their field.
In Chambers' 2003-2004 review of national legal talent in the area of "Litigation," our Firm and our lawyers are listed among the best in the country.
The Firm: In a league of its own, research revealed this to be the outstanding group in Chicago, with some commentators proclaiming it to be "one of the best litigation firms in the country." The group is consistently involved in some of the largest and most prominent cases throughout the US, is famed for its trial practice and is said to have an instinct for trying cases rather than settling them. Researchers had their attention drawn to the team's aggressive and tough approach, while the quality of its lawyers was noted as "consistently excellent: you are more likely to get someone suited to you here than elsewhere."
The Lawyers: David Bernick is seen as the group's outstanding practitioner, and has substantial experience in the area of mass torts. Described by contemporaries as an "incredibly sophisticated courtroom litigator," he excels at jury trials where his strength is said to lie in an "ability to explain complex science issues to everyday people." In the field of asbestos litigation, where he is an acknowledged expert, he has represented Ford, GM and DaimlerChrysler. He has also acted as national trial counsel for Brown & Williamson in tobacco litigation, and was recently successful in securing a unanimous jury verdict in favor of his client in a union class action case. Emily Nicklin is best known for her accountants' liability practice although she has also represented Morgan Stanley in a sex bias case brought by a former female employee. Clients appreciate her responsiveness and enthuse about her ability as "a terrific trial lawyer." Frank Cicero is an "engaging and straightforward" senior member of the group. His workload includes antitrust and securities fraud cases, and has seen him act for BP Amoco in its contested merger with ARCO. Rick Godfrey can "litigate anything," and was warmly recommended by clients for his ability to "grasp the key issues and see the bigger picture." One of his most notable engagements has been the successful representation of Lincoln Benefit Life in a breach of loan agreement claim and in defense of a $2 billion counter claim for breach of contract. John Hickey is a "personable guy who gets on well with his adversaries." He successfully represented GM in a motion brought by DaimlerChrysler for an injunction on GM's new sport utility truck, the HUMMER H2. A ruling in favor of GM was granted and is now being appealed.
The Clients: The firm's clients include: Brown & Williamson Tobacco; GM; Dow Corning; Motorola; BP Amoco; Arthur Andersen; Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; 3M; Ameritech and GE.
District of Columbia
The Firm: As the DC office of a premier national practice based in Chicago, it does not have a high profile locally. Peers acknowledged, however, that the compact group of excellent attorneys has particular depth in First Amendment, competition, products liability and appellate work.
The Lawyers: Renowned for his media expertise, flagship partner Thomas Yannucci is a "fabulous lawyer with outstanding judgment," and is regularly on call to a portfolio of Fortune 500 clients. "Measured but not timid," Yannucci's style is thought to be excellent for "listening and bringing people together." His highly diversified practice includes antitrust, contract, class action and SEC work, and recent specific cases have also encompassed trade secrets and trademark matters. Clients report that he is "well suited for a company keen to present an enlightened and responsive image." The firm's appellate practice benefits from the presence of former US Solicitor General Kenneth Starr, who has returned to private practice and is a "respected attorney with a heavyweight name."
Reprinted with permission from Chambers & Partners: America's Leading Business Lawyers 2003-2004