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Crain's List: 2004's Big Litigation

For its first annual law firm feature, Crain's Chicago Business went looking for the biggest cases Chicago lawyers worked on in 2004. The cases included everything from antitrust to pro bono work, and seven of the top 25 cases were worked on by Kirkland & Ellis attorneys.

U.S. v. Big Tobacco

  • The Lawyers: David M. Bernick (Kirkland & Ellis LLP), Dan K. Webb (Winston & Strawn LLP)
  • The Clients: Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., Philip Morris USA Inc.
  • Venue: U.S. District Court, Washington D.C.
  • Result: Mr. Bernick is defending Brown & Williamson in the Justice Department's $280-billion case against the tobacco industry. Trial began Sept. 22.


Mash v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.

  • The Lawyer: Andrew R. McGaan (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)
  • The Client: Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp.
  • Venue: U.S. District Court, St. Louis
  • Result: The first individual-smoker case to be tried since the merger of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Corp. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. The case resulted in a favorable verdict for B&W.


Jays Foods Inc. v. Frito-Lay Inc.

  • The Lawyer: Paul R. Garcia (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)
  • The Client: Jays Foods Inc.
  • Venue: U.S. District Court, Chicago
  • Result: Paul Garcia represented Jays Foods Inc. in a false advertising case against Frito-Lay Inc. The parties reached a confidential settlement in August.


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Morgan Stanley & Co.

  • The Lawyer: Emily Nicklin (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)
  • The Client: Morgan Stanley & Co.
  • Venue: U.S. District Court, New York City
  • Result: Emily Nicklin defended Morgan Stanley in a sexual discrimination case that settled in July for $54 million.


UAL Corp. Bankruptcy

  • The Lawyer: Jamie Sprayregen (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)
  • The Client: UAL Corp.
  • Venue: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago
  • Result: With assets and liabilities in excess of $20 billion, UAL Corp.'s Chapter 11 filing is among the largest in history. The case is currently open.


Emerald Casino, Inc. Bankruptcy

  • The Lawyers: Jamie Sprayregen, Joseph U. Schorer (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)
  • The Client: Emerald Casino, Inc.
  • Venue: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago
  • Result: The case is ongoing, but under the proposed bankruptcy plan, the casino company would pay off its creditors in full with interest.


Conseco Inc. Bankruptcy

  • The Lawyers: Jamie Sprayregen, Anne Marrs Huber, Anup Sathy (Kirkland & Ellis LLP)
  • The Client: Conseco, Inc.
  • Venue: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Chicago
  • Result: While representing Conseco in its Chapter 11 filing and reorganization, Kirkland lawyers got court approval to sell the assets of Conseco's finance subsidiaries for $1 billion in cash.


The "Focus: Law Firms" feature of Crain's Chicago Business appeared in its entirety in the November 15, 2004 issue.