To compile their list of thirty tough lawyers, Chicago Magazine talked to lawyers, judges, professors, journalists, and other observers of Chicago’s legal scene. “Tough” was defined as lawyers who were innovative, smart, skilled, and relentless advocates for their clients. Kirkland & Ellis litigation partner Emily Nicklin was chosen as one of Chicago’s thirty tough lawyers.
Emily Nicklin’s reputation as a tough lawyer was built by vigorously defending clients such as Navistar International, General Motors, and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). In 1992, Nicklin’s representation of Navistar was described by one newspaper as “going for blood.” Navistar decided to cut health benefits for its retirees and rather than waiting for the union to file suit, Nicklin sued first. Eventually the two sides agreed to a settlement that reduced benefits but gave workers a greater stake in Navistar. Nicklin served as Chicago’s deputy corporation counsel for two years. Whether she is working in the public or private sector, Nicklin believes that the key to being a good litigator is being “relentlessly zealous in your client’s interests while being creative about how to get it done.”
The full text of this article is available in the March 2002 issue of Chicago Magazine