Leonid Feller - Partner

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Leonid Feller

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Chicago
Phone: +1 312-862-2954
Fax: +1 312-862-2200
Overview News Publications

Professional Profile

Leonid Feller is a partner in Kirkland’s Chicago office. A former federal prosecutor, Lenny concentrates his practice in the areas of white collar criminal defense and government investigations, defending corporations and individuals in federal and state criminal, civil, and regulatory proceedings, including in connection with allegations of health care fraud, securities fraud, antitrust violations, consumer fraud, and environmental crimes. Lenny also has broad trial and appellate experience in all aspects of complex commercial litigation, including False Claims Act suits, multidistrict litigation, mass tort and product liability litigation, and contract disputes in federal and state courts throughout the United States.

Lenny is also a lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, where he has taught courses on federal criminal prosecution, investigation and defense. He is the co-author of Criminal Pretrial Advocacy 2d Ed. (West 2016) and numerous other scholarly works.


Representative Matters

Multidistrict Litigation

  • Represent General Motors in multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of New York arising from ignition switch and other recalls, as well as related state court actions filed by Arizona Attorney General and Orange County District Attorney, and in dozens of federal and state courts nationwide. Also represent General Motors in multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of Florida arising from Takata airbag recall. 

Health Care

  • Represent pharmaceutical, medical device, and health care technology companies and executives in non-public investigations conducted by federal and state enforcement agencies alleging off-label promotion, improper sales and marketing practices, pricing issues, and violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act, HIPAA and HITECH.

  • U.S. ex rel. Peters et al. v. Abbott Laboratories (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee). Defended Abbott Laboratories against qui tam suit alleging improper payments to physicians related to use of biliay, carotid, and peripheral vascular products. Settled on favorable terms.

  • State of Minnesota v. Accretive Health, Inc. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota). Defended Accretive Health in suit by Minnesota Attorney General alleging violations of federal and state privacy, debt collection, and consumer protection laws. Settled on favorable terms.

  • Medversant, Inc. v. State of Michigan (Court of Claims, Michigan). Represented health care technology company in suit against State of Michigan to recover millions of dollars due under wrongfully-terminated services agreement. Settled on favorable terms.

Financial Services

  • Represented Prospect Mortgage s in connection with U.S. government’s industry-wide investigation of FHA-lending practices before HUD-OIG and DOJ. Settled on favorable terms.

  • State of Illinois v. Safeguard Properties (Cook County Circuit Court, Illinois). Represented nation’s largest provider of mortgage default property preservation services in consumer fraud suit by the Illinois Attorney General. Also represented Safeguard in parallel investigation by Maryland Attorney General. Settled on favorable terms.

  • Independent Trust Corp. v. Stewart Title Co. et al. (Cook County Circuit Court, Illinois). Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers in connection with regulatory actions arising out of fraud committed by trust company and its directors. Secured judgments for PwC as state receiver in excess of $68 million.

Antitrust

  • Energy Conversion Devices Liquidation Trust v. Trina Solar Limited (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan). Successfully defended client against claims of price-fixing in solar panel industry. Motion to dismiss granted and dismissal affirmed on appeal.

  • Kleen Products et al. v. Packaging Corp. of America et al. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Represented Packaging Corp. of America in class action alleging an agreement among containerboard manufacturers to restrict output and increase prices to purchasers. Settled on favorable terms.

  • Heinen & Mason, Inc. v. Polaris Sales, Inc. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota). Defended Polaris against dealer suit alleging antitrust conspiracy between manufacturer and competing dealers. Settled on favorable terms.

  • Provide continuing, non-public representation and counseling to corporate clients in regulatory and investigative matters before DOJ’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission.

Securities and Shareholder Litigation

  • Maurras Trust v. Accretive Health, Inc.; Wong v. Accretive Health, Inc.; Hughes v. Accretive Health, Inc. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois; Cook County Circuit Court, Illinois; Chancery Court, Delaware). Represented Accretive Health in series of putative shareholder class actions and derivative suits based on 2012 drop in share price and earnings restatement announcement. Motion to dismiss granted in Maurras Trust; Wong and Hughes settled on favorable terms.

  • Selbst v. McDonald’s Corp. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Represented McDonald’s in putative shareholder class action based on 2002 drop in share price. Motion to dismiss granted.

  • Edwards v. Weirton Steel Corp. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia). Defended steel manufacturer and its officers against ERISA claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty arising from delay of stock distribution from two ESOPs. Settled on favorable terms.

Higher Education

  • U.S. ex rel. Hoggett v. University of Phoenix et al. (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California). Secured dismissal of qui tam suit alleging violations of Department of Education’s incentive compensation ban.

Data Security and Privacy

  • Provide non-public representation to companies that have experienced significant security breaches involving sensitive business information, including health care and private equity clients. Led incident response teams and was responsible for internal investigations, crisis management, public disclosures, and litigation strategies arising from the data intrusions.

Mass Tort, Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation

  • Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Investigations. Represent VW in governmental investigations by DOJ, EPA, California Air Resources Board, and state attorneys general related to emissions from diesel vehicles.   

  • U.S. v. Griffin Pipe Products (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa). Represented industrial manufacturer in EPA and DOJ investigation of alleged violations of Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. Resolved on favorable terms.

  • In re Chemical Release at Bogalusa. (22nd Judicial District Court, Washington Parish, Louisiana). Trial counsel for Gaylord Chemical Co. in four-month, 16,000-plaintiff class action jury trial arising from railcar explosion and release of nitrogen tetroxide, resulting in favorable verdict for client. 

  • U.S. v. Chrysler Corp. et al. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio). Trial counsel for 3M in CERCLA bench trial in which the National Park Service sought to recoup remediation costs of converting a salvage yard to a national park. Favorable settlement reached prior to court’s verdict being issued.

  • Allen et al. v. General Electric Co. et al. (Monroe County Supreme Court, New York). Represented 3M in personal injury and property damage suits brought by more than 400 plaintiffs arising from alleged groundwater contamination. Secured dismissal of numerous plaintiffs’ claims and settled others on favorable terms.

  • W.W. Grainger Asbestos Litigation. National coordinating counsel for hundreds of asbestos suits nationwide.

Dealer and Franchise Litigation

  • Oldsmobile Phase-Out Litigation. Counsel for General Motors in dozens of dealer suits nationwide alleging statutory, contract, and tort claims arising from phase-out of the Oldsmobile Division. Secured dismissal of numerous plaintiffs’ claims and settled others on favorable terms.

  • Motor Werks Partners, L.P. v. BMW of North America, Inc. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Represented BMW in dealer’s breach of contract action claiming manufacturer wrongfully denied plaintiff the right to sell MINI Cooper automobiles, securing favorable settlement.

  • Flagler Automotive, Inc. v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida); Dan Gill v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (Neuces County Court, Texas); Zourob, Inc. et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp. (Wayne County Circuit Court, Michigan). Defended ExxonMobil against putative dealer classes alleging unfair gasoline pricing in federal and state courts, securing denial of class certification and dismissal of claims.

  • Ronald Alcorn v. BP Products North America, Inc. (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota). Defended BP against claims by twenty-three Twin Cities retail dealers alleging unfair gasoline pricing. Settled on favorable terms.

  • Salik Rao v. BP Products North America, Inc.  (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Trial counsel for BP in franchisee suit seeking temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent termination. Secured denial of injunctive relief following evidentiary hearing and eventual dismissal of all claims.

  • Prime Steak Chicago, Inc. et al. v. Ruth U. Fertel, Inc. et al. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Represented Ruth’s Chris Steak House against franchisee alleging breach of agreement to award new restaurants. Settled on favorable terms. 

Bankruptcy Litigation

  • In re UAL Corp. (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois). Counsel for United Airlines in litigation matters arising from its Chapter 11 reorganization. Secured successful modification of airline’s retiree health care benefits following contested evidentiary hearing.

  • In re Dade Behring Holdings, Inc. (U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois). Counsel for medical-supply company in contested hearings that resulted in successful $1.5 billion restructuring.   

Arbitration

  • Matter of James E. O’Kane and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter et al. (New York Stock Exchange). Represented Morgan Stanley broker in NYSE arbitration against claims of unsuitable investments, securing defense verdict and expungement of claim from broker’s record.

Pro Bono

  • Michigan Innocence Clinic. Firm-wide coordinator for 35 attorneys assisting University of Michigan Law School Innocence Clinic in reviewing client applications seeking representation for non-DNA exoneration.

  • Illinois Death Penalty Litigation. Named Special Assistant Attorney General to represent State of Illinois in circuit, appellate, and state supreme court litigation arising from former governor’s commutation of all death row sentences.

  • State of Illinois v. Mitchell (Cook County Circuit Court, Illinois). Secured release of defendant following finding by Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission that confession was coerced through torture. 

  • State of Illinois v. Wade (Cook County Circuit Court, Illinois). Secured first-ever expungement of arrests and convictions under newly-passed Illinois sex trafficking statute.

  • International Senior Lawyers Project. Coordinated with ECPAT International to draft Global Monitoring Report on child exploitation in Austria.  

  • Matter of Abd Elmuhssin Adam Mahi Eldin Adam (U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals). Secured grant of asylum and reversal of immigration court trial judge for tortured Sudanese refugee.

Appellate Litigation

  • Published opinions in private practice:

    • Energy Conversion Devices Liquidation Trust v. Trina Solar Limited, 833 F.3d 680 (6th Cir. 2016)

    • Wong v. Accretive Health, Inc., 773 F.3d 859 (7th Cir. 2014)

    • U.S. v. Durham, 766 F.3d 672 (7th Cir. 2014)

    • U.S v. Earls, 704 F.3d 466 (7th Cir. 2012)

  • Published opinions at U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Michigan:

    • U.S. v. Daniels, 653 F.3d 399 (6th Cir. 2011)

    • U.S. v. Wilson, 614 F.3d 219 (6th Cir. 2010)

    • U.S. v. Quesada, 607 F.3d 1128 (6th Cir. 2010)

    • U.S. v. Yono, 605 F.3d 425 (6th Cir. 2010)

    • U.S. v. Al-Cholan, 610 F.3d 945 (6th Cir. 2010)

    • U.S. v. Bowers, 594 F.3d 522 (6th Cir. 2010)

    • U.S. v. Castano, 543 F.3d 826 (6th Cir. 2008)

    • Celaj v. Gonzales, 186 Fed.Appx. 176 (2d Cir. 2006)


Memberships & Affiliations

Member of the U.S. Courts Committee of the State Bar of Michigan (2010–13)

Attorney Discipline Board panelist, State Bar of Michigan (2010–11)

Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Michigan


Other Distinctions

  • University of Michigan Law School, Lecturer (2009–present)

    • Federal Prosecution and Defense

    • Federal Investigation and Prosecution

  • Wayne State University Law School, Adjunct Professor (2008–11)

    • Criminal Procedure II

    • Counterterrorism Law

    • Advanced Topics In Criminal Law

  • Named an Illinois Rising Star (2013–2016) by Super Lawyers magazine.

  • Glencoe Caucus School Board Nominating Committee (2012–14)

  • Harvard University Schools Committee (2008–11)

  • Harvard Law School Alumni Association of Eastern Michigan, Vice President (2010–11)

  • Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, YAD, Board of Directors (2009–11)

  • Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, Board of Directors (2009–10)


Publications

  • Criminal Pretrial Advocacy 2d Ed. (with P. Henning et al.) (West 2016)

  • Criminal Pretrial Advocacy (with P. Henning et al.) (West 2013)

  • The Jurisdictional Entrapment Defense, 98 KY. L.J. 103 (2010)

  • The Case for Federal Preemption of State Dealer Franchise Laws, 11 U. PA. J. BUS. L. 909 (2009)

  • Annual Survey of Michigan Law, Civil Rights, 55 Wayne L. Rev. 119 (2009)

  • Help Refinance Homes To Boost Economy At Little Cost, Op-Ed, Detroit Free Press, Feb. 18, 2009

  • What The Auto Industry Needs To Survive, Op-Ed, Detroit Free Press, Nov. 12, 2008


Seminars

  • Innocence Lost Conference, FBI New Agent Training, Cambridge, MA, September 14, 2010

  • Protecting Victims of Child Prostitution, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Alexandria, VA, March 31, 2010

  • Protecting Victims of Child Prostitution, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Phoenix, AZ, December 17, 2009

  • Innocence Lost: Investigation and Prosecution of Sex Trafficking of Children, National Advocacy Center, Columbia, SC, August 12, 2009

  • 2009 Innocence Lost National Initiative, St. Louis, MO, June 3, 2009

  • Human Trafficking Conference, Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice, Traverse City, MI, May 20, 2008

  • Project Safe Childhood, Compuware Corporation, Detroit, MI, July 23, 2007


Prior Experience

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan, Assistant United States Attorney (2006–2011)

Prior to rejoining Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2011, Lenny had an unparalleled record of success at the United States Attorney’s Office in Detroit, securing a conviction in each of the 10 jury trials he took to verdict. He prosecuted every type of case in the office, including white collar offenses, national security, public corruption, violent crime, and child exploitation. His most notable accomplishments as lead trial counsel included a 227-year sentence against the leader of the “AK-47 Bandits,” a bank-robbery crew that stole more than $750,000, shooting a bank teller and a police officer in the process. He also obtained the first trial conviction nationwide under a 2006 child exploitation enterprise statute against the “Motor City Mink,” the ringleader of a nationwide child prostitution organization. He also secured the conviction of Sisaye Dinssa, who admitted to financing the Oromo Liberation Front, an Ethiopian separatist group. In 2009, he helped procure the safe return of a kidnapped six-year-old from Austria. During his tenure with the federal government, he obtained judgments for many millions of dollars in restitution against defendants convicted of mortgage fraud, identity theft, tax offenses, and other economic crimes. He received numerous awards and commendations from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and various federal agencies, including FBI, ATF, ICE and Secret Service.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Associate (2001–2005)

Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Summer Associate (1999)


Courts

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

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