Robert B. Ellis, P.C. - Partner

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Robert B. Ellis, P.C.

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Chicago
Phone: +1 312-862-2309
Fax: +1 312-862-2200
Overview News

Professional Profile

Robert Ellis is a litigation partner in Kirkland's Chicago office. His practice focuses principally on complex commercial disputes and class action matters. Rob has represented large corporate clients in a wide variety of complex litigation matters, including breach of contract, professional liability, non-compete and trade secret matters. Rob also has extensive experience defending complex consumer fraud and product liability class actions.


Representative Matters

Commercial Litigation Matters

Northrop Grumman Corp. v. Aon: Counsel for Aon in professional liability action arising from Northrop's Hurricane Katrina-related losses at its shipyards in Louisiana and Mississippi.

CRC Insurance Services v. Ryan Specialty Group: Counsel for Ryan Specialty Group in non-compete litigation that arose after over 100 employees resigned from a competitor to join Ryan Specialty. Preliminary injunction denied.

Simon Property Group v. Aon: Counsel for Aon in professional liability action arising from damage to the Opry Mills Mall after the historic 2010 flooding of the Cumberland River in Nashville, TN.

Stewart v. Bolthouse: Counsel for Bolthouse in post-purchase dispute filed by former executives over share repurchase.

Brown & Brown, Inc. v. Assured Agencies: Counsel for insurance brokerage Assured Agencies in non-compete and trade secret litigation. No preliminary injunction issued; case settled favorably.

Veolia ES Industrial Servies v. Hydrochem: Counsel for Hydrochem in non-compete action. No preliminary injunction issues; case settled favorably.

Newport Associates Dev. Co. v. Aon: Counsel for Aon in professional liability action arising from environmental contamination at the Newport Development in New Jersey. Case settled favorably.

TIG Ins Co. v. Aon Re: Counsel for Aon Corporation in professional liability lawsuit arising from placement of reinsurance for workers' compensation claims. Judgment for Aon after trial.

In re Blair Chenille Robe Products Liability Litig.: Counsel for Blair Corporation in consumer products recall and resulting product liability lawsuits relating to alleged flammability of certain chenille robes sold by Blair.

Willis v. Aon Corp.: Successfully defended Aon Corporation in employment dispute alleging intentional inference with employment contract.

Johnson Controls v. Exide, (N.D. Ill.): Counsel for Exide in dispute involving allegations of tortious interference with contract, RICO and commercial bribery arising out of competitive bidding for a supply contract. Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all but one count on statute of limitations grounds; plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the remaining count.

Stone Container Corp. v. Aon: Counsel for Aon in professional liability action arising from explosion at pulp manufacturing facility. Summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds; affirmed on appeal.

Napleton v. General Motors: Counsel for General Motors in action alleging breach of a real estate lease agreement for property housing GM training center. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the trial court's order dismissing the case.

Lawson v. General Motors: Counsel for General Motors at trial in this case brought by a GM dealer for alleged breach of the parties' franchise agreement. Successfully opposed effort to have the case remanded to state court. The case settled favorably during trial.

Bissell v. Nissan: Represented Nissan at trial in this product liability action in New York state court. Case settled favorably after plaintiff's case in chief.

Class Action Matters

In re General Motors Corp. Dex-Cool Products Liability Litig., MDL No. 1562: Counsel for General Motors Corporation in numerous putative product liability class action lawsuits alleging defects in Dex-Cool coolant and certain intake manifold gaskets. Motion for nationwide class certification denied. Case successfully settled.

Daniel v. Aon Corp.: Counsel for Aon Corporation in class actions related to investigation of New York Attorney General into insurance brokerage contingent commissions. Nationwide class action settlement.

Berry v. OmegaFlex: Counsel for Omegaflex, manufacturer of CSST flexible steel gas piping systems, in putative nationwide product liability class action. Nationwide class settlement.

In re General Motors Corp. Vehicle Paint Litig., MDL No. 1392: Counsel for General Motors Corporation in putative product liability class actions alleging defects in vehicle paint. Motion for nationwide class certification denied.

Petlack v. S.C. Johnson: Counsel for S.C. Johnson in putative deceptive trade practice and consumer fraud class actions alleging improper "green" labeling.

Hayes v. General Motors Corp.: Counsel for General Motors Corporation in putative product liability class action alleging defects in vehicle paint. Case dismissed.

Sanute v. General Motors Corp.: Counsel for General Motors Corporation in putative product liability class action alleging defects in Dex-Cool coolant and certain intake manifold gaskets. Nationwide class action settlement.

Edwards v. General Motors Corp.: Counsel for General Motors Corporation in putative product liability class action alleging defects in Dex-Cool coolant and certain intake manifold gaskets. Motion for class certification denied. Appeal denied.

General Motors Corp. Corvette Steering Column Litigation: Counsel for General Motors in consolidated putative class actions involving allegations of defective electronic locks on Corvette steering columns. No class certified. Cases settled on individual basis.

Birner v. General Motors Corp.: Counsel for General Motors in putative product liability class action alleging defects in Corvette steering columns. Motion to dismiss with prejudice granted.

Lauer v. General Motors Corp.: Counsel for General Motors in purported class actions involving alleged defects in vehicles with certain high performance tires. No class certified; case settled on an individual basis.

King v. Verizon Wireless: Counsel for Verizon Wireless in putative consumer fraud and deceptive trade practice class action regarding roaming charges. No class certified; case settled on individual basis.

Cook v. Verizon Wireless: Counsel for Verizon Wireless in putative consumer fraud and deceptive trade practice class action regarding billing for voice dial services. No class certified; case settled on individual basis.

Rubel, et al. v. Pfizer Inc.: Counsel for Pfizer Inc. in putative class action relating to off label use of the drug Neurontin.

Durant v. ServiceMaster Co.: Counsel for ServiceMaster and TruGreen in purported nationwide consumer fraud class action involving fuel surcharge. Remand to state court denied and case settled on individual basis after dismissal of RICO count.

Karpowicz v. General Motors: Counsel for General Motors in purported nationwide product liability class action. Summary judgment on behalf of General Motors.

In re General Motors Anti-Lock Brake Product Liability Litig., MDL No. 1129: Counsel for General Motors in putative nationwide class actions alleging defects in anti-lock brakes. The trial court dismissed all claims against GM with prejudice. The decision was affirmed on appeal.

Folkerts, et al., v. Ameritech; Todt, et al. v. Ameritech: Counsel for Ameritech in obtaining approval of class action settlement in complex multistate class actions.

Lipinski v. General Motors: Counsel for General Motors. Obtained dismissal with prejudice of purported statewide class action involving allegations of engine defects.

Meyers v. General Motors: Counsel for General Motors. Obtained dismissal of purported nationwide class action involving allegations of brake defects.

North v. American Suzuki: Represented American Suzuki in purported class action alleging stability defects in certain vehicles. Successfully removed action to federal court and defeated motion to remand. Plaintiffs subsequently dismissed the case with prejudice.

Pro Bono Service

Served as counsel to the Admissions Review Commission formed by Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn to investigate admissions practices at the University of Illinois.

Recipient of Kirkland & Ellis Pro Bono Service Award for outstanding pro bono service in 2009.


Other Distinctions

Recognized in The Legal 500 U.S., 2017

Named as one of the "40 Under Forty to Watch," 2006 by Law Bulletin Publishing Co.

Counsel to the Admissions Review Commission formed by Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn to investigate admissions practices at the University of Illinois.


Publications

With Peter Hay, "Bridging the Gap Between Rules and Approaches in Tort Choice of Law in the United States: A Survey of Current Case Law," International Lawyer, Vol. 27, No. 2, Summer 1993


Courts

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Third 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 Northern District of Indiana

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

© 2017 Kirkland & Ellis LLP