Chambers USA 2007 Client's Guide Places Bartlit Beck Attorneys at the Top
Excerpts from the Chambers USA 2007 Client's Guide --
"The Firm: Bartlit Beck climbs the rankings on the strength of its unblemished reputation and unquestioned quality of lawyering. The firm may not possess the volume or the breadth of practice of some, but peers concede it to be a direct competitor for anyone in high-stakes litigation, particularly in the mass tort arena. Propelled by a couple of lawyers Kirkland & Ellis miss having on its books, this Rolls-Royce of litigation takes on little other than premium cases. 'Bartlit Beck is sui generis,' remarked one peer. 'It's simple, if you can get them on board then you do get them on board.' The firm has further enhanced its stellar reputation in the VIOXX trials—product liability's litigation du jour—while turning its hand with equal adeptness to securing a defense verdict for Hamilton Sundstrand in a patent infringement case. This firm truly has the Midas touch, and has recently displayed the variety of its practice by obtaining a $761 million settlement for client Real Networks in an antitrust case. 'They are simply the best assemblage of trial lawyers I have ever seen anywhere in the world,' remarked one client, 'they are down to earth and affable and are all people you enjoy spending time with.'
"The Lawyers: Famed for his creativity and for his enviable track record, Phil Beck is regarded by some as the go-to lawyer in Chicago. 'Combining trial skills with analytic ability,' he sets the standard for a superb team of lawyers. First port of call for Merck in the VIOXX litigation, he has twice successfully defended the pharmaceutical giant. 'I would be happy to have Phil in anything,' remarked one eminent peer, echoing a citywide sentiment. 'Just about as talented as they come,' Fred Bartlit continues to put in the hours and further enhance a spotless reputation stretching back decades. This bulldog of the courtroom, with 'the commanding voice of a disc jockey,' astounds clients and peers with his ability to remain wired up to the cutting edge of courtroom technology. Highly regarded younger lawyer Adam Hoeflich has spent the past year representing pharmaceutical and chemical companies, including DuPont and Bayer, in high-stakes commercial and product liability litigation. Immensely talented rising star Tarek Ismail won an extraordinary VIOXX victory in California in the summer of 2006, when he was pitted against the prominent and vastly experienced plaintiffs' lawyer Thomas Girardi. Blessed with 'an incredibly sharp mind,' Ismail is already an opponent to be feared.
"Clients/Work Highlights: 3M; Merck; United Technologies; Hewlett-Packard; Deloitte & Touche; Real Networks; Mayo Clinic; Tyco International and Infineon Technologies. The firm also represents United Technologies and its subsidiaries Hamilton Sundstrand and Pratt & Whitney."
"The Firm: 'Outstanding' is the unanimous verdict handed down by market sources on this litigation specialist. The group is a force to be reckoned with on a national level and, with top-flight litigators, 'they can pick and choose which cases to take.' The firm prides itself on being able to handle the most complex cases and expert trial lawyers bring success to their clients under a streamlined and efficient staffing approach. The means to put across cases in an electronically proficient fashion is increasingly important and 'there is no other firm that puts technology to better use in case preparation.' Corporate expertise within the firm positions the litigation group favorably when it comes to handling large corporate cases. The ability to take cases on under a variety of fee arrangements gives the group greater flexibility and adds to the depth of practice.
"The Lawyers: Trial lawyer Fred Bartlit has earned an outstanding reputation for his national practice, and enjoyed high-profile successes in many jurisdictions. Sources say: 'He is a lion of complex commercial trial work; an icon.' The 'terrific' Donald Scott is a 'true trial lawyer—happier in the courtroom than anywhere else.' Peers and clients describe working with him as a rare pleasure: 'He is a real gentleman.' "
"The Firm: This four-partner group enjoys a solid reputation for a range of corporate matters. 'While relatively small, they have a significant operation smoothly run by successful and capable lawyers,' say peers. The group's primary focus is on M&A, which represents half of its workload, and the remainder comprises corporate finance and general corporate advice. Clients include prominent private equity and hedge funds and public and private companies, both local and national.
"The Lawyers: According to commentators, James Palenchar is 'as good as it gets in this world. He cut his teeth representing on major takeovers at a national level.' Sources point to Thomas Stephens as 'an incredibly hard worker who is both thorough and creative in his counsel.' He is recommended for his securities and finance work.
"Clients/Work Highlights: Highlights include the sale of Fluent to ANSYS on behalf of a leveraged buyout firm; advising a number of private equity funds including First Reserve in the energy sector and Gotham Capital, a New York based hedge fund; and acting for Gaiam on its strategic alliance with Revolution Living."