We have successfully defended businesses against complex and class litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. Our deep bench of lawyers has obtained excellent results in the most challenging jurisdictions, while maintaining an efficient focus on our clients’ business goals.

In each case, we develop specific strategies for effectively and efficiently defeating or narrowing class claims, managing discovery, and opposing class certification. These include removing cases to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), filing early dispositive motions targeted at the named plaintiffs’ claims, enforcing arbitration clauses where appropriate, negotiating or obtaining court-ordered bifurcation of discovery and case schedules, and drawing on an extensive library of class certification briefing. 

When a class settlement is the optimal result, we craft creative solutions and shepherd settlements through the complicated process of court approval, notice and administration, and appeal.

Our class action team has successfully defended class actions raising a broad array of substantive claims, including consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices, antitrust claims, allegations of market manipulation, claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), product liability claims, and wage and hour allegations. We have represented clients in a wide range of industries, including insurance carriers, airlines, telecommunications companies, consumer product manufacturers, and hospitality providers.

Defeating Class Claims and Certification

Our class action team has a strong record of defeating class claims both before they reach the certification stage and in the course of the class certification process. We aggressively examine and pursue motions to dismiss the named plaintiffs’ individual claims, motions to strike class allegations, and early motions for summary judgment to defeat or narrow class claims. When it becomes necessary to oppose motions for class certification, we develop creative and targeted arguments to highlight individualized issues, inadequate class representatives, and other reasons to deny certification. We increase efficiencies by drawing upon our extensive library of class certification briefing in a wide range of industries and substantive legal areas.

Case-Specific, Cost-Effective Strategies

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to successfully defending class actions. Our lawyers concentrate on quickly mastering the relevant facts and understanding the client’s litigation objectives in order to develop case-specific strategies that minimize costs while maximizing the odds of a favorable outcome. We build on our knowledge of the client’s industry and the legal and regulatory environment in which it operates. Working with the client, our lawyers identify ways to defeat or narrow class claims early in the case, such as through dispositive motions. We effectively manage and reduce the expense of discovery, frequently by bifurcating class and merits discovery. Where our client’s objectives are served by a settlement, we craft individual or class-wide resolutions that maximize closure while minimizing the impact on their ongoing business.

A Nationwide Practice

Our lawyers have defended complex class litigation in federal and state courts across the United States, including suits in such states as New York, Illinois, California, and Georgia, as well as suits in other jurisdictions. Our clients have appreciated our ability to work effectively and efficiently with co-counsel, leveraging a network of relationships we have developed over the years.

Consumer Class Actions

We serve as national counsel to a number of consumer products companies, including two leading child car seat manufacturers, for whom we have defended class actions brought by consumers under a variety of theories including consumer fraud, breach of warranty, deceptive trade practices, and violation of the California Legal Remedies Act. In other consumer class actions throughout the country, we have represented major insurance carriers, a national service contract provider, the NCAA, a national telecommunications company, major airlines, a national hotel system, timeshare organizations, and other companies in cases involving a wide variety of substantive issues.

Our representative consumer class action engagements include:

  • Defending several major telecommunications carriers in a variety of consumer class actions, including claims asserted under the TCPA and state consumer fraud statutes.
  • Defending a major housewares company in a class action in New York and New Jersey asserting claims for false advertising, consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment.
  • Defending hospitality industry clients in nationwide and California class actions asserting claims for false advertising, consumer fraud, and TCPA violations.
  • Defending a service contract provider against three nationwide class actions, resulting in decisions in its favor.
  • Defending a national express delivery company against a series of consumer class actions in California, Minnesota, Tennessee, Indiana, and New York involving its contracts of carriage, federal transportation excise taxes, and the Federal Airline Deregulation Act.
  • Obtaining two orders compelling arbitration in putative class actions, and are at the forefront of litigation regarding the issue of when class treatment is impermissible in a class context.

Labor and Employment Claims

Our Labor and Employment team has represented employers in a wide variety of class action litigation, including FLSA collective actions, discrimination claims, state court class action claims involving overtime, employee misclassifications, unlawful deductions, meal and rest breaks, and violation of state unfair competition laws.

Antitrust Claims

Our experience in antitrust class actions is broad and deep. We have defended many class actions involving alleged antitrust violations, including our recent defense of the NCAA against claims raised by a nationwide class under the Sherman Act.

Securities Class Actions

We are experienced and effective in defending class actions that allege violations of the securities and commodities markets. Both in free-standing litigation, or claims that build upon SEC or CFTC enforcement actions, we have worked with our clients to address claims of securities fraud and market manipulation.

ERISA and Trust Litigation

We have represented our clients in class and other complex litigation involving alleged violations of trust obligations and other fiduciary duties, including suits arising under ERISA. We have litigated claims involving company stock in 401(k) plans, claims related to ERISA's prohibited transaction provisions, and plan subrogation actions under ERISA 502(a)(3). 

  • Experience

    Judicial decisions reflecting our successful defense of class actions include the following:

    • Hayes v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., 185 Wash. App. 1055 (Wash. Ct. App. 2015) (affirming summary judgment for USAA on plaintiffs’ claims on behalf of a putative class of Washington insureds challenging medical bill audit and claims handling practices under Personal Injury Protection coverage)
    • Schumacher v. State Automobile Mutual Insurance Co., 2015 WL 421688 (S.D. Ohio Feb. 2, 2015) (granting State Auto’s motion to strike class allegations in a multi-state property insurance class action asserting bad faith, fraud, and deceptive trade practices claims)
    • Egleston v. Valspar Corp., 15 C 4130, 2015 U.S. Dist. Lexis 146284 (S.D.NY Oct. 13, 2015) (obtaining dismissal with prejudice of putative class action)
    • Lamb v. Graco Children’s Products, Inc., 291 F.R.D. 665 (N.D. Fla. 2013) (denying class certification and granting summary judgment for Graco on plaintiffs’ individual claims alleging that a child car seat failed to comply with FMVSS 213)
    • Harris v. State Farm General Insurance Co., Case No. LASC BC430258 (L.A. County Sup. Ct. Aug. 17, 2012) (denying certification of California state class challenging State Farm’s adjustment of smoke damage claims)
    • Schlessinger v. Valspar Corp., 723 F.3d 396 (2d Cir. 2013) (affirming dismissal with prejudice of a putative class action asserting claims against Valspar for consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, and breach of contract)
  • Awards & Honors

    • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” – National Tier 1
      • Appellate Practice (2017-2022)
      • Franchise Law (2012-2022)
      • Litigation – Environmental (2012-2015 and 2019-2022)
      • Litigation – Real Estate (2012-2022)
      • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions Law (2013-2022)
    • U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” – Metropolitan Tier 1
      • Appellate Practice, Chicago (2014-2022)
      • Commercial Litigation, Chicago (2013-2022)
      • Commercial Litigation, San Francisco (2015-2021)
      • Franchise Law, Chicago (2013-2022)
      • Litigation – Antitrust, Ann Arbor (2014-2018)
      • Litigation - Environmental, Chicago (2012-2022)
      • Litigation - Labor & Employment, Chicago (2012-2022)
      • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, Chicago (2012-2022)
      • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, New York (2013-2022)
      • Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, San Francisco (2016-2021)
      • Antitrust Law, Ann Arbor (2021-2022)