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Law360 has recognized four firm practice groups in its annual “Practice Group of the Year” series: Appellate and Supreme Court, Benefits (ERISA Litigation), Energy, and Food and Beverage.
In its announcement, Law360 notes that winners are “law firms behind the litigation wins and major deals that resonated throughout the legal industry in the past year.” Jenner & Block is one of 84 law firms that rose to the top among 759 submissions.
The Appellate and Supreme Court Practice is recognized for securing significant high court and appellate wins with broad impact. Significant matters in 2018 included precedent-setting cases such as Daniels v. FanDuel, Inc., in which the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed that fantasy sports operators are authorized to use the names and likenesses of former NCAA athletes. The high-profile case addressed questions about the scope of the "newsworthy" exception to Indiana's right of publicity law and presented huge stakes not only for fantasy sports businesses, but also for the burgeoning sports betting industry. Law360 also noted the firm’s win in Marinello v. United States. The firm achieved a victory when the US Supreme Court overturned the Second Circuit’s affirmation of our pro bono client’s three-year prison sentence for violating an IRS rule. The Court ruled that the government’s interpretation of a statute criminalizing obstruction of tax laws was too far-reaching and could lead to criminal prosecutions for people with smaller misdemeanors. The case is said to “affect anyone who pays taxes.” This is the third time the group has received Law360’s significant honor. To read Law360’s profile, please click here.
Our ERISA Litigation Practice counted several victories, including securing an important win for Northwestern University when a judge dismissed with prejudice a proposed class action that accused the university of mismanaging worker’s retirement savings. The group also won big in Teufel v. The Northern Trust Co. et. al., when the Seventh Circuit affirmed a federal courts decision to dismiss claims that The Northern Trust violated employee ERISA and ADEA rights upon enactment of the company’s 2012 pension plan amendment. Other matters that brought the group this honor include Scott v. Aon Hewitt Fin. Advisors, LLC and Michael D. Green v. Morningstar Inc. et al.
Our broad and diverse Energy Practice is recognized for garnering significant wins in energy regulatory matters. The team includes US Supreme Court clerks steeped in energy issues, a former general counsel of FERC, a former FERC commissioner and New Mexico Commission chair, and the former executive vice president of Exelon and PSEG. The group successfully represented Exelon Corporation in two lawsuits arising from Zero Emissions Credit programs adopted in Illinois and New York. Both cases were listed first among “the biggest energy cases to watch in 2018” by Law360. Other matters in which the group secured victories include New Jersey Board of Public Utilities v. FERC, a case in which the team successfully obtained changes to wholesale electricity market rules in the mid-Atlantic region to eliminate cross-subsidies and underfunding associated with Auction Revenue Rights and Financial Transmission Rights. To read Law360's profile, please click here.
For the third consecutive year, our Food and Beverage group is recognized for successfully leading a diverse array of matters for the titans of the food and beverage industry. Law360 notes that we fended off claims against our clients that include household names such as Hain Celestial, Kraft and Mondelez. In addition, Practice Chair Dean N. Panos is quoted in Law360’s profile discussing the trend of larger companies in the space acquiring smaller companies, which is “increasing the amount of mergers and acquisition work [the] practice is seeing.” Among the group’s significant transactions were leading Snyder’s-Lance in its $6 billion sale to Campbell Soup in an all-cash deal. Completed last March, the deal shows the “M&A prowess along with the food and beverage expertise that we bring,” said Mr. Panos. He added that because of the group’s experience and knowledge, “we understand, as best as an outside counsel can, the business pressures our clients face and how these businesses are run so that we are being a net positive to their work environments.” To read Law360’s profile, please click here.
Law360’s profile of the ERISA Litigation Practice will be published in the coming weeks.