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Jenner & Block mourns the untimely passing of our esteemed partner, colleague and friend Jerry J. Burgdoerfer, on September 17, 2014. He was 56 years old.
Jerry, a graduate of Indiana University (BS 1980) (JD 1983, cum laude) (MBA 1983), began practicing law at Jenner & Block in 1989. Throughout his career at Jenner & Block, he played an important role across many different sectors of the firm. He was co-chair of the firm's Securities Practice and Transactional Cross-Border Practice and a member of the Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Practices. Jerry was particularly important to helping to develop the firm’s Japan Practice, having spent two years in Tokyo in the early 1990s working on international transactions with the Mori Sogo Law Offices (now Mori Hamada & Matsumoto), one of the largest law firms in Japan. He was one of the founders of the firm’s LGBT Forum. And, in 2010, he was one of five partners selected to receive the firm’s inaugural Associates Committee Mentorship Award.
Managing Partner Terrence J. Truax said, “The Jenner & Block family is deeply saddened by Jerry’s death. He was a talented lawyer, a trusted counselor, and a wonderful friend, role model and mentor to many. He will be greatly missed.”
Jerry’s practice spanned a variety of disciplines in the corporate transactions arena. He represented clients across the world in mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, securities offerings, restructurings and joint ventures. He was consistently recognized by legal publications such as Illinois Super Lawyers and the Leading Lawyers Network Magazine for his acumen in these areas, both domestically and internationally. In 2010, Jerry was selected to serve on the first Corporate Governance Advisory Board for Ketchum, Inc., one of the largest corporate communications agencies in the world.
Jerry’s commitment to his clients and his practice were not the only things that distinguished him at the firm. His generosity of time, intellect and talent were reflected in his public service. In 2013, Jerry was a recipient of Indiana University’s “Distinguished Alumni Award” in recognition of his career achievements and his substantial and significant contributions to the university, the legal profession, organizations furthering diversity and equality and the community-at-large.
A memorial service for Jerry is being planned, and details regarding that service will be published when finalized. In the interim, Jerry’s family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, any donations be made to the "The Jerry Burgdoerfer Memorial Scholarship Fund" at his alma mater, Indiana University School of Law. Checks should be made payable to the Indiana University Maurer School of Law and mailed to the following address – Office of Development, 211 S. Indiana Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405. If individuals would like to make their gift by credit card, they can contact Lisa Hosey at firstname.lastname@example.org.