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2016 Forty Attorneys Under 40 Presentation

Andrew  Vail
Andrew Vail
Jenner & Block LLP
▶Commercial litigation
40 Under Class – 2016

Andrew Vail has earned a reputation as one of the city’s leading litigators, so it is no surprise that, as a partner at Jenner & Block, he represents some of the firm’s most valued clients in their most significant and sensitive matters.

“Andrew has demonstrated that he is an extremely talented litigator, passionate about his work and dedicated to his clients and client service,” says Jon Wasserman, Chief Legal Officer and Managing Director of Equity Group Investments, LLC (EGI), a Chicago-based private investment firm founded by Sam Zell. Andrew has represented and continues to represent EGI, Mr. Zell and affiliated companies in a number of litigation matters.

Thus far in 2016, Andrew has and is continuing to first chair civil commercial litigation cases at trial, and otherwise representing clients prosecuting or defending claims, including requests for injunctive relief, in state and federal courts across the country; served as second chair for oral argument in the United States Supreme Court; and obtained post-conviction relief for a pro bono client after many months of evidentiary hearings.

In short, commercial clients turn to Andrew for “bet the company” litigation and pro bono clients turn to Andrew when their liberty is at stake. Steven Drizin and Karen Daniel of Northwestern’s Center on Wrongful Convictions (CWC), which has benefited from thousands of pro bono hours Andrew has contributed to CWC cases, observe, “He has a keen legal mind and is a brilliant writer. Andrew also has terrific people skills. He is a true team player who keeps his cool in the heat of combat and earns the respect of judges and opposing counsel with his civil and professional performance.” Among his significant past pro bono victories, he, along with others, represented three men who were wrongfully charged with or actually convicted of murder who are now free. He is presently representing two other men in post-conviction cases involving claims of actual innocence.

Andrew’s commitment to helping those who cannot otherwise afford legal representation balances the drive with which he approaches his private practice. In addition to direct representation of pro bono clients, he chairs Jenner & Block’s nationally recognized pro bono program. Andrew’s pro bono work has been recognized by the Chicago Bar Association (CBA) and Chicago Bar Foundation, which honored him in 2009 with its Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award; the Public Interest Law Initiative, which presented him with its Distinguished Fellow Alumni Award; and his law firm, which acknowledged his significant pro bono contributions with its Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award. With Jenner & Block colleagues, Andrew has also received recognition for pro bono work from the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), the Australian Bar Association, the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago and the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago.

Andrew’s dedication to helping others extends to service to the organized bar and law-related community organizations. He currently serves on the CBA’s Board of Managers (he previously chaired the CBA’s Federal Civil Practice Section) and recently instructed the session on Direct Examination for the CBA’s “Sharpen Your Trial Skills Program.”

Andrew is a member of the advisory board of the CWC and co-vice chair of the board of CRFC, where he has been actively involved for many years, including participating in the Edward J. Lewis II Lawyers in the Classroom project.

“He does not perform pro bono activities to fulfill his firm’s commitment, but because he believes that what he does makes a difference in the lives of others,” says Benjamin Ghess, general counsel at Chicago’s Human Resources Development Institute and chair of the CRFC Board.

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