2017 Forty Attorneys Under 40 Presentation

Nicholas M. Berg
Nicholas M. Berg
Ropes & Gray
▶Business and securities litigation
40 Under Class – 2017

Nicholas Berg is no stranger to big cases. And he’s no stranger, either, to winning them.

This business and securities litigation expert represents companies facing “bet the company” litigation disputes and is also recognized for successfully resolving internal and government investigations, with a particular depth of expertise with respect to issues involving Latin America. His formula for success: he works hard, prepares diligently, studies his field, and fights to make sure his clients obtain the best possible results.

A general counsel at a biopharmaceutical company is just one of Berg’s peers who says he isn’t surprised by the young attorney’s string of high-profile legal successes, noting that Berg is a rare combination of strong negotiator and persuasive litigator.

The general counsel points to Berg’s work defending his firm against a lawsuit with potential damages approaching $1 billion. The lawsuit came at a challenging time for Berg’s client. The company was in strategic transaction discussions with another drug developer. Further complicating matters were multiple government investigations involving the company.

Despite these challenges, Berg settled the suit on favorable terms. The settlement that Berg helped orchestrate included the dismissal of all claims against the company and all individuals named in the lawsuit. No wrongdoing or liability was attributed to the company or individuals.

“The outcome is a testament to Ropes & Gray’s and Nick’s negotiation and management skills, which helped thread the needle between plaintiffs, insurers and other stakeholders,” the general counsel said.

Results like this are why Berg is considered a go-to lawyer for companies facing challenging, high-profile litigation issues or those that are involved in government or internal investigations involving bribery, fraud, embezzlement, financial misstatements and accounting errors, particularly in connection with anti-corruption investigations in Latin America.

“We have worked with Nick and with Ropes & Gray on multiple high-profile government investigations across the globe, and Nick’s drive, dedication, judgment and legal savvy are outstanding,” said Michael Pace, global practice leader and senior managing director with the Chicago office of FTI Consulting. “Nick is entrepreneurial, and excels at strengthening relationships and identifying new opportunities. His combination of legal dexterity and business acumen is remarkable.”

Peter Schutzel, head of anti-corruption and global healthcare compliance for Abbott Laboratories, said that what really sets Berg apart is his sensitivity to both the legal and business goals of his clients.

“He is able to navigate thorny legal questions and extremely sensitive matters while keeping the client’s objectives paramount, no small thing when handling government investigations and high-stakes litigation,” Schutzel said.

As evidence of this skill, Schutzel points to the dozens of articles that Berg has published analyzing trends in government enforcement matters and litigation. Berg is also a recognized expert on international investigations, including anti-bribery and government investigations involving multi-national companies with operations in Latin America.

“The sheer extent of the types of matters Nick handles is impressive, and is built on a foundation of hard work, tenacity and drive,” Schutzel said.

Outside of the courtroom, Berg donates his legal talents pro bono in the community through the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Immigrant Justice Center, and Chicago Volunteer Legal Services.

Berg is also a member of the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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