Group will focus on deploying full bench of experienced trial lawyers to meet client needs 

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie announced the formation of its North America Trial Team—an initiative of the North America Litigation and Government Enforcement Practice Group that brings together the Firm’s best and brightest first-chair litigators from across a variety of substantive legal areas and industry experiences to meet its global clients’ demand for lawyers who try, and win, bet-the-company disputes.  The North America Trial Team includes Partners from each of the Firm's eight US offices, plus Canada and Mexico.  Leading this effort are Dallas Partner Michelle Hartmann and Miami Partner William V. Roppolo.  

While Baker McKenzie has long had a stable of top tier trial lawyers winning cases across the globe, the formation of the Trial Team represents the Firm’s identification of a specific client need: the need for an organized, cohesive team of the best trial lawyers available to efficiently and effectively deliver exceptional trial services and sought-after results. The Trial Team includes highly skilled and experienced lawyers with extensive in-court experience, including former prosecutors and government officials who bring decades of first chair trial experience to the table.  Leveraging Baker McKenzie’s global platform, the Trial Team is uniquely qualified to lead complex cases for multinational corporations dealing with complex disputes in North America.  Beyond excellence and results in the courtroom, the Trial Team will also drive key elements of the training of Associates, use of technology and innovation, and development of alternative fees and funding.

While retaining its focus on core work in defending litigation at trial, Baker McKenzie's Trial Team also provides for those clients who require representation in complex, plaintiff’s-side commercial cases.  Through expertise and the use of alternative fee arrangements, the Trial Team helps clients turn potential claims into valuable assets through creative solutions. 

The Trial Team has a proven record of experience.  Collectively, the Trial Team’s core group has won several billion in client victories in litigation and arbitration matters.  Within only the last year, members of the North America Trial Team have won significant victories for both plaintiffs and defendants, in jury trials, injunction hearings, and arbitrations, including among others:

  • A client verdict for a large private real estate developer, Panattoni Development, in a breach of contract action involving approximately $100 million in claimed damages;

  • A more than $70 million jury verdict for Superior Energy, an international energy equipment supply company, against multiple former officers for fiduciary misconduct; and

  • A jury verdict awarding only $1.75 million of the $55 million to $134 million in damages sought by the plaintiff in a case involving a failed software development project.

  • A denial of a preliminary injunction seeking to block a vote on a proposed USD 7 billion merger between our client, Knauf AG, and USG Corp. in the Delaware Court of Chancery.

  • A victory for Knorr-Bremse AG in an antitrust class action MDL (Multi-District Litigation) proceeding in the first "no-poach" antitrust matter following DOJ's announcement that no-poach conspiracies would be a top antitrust enforcement priority.

“The North America Trial Team draws upon our team members who have different practice focuses and histories, but share a dedication to and success in trying cases,” said Peter Tomczak, Chair of Baker McKenzie's North America Litigation & Government Enforcement Practice Group.  “Further, the North America Trial Team leverages our Firm's substantial support resources while maintaining its unique culture.  It thus serves as a center of excellence that influences our approach to all aspects of practice, from the use of artificial intelligence and legal project management, to working with litigation funders and structuring bespoke alternative fee arrangements, so that from initial case assessment, we are prepared to try a matter if that best serves our clients' business and legal goals.”

“Of the Firm’s over 1,100 dispute resolution lawyers and nearly 200 in North America, the North America Trial Team is composed of a core group of trial lawyers who have first-chair, courtroom experience in high-stakes matters.  With Michelle and Bill at the helm, this team will continue to provide critical courtroom advocacy for clients throughout the region and around the globe,” said Colin Murray, Baker McKenzie North America Chief Executive Officer.

About Baker McKenzie’s North America Trial Team

Baker McKenzie's North America Trial Team is an elite group of experienced trial lawyers who focus their practice on trying – and winning – complex cases.  The Trial Team’s lawyers have exceptional skill in trial, and are adept at identifying and implementing the most appropriate business solutions for clients, either by pursuing or defending litigation in courts or before other tribunals, or through other alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.  

Trial Team Co-Chair Bill Roppolo has extensive experience trying both criminal and civil cases, obtaining multiple not guilty verdicts in criminal matters and successful civil judgments before judges, juries, and tribunals across the United States.  He has successfully tried cases on matters ranging from anti-corruption and money laundering to anti-trust and fraud. 

"I look forward to working with our trial lawyers across the region to continue winning bet the company trials for our clients." said Bill.

Trial Team Co-Chair Michelle Hartmann has significant experience trying all types of civil issues to judgment, including bench and jury trials.  Michelle's trial experience substantially involves civil judgments obtained in energy-related matters, but she also has tried cases to judgments in the retail, consumer, and transportation industries and has argued appeals before panels of the First and Second Circuit and Fifth Circuit United States Courts of Appeal and multiple state courts of appeal. 


"I am excited to be part of such an experienced and collaborative team of trial lawyers at Baker McKenzie," said Michelle.


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