JSemko

Jennifer Ancona Semko

Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

Jennifer Ancona Semko focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation and internal investigations, with more than 20 years of experience litigating in state and federal courts across the United States. Jennifer represents clients in domestic and international disputes and has expertise in cross-border judicial processes. She also has guided clients through investigations by the US Department of Justice, SEC, EPA, NYSE, Senate Finance Committee, United Nations and other government agencies. She is currently the Chair of the Washington Office Litigation and Government Enforcement practice, as well as Co-Chair of the North American Commercial Litigation subgroup.

Practice Focus

Jennifer’s practice covers a variety of complex disputes, including fiduciary duty and shareholder litigation, Administrative Procedure Act litigation against government agencies, breach of contract actions, copyright and trade secret protection, employment-related claims, business torts and other business litigation matters. She also has briefed and argued appeals before a number of state and federal appellate courts and is a former law clerk to the Honorable Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Additionally, Jennifer has substantial experience advising high-stakes standardized testing programs regarding legal and strategic issues, such as the development of effective test-taker agreements, pursuit of legal actions in response to exam theft, "Secure Test" copyright registration, and decision-making regarding the invalidation of test scores.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Defended a Japanese life insurance company against aiding and abetting claims asserted in four shareholder class actions filed following announcement of multi-billion dollar US acquisition, obtaining dismissal of one lawsuit and settlement of remaining suits without monetary recovery by plaintiffs.

  • Defended two large Azerbaijani banks in putative class action asserting RICO, anti-spam, and other claims, obtaining full dismissal that was upheld on appeal.

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of developer of high-stakes licensing examination, successfully shutting down national test prep company engaged in the theft and resale of highly confidential exam content.

  • Successfully briefed and argued appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on an issue of insurance contract interpretation, obtaining reversal of an adverse District Court summary judgment.

  • Successfully defended high-stakes testing program against more than a dozen lawsuits brought by test takers whose scores were invalidated after a cheating scandal, obtaining dismissal or non-financial resolution of all claims.

  • Conducted internal investigations and negotiated resolutions for numerous clients in connection with alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, export sanctions, antitrust, immigration, and other laws.

  • Provided civil and criminal litigation expertise as member of global, multi-disciplinary Baker McKenzie team representing Japanese manufacturer in civil, bankruptcy and criminal matters resulting from high-profile product liability allegations.

  • Represented investors in an Eastern European beachfront resort in derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, and violation of state securities laws following majority shareholder's alleged misappropriation of company assets. Obtained favorable settlement after prevailing on several motions.

  • Extensive experience obtaining ex parte seizure orders from federal courts under the Copyright Act and Defend Trade Secrets Act, which allow the Firm to undertake unannounced raids of the business operations of alleged intellectual property thieves.

  • Led a team of lawyers from Baker McKenzie and The Walt Disney Company in drafting the Washington, D.C. edition of the Firm's Homeless Youth Handbook, which provides practical guidance to homeless youth regarding their rights, responsibilities, and local resources.

Professional Honors

  • Named one of Washington, DC's "Emerging Women Leaders in Law" by DCA Live (March 2020)
  • Recognized as one of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation's "100 Women Who Inspire Us" (November 2019)
  • Rising Star, SuperLawyers Washington, DC, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association (Litigation and Business Law Sections)
  • Association of Test Publishers (Exam Security Enforcement Committee)

Admissions

  • Louisiana (1998)
  • District of Columbia (2003)
  • Maryland (2002)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit~United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit~United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit~United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit~United States
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims~United States
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia~United States
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois~United States
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana~United States
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana~United States

Education

  • Tulane University Law School (J.D. magna cum laude, Order of the Coif) (1998)
  • Georgetown University (B.S.F.S. cum laude) (1995)

Languages

  • English

Presentations

Trade and Legal Risks for Taiwanese Companies in the United States; Workshop hosted by Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade; Taipei, Taiwan, November 2019

How to Ensure a Healthy Vendor/Client Relationship; Institute for Credentialing Excellence annual conference, San Diego, CA, November 2019

Best Practices in Managing Supply Chain Disputes and Product Liability; Baker McKenzie Workshop: Supply Chain Risks & Rewards in Emerging Markets, Washington, DC, March 2019

The Erosion of Agency Deference: is Chevron out of gas?; Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards (Regulatory Law Seminar), Portland, Oregon, September 2018

"Make Her Stop Copying Me!" (and other things testing programs say to their mothers); Keynote address, Conference on Test Security; Park City, Utah, October 2010