General Commercial Litigation

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Representative Matters

  • Defended national residential alarm services company in multiple Lanham Act lawsuits involving allegations of unfair competition and false advertising brought by competitor in Federal Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

  • Represented client in five-day private mediation in a contentious breach of fiduciary duty case and secured favorable settlement.

  • Successfully defeated multiple motions to dismiss filed against her client in a multi-million dollar breach of trustee action against a regional corporate trustee.

  • Successfully defended financial institution client against breach of contract lawsuit resulting in dismissal of both the complaint and the appeal.

  • Successfully pursued and collected monetary judgment on behalf of pro-bono client.

  • Served as General Counsel to a high-tech manufacturer, providing full service support, handling every legal need spanning intellectual property, business litigation, employment, business contracts and corporate governance.

  • Co-lead counsel in an arbitration against a nationwide retailer on multiple claims, including breach of contract relating to the creation and operation of a national retail-marketing database. The arbitration spanned eleven-day and included five expert witnesses. The arbitration panel found in our client’s favor and awarded Freeborn’s reasonable attorneys’ fees on the successful breach of contract claims.

  • Co-lead counsel in an eight-day jury trial on claims against a financial services company for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act, professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation. The jury entered a verdict in favor of F&P’s client on all counts, which resulted in seven-figure settlement payment to F&P’s client.

  • Co-lead counsel in a nine-day jury trial on claims against our client, a landfill operator, for negligence, trespass and nuisance.  Plaintiffs alleged that odors, noise, dust, birds, and litter emanating from the landfill interfered with the use and enjoyment of their property and they sought a seven-figure award. The jury entered a verdict in favor of F&P’s client on all counts.

  • Lead counsel in a bench trial on claims for breach of contract relating to a 17-acre real estate development dispute. The court entered a verdict in favor of F&P’s client on all counts.  

  • Lead drafter of amici curiae brief to United States Supreme Court in Friedrichs, et al., v. California Teachers Association, et. al., Case No. 14-915 (filed November 2015).

  • Defended Bermuda mutual insurer in arbitration regarding forfeiture of departing member's equity. Client retained former member's equity.

  • Obtained rescission of quota share treaty on behalf of reinsurer for cedent's fraudulent accounting and reporting of historical loss ratios, resulting in award of $28 million.

  • Represented engineering company in federal criminal investigation into violation of U.S. sanctions with respect to the building of a gas plant in Iran.

  • Represented insured warehouse operator that had been denied coverage for millions of dollars in losses arising out of major warehouse fire. Obtained recoveries from insured's primary and excess insurers and insurance broker.

  • Represented investors and senior officers in shareholder dispute over control of a Dutch holding company with operations in Poland. Clients maintained control of company with no forced, above-market buyout of dissenting shareholder.

  • Represented surety in major financial fraud litigation arising out of more than a billion dollars in performance bonds for Enron "round-trip" energy transactions. Case settled after closing arguments for a substantial discount on the bonds.

  • Won reinsurance arbitration award for cedent, wherein the panel awarded client $26 million in claims. Wrote and argued appeal in which Second Circuit reinstated an award of 100% of client’s attorney fees for opponent's bad faith conduct.

  • Recovered on behalf of a financial institution hundreds of millions of dollars from accountants and insurance managers involved in finite reinsurance scheme.

  • For a large national bank, prosecuted a claim against a software vendor for fraud in the sale and delivery of a software product leading to a $3.4 million recovery of licensing fees and other costs.

  • Successfully represented one of the country’s largest railway companies in an arbitration before the National Grain and Feed Association in a breach of contract dispute with a shipper.

  • Successfully defended hedge fund manager, sued as the manager of the fund and individually, for gross negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and various other claims. This case was won on a dispositive motion based upon the exculpatory clause in the contract.

  • Represented corporate client in enforcing the terms of a squeeze down provision of an LLC Operating Agreement and obtained summary judgment in federal litigation relating to the same.

  • Successfully represented a corporation in a federal district court case involving claims of fraud, civil conspiracy, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and defamation with more than $575 million in controversy. We obtained summary judgment in favor of our client on all claims brought by the plaintiff and also obtained a favorable settlement for our client on its counter-claims against the plaintiff and two of its executives for defamation.

  • Successfully defended an architect and city planner in a jury trial involving defamation claims and obtained a directed verdict in the client's favor at the close of the plaintiff's case.

  • Successfully defended companies on all types of discrimination cases including sex, race, religion, disability and related retaliation claims.

  • Prevailed in the defense of a corporate client in a matter involving federal preemption and the transportation of hazardous materials at both the trial court and appellate levels.

  • Successfully represented a corporation in an internal investigation relating to theft by an employee of the company which resulted in the employee's termination and conviction for felony theft with restitution to our client.

  • Counsel for a start-up company in successful efforts to establish an indoor urban farming operation with plans to raise the money needed to buy real estate, equipment and other materials necessary to fully roll out a sustainable program that will eventually have the indoor farming equivalent of 50 thousand tillable acres.

  • Represented major restaurant chain in successful efforts to reduce its operating costs across all stores located in Chicago by obtaining an express exemption from the City of Chicago's Individual Pricing Rule, which is applicable to retail food establishments.

  • Served as lead trial counsel to numerous produce companies in successful efforts to obtain injunctive relief and has recovered millions of dollars under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).

  • Successfully defended a major food importer against allegations arising under the Plant Protection Act (PPA) wherein the client faced tens of millions of dollars in fines. The USDA ultimately dismissed the allegations without imposing any fines.

  • Represented a large private company in multiple lawsuits against the managers of two private equity funds and the funds' President and CEO, among other defendants.  The suits involve claims that the plaintiff company was fraudulently induced into contributing hundreds of millions of dollars into the funds and that the defendants breached both their fiduciary duties and funds' operating agreements.

  • Successfully represented a Class I railroad company in a multi-million dollar flood damage case brought in federal court against a major utility company.

  • Represented a large distribution company in connection with its efforts to manage an FDA inspection and to prepare the necessary 483 response, corrective action plan, and a food reconditioning plan.  Ultimately, a state agriculture department adopted our food reconditioning plan, a model for handling large scale food adulteration matters.

  • Represented a food manufacturer in connection with its efforts to classify and manage a food safety recall event from start to finish. This engagement required Freeborn to help the client develop, implement and manage its recall process and to liaison with the FDA to ensure step-by-step regulatory compliance.

  • Obtained first mandatory injunction against municipality in Illinois, allowing a multi-million dollar aircraft facility and fuel farm to be constructed during pendency of litigation - and obtained a jury verdict against the municipality for breach of contract.

  • Arbitration award in favor of client as to breach of contract claims.

  • Successfully defended Board of Education of Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204 DuPage and Will Counties, Illinois in litigation brought to stop the construction of Metea Valley High School based upon claims the action violated the both U.S. and Illinois Constitutions, the Illinois School Code and the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

  • Counsel for a major food processor and helped them make internal financial changes that reduced their exposure to various agricultural liens by over $10 million dollars. This reduction in secured liability allowed the food processor to go back to its bank and negotiate an increase of its borrowing base by the same $10 million dollar amount.

  • Defended owner of an NHRA Drag Racing team against hostile takeover suit by competing team owner.

  • Successfully moved to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds a breach of contract action brought by a client’s customer in federal court in Minnesota.

  • Defeated at the summary-judgment stage claims of a conspiracy to defraud where the plaintiff was seeking damages in excess of half a billion dollars.

  • Succeeded at both the trial and appellate levels in case of first impression under the Illinois Condominium Property Act.

  • Tried Lanham Act case in Federal Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of company accused of unlawfully poaching competitor’s customers via deceptive sales tactics. Trial settled after the close of evidence with client paying no damages.

  • Lead counsel to multiple produce companies in successful efforts to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) in one of the largest produce industry bankruptcy cases in recent history.

  • Defended automatic teller machine operator in Electronic Funds Transfer Act lawsuits.

  • Prosecution of breach of contract claims based on the proposed merger of two large cellular companies to successful outcome. 

  • Negotiated settlement of a $20 million claim against a publicly traded railroad, after the close of discovery, for less than the budgeted amount to defend the case at trial. This case was actively litigated for over four years and was reviewed quarterly by the railroad’s Board of Directors as “material” litigation.

  • Recovered a claim for unpaid professional services against a Probate Estate, whose invoices the Estate Executor refused to pay, after a full trial. The claim was paid 100% with an award of attorney fees and legal costs.

  • Prosecuted complex trade secret and trademark infringement litigation resulting in a consent injunction requiring return of all trade secret information and other intellectual property.

  • Enforced multi-million dollar promissory note claims in complex litigation involving UCC Article 9 foreclosure and obtained summary judgment in client's favor.

  • Prosecuted multi-million dollar dispute over sale of defective goods.

  • Successfully represented corporations in business litigation matters involving actions for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

  • Recovered $10 million fidelity bond on behalf of an employer, by establishing criminal conduct of a corporate officer engaged in wide spread fraud.

  • Represented international law firm in legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty case arising out of a high-profile corporate separation resulting in favorable settlement for client.

  • Represented plaintiff bank in a legal malpractice action against its former counsel in connection with a portfolio of SBA loans resulting in substantial seven-figure settlement.

  • Represented the plaintiff  in a legal malpractice action, against a now defunct large Chicago-based law firm, in a case involving the alleged mishandling of an arbitration and the drafting and implementation of the terms of employment and shareholder agreements resulting in substantial eight-figure settlement.

  • Successfully defended a newly hired employee against a Motion for Preliminary Injunction brought by his former employer, a large information services provider in the insurance industry. Working on an emergency basis in response to the Motion, Matthew helped draft the briefs that secured a successful outcome for the client in the injunction proceeding, and paved the way for a favorable agreed resolution.

  • Defended former CFO of a publicly-traded company in complex securities fraud action resulting in favorable settlement.

  • Represented former COO of major Chicago REIT in breach of contract employment dispute with his former employer. Case settled with a substantial payment to the client.

  • Second-chaired successful trial for breach of commercial contract, and obtained a judgment of several hundred thousand dollars in damages.