Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg



United States (National)

Dispute resolution

Chicago’s Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg offers a litigation group that is recognized for its expertise and focus on specific industries. The firm has litigators specializing in a broad spectrum of practice areas and is a “one-stop-shop" for industry-leading clients, particularly in motor vehicles and luxury goods. 

     Robert Shapiro is among the firm’s multidisciplined litigators and has experience in intellectual property, antitrust, and commercial competition disputes. He focuses on serving clients in the fashion and luxury retail sectors especially. Shapiro recently secured a settlement on behalf of Tiffany & Co in a trade secrets case brought by Cartier, which garnered significant press coverage. He also successfully defended Sephora in a lawsuit filed by Amanda Ensing, a fashion influencer, alleging defamation, among other claims. The lawsuit was one of the “woke” culture cases, involving media attention and First Amendment issues. Shapiro obtained a voluntary dismissal by the plaintiff following a favorable transfer to a California federal court. Shapiro and co-chair of the litigation group Maile Hitomi Solís are lead counsel defending luxury designer brand Christian Dior in a Biometric information Privacy Act (BIPA) lawsuit alleging that the “virtual try-on feature for eyewear collects BIPA-regulated biometric information in violation of the law. The team obtained a dismissal at district court, agreeing that the feature was exempt under the general healthcare exemption. 

     Solís acts as national counsel to Louis Vuitton and leads the team with Owen Smith in defending the high-end luxury client against a putative class action. The lawsuit alleges antitrust claims, specifically that the defendants’ “no-hire agreements” restrain competition and compensation for employees within the luxury retail market. Solís and Smith took the lead in the briefing with the co-defendants and secured a dismissal with prejudice earlier this year. 

     Smith chairs the motor vehicle group, specializing in handling litigation for industry-leading motor vehicle companies. His recent work has been on behalf of Porsche and Volkswagen. In a franchise agreement dispute in Florida, Smith obtained a crucial reversal from the Florida Appellate Division, instructing the administrative court to dismiss the case on remand. In Illinois, Smith is challenging the constitutionality of the Multiplier Act, an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Franchise Act, which changed how much manufacturers must reimburse dealers for warranty services and restricts them from recovering costs associated with the act. The case is being litigated, and Smith is seeking injunctive relief and a declaration that the amendment is unconstitutional on behalf of Volkswagen.

    Beyond commercial disputes, the firm also maintains expertise in financial litigation with the prominence of W. Scott Porterfield, who has dedicated his practice to representing banks, as well as their officers and directors. Recently, he obtained a key settlement for client County Bancorp in a putative class action alleging that the directors breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders, further alleging that the clients sold the company for an inadequate price. Porterfield’s defense of the client secured a forced settlement with the plaintiff for 0.4% of the alleged damages.