Sean M. Berkowitz

  • Partner
  • Esean.berkowitz@lw.com
  • 330 North Wabash Avenue, Suite 2800
  • Chicago, IL 60611
  • USA
  • T +1.312.777.7016
  •  
 

Profile

Sean Berkowitz, Global Co-Chair of the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice, represents clients in complex litigation and regulatory investigations.

Mr. Berkowitz is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who regularly advises Fortune 500 companies and individual executives on their most important litigation matters in courts and venues throughout the United States. He also advises clients on government and regulatory investigations, and develops strategies to resolve those matters short of litigation.

He has an established track record of successfully resolving cases at trial or before trial in a variety of subject areas, including:

  • Securities fraud
  • Antitrust
  • Deceptive business practices
  • Complex commercial litigation

Mr. Berkowitz is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has successfully tried 24 cases to verdict. Chambers USA ranks him Band 1 for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Securities, and General Commercial Litigation and clients describe him as “a force of nature” and “a top-flight trial lawyer who has a great courtroom presence.”

Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Mr. Berkowitz served in several federal government positions including as:

  • Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section for the United States Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Illinois
  • Director of the special task force created to investigate the Enron corporate scandal, and lead prosecutor in the criminal case against Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling
Leadership

Mr. Berkowitz recently completed a five-year term as Global Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department. He currently serves as the Illinois Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is a past president of the Chicago Inn of Court. He serves on the boards of the Chicago Area Project and A Better Chicago, an innovative non-profit organization that invests in and supports a portfolio of educational charities.

Experience

A sampling of Mr. Berkowitz’s extensive experience includes representing:

Securities fraud
  • Manouch Moshayedi, the former Chairman and CEO of sTec, Inc., in one of the largest insider trading actions brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); the jury returned a complete defense verdict
  • Oracle Corporation and individually named officers in a federal securities fraud and insider trading class action; the court granted summary judgment in favor of the clients a month before trial
  • Walmart and individually named officer in federal securities class action (W.D. Ark)
  • WMS and individually named officers in federal securities class action, where the court dismissed the complaint (N.D. IL)
  • General Electric Corporation and individually named officers in a federal securities fraud matter (S.D.N.Y.)
Deceptive business practices
  • Live Nation in a putative class action alleging violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, obtaining dismissal of the complaint; dismissal was subsequently affirmed by the Seventh Circuit
Antitrust
  • Lundbeck Pharmaceutical Company in a successful multi-week antitrust trial against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC); the verdict was subsequently affirmed on appeal
Complex commercial litigation
  • General Electric Corporation in multiple jurisdictions around the country in cases seeking billions of dollars in damages for alleged participation in a civil conspiracy arising out of Ponzi scheme   

Thought Leadership

  • New DOJ Policy Will Curb “Piling On” Multiple Penalties for Same Corporate Misconduct -  May 14, 2018
  • Deputy Attorney General Announces Comprehensive Review of DOJ Corporate Enforcement Policies -  October 12, 2017
  • Who Is Presumptively Authorized To Order Class Arbitration? Circuit Courts Weigh In -  September 11, 2017
  • CFTC Releases New Enforcement Cooperation Guidelines -  February 14, 2017
  • What To Do When You Are Served With a Search Warrant -  December 16, 2015
  • Forum Selection Bylaws Gain Additional Support in California  -  December 29, 2014
  • White Collar and Government Investigations Newsletter, Issue 1 -  Summer 2007
Clients say, “He is phenomenal,” with one client adding, “He is thorough and gentle in his approach, and he has all the ammo he needs in his brain. He always seems to have everything under control at all times.”Chambers USA 2019
Bar Qualification
  • Illinois
Education
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1992
    cum laude
  • BA, Tulane University, 1989
    summa cum laude (Valedictorian)
Practices
  • White Collar Defense & Investigations
  • Litigation & Trial Practice
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Securities Litigation & Professional Liability
  • Corporate Governance