Sean Berkowitz, Global 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
- Deceptive business practices
- Complex commercial litigation
Mr. Berkowitz is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has successfully tried 29 cases to verdict. Legal 500 US recognizes Mr. Berkowitz as a Leading Lawyer for General Commercial Disputes, and Chambers USA ranks him Band 1 for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Securities, and General Commercial Litigation. Clients describe him as “a brilliant attorney” and “top flight trial lawyer” who “brings a wealth of experience” and is “impressive in both the courtroom and boardroom”. Mr. Berkowitz was included in the 2019-2022 editions of Lawdragon 500, an annual list of leading lawyers in America. In addition to being named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the 2021 and 2022 editions of Benchmark Litigation and a Litigation Star in 2020-2022, Mr. Berkowitz is recognized by Best Lawyer as 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" for Bet-the-Company Litigation.
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
Mr. Berkowitz recently completed a five-year term as Global Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department. He is the former 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.
A sampling of Mr. Berkowitz’s extensive experience includes representing:
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
- Baxter and individually named officers in federal securities class action (N.D. IL)
- 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
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