With more than 75 attorneys in just two
offices--one in Chicago and one in
Denver--Bartlit Beck offers litigation practices
in commercial litigation, product liability, intellectual property,
financial and securities and toxic torts, to name a few. In
its Denver office, the firm also offers a transactional practice
that includes private equity, securities, M&A and general
A Young Firm with a Long Resume
Founded in 1993, Bartlit Beck prides itself on being "a firm of
trial lawyers, not litigators," according to its website. In other
words, they have the reputation that they "are not afraid to try to
case." The firm primarily hires its litigation lawyers directly
from judicial clerkships and other selective government service
positions, or occasionally straight from law school. To
handle its corporate practice, the firm recruits lawyers with
experience in complex transactional cases, which comes in handy
often, considering the firm regularly helps negotiate acquisitions
worth hundreds of millions, as well as advises on corporate
strategic alliances, hedge fund offerings and IPOs.
Bartlit Beck's client base is
wide-ranging--the firm has
represented litigation clients like United Technologies, Bayer AG,
Hewlett-Packard and E.I. duPont de Nemours. Transactional
clients include Cheyenne Capital, the Crow Tribe of Indians, Platte
River Ventures, Rocky Mountain Mezzanine Fund and Titanium Metals.
The firm is also strong in intellectual property and product
liability litigation--some of its most notable
cases include fending off a patent case brought by
Rolls-Royce against United Technologies, ending an
eleven-year patent battle for Bayer over its
antibiotic Cipro and persuading a Miami jury to return a defense
verdict in a nearly $400 million claim brought by Costa Rican
ferneries against DuPont over a fungicide.
The firm's leaders have their own resumes to be proud
of--Phil Beck, for example, served as George W.
Bush's trial counsel during the 2000 election dispute in Florida
and represented Merck in its high-profile
Vioxxproducts liability litigation.
Energy and Influence
Bartlit Beck has also done a fair amount of work in the energy
industry, and represented Tejas Gas in a $1.45 billion merger with
Shell Oil. When President Obama called for an investigation
following the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout in the gulf, partner
Fred Bartlit served as chief counsel for the panel. Consumer
Watchdog, a consumer rights activist group, was none too
pleased--the group called for Bartlit to step down
because his firm allegedly had close ties with Halliburton, which
had been involved in drilling BP's well. The panel rejected that
call, saying the investigation would remain unbiased.
Teleconference or Pickup Game?
When it's not handling multimillion dollar cases, the firm knows
how to have fun. Its Chicago office boasts a half basketball court
which doubles as a conference room when need be, and its Denver
office revolves around a towering rock climbing wall. According to
firm namesake James Palenchar, those adult playgrounds are intended
to foster teamwork and creativity among Bartlit's legal team. The
firm also provides all associates and their families or significant
others with an annual all-expenses-paid