IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Jenner & Block
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IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Jenner & Block

February 3, 2016

New membership is always welcome at the Illinois Venture Capital Association, and that applies to the latest new member, law firm Jenner & Block. The firm has been in  business for over one hundred years, and their law practice philosophy is to serve their clients, their profession and the community with a powerful combination of experience, professionalism and teamwork.

The IVCA offers the following profile of Jenner & Block, which outlines their long history, legal perspective and experience.

New Member: Jenner & Block

Representative: Alan B. Roth, Partner

IVCA: What is a brief history and background of the Jenner & Block?

Jenner & Block: Founded in 1914, Jenner & Block is a law firm of international reach with more than 500 lawyers and offices in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC. Our firm has been widely recognized for producing outstanding results in corporate transactions and securing significant litigation victories from the trial level through the U.S. Supreme Court.  Companies and individuals around the world trust Jenner & Block with their most sensitive and consequential matters.  Our clients range from the top ranks of the Fortune 500, large privately held corporations, private equity funds and financial services institutions through to emerging companies, family-run businesses and individuals.

IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?

Jenner & Block: As a leader in the middle market private equity legal space we believe that it is important that we continue to network and participate in the Chicago Private Equity and Venture community. Members of our Private Equity group have been long time members of the IVCA, and we look forward to continued participation in the organization.

IVCA: You are one of the oldest established firms in the U.S. and internationally. How does your history interact with the integrity of your litigation legacy?

Jenner & Block: We have earned our reputation as a litigation powerhouse.  The 350 lawyers in our nationally recognized litigation department have won impressive victories in complex and challenging cases in a broad range of substantive areas of law and across a wide variety of industries, before federal, state and administrative courts and in arbitrations.  We have achieved landmark rulings on behalf of clients in matters before the United States Supreme Court — our appellate advocates have presented 18 oral arguments to the Court in the last 10 terms, and we also have an extensive amicus practice.

IVCA: Since the firm's history includes arguing before the Supreme Court, how much strategy in presenting there is based on the perceived judgments and judgment history of who happens to be sitting on the court?

Jenner & Block: Jenner & Block has argued nearly 100 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and a hallmark of our practice has been a series of important victories in the Supreme Court, which goes back at least to Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968), involving the exclusion from a jury pool of persons with qualms about the death penalty. Some more recent Supreme Court victories have included Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, et al. (2011), involving a First Amendment challenge to a California law that restricted the sale or rental of “violent” video games to minors; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (2005), addressing secondary liability of Internet file-sharing services;  Wiggins v. Smith (2003), addressing standards for effective counsel in the death penalty sentencing phase; and Lawrence v. Texas (2003), the landmark gay rights case. 

Our group – which includes former U.S. Supreme Court clerks, U.S. Court of Appeals clerks and state appellate court clerks, among other experienced professionals -- is well versed in the intricacies of the appeals process and know how to navigate a case effectively through the courts.  We work collaboratively – with senior partners involved in every step of the process – to develop persuasive arguments that are thoroughly researched, carefully written, and powerfully delivered.

IVCA: You also have a long history and high reputation as a legal representative in many business enterprises and categories. What distinguishes the firm as far as what a potential business client could expect, based on your long experience in this particular side of law?

Jenner & Block: We are distinguished by two key strengths – the consistent high quality of our professionals and their intense focus on delivering outstanding client service and results.  We apply these strengths across our core competencies, which include all key aspects of mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, private equity and hedge fund formation and investing, corporate finance and board and committee counseling.

In addition, a commitment to public service is part of the DNA of our firm. We are known for our long tradition of pro bono advocacy, as well as service to the bar and to our communities. The American Lawyer magazine has ranked Jenner & Block as the Number One pro bono firm in the United States seven times, most recently in 2015. 

IVCA: What does Jenner & Block hope to achieve in their interaction with the IVCA?

Jenner & Block: By joining the IVCA we will continue our longstanding tradition of being active in the Midwest Private Equity and Venture Capital communities. We hope to participate in all areas of the IVCA—educational, legislative and networking. We believe that we will add value to the IVCA and that the IVCA will add value to our practice.  

For more information regarding Jenner & Block, click on https://jenner.com