Ethan E. Trull

Ethan Trull is vice-chair of the firm’s litigation department. He represents clients in complex litigation involving commercial disputes and product liability claims, often brought as class, multi-district or aggregated actions.

What do you focus on?

As the former head of litigation for a Fortune 20 corporation, I bring significant in-house perspective to my service as outside counsel. I understand the imperatives to provide counsel of the highest quality, deliver impeccable client service and be vigilant with regard to budget and cost. I often discuss these priorities with clients, and advise in house legal departments on case management, department management and the use of alternative fee arrangements.

Commercial litigation

I represent clients in a broad range of commercial disputes with competitors, customers and suppliers. I have experience in securities fraud cases, price-fixing and antitrust actions and false advertising litigation including allegations of Lanham Act violations. Frequently, these disputes involve complex intellectual property issues.

Mass tort and class action defense

I act as national and regional defense counsel in class action lawsuits, with particular focus on medical devices and supplies and toxic torts. This involves assessing potential exposure across jurisdictions, developing strategies for triage and settlements and adapting litigation strategies as matters progress.

What do you see on the horizon?

More companies are beginning to realize the intrinsic value of their “big data” repositories. Technological advances are unlocking the monetary potential of these big data sets, but also revealing pitfalls and traps for the unwary such as privacy, data ownership, regulatory and antitrust concerns.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully tried a two week fraudulent conveyance trial in which a multibillion-dollar capital fund sought a $15 million recovery against our client sounding in 15 counts, resulting in a defense finding on each count and an 86 page opinion impacting the “collapsing” doctrine in leveraged buy out situations.
  • Successfully defending mass-tort product liability litigation, resolving more than 1,800 individual lawsuits and claims.
  • Managing insurance assets in excess of $350 million to defray liability and litigation costs.
  • Prosecuting antitrust claims resulting in net recoveries exceeding $200 million.
  • Litigating numerous commercial, intellectual property and securities claims separately valued in excess of $500 million.
  • Participating in responses to Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.
  • Resolving securities class action, ERISA and derivative litigation valued in excess of $5 billion.
  • Compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements for tracking risk contingencies.
  • Preparation of public disclosures and discussions of various legal risks and contingent liabilities in securities filings.
  • Participating in due diligence for acquisitions of private and publicly held entities.
  • Participating as a member of core plaintiff’s negotiation team that successfully resolved antitrust litigation resulting in recovery exceeding $1.5 billion.
  • Investigating and responding to various private and governmental claims involving allegations of violations of antitrust laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Medicare fraud and abuse and securities law violations.
  • Acting as a corporate representative on committees of Potentially Responsible Parties for environmental Superfund sites.
  • Responsibility for legal strategies in the United States and Europe and coordinating risk management with marketing and product development teams.
  • Developing and managing an international lobbying team responsible for proposing and responding to domestic and international regulatory and legislative initiative.
  • Testifying before various state legislatures and international regulatory groups.

Litigator of the Week shout outs and runners-up

The AmLaw Litigation Daily | May 07, 2021

This article recognizes the full NP team that secured a major damages win on behalf of Takeda subsidiary Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Litigation Department vice chair and partner Ethan Trull and partner John Ruskusky, both of the Complex Commercial Disputes group in Chicago, led the damages trial team. The NP team also included partner Lisa Sullivan, associate Katie Burnett, e-discovery specialist Anders van Marter, and paralegal Donna Long, all of the Complex Commercial Disputes group in Chicago. In addition, Intellectual Property partner Mark FitzGerald and Complex Commercial Disputes associate Tarae Howell, both of the Boston office, played integral roles in the initial fraud win for Millennium in 2020.

Chancery awards biopharm company $38M for fraud-tainted deal

Law360 | April 23, 2021

This article, covering the Delaware Chancery Court’ s $38.2 million damages judgment in favor of Takeda subsidiary Millennium Pharmaceuticals for its fraud claim against Harpoon Therapeutics, mentions Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partners Ethan Trull, John Ruskusky and Lisa Sullivan; associate Katie Burnett; senior e-discovery specialist Anders van Marter; and paralegal Donna Long for representing Millennium. Intellectual Property partner Mark FitzGerald, Complex Commercial Disputes associate Tarae Howell, and Intellectual Property patent specialist Angela Hafner, all in Boston, have also played integral roles in the matter.


Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | March 04, 2021

Chicago Complex Commercial Disputes partner and Litigation Department vice chair Ethan Trull is included in this column of notable legal executive news for accepting the invitation to join the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Constrained by Crisis, Law Firms and Clients Are Learning to Compromise on Pricing

The American Lawyer | January 04, 2021

This article on alternative fee arrangements quotes Litigation Department Vice Chair and Chicago partner Ethan Trull and Chicago partner Mike Philippi, both of the Complex Commercial Disputes practice group, on the topic of value-based pricing strategies and how they can be applied to share risk and maximize predictability.

A Post-Thanksgiving Litigator of the Week Runner-Up and Shout Out Marathon

The American Lawyer | December 04, 2020

This week’s “Litigators of the Week“ column by American Lawyer includes the dismissal for outsourcing facility Leiters, Inc. in a multiple-state dispute. Leiters was represented by Chicago partners Ethan Trull, John Ruskusky, and Lisa Sullivan, and associates Bill Kirby and Tina Jonsson; and San Francisco partner Bruce Copeland and counsel Lauren Michals—all in the Complex Commercial Disputes group.

$3.6M in attorney fees atop $600K suit

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | June 02, 2020

Complex Commercial Disputes partner and Litigation Department vice-chair Ethan Trull and department attorney Keith Edeus, both in Chicago, were featured and quoted in this front-page article on their litigation win representing Bourbon Tile & Marble in a 13-year suit against construction giant Pepper Construction Co.


Ethan E. Trull

Vice-chair, Litigation Department


Phone: 312-977-4447

Fax: 844-577-4648

Loyola University Chicago School of Law, J.D., American Jurisprudence Awards: Property; Mechanics Liens

Loyola University Chicago, B.B.A., cum laude


U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Ethan has been recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2017 editorial for Intellectual property—Trade secrets.
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Member
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