J. Christian (Chris) Nemeth provides legal counsel on complex commercial litigation and government investigations, including ERISA matters, financial and banking cases, business torts and breach of contract actions. Chris is the co-head of the Firm’s ERISA Litigation practice and works closely with the Firm’s Employee Benefits Practice Group on all types of Litigation matters, Department of Labor investigations and similar issues.
Chris represents clients in courts at the state and federal levels across the country, and has successfully tried cases involving a wide range of matters. He also arbitrates cases in domestic and international forums.
Chris has extensive appellate experience as well. He has successfully appealed cases to the Seventh, Ninth and Tenth Circuits and to the Illinois Court of Appeals.
- Defending a major retailer in connection with a putative class action alleging that our client issued notices relating to continuing health care coverage that failed to comply with the requirements of COBRA. The plaintiffs seek penalties as a result of the issuance of the allegedly defective notices, which can be up to $110 per day per participant. The courts’ decision in this case could be precedent setting, given the volume of employers who could be potentially subject to similar claims
- Secured a complete defense verdict on behalf of Celanese Corporation, a leading producer of chemicals and fibers, against breach of contract and fraud allegations seeking approximately $4 billion in damages
- Representing appraisal organization in federal appellate court action involving propriety of approximately $350 million ESOP valuation
- Successfully represented a large company in defending a billion dollar corporate valuation for purposes of an executive compensation dispute
- Acted as lead counsel in confidential ERISA-based Department of Labor investigations involving fiduciary breaches, VEBA registrations and propriety of investments
- Won a federal jury trial and appeal on behalf of Leprino Foods Company, a major food producer, in a $24 million insurance coverage dispute involving an “all risk” policy and a contamination exclusion
- Representing large financial institutions in SEC and FTA matters involving investment selection, share class and payment issues
- Obtained a successful trial verdict for SMG, Inc., the exclusive manufacturer and marketer of hot dogs sold under the brand “Nathan’s Famous,” in a case concerning sophisticated financial arrangements and change-of-control provisions, and prevailed on appeal
- Won significant damages from a three-member arbitration panel for breach of contract and breach of warranty claims relating to a private aircraft
- Represented an individual defendant in a federal jury trial concerning arson and secured a favorable verdict on all arson counts
- Represents current and former executives in a series of derivative lawsuits in connection to the San Bruno, California pipeline explosion
- The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – ERISA and Commercial Litigation, 2019 to 2023
- Chambers USA, ERISA Litigation, 2021
- The Legal 500 US 2019, 2021 and 2022
- International Association of Defense Counsel
University of Michigan Law School, JD, 2001
Northwestern University, BA, cum laude, 1999
US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
US District Court for the District of Colorado
US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois