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Benesch Continues Rapid Growth, Announces Blockbuster Hire of High-Profile Litigators Connolly and Wrigley

September 27, 2018

As Benesch continues to drive home its commitment to recruiting top-notch legal talent from around the nation, the firm is pleased to announce that high-profile litigators J. Erik Connolly and Nicole E. Wrigley have joined the Chicago office.

“This is a fantastic hire for Benesch, adding two especially talented attorneys to our commercial litigation practice,” said Gregg Eisenberg, Benesch’s Managing Partner and Executive Committee Member. “Erik and Nicole are recognized litigators, and both have experience with complex, high-profile cases. Both are versatile attorneys, having represented market-leading clients across a variety of industries. As we further expand our national footprint, this strength and flexibility reflect our commitment to building a powerhouse litigation practice at a national level.”

Erik and Nicole come to Benesch from Winston & Strawn’s nationally renowned trial practice where they successfully litigated multiple “bet the company” matters. Most recently, they represented the plaintiff in the largest defamation case in U.S. history, a trial and settlement that received national attention in mainstream, legal and industry press. They also litigated multi-billion-dollar cases involving a vast range of claims, from auditor liability to securities fraud to unfair competition claims. They bring twenty years of extensive experience with complex litigation matters to the firm.

Erik joins the firm as a Partner, Vice Chair of the Litigation Practice Group and member of the Executive Committee. His practice will continue to focus on representing individuals and companies in a variety of commercial matters including breach of contract, fraud, negligence, defamation, disparagement, securities fraud, insider trading, fiduciary duty claims, and product liability. His clients include Fortune 100 companies and family-owned businesses that are trendsetters in their industries.

“I am excited to be joining Benesch,” said Connolly. “The firm set a strategy for growth and they’re executing that strategy, building a nimble, innovative, client-focused firm. I’m looking forward to being part of this team and having the opportunity to continue to shape a litigation practice that is business-minded and focused on the future.”

Nicole joins Benesch as a partner and Vice Chair of the Trial Litigation Practice Group. She litigates complex, commercial matters for companies in a diverse range of industries and frequently in high stakes disputes. She also represents clients in product, consumer and securities fraud claims in individual, class action and consolidated MDL proceedings.

“Benesch is on the rise, both from the point of view of attracting talented lawyers who want to be part of something new, and in terms of how they’re serving clients as creative problem solvers and advisors,” said Wrigley. “There is great energy among my new colleagues and I am excited to be part of the team.”

Erik and Nicole’s move to Benesch reflects continued momentum for the firm, which has been growing aggressively through lateral hires as part of a strategic plan launched by Eisenberg and the firm’s Executive Committee in 2015. Nearly 60 attorneys have joined the firm in the last 18 months, which has also seen the opening of a Chicago office which is up to 41 attorneys and the expansion of practices including class action litigation, intellectual property litigation and labor and employment. Since making its debut on the AmLaw 200 list in 2016, the firm has advanced 15 places and is currently ranked at number 180.