Jenner & Block announces that Partner Andrew W. Vail was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers at the College’s annual meeting in Chicago on Saturday. The ACTL is the preeminent organization of leading trial lawyers in North America, “limited to only those trial lawyers who are unquestionably and eminently qualified, in addition to being regarded as the best in their state/province.”
“Andrew’s induction into the American College of Trial Lawyers is a well-deserved recognition that he is one of the nation’s very best trial attorneys. This recognition reflects that Andrew is held in the highest regard not only by his clients, but also by his opposing counsel and the judges before whom he has appeared,” said David J. Bradford, ACTL Fellow and co-chair of Jenner & Block’s Litigation Department. “Andrew is a superb and tireless advocate who practices at the very highest level of our profession. This important recognition is all the more special because it comes at a very early stage in Andrew’s career — he both continues a proud legacy and represents the very bright future of our firm.”
Mr. Vail has spent his entire career at Jenner & Block, after graduating with honors from the University of Illinois College of Law and earning his BA at the University of North Carolina. Throughout his time at the firm, Mr. Vail has litigated a wide range of important client matters to successful results in court proceedings and arbitrations.
For example, during a six-month span before the pandemic, Mr. Vail, along with respective firm teams, won an international arbitration award on behalf of the Redeemer Committee valued at more than $180 million after a three-week hearing in New York; defeated environmental contamination claims for injunctive relief and monetary damages brought in federal court by the City of Evanston against ComEd; and obtained acquittal in state court for Patrick Pursley who, after Mr. Vail helped secure him a new trial, was being retried in state court for a nearly 20-year-old homicide.
“As all of us who have had the pleasure of trying cases with Andrew know, he is an outstanding trial lawyer,” said Jenner & Block Partner and ACTL Fellow Terri L. Mascherin.
Mr. Vail is recognized for his tremendous leadership in pro bono, including receiving this year’s Chicago Bar Association and Foundation’s Edward J. Lewis II Pro Bono Award, which recognizes lawyers who “display a deep commitment to the fundamental principles of equal protection and equal justice in the community through outstanding pro bono service.” He recently completed six years serving as a chair of Jenner & Block’s pro bono program. During his stewardship, the firm was repeatedly ranked by The American Lawyer as the Number 1 pro bono program in the United States. Mr. Vail also spearheaded the firm’s commitment to provide at least $250 million in pro bono services over the five-year period through 2025. He transitioned out of that role last Fall to serve as the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s first ever pro bono general counsel.
Mr. Vail is also a leader in the organized bar and through his commitment to community, currently chairing the Chicago Bar Association’s Strategic Planning Committee, which is composed of federal and state judges, along with other leaders of Chicago’s legal community. He has also served as the chair of the CBA’s Civil Practice and Federal Civil Practice Committees and on its Board of Managers. He currently serves on Boards for Northwestern School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, Legal Aid Society, and Mikva Challenge Illinois. He is a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, class of 2020.
The ACTL is recognized as the leading trial lawyers’ organization in the United States and Canada. After careful investigation, Fellowship is extended only by invitation to experienced trial lawyers whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality. It is also important to note that membership can never be more than 1% of the total lawyer population of any state or province in North America.
Jenner & Block counts among its ranks 11 Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers: David J. Bradford, Robert L. Byman, Jeffrey D. Colman, William D. Heinz, Terri L. Mascherin, Michael P. McNamara, Harry J. Roper, Reid J. Schar, Charles B. Sklarsky, Andrew W. Vail, and Anton R. Valukas. Notable past fellows are late partner Thomas P. Sullivan, who mentored Mr. Vail since Mr. Vail’s first days at Jenner & Block, retired partner Joan M. Hall, one of the first three women fellows of the ACTL, name partner Albert E. Jenner, and former firm chair Jerold S. Solovy.