George Lombardi is the chairman of the firm’s nationally recognized, 200-attorney intellectual property practice. Mr. Lombardi’s skills have been widely recognized by a number of the leading directories, including The American Lawyer (2014), which named him a “Litigator of the Year”; Chambers USA (2014), where he received a Band 1 ranking and was praised for his “extraordinary courtroom skills”; Legal 500 (2013), which labeled him “as good a ‘bet-the-company’ trial lawyer as there is”; and IAM Patent 1000 (2013), which commented that he is a “truly gifted lawyer and one of the finest trial lawyers anywhere in the world.”
Mr. Lombardi routinely serves as lead trial counsel for companies in highly publicized patent cases. Most recently, his $1 billion jury verdict on behalf of Monsanto in Monsanto Co. v. E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co. was recognized as the number three verdict in The National Law Journal’s Top 100 Verdicts of 2012, and was featured as the cover story in the Spring 2013 Am Law Litigation supplement. This verdict also earned him a “Litigator of the Week” mention by the Am Law Litigation Daily, and recognition as an “Intellectual Property MVP” for 2012 by Law360. The case involved Monsanto’s ground-breaking Roundup Ready® technology, which farmers worldwide use to make their crops herbicide resistant.
He has handled and continues to handle various other patent cases involving medical devices and instruments, pharmaceuticals, and telephone and computer technology. Notably, Mr. Lombardi served as lead trial counsel for Barr/Teva Pharmaceutical in Eli Lilly v. Barr Laboratories—the “mother of all patent challenges,” according to Fortune magazine—which invalidated the patent covering the antidepressant drug Prozac®, the world’s leading antidepressant with more than $2.6 billion in annual sales. He has represented Barr/Teva Pharmaceutical in many other patent challenge cases, both at trial and on appeal to the Federal Circuit, including a victory against Bayer in a case involving a patent on the oral contraceptive Yasmin®, opening a $382 million market to competition by our client. Most recently, he achieved a significant win for Teva against Bristol-Myers Squibb in an ANDA case involving the Hepatitis-B drug Baraclude®, when the trial court held that BMS’s patent on a new chemical compound was invalid as obvious.
Outside of the patent arena, Mr. Lombardi has secured numerous victories for client Philip Morris in its ongoing tobacco litigation cases. He recently served as lead trial counsel in Beatrice Skolnick v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. In connection with his product liability work, Legal 500 described him as “a bet-the-company trial lawyer who is extremely easy to work with and strikes up a great rapport with juries.” Previously, he served as lead trial counsel in Falise v. Philip Morris, an eight-week trial that helped stem a wave of suits by asbestos manufacturers against the tobacco industry, and as co-lead trial counsel in Iron Workers Local Union No. 17 Insurance Fund v. Philip Morris, which involved a $2 billion RICO claim brought by union trust funds against the tobacco industry and resulted in a jury verdict for the defense. In addition, he was second chair in State of Washington v. Philip Morris, the Washington state attorney general action that was being tried to a jury at the time the National State Attorney General Tobacco Settlement was reached in November of 1998.
Mr. Lombardi’s securities and commodities litigation experience includes the successful defense in a jury trial of a $30 million RICO claim arising out of a commodities transaction (Farmland Industries v. Frazier-Parrott Commodities) and the defense of a four-month securities fraud and RICO jury trial in which the client was dismissed before verdict (In re American Continental Corporation/Lincoln Savings & Loan Securities Litigation).
Other significant trials include the successful defense of a sports agent accused of defrauding various universities (United States v. Bloom); the successful defense of criminal fraud claims (United States v. Commito); and the successful defense in a bench trial of a breach of contract case (Indianapolis Life v. Dominick’s Finer Foods). Mr. Lombardi also has represented clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Alcoa, and Bell Atlantic/Verizon in various types of cases.
Mr. Lombardi received an A.B., cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1980 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1984, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Michigan Law Review.
Honors & Awards
Mr. Lombardi was recently recognized at the Inaugural U.S. Benchmark Annual Awards as Litigator of the Year-Midwest. His 2014, 2013, and 2012 Benchmark Litigation honors also include recognition as a Local Litigation Star in the Illinois chapter and a Litigation Star - United States for intellectual property. In addition, Benchmark recognized him in the area of product liability. He is listed in Chambers USA, which noted his ability to “set forth incredibly passionate arguments that appear indisputable” and his “incredible presence in court;” recognized in IAM 1000 Patent directories from 2011-2014; recognized in Legal 500 for patent litigation, national trial lawyers, and product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products, which called attention to his “lead trial counsel capabilities on high-profile cases;” and was listed in the Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Patent Law Practitioners 2013. He was named a “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property in 2013 and 2014, selected as a “Life Science Star” by LMG Life Science in 2012 and 2013, and Law360 recognized Mr. Lombardi as an “Intellectual Property MVP” in December 2012. Winston & Strawn was awarded “Chicago Litigation Department of the Year” in the National Law Journal for white collar defense in 2014. Mr. Lombardi has also been recognized as an Illinois “SuperLawyer” for numerous years.
Mr. Lombardi is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
- University of Michigan, JD, 1984
- Dartmouth College, BA, 1980