FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Eric F. Leon

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

New York, NY, USA


Eric Leon is a litigation partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He practiced for nearly three years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore before moving to Kirkland. His areas of practice include antitrust and trade regulation, securities and shareholder litigation, commercial contracts, libel, slander and First Amendment cases, unfair competition, employment disputes, and dealer and franchise relationships and terminations. Mr. Leon has tried a wide variety of matters before federal and state courts as well as arbitration panels.  In addition, he has handled numerous appeals, including recent appeals before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the Delaware Supreme Court.  

 Some of the more notable matters that Mr. Leon recently has handled include the following: 
  • Represented several large private equity firms in a breach of contract action against one of the country's largest pharmaceutical distributors. The private equity firms alleged that they were owed millions of dollars in "earnout" payments.  Result: The private equity firms prevailed at trial in Delaware Chancery Court and were awarded over $28 million in damages.
  • Represented an investment bank in a case brought by a customer seeking millions of dollars in damages on the theory that the bank reneged on promise to provide the customer with thousands of shares in an initial public offering.  Result:  The investment bank prevailed at trial in Massachusetts state court.
  • Represented a large telecommunications company in shareholder litigation challenging a proposed merger.  Result:  The merger closed over shareholder objection. 
  • Represented an investment bank in one of the first-ever whistle-blower claims brought under the Sarbanes Oxley Act. Result: The complaint was dismissed after hearings before OSHA. 
  • Represented an investment bank in a $60 million dispute over the allocation of tax refunds and liabilities under a tax sharing agreement. Result: The investment bank prevailed in arbitration before a panel comprised of three former federal judges. 
  • Prosecuted a landmark sexual harassment case against the New York City Police Department.  Result:  A jury in the Southern District of New York awarded one of the largest verdicts ever in a sexual harassment case.
  • Represented a private equity firm in a case brought by a group of investors demanding co-investment rights in one of the private equity firm's deals. Result: The private equity firm prevailed on summary judgment.
  • Represented an investment bank in a nationwide class action seeking over $100 million in damages as a result of the bank's sale of its online brokerage business. Result: The Delaware Chancery Court granted a motion to dismiss the complaint, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed.  

Some of the clients for whom Mr. Leon has provided representation include Idearc Media LLC, Morgan Stanley, Discover Card, Verizon, The News Corporation Limited, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, AOL Time Warner, Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, Focal Communications Corporation, Council Tree Communications, L.L.C., and TowerBrook Capital Partners LP.  
 
References include:
  • David Restaino, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Law Division
  • Joe Garza, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Head of Litigation, Idearc Media, LLC
  • Louis Citron, General Counsel, NEA
  • Avi Katz, Vice President and General Counsel, Loral Space & Communications Inc.

 Mr. Leon graduated with high honors (including Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Virginia in 1990 with a degree in English. He graduated in 1993 from New York University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. From 1993-1994, he clerked for the Honorable Dennis G. Jacobs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 
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