FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Ronald S. Safer

Schiff Hardin LLP

Chicago, IL, USA

Managing Partner, Executive Committee Member

White Collar Crime and Corporate Compliance

• Led the defense team for Mark S. Kipnis, a co-defendant in the highly -publicized United States v. Conrad Black, et al. ("Conrad Black") case tried in 2007, winning a not-guilty verdict on eight of the eleven counts and a judgment of acquittal on an additional count, drastically decreasing the exposure of Mr. Kipnis. Specifically, the indictment charged that Mr. Kipnis, then the General Counsel of Hollinger International Inc., was involved in a scheme to defraud that world-wide publishing conglomerate of more than $80 million.

After a four month federal trial, the Kipnis defense team obtained a not-guilty verdict from the jury on eight of the eleven counts in which Mr. Kipnis was charged. The counts of conviction involved the three smallest transactions, less than 10% of the charged fraud's value. The judge acquitted Mr. Kipnis of yet another count, involving two of the transactions.

The government asked for a twelve-year sentence for the remaining two counts. Our team was able to persuade the court to impose a sentence of probation. Mr. Kipnis will not spend a single day in prison. Mr. Safer and the Schiff Hardin team received significant and particularly favorable media coverage from newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and Internet news outlets throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

• Successfully represented Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized and smaller companies as well as individuals in federal criminal
• Successfully represented companies and individuals in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement
actions, focusing law enforcement's attention on the true wrongdoers or rogue employees and away from the clients.
• Led successful internal investigations for clients ranging from financial institutions to insurance companies of financial fraud and other malfeasance. His early intervention limited the companies' financial losses and helped to recoup assets that otherwise would have been lost.


• Prevailed on behalf of his clients at trials in federal court involving charges of environmental contamination, fraud and employment discrimination.
• Obtained an eight-figure settlement for another client in a complex commercial dispute.

Mr. Safer, working with Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions, obtained a not guilty verdict for the firm's client, Julie Rea Harper. This trial involved the defense of a mother being retried for the murder of her son, even though a convicted felon in another state had confessed to the crime. Mr. Safer and his litigation team successfully discredited the prosecution's case, and her acquittal highlighted the need to reform the special prosecutor system in Illinois. ABC-TV's 20/20 broadcast a feature story on this case, spotlighting Mr. Safer, in March 2007.

White Collar Crime and Corporate Compliance Litigation

Bar Admissions
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

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