BRUCE BRAUN, partner in Sidley’s Chicago office, is co-leader of the firmwide Commercial Litigation and Disputes practice group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Bruce has been recognized as one of the top litigators in Chicago and in the nation. Chambers describes him as “a ‘top-flight trial guy,’” “his work ethic is unsurpassed, he is an excellent cross examiner and he is extremely intellectually nimble.” Chambers separately noted that he has a "tremendous practice and reputation and is widely recognized for his handling of complex commercial disputes for clients in the accounting, auditing and financial services sectors, among others.” The American Lawyer recently characterized him as “a star litigator.” Chicago Lawyer selected him, at age 36, for the first edition of its “Top 40 Attorneys Under 40.” Four years later, American Lawyer selected him as one of its “45 Under Forty-Five: the Rising Stars of the Private Bar.” Bruce has also been named one of Chicago magazine’s Illinois “Super Lawyers,” one of Chambers USA’s “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” and one of BTI Consulting’s “Client Service All-Stars.” The American Lawyer selected him as its “Litigator In The Spotlight” for a series of high-profile victories. Most recently, he was selected as one of the Lawdragon 500 “Leading Lawyers in America” and Benchmark Litigation named him to its elite group of Chicago’s “Litigation Stars."
Before entering private practice, Bruce served as a law clerk for William H. Rehnquist, the Chief Justice of the United States, and Joel M. Flaum of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Bruce’s practice encompasses a wide range of subject matter areas, including antitrust, professional liability, securities fraud, internal investigations, breach of contract, intellectual property, software litigation, insurance and consumer fraud. He also has significant experience representing organizations and individuals in regulatory matters before the DOJ, SEC, PCAOB and other federal and state regulators.
As one of the lead trial lawyers, Bruce defended Microsoft in its landmark three-month antitrust remedies trial in Washington, D.C., which resulted in a complete defense verdict. He subsequently represented Microsoft in a series of trade secret and Intellectual property disputes involving the first Windows Smartphone (Sendo v. Microsoft), the Windows trademark (Lindows v. Microsoft) and volume management software (Symantec/Veritas v. Microsoft). Bruce represented McDonald’s Corporation in the groundbreaking childhood obesity class action in the Southern District of New York (Pelman v. McDonald’s) and subsequently represented McDonald’s in class action consumer fraud litigation involving trans fat disclosures. Bruce has represented numerous accounting firms in class action MDL and other consolidated proceedings arising from the accounting frauds at Countrywide, Parmalat, Refco, HealthSouth, American Realty Capital Partners, Platinum Partners, and GPB, among others.
In addition, Bruce has extensive appellate experience, including arguing two landmark decisions before the Illinois Supreme Court. He argued and won the seminal asbestos conspiracy case of McClure v. Owens Corning, and he argued and won Mikolajczyk v. Ford, which set the legal standard for design defect cases in Illinois and which overturned one of the nation’s 75 largest verdicts. Bruce has argued in numerous federal appellate courts.
Among his many other high-profile cases, Bruce has represented:
- A Big Four accounting firm in class action litigation arising from the allegedly defective design and implementation of Florida’s unemployment compensation system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A Big Four accounting firm in arbitrations involving allegations of the defective design, implementation and operation of ERP software systems.
- Timothy Beckman, the former Head Football Coach of the University of Illinois, who was terminated for cause for alleging pressuring student athletes to play through injuries
- Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, of the House Ways and Means Committee, against criminal charges
- Brian Ballarini, the bookie in the Northwestern University football gambling investigation
- William Kennedy Smith, against a civil suit arising out of an alleged sexual assault
- The Deputy Director of the FBI, in the civil suits following the siege at Ruby Ridge
- One of the world’s largest biotechnology companies in class action antitrust litigation relating to an alleged “reverse payment” settlement agreement, the first such case relating to biologic drugs
- One of the world’s largest life insurance and annuity providers against allegations it engaged in captive reinsurance and other transactions to mislead insurance regulators and consumers regarding the financial strength of the company and its reserves
- Senior management of the Dish Network (including the General Counsel) against obtained derivative claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty and fraud against senior management of the Dish Network
- An indentured trustee in a case arising from the largest insurance fraud in Florida’s history
- A class of taxpayers who obtained the largest tax refund in Florida history ($184 million)
- A class of investors in a Ponzi scheme, which recovered $67.5 million from an off-shore bank
- A death penalty case in which following an extensive evidentiary hearing a federal district court found the Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions for Capital Murder cases unconstitutional
- Three defendants charged with murder, securing a full defense verdict in each case
Bruce is a 1985 graduate of Haverford College where he played varsity soccer and lacrosse. Bruce received his J.D. in 1989 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was ranked first in his class after his first year, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Law Review, and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Bruce is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Judge Learned Hand Human Relations Award given in recognition for his outstanding leadership in the legal profession and Chicago’s civil society. Prior recipients include former luminaries of the Chicago bar.