News & Events

Chicago, October 12, 2015

October's Chicago Lawyer Cover Features Fardy

Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP partners Peter G. Skiko and P. Stephen Fardy were recognized in the October 2015 issue of Chicago Lawyer for obtaining the largest settlement in Illinois on behalf of their client, Business Logic Holding Corporation.

Fardy was featured on the cover of the magazine.  To view the cover, please click this link.  The article, "What do you know about verdicts and settlements?" referenced how Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP obtained the highest settlement, a position often held by plaintiff's firms.  According to a Q&A excerpted from the article:

Question No. 1: True or False? The plaintiff in the largest settlement in the 2015 Settlements Report, worth $61 million, was represented by a defense firm.

A. True        B. False

Answer No. 1: True. The plaintiff who received the largest settlement was represented by a defense firm.

As if spoiling cases brought by Chicago’s best-known plaintiff firms wasn’t enough for Swanson Martin & Bell, the high-powered litigation-defense firm also grabbed the largest settlement of the year.

P. Stephen Fardy (featured on the cover of the magazine) and Peter G. Skiko negotiated $61 million for their client, Business Logic, which filed a trade-secrets lawsuit alleging Morningstar Inc. used its software without permission to manage retirement accounts.

Swanson Martin & Bell is better known for defending hospitals and health-care professionals in medical-malpractice lawsuits. In one 12-day span last year, the firm won four med-mal defense verdicts in Cook County. But it also features a growing intellectual property practice led by Fardy, who represents both plaintiffs and defendants.

“We’ve had other seven-figure settlements, but not eight-figure settlements,” said Fardy, who began the practice after the firm paid for him to earn an IP LL.M. in 2001.

Today, the firm lists 16 lawyers in its intellectual property litigation and transactional services practice.

“This was a culmination of 14 years of hard work,” Fardy said.

Plaintiff’s lawyers can take some solace in this though: The defense firm doesn’t plan on venturing into contingent fee-based plaintiff-side litigation any time soon.
Skiko and Fardy obtained a $61 million settlement in July 2014 in a complex trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract case against Ibbotson Associates and Morningstar, Inc. The publicly reported settlement ranked as both one of the largest reported Illinois settlements in recent years and at the time was among the ten largest reported settlements involving trade secret misappropriation.  For more information on the settlement, please click this link. 

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