Charles D. Zagnoli
Charlie represents plaintiffs and defendants in all phases of complex civil litigation, from pre-suit strategic development through trial and appeal. His practice focuses on commercial disputes, corporate-governance and transactional litigation, and securities matters, among other civil litigation, in state and federal courts across the country. His clients include health care service providers, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, private equity firms and their portfolio companies, asset managers and financial services companies, and their principals.
Charlie also maintains an active pro bono practice, representing low-income clients in class action litigation, administrative agency proceedings, and other civil cases and advising non-profit organizations on public-interest litigation strategies. As part of his pro bono work, Charlie serves on the Junior Board of Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and co-directs the firm’s involvement in the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Investing in Justice Campaign.
Before joining the firm, Charlie served as a law clerk to the Hon. James B. Loken of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Before attending law school, Charlie worked as a paralegal in the Chicago office of an international market research company, where he focused on contract negotiation and drafting and intellectual property matters.
- Advising the independent directors of a health care company as the company responds to government investigations and private lawsuits that allege undisclosed product defects and mislabeling and that seek contractual indemnification, and defending the directors against related shareholder derivative claims.
- Representing a Fortune 250 company in a contract and consumer-fraud suit related to payment-card processing services and a data security breach, guiding the client through extensive motion practice, discovery, and settlement negotiations and a six-day bench trial in Illinois state court.
- Defending a surgical practice in a False Claims Act suit alleging violations of Medicare billing regulations.
- Represented Elliott Management Corp., the largest unsecured creditor in the Chapter 11 cases of Energy Future Intermediate Holding Company LLC and its affiliates, in a successful challenge to an administrative claim for a $275 million merger termination fee.
- Represented a private equity fund asserting fraud and indemnification claims against a portfolio company’s sellers.
- Represented a health care services company in a corporate-governance dispute with a joint-venture partner, culminating in a favorable settlement during trial preparations.
- Defended a pharmaceutical services provider against a vendor’s breach-of-contract claims, culminating in a favorable settlement shortly before the final arbitration hearing.
- Defended corporate officers in an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of a prominent REIT’s fund-administration and disclosure practices.
- Secured a court order directing that a pro bono client receive a new agency hearing, after the prior hearing violated the client’s due process rights and the agency’s procedural rules. Served as lead counsel at the new hearing on remand.
- Co-Author, “The Next Best Thing,” Latin Lawyer (April 20, 2016)
- JD, with High Honors, The University of Chicago Law School, 2013; comment editor,The University of Chicago Law Review; Order of the Coif; Kirkland & Ellis Scholar
- BA (English and Economics), magna cum laude, Wheaton College, 2008; Pi Gamma Mu
Admissions / Qualifications
- Illinois, 2013
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2016
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2021
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2016
- The Best Lawyers in America – Ones to Watch (2021-2023)