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David Rownd


312 580 2311 direct

New York
312 580 2311 direct

Dave is a practical and resourceful business litigator with a long track record of successful results.

Based in New York and Chicago, Dave maintains a nationwide practice on behalf of a variety of litigation clients. In 2018, he was honored by Lexology as a Client Choice Award winner for litigation, with numerous clients commending Dave for "consistently delivering in excess of expectations" and providing solutions that are "thoughtful, effective and mindful of business considerations."

Dave assess legal disputes from a business perspective, pinpointing the key leverage points that position his clients for the best possible result. Precise and persuasive, Dave is often able to convince adversaries to reassess their positions and resolve cases favorably at an early stage. When adversaries are entrenched, Dave is a creative and vigorous advocate who can develop and articulate a compelling theory of the case to convince a decision maker — be it a jury, a judge or an arbitrator — to see the situation from his client's perspective.

Dave often represents clients in high-stakes litigation involving many moving parts. He is a trusted advisor to in-house lawyers, executives, owners of privately held companies and individual entrepreneurs, advising them on how the particular matter at hand can impact bigger issues for their businesses and guiding them through the dispute resolution process in a way that allows them to focus on their day-to-day operations. With the most up-to-date E-Discovery tools at his disposal, Dave is able to contain the costs of discovery in major litigation matters, enabling clients to pursue their claims and defenses through a controlled and efficient process. As one in-house attorney at a large public company put it, "Dave is knowledgeable, client service driven, and dedicated to achieving the best result in a cost effective manner."

Dave handles disputes involving contractual, statutory and common law duties in a number of industries, including real estate, telecommunications, marketing, automotive and insurance. He has extensive experience litigating property rights, including representing clients that manage portfolios of instruments — such as leases and easements for cell towers and billboards — where the assignees of the original contracting parties are in dispute over their acquired contractual rights and liabilities. He has significant experience representing parties in disputes with former colleagues or fellow business owners where the parties' characterizations of situations can vary greatly.

Dave has tried bench and jury trials in state and federal courts, conducted hearings before administrative agencies and represented clients in arbitrations and mediations before domestic and international alternative dispute resolution tribunals. He has substantial experience prosecuting and defending emergency proceedings for injunctive relief.

In addition to his work as a litigator, Dave also serves as a counselor and "legal concierge" to a variety of clients, coordinating the delivery of services in a number of different areas, including real estate transactions, business deals, and estate planning and administration.

Leadership on high-profile disputes

Led a team of attorneys from multiple law firms in federal court litigation and five related state court actions relating to efforts to control land rights at more than 600 cell tower sites. The case involved Antitrust, RICO, and Lanham Act claims as well as common law fraud, tortious interference and contract claims, over 10 million pages of documents, 100 depositions and 23 identified expert witnesses. We successfully removed six of our opponent's eight claims through summary judgment motions and settled the case favorably after winning Daubert motions that excluded our opponent's primary damages theory and its liability expert on surviving claims.

In a highly publicized case featured in the ABA Journal article "Art Attack," represented a Chicago art collector caught up in a controversy over a Picasso painting that was alleged to have been looted by the Nazis during World War II. After several key procedural victories and the development of a superior claim of ownership under French law, negotiated a settlement between our client and the heir of the painting's original owner.

Extensive experience in cell tower/billboard/real estate litigation

Successfully handled numerous matters for cell tower and billboard operators and property rights holders, including lease disputes, business torts, condemnation matters, foreclosure proceedings, zoning and permitting matters and various disputes arising out of the acquisition of use rights in real estate.

Successful resolution of complex post-acquisition disputes

On behalf of a buyer of a business, obtained summary judgment on fraud, breach of contract and duress claims filed by the seller, in which the seller claimed that the buyer purchased the business for the purpose of eliminating a competitor and failed to use good faith efforts to generate expected royalties.

Obtained million-dollar award in an arbitration over whether the former stockholders of a company acquired by our client were obligated to indemnify the client for taxes that were accrued but unpaid at the time of closing.

Prosecuted and defended numerous claims against escrowed funds arising out of alleged breaches of representations and warranties in asset purchase and stock purchase agreements.

Significant experience in insurance litigation

Represented the Illinois Director of Insurance in a trial that determined an insurer should be liquidated because of its insolvency.

Obtained half-million dollar award in an arbitration involving an insurance agent's failure to turn over contingent commissions to which it was not entitled.

Obtained dismissal of a $5 million claim against the liquidator of an insolvent insurance company for commissions allegedly due an insurance agent.

Extensive experience in coverage litigation and the management of insurance relationships while defending clients to maximize insurer participation in costs of litigation.

Leading prompt and persuasive injunctive efforts

Successfully prosecuted and defended numerous matters involving injunctive relief, including temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions. Cases have involved non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, public bidding protests and various contract and property disputes. Well-versed on the procedural requirements of emergency injunction practice in the Circuit Court of Cook County and on numerous occasions have utilized this knowledge to my clients' advantage as a plaintiff or a defendant.

Successfully defended a cable television provider against a temporary restraining order sought by a municipality to prevent the closure of production studio.

Represented a school bus company that had received a three-year, $3 million contract from a suburban Chicago school district. An unsuccessful bidder sought to enjoin the school district from awarding the contract to our client, alleging that its bid was invalid and should have been rejected as a matter of law. Successfully opposed the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction and preserved the contract for our client.

Successfully intervened in a federal court action in which an Illinois plaintiff had obtained a temporary restraining order against our client's non-resident employees, prohibiting the employees from working for our client. Because our client's intervention destroyed diversity of citizenship, the court dismissed the entire action and dissolved the restraining order.


"Establishing a Protectable Interest, Forward Thinking for Clients that Use Restrictive Covenants";
Illinois State Bar Association, Corporation, Securities & Business Law Forum, Vol. 46, No. 3, April 2001

Co-Author, "Corporate Relationships and Coverage";
Coverage, Vol. 8, No. 6, 1998

Co-Author, "Court Decisions Favor Federal Preemption in Medical Device Litigation";
Legal Backgrounder, Washington Legal Foundation. Vol. 10, No. 13, 1995

Co-Author, "Federal Preemption is Powerful Antidote to Product Liability Explosion Against Medical Device Manufacturers";
Legal Backgrounder, Washington Legal Foundation, Vol. 9, No. 21, 1994

"Muting The Commercial Speech Doctrine, Fox v. Board of Trustees";
Washington U. Jour. Urb. and Contemp., 38, L. 275, 1990