Elite law firm is co-lead on landmark federal suit against 17 private universities for conspiracy to reduce student financial aid through a price-fixing cartel
New York, New York – July 13, 2022 — Gilbert Litigators & Counselors announced today that Elpidio “P.D.” Villarreal, a national leader in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, has joined the firm as a partner. Gilbert Litigators is led by Founder and Managing Partner Robert D. Gilbert, an accomplished trial lawyer.
Gilbert and Villarreal are distinguished by their innovative leadership and significant achievements – as partners in prestigious global law firms and as in-house chief litigation counsel for large international companies. The partners, who have known one another professionally and personally for more than 25 years, have a proven track record of driving high-stakes, complex commercial litigation to successful outcomes, for both plaintiffs and defendants, when the amounts in controversy range from the tens of millions to several billions of dollars.
The ability of Gilbert and Villarreal to be both aggressive advocates and skilled conciliators is a differentiating feature of Gilbert Litigators.
“Joining Gilbert Litigators allows me to practice law as I always envisioned it – at a very high level with people I trust,“ Villarreal said. “I can provide direct and personalized service to our clients and develop a legal strategy that leads to the best outcome.”
Villarreal has more than 35 years of litigation experience, both as a partner at the national law firm Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal (now part of Dentons) and as chief of litigation for several major multinational companies, including global head of litigation for GlaxoSmithKline for a decade and, most recently, as chief litigation officer of Allergan (now part of AbbVie).
“P.D. is the perfect fit for Gilbert Litigators because he has a depth of experience in big cases and is an innovative thinker,” said Gilbert, who has served as litigation partner at major global law firms, including Mayer Brown and Dentons. “Additionally, he is widely recognized as one of the foremost lawyers in the world for alternative dispute resolution. His presence means our clients will receive outstanding advice from both a business and legal perspective.”
Gilbert Litigators serves sophisticated business leaders – from global corporations to mid-sized domestic companies and emerging enterprises – who seek a strategic, vigorous and tailored legal strategy that avoids prolonged conflict and positions their business for success. Gilbert Litigators specializes in domestic litigation and arbitrations, as well as international arbitration of commercial disputes.
Gilbert Litigators is co-lead counsel in a groundbreaking lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, in January 2022 (Henry et. al. vs. Brown University et. al.), alleging that 17 of the nation’s leading private universities conspired to reduce the financial aid awarded to admitted students through a price-fixing cartel. This is the first time that antitrust law is being invoked to seek damages from elite U.S. universities for colluding to limit student financial aid. The case demonstrates Gilbert Litigators’ skill at employing innovative legal strategies and driving complex litigation.
Robert Gilbert also leads VGL Capital, a privately held company that arranges financing for commercial and IP litigation and collaborates with some of the country’s top litigation firms.
About Gilbert Litigators and Counselors:
Gilbert Litigators & Counselors is an elite national litigation boutique with an unrelenting commitment to achieving client objectives for both plaintiffs and defendants, especially when the stakes are high and the issues cutting edge. The firm’s leaders are recognized for employing winning strategies that cut through complexity swiftly and decisively, yielding successful outcomes for their clients.
For more information about Gilbert Litigators and Counselors, please visit gilbertlitigators.com.
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