| Practice Description: |
Michael Forde focuses on litigation. He handles complex, commercial litigation in state and federal courts and before various regulatory agencies, with especially extensive experience in the Illinois and Delaware courts, in cases involving contracts, securities, consumer fraud, and real estate litigation. He has also served as a mediator in a complex commercial dispute.
Notable Cases and Results:
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel: Acted as trial counsel for then-candidate Rahm Emanuel in the litigation challenging his qualifications to run for Mayor of Chicago. Objectors to his candidacy claimed that he did not satisfy the City's one-year residency requirement because he had been living temporarily in Washington, D.C. while working as Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. The case was tried before a Hearing Officer of the Chicago Board of Elections and then was appealed to the Cook County Circuit Court, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Illinois Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of Illinois unanimously reversed the Appellate Court, and affirmed the Hearing Officer's recommendation that Mr. Emanuel was qualified to run for Mayor. Maksym v. Board of Elections Commissioners, 242 Ill. 2d 303 (2011). Four weeks later, he was elected Mayor. Michael Forde also advised the Emanuel campaign and transition team on a broad range of other issues.
- Chicago Board of Trade: Acted as one of the principal outside attorneys for the Chicago Board of Trade and its parent company. Advised on a broad range of litigation, regulatory, and corporate governance matters, including the historic 2007 merger between CBOT Holdings and Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings; the competing unsolicited takeover proposal for CBOT in the same period, and the related shareholder litigation; and a variety of issues relating to the CBOT's 2005 restructuring and initial public offering. Represented CBOT in its lawsuit against the Chicago Board Options Exchange Inc., in which the CBOT seeks to enforce its members' right to participate in the CBOE's announced plan to restructure and demutualize. That case, CBOT Holdings, et al. v. Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc., et al., was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery, with a related proceeding before the SEC that was ultimately appealed to the D.C. Circuit. The parties ultimately settled the case that resulted in payments valued at over $1 billion being paid to CBOT and its members.
- Sprint affiliate litigation arising from Sprint-Nextel merger: Tried two cases on behalf of three Sprint "affiliates" in cases they filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery and Cook County Circuit Court. These affiliates of Sprint Nextel Corporation were third parties who had the exclusive right to provide Sprint mobile service in certain large geographic areas. After Sprint announced its $35 billion merger with Nextel Communications, Inc., these affiliates filed separate suits against Sprint in Delaware and Cook County alleging that the merger would result in a breach of their exclusivity rights. The Delaware case was tried in January 2006, and the Court of Chancery issued an injunction barring Sprint Nextel from engaging in certain marketing activities. The Illinois case was tried between March and July of 2006, and the Illinois court issued an injunction requiring Sprint Nextel to divest itself of the Nextel network and assets in one client's service area. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed this decision in March 2008. Sprint ultimately resolved the case by acquiring our clients in December 2009 for approximately $831 million in cash and assumed debt.
- Sprint affiliate litigation arising from Sprint-Clearwire and Sprint-Virgin Mobile transactions: In May 2008, Sprint announced that it was contributing certain assets to a new venture to be called Clearwire, in exchange for a majority interest in the new company. In litigation pending in both the Delaware Court of Chancery and the Cook County Circuit Court, we represented the same three Sprint affiliates, who sought to enjoin the $11 Sprint-Clearwire billion transaction from closing. In July 2009, Sprint also announced that it was acquiring Virgin Mobile USA, Inc. We filed a lawsuit in the Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of the three Sprint affiliates, seeking to enjoin the closing of the Sprint-Virgin transaction. Sprint ultimately resolved both of those cases by acquiring our clients in December 2009 for approximately $831 million in cash and assumed debt.
District of Columbia, 1997
Year of Birth: 1972
Law School: Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1996
Law School Honors/Involvement: Cum laude; Articles & Notes Editor, American Criminal Law Review
Graduate School: University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, M.B.A., 1998
Undergraduate School: Georgetown University, A.B., 1993
Bar/Professional Association Involvement:
- Mayer Brown, partner, Chicago, Illinois, 1999-2012
- Chief Legal Counsel to Illinois Comptroller Daniel W. Hynes, 1999
- Chief Counsel to the Transition Team for the Illinois Comptroller-Elect, 1998-1999
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Mary Ann G. McMorrow of the Supreme Court of Illinois, 1997-1998
- Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles P. Kocoras of the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1996-1997
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
- Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2007-2012, Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2009-2012, Litigation - Mergers and Acquisitions, 2012, and Litigation - Securities, 2012
- Leading Lawyers Member selected by peers in Civil Appellate Law and Commercial Litigation
- Illinois International Port District Board
- Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
- Board of Trustees, 2008 to date
- Leadership Advisory Council
- St. Xavier University
- Board of Trustees, 2008-2011
- St. Ignatius College Prep
- Development Committee, 2006-present
Published Legal Writing:
- "The White House Counsel and Whitewater: Government Lawyers and the Scope of Privileged Communications," 16 Yale Law and Policy Review 109, 1998
- "The Exclusionary Rule at Sentencing: New Life Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines?" 33 American Criminal Law Review 379, 1996