LaRue L. Robinson

Partner

Chicago
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
300 North LaSalle
Chicago, IL 60654-3406
T 312 728 9022
F 312 728 9199
lrobinsonwillkie.com

LaRue L. Robinson is a partner in the Litigation Department. LaRue focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, employee benefits (ERISA) litigation and investigations. As a former U.S. Army prosecutor, LaRue also has significant trial experience.

LaRue litigates in federal and state courts across the country. His work involves all phases of litigation starting with pre-litigation counseling and continuing up to, and including, the trial and post-trial stages. He also maintains an active pro bono practice in civil and criminal cases. He has been named as one of Chicago's "35 under 35" young leaders making an impact on the community.

LaRue L. Robinson is a partner in the Litigation Department. LaRue focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, employee benefits (ERISA) litigation and investigations. As a former U.S. Army prosecutor, LaRue also has significant trial experience.

LaRue litigates in federal and state courts across the country. His work involves all phases of litigation starting with pre-litigation counseling and continuing up to, and including, the trial and post-trial stages. He also maintains an active pro bono practice in civil and criminal cases. He has been named as one of Chicago's "35 under 35" young leaders making an impact on the community.

Selected Significant Matters

Some of LaRue's recent representations include*:

Commercial Litigation

  •  Achieved successful resolution of $750M+ contract dispute for global chemical manufacturer in advance of trial in the Southern District of Texas.
  • Served as a key member of trial team for leading chemical distributor in anti-dumping case in the U.S. Court of International Trade.
  • Served as key member of trial team for leading global insurance brokerage client in trade secrets/non-compete litigation in California state court and the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Won dismissal of IP dispute for foreign energy client over the use of $100M software in the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Attained dismissal of broker negligence claim against global insurance brokerage client in Illinois state court.

ERISA Litigation

  • Won dismissal of putative class action for elite university brought by participants in university retirement plans alleging mismanagement of the plans in the Northern District of Illinois.
  • Obtained dismissal of putative class action for Fortune 100 client brought by retirees regarding the calculation of pension benefits in the Eastern District of Michigan.
  • Represented leading investment consultant in various 403(b) plan fee class action lawsuits against top universities.
  • Represented leading benefits administrator in several COBRA notice class action lawsuits against major corporations.

Investigations

  • Conducted investigation and advised board of health system regarding anonymous allegations of racial insensitivity, toxic work environment, and operational and management failures.
  • Secured a non-prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice for Fortune 100 client after conducting expansive internal investigation regarding bribery and corruption.
  • Represented former politician in ethics investigation before the City of Chicago Board of Ethics.

Pro Bono

  • Represented South Carolina voters in voting rights litigation challenging state absentee voter requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic in advance of the 2020 election.
  • Secured a rare Certificate of Innocence for a client wrongfully convicted on an Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW) charge and subsequent had the same client’s Unlawful Use of Weapon (UUWF) charge vacated.
  • Regularly defend individuals facing criminal charges in Cook County Criminal Court.

*LaRue advised on some of these matters prior to joining Willkie.

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Willkie, LaRue was a partner at another major law firm. He also previously served as a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps where, in addition to serving as a prosecutor, he helped guide high-profile military investigations and was lead litigator on labor and employment matters. He also served as a military magistrate, which involved making probable cause determinations regarding searches and seizures on a military installation.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

LaRue currently serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Grant Park Music Festival, as a vice president on the board of directors of the Columbia Law School Association, and as a member of the Law360 Diversity & Inclusion Editorial Advisory Board. He also serves on the board of Public Service Promise, the advisory board of the National Student Defense Legal Network, and the alumni of color committee at Columbia Law School. LaRue has previously served on the associate boards of Chicago Scholars and the Chicago Committee.

He currently or previously has served as a member of the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association, National Bar Association, Black Men Lawyers’ Association, and the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court in Louisville, Kentucky.

LaRue has been a fellow with the Truman National Security Project since 2009 and was an advocacy fellow for the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues in 2009.

Selected Publications and Lectures

  • Guest Speaker, “Leadership Seminar,” Gannon University, April 12, 2021
  • Panelist, “Litigation 101,” NYU Law Black Allied Law Students Association, October 15, 2020
  • "Hot Topics in Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation," Chicago Bar Association, March 5, 2020
  • Panelist, "Dress for Success and Mock Interview Workshop," Cook County Bar Association, June 16, 2018
  • Panelist, "In the Long Run: Developing a Sustainable and Fulfilling Legal Practice," PracticePro Career Conferences, June 7, 2018
  • "The Criminalization of Pregnancy," Northwestern Law School's Chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, February 15, 2016

Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • The Chicago Committee – Pathway to Partnership Fellow, 2019
  • Firm Mentorship Award, 2019
  • Chicago Scholars – 35 Under 35 Honoree, 2018
  • The Chicago Committee – Rate My Pitch Program, 2015
    Effective Communication Award; Best Team Pitch

Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • The Chicago Committee – Pathway to Partnership Fellow, 2019
  • Firm Mentorship Award, 2019
  • Chicago Scholars – 35 Under 35 Honoree, 2018
  • The Chicago Committee – Rate My Pitch Program, 2015
    Effective Communication Award; Best Team Pitch

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