Jay P. Lefkowitz

Jay Lefkowitz

is a leading partner in Kirkland’s litigation practice and a member of the Firm’s Global Executive Management Committee. He is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School, where he teaches a seminar on Supreme Court advocacy. Jay has served as lead trial and appellate counsel in a wide variety of substantive areas, including shareholder disputes, antitrust, product liability, litigation against the FDA and False Claims Act matters. He has also conducted numerous internal investigations for public companies and audit committees.

In its 2013 release of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” The National Law Journal describes Jay as “a leading voice on school choice issues” and “a no-nonsense appellate and antitrust lawyer for an array of blue-chip clients.” The Legal 500 U.S. noted that Jay “provides a depth of understanding and influence in some of the highest courts of our country,” and in Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, clients say, “‘Jay is brilliant; there is no other way to put it.’” Jay was also named a Law360 “MVP of the Year” in 2011 for his Appellate practice, and in 2012 and 2013 for his Life Sciences work. Jay is one of only three of the 138 MVPs named to the list three years in a row. The American Lawyer named him its “Lawyer of the Week” in December 2012 for his role in winning an antitrust lawsuit in the pharmaceutical industry.

Jay takes on groundbreaking work for high-profile clients, representing more than a dozen major pharmaceutical, medical device and health care companies in important and frequently precedent-setting matters. Jay has won two landmark 5-4 decisions at the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the pharmaceutical industry overturning the decision of three Circuit Courts of Appeal. In Pliva v. Mensing in 2011, on behalf of Teva and Actavis, Jay convinced the Court to reject the views of the FDA and the Solicitor General and establish that generic drug companies may no longer be sued for “failure to warn claims,” finding that federal law preempts state law under the Constitution’s supremacy clause. His victory in Mutual v. Bartlett in 2013, overturned a $21 million verdict on behalf of Sun Pharmaceuticals, and extended the Mensing ruling to cover design defect claims.

Jay has also successfully challenged several FDA decisions under the Hatch-Waxman Act in the D.C. District Court and D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. These cases generated hundreds of millions of dollars in “first filer” exclusivity revenues for his clients:

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Litigation, 2) Commercial Litigation, 3) Appellate Litigation, 4) Securities & Shareholder Litigation and 5) Product Liability & Mass Tort Litigation
Law School Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 1987
Education Columbia College, A.B., History, 1984
Bar Member / Association State bar of New York
Most recent firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP
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