A shareholder based in Vedder Price’s New York and Chicago offices, David Rownd is an experienced and resourceful litigator with a long record of achieving successful results on behalf of his clients.
Mr. Rownd maintains a nationwide business litigation practice that focuses on representing clients involved in high-stakes, complex litigation. He 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.
Mr. Rownd approaches legal disputes from a business perspective, pinpointing the key leverage points that position his clients for the best possible result. He is relied upon by in-house counsel, executives, owners of privately held companies and individual entrepreneurs to advise them on business disputes involving contractual, statutory and common law duties in a number of industries, including real estate, telecommunications, marketing, automotive and insurance. Additionally, Mr. Rownd is often involved in litigation matters involving issues with property rights including representing clients that manage portfolios of instruments, such as leases and easements for cell towers and billboards. He also has substantial experience prosecuting and defending emergency proceedings for injunctive relief.
In addition to his work as a litigator, Mr. Rownd 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.
Mr. Rownd received an "AV Preeminent" Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected by his peers as an Illinois Super Lawyer each year since 2009. He is a fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America and, in 2018, Mr. Rownd was honored by Lexology as a Client Choice Award winner for litigation, with numerous clients commending him for “consistently delivering in excess of expectations” and providing solutions that are “thoughtful, effective and mindful of business considerations.”
- Washington University in St. Louis, J.D., 1991
- Northwestern University, B.A., 1987
- Illinois, 1991
- New York, 2017
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 1991
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, 1992
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1992
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 1996
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2009
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, 2012
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2012
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2017
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 2017
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 1993
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2018
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2006
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, New York State Bar Association
- Member, New York City Bar Association
- Member, Illinois Bar Association
- Member, Chicago Bar Association
- Member, New York State Wireless Association
- Member, Illinois State Wireless Association
- Board Member, Old Town School of Folk Music, 2015-2018
- Past Treasurer, North River Commission
- Past President, Ravenswood Manor Improvement Association
*includes Mr. Rownd’s litigation experience while at previous firms
Leadership in 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. Mr. Rownd successfully removed six of the opponent's eight claims through summary judgment motions and settled the case favorably after winning Daubert motions that excluded the 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 the 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 noncompete and non-solicitation agreements, public bidding protests and various contract and property disputes.
- Successfully defended a cable television provider against a temporary restraining order sought by a municipality to prevent the closure of a 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 the 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 the client. Because the client's intervention destroyed diversity of citizenship, the court dismissed the entire action and dissolved the restraining order.