Woolley, Allen

W. Allen Woolley




Allen Woolley is a Partner in the Litigation Department of Locke Lord. Over the course of his career, Allen has handled a wide variety of complex commercial, bankruptcy, environmental, employment, and product liability matters in both state and federal courts and has been recognized as a “Leading Lawyer” in the areas of Commercial Litigation, Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Law, Toxic Torts Defense Law, and Products Liability Defense Law. He has tried cases in both state and federal courts and has acted as lead counsel on litigation matters, appeals and arbitrations. As a commercial litigator, Allen has represented and counseled companies and individuals in contract, fiduciary duty, corporate governance, fraud and securities fraud, trade secret, and non-compete cases. In the environmental area, Allen has defended major class action and mass tort lawsuits involving air and groundwater contamination, industrial accidents, and radioactive materials. Allen has also counseled and defended clients in products liability matters and employment cases, including high-profile EEOC and private class actions, wage and hour actions, and challenges to withdrawal liability assessments by multi-employer pension plans.

Representative Experience

Commercial, Contract, and Bankruptcy Litigation

  • Representing bankruptcy court-appointed Litigation Trustee in federal and state court cases against Comdisco’s former senior management to enforce more than $74 million in promissory notes executed in connection with funding an employee stock option program. Co-lead counsel in federal bench trial.
  • Defended firearms manufacturer Sturm, Ruger in consolidated securities class action claims filed on behalf of shareholders. Achieved court-approved class-wide settlement of all claims.
  • Defended Motorola in securities fraud class action following the bankruptcy of the Iridium satellite telephone system. Managed discovery, development of expert case, and dispositive and Daubert motions. Case settled following discovery and motion practice.
  • Lead trial and appellate lawyer in fraud litigation against consultant in connection with leasing of retail stores in a downtown Chicago shopping mall. Obtained judgment for all requested relief and 100% of attorneys’ fees. Defended the judgment in the Illinois Court of Appeals. JMB/Urban 900 Development Partners, LTD. v. Hazan, 2013 IL App (1st) 113714-U
  • Lead litigation partner in defense of $30 million breach of guarantee adversary proceeding in Delaware bankruptcy court. Disallowance of claims upheld by the U.S. District Court. In re Harnischfeger Industries, Inc., 316 B.R. 616 (D. Del. 2003).
  • Lead litigation partner in bankruptcy adversary proceeding involving more than $60 million in claims against the estate of TWA. Settlement permitted successful confirmation of a plan of reorganization.
  • Represented global consulting firm in dispute with software developer and vendor following unsuccessful customization and implementation of treasury system intended to facilitate accounting functions between the consulting firm’s international subsidiaries.
  • Represented public address system manufacturer in patent infringement law suit relating to design for series of podium models.
  • Represented Threshold Entertainment, the producer of the blockbuster “Mortal Kombat” movie and television series, in connection with the Midway Games bankruptcy. Brought adversary proceeding to adjudicate the extent of Threshold's interest in intellectual property rights and negotiated a “pass-through” of Threshold’s interests.
  • Represented limited partners of REIT that formerly owned numerous high-profile urban shopping centers throughout the U.S. in a derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duties and breach of partnership agreement.
  • Represented medical equipment supplier in preliminary injunction proceedings relating to $50 million bid to provide radiology equipment for new hospital. Negotiated three-party settlement with County and competing supplier.
  • Represented venture capital firm in wind-down of insolvent subsidiary and related litigation. Coordinated litigation of over a dozen lawsuits in three states. Negotiated global settlement of shareholder derivative action and related cases.

Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation

  • Member of trial team in landmark environmental case, Baker v. Motorola, alleging diminution in property values in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona as a result of trichloroethylene in groundwater. Examined fifteen fact and expert witnesses during jury trial of class claims. Complete defense verdict included in the National Law Journal’s “Top Defense Verdicts” for 2001.
  • Member of trial team during five-month trial of high-profile class action brought against contractors who operated the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility alleging diminution in property values due to alleged releases of plutonium.
  • Represented operator of Uranium mill in personal injury action brought by 200 plaintiffs alleging exposure to radioactive materials from mill operations. All claims dismissed voluntarily or following summary judgment.
  • Represented chemical manufacturer in mass tort action brought by thousands of plaintiffs alleging chemical exposure following tank car explosion. Scope of case significantly limited by challenge to key medical and causation experts.
  • Represented chemical manufacturer in insurance coverage litigation relating to contamination at plant sites throughout the country.

Employment Litigation

  • Lead litigation partner in challenge to ERISA withdrawal liability assessment following employer client’s withdrawal from multi-employer pension plan. Following three-day arbitration hearing, arbitrator issued decision adopting our legal arguments. Decision upheld by the Seventh Circuit. Chicago Truck Drivers, Helpers and Warehouse Workers Union (Independent) Pension Fund v. CPC Logistics, Inc., 698 F.3d 346 (7th Cir. 2012)
  • Lead counsel in several cases brought against multinational human resources consulting firm by and against former partners. Argued and won appeal of dismissal of Massachusetts case in First Circuit Court of Appeals. Platten v. Hg Bermuda Exempted Limited, 437 F.3d 118 (1st Cir. 2006). Settled two Illinois cases.
  • Represented current employer of high-level telecommunications executive in non-compete litigation against former employer. Defeated former employer's effort to prevent executive from being employed by current employer.
  • Represented medical staffing agency in collective and putative class action alleging company-wide overtime pay violations. Case settled.
  • Represented major securities firm in a high-profile EEOC class action alleging gender discrimination against female traders and salespeople. Case settled on the first morning of trial.
  • Represented international construction firm in EEOC class action and related cases alleging racial and sexual harassment at a power plant construction site. Settled EEOC claims and first-chaired seven-day jury trial of a related discrimination case. As lead partner, obtained summary judgment and dismissal of other related claims relating to the same construction site.

Products Liability and Recalls

  • Regularly represented and advised major automobile parts manufacturer in connection with products liability and product recall matters.
  • Represented automotive engineer in investigation relating to allegedly defective automobile component.
  • Represented manufacturer in class action alleging product defect in plug-in air fresheners. Defeated class certification and achieved settlements of individual actions.

Pro Bono Representations

  • Lead partner in wrongful termination and retaliation case. Co-counsel with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF).
  • Court-appointed counsel in for prisoners in several excessive force cases. See, e.g., Walker v. Sheahan, 526 F.3d 973 (7th Cir. 2008).

Reported Decisions

  • Simons v. Ditto Trade, Inc., __ F. Supp. 2d __, 2014 WL 3889022, (N.D. Ill. 2014)
  • Simplexity, LLC v. Zeinfeld, 2013 WL 1457726 (Del. Ch. 2013)
  • JMB/Urban 900 Development Partners, LTD. v. Hazan, 2013 IL App (1st) 113714-U
  • U.S. Gas & Elec., Inc. v. Big Apple Energy, LLC, 705 F. Supp. 2d 216 (E.D.N.Y. 2010)
  • U.S. Gas & Elec., Inc. v. Big Apple Energy, LLC, 667 F. Supp. 2d 237 (E.D.N.Y. 2009)
  • Walker v. Sheahan, 526 F.3d 973 (7th Cir. 2008)
  • Platten v. HG Bermuda Exempted Ltd., 437 F.3d 118 (1st Cir. 2006)
  • Joy v. Hay Group, Inc., 403 F.3d 875 (7th Cir. 2005)
  • Hay Group, Inc. v. Bassick, 2005 WL 2420415 (N.D. Ill. 2005)
  • EEOC v. Morgan Stanley & Co., 324 F. Supp. 2d 451 (S.D.N.Y. 2004)
  • In re Harnischfeger Industries, Inc., 316 B.R. 616 (D. Del. 2003)
  • Malone v. Foster Wheeler Constructors, Inc., 2001 WL 1263664 (7th Cir. 2001)
  • EEOC v. Foster Wheeler Constructors, Inc., 1999 WL 528196 (N.D. Ill. 1999)
  • EEOC v. Foster Wheeler Constructors, Inc., 1999 WL 515524 (N.D. Ill. 1999)