Brienne M. Letourneau
Brienne M. Letourneau is a partner in the Global Commercial Litigation Practice, who strategically partners with businesses and institutions to help them achieve favorable outcomes in their most complex and high-stakes matters. She has substantial experience representing clients in a variety of disputes, including fiduciary litigation (asset management claims, director and officer liability, and other corporate governance issues), class actions, contract disputes, business torts, and professional liability.
Brienne has represented a wide array of public and private companies, including leading wealth management and financial services companies and multinational consumer-facing businesses, and prominent higher education institutions, as well as directors, officers, trustees, and other individual and corporate fiduciaries.
Brienne has broad experience representing clients as plaintiffs and defendants before state and federal courts and arbitral tribunals throughout the country. She has succeeded for her clients in every phase of litigation, from pre-litigation dispute resolution and early dispositive motion practice to trial and appeal, and has a track record of prevailing for her clients in high-stakes class actions, business-to-business disputes, and other "bet-the-company" matters. Additionally, Brienne has successfully advised and defended clients in connection with government subpoenas and investigative demands.
In 2022, The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer named Brienne among the "40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch." In 2021, she was recognized by Crain's Chicago Business as a "Rising Star in Law," and was named to The American Lawyer's list of 2021 Midwest Trailblazers.
Brienne maintains a pro bono practice representing indigent clients and non-profit organizations in civil actions, and advising and counseling non-profit organizations on legal issues that impact their institutional missions. She is a member of the Chicago Bar Association and the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA).
Prior to joining White & Case, Brienne was a partner in the Chicago office of an international law firm.
Brienne's recent representations include*:
Representation of former directors and officers of a for-profit college corporation in multiple actions alleging breaches of fiduciary duties and shareholder fraud.
Representation of a major private university in a class action challenging retention of tuition and fees following transition to remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representation of former directors and officers of an oil and gas vessel manufacturer in litigation involving breach of fiduciary duty claims on behalf of creditors.
Representation of a chemical manufacturer in a contract dispute relating to environmental liabilities at dozens of manufacturing and disposal sites, resulting in a final judgment of $49.3 million.
Representation of a major private university in a class action alleging mismanagement of workers' retirement savings, resulting in dismissal with prejudice of key claims, which was affirmed on appeal to the Seventh Circuit.
Representation of a corporate fiduciary in a class action alleging mismanagement of trust assets by a professional fiduciary, resulting in an award of summary judgment that was affirmed on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Representation of a financial services company in multiple class actions alleging breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with individual participant investment advice in 401(k) plans, resulting in dismissal with prejudice.
Representation of an asset management company in a class action alleging breaches of fiduciary duties in executing an investment strategy on behalf of a defined benefit pension plan, resulting in dismissal with prejudice.
Representation of a financial services company in a class action alleging that a company violated ERISA's anti-cutback provisions and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by reducing older employees' accrued pension benefits, resulting in dismissal with prejudice which was affirmed on appeal to the Seventh Circuit.
Representation of a marketing services company in multiple class actions challenging its marketing practices, resulting in dismissal with prejudice of all actions.
*Matters handled at a prior firm.
Co-Author, "Determining Necessity of Discretionary Distributions," The Estate Planner, June 17, 2020
Co-Author, "Making a Federal Case Out of Trustee Termination," The Estate Planner, March 3, 2020
Co-Author, "The Perils of Failing to Follow the Trust Instrument," The Estate Planner, November 20, 2019
Co-Author, "Collegiate Concussion Cases with Implications for the Sports Industry," Sports Business Journal, September 2018
Co-Author, "3 Key Concussion Issues to Be Decided by Ohio Supreme Court," Law 360, April 10, 2018
40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch (2022)
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer
Rising Star in Law (2021)
Crain's Chicago Business
Midwest Trailblazers (2021)
The American Lawyer