Robert Kriss has extensive experience resolving disputes involving information technology outsourcing, software development, cybersecurity, e-commerce, financial services and real estate. In addition, as a result of his experience litigating a broad range of statutory, contract and tort claims over the years, Bob is often retained to address matters that require an interdisciplinary approach or novel applications of fundamental principles in new contexts.
Bob has been particularly effective in resolving disputes at early stages of proceedings through alternative dispute resolution, motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment and settlements. When early resolution has not been possible, Bob has successfully tried cases before judges, juries, arbitrators and appellate courts. For example, Bob secured an international arbitration award in a real estate development dispute valued at more than $80 million dollars and won an award on behalf of a customer in an international arbitration involving a failed software product. He also has won arbitration awards in financial disputes and secured favorable judgments after bench and jury trials in commercial, product liability, antitrust and civil rights litigation. Bob has taught trial practice as an adjunct professor at Northwestern Law School.
Bob joined Mayer Brown in 1978. He has been recognized by inclusion in such publications as Leading Lawyers in Illinois, Illinois Super Lawyers, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America and The Best Lawyers in America. He holds Martindale Hubbell's highest A/V rating (AV Preeminent) and has been recognized by the publication as among the "Top Rated Lawyers of Technology Law."
- Successfully defended an Internet service provider in over 50 class actions throughout the country alleging difficulty in accessing its service after the introduction of flat rate pricing.
- Obtained dismissal of an electronic stock broker in two class actions challenging best execution of trade orders and one class action challenging the reliability of real time quote information.
- Secured a successful settlement for a major software implementation company of claims arising from a troubled implementation.
- Successfully resolved a dispute concerning implementation of a new IT system and related copyright issues on behalf of an off-shore software development company without formal proceedings.
- Achieved a favorable settlement on behalf of a major financial service company seeking to terminate an IT outsourcing contract and to continue to use legacy software to which the IT service provider was asserting copyright claims.
- Advised customers on scope of software licenses and audits of software license fees.
- On behalf of a major medical center, successfully settled litigation arising from the termination of a website development contract.
- Obtained a multimillion-dollar settlement for a company in the construction industry in a dispute with a major IT service provider without formal proceedings.
- Obtained an arbitration award on behalf of a customer in a case involving an ERP software product that failed to meet requirements.
- Assisted a major software development company/subcontractor in resolving disputes with the general contractor arising from difficulties in completing a new IT system for a governmental entity.
- Secured a successful settlement for TD Ameritrade in a data breach class action involving six million class members.
- After obtaining dismissal of all but two claims in a data breach class action against a retailer, achieved a favorable settlement of the remainder of the case.
- Assisted insurers and retailers in developing written information security plans and data breach response plans and conducting table top exercises.
- On behalf of a real estate investment fund, won an $80 million award in an international arbitration involving a failed resort project in Mexico.
- Prosecuting a multimillion dollar claim against Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement on behalf of a Canadian real estate investment fund.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of a real estate development company dismissing a claim for placement fees in connection with capital raising for a real estate investment fund.
- Successfully defended an investment firm in multiple individual actions and a class action arising from a major corporate acquisition, including dismissal of the class action and an arbitration award of no liability in a National Futures Association arbitration.
- Secured summary judgment in favor of a diversified equipment and transportation company in a securities fraud class action after full discovery (Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach represented the class); affirmed on appeal.
- Successfully defended a major bank in individual and class actions alleging mortgage discrimination, including summary judgment; affirmed on appeal.
- Secured the largest settlement in FDIC history ($60 million) on a fidelity bond claim.
- Obtained a $60 million judgment after trial on behalf of a major bank in a breach of contract action involving interest rate swaps.
- Recovered more than $15 million on behalf of a lender in a series of suits against officers, directors, shareholders, attorneys, a real estate appraisal firm and a title insurance company arising from a failed leveraged buyout.
- Secured dismissal of a $100 million securities fraud class action against an investment banking firm arising from an IPO; affirmed on appeal.
- Won summary judgment in favor of a seller of a business against a buyer seeking recovery under an environmental indemnity agreement.
- Represented companies that were targets of short sellers issuing disparaging reports about the companies’ businesses.
- Represented companies in product liability actions involving complex machinery and devices such as 747 aircraft, food processing equipment and construction equipment.
- Secured summary judgment in favor of a technology equipment leasing company dismissing claims of former employees for multimillion dollar commissions on the sale of leases to a third party.
Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude
Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review
Cornell University, BA, summa cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa
- US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
- US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- Member of the Board of the Chicago Council on Science and Technology, 2007
- Member of the Board of Victory Gardens Theater, 2003-2005
- Member of the Board of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, 1996-1999; 2016 -
- Adjunct Professor of Law, Trial Advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law, 2002 to 2015