Overview

Chris Binnig is a highly respected litigator and corporate counsel whose practice primarily focuses on commercial litigation, with a special emphasis on litigation involving communications companies, electric and natural gas companies, and other regulated industries. His reputation as a dedicated and successful advisor to some of the nation’s principal utilities and communications companies has earned Chris annual mention in Chambers USA’s Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers as a prominent lawyer concentrating on the communications and media industries (2003–2019).

Chris represents clients in complex trials (bench and jury), appellate proceedings, and contested hearings before state and federal courts throughout the United States, and in regulatory proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission and numerous state regulatory agencies. He served as trial counsel for AT&T Inc. and its operating subsidiaries in telecommunications litigation and related legal matters, and provides comprehensive representation to major clients operating in the communications, utilities, transportation, and energy industries.  He also has served as trial counsel for defendants in antitrust litigation under sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown in 1986, Chris worked with another major law firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

Spoken Languages

  • English

Experience

  • Currently serves as lead trial and appellate counsel for AT&T Inc. and its operating subsidiaries in federal trial and appellate court proceedings involving inter-carrier compensation disputes with other communications services providers.
  • Currently serves as trial counsel for AT&T Inc. and its operating subsidiaries regarding matters arising under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and other federal, state, and municipal law, including representation in state regulatory proceedings and state and federal court actions at both trial and appellate levels.
  • Served as lead trial counsel for AT&T Mobility and several other AT&T Inc. operating subsidiaries in federal court litigation against a group of telephone name and number services providers involving the alleged misappropriation by those providers of commercially valuable data developed and maintained by the AT&T companies.
  • Served as trial counsel for AT&T Inc. and its operating subsidiaries in connection with issues relating to AT&T's Project Lightspeed initiatives, as well as in commercial litigation involving other carriers.
  • Served as lead trial counsel for PPL EnergyPlus in litigation related to the Illinois Energy Auction.
  • Served as trial counsel for AT&T in state regulatory proceedings for approval of AT&T Inc.'s merger with BellSouth Corporation; trial counsel for SBC in state regulatory proceedings for approval of SBC's merger with AT&T Corporation; trial counsel for Ameritech in state regulatory proceedings for approval of the SBC-Ameritech Corp. merger.
  • Served as trial and regulatory counsel for natural gas, local gas distribution, merchant electric, transportation, and water and sewer companies in the course of ratemaking hearings and other procedures before state and federal regulators and courts. Has represented Nicor Gas, Citizens Utilities Company and Contel of Illinois in multiple ratemaking proceedings before the Illinois Commerce Commission.
  • Represented target and acquiring companies in hostile takeover litigation and in stockholder litigation seeking to block change-of-control transactions. Clients have included Santa Fe Pacific Corporation in its merger with Burlington Northern Corporation and attempted hostile takeover by Union Pacific; US Robotics in its merger with 3Com Corporation; LG Electronics Inc. in its acquisition of Zenith Corporation; Santa Fe Pacific Pipelines L.P. in its acquisition by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P.; and JMB in its acquisition of Amfac.
  • Served as trial counsel for plaintiffs and defendants in breach of contract and business torts litigation on behalf of various clients including, Pitney Bowes, Illinois Tool Works, Midcon Corporation, and General Dynamics.
  • Defended clients in professional malpractice litigation brought against public and private entities (e.g., major public accounting firms). Notable experience includes a favorable jury verdict on behalf of Grant Thornton against plaintiff FDIC after a three-month jury trial in federal district court in Wichita, Kansas in 1993.
  • Served as trial counsel in take-or-pay contract disputes, antitrust and tort disputes.

Perspectives

Education

The University of Michigan Law School, JD, cum laude

University of Virginia, BA, with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • Illinois

Court

  • US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • US District Court for the District of Connecticut
  • Trial Bar of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section and Infrastructure and Regulated Industries Section, Section Officer (Chair Elect) and Communications Law Committee Chair