Dechert LLP

35 West Wacker Drive
Suite 3400
Chicago, IL 60601

d. (312) 646-5813


Chicago II

Joni Jacobsen



Joni S. Jacobsen defends publicly traded companies and their directors and officers when they become entangled in securities class action litigation, derivative litigation, SEC investigations and corporate governance disputes. Ranked in The Legal 500 (U.S.) in four categories, Ms. Jacobsen was named Among the Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago by Crain's Chicago Business in 2017, and has been named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list every year since 2013, one of a select number of female attorneys recognized in the Securities Litigation section. She is currently a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, her alma mater, where she teaches a seminar in Strategic Considerations in Securities Litigation.

Ms. Jacobsen has litigated in federal and state courts throughout the country. She consistently succeeds in having the vast majority of her cases dismissed outright on motions to dismiss, thereby reducing the distraction and burden on her clients and resulting in significant savings for clients and insurance carriers alike. In the minority of cases that survive through motion practice, she takes a strategic approach in opposing motions for class certification or bringing motions for summary judgment in order to achieve the best possible resolution for her clients. Ms. Jacobsen's experience makes her particularly adept at helping clients navigate an onslaught of simultaneous litigation from various fronts, including securities actions, derivative actions, government investigations and shareholder demand letters seeking books and records.

- Represented numerous life sciences companies facing securities litigation and derivative litigation following the Food and Drug Administration's rejection of new drug applications; obtained outright dismissal of majority of complaints on motions to dismiss. 
- Successfully litigated a large number of derivative and class actions challenging M&A litigation through the country, including successful enforcement of a forum selection clause through use of anti-suit injunction in Delaware Chancery Court. Also convinced Michigan Court of Appeals and Illinois Court of Appeals to affirm dismissals of merger related litigation following oral arguments.
- Obtained dismissal of fraud claims against former CFO of large shipping company, successfully litigated related securities fraud claims and SEC investigation. 
- Defeated securities fraud claims against former CEO of large grocery store chain. 
- Obtained dismissal of a derivative action pending in federal court against a prominent credit card company based on alleged improper marketing practices. 
- Obtained dismissal of derivative claims against special litigation committee of large oil and gas company. 
- Successfully defeated derivative action alleging breaches of fiduciary duty brought against former chair of an audit committee.
- Obtained dismissal of fraud and misrepresentation claims against large manufacturer pending in New York state court.
- Successfully represented prominent chemical company in highly contested securities fraud litigation and employed strategic electronic discovery tactics to streamline discovery process.
- In conjunction with LAMBDA Legal, provided pro bono representation for individuals seeking to retroactively enforce effect of Obergefell decision on social security benefits. Reached favorable settlement with administration.
- Represent numerous pro bono clients seeking compassionate release from federal prison as a result of risks posed by COVID-19 and underlying health conditions.

The University of Utah, B.A., 1991
The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1997

Bar Admissions/Qualifications
New York
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
United States District Court for the Southern District of NY
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

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