David Bernick is an experienced litigator and he resigned from Philip Morris in February, after serving for two years as general counsel. Bernick is a former partner of Kirkland & Ellis. He is the fourth senior partner that Boies Schiller acquired in the last 15 years since the law firm was launched. The acquisition adds another high-level trial attorney to the law firm.
In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Boies said, “it’s a huge step for the firm.”
Bernick said his stint at Phillip Morris was a positive experience, but he had left because he liked implementing strategies for clients and liked the courtroom. Prior to joining Philip Morris, Bernick was a member of the management committee and a senior partner at Kirkland & Ellis. He had worked for 31 years at Kirkland & Ellis and was widely appreciated for his work in the defense of tobacco companies, corporations with asbestos liability, and breast-implant makers.
Commenting on his return to private law practice after his in-house stint, Bernick said, “Once a duck learns to swim, you never forget it.”
After starting off with only eight lawyers in 1997, Boies Schiller today has more than 250 lawyers who are mostly into litigation and corporate practice. It is a remarkable feat for a law firm and proves the rule of quality over quantity, in that in the short span of fifteen years, Boies has managed to be counted among the top 100 U.S. law firms by gross revenue and among the top 15 according to profits per partner.