Private Practice

Partner, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP

Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP

Associate, Mayer, Brown & Platt

Judicial Clerkship

The Honorable James B. Moran, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude)

Carleton College (B.A., Economics)


Bar & Court Admissions

State of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)

Photo of Tarek  Ismail

Tarek Ismail

Partner / Chicago

Truly outstanding Tarek Ismail is widely endorsed for his expertise in handling headline cases in the drug and device space.” “He is described as a very smart, talented trial lawyer who will be busy in the field for a long time to come.” - Chambers USA (ranked 2007-2019)

Tarek Ismail is “extremely strong choice of counsel.” - The Legal 500 (recognized 2010-2018)

Leading trial lawyer Tarek Ismail enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market thanks to his extensive experience handling high-profile cases in the pharmaceutical and medical devices arena.” - Who’s Who Legal (recognized 2010-2018)

A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and International Society of Barristers, Tarek is widely regarded as a leader among first-chair trial lawyers who can handle bet-the-company cases. As a "go-to trial lawyer," he “draws high praise for his incredibly impressive abilities as a courtroom advocate” in his “many high profile mandates,” reports Chambers USA, where Tarek most recently received the highest possible ranking in Nationwide Product Liability & Mass Torts. An AmLaw 100 product liability practice leader told Law360, “I am impressed with Tarek Ismail,” he “is driven, creative, hardworking and great on his feet”- he “delivers great results for his client.” As reported in The American Lawyer, clients praise Tarek for his “stiletto-sharp cross examinations of plaintiffs’ experts and other witnesses,” “his encyclopedic knowledge of the facts,” and his ability to sort through complex facts and data to identify the key arguments and winning strategies for trial. According to The Legal 500, he comes recommended “for his track record in winning highly challenging cases” with clients calling him "extraordinary."

Tarek also has developed a reputation for resolving large-scale litigation through negotiation on extremely favorable terms for our clients. A managing partner at a major plaintiff-side mass torts firm told The National Law Journal that Tarek is “able to come up with a plan, stick to a plan and get the case resolved with results that both sides can live with.” “Clients agree,” says Chambers USA, “he is both a talented trial lawyer and a great strategist.

Of Note

Representative Litigation

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Litigation

Trial counsel for AbbVie in multidistrict litigation in Chicago claiming personal injuries allegedly caused by AbbVie’s testosterone replacement product, AndroGel. In June 2018, Tarek served as lead trial counsel for AbbVie in Rowley v. AbbVie, a bellwether trial where the plaintiff claimed AndroGel caused his deep vein thrombosis. The jury returned a complete defense verdict for AbbVie.

Russell v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Lead trial counsel for Janssen in a case tried in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas claiming personal injuries allegedly caused by Xarelto, an anticoagulant developed by Janssen and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. The jury returned a complete defense verdict for Janssen and Bayer in April 2018.

Hurricane Katrina Litigation

Co-lead trial counsel for large cement company defending against claims by a governmental entity for over $400 million in alleged property damage. Plaintiff brought these claims under maritime law, alleging that a barge that broke free during Hurricane Katrina caused the failure of a floodwall alongside a New Orleans neighborhood. The case settled on terms favorable to our client days before trial.

In re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation

Lead trial counsel for Merck in the class action and consolidated opt-out antitrust lawsuits brought by wholesalers and major pharmacy retail chains that directly purchased K-Dur® 20, an extended-release potassium chloride supplement. Plaintiffs sought over $800 million alleging a June 1997 patent settlement with a generic maker of K-Dur® 20 was anticompetitive. The matter settled shortly before trial.

Fosamax Litigation

Trial counsel for Merck & Co., Inc. in federal and state litigation concerning Fosamax®, a prescription drug used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and other bone disorders. 

Lyles et al. v. McNeil-PPC, Inc. et al.

Lead trial counsel for McNeil and Johnson & Johnson in the death of a teenager allegedly caused by Tylenol. The matter settled for a nominal sum on the first day of trial.

In re Ethicon Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

Trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. in cases concerning alleged personal injuries from pelvic mesh products used for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence.

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 572 Health and Welfare Fund et al. v. Merck & Co., Inc.

Trial counsel for Merck in a putative class action brought by health benefit payors under civil RICO and federal antitrust statutes relating to alleged co-pay subsidy programs. The action was voluntarily dismissed after Merck filed a dispositive motion.

In re Hormone Therapy Litigation  

Trial counsel for Wyeth in product liability litigation involving Premarin® and Prempro® hormone replacement therapy products alleged to cause breast cancer. 

Vioxx Litigation

Trial counsel for Merck & Co., Inc. in individual and government actions claiming Merck’s withdrawn anti-inflammatory medication Vioxx® caused heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

CEATS, Inc. v. Continental Airlines, Inc. et al.

Won summary judgment of non-infringement on behalf of defendant in a patent infringement suit in the Eastern District of Texas. Plaintiff sued over 30 defendants relating to online ticketing patents. was the only defendant to win summary judgment of non-infringement.

Forrest Laboratories v. Abbott Laboratories

Co-tried for Abbott a patent case relating to neonatal surfactant. After an eight-week trial in Buffalo, New York the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Abbott on all issues, which later was overturned by the district court.

Engel v. Refco, Inc.

Co-tried National Futures Association arbitration claims brought by commodity futures investors against futures commission merchant.

Rosen v. Refco, Inc.

Co-tried AAA arbitration claims brought by commodity futures investors against futures commission merchant.

Gould v. FX Concepts, Inc.

Co-tried bench trial in Maryland state court involving claim brought by speculative foreign exchange investors against investment advisory firm.