For the last several years, Jill Sperber has practiced full-time, as a neutral in the Irell & Manella Alternative Dispute Resolution Center headed by Former U.S. District Court Judge Layn R. Phillips. During this time she served as a mediator, arbitrator, co-mediator and liaison on several arbitration panels. She has played an integral role in the resolution of more than five hundred disputes with settlements ranging from five to ten figures. Relying heavily on her business and legal acumen, she can facilitate creative and equitable resolutions, often restoring the parties' confidence and saving future business relationships. Prior to her work as a neutral, Ms. Sperber litigated high-stakes, complex business disputes for nearly a decade with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and then later with Irell & Manella. Consequently, she appreciates the costs, risks and potential rewards of trying cases. Moreover, having served as law clerk both at the District Court and Ninth Circuit, she is able to gauge how a fact-finder will likely respond to procedural, jurisdictional and factual issues.
Her private dispute resolution experience encompasses a wide-variety of commercial disputes including anti-trust, class action, derivative, employment, multi-district litigation, intellectual property, insurance coverage, securities, subprime lending, real estate, and bet the company type matters. Through the use of pre-mediation phone calls and thorough preparation, Ms. Sperber makes sure that the parties get the most out of each session. If for some reason a settlement cannot be achieved in the short run, she tenaciously follows up with counsel and parties, monitors litigation developments, and continues to explore any and all settlement windows. Ms. Sperber commented, "Unlike the parties who have been living with these issues, as the neutral, I am just getting a glimpse into the dispute. As such, my preparation goes beyond review of the parties' submissions and typically includes pre-mediation conferences with counsel and the parties to ensure we all are best prepared for the mediation session."
Ms. Sperber's background in ADR includes significant experience in numerous business and commercial areas of law, including anti-trust, contractual, fraud and embezzlement, misrepresentation, loss of business, business partnership dissolution, fiduciary duties, transaction disputes, banking and finance related issues, and various other complex commercial types.
Ms. Sperber enjoys spending time with her husband, two young children, and an active dog, as well as running, biking, hiking, and baking. She is proficient in Spanish.
"We’re fortunate to have had her as the Mediator, her level of preparation, familiarity with the financial sector-related disputes, and primarily her candor and directed comments to keep us on point were, without question, instrumental in accomplishing so much in a relatively short period of time. To elaborate -- she was excellent with a tough crowd, a simple case made complicated by others, talkative people with a lot of angst, and after pleasantries Jill was in full "candor and in your face" mode to cut through and make progress. I've not seen many do that, none as well. I gave the case 20% chance of settling, and while it took a lot of focused comments, she made it happen."
- Attorney on a Securities Dispute
"She is a rock star, and that's an understatement, I was impressed with everything about her, her skill, her charm, her brutal honesty, her intelligence, she's is a real mediator, she has found her calling. Case settled, but I would feel the same even if it didn't.
- Attorney on a Product Liability Dispute
"She did a fantastic job with the City and we really appreciate her efforts."
- Attorney on an Employment Wrongful Termination Dispute
"I enjoyed mediating in front of you. Regardless whether the case settles, I liked the way you handled the mediation. You were frank, kept the process moving along quickly, and were able to create great synergies toward settlement when, going in, I thought there was zero chance of meaningful progress."
- Attorney on a Complex Class Action Dispute
"Explained in a professional, quick manner weaknesses in our case, which I had never thought of before. Jill Sperber is highly recommended."
- Attorney on a Housing Discrimination Dispute
"Brilliant job with a tough group of folks and complex set of facts."
- Attorney on a Complex Commercial Matter
"Many thanks for your superb work on this settlement, including your tireless efforts, intelligence, and grasp of the issues and our client’s sensitivities. We had many complicated moving pieces and people, at a unique transitional time for our client."
- Attorney on an ERISA Matter
"I really liked her no nonsense approach."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto Matter
Ms. Sperber has been involved in the mediation of a variety of anti-trust matters, some of which concerned the airline industry, the automotive industry, the banking and financial services industries, the healthcare industry, horse trading and racing, the insurance industry, the technology industry, the travel industry, as well as other commercial industries.
Some of the matters involved hiring and salary claims, sales and compensation claims, subscription issues, or opt-outs of underlying MDL anti-trust actions. Ms. Sperber also has helped resolved complex matters involving direct and indirect purchaser claims.
A few example of anti-trust matters settled include:
Ms. Sperber has considerable experience working as a neutral on contractual disputes in the business arena. Ms. Sperber has served in a neutral capacity to resolve a wide array of contractual disputes in a variety of business sectors.
Some of the business contract dispute mediations in which she was involved concerned:
Her contract-related mediation experience has been employed at all stages of litigation, including pre-litigation and post-trial settlement efforts. Settlements have included non-monetary components, as well as monetary terms ranging from three to nine figures.
Ms. Sperber has been involved in many alternative dispute resolution processes involving business fraud claims. A sampling of some of these matters included:
Ms. Sperber has served in a neutral capacity on a number of matters including disputes involving director, officer, and executive management allegations and fraud in the inducement allegations.
Ms. Sperber has been involved in many mediations where business fraud and misrepresentation claims were disputed. Some of these matters concerned:
Ms. Sperber has been involved in a number of ADR matters where loss of business allegations were made, including a recent matter stemmed from IT outsourcing agreement.
As a neutral, Ms. Sperber has served in a neutral capacity in a variety of ADR matters where dissolution was sought, dissolution terms were at issue, and/or involuntary dissolution claims arise.
Business tort allegations have regularly been involved in the ADR matters in which Ms. Sperber served in a neutral capacity. Many of these matters were in the financial services industry, including accounting, securities, and tax shelter related claims. Other matters have concerned professional liability and general fiduciary duty claims.
A number of the ADR matters in which Ms. Sperber served in a neutral capacity have stemmed from transactional disputes including mediations in connection with M&A litigations.
The majority of Ms. Sperber's ADR experience has been in the complex commercial arena. She regularly has served in a neutral capacity in multi-party ADR disputes. Many of these ADR matters have included complex insurance disputes, looming and/or ongoing regulatory investigations, conflicting perspectives and objectives of co-parties, critical timing considerations due to competing interests, dwindling assets, or imminent changes in corporate structure or party circumstances, trust and bankruptcy issues, unique business considerations and so on.
Ms. Sperber has regularly served in a neutral capacity in banking and finance disputes. Some of these matters concerned accounting and auditor disputes, disputes among and between venture capitalists, lending institution disputes, and bank and investment fund failures. She has been involved in the settlements of some of the largest bank failures, including many of the financial services institutions and their shareholders impacted by the financial crisis of 2008. Ms. Sperber's neutral experience includes subprime and credit crisis-related ligations as well as regulatory matters. Parties to such matters have included individuals, financial institutions, regulatory agencies, trustees, and insurers.
Ms. Sperber has handled a variety of banking and finance disputes. Lending terms and failure to comply with such terms were alleged in some of these financial services disputes. Recently, one mediation also included robosigning allegations. She also has considerable experience in the mortgage-backed securities arena. Ms. Sperber is knowledgeable about lending, banking, and foreclosure issues.
Ms. Sperber recently resolved a multi-party banking and foreclosure dispute. The 7-figure resolution allowed the continued operation of the commercial property and eliminated the need for related litigations of other business-related and environmental allegations.
Ms. Sperber regularly has served in a neutral capacity in securities and derivative actions. These securities actions have included class, opt-out, and individual plaintiffs and included claims against institutions and individuals alike. She has worked on some of the most complex and high-profile actions, including many backdating and mortgage back securities litigation matters. Ms. Sperber is incredibly well-versed in the securities and derivatives litigation arena and experienced in the resolution of related insurance disputes. She deftly helps parties with the negotiation of corporate governance reforms. The monetary settlements in which she has been involved range from 5 to 10 figures.
Ms. Sperber has regularly served in a neutral capacity in securities class action matters. These matters have included Section 1933 and Section 1934 claims, such as fraud and misrepresentation claims, control personal liability claims, insider trading, Sections 11, 12, and 15 claims, as well as Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 claims and Sections 14(a) 20(a) and 20(A) claims. She is skilled at working on multi-party matters and is familiar with the related regulatory, business, and insurance issues that frequently arise in connection with and/or in relation to these types of disputes. Mediated settlements have ranged from five to ten figure resolutions.
Ms. Sperber is experienced in the resolution of consumer class actions. She has been involved in a neutral capacity in the resolution of significant wage and hour and discrimination class action matters. She also has served in mediations of consumer claims that included anti-trust, contract, marketing, privacy, and tort claims, including actions concerning fees, quality of services, product claims, and TCPA allegations across industries like cable, credit card, energy, finance and lending, technology, and telecommunications.
Ms. Sperber has extensive experience mediating shareholder, derivative, and/or director/officer disputes. She has served in a neutral capacity on nearly a hundred shareholder actions, including some of the most significant resolutions over the last six years, including matters concerning back-dating, bank and financial institution failures, and mortgage backed securities.
Ms. Sperber's experience in the securities arena includes the banking and finance industries, Chinese companies, pharmaceuticals, mortgage products and services, subprime lending, telecommunications and technology and so on. The mediations have included Section 1933 and Section 1934 claims, such as fraud and misrepresentation claims, control personal liability claims, insider trading, Sections 11, 12, and 15 claims, as well as Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 claims and Sections 14(a) 20(a) and 20(A) claims. She is skilled at working on multi-party matters and is familiar with the related regulatory, business, and insurance issues that frequently arise in connection with and/or in relation to these types of disputes. Mediated settlements have ranged from five to ten figure resolutions.
Ms. Sperber has served in a neutral capacity on dozens of derivative actions. She is well-versed as to how to structure and secure a settlement in these matters. Ms. Sperber has been immersed in the negotiation of corporate governance reform, having worked on some of the most notable cases. Where the settlements included a monetary component, she has been involved in helping parties effectively structure programs to best ensure the underlying allegations and concerns were addressed. Ms. Sperber is very familiar with the relationship between derivative actions and securities actions. She also has a wealth of experience working on insurance coverage issues that often arise in these disputes.
Director and officer claims have frequently been at issue in the mediations on which Ms. Sperber has worked on in this arena. She has a depth of experience working with sophisticated professionals who are or had been at the helm of leading entities and institutions. In addition, Ms. Sperber is knowledgeable about and has helped to resolve related insurance issues in connection with such claims.
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