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A commercial client recently phoned Gerald A. Liloia to ask him about representing the firm in litigation because his firm needed "an iron fist in a velvet glove." The terminology provides an apt description of Jerry, who has developed a reputation as a tough lawyer who can aggressively argue cases, but who is equally skillful in negotiating them to a settlement if necessary. Jerry is a "focused" litigator and a "sound negotiator" who "understands business and is creative in his strategies," according to the Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers Client's Guides, which has ranked Jerry among the best general commercial litigators in New Jersey since 2004. Chambers describes him as "smart" and "practical," and he is credited with "first-rate communication skills" and “a remarkable litigation insight that is almost a sixth sense.” Sources also call Jerry a "sure-fire winner for clients thanks to his 'unfailing accessibility,'" and praise his ability to “take both the hard and soft approach as necessary.” Clients interviewed by Chambers also praise the "robust but fair approach he takes to litigation matters." Jerry also has been counted among the top banking lawyers in New Jersey by Best Lawyers in America ®, a peer review of US Lawyers. Benchmark Litigation has singled him out as a “Local Litigation Star” and Thomson Reuters included him on the New Jersey's "Super Lawyers" list. Jerry was also named one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon.
Jerry, who heads Riker Danzig's litigation department and is co-chairman of the firm, is typically on short lists for people and companies in need of a lawyer to handle the difficult case that must be won. But Jerry's reputation extends beyond his record of producing good results. He is also known for providing an unusual degree of personal service to clients instead of delegating matters to others.
Jerry has been with the firm for more than 25 years. His practice has included a wide variety of commercial litigation matters, with an emphasis on litigating cases for banks and other financial institutions. Over a six-year period beginning in 1989, Jerry represented the Resolution Trust Corporation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in complex litigation relating to the closing of the largest savings and loans in New Jersey, making new law in the process. Earlier, he represented money center and regional banks in the collection and restructuring of loans to private and public entities in Central America, Mexico and London. He has been lead counsel in handling litigation for Wachovia Corporation, Bank of America and a variety of smaller New Jersey banks.
Jerry's practice includes an increasing number of securities cases, primarily representing large brokerage firms, such as UBS, in the defense of securities law claims. Jerry also heads our practice group which is well respected for its handling of fiduciary and directors and officers liability litigation, including claims for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, self-dealing, securities violations and accounting irregularities. Most recently, Jerry has represented a state pension fund in a highly visible securities fraud action against a Fortune 100 company and other entities and represented a key party in one of the largest and most significant re-insurance arbitrations-litigation in recent years. Jerry is also very active in the area of real estate work-outs and restructurings and the defense of lender liability claims. He has represented many major New Jersey and money center banks in connection with distressed real estate and commercial loans.
When Jerry is not working on cases or directing the litigation department, he is managing the firm as co-chair. He is clearly as proud of the firm's achievements as he is of his own. The key to success for both the firm and himself, he believes, is an emphasis on client relations. "People like working with us because we have a long-term view of our relationships with clients," he says. "We don't see any client as a one-case client."