Chicago has long been recognized for its economic vibrancy and strategic importance in the global marketplace. As home to numerous international corporate headquarters and U.S.-based operations, the city is an important business center. Established in 1888, our Chicago office counts many of the region's Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies among its longstanding clients.
K&L Gates' Chicago office offers comprehensive legal counsel, including corporate, intellectual property, litigation, investment management, real estate, employment, executive compensation, health care and regulatory services to a wide array of businesses in the financial services, manufacturing, life sciences, pharmaceutical, office products, food and electronics industries. Our Chicago office was awarded six Tier 1 practice rankings by the 2017 U.S. News-Best Lawyers in the following areas: Corporate Law, Patent Law, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, Litigation-Antitrust and Real Estate Law. Our Chicago IP practice is a technologically sophisticated enterprise with professionals who dedicate their practice to patent, trademark, copyright, licensing, counseling and related litigation. The firmwide IP group, of which the Chicago practice is the largest contingent, was recognized in 2017, along with five intellectual property partners, as Intellectual Property Leaders by World Trademark Review and, for the fifth year, K&L Gates' IP department is recognized as a top tier by U.S. News-Best Lawyers. The patent prosecution practice has many professionals with technical training and advanced degrees in the fields of electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering, organic chemistry, materials science, microbiology and molecular biology. The group procures hundreds of patents annually on behalf of consumer electronics, medical devices, international food, and online enterprises. The patent litigation practice represents leading technology companies in infringement actions throughout the United States and International Trade Commission. Our trademark professionals protect the global brands of some of the world's most prominent businesses.
The corporate and securities lawyers of the Chicago office have a national practice advising public and private companies of all sizes in capital markets, M&A, corporate governance and securities compliance. The M&A practice has extensive experience representing both buyers and targets in acquisitions of public and private companies. Securities experience includes public offerings and private placements of debt and equity, IPOs, shelf offerings and public stock-for-stock mergers. Transactional experience extends to cross-border transactions, management buyouts, restructurings, and private equity and venture capital investments. The Chicago corporate lawyers often function as principal outside counsel to assist clients with business development, joint ventures, technology transfers and commercial endeavors. The office also represents corporate borrowers, private equity and venture capital funds and high net worth individuals in domestic and international commercial lending transactions.
The Chicago office has a deep bench of litigators who have, for decades, successfully represented domestic and international clients at trial and on appeal in "high stakes" disputes brought in state and federal courts throughout the country as well as in arbitrations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Our litigators are renowned for obtaining either the dismissal or highly favorable resolution of claims in all forms of securities litigation, including class and shareholder derivative actions, multi-district litigation, corporate takeover and proxy litigation and SEC and CFTC investigations. These clients include prominent financial institutions, mutual funds, trustees of mutual funds and investment advisers, accounting and consulting firms and manufacturers and distributors across diverse industries. Our litigators also concentrate in the defense of actions involving construction defects, professional liability, employment discrimination, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.
The Chicago office features one of the firm's largest groups of antitrust and competition lawyers and in 2016 was recognized as "Cartel & Trade Regulation Law Firm of the Year in Illinois" by Corporate INTL magazine and Global Law Experts. The antitrust team focuses on assisting companies in obtaining clearance of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. We also help national and global companies establish distribution systems and avoid antitrust risks through the development of audits, compliance programs and staff training. On the litigation side, our team represents companies in antitrust and other complex litigation, including large-scale class actions, involving claims such as price fixing, price discrimination, group boycotts, monopolization, consumer fraud, unfair trade practices and false advertising. We have successfully represented numerous companies in enforcement actions brought by antitrust agencies. The Chicago office also features the firm's most extensive experience in representing companies and executives in domestic and international criminal antitrust investigations and proceedings.
We represent clients in government enforcement matters involving the securities markets, the futures and derivatives markets and the health care field and regularly conduct internal investigations. Our office includes a former Assistant U.S. Attorney with extensive experience handling matters involving bribery, trade secret theft, perjury, obstruction of justice and commodity futures and securities violations such as insider trading, price manipulation, wash sales and abusive forms of high-frequency trading.
For more than 40 years, the Chicago office has represented mutual funds and other investment companies or their boards and investment advisers in the design, organization, distribution and marketing of numerous types of investment products and portfolios. Our mutual funds group received Tier 1 rankings in the past six editions of U.S. News-Best Lawyers.