Raj N. ShahPartner
Co-Managing Partner, Chicago office
Co-National Hiring Partner — Associates
Raj Shah litigates complex commercial disputes in courts across the country and in arbitrations and counsels leading global companies in strategic and multi-disciplinary matters. He serves as lead counsel for Fortune 500 companies and large privately held businesses in highly regulated industries involving complicated disputes which often span multiple jurisdictions.
Raj focuses on defending class action and complex litigation, with a focus on litigation at the intersection of technology and privacy. His clients span various industries and sectors, including technology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and manufacturing. Raj’s national and high-profile practice has been recognized by Chambers USA, which has noted he is the head of a group that is "fantastic: very smart, organized and efficient.” He has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for his work defending class actions.
Raj has been recognized for his leadership and contributions to the field of law by Crain’s in its selection of Chicago Business Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting & Law and also as a Notable Gen X Leader in Law. In 2019, Major, Lindsey & Africa named Raj to its inaugural Lawyers of Color: Nation’s Best list.
Raj also leads the firm's India practice and counts among his clients many of India's most prominent companies.
Raj has represented:
- The Presidential nominee for Surgeon General in Senate proceedings, resulting in successful confirmation of the nominee as 19th Surgeon General of the United States and the first of Indian descent
- Multiple leading global technology companies in defending various putative privacy class actions brought across the country under numerous federal and state laws, including in numerous matters brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act
- Two of the world's leading airlines in a more than US$3 billion high-profile lawsuit seeking to enjoin the City of Chicago from commencing expansion of O'Hare International Airport through the issuance of billions of dollars of bonds without contractually mandated airline approval
- Two leading rental car companies in a lawsuit seeking to enjoin the City of Chicago from allocating to the rental car industry more than US$800 million in costs for proposed capital projects tied to the City's award of rental car concession licenses and leases in violation of state laws and local ordinance
- A global conglomerate in coordinating global strategy for defending against two putative class actions and 134 mass action lawsuits involving over 10,000 individual plaintiffs for asserted claims of strict liability, negligence, property damage and medical monitoring related to the alleged release of environmental toxins
- One of the three national credit bureaus defending against numerous class actions across the US for claims of violation of federal statutes, consumer protection statutes and state privacy common law and in MDL proceedings
- One of the world's largest airlines defending against a class action brought on behalf of plaintiffs asserting consumer fraud, breach of contract and other claims relating to the airline's ticket cancellation policies
- A leading global health company defending against contract and unfair trade practice claims related to the sale of coronary stents
- A leading global healthcare company defending against breach of contract claims for the alleged failure to pay royalty and milestone payments from a topical cream to treat osteoarthritis
- A leading global healthcare company defending against a biopharmaceutical company's claim allegedly arising from breaches of a pharmaceutical licensing agreement for a late-stage antibiotic
- A subsidiary of an NYSE company defending against a breach of contract and fraud action and accounting matters regarding an asset sale of five companies
- A leading private equity firm in a fraud, breach of representation and warranty and post-closing dispute asserted against seller of financial services company
- J.D., University of Michigan 1997
Campbell Moot Court Competition Champion
Michigan Journal of International Law
- B.B.A., Finance, University of Michigan 1995
Chambers USA identifies Raj as a key contact and notable practitioner in general commercial litigation. He is identified as the leader of a group that is "fantastic: very smart, organized and efficient."The Best Lawyers in America has recognized Raj for his work in defending class actions and most recently named to The Best Lawyers in America for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants (2023).
He has been recognized by Crain’s in its selection of Chicago Business Notable Minorities in Accounting, Consulting & Law and also Crain’s Notable Gen X Leaders in Law.
The National Law Journal has named Raj a Top 40 Under 40 Rising Star in Chicago, recognizing him among the top young talent that will play a leading role in the legal community for years to come.
Illinois Super Lawyer, a Thompson Reuters business, consistently ranks him as a leading lawyer in Illinois.
Raj previously was named the Illinois State Bar Association's Young Lawyer of the Year.
In 2019, Major, Lindsey & Africa selected Raj for its inaugural Lawyers of Color: Nation’s Best list.
Raj also has developed a practice representing Indian companies and the Indian community as US co-head of DLA Piper's India Initiative. In this regard, he has been awarded the international Pride of India Gold Award by the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Institute. The NRI Institute is a prestigious international organization that encourages interactions between prominent non-resident Indians or persons of Indian origin who live outside India and those who reside in India. The Pride of India Gold Awards that year were given to only 16 non-resident Indians selected from across the globe for their significant contributions to the socioeconomic development of India and the Indian community in their adopted countries. Raj was recognized for his significant accomplishments and contributions in the field of law. He was among the youngest recipients of the award.
In 2003, DLA Piper awarded the Pro Bono Associate of the Year award to Raj in recognition of his contributions to the community and civil rights.
- Pro bono representation of plaintiffs in a highly publicized nationwide civil rights action brought against a national restaurant chain. On behalf of more than 40 plaintiffs, among them the NAACP and various African American guests, the lawsuit alleged that the chain engaged in public accommodations discrimination in violation of Title II and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. This representation was recognized with an Outstanding Achievement Award in the area of Public Accommodations by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, which termed the action "one of the finest examples of civil rights advocacy in the Committee's history." For this same representation, the General Counsel of the NAACP also wrote a special letter of gratitude
- Pro bono representation of prisoners at TAMMS Supermax prison in retaliation and due process claims through trial and various appeals before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The more than decade long suit alleged due process and other violations in the transfer and placement of prisoners at TAMMS. After trial, injunctive relief was awarded establishing certain due process protections. Subsequently, the Illinois Department of Corrections shut down the TAMMS facility
Raj's high-profile representations and accomplishments have been recognized in the national and international press, including, among others, the Economic Times of India, Garavi Gujarat, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Lawyer, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Detroit News, India Abroad, IndUS Business Journal, India Tribune and India West. Raj also has been featured in the executive profile sections of the IndUs Business Journal and Biz India.
- "In India, lawyers see emerging market," Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, February 27, 2015
- "Bouncing back," India Business Law Journal, August 2022
- "The Simple Story Of Raj Shah," Super Lawyers, January 29, 2020
- "Law Training In The Fast Lane," Law Quadrangle, April 2019
Civic and Charitable
Raj's personal cause is the fight against breast cancer.
Memberships And Affiliations
- Law360, Illinois Editorial Advisory Board
- 2009 Leadership Fellow, Leadership Greater Chicago
- Fmr. Board Member, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession
- Fmr. Board Member, Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- University of Michigan Alumni Association
- Chicago Executives' Club