Joni S. Jacobsen


Joni S. Jacobsen


Chicago | 35 West Wacker Drive, Suite 3400, Chicago, IL, United States of America 60601-1608
+1 312 646 5813 | +1 312 646 5858

New York | Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, United States of America 10036-6797
+1 212 698 3500 | +1 212 698 3599


Joni S. Jacobsen defends publicly traded companies and their directors and officers when they become entangled in securities class action litigation, derivative litigation, SEC investigations and corporate governance disputes. Ranked in The Legal 500 (U.S.) in four categories, Ms. Jacobsen was named Among the Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago by Crain's Chicago Business in 2017, and has been named to the Illinois Super Lawyers list every year since 2013, one of a select number of female attorneys recognized in the Securities Litigation section. She is currently a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, her alma mater, where she teaches a seminar in Strategic Considerations in Securities Litigation.

Ms. Jacobsen has litigated in federal and state courts throughout the country. She consistently succeeds in having the vast majority of her cases dismissed outright on motions to dismiss, thereby reducing the distraction and burden on her clients and resulting in significant savings for clients and insurance carriers alike. In the minority of cases that survive through motion practice, she takes a strategic approach in opposing motions for class certification or bringing motions for summary judgment in order to achieve the best possible resolution for her clients. Ms. Jacobsen's experience makes her particularly adept at helping clients navigate an onslaught of simultaneous litigation from various fronts, including securities actions, derivative actions, government investigations and shareholder demand letters seeking books and records.

Prior to joining Dechert, Ms. Jacobsen was a partner in the litigation and dispute resolution practice of an international law firm.

  • Represented numerous life sciences companies facing securities litigation and derivative litigation following the Food and Drug Administration's rejection of new drug applications; obtained outright dismissal of majority of complaints on motions to dismiss. 
  • Successfully litigated a large number of derivative and class actions challenging M&A litigation through the country, including successful enforcement of a forum selection clause through use of anti-suit injunction in Delaware Chancery Court.  Convinced Michigan Court of Appeals and Illinois Court of Appeals to affirm dismissals of merger related litigation following oral arguments. 
  • Obtained dismissal of fraud claims against former CFO of large shipping company, successfully litigated related securities fraud claims and SEC investigation. 
  • Defeated securities fraud claims against former CEO of large grocery store chain
  • Obtained dismissal of a derivative action pending in federal court against a prominent credit card company based on alleged improper marketing practices. 
  • Obtained dismissal of derivative claims against special litigation committee of large oil and gas company
  • Successfully defeated derivative action alleging breaches of fiduciary duty brought against former chair of an audit committee.
  • Obtained dismissal of fraud and misrepresentation claims against large manufacturer pending in New York state court.
  • Successfully represented prominent chemical company in highly contested securities fraud litigation and employed strategic electronic discovery tactics to streamline discovery process.  
  • In conjunction with LAMBDA Legal, provided pro bono representation for individuals seeking to retroactively enforce effect of Obergefell decision on social security benefits.  Reached favorable settlement.  
  • Represent numerous pro bono clients seeking compassionate release from federal prison as a result of risks posed by COVID-19 and underlying health conditions. 
  • The University of Utah, B.A., 1991
  • The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1997
  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • National Women’s Law Center, Leadership 35 Advisory Committee (2009-2013)
Speaking Engagements
  • Recent Developments: Securities Fraud Actions Against Life Sciences Companies - Webinar (March 4, 2021)
  • Risk Management and Recent Trends in Securities Fraud Litigation Against Life Sciences Companies - Webinar (April 17, 2019)
  • Securities Fraud Litigation Against Life Sciences Companies - Recent Trends - Webinar (June 15, 2018)
  • Developments in Securities Fraud Class Actions Against US Life Sciences Companies -  Webinar (May 11, 2017)
  • From the Boardroom to the Courtroom - A Price Worth Paying? - Omaha, NE (March 22, 2017)
  • From the Boardroom to the Courtroom - "A Price Worth Paying?" - Louisville, KY (May 19, 2016)
  • Class Actions Face Challenges At the Supreme Court - Chicago, IL (March 24, 2016)