Complex projects involving novel issues do not always require substantial resources. Clients hire Neil Lloyd to help them reduce their litigation investments in complex cases by quickly identifying the critical nuance that will matter most to trial and appellate judges. Neil brings the same insight, dedication, and passion to each project, whether it is a major representation or a quick-hit consultation.

Neil concentrates his practice in litigation strategic consulting. He works with businesses, individuals, and law firms to develop and execute targeted, cost-effective strategies that solve their thorniest legal problems. Clients repeatedly call on Neil to sharpen and polish their briefs and oral presentations, to tackle issues of first impression, and to rescue them from bad results by judges and juries.

While clients often hire Neil at the outset of a case, at other times they bring him in during a crisis or ask him to partner with existing counsel. In each situation, clients return, knowing that Neil consistently adds value. As each case shifts and develops, he helps ensure that his client’s litigation investment aligns with its litigation risk.

In his rescue litigation practice, Neil has persuaded trial judges to change their minds mid-case. He has also convinced both trial and appellate judges to set aside or pare back substantial jury verdicts. Neil recognizes that rescue situations involve more than uphill battles with high financial stakes: they are often anxiety producing for outside counsel, inside counsel, and business decision-makers. Not only does Neil quickly develop a rescue strategy, he also works collaboratively to build relationships with all stakeholders. His approach saves clients money by lowering tensions, fostering cooperation, and leveraging the client’s previous investment in trial counsel.

Over the past two decades, Neil has written and edited thousands of trial court and appellate briefs. He has argued appeals in state and federal courts across the country, including in the Seventh and Tenth Circuits and the Illinois Supreme Court. He has successfully tried cases involving ambiguous contracts, punitive damages, and the interplay between statutory and contractual obligations.

  • Experience

    • Neil wrote the briefs and developed a successful oral argument strategy for a major product liability action involving the food and beverage industry. He persuaded the Illinois Appellate Court to set aside a $32 million jury verdict, to grant a new trial, and to reject the plaintiff’s theory that the defendant had a duty to warn the entire world about potential health risks associated with a class of flavoring products.
    • Neil’s successful litigation strategy against a 15-year effort to expand tort liability for asbestos personal injury actions in Illinois under a civil conspiracy theory ensured that solvent defendants were not unfairly shouldered with damages caused by bankrupt entities.
    • In an issue of first impression, Neil wrote the briefs and developed a successful litigation strategy for a major insurer concerning the scope of retroactivity of a prior New Mexico Supreme Court decision involving underinsured motorist coverage.
    • Neil wrote the briefs and developed a successful litigation strategy for a major insurer facing a potential eight-figure exposure in hundreds of actions pending simultaneously in federal and state trial and appellate courts and administrative tribunals in Louisiana, where medical providers claimed that they had been underpaid for treating injured workers.
    • Neil wrote the critical jury instructions, post-trial motions, and appellate briefs that led to the eventual exoneration of a former public company general counsel on criminal charges under the so-called “honest services” mail fraud statute.
    • Neil led the multi-year defense of a law firm facing claims of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud arising from an underlying muti-year lawsuit against other professional services providers.
    • Neil wrote the briefs that persuaded the United States Supreme Court to set aside a punitive damages award against a glass manufacturer. He then persuaded the Oregon Court of Appeals for the first time to reduce such an award.
    • Neil’s summary judgment briefs persuaded the trial court to reject a defendant manufacturer’s novel theory that its decades-old indemnification obligation could be set aside because the plaintiff distributor had changed suppliers and thereby assertedly undercut the manufacturer’s defense in personal injury lawsuits.
  • Credentials


    • University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1994, with honors
      The University of Chicago Law Review, Editorial Board
    • Pomona College, B.A., 1988

    Bar Admissions

    • California
    • Illinois
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

        Teaching Appointments

        • Adjunct Professor, Northwestern University School of Law (legal ethics)
        • Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (deposition and trial skills)
      • Insights

        News Release

        2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.


        Ethics: Understanding Attorney Obligations in High-Risk Cases

        Cutting-Edge Issues in Asbestos Litigation Conference

        Beverly Hills, Calif.
        News Release

        95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

        Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        99 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2017 Leading Lawyers List

        Ninety-nine Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2017 Leading Lawyers list for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        91 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois, Michigan Leading Lawyers Network

        The list is comprised of those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

        Speeches & Presentations

        • “Ethics: Understanding Attorney Obligations in High-Risk Cases,” (panelist) Cutting-Edge issues in Asbestos Litigation Conference (Mar. 9, 2018)
        • “Legal Ethics:  Conflicts of Interest,” (panelist) Legal Ethics in Illinois (May 2013)
        • “The Ethics of Lawyer-Client Fallout,” (moderator) ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference, Chicago (Apr. 2013)
      • Citizenship

        Pro Bono Activities

        Working with the ABA’s Death Penalty Representation Project and the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, Neil for more than a decade represented an Alabama capital defendant pressing claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel through the state and federal courts.


        Working with the Office of the Illinois Appellate Defender, Neil has represented indigent criminal defendants in their direct appeals.


        Neil, under appointment from the federal trial and appellate courts in Chicago, has represented incarcerated persons challenging the conditions of their confinement.

      Product Liability and Mass Torts Blog

      Seventh Circuit Ruling On Scientific Evidence Closes Some Doors But Opens Others

      Exposure to potentially harmful substances at some level is a fact of modern life. These substances are everywhere — in the air we breathe, in the food we eat, and in the water we drink — and many of these substances are naturally occurring. It is impossible to have zero exposure to all of them.... Continue Reading