Mariangela “Merili” Seale
Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP
Non-compete litigation, trade secret misappropriation, commercial litigation
40 Under Class – 2020

“Merili is a rare combination—a fierce litigator and a pragmatic business-driven problem solver.” Rich Lee, General Counsel at Civis Analytics, said about Mariangela (Merili) Seale.  According to one of her clients, “[Merili’s] strategic acumen is beyond her years.  But what really sets Merili apart is her commitment to client service.  She understands what we need to accomplish, and she gets the job done every time.”  

It is, therefore, no surprise that Merili often takes on the most difficult cases for her clients, litigating everything from single plaintiff to class action cases involving contract disputes, trade-secret misappropriation, non-competes, and unfair competition. 

Renee Schreiber, Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel at Mesirow Financial, said that Seale has the rare ability to not just balance multiple matters and teams, but to handle all these issues expertly. Seale remains focused, thoughtful, responsive and detailed, even when she is juggling several different matters and teams at once, Schreiber said. 

“Merili often surprises me with her ability to respond and make me feel like I am her only client,” Schreiber said. “She also gets that we need legal advice that is practical. You can give me case theory and legal jargon all day, but I need to be able to apply it to my business or my case and be able to explain it to senior management and non-lawyers. Merili gets that, takes the time to learn about my business and company culture and gives me practical solutions.”

“Merili cares deeply about her clients,” said Malaika Tyson with McAndrews, Held & Malloy. “I have seen her pine over issues and think about them from perspectives that were not previously considered. It is her unwavering commitment to clients and results that makes Merili such trusted counsel.”

Along with being one of the most respected and busiest legal counselors and litigators, Merili still makes time to mentor and support women of color in the legal field. In this regard, Seale is active in recruiting, mentorship, diversity, and client-management activities at her firm. 

On top of being on the board of directors for the Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program (DAPP), she plays a meaningful role with the Black Women Lawyers Association (BWLA), and served on the Chicago Committee advancing minorities in large law firms and CircEsteem. 

“She does this because service to others is at her core,” Gray Mateo-Harris of Fox Rothschild said. “She is committed to the advancement of women of color in the legal profession and freely gives of her time and talent to further that mission.”

Seale’s clients not only count on her to solve their hardest problems but their loyalty is a testament to her legal acumen and the wins she repeatedly delivers for them—and no doubt will continue to achieve.