Nilofer Umar regularly takes on the biggest of cases as a partner with Sidley Austin. Her practice focuses on representing corporations, boards of directors and officers in defense of shareholder litigation and mergers-and-acquisition litigation.
Umar has quickly developed a reputation as a top commercial litigator who delivers results, something that has earned her loyalty from big-name clients.
Some examples? Umar represented Walgreens and its board in defense of a high-profile shareholder derivative lawsuit relating to Walgreens’ now-terminated relationship with Theranos. Umar earned dismissal of that case and affirmance by the Delaware Supreme Court.
She also was lead counsel to Power Solutions in defense of shareholder litigation. Again, Umar argued and won dismissal and affirmance on appeal. Kelly Crosier (now Deputy General Counsel of Heidrick & Struggles), who worked with Umar as in-house counsel on that matter, attributes her success not only to her “incredible knowledge of the law,” but also her “strategic thinking [and] the effectiveness of her oral and written advocacy.”
Umar's skills paid off, too, when she represented Discover in defense of derivative litigation and earned dismissal.
Nilofer’s talents go beyond just her legal skills. According to Monica Weed, General Counsel of Navigant Consulting until its acquisition in 2019, “Nilofer has the uncanny ability to clearly demonstrate her unique expertise while at the same time making all stakeholders feel like she is just part of the team. She is able to put people at ease, fully confident that they are in her steady, extremely capable hands. This is a skill that goes well beyond great technical legal expertise - I have not worked with any lawyers who are better at this than Nilofer is.”
Adrienne Tarver, a law clerk with Judge Robert Dow of the Northern District of Illinois, has known Umar since 2017, when Umar mentored her during Tarver’s time as a Sidley summer associate – a relationship that has continued.
Umar and Tarver, while Tarver was a first-year associate, represented a special committee of Allstate’s board in an investigation in response to a shareholder demand and a successful motion to dismiss a related lawsuit.
Tarver said that Umar didn't hesitate to share her knowledge throughout the case.
"One of the things I found most valuable about working with Nilofer was the opportunity to observe just how well she does her job," Tarver said. "She is a true expert in the field of shareholder litigation.."
Allen Schwartz, executive director of Coordinated Advice & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS), also works closely with Umar in her role as a member of the CARPLS board.
"Even as the pandemic led to one of the most challenging fund-raising environments in recent history, Nilofer has proven to be an energetic and effective fund-raiser," Schwartz said. "I have seen firsthand Nilofer's empathy and her determination to further CARPLS' mission of providing everyday justice for everyday people."