Reena Bajowala

Reena R. Bajowala is a partner in the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Department and a member of the Class Action, Technology Litigation and ERISA Litigation practice groups. She represents corporations in a wide-variety of significant disputes involving relationships with their employees, customers and business partners.

Ms. Bajowala is an experienced trial attorney who litigates in state and federal courts, including serving as first chair on two federal trials. She handles litigation and investigation matters for companies involving their employees, customers and business partners that deal with complex commercial and financial transactions, consumer fraud, corporate reorganization and benefit plans. Ms. Bajowala has defended corporations, including manufacturers, retailers and government defense contractors, in actions with up to 90,000 class members and has represented a committee charged with protecting the interests of over 45,000 individuals. Ms. Bajowala regularly counsels and defends employers and service providers in federal actions involving defined contribution, defined benefit, employer stock option, short-term disability and other ERISA-governed plans. Her recent experience includes defending excessive fee litigation and stock drop litigation. She also counsels corporate boards and executives on a variety of areas of concern, including conflicts of interest, fiduciary duties, benefit plan exposure, investment disclosures, employment issues, IT and benefits outsourcing arrangements and technology policy.

Ms. Bajowala is regarded as a leader in her field. She received the “Illinois Most Powerful & Influential Woman Award” from the Illinois Diversity Council in 2014. Ms. Bajowala was selected as a 2013 fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She was recognized by Illinois Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in General Commercial Litigation in 2011 and 2013. In the Spring of 2015, she will accept the POW! Award from Womenetics, which celebrates women who demonstrate “game changing leadership” in business and the Chicago community.

Ms. Bajowala has also been recognized for her public interest work. She received the 2013 Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award for distinguished pro bono service. She was also featured in an article on Jenner & Block’s No. 1 pro bono program ranking in the July 2014 edition of The American Lawyer. Ms Bajowala also accepted the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s 2014 Corporate Partner award on behalf of the firm, which stemmed from her work on a lengthy Fair Housing Act matter she litigated in federal court. She has also litigated other civil rights matters in federal court, including a Section 1983 civil jury trial. She also works to protect the rights of the undocumented, including helping recover almost $800,000 in restitution for a human trafficking survivor, working to achieve the first public settlement of RICO trafficking claims and assisting numerous survivors of political persecution with attaining asylum. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Public Interest Law Initiative. She also serves on the National Immigrant Justice Center’s Junior Leadership Council. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Bajowala completed a PILI internship at the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation (CVLS) and a PILI graduate fellowship at the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU-Illinois.

Ms. Bajowala is active in several professional organizations that foster diversity in the legal profession, including serving as the Women’s Committee Chair for the Indian-American Bar Association and previously serving as Membership Committee Chair and 2008 National Convention co-chair for the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA). During law school at the University of Michigan Law School, she founded the annual Origins Fellowship Program run by the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA), which has since awarded fellowship funds in excess of $65,000 to more than 20 law students working to advance the public interest. Origins also initiated the Law School’s Annual Culture Show.

She founded the firm’s Mother’s Circle of the Women’s Forum and also serves on the Women’s Forum Steering Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She previously served as co-chair of the firm’s Asian Forum and on the firm’s Hiring Committee and Pro Bono Committee.