19 Jan Gabriela Isuani Monahan
Gabriela (Gaby) Isuani Monahan is a partner in the firm’s complex litigation/dispute resolution group, where she concentrates her practice in areas of high-stakes litigation, corporate law, and international arbitration. Gaby has an impressive legal career, practicing for over 20 years in Chicago, for one of the largest law firms in the US before transitioning to a global accounting firm as managing director and special counsel on risk and public policy.
Gaby graduated as the salutatorian from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and clerked for the Honorable James Zagel at the U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois, for two years. She was a partner at Kirkland and Ellis’s Chicago office, focusing on complex commercial litigation, class actions, and international arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and International Chamber of Commerce. She then joined Grant Thornton in Chicago as their managing director and special counsel on risk and public policy.
During her tenure at Kirkland, she worked in-house with the Latin American legal director at the Colgate-Palmolive Company in New York, developing and presenting global strategies to the US general counsel and Latin American legal directors. She also worked in-house at Accenture as part of a team of lawyers, handling litigation matters globally. Gaby was the lead liaison for Latin American matters and the government operating group.
Gaby was born in Argentina and is a native Spanish speaker. She earned her J.D., magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago law school where she was editor of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal. Prior to law school, she received her B.A. magna cum laude in business administration from Baylor University. Gaby is a member of the Illinois State Bar.
- Represented clients in a spectrum of international & domestic business litigation involving fraud, breach of contract & fiduciary duties, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, mismanagement, negligence, product liability, antitrust & class actions in state & federal courts & before arbitral tribunals in the American Arbitration Association & International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration.
- Counseled clients regarding a wide range of issues impacting U.S. and international operations, including litigation, political compliance, marketing, master service agreements, and state and local government contracts.
- Represented plaintiff in Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions, Inc. v. Intersil Corporation, a case involving misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of NDA, resulting in jury verdict of over $85 million.
- (FINANCIAL INSTITUTION) Represented financial institution client in ICC arbitration against joint venture partners and investors in Brussels, Belgium, England, and Argentina in dispute involving mismanagement, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duties.
- (FRANCHISOR) Represented franchisor against claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, negligent misrepresentation, slander, and defamation brought by parties rejected as franchisees by joint venture companies and separate corporate entities in Argentina, Spain, Italy, and France.
- (AUTOMOTIVE COMPANY) Defended and obtained award of no liability for automotive client in ICC arbitration involving Venezuelan joint venture company.
- (CHEMICAL MANUFACTURER) Represented client in U.S. court in matter brought to enforce Nicaraguan judgment for $500 million resulting in dismissal of the case. Advised client with respect to hundreds of similar Nicaraguan lawsuits, enforcement actions in other Latin American countries, and negotiations with government officials.
- (DISTRIBUTOR) Led task force to analyze distribution, supply arrangements, and contracts throughout Latin America and develop global strategies, policies, and procedures for dealing with distribution and supply chain issues.
- (INVESTORS: AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY) Represented Argentine investor clients in contract dispute against joint venture partner in auto-supply industry. Claims litigated before AAA international panel.
- (MANUFACTURER & DISTRIBUTOR) Represented client in the U.S. and worked with Mexican counsel to successfully defeat multiple suits brought by joint venture partner in Mexican state and federal courts to nullify client’s arbitral award as void against Mexican public policy. Client collected millions of U.S. dollars in damages and post-judgment interest.
- (PRODUCT MANUFACTURER) Counseled U.S. client with respect to subsidiary operations and disputes in Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, and Venezuela. Issues spanned areas such as labor disputes, indemnity payments to discharged employees, lawsuits for fraud and breach of contract, termination of international distributors, modification of distribution contracts, property ownership, stock transfers, dealings with U.S. Dept. of State, creation of new subsidiaries, and strategies relating to import relationships between distributors.
- (COMMERCIAL & GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING) Advised & developed guides, processes & procedures on various legal & business matters arising out of advisory & software implementation services, state & local government contracts, operations & strategy organizations. Supported client-facing professionals on RFPs, NDAs, contract negotiations, dispute resolution & compliance with terms, laws & regulations affecting consulting services and licensing contracts.
- (INSURANCE) Provided counsel and management services on a variety of insurance disputes, litigation & legal matters.
- (LITIGATION) Represented franchisor to enforce rights against former franchisee for infringement and misappropriation. Represented manufacturers in lawsuits for tortious interference, fraud, product liability, and breach of contract pending in federal and state courts, as well as the AAA.
- (MARKETING) Advised on marketing brand development & advertising initiatives spanning various issues, including copyright, trademark & other IP rights.
- (POLITICAL COMPLIANCE) Supported and advised Public Policy & Government Affairs group on legislative & public policy initiatives, as well as the firm’s political action committee. Advised professionals working on state & local government contracts on legal issues involving compliance with contracts, laws & regulations. Developed & delivered guides, processes & training on political compliance laws & regulations.
- (PROCUREMENT) Drafted & negotiated vendor agreements, including limited use licenses. Developed templates, guidelines & training to support contracting processes.
- (STRATEGIC RISK MANAGEMENT) Worked closely with senior leadership on strategic risk management initiatives affecting operations. Served on U.S. & international interdisciplinary task forces on master services agreements, cross border agreements, contract lifecycle management tools & legislative initiatives affecting accounting firms. Assessed & advised on liabilities and risks of proposed new client service offerings & other commercial transactions, including software implementation, the formation of affiliate entities, restructuring commercial transactions & sales strategy development, and devise practical solutions to meet the commercial goals. Developed & delivered live & on-line training modules for marketing, advisory contracts & political compliance. Developed policies & programs that included internal websites, help desks, self-help guides, templates & procedures to address business needs, reduce risk & accomplish annual objectives. Developed cost-savings, risk mitigation & budgeting processes. Coordinated legal matters handled by outside counsel.
Professional Associations & Memberships
Illinois State Bar
Women’s DNA Initiative (WDNA Chicago), Founder
Lake Travis High School, Career & Technology Education Advisory Board, Member