Overview

Timothy Ray is co-chair of Holland & Knight's Product Liability Team and is listed in the Best Lawyers in America guide for Commercial Litigation. He concentrates his practice in the areas of product liability, complex commercial litigation, antitrust and class action defense. He has tried close to 40 jury trials to verdict in complex civil litigation matters.

Mr. Ray has worked as a leading trial lawyer for more than 20 years. He has represented clients in a broad range of disputes, including consumer fraud, domestic and international arbitration, cross-border distribution and joint venture agreements alleging anticompetitive behavior, antitrust, bad faith insurance litigation, false advertising and false claims act litigation.

He has represented clients in Doha, Qatar, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in various commercial disputes with U.S. companies. In doing so, he has developed a deep understanding of the legal issues that are involved in commercial dealings via joint venture agreements with Middle Eastern companies.

Among his breadth of representation, Mr. Ray has defended several original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in product liability litigation. Most recently he defended a German company in a putative class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida involving various defect, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), breach of warranty, and consumer fraud allegations concerning a sensor housing that was responsible for the release of airbags in various automobiles. All counts were dismissed at the pleading stage.

Mr. Ray also successfully defended a national retail chain engaged in the sale of pet animal products and services in four putative class actions involving false advertising allegations. These allegations included claims concerning the term "all natural" and the purported health benefits claimed by certain products. He was one of the first lawyers to have dismissed, at the pleading stage, a false advertising case against a national retail chain in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He defended several middle-market manufacturers of health and wellness products in multiple false advertising cases. He also has represented online travel agents before the National Advertising Division (NAD) concerning the accuracy of published fares.

In addition, Mr. Ray successfully defended an Italian motorcycle manufacturer before the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in product safety investigations.

As part of his practice, Mr. Ray represents high-net-worth families involved in significant trust disputes with beneficiaries.

In the community, Mr. Ray provides pro bono representation to indigent clients in cases in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including on matters involving employment discrimination.

Experience

  • ERISA: Serves as lead trial counsel for a healthcare insurance broker in ERISA litigation against 15 defendants arising from various alleged fiduciary breaches in relation to their responsibilities for the administration of certain health care plans
  • Product Liability: Serves as trial counsel for a German agrochemical company involved in product liability litigation stemming from widespread use of Roundup, a herbicide containing the active ingredient glyphosate
  • False Advertising: Defended a national retail chain engaged in the sale of pet animal products and services against false advertising allegations in putative class actions involving various brands of specialty pet foods in Illinois, California and Florida
  • Privacy: Defended a national retain chain engaged in the sale of pet animal products and services in two putative privacy class actions; the first of which regarded alleged violations of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act and the second of which regarded alleged violations of Massachusetts privacy laws in connection with credit card transactions
  • Bad Faith Insurance: Defended a commercial lines insurance carrier in alleged bad faith litigation over its handling of an insurance policy that insured a helicopter touring company that was triggered after a fatal helicopter crash
  • Internal Investigations: Conducted the largest internal investigation in a Riyadh-based company's history concerning various employees' fraud, misappropriation of funds, and subsequent transfer of those funds to the United States
  • Misappropriation of Funds and Fraud: Represented a Riyadh-based company in federal court in its pursuit of millions of dollars stolen by a former employee
  • Antitrust: Served as trial counsel representing a leading forest products company in a series of nationwide direct and indirect purchaser antitrust class actions alleging supply restrictions and price fixing in the oriented strand board (OSB) market
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation: Served as regional and trial counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in nationwide class actions and individual wrongful death cases in "bet-the-company" litigation arising from a nationwide drug recall of oversized morphine tablets
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation: Represented global drug company in vaccine-related litigation
  • Asbestos: Served as trial counsel for Devon Energy in several asbestos-related cases in Cook and Madison counties in Illinois, resulting in complete dismissals
  • Product Liability – Regulatory: Defended an iconic Italian motorcycle manufacturer in a safety investigation conducted by the U.S. National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA) arising from various product defect claims involving the gas tanks and fuel lines of multiple brands of motorcycles; the investigation was ultimately dismissed, and no further action was taken by the NHTSA
  • Product Liability: Defended a multinational automaker in state and federal court in trials alleging design defect, franchise and warranty-related litigation
  • False Claims Act: Defended 20 specialty wine distributors in Illinois state court against False Claims Act litigation involving allegations of failure to remit sales tax
  • EEOC Claims: Defended a major investment bank facing discrimination and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims

  • Anticompetitive Practices, Fraud and Theft of Trade Secrets: Represented a Doha, Qatar, conglomerate in an International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) arbitration regarding a dispute with a U.S. healthcare equipment maker over a distribution agreement and alleged fraud, anticompetitive behavior, theft of trade secrets, and tortious interference with business, concerning a $1 billion competitive bidding process involving the two largest hospitals ever built in Doha
  • JV Dispute: Defended the world's leading integrated steel and mining company in an American Arbitration Association (AAA) arbitration involving a dispute over a joint venture agreement and anticompetitive behavior

Credentials

Education
  • University of Iowa College of Law, J.D.
  • Xavier University of Louisiana, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Illinois
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Trial Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
Memberships
  • Product Liability Advisory Council, Board of Directors
  • University of Iowa College of Law, Board of Directors
  • St. Rita High School, Board of Directors
  • Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, Former Board Member
  • University of Iowa College of Law Chicago Alumni Steering Committee
  • Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms
  • Cook County Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, 2018, 2019
  • Outstanding Service, Illinois Supreme Court, Committee on Professional Responsibility, 2007-2015
  • Distinguished Service Award, Chicago Bar Foundation, 2010
  • Dedicated Service, Chicago Bar Association, Board of Managers, 2009-2011
  • 40 Attorneys Under 40 to Watch, Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2004

Speaking Engagements

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