Massey & Gail

District of Columbia


Dispute resolution

With offices in Chicago, Washington, DC, and San Francisco, Massey & Gail fashions itself as “a different kind of law firm,” with lawyers covering areas of litigation involving administrative, commercial, antitrust, intellectual property and appeals. An appreciative client raves, “Massey & Gail took over a suit from a former firm, and I wish I had found Massey & Gail first because the difference is night and day in both professionalism and performance. As long as it fell under their area(s) of expertise I would give them all of my legal work.”
     Chicago’s Leonard Gail, a generalist commercial litigator, has kept particularly active with a varied portfolio of litigation matters over the past 12 months. In one such matter, he served as lead counsel to two relators who sued household goods giant Lowe’s under the Illinois False Claims Act, alleging Lowe’s defrauded the State by failing to collect and remit sales tax when Lowe’s sold dishwashers and microwave ovens for which it also provided installation. The parties agreed to bifurcate liability and damages and held a bench trial on liability: whether Lowe’s knowingly avoided its obligation under Illinois sales tax. In March 2021, the Court found for plaintiffs on liability, holding that Lowe’s knowingly avoided paying tax on the sale of installed appliances. The parties currently are litigating damages, which will result in a multimillion-dollar recovery for the State. The precedent-setting liability finding resolved a disputed question of law that has pervaded the industry for years. Jonathan Massey, based in the DC office, is noted for mining a practice dedicated to appellate work. In another tax-related matter, Massey acts as co-counsel to several brand-name “big law” firms representing The Coca-Cola Company in a tax dispute involving approximately $3.3 billion in alleged underpayments for tax years 2007 to 2009.  Coca-Cola has disclosed that the total amount for subsequent tax years could reach $12 billion. Massey also represents approximately 2,300 children injured by lead-contaminated water in Flint, MI.  A court-approved settlement was entered in 2020, and the settlement fund currently includes $600 million from the state of Michigan, $20 million from the city of Flint’s insurance companies, $20 million from McLaren Flint Hospital and $1.2 million from Rowe Professional Services. Anyone who lived, worked, or went to school in Flint from April 25, 2014, to November 16, 2020, and was exposed to contaminated drinking water is eligible to receive money from the settlement. Most of the $641.2 million will go to young children who suffered lead poisoning.