40 Under Forty 2023

T hroughout her career, Nicole Mueller has never shied away from tackling cases involving the most complex and challenging legal questions, whether they arise from class action litigation, the evolving securities laws, or other complex business litigation. And why should she? Mueller has consistently shown that she has the legal mind needed to deliver the best results for her clients in even the most difficult matters. An example? Mueller was a key member of the team at K&L Gates that achieved a first-of-its-kind summary judgment victory on behalf of an investment advisor sued under section 36(b) of the Investment Company Act. Mueller was also an integral part of the team that obtained summary judgment for a national financial institution in a significant Fair Housing Act lawsuit filed by a municipality. Mueller also defended a client in a class action dispute raising then-untested theories regarding whether an individual who discussed cryptocurrencies on YouTube or other social media platforms could be considered a “seller” of securities under the federal securities laws. This claim, like many she has worked on, required sophisticated analysis to apply a unique fact pattern to prior precedents. Mueller also regularly achieves full arbitration awards for her clients, including an award obtained after a multi-day hearing in Doha, Qatar in which she represented a subcontractor in dispute with its general con- tractor over construction of troop housing on a United States air base. Her peers say that Mueller brings the same dedication to her pro bono clients. She regularly represents individuals seeking asylum or similar relief and has successfully obtained relief for clients following evidentiary hearings opposed by the U.S. Immigration Office. “Ms. Mueller focuses her work at K&L Gates on some of the most complex types of federal and state litigation, including litigation involv- ing federal and state securities laws and M&A litigation, among others,” said Sarah Grady, attorney with Chicago’s Kaplan & Grady LLC. “These cases often involve industries or activities that present novel legal issues that must be addressed with detail and nuance. Ms. Mueller has proven that she is not only capable of providing that detail and nuance, she does it excellently and successfully.” Mitch Holzrichter, a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, says that Mueller regular defends clients through all the phases of what he calls “bet the company” matters. The reason? Holzrichter says that Mueller’s clients trust that she will give them the best possible representation and deliver them the best results. As an example of the stellar reputation Mueller has developed, in 2020 the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois selected her to serve on its Hearing Board, which pre- sides over disciplinary, disability, and reinstatement hearings. In 2023, the Commission asked her to serve as a Panel Chair of the Hearing Board. “Ms. Mueller is an excellent litigator who is up to the challenge of tackling difficult questions on behalf of her clients in novel situations,” Grady said. “She certainly is an up-and-comer in Illinois.”


AGE 39

FIRM K&L Gates

LAW SCHOOL Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

AREA OF PRACTICE Commercial litigation, class action and derivative litigation, arbitration


Ms. Mueller is an excellent litigator who is up to the challenge of tackling difficult questions on behalf of her clients in novel situations.”



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