Karl R. Barnickol



  • Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (J.D., 1997)
  • Georgetown University (A.B., 1994), cum laude

Related Services

Karl takes pride in providing practical litigation advice tailored to meet client-specific goals and counseling clients on best practices for business growth and litigation avoidance. His litigation practice focuses on defending complex mass tort and class action cases, including products and publisher liability matters, securities fraud and shareholder derivative litigation, and price-fixing and unfair competition claims. In particular, Karl has significant experience representing health care, technology, manufacturing, logistics, and content and media companies in complex cases. Karl also represents individual employees, officers, and directors in civil litigation or regulatory matters arising from their employment. He has achieved successful outcomes for clients in state and federal courts nationwide, both at the trial and appellate levels, including: 

  • Negotiating voluntary dismissals and settlements to end hundreds of mass tort claims challenging drug information relating to Reglan, Accutane, Zoloft, Prozac, and Januvia; 
  • Obtaining dismissal of three amended securities fraud complaints and four parallel derivative complaints filed against a company and its senior executives;
  • Successfully negotiating a class action settlement in a $1.6 billion health care fraud class action and defending the settlement against objections from class members in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; and 
  • Obtaining a favorable allocation of costs on behalf of an oil company facing environmental claims following a four-week bench trial.

Outside the courtroom, Karl helps businesses profit by identifying opportunities for cost reduction and revenue growth in relationships with business partners and customers. He negotiates and drafts agreements, including technology licenses, sponsorships, concessions and subscriptions. He also develops marketing and sales training materials, internal policy documents, and customer disclosures that drive continuous process improvement and mitigate litigation risk. Karl has helped  health care technology companies, retailers, and professional sports franchises substantially reduce the incidence and scope of litigation challenging their business practices.

  • The Best Lawyers in America, recommended in "Securities Litigation" from 2008-2021 and “Corporate Law” since 2013
  • Illinois Super Lawyers, recommended in “Class Action & Mass Torts” since 2016

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First District
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit