Steven M. Kowal concentrates in government investigations and complex criminal and civil litigation, particularly antitrust, cartel and trade regulation, enforcement proceedings initiated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration against pharmaceutical, medical device and food manufacturers, and health care, securities and business matters. He also conducts internal investigations for major corporations.
Mr. Kowal has extensive federal trial experience. He has successfully defended numerous companies and individuals in many grand jury investigations and criminal prosecutions. He also has defended and successfully resolved numerous government civil enforcement proceedings relating to antitrust, the FDA and the Federal Trade Commission, and he has defended qui tam whistleblower actions. Several matters have involved complex parallel criminal and civil proceedings.
Mr. Kowal also has significant appellate experience. He has been responsible for criminal and civil appeals in the United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Fourth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits, for state appellate courts in Illinois, Michigan and Florida, and for the Illinois Supreme Court.
In 2016, the K&L Gates Chicago antitrust and competition group was recognized as the “Cartel & Trade Regulation Law Firm of the Year in Illinois” by the international review and assessment programs of both Corporate INTL Magazine and Global Law Experts.
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Prior to private practice, Mr. Kowal spent seven years as a senior trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he prosecuted numerous criminal and civil antitrust cases. In that position, he received several awards for outstanding performance including the Attorney General's Special Commendation.
Mr. Kowal was an Adjunct Professor at the Northwestern University School of Law from 1997 until 2004, served on the faculty of the Department of Business and Economics at Benedictine University, and is now a member of the Advisory Committee to the dean of Benedictine's graduate business school.
Mr. Kowal has written more than 130 articles for publication.
Mr. Kowal is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Fellowship in this prestigious organization is extended by invitation only to those lawyers recognized to have mastered the art of trial advocacy. The college regards its members as the best of the trial bar in the United States and Canada.
In recognition of his experience and success, Mr. Kowal has been listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America in antitrust law, white collar criminal defense and FDA law. He has been recognized as one of the nation's leading lawyers in white collar criminal defense by Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He has been selected for inclusion in the Euromoney Institutional Investor's Guide to the World's Leading Competition and Antitrust Lawyers and in the Cross-border Competition Handbook. He has been selected for inclusion in The International Who’s Who of Business Crime Defense Lawyers of the International Bar Association. He has been recognized by Corporate Counsel Magazine as one of the nation's Top Lawyers in antitrust law and white collar criminal defense. Mr. Kowal has been included in Illinois Super Lawyers and named a Leading Lawyer in Illinois in white collar criminal defense, antitrust law and government regulatory litigation.
Mr. Kowal was appointed by the ABA's Section of Antitrust Law to chair a special task force to prepare comments to Congress on proposed amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations. Those comments were adopted as official policy by the American Bar Association's House of Delegates. He also has been appointed to task forces to address issues related to corporate governance, international cartel enforcement, proposed changes in the amnesty program of the European Commission and legislation to increase U.S. penalties for antitrust violations. In 2004 and 2005, he received awards from the ABA for Exceptional Leadership in Preparing Policy Comments on behalf of the Section of Antitrust Law relating to proposed amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.