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Elli Leibenstein focuses his practice principally in the area of complex commercial litigation. He also provides advice to clients relating to litigation with, and investigations brought by, State Attorneys General. A substantial portion of his practice also involves counseling on mass tort liability and settlement assessments.


  • Complex commercial litigation
  • Product liability
  • Cost recovery litigation
  • Attorney General actions
  • Mass tort bankruptcies
  • Asbestos litigation



  • Represents R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a pending arbitration under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with various U.S. states and territories in which R.J. Reynolds and other tobacco company signatories seek a reduction of hundreds of millions of dollars in their 2004 settlement payment.
  • Advised Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) in its acquisition of Lorillard, Inc. for $27.4 billion and in the related $7.2 billion divestiture to an affiliate of Imperial Tobacco Group and $4.7 billion investment by British American Tobacco, RAI’s largest shareholder.°
  • Represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the $42.5 million settlement of its Engle-progeny litigation, stemming from the Engle v. Liggett Group Inc. class action against tobacco companies that was decertified by the Florida Supreme Court.°
  • Represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in connection with a settlement for over $1 billion with more than 20 U.S. states in connection with a reduction in their payments under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.°
  • Trial and bankruptcy counsel to W.R. Grace in its Chapter 11 filing resulting from its asbestos liabilities. Handled asbestos claims forecasting and confirmation issues in connection with fraudulent conveyance action, estimation hearing, and confirmation hearing.°
  • General bankruptcy counsel and litigation counsel to Babcock & Wilcox in its Chapter 11 filing precipitated by its increasing asbestos liability and litigation counsel for fraudulent conveyance action. Handled the asbestos claims forecasting and financial issues. The fraudulent conveyance action was successfully defeated, and the debtor successfully emerged from bankruptcy.°
  • Trial and bankruptcy counsel to the Swiss parent of debtor Combustion Engineering, which filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 filing in Delaware to resolve its asbestos claims and to obtain a release for its parent, ABB. Handled issues relating to forecasting asbestos claims, and the debtor successfully emerged from bankruptcy.°
  • Trial counsel to PacifiCorp in a commercial dispute. Tried arbitration with successful result of recovery of all damages, interest, and attorneys’ fees.° 

°The above matters were handled by Mr. Leibenstein prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Team Member, a Law360 “Product Liability Practice Group of the Year,” 2021
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, 2017
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.


  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1992
  • B.A., Northeastern Illinois University, 1983
  • Illinois