23 Oct 2017 News

Judge Richard A. Posner Rejoins Compass Lexecon

4 minute read


Compass Lexecon is delighted and honored to announce that former Professor and now retired Seventh Circuit Judge Richard A. Posner has rejoined the firm as a Senior Advisor. In 1977, Judge Posner, along with William M. Landes and Andrew M. Rosenfield, founded Lexecon, which later merged with Compass to form Compass Lexecon. Their basic idea was to apply the law and economics scholarship then being developed in academia to real world commercial disputes. Building on that idea, Compass Lexecon has grown to be a world-wide business with 19 offices populated by world class experts and staff in addition to having affiliations with leading academics, including numerous Nobel Prize winners.

Judge Posner's time at Lexecon was short as he became a Seventh Circuit Judge in 1981, just four years after Lexecon had been founded. Co-founder Andrew Rosenfield by contrast, who in many ways had the entrepreneurial vision to see the commercial potential in Lexecon, led Lexecon as its President for many years until departing to pursue other ventures. Co-founder William Landes, former Chairman of Lexecon, remains part of Compass Lexecon as an expert consultant and witness.

Judge Posner is widely recognized as the most influential legal academic of his time, many would say of all time. After spending his early career as a Professor developing the field of law and economics, frequently in combination with Professor Landes, he broadened his areas of interest while continuing to do pioneering work in law and economics. To date, he has published 66 books as well as countless scholarly articles and pieces in the popular press. Judge Posner was equally prolific and influential in his 35+ year judicial career, having published over 3,300 opinions on a wide range of subjects. These opinions are routinely studied for their insights, creativity, and elegant writing style by students of law around the country and the world.

Daniel R. Fischel, Compass Lexecon's Chairman and President, stated "I cannot begin to describe what an honor it is for us to welcome back Lexecon's co-founder, and also my close friend, teacher and mentor to our firm. He, more than anyone, is responsible for the once unheard of but now routine application and use of economics in legal proceedings. That is why our firm exists. We could not be more thrilled."

About Richard A. Posner

Richard A. Posner was born in New York City in 1939, graduated summa cum laude from Yale College at the age of 20 and three years later graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School. After a decade employed by various branches of the federal government , including the Solicitor General's Office, he became an associate professor at Stanford law School and a year later a full professor at the University of Chicago Law School, where he remained until his appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 1981. As a law professor he participated extensively in litigation, mainly as an expert witness, and also founded the Journal of Legal Studies and the consulting firm Lexecon that later blossomed into Compass Lexecon, and he wrote numerous books, articles, and, with Nobel laureate Gary Becker, many blog posts. As of 2017 Judge Posner has published 66 books. After almost 36 years as a member of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals he retired from the court but not from an active life focused on law, economics, and helping the many Americans who have valid legal claims but cannot afford to hire a lawyer to press their claims.

Chief Judge Diane Wood of the Seventh Circuit announced Judge Posner's retirement in the following gracious statement: "It is with great regret that I announce the retirement of Judge Richard A. Posner after nearly thirty-six years on the Seventh Circuit. For more than 50 years Judge Posner has been one of the leading public intellectuals in the United States-indeed, in the world. He is one of the most distinguished people ever to sit on the federal bench. His opinions have had an impact around the world. He has produced an unparalleled body of scholarship-books, articles, and public commentary-covering virtually every legal topic that can be imagined. The impact Judge Posner has had on this Court is immeasurable, and it is with the deepest gratitude that we wish him well."

A new version of Compass Lexecon is available.