July 11, 2017
Andrew Chirls has tried a broad variety of business and tort cases. A graduate of the University of California (Boalt Hall) School of Law, he served as a clerk for the U.S. District Court in New Jersey for a year and then spent 25 years litigating at Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, where he was a partner from 1989 to 2009. He was Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2005.
Class actions and mass torts: Mr. Chirls is known for his practice in class actions and multi-district litigation, both as an advocate and a neutral. He was appointed in 2013 by the United States District Court in Philadelphia to oversee and resolve discovery disputes in the Zoloft Birth Defects national multi-district litigation. He serves by appointment of the Court as Common Benefit Fund Administrator in the Avandia multi-district litigation. Mr. Chirls has been class counsel in a number of securities cases, and represented the AHP Settlement Trust, which administered a $4.3 billion class settlement from the marketing of the diet drug Fen Phen.
Business litigation: Mr. Chirls has also tried contract cases arising from mergers, acquisitions and dissolutions. He is recognized as an authority in the field of property rights and condemnation law, involving the constitutional rights of property owners when governments and utility companies take property for public projects.
Attorney discipline: Mr. Chirls represents and consults with lawyers on attorney discipline and professional ethics matters.
Torts: He was the first lawyer to represent a plaintiff in an AIDS/HIV discrimination case before a jury in Pennsylvania, and was lead defense counsel in a class action involving exposure to toxic metals at a dialysis clinic.
Service to the public and the profession: Mr. Chirls was elected Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2005. He was also chairman of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, president of Philadelphia-based BalletX, and a long-time board member of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. He currently serves on the American Law Institute and Academy of Court Appointed Masters.
He has served on CLE faculties of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Georgetown University and the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, and he has authored numerous articles.
Among his many awards are: the International Human Rights Award from the Human Rights Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association; Michael Greenberg Community Service Award from Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP); Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, Professional in Human Relations Award; and the Jewish Social Policy Action Network (“JSPAN”) Social Justice Award.