Robert Clifford is a hard working, dedicated and accomplished aviation accident attorney and personal injury attorney. He was named by Chicago Magazine as one of the top 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans in 2013. Mr. Clifford was named the 2012 Chicago Lawyer Person of the Year. Based upon his trial accomplishments, and his contributions to the legal community and the Chicago area, his colleagues nominated him for the prestigious honor given to one person each year. He is the founder of Clifford Law Offices, a nationally recognized personal injury law firm in Chicago concentrating in aviation, transportation, personal injury, medical negligence, and product liability law. In February, 2013, the National Law Journal named the firm one of the Top 10 Litigation Boutiques in the country.
In 2011, Mr. Clifford was inducted as the 135th President of the Chicago Bar Association, and served the 25,000-member group with a number of initiatives that promoted the bar, the bench and the Chicago community. He has also been inducted into the International Society of Barristers, an honor society of trial lawyers chosen by their peers on the basis of excellence and integrity in advocacy; the Inner Circle of Advocates, comprised of trial attorneys from across the country who share their expertise and ideas; and the American Law Institute, a group of 3,000 prominent judges, lawyers and academics from around the world who are selected on the basis of professional achievement in the law. In 2011, Mr. Clifford was elected to a third term as the Illinois State Delegate to the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association (ABA).
Mr. Clifford is Past President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association and a Past President of the Chicago Inn of Court, which upholds the highest of principles of the profession. He has been inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Additionally, he has been selected to be a member of the National Judicial College, a select assembly of legal and corporate leaders from across the country who are dedicated to furthering the education and training of judges. Mr. Clifford was appointed a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Civility, which was established to discover and promote appropriate ways to promote civility among Illinois lawyers. He also was elected to be a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a non-profit organization supporting historical research and publications of the Supreme Court of the United States. Currently, he serves on the Board of Overseers of the Rand Institute for Civil Justice, a California-based think tank.
In 2011, he was again one of the few lawyers named to Crain’s Chicago Business’ top civic, cultural, and professional leaders in Chicago, which recognizes 750 individuals that everyone “needs to know.” In the March 2011 edition of Chicago Magazine, an article detailed his work in aviation law, an area where he perhaps has made the greatest impact in Chicago, around the country and the world. In 2010, Mr. Clifford was named the Top Lawyer of the Year in Medical Malpractice in Chicago by the oldest peer-reviewed organization in the country, Best Lawyers, which featured him on the cover of their guide. Best Lawyers in America also named Mr. Clifford the 2009 Personal Injury Attorney Lawyer of the Year based upon his particularly high ratings for his ability, professionalism and integrity in personal injury and aviation accident litigation. He was also the cover story of the 2009 Leading Lawyer’s Consumer Edition. Leading Lawyers of Illinois has named him one of the Top Ten Attorneys in the state, where he has always ranked among the top three.
As a top performing personal injury attorney and with his expertise in aviation accidents, Mr. Clifford was named one of the Top 10 Attorneys Who Raised the Bar Over the Last Decade in Chicago by the Law Bulletin Publishing Company. He was featured on the cover of the inaugural 2005 issue of Illinois Super Lawyers where they called him “Chicago’s Most Likable Tough Guy.” In 2004, he was selected as one of the “five most respected and feared plaintiffs’ attorneys in the country” by Corporate Legal Times, in which they dubbed him “the best of the bad.”
As a successful aviation accident attorney, Mr. Clifford consistently garners multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts in aviation litigation. He has represented those injured or killed in every major commercial airline crash in the United States in the last two decades. Currently, he represents 17 families in the Amsterdam Turkish Airlines crash of 2009, as well as five families who lost loved ones in the Buffalo plane crash, and the Comair runway crash in Lexington, Kentucky, that killed all but one aboard.
In addition, Mr. Clifford served as liaison counsel and personal injury attorney for the property damage claims in the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, which settled 10 years later in 2011 for $1.2 billion. These complex cases were brought on behalf of insurance companies and business interests from around the globe who suffered financial losses after the Twin Towers collapsed that tragic morning. Mr. Clifford was recently recognized with a Jury Verdict Reporter Award for an $85 million settlement in a qui tam case in which he was among the firms representing the whistleblower. Most recently, Mr. Clifford represented two victims of a horrific grain bin explosion along the Mississippi River and obtained $112 of a $180 million verdict in federal court in St. Louis.
Mr. Clifford endowed the first Chair on Tort Law and Social Policy to his alma mater, DePaul University College of Law. This generous gift provides for an annual symposium where academicians, lawyers and judges from across the country gather to speak on a timely topic dealing with the relationship between tort law and societal needs. He also sits on the Board of Directors of WTTW, Chicago’s public television station, where he sponsors closed captioning.