After 7 Years as GNC’s Top Legal Officer, Gerald Stubenhofer Rejoins McGuireWoods as Commercial Litigation Partner in Pittsburgh Office

January 5, 2015

Gerald J. Stubenhofer has returned to McGuireWoods as a partner in the firm’s highly regarded Commercial Litigation Department after seven years as the chief legal officer and corporate secretary of General Nutrition Centers Inc., a leading global retailer of vitamins and health supplements.

Stubenhofer rejoins the firm’s Pittsburgh office where he amassed a string of landmark verdicts from 2002-2007 before he departed to lead the legal department of GNC, a McGuireWoods client with nearly $2.7 billion in annual sales from locations in more than 50 countries.

“Having Jerry back with our firm is a wonderful homecoming for McGuireWoods. Jerry brings with him a record of client service and performance both with our firm and for a great and valued client,” said Leonard J. Marsico, the Pittsburgh-based chairman of the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department. “His experiences in the corporate world bring insights to our practice that will provide priceless benefits for all our clients.”

At GNC, Stubenhofer oversaw all company legal affairs, including litigation, legal matters relating to international expansion, domestic franchising and regulatory compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. He was also in charge of the company’s governmental affairs and public affairs, and served on GNC’s Executive, Corporate Compensation and Disclosure committees.

“I will always treasure my time at GNC, but returning to McGuireWoods feels like coming back home. The firm has grown during my years away, but the essentials remain the same: excellence, commitment to client service. All the things that made the firm great are even greater,” Stubenhofer said. “I am back where I feel comfortable, with our dedicated team of commercial litigators, and I am more prepared than ever to contribute to our continuing success on behalf of our clients.”

In his previous tenure at McGuireWoods, Stubenhofer’s litigation triumphs included securing a $2 million jury verdict on behalf of a marketing company after a three-week trial over the breach of and fraudulent inducement into an executive distribution agreement governing the rights to a patented dietary product. He also obtained a directed verdict clearing eight defendants in a $6 million defamation suit brought by a terminated former executive of a corporation, and he won a defense verdict, and verdict on a counterclaim, on behalf of the world’s largest privately held company in a breach-of-contract lawsuit.

“It’s a real coup to pick up a lawyer as talented as Jerry. He brings not just an enviable record of success as a litigator but an understanding of the issues that our clients confront every day that is hard to match,” said Terry Bagley, McGuireWoods’ deputy managing partner for litigation.

Brian Parker, office managing partner for the firm’s Pittsburgh office, said welcoming Stubenhofer back is a good thing for the Pittsburgh office. “We look forward very much to working with Jerry as he moves into this next phase of his career development.”

Stubenhofer earned his bachelor’s degree in 1991 from Allegheny College and his law degree three years later from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Besides GNC, he practiced in the commercial litigation departments of MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton of Erie, Pennsylvania, and Doepken, Keevican & Weiss of Pittsburgh before his previous time at McGuireWoods.

McGuireWoods’ litigation group is comprised of more than 500 litigators located across the United States and Europe, including many first-chair trial lawyers. Independent ratings publications such as Chambers USA and Chambers UK have listed the firm’s practice and individual lawyers among the top practitioners, and U.S. News-Best Lawyers in America 2014 includes almost 40 of the firm’s commercial litigators, including nearly a half-dozen named as “Lawyers of the Year.” In its 2014 guide, Legal 500 United States recognized the firm’s litigation team in the areas of product liability and mass tort defense: automotive/transport, consumer products and toxic tort.

Based on client interviews and research, BTI Consulting Group listed McGuireWoods’ commercial litigation team on the honor roll in the 2014 edition of its BTI Litigation Outlook. In addition, McGuireWoods was recognized in the 2013 edition as a “standout” for complex commercial litigation, and listed on the honor roll for routine commercial litigation and “Most Feared Litigation Firms.”