- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law, cum laude, 2005, Order of Woolsack; Saint Louis University Public Law Review
B.A., Principia College, 2000, with Honors
Abby Risner’s extensive trial experience nationwide on behalf of companies gives her a keen understanding of what it takes to efficiently and effectively handle complex disputes. In her complex commercial litigation and class action practice, she defends energy companies, franchisors, manufacturers and distributors against claims related to consumer fraud, advertising, franchise termination, unfair business practices, contract disputes and other matters. Abby has tried cases to verdict and has experience in every phase of litigation, including as first chair in court and arbitration.
Abby is the leader of Greensfelder's Energy Industry Group and routinely represents clients in petroleum marketing disputes, and advises on business issues associated with the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA), retail motor fuel marketing, including pricing, contracts, antitrust, and termination issues. She has defended claims against oil companies related to termination under the PMPA and franchise laws, breach of contract and fraud claims, alleged unlawful motor fuel pricing practices, deed restrictions, and consumer protection claims. Her knowledge of the energy sector and the trial process has made her an important resource for the global companies she represents.
Abby also leads the Litigation Class Action group. Her experience includes prevailing on class claims through dispositive motions, complex class action settlements, counseling on the class action notice and claims process, as well as trial of a class action. Abby has extensive experience defending class actions in federal and state courts, including the Southern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Missouri, Western District of Missouri, Madison and St. Clair Counties in Illinois, and St. Louis City and St. Louis County in Missouri.
In her franchising and distribution practice, Abby counsels clients on termination of franchisees, distributors and sales representatives, as well as the litigation of resulting claims in court and arbitration (including international arbitration). She advises on state franchise, distributor and sales representative statutes and works with distributors facing disputes that arise as they bring their products and services to market.
During law school, Abby was a student extern in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Abby is a member of the firm's Board of Directors.
- Officer, Institute for Energy Law's Litigation and Dispute Resolution Committee
- Co-Chair, Petroleum Marketing Attorneys' Conference
- Trustee, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- Advisory Board, Institute for Energy Law
- American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Energy & Environmental Committee, Former Programming Co-Chair
- ABA Forum on Franchising, Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Division, Steering Committee
ABA Class Actions & Derivative Suits Committee, Former Roundtable Programming Co-Chair
- The Missouri Bar
- Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- The Theodore McMillian American Inn of Court, St. Louis Chapter, Barrister, 2011-2014
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Young Friends Council, Alumni Board of Directors
- National Charity League, Gateway Chapter, Patroness
Honors & Awards
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants, 2024
- Corporate Counsel Business Journal, 50 Women to Watch, 2023
- Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2016-2022; Future Star, 2015
- Missouri Lawyers Media Women’s Justice Award, 2019
- Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Up and Coming Lawyer, 2013
- Prevailed on summary judgment on Petroleum Marketing Practices Act claims in Crossroad Petroleum, Inc. v. BP West Coast Products LLC (S.D. Cal.).
- Lead counsel in arbitration hearing related to development agreement for franchise before ICC in Paris, France.
- Experience defending class actions asserting consumer protection claims under state laws, including Missouri, Illinois, California, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Michigan.
- Defense of major oil companies in both class actions and multi-district litigations (MDLs) involving consumer protection claims.
- Defense and prosecution of claims concerning termination or nonrenewal under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act.
- Defeated class action pertaining to student loan servicing on motion to dismiss. Nelson v. Great Lakes Educ. Loan Servs., Inc. (S.D. Ill.).
- Prevailed on summary judgment for amounts owed by franchisees and to enforce guarantees.
- Defeated several claims, including a claim under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA) on motion to dismiss in class action.
- Defense of major oil company against former operators of branded stations who claimed the defendant defrauded them and breached contracts in connection with the operation of those stations. Plaintiffs were seeking $28 million in damages. The case was dismissed entirely in favor of client.
- Advising clients and defense in litigation of business models.
- Advising on the sale of BP’s Texas City refinery, four terminals and part of its distribution network to Marathon Petroleum Corp., including branded wholesaler contracts supplying approximately 1,200 retail sites in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, as well as issues raised by wholesalers after the sale.
- Lead counsel in litigation against more than a hundred dealers arising from termination of franchises.
- Defense of class actions brought under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
News & Insights
- August 17, 2023
- QSR Magazine, July 2023
- June 29, 2023
- March 18, 2019
- October 15, 2018
- October 2017
- August 21, 2014
- Congratulations to Greensfelder's newest officers of the firm: Clark Hedger and Abby L. Risner.February 3, 2014
- Melanie Renken, Shontaia Riley and Abby Risner included in 2013 list of Missouri Lawyers Weekly Up & Coming LawyersJuly 25, 2013
- February 8, 2013
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- ACC St. Louis Chapter, August 25, 2023
- "Petroleum Marketing Practices Act 101" webinarRocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, September 23, 2021
- "Multi-Branding, Multi-Channel of Trade Marketing and Antitrust"Petroleum Marketing Attorneys' Meeting, Houston, TX, October 26, 2018
- "So You Want to Arbitrate? Ten (or More) Ways to Improve Your Arbitration Clause"Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Chapter, September 15, 2017
- "Fuel Marketing & Petroleum Marketing Practices Act Update"American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers General Counsels’ Educational Forum, October 4, 2016
- Association of Corporate Counsel, St. Louis Chapter, September 16, 2016
- 2016 American Bar Association Petroleum Marketing Attorneys’ Meeting, Washington, D.C., April 15, 2016
- The Franchise Lawyer, Summer 2022
- SCOTUS decision in TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez raises hurdle for establishing standing in class action claims under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy ActAnd other data privacy and consumer protection statutesWestlaw Today, July 13, 2021
- The Franchise Lawyer, Fall 2018
- Law360, May 12, 2017
- Today’s General Counsel, April/May 2017
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, March 8, 2023
- Illinois Supreme Court Holds BIPA Claims Accrue with Each Biometric Scan, Foretelling Excessive Damages Crippling to CompaniesSimplyHR | Employment & Labor Blog , February 17, 2023
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, October 4, 2022
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, March 10, 2021
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, April 27, 2018
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, April 12, 2018
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, October 27, 2017
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, July 22, 2013
- Fourth Circuit Affirms that North Carolina's Ethanol Blending Statute is Not Preempted by PMPA or Federal Renewable Fuel ProgramFranchising & Distribution Law Blog, July 11, 2013
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, May 29, 2013
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, December 11, 2012
- Franchising & Distribution Law Blog, October 10, 2012