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Editorial

Overview

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Our dispute resolution chapter is one of the largest chapters in the guide, reflecting the fact that the successful resolution of disputes is among the most important concerns in running a business. Disputes can come in so many shapes and sizes, and are so hotly contested, that most lawyers and law firms operating in this field typically demonstrate specialisms in certain areas; this is reflected in our array of sections, from general commercial disputes and appellate work to financial services litigation and white-collar criminal defense.

Despite murmurings of a general slowdown in the US commercial litigation market, most firms reported a buoyant year in 2016. Consumer class action lawsuits accounted for a high proportion of the litigation, a trend that looks set to continue throughout 2017 and beyond. Other areas of activity included antitrust litigation and disputes arising out of data breaches.

Some firms reported an increased willingness among companies to litigate their most significant disputes. The potential speed, efficiency and anonymity of arbitration proceedings makes them particularly attractive in sensitive cases, leading to an uptick in this form of dispute resolution.

Trial capabilities are of crucial importance to law firms wishing to excel in the competitive and crowded US litigation environment. Much of the most important work, however, goes on behind closed doors, meaning that the ability to negotiate and reach a favorable settlement is also viewed as critical by clients.

Political turbulence, including the presidential election, the expired US Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland and attorneys from the Obama administration returning to private practice, all helped shape the appellate landscape in 2016. Following Justice Scalia’s unexpected passing, the US Supreme Court entered a period of uncertainty. The eight justices’ reluctance to hear cases that could result in a 4-4 split decision - meaning the lower court’s judgment would stand - was particularly noticeable in politically sensitive matters, and this was reflected in the small number of constitutional cases that reached the docket. Fisher v University of Texas and Zubik v Burwell were among the most discussed cases heard by the US Supreme Court in 2016, dealing with issues of affirmative action in university admissions and the exemption from providing contraceptive coverage by religious employers under the Affordable Care Act. There continues to be a steady flow of financial services and intellectual property appeals.

General litigators are gradually becoming more active in the appellate courts. The growing dichotomy between courts of appeals and supreme courts drives an increasing specialization in the Supreme Court bar, with cases gravitating towards a smaller number of expert firms. Appellate practitioners are increasingly expected to develop skills that cut across jurisdictions and substantive areas of law on top of the ability to not only shape a flawless argument on the point of law, but also deliver it in front of the panel.

In firm news, Paul Smith left Jenner & Block LLP to take up a teaching role at Georgetown University Law Centre and a vice president position at the Campaign Legal Center. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acquired appellate boutique Bancroft led by the renowned Paul Clement.

In the white-collar crime space, 2016 saw the continuation of many trends that were in evidence in 2015. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations and prosecutions remain a major source of work and, if anything, the willingness of regulators to cooperate with each other both within and across borders has increased. At the end of 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it was posting a new attorney position in London: a reflection of the need for further cooperation with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority and Serious Fraud Office. A number of major, headline-grabbing investigations have continued to keep lawyers busy, notably Operation Car Wash (an investigation into alleged money laundering and corruption at the Brazilian state-controlled oil company, Petrobras) and investigations into the automotive industry and international soccer.

The Yates Memo continues to divide opinion long after its September 2015 publication. Many attorneys maintain that it was a codification of existing policy, while others claim to have noticed a marked increase in the energy directed towards prosecuting individuals. It remains to be seen whether any convictions will arise from the shift in focus, but there seems to be a consensus that clients have taken heed of the memo and that individuals are increasingly eager to hire counsel. New Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed the belief that corporate officers who commit crimes are more deserving of punishment than stockholders, so it is likely that the spirit of the Yates Memo will be upheld despite the dismissal of Sally Yates in January 2017. There has been no let-up in False Claims Act (FCA) investigations and, for many white-collar lawyers outside of the major financial sector hubs, FCA cases now account for a sizable portion of work.

Many firms have benefitted from a spate of departures from government positions. Mary Jo White returned to Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in January 2017 after serving as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). John Gleeson joined the same firm in March 2016 after serving as a judge in the Eastern District of New York. The US Attorney’s Office in that district lost Darren Laverne to Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Daniel Silver to Clifford Chance. Daniel Stein, Michael Levy and Carolina Fomos joined Mayer Brown, Sidley Austin LLP and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP respectively after departing the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Former US Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin Wagner moved to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Daniel Dominguez rejoined Latham & Watkins LLP in November 2015 after a stint as associate counsel to the President in the Office of the White House Counsel.

Other noteworthy lateral hires included David Kelley’s January 2015 move to Dechert LLP from Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, and former Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP partner Adam Lurie’s move to Linklaters LLP in February 2016. Bracewell LLP, Cohen & Gresser and White & Case LLP have all expanded their teams significantly through strategic lateral hires.

Although eight years have elapsed since the onset of the financial crisis, there remains a good deal of private litigation flowing that - as well as government investigations and enforcement actions - keep many of the law firms in the ranking busy. With regard to residential mortgage-backed-securities (RMBS) litigation, there remains a constant tension between the plaintiffs and the defendants bar regarding expiration of limitation periods, and thereby the ability to bring claims. Indeed, while much of the primary wave of litigation brought against the sponsors of these structured products has passed, (affirmed by the New York Court of Appeals case of Ace Securities Corp v DB Structured Products, which upheld previous rulings that the contractual statute of limitations that governs loan and securitization sellers’ roles runs its course six years after issuance) there continues to be a significant amount of so called ‘putback’ cases (whereby sponsors are required to repurchase loans that violate representations and warranties regarding the quality of the loans) as well as litigation brought against the trustees of the RMBS alleging that they failed to adequately protect investors’ interests. In both these types of claims there remains some uncertainty as to when the limitation period is said to have begun, thereby leaving the door ajar for the plaintiffs’ bar to bring cases.

Outside of the structured finance field, regulators continue to scrutinize trading activity and remain attuned to potential market manipulation abuses with regard to various financial benchmarks. Although government investigations and follow-on litigation relating to rate setting of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and the foreign exchange (forex) market have largely come to an end, there still remains an appetite among regulators to cast a watchful eye on other antitrust activity in the financial markets, whether it be in relation to other financial benchmarks or for collusion within, for example, the credit default swap (CDS) market. The retail sector also remains a very fertile ground for regulatory investigations and enforcement actions and since its inception in 2010, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has doggedly sought to protect the public from predatory and dangerous practices, ranging from the regulation of payday lenders to ensuring a much more transparent, fair and competitive market in the mortgage space.

Firms at the top of the ranking demonstrate a strong and overarching capability across a wide variety of disputes affecting the industry, and have the expertise to handle both the government enforcement action/investigation and the private litigation that invariably follows. Although firms are active throughout the US, New York remains the primary location for this work.

As international arbitration is often seen as an attractive alternative to litigation, and the amount of proceedings are increasing, many firms are adding, or bolstering their presence in the market. Many US firms with an international presence denote arbitration as a key specialism, while smaller boutiques and specialist firms also offer in-depth expertise in the field, as clients look to international arbitration as an increasingly attractive way to resolve disputes. As the slew of cases increases, firms also report an uptick in court litigation around arbitral awards as a way of enforcement.

Transparency is also a hot topic for international arbitration, and tension between confidentiality and openness continues; and there is particular scrutiny on investor-state disputes. As the new US administration outlines its plan to amend its international trade deals, market observers note that there may be significant changes to the way investor-state disputes are resolved.

As globalized businesses, the energy, oil and gas, and construction sectors often utilize arbitration as a method to resolve international commercial disputes, however the method is now used within a wider cross-section of industries; technology and life sciences are notable examples.

Increasing interconnectedness through globalization is fueling a rise in international litigation, meaning firms are often required to respond to filings in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously or to represent non-US clients in the US courts. Firms recognized in this area are noted for their handling of these complex cross-border matters. Teams typically demonstrate excellent knowledge of foreign jurisdictions and often work closely with colleagues in overseas offices - or alongside local law firms on the ground.

Hot areas include US government investigations, US civil and criminal proceedings (FCPA and SEC cases), anti-money laundering, shareholder derivative actions, cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, enforcement proceedings, fraud, trade issues and asset recovery.

International trade is a multifaceted and diverse practice area covering everything from trade remedies and WTO disputes, to trade policy and economic sanctions compliance. The majority of the firms in the ranking have a presence in Washington DC, which is indicative of the need - when handling work that, in many cases, involves policy as much as pure legal work - to be close to the seat of government and the key regulators. Indeed, many of the leading firms for this practice area are staffed with numerous lawyers holding former high-ranking governmental positions, not only enabling them to have deeper insights into the ‘mood music’ on the Hill but also affording them significant credibility before the agencies. While not essential, an international footprint can also be of significant benefit to clients, on for example, matters which have an EU and US regulatory component. Certainly for WTO litigation, a Geneva office provides a significant advantage, as does an office in Brussels in relation to EU trade policy matters.

Sanctions work continues to be a booming area and with the ever more draconian fines meted out by regulators for violations, the importance of ensuring strong compliance measures are in place cannot be overstated. The loosening of sanctions upon Cuba and Iran continues to account for a significant amount of work for many of the firms in the ranking as they counsel clients seeking to enter and operate in those countries. Firms have also already been picking up work on behalf of clients seeking advice on the implications to the international trade market of the recent election of the protectionist-minded President Trump.

Those firms at the top the ranking have an overarching capability across all facets of international trade, however, other firms in the ranking will often have a more narrow area of specialism, for example, on trade remedies matters, or providing the necessary input on major international M&A to ensure the deals secure clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Just as China is one of the key protagonists with regard to anti-dumping and countervailing duty trade remedy cases, it is also the country that CFIUS has placed most scrutiny on with regard to M&A transactions. With Chinese investments in the US reaching a record $18.4bn in the first half of 2016, it has eclipsed the UK as the country with the most transactions under review by CFIUS. However, unlike the UK, which is viewed much more favorably as a result of closely aligned core values as well as similar views on key issues such as data privacy, intellectual property and military alliance, China is viewed with a much more heightened degree of skepticism by the Committee. Those firms which have a strong pipeline of major M&A mandates, often driven by an active cadre of private equity clients, benefit from a head start in picking up this CFIUS clearance work.

The once high proportion of $100m-plus public M&A deals that resulted in litigation has fallen significantly, largely thanks to the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision in In re Trulia, Inc Stockholder Litigation, which marked a clampdown on disclosure-only settlements. Once 95% of such deals saw litigation, but that figure has fallen to below 60%. Some cases have moved away from Delaware and gone to state and federal courts in other jurisdictions, but decisions in those courts, such as In re Walgreen Company Stockholder Litigation, increasingly suggest that similar standards will be more widely adopted. There has, however, been a sharp increase in appraisal cases challenging the value of deals and attempting to get shareholders a higher price for their stock in acquired companies.

Defense litigation often goes to the firm that handled the original transaction, so unsurprisingly large New York-headquartered and/or national firms such as Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP are prominent players. The need for local counsel in the main corporate litigation hub of Delaware brings specialist firms such as Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. and Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP into the frame also. Among the plaintiff bar there is a select group involved in many of the most high-profile cases, including Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP and Grant & Eisenhofer P.A..

Work in the product liability sphere has largely remained the same as it was in 2016, although firms have noted an increase in medical device and late entry asbestos claims in the pharmaceutical and toxic tort arenas, respectively.

The ongoing Essure birth control implant litigation against Bayer and burgeoning Stryker hip implant lawsuits arising from a 2016 recall are two recent cases to note. Johnson & Johnson was dealt a heavy blow at the end of 2016 when The Lanier Law Firm obtained a federal jury verdict of more than $1bn for six plaintiffs in the high-profile Pinnacle hip implant litigation. However, a US judge ordered approximately $500m of punitive damages to be cut in January 2017.

Within toxic tort, the Michigan Attorney General’s multi-defendant lawsuit regarding the ongoing Flint Water Crisis has drawn significant attention; Mayer Brown represents Veolia on the defense side, while Napoli Shkolnik PLLC is acting for various plaintiffs.

In addition to the ongoing Takata airbag MDL, the automotive industry has been seeing a significant increase in litigation concerning the Volkswagen emissions fraud MDL. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is one of a number of firms acting for Volkswagen, while Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Motley Rice LLC and Simmons Hanly Conroy are on the plaintiff side, with Joseph Rice of Motley Rice LLC and Jayne Conroy of Simmons Hanly Conroy serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

Following the installation of the Trump administration, firms have noted a great deal of uncertainty concerning potential deregulation in terms of FDA and EPA enforcement. However, many also predict an aggressive rise in environmental protection enforcement in blue states, such as California.

Financial crisis-related litigation continues to recede, although some large mortgage-backed securities cases are still to be concluded and there are some new cases against trustees for failing to act to ensure the safety of purchasers. There is a slight reduction in litigation against investment banks, though cases arising from alleged manipulation of financial benchmarks such as Libor continue. The technology, life sciences and insurance sectors have seen an uptick in securities litigation. A healthy stock market means there are fewer 10b-5 stock-drop class actions but there are more IPO cases based on the Section 11 of the 1933 Act. Large investors are also choosing to pursue separate claims in opt-out cases by excluding themselves from the class in class actions.

The Southern District of New York and the Ninth Circuit in California are the main hubs for securities litigation, although there is plenty of work in other jurisdictions, which favors firms with a national presence. Cases are coming through in which defense firms succeed in motions to dismiss using the interpretation of the groundbreaking Omnicare case that set new standards for evaluating whether optimistic statements are misleading. It is still rare for securities cases to go to trial, but a defense firm’s willingness and ability to take matters all the way can be a decisive factor in securing favorable settlements.

The overall upward trajectory in litigation was good news in general for trial lawyers, but the number of cases going to trial versus reaching settlement is dependent on the industry sector. Although the majority of trial attorneys consider themselves generalists, most do develop sector expertise, whether it be securities and financial services, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, sports and/or technology. Trending areas included antitrust, white-collar crime and a variety of intellectual property matters, including test cases for the newly enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act. Product liability litigation was also on the rise, with multiple class action trials happening across the country. A growing market for energy litigation, particularly in Texas, has been driven by rising oil prices, with an increasing number of contractual disputes following the conclusion of transactional work.

Leading trial lawyers possess the ability to tell a convincing story and demonstrate not only impeccable technical skills, such as advocacy and reasoning, but immaculate preparation and presentation of the line of argument to a jury, skills that distinguish the group from general litigators and appellate specialists. Our rankings consider the scope of individuals’ practices as well as the level of adaptability across industry sectors. This elite group of attorneys consistently demonstrate work of the highest quality and enjoy nationwide reputations.


Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state)

Index of tables

  1. Appellate: courts of appeals
  2. Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state)
  3. Leading lawyers
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state) clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Due to the two separate ranking tables, the following editorial is in alphabetical order. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Washington DC-based Pratik Shah and Los Angeles’ Rex Heinke jointly head the practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which mainly handles civil matters. At the Fifth Circuit, Shah defended Propel Financial Services in bet-the-industry proceedings pertaining to the applicability of the Truth In Lending Act to property lien transfers made when a homeowner falls behind on property tax payments. Federal Circuit victories included defending Google in an appeal brought by Grandeye contesting patentability of 37 patents related to texture mapping technology. Thomas McLish and Scott Heimberg successfully appealed to the Federal Circuit for the joint venture of KCPC and Morris, challenging the termination of a subcontract for the provision of dining facilities for the US Army in Iraq.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s Lisa Blatt is defending Dignity Health and two other religious hospital systems in an ERISA appeal filed by a putative class of current and former employees challenging the ‘church plan’ exemption from ERISA. A team led by Blatt secured the reversal of a $156m jury award against Nucor on the grounds of insufficient evidence in an antitrust case pertaining to an alleged group boycott of a steel distributor. Howard Cayne and Michael Johnson represented the Federal Housing Finance Agency in numerous cases, including a successful appeal dismissal at the DC Circuit. Anthony Franze was part of a team that reversed the $20m verdict against TriReme Medical in an alleged patent infringement and fiduciary breaches case brought by AngioScore. The group is acting on two pending appeals: Pharrell Williams et al v Frankie Christian Gaye in the Ninth Circuit, related to the claim that the plaintiffs’ song Blurred Lines infringed copyright of Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up; and Pro-Football, Inc v Blackhorse, et al arising from the government’s cancelation of the NFL’s Washington Redskins federal trademark registrations.

Bracewell LLP’s Warren Harris and Jeffrey Oldham represented W&T Offshore in an appeal to the Fifth Circuit pertaining to an insurance dispute following Hurricane Ike. The Houston-based pair successfully defended KBR Inc against claims of human trafficking arising under the Alien Tort Statute and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act regarding 12 Nepalese citizens and their alleged forced transportation to Iraq to work at a US military base. Other highlights included defending Westlake Chemical in a multimillion-dollar patent infringement case filed by Equistar Chemicals and filing an appeal for Weatherford against allegations of breach of contract made by Spitzer Industries. Other clients include GDF SUEZ Energy North America, BP Products North America, and Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company.

Robert Long, John Hall and Mark Mosier lead the appellate practice at Covington & Burling LLP. Paul Schmidt, George Pappas and San Francisco-based Clara Shin defended Autodesk before the Federal Circuit in patent infringement proceedings brought by East Coast Sheet Metal Fabricating Corp seeking $800m in damages. Other highlights included serving as co-counsel with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP to Microsoft in an appeal brought by the US government in the Second Circuit challenging the lack of extraterritoriality of search warrants under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act; the decision effectively barred the government during criminal investigations from accessing emails stored on servers abroad. The group filed an amicus brief on behalf of financial trade associations, including the American Bankers Association, in Spokeo v Robins. Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Beth Brinkmann joined the Washington DC office.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s New York-based group is acting for Alcon Laboratories in a constitutional challenge of pricing regulations for manufacturers of contact lenses and represented the Republic of Argentina in the sovereign debt litigation. At the Sixth Circuit, Evan Chesler secured the affirmation of a dismissal of a putative class action against ESPN and ABC brought by former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) football and basketball players. American Express is a prominent client; the team secured a reversal of a district court judgment in antitrust proceedings concerning merchant acceptance rules and obtained a favorable outcome in a class action brought by consumers alleging conspiracy to adopt arbitration clauses barring class actions between May 1999 and October 2003. Richard Clary is also recommended.

The ‘superbGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP team is led by Mark Perry, New York-based Caitlin Halligan and Dallas-based James Ho. With a strong track record of success in the Supreme Court, as well as in federal and state courts of appeals, the team represents clients in areas ranging from white-collar crime to regulatory and constitutional cases. Matthew McGill and Theodore Olson led a team to two victories in the US Supreme Court: Bank Markazi v Peterson, which answered important questions regarding the separation of power, and BlueMountain Capital Management v Garcia-Padilla, et al, concerned with restructuring the debt of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. Ho led a team defending Walmart Stores at the Fifth Circuit and Texas Supreme Court in a $100m putative class action arising from alleged violations of the Texas Optometry Act. At the Second Circuit, Olson and Halligan represented Chevron in a case against Steven Donziger; the court affirmed the district court’s decision and confirmed the allegations of fraud, money laundering, witness tampering, bribery and obstruction of justice. A team including Los Angeles-based Theodore Boutrous acted for Uber and secured a unanimous judgment confirming the enforceability of arbitration agreements with its drivers. Miguel Estrada successfully defended the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in favor of Comcast in its dispute with The Tennis Channel arising from the terms of carriage of programming to cable subscribers. Helgi Walker has been representing the National Association of Broadcasters in its appeal at the DC Circuit regarding the FCC’s new restrictions on sharing agreements between local broadcasters.

Kevin Martin in Boston and the ‘sought-afterWilliam Jay head the practice at Goodwin. In the US Supreme Court, Jay argued for petitioners in Star Athletica LLC v Varsity Brands; the pending opinion is to decide whether designs on apparel are subject to copyright protection. Jay persuaded the US Supreme Court to deny certiorari in the First Amendment case concerning an incendiary advertisement about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict run on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority buses and was retained by Watson Pharmaceuticals in the patent litigation brought by Merck and Bayer. Thomas Hefferon successfully represented Bank of America in an appeal at the South Carolina Supreme Court challenging the use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. Hefferon submitted an amicus brief in a Fourth Circuit appeal concerning discrimination claims filed by a transgender student against the school that denied him the right to use the boys’ restrooms. Brian Burgess was made partner.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s team, led by Miami-based Elliot Scherker, Mark Solomons in Washington DC and Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick in New York, ‘delivers high-quality advice’. At the Second Circuit, New York’s Marc Mukasey is representing former UBS employee Gary Heinz in appealing his conviction for bid-rigging. John Gibbons and the ‘highly experienced and capable’ Francis Citera in Chicago successfully represented Sears in a Second District appeal, affirming that the proposed class of plaintiffs in an alleged mislabeling, misrepresenting and false advertising case was overbroad. Whole Foods, Lost Tree Village and Taco Bell are clients. Barry Richard splits his time between Tallahassee, New York and Washington DC and is a name to note.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s team houses Neal Katyal, who secured a victory for Geico Insurance in the US Supreme Court case concerning the authority of a federal trial judge to recall jurors after dismissing them in case of an error in the jury verdict. Katyal defended JP Morgan Chase in antitrust proceedings pertaining to an alleged price-fixing conspiracy regarding ATM access fees. ‘One of the best appellate attorneys in the nation’, Cate Stetson is a ‘splendid advocate in and out of court’; she succeeded in the DC Circuit appeal for the American Hospital Association, challenging the US Department of Health and Human Services’ delay in proceeding Medicare appeals. Stetson also won multiple cases related to the construction of LNG export facilities on Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal on the Chesapeake Bay. Jessica Ellsworth secured the dismissal of a psychiatric services reimbursement class action against Anthem on the grounds of lack of standing under ERISA’s limited private enforcement cause of action.

Jessica Ring Amunson, Matthew Hellman and Chicago-based Michael Brody lead the practice at Jenner & Block LLP, following the departure of Paul Smith, who left to teach law at Georgetown and take up a position at the Campaign Legal Center. Amunson won a unanimous victory at the US Supreme Court for Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing for deviations from absolute equality of districts for ‘legitimate considerations’ as compliant with the ‘one person, one vote’ principle of the Equal Protection Clause. Adam Unikowsky successfully argued for two criminal defendants in the US Supreme Court case of Puerto Rico v Sanchez Valle, which held that Puerto Rico and the United States are the ‘same sovereign’ for the purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause, effectively barring the US government from prosecuting the defendants who had previously been tried in Puerto Rico. Matthew Hellman successfully argued the dismissal of a $900m contractual claim against WMC Mortgage; the case is now pending in the New York First Department Appellate Court. Clients also include EMI Music Publishing, Honeywell, Duroc and CashCall.

Jones Day’s ubiquity at the US Supreme Court was demonstrated by seven cases argued by five different members of the team. Shay Dvoretzky argued for the respondents in the pending case of National Labor Relations Board v SW General, concerning the presidential power to distribute high-level vacancies without the Senate’s advice and approval under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. Noel Francisco, who secured a unanimous decision for the petitioner in a landmark corruption law case McDonnell v United States, is now Acting Solicitor General of the United States. Highlights also included representing RJ Reynolds Tobacco in a US Supreme Court appeal concerning the extraterritoriality of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act; Gregory Katsas, who argued the case, is now Deputy Counsel to the President. Other Supreme Court highlights included Christian Vergonis arguing for the respondents in Simmons v Himmerlrich, which involved issues of the Federal Tort Claims Act’s ‘judgment bar’, and Michael Carvin’s challenge to mandatory union fees on behalf of nine public school teachers in Friedrichs v California Teachers Association. On courts of appeals side, the group successfully challenged the constitutionality of Ohio’s criminal prohibition on false statements in election campaigns at the Sixth Circuit and argued for Sirius XM and other co-petitioners in an appeal at the DC Circuit against the FCC’s interpretation of the TCPA’s statutory penalties for automatic telephone dialing system violations. Beth Heifetz and Glen Nager are recommended. Jacob Roth was made partner.

David Frederick is a key contact at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C. and argued three cases in the US Supreme Court for the respondents: Friedrichs v California Teachers Association, which concluded in a 4-4 decision and the affirmation of the lower court’s judgment; Universal Health Services v United States ex rel Escobar, which held that the implied certification test could form a valid basis for False Claims Act (FCA) liability; and RJR Nabisco v The European Community, which affirmed the extraterritorial applicability of the RICO statute. Scott Angstreich and Aaron Panner are noted.

The ‘extremely knowledgeableKing & Spalding LLP team is ‘excellent at setting legal strategies’, particularly in the regulatory sphere. Practice head Daryl Joseffer led a team in two patent infringement cases at the Federal Circuit: securing a victory in Microsoft Corporation v GeoTag, Inc, arising from alleged patent infringement of the standard store locator tool; and convincing the court to affirm the summary judgment of patent invalidity in Priceplay, Inc v AOL Advertising, Inc on the grounds that Priceplay’s method of setting prices was no more than an abstract idea. Jeffrey Bucholtz represented Chevron in a DC Circuit appeal brought by the Republic of Ecuador challenging the enforceability of a $96.3m arbitral award. In Glennen v Allergan, Bucholtz persuaded the court to affirm the case dismissal on express and implied preemption grounds. Former Assistant US Attorney Anne Voigts joined the Palo Alto office.

The combination of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and specialist appellate firm Bancroft PLLC has helped form ‘a top-notch team of highly skilled and creative attorneys’. This includes the renowned Paul Clement, from the legacy Bancroft firm, who achieved unanimous victories in Encino Motorcars v Navarro and Hughes v Talen Energy Marketing, supported by Jeffrey Harris and Erin Murphy respectively. Christopher Landau led a team that persuaded the US Supreme Court to reverse a California state court judgment and compel arbitration proceedings against DirectTV under the Federal Arbitration Act, effectively prohibiting state courts from infringing federal arbitration rights. The group had notable successes for clients in the energy and technology sectors. Chicago’s Andrew McGaan convinced the Third Circuit to affirm a bankruptcy court order approving a $4.4bn settlement in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings of Energy Future Holdings. Daniel Laytin, also based in Chicago, secured a favorable judgment for Trina Solar at the Sixth Circuit, resulting in the dismissal of a complaint regarding alleged predatory pricing. John O’Quinn convinced the Federal Circuit to vacate a $16.2m damages award against Cisco arising from patent infringement proceedings. In the Delaware Supreme Court, Chicago-based of counsel Robert Kopecky secured an affirmation of the dismissal of a shareholder derivative action for General Motors, preventing a potential flood of liability claims following a large-scale safety recall. Daniel Donovan and New York-based Jay Lefkowitz are also noted.

The ‘tremendous’ and ‘highly skilled’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP is praised for its ‘great bench strength’. Gregory Garre is ‘one of the best’, according to sources, and presented a successful argument in Fisher v University of Texas, which confirmed the constitutionality of the respondent’s affirmative action in its undergraduate admissions policy. Garre successfully represented the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in ‘The Tri-State Water Wars’ proceedings against Georgia and persuaded the US Supreme Court to affirm the action. Scott Ballenger persuaded the Ninth Circuit to dismiss a damages claim brought against Booz Allen Hamilton by a former equity partner. Richard Bress and Melissa Arbus Sherry successfully represented Maher Terminals in the DC Circuit appeal, reversing the Federal Maritime Commission’s decision in a case against the Port Authority. In the Seventh Circuit, Sherry and Los Angeles-based Russell Sauer secured a favorable judgment for US Soccer, reversing the outcome of arbitration in a contractual dispute with the US National Team Players Association over approval for video advertising. Former assistant to the Solicitor General Roman Martinez rejoined the team.

Mayer Brown’s group houses ‘legends in the field’, who think ‘beyond the case to the big picture, yielding the best results over the long haul’. ‘Outstanding strategistAndrew Pincus and ‘unsung hero with a keen eye for legal issuesEvan Tager are ‘elite among the elite’. Special counsel Charles Rothfeld successfully argued the US Supreme Court case of Birchfield v North Dakota, which ruled warrantless breath tests for possible drunk drivers permissible, but not warrantless blood tests. In another US Supreme Court appeal, the group represented the petitioner in Spokeo v Robins, concerning matters of standing and the standard required to establish injury-in-fact. Highlights also included Paul Hughes arguing for the respondent in Ross v Blake, with the US Supreme Court considering the Prison Litigation Reform Act’s exhaustion precedents and administrative aspects of internal grievance procedures for inmates. The team is also very active in the courts of appeals; Brian Netter represented Council of the District of Columbia in the DC Circuit case concerning the District’s power to control the budget without seeking permission from Congress. Michael Kimberly served as a liaison counsel to 57 business and municipal petitioners in the challenge to the ‘waters of the US’ rule at the Sixth Circuit. Chicago-based Stephen Shapiro is recommended.

At McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Miller Baker and Boston-based Mark Pearlstein successfully petitioned the US Supreme Court for certiorari in Universal Health Services v United States ex rel Escobar, concerned with the scope of implied certification liability under the False Claims Act. A cross-practice team including Baker secured a unanimous dismissal of an antitrust claim against Constellation Brands and Anheuser-Busch at the Ninth Circuit, arising from the anticipated merger of Anheuser-Busch and Grupo Modelo. Other highlights included a successful opposition, on behalf of Evonik, to plaintiffs’ petition for writ of certiorari in a claim for additional benefits under a supplemental executive retirement plan.

MoloLamken LLP is a ‘firm of choice for the Supreme Court’, housing ‘top-notch attorneys with superlative skills’. ‘Brilliant, fast and easy-to-work-with’ practice head Jeffrey Lamken argued for the petitioners in the US Supreme Court cases of Bank Markazi v Peterson and Ziglar v Abbasi. Michael Pattillo and Lamken successfully represented McRO in the Federal Circuit appeal against Bandai Namco Games America, concerning the enforceability of patents for automated lip-syncing software for 3D animation; the court held that patents describe concrete processes producing tangible results as opposed to mere ‘abstract ideas’. Lamken and Robert Kry defended the lower court’s judgment in the Second Circuit securities fraud appeal In re Vivendi, SA Securities Litigation, which upheld a nearly $50m jury verdict for the class of investors in Vivendi Universal. Other highlights included acting for Merck in the appeal to the Federal Circuit against Gilead Sciences, challenging the outer limits of the ‘clean hands’ doctrine in patent proceedings concerning compounds for treating hepatitis C; it is attempting to reinforce the $200m damages award nullified by the district court on the grounds of false testimony. New York’s Steven Molo is also recommended. Jessica Ortiz joined the New York office from the narcotics unit at the United States Attorney’s Office. Justin Weiner was promoted to the partnership.

David Salmons and Allyson Ho co-head Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s practice from Washington DC and Dallas respectively. The team is acting for an employee in a gender discrimination case filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against McLane; the claim concerns the petitioner’s inability to meet the physical standards imposed by the employer after her return from maternity leave and is currently pending in the US Supreme Court. Ho and Chicago-based Jason White persuaded the Federal Circuit to affirm the dismissal of a complaint brought by Edwin Lyda in a patent infringement suit against CBS Corporation. The ‘excellent’ Bryan Killian is ‘unflappable and maintains a great demeanor’. William Peterson joined the Houston office from Beck Redden. Randall Mark Levine was made partner. Vonage America, International Paper, and East Ramapo Central School District are among its new client wins.

Deanne Maynard is ‘a tireless advocate with sterling client skills’ and alongside Joseph Palmore heads the team at Morrison & Foerster LLP. Maynard secured an en banc victory for Sotheby’s at the Ninth Circuit, holding the California Resale Royalties Act in violation of the Commerce Clause in regulating art sales outside of California; Maynard argued the case on behalf of the client and co-defendants Christie’s and eBay, and successfully defended against a certiorari petition. Marc Hearron led on the US Supreme Court case in VL v EL, a landmark victory for families with a second-parent adoption that reversed the Alabama Supreme Court’s refusal to recognize an adoption order issued by a Georgia state court. Maynard, Hearron and Palmore achieved a victory for Sandoz in the Federal Circuit appeal determining the scope of the Hatch-Waxman ‘safe harbor’. Other successes included Immersion Corporation v HTC Corporation at the Federal Circuit, determining the guidelines for filing a patent ‘continuation application’, and Gregory Berry v LexisNexis at the Fourth Circuit, confirming the settlement class of approximately 200 million individuals. Michèle Corash and Brian Matsui are recommended.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s ‘responsive’ team provides ‘exceptional and unparalleled advice and results’, based on its ‘in-depth knowledge of its clients’ industries and business issues’. ‘Outstanding advocateJonathan Hacker and newly promoted New York lawyer Anton Metlitsky won a Second Circuit appeal against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), persuading the court to apply a stricter interpretation of client CoreLogic’s liability as a ‘relief defendant’. At the First Circuit, a team secured the dismissal of a nationwide ERISA class action in Kelley v Fidelity Management Trust Co, providing guidelines on the limits of the administration of float by 401(k) plan fiduciaries. Hacker obtained a favorable judgment at the Ninth Circuit for Warner Bros and DC Comics, concluding a copyright battle over Superman. Walter Dellinger filed an amicus brief for the Guttmacher Institute and a coalition of social science researchers in the US Supreme Court case of Women’s Health v Cole. Counsel Deanna Rice is a name to note.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s team argued two patent appeals for Apple: In re Lemay, concerning an app enabling users of handheld devices to browse and access online videos; and In re Van Os, dealing with the technology for reconfiguring the icons on a smartphone’s home screen. The ‘first-rate’ group persuaded the Second Circuit to dismiss the $1m penalty against a former Countrywide senior executive, previously held personally liable for misconduct leading to the 2008 financial crisis by the lower court; ‘insightful and excellent advocate’ Joshua Rosenkranz delivered the argument, Kelsi Corkran led the advice. For Facebook, Eric Shumsky defended a permanent injunction against Power Ventures before the Ninth Circuit, obtaining a judgment that the appellant had committed unlawful computer trespass when using Facebook users’ login details to spam. Robert Loeb led a team acting for Microsoft in the Second Circuit appeal concerning the government’s authority to access private correspondence stored on servers abroad. US Supreme Court highlights included Rosenkranz representing two individuals seeking to overturn the foreclosure of their home by Fannie Mae. Mark Davies is noted.

Paul Hastings LLP’s interdisciplinary team is active in areas ranging from antitrust and white-collar crime to employment and technology. San Francisco’s Paul Cane successfully argued in the California Supreme Court case Baltazar v Forever 21 that the mandatory arbitration clause in a pre-employment agreement was valid, with the court compelling the sex and race discrimination claims to arbitration. Stephen Kinnaird was successful in an Eighth Circuit appeal for Midland and Central Iowa Power Cooperatives concerning the interpretation of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulation of wind power rates imposed on small wind turbines. Neal Mollen secured a denial of extraordinary appellate relief at the Ninth Circuit for the 23 individuals who filed a race discrimination claim against United Airlines. Barclays Bank is also a client.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s practice is led by Mark Harris and Myron Rumeld out of New York. Harris defended Coca-Cola in a Second Circuit appeal filed by several production operators alleging race discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation. In another case, Harris obtained a victory in an interlocutory appeal at the Second Circuit, finding that student plaintiffs in a case against former school board president Nathan Rothschild had no standing to sue under the Establishment Clause. Other highlights included securing a favorable judgment for pop star Madonna at the Ninth Circuit, which held that the alleged use of a 0.23-second horn arrangement featured in the song ‘Vogue’ was too de minimis to amount to copyright infringement. The group is also prominent in employment and class action appellate work.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s team maintains a stellar reputation for patent appellate work and secured the reversal of a $399m damages award for Samsung Electronics in US Supreme Court proceedings with Apple Inc. In another US Supreme Court case, New York-based Kathleen Sullivan and Sheila Birnbaum represented State Farm Fire & Casualty Co, in a decision holding that a violation of the seal requirement, as per the False Claims Act, is not sufficient grounds for a case dismissal. Following his victory at the Second Circuit, Los Angeles-based Stephen Broome argued Lynch v Morales-Santana at the US Supreme Court, a case arising from derivative citizenship laws that make it easier to gain citizenship for a non-marital child born outside of the US to a US citizen mother than a US citizen father; the case is pending. The group had a streak of victories at the Second Circuit, with New York’s Stephen Neuwirth obtaining, on behalf of Home Depot, the reversal of the over $7.2bn settlement of the class action antitrust suit against Visa and MasterCard involving interchange fees, arguing that the class was inadequately represented, and New York-based Mark Cheffo securing a unanimous dismissal of off-label marketing claims against Pfizer under the False Claims Act. At the Federal Circuit, San Francisco’s Charles Verhoeven obtained the reversal of an $85m verdict of patent infringement brought by Simple Air against Google. Silicon Valley-based Daniel Bromberg is also noted.

Reed Smith LLP’s James Martin in Pittsburgh, praised for his ‘sound judgment of what appeals to judges’ and his ‘teamwork with trial firms’, successfully defended Safeway in a patent infringement suit at the Federal Circuit brought by Kroy relating to a computerized incentive technology. The team secured a stream of victories in class action proceedings for EquiTrust Life Insurance and North American Company, defeating the combined claims of over $2.5bn. In the Supreme Court, Pittsburgh-based practice head Kim Watterson represented Scranton Times in a case pertaining to the First Amendment protections for media defendants in defamation claims. National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is also a client.

Matthew Madden and Michael Bromwich are key contacts at Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber. Roy Englert successfully argued the case at the Third Circuit which affirmed the judgment of the Bankruptcy Court in the case concerning the Trump Taj Mahal casino, allowing Trump Entertainment’s decision to eliminate health and pension benefits for unionized workers. Englert also argued for the petitioner in the US Supreme Court case of Universal Health Services v United States ex rel Escobar, pertaining to the ‘implied certification’ theory as a basis of liability under the False Claims Act. Philip Sechler joined the firm from academia.

Standout in regulatory law’, Ropes & Gray LLP’s group has ‘strong appellate capabilities’. ‘Terrific’ practice head Douglas Hallward-Driemeier demonstrates ‘deep expertise, boundless creativity, tireless work ethic and incomparable geniality’. The team represented three medical associations and six physicians in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Florida regulation preventing physicians from enquiring about patients’ ownership of firearms. Other highlights included defending Media Innovation Group against a putative class action alleging deceptive placement of third-party cookies on internet users’ devices. James Batchelder in Silicon Valley is recommended. In January 2017, Steven Baughman joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘top-notch’ group has an impressive roster of clients, including Microsoft, Citigroup and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China. Chicago’s Constantine Trela is active in patent litigation; Trela successfully argued the Federal Circuit case regarding sales under a single-use license and patent exhaustion in printer cartridges for Lexmark and won a patent infringement appeal for Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Materials. Joseph Guerra persuaded the DC Circuit to overturn a ruling by the FCC regarding compensation paid by AT&T and other long-distance carriers for VoIP calls to local exchange carriers. Los Angeles-based Mark Haddad, who is ‘steady under fire’, secured a victory for AstraZeneca at the Delaware Supreme Court, dismissing with prejudice a national class action challenging the marketing of Nexium. At the US Supreme Court level, Carter Phillips successfully argued for the the private petitioners in Federal Regulatory Commission v Electric Power Supply Association and argued for the respondents in Halo Electronic v Pulse Electronics. Jonathan Nuechterlein joined from the US Attorney’s Office, while New York-based Michael Levy joined from the FTC. Peter Keisler is another name to note.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s largely New York-based team is ‘routinely excellent’ and has a ‘deep bench’ of ‘highly respected and effective partners’. David Woll and Thomas Rice are handling several mortgage repurchase appeals for DB Structured Products arising from alleged breaches of RMBS contracts. Joseph McLaughlin and George Wang persuaded the Eighth Circuit to reverse certification of a securities class action against Best Buy and its executives. Linton Mann and Washington DC-based Abram Ellis made partner. Mary Kay Vyskocil was appointed a bankruptcy judge for the Southern District of New York. Mary Beth Forshaw, Lynn Neuner and Los Angeles-based Chet Kronenberg are also noted.

Largely based out of New York, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s team stands out in the financial services sector and has numerous patent and antitrust appeals under its belt. Richard Pepperman acted for Goldman Sachs in a Second Circuit case challenging the limits of commercial and consumer end users plaintiffs’ standing in In Re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust Litigation. He also dismissed seven actions deriving from the ‘London Whale’ trading losses for JPMorgan Chase, including an appeal to the Second Circuit pursuant to ERISA and filed by the class of participants in the company’s 401(k) savings plan. Garrard Beeney and Robert Giuffra successfully represented Stryker Corporation in the US Supreme Court case that affected the award of enhanced damages in patent infringement cases, widening the discretion of district court judges and amending the applicable standard of evidence; Washington DC’s Jeffrey Wall delivered the oral argument. Beeney argued for Cuozzo Speed Technologies in a challenge to the US Patent and Trademark Office’s approach to the America Invents Act’s post-grant proceedings. Joseph Neuhaus and Palo Alto’s Brendan Cullen are also noted.

Marie Yeates in Houston, Thomas Leatherbury in Dallas and John Elwood in Washington DC lead the practice at Vinson & Elkins LLP. The group is renowned for its environmental expertise and advises clients across a range of industries. Jeremy Marwell is representing a coalition of trade associations from Arizona and New Mexico, led by the Arizona Mining Association, against the Environmental Protection Agency’s amendment to the definition of ‘waters of the US’ under the Clean Water Act. Yeates and newly promoted Austin-based Michael Heidler represented Marathon in two appeals pertaining to the accrual of liability by its subsidiary on surface use agreements for transferred oil and gas leases in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. Other highlights included a successful appeal to the Second Circuit for Cortron, reversing a $35m antitrust award made in favor of MacDermid Printing Solutions.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s group is active in areas ranging from copyright and professional malpractice to bankruptcy and antitrust. Gregory Silbert secured a victory for Marsh & McLennan in a lawsuit brought by two former executives; the precedent-setting judgment provides guidelines for compelling employees to participate in internal investigations. Head of securities litigation John Neuwirth successfully argued the Second Circuit appeal in a securities fraud class action for Sanofi. Edward Reines in Silicon Valley, who focuses on intellectual property appeals, obtained a victory in a Federal Circuit appeal for Adobe, affirming a jury verdict invalidating two digital rights management patents asserted by Digital Reg of Texas. Steven Reiss is also recommended. Named attorneys are based in New York except where otherwise stated.

At Wiley Rein LLP, Claire Evans leads the team, and Bert Rein argued for Abigail Fisher in the US Supreme Court case challenging the admission procedures at the University of Texas. Brett Shumate and Eve Reed are representing Alamo Broadband and Daniel Berninger in the DC Circuit appeal challenging the FCC’s neutrality rules and seeking clarification on the scope of the Commission’s regulatory authority over the internet. Highlights also included successfully acting for the State of Tennessee in a Sixth Circuit appeal regarding the FCC’s attempt to preempt state laws that restrict the growth of municipal broadband. Andrew McBride joined Perkins Coie LLP.

Williams & Connolly LLP’s group has a ‘strong practice in the Supreme Court’. ‘Star’ and ‘exceptional oral advocate’ Kannon Shanmugam argued for the petitioner in Dietz v Bouldin at the Supreme Court and Neustar v FCC at the DC Circuit. Elsewhere, Shanmugam represented Jesse Litvak in reversing his conviction for securities fraud and other offenses allegedly committed during his time as a Jefferies & Co trader, and defended Bank of America against the alleged fraudulent sale of loans of a lesser quality than contractually agreed upon to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Shanmugan also secured a victory at the Federal Circuit for AstraZeneca in a case against Mylan Pharmaceuticals regarding the proper jurisdiction for a patent infringement suit. Grant Geyerman persuaded the First Circuit to affirm the ruling in CVS’ favor against allegations of over-billing Medicare and Medicaid for generic drugs. Allison Jones Rushing and Amy Mason Saharia were made partner.

Paul Wolfson and Seth Waxman head the ‘excellent team of responsive legal professionals with exceptional ERISA litigation skills’ at WilmerHale. Waxman’s reputation at the US Supreme Court was bolstered by his successful arguments for the respondent in Gobeille v Liberty Mutual Insurance Co and for the petitioner in Hurst v Florida and Amgen Inc v Harris. Thomas Saunders persuaded the US Supreme Court to affirm the applicability of the mandatory nature of the contracting preference favoring veteran-owned businesses to all contracts awarded by the Department of Veteran Affairs in Kingdomware Technologies v United States. At the Second Circuit, the team secured a victory for Google against a copyright infringement claim brought by the Authors Guild, with the judge affirming Google Books’ search tool and snippet display as examples of transformative use, shaping the fair use doctrine in copyright cases. ‘Super star’ William Lee in Boston won an induced patent infringement appeal at the Federal Circuit for Cisco, reversing a $74m verdict favoring Commil. Other appeals court victories included O’Bannon v NCAA.Danielle Spinelli argued for petitioners in Czyzewski v Jevic Holding Corp, dealing with the authority of bankruptcy court to distribute estate property in a manner not compliant with the statutory priority scheme. Other highlights included a victory at the Third Circuit for Avaya, overturning a $62.5m verdict in an antitrust case on the grounds that a district judge improperly threw out the company’s counterclaims during trial. ‘World-class appellate lawyer’ and ‘consummate advocate’ Mark Fleming is ‘head and shoulders above the competition’. Catherine Carroll is also recommended. Shirley Woodward departed to the US Department of State.

Chicago-based Linda Coberly’s expertise in securities fraud class actions and professional liability defense, combined with Steffen Johnson’s antitrust, constitutional and IP practice, is what distinguishes Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘diligent and savvy’ group. Coberly represented the petitioner in Arias v Lynch and secured a favorable judgment at the Seventh Circuit, obtaining the court’s clarification on the interpretation of the immigration law term ‘crime involving moral turpitude’. Johnson is acting for Cox Communications in a case concerning 21 patents for VoIP technology. Elizabeth Papez argued for the respondent in United States, ex rel Anthony Oliver v Philip Morris USA; the DC Circuit FCA appeal arose from a whistleblower’s accusation of knowing and fraudulent over-billing of sales to the US military. Clients also included Apotex, Morgan Stanley and Panasonic. Geoffrey Eaton is recommended.


Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense

Index of tables

  1. Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
  2. Leading lawyers
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Lawyers at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP led an investigation into the collapse of the Fundão dam in Brazil on behalf of BHP Billiton, Vale and Samarco Mineração, and represented Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and HSBC in investigations concerning forex trading, Libor, ISDAfix and other benchmark rates across multiple jurisdictions. Other highlights included acting for Robert Bosch in investigations and civil litigation relating to the Volkswagen scandal and defending institutions and individuals in securities fraud and insider trading investigations. Key figures in the firm’s New York office include David Brodsky, Breon Peace, Jennifer Kennedy Park, Lewis Liman and Ari MacKinnon. Washington DC lawyers include Robin Bergen, Giovanni Prezioso, Nowell Bamberger, who became a partner in January 2017, and Matthew Solomon, who joined in December 2016 after serving as chief litigation counsel for the enforcement division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s litigation department is led by Linda Thomsen and Raul Yanes, who work in Washington DC alongside Neil MacBride. The firm’s New York team includes Jennifer Newstead, Angela Burgess, Martine Beamon, ‘terrific lawyer’ Denis McInerney and Greg Andres. The firm advised Cisco Systems on SEC and Department of Justice (DOJ) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations into its activities in Russia, resulting in no enforcement actions being brought, and represented several global financial institutions in DOJ and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigations into alleged aiding and abetting of criminal tax evasion. MacBride represented Morgan Stanley in a Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) investigation relating to the client’s issuance of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities. Other clients include Citigroup, Hitachi, RBS and IBM. Carey Dunne left in January 2017 to become general counsel of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘a very capable firm with growing bench strength’. ’Fantastic’ practice head Bruce Yannett, along with Sean Hecker and Jonathan Tuttle, represented the former CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals in multiple parallel investigations, and Yannett represented Rolls Royce in DOJ and UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) anti-corruption investigations. Hecker worked alongside Matthew Fishbein in advising New York City on campaign finance investigations. David O’Neil advised EMI Music Publishing Management on DOJ litigation pertaining to the 1MDB scandal. The firm also advises major corporate and individual clients on domestic and cross-border FCPA, anti-money laundering and tax investigations. Yannett, Hecker and Fishbein are based in New York, as are Andrew Levine and Helen Cantwell. Mary Jo White returned to the New York office in January 2017 following her near four-year term as chair of the SEC, and John Gleeson joined that office in March 2016 after serving as a district judge in the Eastern District of New York. Tuttle and O’Neil are based in the Washington DC office, which Andrew Ceresney joined in January 2017 after serving as director of enforcement at the SEC.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s practice is chaired by New York’s Joel Cohen, Washington DC’s Joseph Warin and San Francisco’s Charles Stevens. The practice recently ‘added a number of very good lawyers’: in Washington DC, Stuart Delery and Patrick Stokes joined from the DOJ and Stephanie Brooker joined from the Department of the Treasury, and, in Palo Alto, former US Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin Wagner arrived. Other key figures include Los Angeles’s Debra Wong Yang, who serves as compliance monitor for Nuline Pharmaceuticals. The firm obtained a deferred prosecution agreement for publicly traded hedge fund Och-Ziff following an FCPA investigation and secured a settlement from the SEC and a declination of criminal prosecution from the DOJ in relation to alleged FCPA violations by Bristol-Myers Squibb. It also continues to represent Petrobras in FCPA investigations. Other clients include UBS and the Office of the Governor of New Jersey.

The ‘very impressivePaul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is ‘at the forefront of some of the country’s biggest investigations’. The firm regularly acts for Citigroup and represented Deutsche Bank in Libor-related investigations spanning several jurisdictions. It also represented Anthony Chiasson in his successful appeal against an insider trading conviction and acted for SAC Capital and Steve Cohen in an investigation into alleged insider trading. Other clients include the NFL, 21st Century Fox and JPMorgan Chase. Brad Karp chairs the firm, while the New York-based white-collar and regulatory defense practice is chaired by Theodore Wells, Roberto Finzi, Michele Hirshman and Lorin Reisner. In Washington DC, Mark Mendelsohn and Alex Young Oh chair the anti-corruption and FCPA practice. Roberto Gonzalez joined that office in January 2016 after serving as deputy general counsel of the Treasury Department.

Steven Peikin is the managing partner of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s criminal defense and investigations group and Nicolas Bourtin is its deputy managing partner. Peikin worked alongside Karen Patton Seymour and Alexander Willscher in representing Barclays in global forex investigations. Daryl Libow helped BP to reach a settlement with the DOJ and other entities following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Peikin and Patton Seymour also represented Michael Coscia in the first anti-‘spoofing’ criminal trial. Richard Klapper helped Goldman Sachs to reach a settlement to resolve claims that concern its structuring, underwriting and sales of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). Other key members of the team include Samuel Seymour. Libow and Christopher Viapiano are based in Washington DC and all others named are based in New York.

Covington & Burling LLP is a ‘strong’ firm with an excellent reputation for FCPA work and an impressive track record in representing pharmaceutical sector clients. Nancy Kestenbaum in New York and Ethan Posner in Washington DC chair the practice and key partners in the latter office include Lanny Breuer, Mythili Raman and former US Attorney General Eric Holder. Clients have included oil exploration company Hyperdynamics, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Gilead Sciences and the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Lawyers at the ‘excellentKing & Spalding LLP are ‘responsive, knowledgeable and proactive’. Practice head Christopher Wray and fellow Washington DC-based partners Dixie Johnson and Michael Pauzé represented PwC Brazil in investigations and litigation stemming from the Petrobras investigation. Wray and deputy practice chair Andrew Hruska, who is based in New York, acted for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the Bridgegate investigations. Pauzé and Robert Hur secured an acquittal for Vascular Solutions in a criminal trial concerning off-label promotion of a medical device. Other key members of the team include counsel Gary Grindler (Washington DC) and deputy practice chairs Zachary Harmon (Washington DC) and Paul Murphy (Atlanta). Alexander Koch rejoined the Washington DC office in May 2016 after serving as assistant director of the SEC’s enforcement division, and Naana Frimpong joined the Atlanta office in November that year after serving as Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice is led by the New-York-based David Zornow who, together with Washington DC’s Charles Walker, successfully represented Swisher Hygiene in investigations by the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina and the SEC. Zornow continues to act for the New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association in an anti-corruption investigation. New York’s David Meister and Chicago’s Patrick Fitzgerald represented Corning International Kabushiki Kaisha in a criminal investigation concerning the pricing of auto parts. Other key lawyers include Washington DC’s Gary DiBianco, who is acting for AgustaWestland in a multi-jurisdictional corruption investigation, and the Boston-based Michael Loucks, whose work includes major False Claims Act (FCA) cases.

Williams & Connolly LLPdoes an excellent job of aggressively defending its clients’. The firm represented Bank of America in a successful appeal against the award of $1.3bn in damages for alleged FIRREA violations prior to the financial crisis. It also acted for bond trader Jesse Litvak in the success appeal against his conviction for securities fraud and other offenses. Other recent highlights include securing a deferred prosecution agreement for MoneyGram following an investigation into its anti-money laundering controls, and securing the dismissal of charges against Kevin Brian Cox, the owner of True Wireless, when he was charged with defrauding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). David Zinn and Joseph Petrosinelli chair the Washington DC-based practice, which also includes Brendan Sullivan, Kannon Shanmugam and Tobin Romero.

WilmerHale is praised for ‘great responsiveness, great turnaround and great judgment’. New York’s Boyd Johnson and Boston’s Stephen Jonas chair the investigations and criminal litigation practice group, while ‘extraordinary’ Washington DC lawyer Howard Shapiro chairs the litigation department. With fellow New York lawyer Erin Sloane, Johnson obtained a favorable settlement with the SEC for Key Energy Services following a global anti-corruption investigation. Highlights for New York’s Jay Holtmeier and Los Angeles’ Randall Lee included helping the audit committee of the board of Cisco Systems to obtain a declination in an SEC and DOJ FCPA investigation. Jonas defended Excelitas Technologies against allegations of FCA violations. Other key figures include Anjan Sahni in New York and Kimberly Parker in Washington DC.

Credit Suisse is a key client of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s team, which is advising Valeant Pharmaceuticals on an SEC investigation pertaining to possible securities law violations. The team is also assisting the audit committees of Qualcomm and Walmart Stores in DOJ and SEC FCPA compliance investigations. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance and environmental investigations are also part of the firm’s work. Key lawyers include Bradley Bondi, who divides his time between New York and Washington DC, and New York-based Bart Friedman, David Wishengrad, Herbert Washer and Anirudh Bansal. David Kelley moved to Dechert LLP in January 2017.

In January 2017, Dechert LLP took on ‘fantastic lawyerDavid Kelley from Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP as its practice group chair. He joins Andrew Levander, Jonathan Streeter and ‘world-class lawyerHector Gonzalez in the New York office. Levander and Gonzales are representing Takata Corporation in numerous high-profile litigation matters and investigations in various jurisdictions, and Levander is representing former MF Global Holdings CEO Jon Corzine in litigation and investigations arising from the company’s bankruptcy. Streeter’s clients include a Chinese national under investigation by the SEC for alleged insider trading. The Washington DC-based Catherine Botticelli has particular expertise in securities-related matters and her clients include First Eagle Investment Management and investment adviser TL Ventures.

Hogan Lovells US LLP is ‘a really strong’ firm that offers regulatory expertise and international reach. Practice head Peter Spivack advised Electrobras on internal investigations following the Petrobras scandal, and assisted Chemed Corporation and VITAS Healthcare with major FCA cases. Fellow Washington DC lawyer Jonathan Diesenhaus assisted Solvay Pharmaceuticals in securing a complete victory on summary judgment in a declined qui tam whistleblower case. Gejaa Gobena joined the Washington DC office in June 2016 after serving as deputy chief of the fraud section in the criminal division of the DOJ, James McGovern joined the New York office from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and Stephanie Yonekura joined the Los Angeles office after serving as acting US Attorney for the Central District of Los Angeles.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP delivers ‘practical and pragmatic advice and a very high level of service’. Chicago-based practice head Mark Filip and Houston-based Brigham Cannon are ‘diligent and knowledgeable’. They were part of the team that advised BASF on an internal review concerning alleged antitrust violations. The firm helped General Motors to negotiate a criminal resolution with the DOJ concerning recalls. Other clients include some of the world’s largest manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies, which the firm advises on major FCPA investigations and FCA cases. Chicago lawyers John Lausch and John Hartmann, New York’s Henry DePippo and the Washington DC-based Robert Khuzami are active in the white-collar space. Michael Garcia left to become Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals in January 2016.

Lawyers at the ‘outstandingKramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP are ‘especially good at strategizing’. Recent successes include obtaining a deferred prosecution agreement for David Parse, a former Deutsche Bank broker accused of participating in a tax fraud, and securing the dismissal of charges of insider trading against Michael Steinberg. The firm is representing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in connection with state and FBI fundraising probes and is acting for professional gambler, businessman and philanthropist William Walters in an insider trading case. Another client is FIFA secretary general Jérôme Valcke. Eric Tirschwell and the ‘smart and thoughtful’ Paul Schoeman head the team out of New York, which also includes Gary Naftalis, ‘leading trial attorney’ Barry Berke and Darren Laverne, who joined in June 2016 after serving as Assistant US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York.

At the ‘excellentLatham & Watkins LLP, the global chairs of white-collar defense and investigations are Steven Bauer, who works across the San Francisco and Brussels offices, and the ‘superbKathryn Ruemmler, who divides her time between Washington DC and New York. Bauer represented Pacific Gas and Electric Company in a criminal trial connected with a gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California, and Ruemmler’s work included tax, FCPA and FCA investigations for prominent clients. New York-based ‘top practitionerRichard Owens represented individuals from major financial institutions in investigations into alleged ISDAfix and forex manipulation. Washington DC’s Alice Fisher is representing HCA Holdings and Pacira Pharmaceuticals in FCA investigations. Benjamin Naftalis is based in New York and Margaret Tough is based in San Francisco. Recent hires include counsel Daniel Dominguez, who rejoined the Washington DC office in November 2015 after serving as associate counsel to the President in the Office of the White House Counsel.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘diligent and experienced’ team is led by San Francisco-based Jordan Eth, New York-based Joel Haims and Washington DC-based Demme Doufekias. Doufekias represented an executive at Par Pharmaceuticals in an investigation by the antitrust division into alleged price-fixing in the generic pharmaceuticals industry. Jessie Liu, who joined the Washington DC office from Jenner & Block LLP in April 2016, advised a Fortune 100 defense and aerospace contractor on handling allegations of potential false claims. In May of the same year, Carrie Cohen joined the New York office after serving as Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Also in that city are the ‘smart and hardworking’ Carl Loewenson and the ‘highly responsive’ Ronald White. Joshua Hill joined the San Francisco office in February 2017 after leaving Sidley Austin LLP. The firm also handles benchmarking and anti-money laundering investigations and acts for a broad mixture of individuals and companies.

Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. is an ‘excellent’ New York litigation boutique with ‘quality people and great strength in depth’. Elkan Abramowitz successfully defended former Dewey & LeBouef chairman Steven Davis on charges of fraud, grand larceny, conspiracy, Martin Act violations and falsifying business records. Robert Anello and Richard Albert represented the former president and CEO of a Canadian public company in a bribery trial. Albert and Jeremy Temkin served as independent examiners to 21 Swiss banks in connection with a DOJ program for non-prosecution agreements or non-target letters. Other clients include executives of BP and the New Jersey Department of Transportation and a foreign national accused of the theft of trade secrets from a military contractor. Additional key lawyers include Benjamin Fischer, Catherine Foti and Brian Jacobs.

Lawyers at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLPrespond quickly and show an extraordinary level of business acumen and industry knowledge’. San Francisco-based practice head Walter Brown secured a favorable plea agreement for Hailong Mo, a Chinese executive accused of the theft of trade secrets. Washington DC attorneys Guy Singer and William Jacobson are among those representing Zimmer Biomet Holdings in connection with an FCPA enforcement action. Deputy practice group chair McGregor Scott is based in Sacramento. Litigation business unit head Melinda Haag, whose clients include the University of California, joined the San Francisco office after serving as US Attorney for the Northern District of California. Other key figures in that office include Pamela Davis.

The ‘responsive, pragmatic and hands-on’ lawyers at Paul Hastings LLPunderstand clients and provide prudent advice’. Practice head Kenneth Breen and fellow New York lawyer John Nowak represented a former Deutsche Bank employee indicted for Libor manipulation and wire fraud. In Washington DC, Amy Carpenter-Holmes and Michael Levy defended former Fannie Mae executive vice-president Thomas Lund in a securities fraud case that was ultimately discontinued. In the same city, Robert Luskin continued to advise Total on FCPA-related matters, and Timothy Dickinson did the same for engineering company KBR. Thomas O’Brien defended Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy James Sexton in a federal obstruction of justice case. O’Brien was joined in Los Angeles in July 2016 by Thomas Zaccaro and Nicolas Morgan, formerly of Zaccaro Morgan LLP.

Lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP are ‘very responsive and genuinely care about getting excellent results for their clients’. Washington DC-based practice chair William Burck continued to represent FIFA in US and Swiss criminal investigations into bribery and corruption by current and former officials, and successfully defended former first lady of Virginia Maureen McDonnell in a federal corruption trial. Burck also represents the Odebrecht Group in cross-border bribery investigations pertaining to the Petrobras scandal. Practice co-chair Juan Morillo, also in Washington DC, is representing Swiss private bank BSI in investigations that involve the 1MDB scandal. ‘Client-oriented’ Houston-based practice chair David Gerger secured acquittal on 23 felony counts for BP engineer Bob Kaluza.

The ‘client-focused, considerate and proactive’ attorneys at Ropes & Gray LLP include practice group leaders Joshua Levy and Michael McGovern, based in Boston and New York respectively. Along with fellow Boston lawyer Aaron Katz, Levy successfully represented real estate developer Dustin DeNunzio against charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. New York-based partner Christopher Conniff represented the son of the former majority leader of the New York State Senate in a conspiracy, extortion and bribery trial. Joan McPhee divides her time between Boston and New York. McPhee, McGovern and Katz represented Kurt Mix in a felony obstruction of justice case related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Washington DC lawyer Colleen Conry has considerable anti-corruption experience and New York’s Marc Berger has a strong reputation.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice is led by Kimberly Dunne in Los Angeles, John Gallo and Scott Lassar in Chicago, Mark Hopson and Karen Popp in Washington DC and Timothy Treanor in New York. Popp advised Duke Energy on various civil and criminal enforcement matters and conducted an internal FCPA investigation for Key Energy Services. Treanor is assisting the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), considered by the DOJ to be a ‘victim organization’, with respect to anti-corruption investigations. The firm serves as independent compliance monitor for HSBC Holdings following a settlement with regulators concerning OFAC sanctions violations. The Los Angeles-based Douglas Axel represented Herbalife in an FTC investigation. In May 2016, Michael Levy joined the New York office from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is a ‘terrific’ New York-based firm that ‘has done a really good job of boosting its practice’. Key figures include David Anders, who has advised the NBA on several high-profile investigations, and John Savarese, who is known for advising JPMorgan Chase in the aftermath of the Bernie Madoff investigations and successfully representing the client in a number of class action lawsuits. Ralph Levene has assisted UBS with cross-border tax and securities law issues. Wayne Carlin is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and handles litigation, internal investigations and the design of compliance policies.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘exceptional’ practice is chaired by San Francisco’s Robb Adkins and New York’s Seth Farber. Adkins is among those defending Kim Dotcom and Megaupload at appellate level in the largest criminal copyright case in history, while Farber continues to represent Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane in connection with allegations of unlawful leaking of information. The Chicago-based Dan Webb is acting for the city of Ferguson, Missouri in the DOJ Civil Rights Division’s investigation into police misconduct. ‘Smart, experienced and pragmatic’ Chicago-based lawyer Daniel Rubinstein is, like Webb, acting for BP executives in connection with civil, criminal and regulatory matters following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Other clients include the City of Chicago, AIG and Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian businessman accused of FCPA violations.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP has a ‘solid’ practice which, while broad, is perhaps best known for its work in the healthcare sector. Kirk Ogrosky’s clients include retinal surgeon Dr Salomon Melgen, who was indicted on bribery and healthcare-related charges. Practice head John Nassikas represented a loan officer accused of participating in a mortgage wire fraud conspiracy. James W Cooper acted for DynCorp International in a FCA case. Amy Jeffress assisted a US diplomat with an espionage investigation that resulted in no charges being filed. The firm also handles FCPA, espionage and migration related matters for a broad range of clients. All lawyers named above are based in Washington DC. Sara Shudofsky joined the New York office after serving as chief of the civil division at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and Stephen Martin joined the Denver office after leaving Baker McKenzie LLP in January 2016. Former Kaye Scholer LLP lawyers in the team include New York-based co-head Michael Rogoff, and Jonathan Green, whose clients include Novartis Pharmaceuticals and a number of high-profile financial institutions.

At Washington DC firm Buckley Sandler LLP, Benjamin Klubes is acting for 12 employees of Volkswagen in civil and criminal investigations relating to the emissions scandal. Practice head David Krakoff represented a Deutsche Bank senior executive accused of Libor manipulation, and he and Klubes represented Japanese gaming manufacturer Universal Entertainment in FCPA-related litigation brought by Wynn Resorts. Preston Burton, who joined from Poe & Burton PLLC in June 2016, successfully defended an army officer accused of bribery. Christopher Regan acted for the defendant in a Clean Air Act case and Douglas Gansler is acting for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Recent highlights for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP included representing six FedEx employees in a high-profile criminal drug trafficking and money laundering investigation, acting for Pershing Square Capital Management in an investigation into the pricing of off-patent drugs, and assisting a school with investigations into historic allegations of sexual abuse. The firm is active in the FCPA space and its clients include financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies. Kenneth Wainstein heads the practice from Washington DC, where Jodi Avergun is also based. Adam Lurie left in February 2016 to join Linklaters LLP, while special counsel Joseph Facciponti joined the New York office after leaving HSBC.

At the ‘outstandingClifford Chance, Washington DC-based practice head David DiBari and New York-based Edward O’Callaghan secured a victory for aerospace company Fokker Services at the DC Circuit, concluding a criminal case regarding sanctions violations, and O’Callaghan is also acting for a key witness in the London Whale investigation and former vice-president of FIFA Jeffrey Webb. ‘Clever, commercially savvy and client-friendly’ New York lawyer Christopher Morvillo advised Autonomy founder Mike Lynch on DOJ, SEC and SFO investigations into alleged accounting improprieties at Autonomy. Daniel Silver joined the New York office in March 2016 after leaving the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and Robert Rice joined in August of that year from the SEC. Other key figures include Washington DC’s Megan Gordon and New York’s Robert Houck.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s New York-based team, led by Aaron Marcu, played key roles in a number of very high-profile investigations, and several of the world’s largest financial institutions are among its clients. Marcu serves as anti-money laundering compliance monitor to MoneyGram International. Adam Siegel represented Bristol-Myers Squibb in DOJ and SEC FCPA investigations that resulted in a declination of criminal prosecution. Olivia Radin is especially active in representing banks, as is the highly regarded Kimberly Zelnick, whose clients include HSBC Holdings. Daniel Braun joined the firm’s Washington DC office in April 2016 after leaving the DOJ.

Great firmFried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP delivers ‘truly stunning response times’. James Wareham in Washington DC and Steven Witzel in New York are respective chairs of the global litigation department and global white-collar criminal defense practices. Wareham assisted former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd with the settlement of a long-running enforcement action. Together with the ‘exceptionalLawrence Gerschwer, Witzel represented the managing director of BofA Merrill Lynch in an SEC investigation. Stephen Juris is also a key member of the team. He and Gerschwer are based in the New York office, where they were joined by former Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP attorney Scott Luftglass in February 2016. Other clients include KPMG, Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo and the US Virgin Islands Attorney General.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s white-collar crime department is headed by the Boston-based John Pappalardo and the ‘diligent and well-connected’ Marc Mukasey, who works in New York. Mukasey represented the economic development corporation arm of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as the victim of a bond fraud scheme. Chicago’s John Gibbons acted for Trans Energy in an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and DOJ investigation into fracking activities in West Virginia. Miami lawyer Mark Schnapp’s clients include Citigroup and public cell phone provider TracFone. Tampa-based David Weinstein represented a Swiss banker indicted for conspiracy to commit tax fraud. In the same city, Gregory Kehoe’s work includes FCA litigation.

San Francisco litigation boutique Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP is ‘a great firm full of outstanding lawyers’. Practice head Elliot Peters convinced a Massachusetts federal judge to disallow a FCA case against Genentech that concerns the asthma drug Xolair, and Peters is representing cyclist Lance Armstrong in a qui tam action. The ‘phenomenal’ John Keker defended McGraw-Hill and its Standard & Poor’s division in a FIRREA case focused on its ratings of RMBS and CDOs. Keker also represented former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd in an SEC action. Both cases resulted in settlements. Michael Celio secured a victory for a Silicon Valley venture capital firm accused of conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty. Other clients include Electronic Arts, San Diego County Water Authority, Facebook and Lyft.

Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP is an ‘incredibly strong’ New York litigation firm with an excellent reputation in the industry. Areas of expertise for the firm’s attorneys include securities fraud, antitrust violations, and FCPA and insider trading cases. Key members of the practice include founding partner John Siffert, Daniel Gitner, Helen Gredd, John Wing and Charles Spada. Lisa Zornberg left the firm in October 2017 to become chief of the criminal division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Mayer Brown’s ‘excellent’ practice is led by ‘skilled courtroom attorneyKelly Kramer, based in Washington DC, and the ‘highly experienced, judicious and insightful’ William Michael, who is based in Chicago. Other attorneys in Washington DC include ‘consummate professionalLaurence Urgenson, while Chicago is also home to Gregory Deis and Laura Hammargren. Daniel Stein joined the ‘terrific’ Michael Martinez in New York in October 2016 after serving as chief of the criminal division at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The firm represented Las Vegas Sands in an FCPA investigation concerning its operations in Macau. Kramer negotiated a favorable plea agreement for the former head of Louis Berger’s Asian operations and acted for an Iranian American convicted of violating trade regulations.

McGuireWoods LLPhad a very strong 2016’. Practice head John Adams shares the Richmond office with Richard Cullen, while Patrick Rowan, Todd Mullins and George Terwilliger are based in Washington DC. Cullen continues to represent former FIFA president Sepp Blatter in connection with the FIFA corruption investigation. Terwilliger acted for former Illinois congressman Aaron Schock in a DOJ investigation into his political expenditures. Mullins is representing City Power Marketing and K Stephen Tsingas in market manipulation litigation. Former federal prosecutor Benjamin Hatch joined the Norfolk office in July 2016.

Miller & Chevalier Chartered is a ‘great’ Washington DC firm where Barry Pollack and the ‘terrific’ Mark Rochon head the practice. Rochon conducted an internal investigation for VimpelCom into the company’s activities in Russia and Central Asia, while Pollack represents WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in criminal investigations in the US. Another client is freight forwarder UTi Worldwide, which Kirby Behre represented in cartel investigations in seven countries that concluded without any charges being brought against the client. William Barry joined from Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP in May 2017.

The ‘excellentMorgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a large nationwide practice led by Philadelphia’s Eric Sitarchuk. The firm’s recent successes include securing a deferred prosecution agreement for Olympus Corporation of the Americas following an FCPA investigation that concerned its activities in Latin America. FCPA-related matters form a large part of the firm’s work, as do FCA suits. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and are drawn from the pharmaceutical, retail, healthcare, financial, aerospace and manufacturing industries. Miami’s Alison Tanchyk, Washington DC’s Matthew Miner and New York’s Martha Stolley are among the firm’s most prolific practitioners in the white-collar space.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s clients included Trump University and Donald Trump, which the firm defended in a class action lawsuit alleging violations of civil RICO. The firm also defended the CEO of a trucking company in a fraud investigation, acted for Bumble Bee Foods in a criminal antitrust investigation, and advised a European chemical company on export and economic sanctions compliance. Mary Patrice Brown and Steven Olson head the teams from Washington DC and Los Angeles respectively. Jeremy Maltby rejoined the Washington DC office in November 2015 after serving as special assistant and senior counsel to President Barack Obama.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s practice is headed by Mark Hellerer and Maria Galeno, both based in New York, and by Washington DC’s William Sullivan. Carolina Fornos joined the New York office in August 2016 after leaving the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. The firm acted for multiple Swiss banks in connection with a DOJ and IRS program that aims to reveal the identities of US taxpayers holding accounts at those banks. It is representing Andras Balogh, the former director of central strategic organization at Magyar Telekom, in an SEC FCPA lawsuit. Sullivan acted for a former officer of Walmart Stores in internal and government investigations into allegations of bribery at the company’s Mexican subsidiary and represents a development officer of FIFA in an FBI and IRS investigation.

The ‘extremely able and experienced lawyers’ at Proskauer Rose LLP are ‘always a pleasure to work with due to their detailed understanding of the field and user-friendly approach’. The firm is playing key roles in some of the highest-profile US and multi-jurisdictional investigations and its work encompasses bank, securities and tax fraud and FCPA, antitrust and anti-corruption matters. Practice head Robert Cleary is ‘right at the top of his game’. His colleagues in New York include fellow practice head Dietrich Snell, the ‘excellent’ William Komaroff and, since April 2016, former SEC senior counsel Joshua Newville. In the same month, Bart Williams and Manuel Cachán joined the Los Angeles office after leaving Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Lawyers at the ‘fantasticRichards Kibbe & Orbe LLP have ‘great business and legal knowledge, impeccable judgment and tremendous credibility’. Jeffrey Lehtman heads the practice from the Washington DC office, which also houses Michael Mann. New York is home to the ‘wise and thoughtfulLee Richards, the ‘extremely smart and dedicated’ Shari Brandt, and David Massey. Richards represented the audit committee of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group in an FCPA investigation and Massey is acting for a Latin American sports marketing and production company in connection with the FIFA investigation. Mann is advising four Isle of Man-headquartered financial institutions on an SEC investigation and related litigation. William Barry joined Miller & Chevalier Chartered in May 2017.

Shearman & Sterling LLP advises Volvo on anti-corruption compliance, internal and government investigations and related civil litigation, and the firm advised GlaxoSmithKline on a criminal bribery investigation in China. For Morgan Stanley, the firm negotiated a settlement following state and federal investigations into the sale and marketing of RMBS. Other clients include Citigroup and Sociedad Quimica y Minera. New York’s Adam Hakki heads the litigation department and the white-collar practice is led by Stephen Fishbein in New York and Patrick Robbins in Washington DC. Also in New York is John Nathanson, while the Washington DC office also houses Philip Urofsky and Mark Lanpher.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice is led from New York by Mark Stein and Paul Curnin. The ‘responsive, practical and thorough’ Nicholas Goldin worked with Curnin in advising the board of the Wounded Warrior Project on allegations of misuse of donor funds, and with Stein in serving as global FCPA monitor to Avon Products. Another New York lawyer, the ‘highly intelligent, insightful and supportive’ Joshua Levine, represented JPMorgan Chase in SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) investigations concerning the marketing of proprietary investment funds. Key figures in Washington DC include Jeffrey Knox, who acts for a senior executive in relation to the FIFA scandal, of counsel Peter Bresnan, who retired from the partnership in December 2016, and Cheryl Scarboro. Michael Osnato joined the New York office in February 2017 after serving as chief of the complex financial instruments unit of the SEC’s enforcement division.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an ‘outstanding firm’. Washington DC lawyers include practice head Brian Heberlig, Reid Weingarten, Jason Weinstein and Erik Kitchen: ‘all excellent trial lawyers who are respected by regulators’. The ‘highly skilled and experienced’ Christopher Niewoehner works out of Chicago and Michelle Levin and Paul Charlton are based in New York and Phoenix respectively. The firm secured the acquittal of former Acclarent CEO William Facteau and that of its former vice-president of sales Patrick Fabian on felony fraud charges. It also acted for the board of directors’ committee of Pilot Flying J in an internal investigation into claims that the client’s sales employees defrauded customers.

Excellent firmVinson & Elkins LLPhas an unbeatable combination of knowledge and experience and provides advice tailored to clients’ needs’. Washington DC’s Craig Margolis and New York’s Clifford Thau head the government investigations practice, in which Matthew Jacobs (San Francisco) and William Lawler (Washington DC) also play key roles. FCA work included multiple representations of engineering company KBR and of BAE Systems, as well as of Agility Public Warehousing Company. The firm is acting for various individuals and companies in securities fraud litigation and is representing Hitachi Automotive Systems in connection with a federal criminal investigation into the automotive industry.

Steven Tyrrell heads Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s white-collar investigations practice. Tyrrell advised Sanofi on SEC and DOJ FCPA investigations. Jonathan Polkes secured a precedent-setting victory for professional services company Marsh & McLennan before the Second Circuit, in a case that concerns the legality of compelling employees to participate in internal investigations. Tyrrell and Christopher Garcia acted for former UBS and Citigroup trader Tom Hayes in a DOJ Libor manipulation investigation. Garcia’s clients also include American Realty Capital Properties. Steven Reiss is acting for the former head of foreign exchange trading at BNP Paribas in a multinational investigation. Apart from Washington DC’s Holly Loiseau, all key partners are based in New York. Sarah Coyne joined from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in January 2017.

Darryl Lew’s team at White & Case LLP has seen significant recent expansion. Following the launch of the Boston office in April 2016, Michael Kendall, Lauren Papenhausen and Kevin Bolan joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP, bringing particular strength in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors. Andrew Tomback joined the New York office from the same firm, while Virginia Chavez Romano joined in New York in September of that year after departing the DOJ. Other key members of the team include Daniel Levin, who works in Washington DC alongside Lew, and ‘excellent’ Miami lawyers Daniel Fridman and Michael Garcia. The firm handles Libor and Euribor related work, OFAC and FCPA investigations, and FCA and anti-money laundering work. Multi-jurisdictional investigations form a large part of the firm’s work.

Baker & Hostetler LLP’s large nationwide practice is led by John Carney and George Stamboulidis in New York and Steven Dettelbach in Cleveland. Other key figures include New York’s Lauren Resnick and Washington DC-based Jonathan Barr. The firm acted for Caterpillar and its subsidiary Progress Rail in a criminal investigation concerning fraud and environmental matters, and is advising a Fortune 50 company in an internal FCPA investigation. It also represented several high-ranking employees of an international retailer in connection with an SEC FCPA investigation.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s FCPA work included advising Brazilian company Embraer and global IT and communications company Harris Corporation on SEC and DOJ investigations. The firm serves as corporate monitor to AU Optronics and AU America following the client’s conviction for price-fixing, and acted as investigative counsel to a multinational food company in an SEC investigation into potential improper payments to government officials in China. It served as lead US counsel to Nordion in an investigation into improper payments in Russia and acted for Mondelēz in an internal investigation into potentially improper payments in several countries. New York’s William Devaney and Washington DC’s Brian Whisler head the team. Other key figures include Robert Kent and Jerome Tomas and Robert Tarun in San Francisco.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s group is led by Alex Bourelly out of the Washington DC office, which also houses Randall Turk and, since January 2016, former Kaye Scholer attorney Amy Conway-Hatcher. New York-based Andrew Lankler and Lynn Neils are other names to note. The firm acts for companies and individuals in a broad range of investigations, especially those concerning bribery and corruption. Clients are drawn from the food and beverage, energy, and technology sectors, as well as the political arena. J Bradley Bennett rejoined the firm after serving as Executive Vice President, Chief of Enforcement, of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in April 2017.

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP provides a ‘platinum-quality service’. The firm is representing Riza Aziz, the step-son of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, and his company, Red Granite Pictures, in connection with the 1MDB scandal. It secured a settlement for Barclays in a fraud case concerning high-frequency trading and is representing Ross Offinger, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign finance director, in a federal criminal investigation concerning campaign fundraising. Other clients include the former chairman of AIG, the city of Almaty and Huma Abedin, a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. The ‘talented and extremely hardworking’ Matthew Schwartz heads the team from New York, where other key figures include ‘master strategist and relentless litigator’ Jonathan Schiller, Harlan Levy and firm chairman David Boies. Washington DC is home to Karen Dunn and Michael Gottlieb.

Bracewell LLP’s New York team includes Glen Kopp and Thomas Kokalas, as well as Barbara Jones and Paul Shechtman, who joined from Zuckerman Spaeder in May 2016. Barrett Howell and Brandon McCarthy joined the Dallas office from K&L Gates. Other notable names include Seattle’s Philip Bezanson, Houston’s Jeffery Vaden and ‘knowledgeable, practical and intelligent’ of counsel Richard Beckler in Washington DC. The firm secured a deferred prosecution agreement for former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP employee Zachary Warren, represented an auto finance company in a DOJ FIRREA investigation, and acted for an engineering company in a DOJ OFAC investigation.

At the ‘really excellentChadbourne & Parke LLP, practice head Abbe Lowell, who divides his time between New York and Washington DC, secured the dismissal of four charges of bribery against Senator Robert Menendez. Lowell is also representing Bank Hapoalim in tax investigations conducted by the DOJ and the New York State Department of Financial Services, and acting for Aaron Davidson in connection with the FIFA corruption case. Other clients include former Senator Hector Martinez, Star Scientific and Goldman Sachs. His colleagues in Washington DC include Christopher Man and Keith Rosen. New York-based counsel Jenny Kramer is also noted.

The ‘terrificCohen & Gresserhas a strong commitment to client service’. The firm acts for institutions and individuals in SEC, DOJ and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigations into such matters as FCPA violations, money laundering, electoral corruption and rates manipulation. The ‘responsive, creative and client-friendlyMark Cohen heads the firm from New York, where his colleagues include the ‘smart, experienced and hardworkingJonathan Abernethy, the ‘highly skilled and very personableGale Dick and, since January 2016, former Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP attorney Stephen Sinaiko. Abernethy represented a significant witness in a high-profile public corruption case in the Southern District of New York in which former New York State Senate majority leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam were charged with conspiracy, extortion and soliciting bribes. Melissa Maxman joined in March 2016 from Cozen O’Connor to head the firm’s Washington DC office.

At Cooley LLP, New York-based William Schwartz chairs the white-collar and regulatory defense practice. His work includes the representation of individuals in very high-profile investigations. Highlights for global litigation department chair Michael Attanasio, based in San Diego, included obtaining the dismissal of all charges against an individual indicted for money laundering who previously had entered a guilty plea. New York lawyer Jonathan Bach filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court concerning the government’s right to restrain assets on behalf of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers. Other New York lawyers include Ian Shapiro and Alan Levine.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP’s lawyers are ‘succinct, refined, user-friendly, and very well versed in the ways of the regulators’. The firm’s work for Credit Suisse includes litigation concerning its sale of RMBS and alleged violations of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and it is defending Novartis against allegations of FCA and Anti-Kickback Statute violations. Other clients include Dreamworks Animation, which the firm is advising on an SEC investigation into its accounting. Key figures in the team, which is based in New York, include the ‘sophisticated, sensible and persuasiveJohn Buretta, Benjamin Gruenstein, David Stuart, Evan Chesler and Rachel Skaistis.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s white-collar, corporate crime and investigations practice is chaired by New York’s John Hillebrecht and Chicago’s Jonathan King, following the departure of former chair Patrick Smith to found Smith Villazor LLP. Other key figures in the nationwide practice include Washington DC’s Laura Flippin and San Francisco’s Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey. The firm represents clients from a broad range of industries and is especially active in the FCPA space.

Dentons has a nationwide practice chaired by Glenn Colton in New York, Thomas Kelly in Washington DC and Stephen Hill in Kansas City. Chicago’s Stephen Senderowitz represented futures trader Michael Coscia in his sentencing and appeal following his ‘spoofing’ conviction. Atlanta-based Barry Armstrong and Chicago’s Rachel Cannon represented former lawyer Bennett Kight, who was charged with mail fraud and bank fraud following an allegedly fraudulent real estate transaction. Nathan Garroway, also in Atlanta, successfully represented King & Spalding LLP in opposition to state and federal subpoenas seeking access to protected documents pertaining to the client firm’s work defending General Motors in product liability litigation. The firm also handles FCA and anti-bribery work, and is active in the automotive sector.

White-collar crime powerhouseFoley & Lardner LLP has a ‘great team with excellent legal skills’. Chicago’s Lisa Noller chairs the practice and vice-chair is Los Angeles-based Jaime Guerrero. Noller represented Greystone Capital Management, Baptist Health and Intercity Radiology in FCA cases and acted for NGO International Relief and Development in a federal investigation into alleged financial misconduct. Milwaukee-based David Simon is ‘unmatched in the FCPA space’.

Goodwinprovides the very highest levels of service’. The practice is led by Boston-based Todd Cronan and the ‘proactive and strategicRichard Strassberg in New York respectively. With fellow New York lawyer William Harrington, Strassberg represented Home Loans and Countrywide Bank in the first-ever DOJ FIRREA civil suit to be brought to trial. Alongside Silicon Valley’s Grant Fondo, Strassberg advises former Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf following the company’s settlement. The ‘charmingJoseph Savage in Boston successfully defended former Warner Chilcott president Carl Reichel against allegations of Anti-Kickback Statute violations. Boston’s Roberto Braceras is ‘smart and determined’ and New York’s Derek Cohen is ‘very impressive’.

Jenner & Block LLP’s ‘excellent’ white-collar criminal practice is chaired by Reid Schar and Charles Sklarsky in Chicago - where litigation practice chair Craig Martin is also based - and Anthony Barkow and Peter Pope in New York. The firm conducted internal investigations for General Motors into events leading up to certain recalls necessitated by faulty ignition switches, and also for United Airlines in connection with accusations that the company initiated a flight between Newark, NJ and Columbia, SC for the personal benefit of the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Schar and Barkow are among those advising the New Jersey General Assembly on the ‘Bridgegate’ incident. New York-based Neil Barofsky serves as independent monitor to Credit Suisse, and Sklarsky provides FCPA compliance advice to industrial supply company WW Grainger. Kali Bracey and David Bitkower joined the Washington DC office in February and April 2017 respectively after leaving the DOJ.

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP’s practice is led by Daniel Fetterman in New York and Lyn Agre in San Francisco. Together with the Miami-based Ann St Peter-Griffith, Fetterman represented Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas in his trial for corruption, money laundering and wire fraud. With New York’s Edward McNally, he acted for the former CEO of Anglo Irish Bank, David Drumm, in his bid to fight extradition to Ireland. He also represented Christopher Liva, who was indicted on five counts for his role in a healthcare fraud conspiracy. Agre secured the dismissal of all charges against certain FedEx employees indicted for money laundering and drug trafficking. Daniel Saunders joined the New York office in January 2017 after leaving Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s team is led by Scott Resnik, whose colleagues in New York include Alan Brudner and Michael Rosensaft. Resnik and Rosensaft defended the president of a pharmaceutical company in a 73-count indictment concerning the import of non-approved pharmaceuticals, obtaining his acquittal on the 11 most serious counts. The ‘experienced and directNadira Clarke works in Washington DC alongside Glen Donath. Clarke advised Wood Group PPS on a joint federal and state investigation into alleged Clean Air Act violations. Key lawyers in Chicago include Sheldon Zenner, who is advising an executive of Walmart Brazil in connection with the DOJ’s multi-jurisdictional anti-corruption investigation into Walmart, and Gil Soffer.

Kobre & Kim’s clients include Alejandro Burzaco, the former CEO of an Argentine media company, who was accused of bribery as part of the FIFA investigation. The firm also acted for UK-based futures trader Navinder Sarao in parallel ‘spoofing’ suits brought by the DOJ and CFTC, and for French proprietary trading firms Omega 26 Investments and Guibor in an SEC enforcement investigation and action involving allegations of insider trading. Founding partner Michael Kim is based in New York, Eric Bruce is based in Washington DC, and Matthew Menchel and John Couriel are Miami based.

Adam Lurie joined Linklaters LLP’s Washington DC office in February 2016 after leaving Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and is representing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in an FCA suit concerning unemployment funds. Douglas Tween joined the New York office from Baker McKenzie LLP in November 2015. Tween secured acquittal on 21 out of 23 counts brought against Pablo Calderon, including money laundering, bank fraud and false statement. Other key figures at the firm, which also does work for major financial institutions, include New York’s Lance Croffoot-Suede and James Warnot.

The ‘big hitters’ at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, led by Los Angeles-based Gordon Greenberg, are ‘particularly strong in the healthcare space’. Fellow Los Angeles lawyer Russell Hayman represented 21st Century Oncology and Lexington Medical Center in FCA investigations, while Chicago’s David Rosenbloom represented Amgen in a multi-state consumer protection investigation. His colleague in the same office, Steven Scholes, represented the former manager of AlphaMetrix Group in a CFTC investigation arising from the company’s failure. Andrew Tomback moved to White & Case LLP in April 2016.

At the ‘outstandingMilbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, ‘response times are very short and advice is tailored and concise’. The firm advised Rabobank on a multi-jurisdictional investigation into potential Libor and Euribor manipulation, assisted a US national bank with a DOJ investigation into the adequacy of its Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering compliance programs, and is investigating possible insider trading and FCPA violations in the South American affiliate of a large corporate client. George Canellos is the global head of litigation and arbitration, Daniel Perry is the litigation and arbitration practice group leader and Scott Edelman is the firm chairman. Key partners also include the highly regarded Antonia Apps, the ‘very experienced and sharp’ James Cavoli and the ‘skilled’ Tawfiq Rangwala. All are based in New York.

The ‘outstandingMunger, Tolles & Olson is ‘staffed by a great group of former US attorneys’. These include ‘tremendous trial lawyer’ and co-managing partner Brad Brian, who is best known for representing drilling company Transocean and some of its subsidiaries in litigation that followed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Brian shares the Los Angeles office with Luis Li, whose areas of expertise include art law and internal investigations, and the ‘excellent’ Gregory Weingart. San Francisco is home to the ‘very impressive’ Jerome Roth. Bart Williams left to join Proskauer Rose LLP in March 2016. The firm’s work includes FCA cases, FCPA investigations and tax, securities, environmental and antitrust matters.

Pepper Hamilton LLP’s Thomas Gallagher negotiated a civil settlement and deferred prosecution agreement for Olympus Corporation of the Americas following a whistleblower case alleging FCA, FCPA and Anti-Kickback Statute violations, and advised Sanofi on a government Anti-Kickback Statute investigation. Gallagher shares the Philadelphia office with practice head Michael Schwartz and the pair acted for Johnson & Johnson in civil and criminal investigations concerning the quality of its products. Schwartz also represented Philadelphia Media Network, PBC in the trial of former Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, successfully asserting the Pennsylvania Shield Law, which protects reporters from having to reveal their sources. New York’s Martin Bloor acts as integrity monitor to the New York City Department of Investigation in connection with the Build it Back program.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice is led by Barry Bohrer in New York and Adam Hoffinger in Washington DC. Bohrer is representing Joseph Percoco, a former senior aide and campaign manager to Governor Andrew Cuomo, in an investigation into lobbying and conflicts of interest. Hoffinger defended the former CEO of Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School against an 11-count federal indictment that alleges mail fraud, tax conspiracy and filing false tax returns, and represented a former divisional president of a global biotech company in an off-label marketing case concerning bone cement. Another Washington DC lawyer, Peter White, represented a former executive of SunTrust Mortgage indicted for wire fraud in the Eastern District of Virginia. The firm handles a large number of SEC investigations and insider trading cases as well as providing advice on FCPA, securities and criminal tax matters. Douglas Koff is based in New York, while Howard Schiffman and the ‘excellent’ Charles Clark work from Washington DC.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLPis very strong generally in white-collar crime but has particular expertise in FCPA and defense contractor work’. ‘StarBryan Daly and ‘insightful’ fellow Los Angeles lawyer Charles Kreindler secured a favorable settlement for an orthopedic surgeon in a federal investigation alleging the payment of kickbacks. Kreindler also obtained the dismissal of an FCA case against the Accident Fund Insurance Company of America in the Western District of New York. Daly and Bethany Hengsbach obtained a declination in an FCPA case against Beijing-based media company DMG. Daly is the practice group leader while Kreindler, Raymond Marshall and Kevin Puvalowski are the practice leaders in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York respectively. Robert Rhoad joined the Washington DC office in August 2016 from Crowell & Moring LLP.

Lawyers at the ‘excellentSquire Patton Boggsexhibit a genuine commitment to achieving the best possible outcome’. The government investigations and white-collar practice is chaired by Samuel Rosenthal, who divides his time between Washington DC and New York. Rosenthal represents Eduardo Li, the former president of Costa Rica’s football federation, as a co-defendant in the FIFA case. Other key figures in New York include Benjamin Wood, who is representing various foreign financial institutions in the Middle East and elsewhere in connection with investigations into potential violations of US sanctions laws. Rodney Slater is serving as independent monitor to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Clark Ervin is acting as monitor to the city of Ferguson to assess its compliance with a consent decree issued in April 2016.

Lawyers at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLPprovide an excellent overall level of service, showing excellent knowledge and good judgment’. The ‘phenomenalMichael Schachter heads the practice from New York and is representing Rabobank’s former global head of liquidity and finance, Anthony Allen, on appeal, having represented him in a federal criminal trial for Libor manipulation in the Southern District of New York. Colleagues in that city include Amelia Cottrell, while William Stellmach is based in Washington DC. The firm represents individuals and companies from a broad range of industries in SEC and DOJ investigations and trials. KPMG is a client.

Litigation boutique Zuckerman Spaeder typically represents high-ranking executives and it is acting for individuals in connection with some of the highest-profile investigations currently ongoing. The firm also counts public and private companies among its clients. Key figures include Dwight Bostwick and Eric Delinsky in Washington DC, Martin Himeles and Gregg Bernstein in Baltimore, and Jack Fernandez in Tampa. Paul Shechtman moved to Bracewell LLP in May 2016.


Financial services: litigation

Index of tables

  1. Financial services: litigation
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Financial services: litigation clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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All named individuals are based in New York, unless otherwise indicated.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP provides ‘thoughtful and thorough advice’ to a broad range of financial institutions on their most strategically important disputes. Noted for his ‘credibility and creativity’, Richard Clary has led Credit Suisse to numerous important victories in RMBS cases and recently represented it in an appellate hearing seeking to overturn the decision to deny the bank’s motion to dismiss - on the grounds of an expired limitation period - the $11bn damages case brought against it by the New York Attorney General. Alongside John Buretta and Michael Reynolds, Clary is also defending Credit Suisse in a sanctions case brought by US soldiers wounded in Iraq, alleging that it, along with other European banks, helped process monetary transactions for certain Iranian banks, which in turn were accused of funding Iran-backed terrorist groups. Buretta is also defending Nomura as one of the defendants accused of colluding to rig the agency bond market. Michael Paskin recently received plaudits for his innovative representation of the Argentinian government in its long-running creditor dispute, which enabled it to return to the global capital markets and thereby pay back its creditors. Daniel Slifkin was also involved in that case and is a key partner in the team that includes the ‘hardworking and astuteRobert Baron and Lauren Moskowitz.

Drawn from its shareholder litigation, white-collar and restructuring groups, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s financial services litigation offering provides an ‘excellent service’ to an impressive roster of clients, including Citigroup, RBS and Standard & Poor’s. James Rouhandeh continues to defend JPMorgan in a slew of RMBS-related private litigation and regulatory investigations, including securing the dismissal, on standing grounds, of Dexia Holdings’ claims relating to over $620m in RMBS purchases. Having previously occupied senior positions at the White House and Department of Justice (DOJ), Jennifer Newstead has strong credibility before the agencies and is a natural choice for high-level government investigations involving financial services institutions. She regularly handles economic sanctions and anti-money laundering (AML) matters and recently defended Intesa Sanpaolo in high-profile sanctions, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and criminal investigations, which resulted in a public declination to pursue criminal charges. Formerly at the SEC, Washington DC-based Linda Chatman Thomsen also has huge credibility before the regulators and recently represented credit rating agency DBRS in an SEC investigation into its alleged misrepresentation of its mortgage bond rating capabilities. Thomsen is also well versed in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters and alongside Washington DC-based Raul Yanes, who heads the firm’s white-collar criminal defense and government investigations group, represents numerous global financial institutions in FCPA investigations into hiring practices in Asia. Lawrence Portnoy is also recommended.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP handles high-stakes litigation, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings on behalf a varied mix of financial services clients, including JPMorgan Chase, SAC Capital and iStar Financial. Brad Karp continues to represent Citigroup in financial crisis-related disputes and recently secured the dismissal of a ‘holder’ claim seeking damages in excess of $800m as a result of the bank’s alleged misrepresentation of its exposure to subprime-related assets. The firm also recently concluded its long-running representation of Deutsche Bank following the bank’s $2.5bn settlement with authorities in the US and UK with regard to the multi-jurisdictional investigation into Libor manipulation. In another victory on behalf of the German bank, using a limitation period defense, the firm successfully secured the dismissal of claims brought by Aozora Bank that it had deliberately collateralized a CDO in which the Japanese bank had invested with RMBS that it believed were likely to decline in value. Formerly deputy director of enforcement at the SEC Walter Ricciardi has high credibility before the agencies and as well as playing a prominent role in the Deutsche Bank Libor settlement, is also representing Virtu Financial in litigation and regulatory and investigative matters concerning high-frequency trading. Daniel Kramer’s ‘well-established reputation for both ethical and intellectual integrity translates into a deep and instant credibility with regulators and opposing counsel, making his representation of client interests that much more effective’. Other recommended partners include Richard Rosen, Bruce Birenboim and Washington DC-based Charles Davidow.

Due to its absence of transactional work within the sector, litigation behemoth Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is unfettered in its ability to bring cases against the major money-center banks and is recognized as the ‘undoubted leader’ for the representation of institutional investors in many of the largest cases arising out of the financial crisis. The ‘excellent’ Philippe Selendy has an emphasis on litigation involving complex financial products and is perhaps best known in the market for his representation of the Federal Housing Financial Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in RMBS litigation brought against the majority of the US banking industry. Having settled actions against Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and countless others (recovering approximately $20bn for FHFA), Selendy recently successfully represented the FHFA in a four-week bench trial against Nomura and RBS. Daniel Brockett has handled numerous market manipulation cases and recently secured nearly $1.9bn in damages for a class of buy-side investors alleging collusion in the credit default swaps (CDS) market. Peter Calamari is representing monoline insurer FGIC in a high-profile case brought against collateral manager Putnam Advisory alleging that it allowed hedge fund Magnetar Capital to select collateral for a $1.5bn CDO in which it held a short position. Jonathan Pickhardt, Andrew Rossman, and Los Angeles-based lawyers Harry Olivar and Molly Stephens are also recommended.

Leveraging the firm’s transactional expertise and regulatory nous, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s litigation group is frequently at the forefront of many of the highest-profile financial services-related disputes in the market, for clients including UBS, KKR and Blackstone. The firm has had a leading role for numerous financial services clients in RMBS litigation, including representing Deutsche Bank and RBS in eight of the 17 cases brought by the FHFA. David Woll recently secured a notable victory for Deutsche Bank’s affiliate structured products group in a ‘put back’ action when he persuaded the New York Court of Appeals that the breach of contract claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The firm is also representing Bank of America (on behalf of its Countrywide subsidiaries) in a multibillion-dollar case brought by monoline insurer Ambac alleging Countrywide breached representations and warranties it made in connection with certain RMBS deals. Praised for his ‘attention to detail’, Peter Kazanoff recently represented Walter Investment Management, one of the country’s largest non-bank servicers of subprime mortgages, alleging it misled investors about its compliance with consumer protection laws and other applicable regulations. Paul Curnin, Thomas Rice, Jonathan Youngwood and Craig Waldman are also recommended.

Based out of New York, Washington DC and Illinois, and also aided by a broad international footprint, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is well placed to represent major financial institutions in reputation-threatening private litigation, as well as in overlapping domestic and multi-jurisdictional agency enforcements and investigations. Jay Kasner has had a wide exposure to financial crisis-related litigation and alongside Scott Musoff, in what was the first-ever repurchase action brought by an RMBS trustee to go to trial, is representing UBS Real Estate Securities in a $2bn RMBS breach of contract claim. Washington DC-based Jamie Boucher has a strong track-record for sanctions investigations and after a seven-year multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigation recently secured a favorable conclusion for Crédit Agricole with a global resolution that included a deferred prosecution agreement and a $787m fine. John Carroll has vast experience representing financial services clients in regulatory fraud investigations and was recently at the forefront of the firm’s multi-jurisdictional representation of JPMorgan Chase - which included input from London and Hong Kong - in the settlement of government investigations into its alleged role in manipulation within the forex market. Washington DC-based partners Joseph Barloon and Anand Raman are recommended for consumer finance disputes.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has a multi-disciplinary approach to work within the financial services sector and represents an impressive list of European and US banks across numerous forums, including government investigations and enforcement actions and private litigation. The ‘excellent’ Robert Giuffra continues to handle a range of contentious work for UBS, including successfully defending it - by arguing that the New York state court was not the correct forum - in a $30m fraud case instigated by Korea-based Hanwha Life Insurance concerning the alleged misrepresentation of two complex investment vehicles it purchased from UBS in Hong Kong. Richard Klapper has been pivotal to the firm’s ongoing defense of Goldman Sachs in RMBS-related investigations and private litigation, which recently culminated in a negotiated almost $5.1bn settlement with the DOJ. Jeffrey Scott has secured a string of notable victories for Barclays, including as a defendant in a ‘Flash Boys’-inspired claim relating to its internal trading venue. Although the firm is largely focused on the wholesale banking sector, Nicolas Bourtin and Washington DC-based Christopher Viapiano are currently acting for retail bank Wells Fargo in a high-profile dispute concerning employee sales incentives and practices. Sharon Nelles is also recommended, as is Elizabeth Davy, who specializes in AML, OFAC sanctions compliance and enforcement, and internal investigations.

Leveraging the expertise of nine former federal prosecutors, as well as a ‘market-leading’ regulatory practice, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s New York and Washington DC based team displays ‘deep industry knowledge’ across the spectrum of key issues facing financial services institutions. ‘Heavily involved in antitrust-related financial services investigations and litigation’, the firm has had a pivotal role for numerous banks, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and HSBC, on the coordinated global investigations (and related civil litigation) surrounding their involvement in the market manipulation of various financial benchmarks, including Libor and forex. Washington DC-based Robin Bergen and Giovanni Prezioso ‘have excellent knowledge of mortgage-backed securities’ and alongside Lewis Liman continue to be active in agency investigations into the alleged mis-selling of RMBS and other complex structured finance products, including the ongoing representation of a global financial institution in an industry-wide investigation by the New York Attorney General into credit ratings assigned to certain CMBS transactions and tranches. The firm is also at the vanguard of heightened scrutiny surrounding AML procedures and the effective management of sanctions risks among financial institutions; it is defending numerous foreign banks, including Credit Lyonnais and Commerzbank, in litigation related to The Anti-Terrorism Act. David Brodsky, Lev Dassin, Meredith Kotler and Victor Hou are also recommended. The team was bolstered by the arrival in January 2017 of Washington DC-based partner Matthew Solomon from the SEC.

Combining a burgeoning financial services regulatory presence, which includes such luminaries as Arthur Long, with ‘top-notch’ commercial litigation capability, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is increasingly involved in high-profile private litigation and regulatory enforcement actions. Benefiting from a leading administrative law practice, the firm has a strong reputation for challenging agency implementation of Dodd-Frank provisions before the courts. In what was the first legal challenge to a Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) designation, Washington DC-based partner Eugene Scalia was successful in arguing for the removal of client MetLife’s ‘systemically important financial institution’ (SIFI) label. Lawrence Zweifach has been involved in numerous antitrust-related financial services matters and, as part of his long-running defense of UBS against allegations of forex manipulation, recently achieved a negligence-based settlement with the SEC regarding the bank’s issuance of structured notes linked to a proprietary forex trading strategy. The team is also able to leverage its ‘premier appellate offering’, as was recently exemplified by Washington DC-based partner Theodore Olson’s representation of PHH Corporation in what is the first appellate challenge on constitutional grounds to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) administrative enforcement proceeding. Based in Washington DC, former Treasury official Amy Rudnick is a key member of the team and also heads up the firm’s renowned Bank Secrecy Act and AML practice, which was strengthened in April 2016 by the arrival of Washington DC-based Stephanie Brooker from the enforcement division of the Department of Treasury’s financial crimes enforcement network.

Headed by David Freeman, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is particularly noted for its ‘excellence at handling agency examinations and investigations’. Although it perhaps lacks the volume of high-profile private litigation of some of the market leaders, led by Howard Cayne, and with key support from firm chairman Richard Alexander, the team continues to represent the FHFA in numerous cases, including successfully securing the dismissal of multiple actions brought against it by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders challenging an amendment to the funding agreements between the Treasury and FHFA in its capacity as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Michael Mierzewski is regularly involved in antitrust-related financial services matters and continues to defend Visa in class actions regarding its interchange rates. San Francisco-based partner Gilbert Serota has handled several cases for Charles Schwab, including defending it in two class actions brought by a putative class of retail brokerage customers alleging that it failed in its best execution duty regarding equity trades. As part of his broad ranging business litigation expertise, San Francisco-based Peter Obstler has an excellent track record handling consumer class actions for a range of financial institutions, including JP Morgan Chase, which he is representing in three interrelated class actions concerning the application of California’s anti-deficiency laws to the bank’s collection practices following short sales or foreclosures. Other clients include American Bankers Association, CIT Bank and Wells Fargo. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Latham & Watkins LLP provides ‘knowledgeable and practical advice’ to a broad range of financial institutions in the defense of government enforcement actions and investigations as well as private litigation. The ‘excellentRichard Owens is involved in many of the most significant issues facing the banking industry, including acting for numerous employees from different banks in high-profile investigations into forex and ISDAfix manipulation. As well as also being involved in the forex manipulation investigations, the ‘business-orientedChristopher Clark recently helped secure a multibillion-dollar payout from the Argentinian government on behalf of a group of hedge fund creditors in the protracted sovereign debt litigation. The team also benefits from the expertise of numerous former high-ranking government lawyers, including ex-lead counsel for President Obama Kathryn Ruemmler, who is based in Washington DC and recently showcased her trial skills in a victory on behalf of Emirates NBD Bank in a two-and-a-half week jury trial surrounding the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. Miles Ruthberg regularly defends major accountancy firms and alongside Peter Wald recently secured a favorable result for Deloitte & Touche against a $3.5bn negligent misrepresentation claim brought by Freddie Mac. The firm was also recently bolstered by a number of significant hires, including Michael Lacovara, who joined in June 2016 from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, and Sandeep Savla, who joined in November 2015 from Crédit Agricole.

At Sidley Austin LLP, Andrew Stern has handled numerous market manipulation matters, including for Standard Chartered Bank in consolidated class action litigation alleging forex manipulation by it and other banks. Robert Pietrzak and Alex Kaplan continue to defend brokerage firm TD Ameritrade in putative class action cases alleging, primarily, that it failed in its best execution duties to the plaintiffs. Barry Rashkover and Washington DC-based Neal Sullivan co-head the firm’s SEC and derivatives enforcement and regulatory practice and are pivotal members of a ‘pre-eminent’ broker-dealer enforcement offering, which also includes the former head of enforcement at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Susan Merrill.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz benefits from a cadre of ‘highly talented’ general commercial litigators who regularly undertake ‘high-stakes’ civil and criminal agency proceedings and litigation for major banks, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. The ‘terrificJohn Savarese has handled numerous matters arising out of the financial crisis and has represented financial institutions and senior executives in SEC enforcement proceedings and white-collar investigations. The arrival of former high-ranking federal prosecutor Marshall Miller in April 2016 further enhances a strong white-collar team, which also includes David Anders and Jonathan Moses.

Comprising numerous former regulators, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s integrated team leans heavily on its regulatory, litigation and white-collar groups to provide ‘practical and thorough advice’ across the gamut of issues facing the financial services industry. Bruce Yannett, Sean Hecker and Washington DC-based David O’Neil recently successfully secured non-prosecution agreements for Union Bancaire Priveé and HSZH Verwaltungs in relation to the DOJ’s Swiss bank program. Other highlights include the continued representation of JPMorgan Chase in mortgage-related disputes and the firm’s successful representation of Capital One in derivative litigation arising from regulatory inquiries regarding its AML compliance program. The return in March 2017 of Mary Jo White, following her recent tenure as chair of the SEC, and Andrew Ceresney, who served under her as the Director of Enforcement at the SEC, is a major fillip for the team going forward.

At Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Peter Simmons is regularly involved in financial services-related litigation as part of his broad-ranging commercial disputes practice and is currently defending Vanderbilt Capital Advisors in litigation brought on behalf of a state pension fund to recover investment losses in the wake of the collapse of the market for structured products. Simmons is also defending Deutsche Bank and its affiliates in cases brought by, and on behalf of, a state pension fund claiming losses resulting from ‘pay-to-play’ political corruption by state officials and the bank’s minority ownership of a company whose founding partners allegedly paid kickbacks for investment referrals. Washington DC-based partner James Wareham successfully settled a long-running enforcement action brought by the SEC against the former CEO of Fannie Mae. Steven Witzel, Evan Barr and Lawrence Gerschwer are recommended for white-collar matters.

Goodwin is ‘well known for consumer finance work’, with Washington DC-based partners Thomas Hefferon and David Permut considered ‘very much at the top of their games’. Hefferon continues to represent Bank of America and has secured numerous recent victories for the client in a series of high-profile cases brought by municipalities alleging lending discrimination. Richard Strassberg is ‘both aggressive and nuanced, enabling favorable resolutions in tricky situations’ and alongside ‘excellent’ San Francisco-based partner Grant Fondo is representing the former CEO of Wells Fargo following the CFPB’s recent announcement that the bank had agreed to pay $185m to settle allegations it secretly opened millions of unauthorized accounts. Former federal prosecutor Fondo also has an excellent reputation in the defense of digital currency companies that are subject to government investigations. William Harrington is ‘synonymous with financial services white-collar defense’ and has been heavily involved on behalf of individuals in high-profile global forex investigations. Brian Pastuszenski is also recommended.

Drawing on the expertise of lawyers within the firm’s commercial litigation, government investigations and transactional teams, Kirkland & Ellis LLP has significant visibility in the market across a range of disputes involving high-profile financial services entities. Former director of enforcement at the SEC, Washington DC’s Robert Khuzami has ‘immense credibility before the regulators’, and alongside Joseph Serino and Eric Leon, successfully defended Deutsche Bank in a proposed class action accusing it and several other banks of infringing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) with deals tied to alleged rigging of the forex market. Khuzami and Serino are also acting for Deutsche Bank in two putative class action cases relating to its involvement in the alleged manipulation of the gold and silver fixes.

Led by Mark Hanchet and Matthew Ingber out of New York and with the ability to call upon practitioners across the firm’s international network for multi-jurisdictional matters, Mayer Brown provides ‘high-quality and value-for-money advice’ to a range of financial services clients, including European banks, insurance companies, broker-dealers and investment managers. Ingber has developed a market-leading reputation representing RMBS trustees accused of failing to adequately protect investor interests and has secured numerous high-profile victories in this regard for The Bank of New York Mellon. Steven Wolowitz is able to combine his substantive antitrust law expertise and financial services industry knowledge to good effect on market manipulation matters for Société Générale, including obtaining the dismissal, as time-barred, of Commodity Exchange Act claims brought by a putative class of plaintiffs who transacted in USD Libor-based exchange-traded derivatives. The firm has also developed a strong reputation in the anti-terrorism space and has defended numerous banks sued as facilitators of terrorist activity.

Recognized in the market for its ‘tenacious representation’ of financial institutions facing consumer law-related investigations and enforcement actions and private litigation, Washington DC-based boutique Buckley Sandler LLP has rapidly gained prominence in the market, in particular for being a formidable adversary of the CFPB. The ‘smart and strategic’ Michelle Rogers ‘knows the industry and the regulators very well’. She regularly handles work in the mortgage sector and recently secured a favorable settlement for BB&T Bank in a multi-year False Claims Act (FCA) investigation of its practices for originating and underwriting of federally insured mortgage loans. New York-based Andrew Schilling has a focus on FCA and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) matters and recently resolved a novel FCA qui tam case for US Bank National Association relating to mortgage loan servicing and loss mitigation. Valerie Hletko is an ‘outstanding young litigator and government enforcement lawyer, who combines first-class legal skills with a keen understanding of the financial services legal and regulatory landscape’. Andrew Sandler and Benjamin Klubes are also recommended. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Since its foundation in 2012, ‘fantastic’ litigation boutique Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP has thrived in the market as a result of the ‘outstanding level of service’ it provides to a range of financial services clients, including in the context of referral work from other law firms. Praised for its ability to ‘effectively transition between aggressive and conciliatory as necessary’, the firm has been involved in many of the current hot-button issues, such as numerous RMBS ‘put-back’ cases and several antitrust matters for financial services clients, including Visa. Name partner Michael Shuster and Vincent Levy ‘consistently produce top-quality briefs that focus on the big picture without sacrificing quality in the details’; they successfully secured a $300m settlement for Montreux Partners and affiliated hedge funds following the long-running dispute with the Argentinian government over its defaulted debt.

Led out of its Chicago head office by David Bohan and Christian Kemnitz, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is well versed in litigation and regulatory investigations across the spectrum of financial products, from exchange-traded securities, options, futures and funds, to the most sophisticated OTC derivatives executed across both public and dark, fully electronic venues. Bohan recently successfully represented a group of registered market makers against allegations brought by a putative class of investors that it conspired to cheat smaller options traders of stock dividends. Kemnitz has expertise across a range of complex trading strategies, including matters relating to high-frequency trading, and alongside Chicago’s Peter Wilson recently defended Igor Oystacher and his proprietary trading firm 3Red Trading in a Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) case relating to alleged ‘spoofing’.

The ‘very responsive’ team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP provides ‘sound and creative advice’ to clients including Dexia Bank, Merrill Lynch and Saxon Mortgage Services. The ‘very collaborative’ Michael Kraut has a ‘strong reputation’ for his representation of RMBS trustees and alongside San Francisco-based John Rosenthal is defending Deutsche Bank in its capacity as trustee of RMBS against allegations made in numerous class actions and suits that it failed to adequately protect investor interests. The firm is also recommended for consumer finance-related cases, including disputes relating to consumer lending, credit cards and debt collection, with Philadelphia-based Jamie Wintz McKeon and Chicago-based Kenneth Kliebard names to note.

Co-headed by David Fioccola and James McGuire from New York and San Francisco respectively, and with the ability to tap into the firm’s strong nationwide cadre of regulatory experts, Morrison & Foerster LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ across the spectrum of consumer finance litigation and regulatory investigations. McGuire has expertise across both federal and state unfair practices statutes and is currently defending First Premier Bank against allegations that it and other credit card issuers violated the California Unfair Competition Law in the marketing and administration of their respective payment protection plans. Mark Ladner and San Francisco-based Michael Agoglia are also recommended.

Headed out of Washington DC and Newport Beach by Brian Boyle and Elizabeth McKeen respectively, O’Melveny & Myers LLP is particularly well known for its expertise in mortgage and ERISA litigation. McKeen and Jonathan Rosenberg recently secured a favorable settlement for mortgage servicer Ocwen in a pair of whistleblower-initiated FCA suits accusing it of providing false information to a federal loan program. On the ERISA front, the firm regularly defends major investment managers, including Fidelity, which Boyle and Washington DC-based appellate litigator Jonathan Hacker successfully defended when they persuaded the federal appeals court to uphold a lower court’s dismissal of a nationwide ERISA class action challenging Fidelity’s administration of ‘float’ in accounts used to facilitate participant withdrawals from 401(k) plans.

Benefitting from a very established presence on the West Coast and a growing East Coast presence, Paul Hastings LLP handles a range of financial services-related disputes as part of its broader securities litigation practice. Douglas Flaum has a strong pedigree defending financial services clients in subprime-related litigation and recently obtained the dismissal of claims brought against monoline insurer ACA Financial Guaranty that it misrepresented its exposure to subprime CDOs. Kevin Logue and Kurt Hansson defended CMS Bancorp and its directors in a stockholder class action challenging the acquisition of CMS Bancorp by Putnam County Savings Bank. Other clients include Goldman Sachs, UBS, RBC and Appaloosa Management.

Under the leadership of Dane Butswinkas and John Villa, Washington DC-based litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP regularly acts for banks and large money managers on bet-the-company cases. Enu Mainigi successfully defended Bank of America at trial and on appeal to the Second Circuit in a DOJ action brought against it concerning alleged fraudulent loan origination practices. Praised for his ‘unmatched breadth, knowledge and experience’, trial lawyer par-excellence Brendan Sullivan is regularly engaged in financial services litigation, as is the ‘excellent’ Ryan Scarborough, who has handled nearly a dozen FDIC receivership cases. The firm was also strengthened on the consumer finance front by the return, in October 2016, of counsel Rachel Rodman, following her four-year tenure at the CFPB.

Leveraging the firm’s ‘first-class’ regulatory team and also able to call also on numerous litigators with significant expertise in the industry, WilmerHale provides a ‘timely and knowledgeable service’ across the gamut of issues affecting financial services entities, both from a regulatory enforcement perspective and in private litigation. Fraser Hunter and David Lesser are representing RBS in its US Libor civil litigation. Alongside Peter Macdonald, Hunter is also representing UBS in a wide range of litigation and regulatory matters arising out of the collapse of the Puerto Rico bond market. Former head of enforcement at the SEC, Washington DC’s William McLucas, has vast experience in the industry and is regularly involved in SEC investigations. On the consumer finance front, Washington DC-based Michael Gordon is noted for his CFPB enforcement expertise.


General commercial disputes

Index of tables

  1. General commercial disputes
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which General commercial disputes clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP stands out for its ability to take on the full gamut of commercial litigation, with a client base that spans the financial services, pharmaceutical, retail, technology and media industries, among others. From its base in New York, the team handles disputes across the length of the country. Its representation of Alcon Laboratories is one example; David Marriott is representing the company in antitrust and consumer protection class action lawsuits in the Middle District of Florida, while he and Evan Chesler are also defending it in an employment dispute brought in the Southern District of New York. A team including Marriott, Chesler, Darin McAtee, Yonatan Even and Omid Nasab continued to represent NCR Corporation in multifaceted litigation brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. J Wesley Earnhardt is another key figure in the team.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is one of the top dispute resolution firms in the US and is well versed in high-stakes litigation and arbitration. Regular clients include household name corporations, financial institutions and law firms. Paul Spagnoletti is well known for his legal malpractice expertise; in a recent case, he secured the dismissal of a claim against a major law firm in New York State Supreme Court. Con Edison is a notable client, which Frances Bivens continued to represent in litigation arising from Hurricane Sandy in 2012; recent developments in the complex dispute included securing a summary judgment to dismiss claims for gross negligence and the negotiation of three settlements. Other recent victories include Michael Carroll and Dana Seshens’ successful representation of a client in arbitration proceedings involving a multibillion-dollar contract. Elsewhere, Benjamin Kaminetzky is defending a bank in lawsuits arising from investigations by multiple agencies into alleged aiding and abetting of tax evasion.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has strong renown in the market thanks to its continued involvement and successful track record in major complex litigation. For long-time client Prudential Financial, Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert have handled securities class action and derivative lawsuits regarding unclaimed life insurance benefits and a putative class action concerning the interpretation of a provision of the California Insurance Code. Other ongoing cases include John Kiernan and David O’Neil’s representation of FanDuel in litigation and negotiations surrounding the issue of whether daily fantasy sports contests constitute illegal gambling. Other key figures in the department include Shannon Rose Selden, whose clients include Standard General and JC Flowers, and fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers Mark Goodman.

The litigation group at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP regularly has a hand in high-profile and high-stakes disputes. A team led by Orange County-based Jeffrey Thomas secured a victory for Hewlett-Packard in a breach of contract dispute with Oracle in the Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara; after a five-week trial, the court awarded Hewlett-Packard over $3bn in damages. 2016 saw the firm making several high-profile hires, including former Acting Associate Attorney General of the Department of Justice Stuart Delery in the Washington DC office, New York-based Eric Stock - previously chief of the antitrust division of the New York Attorney General’s Office - and former US Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin Wagner in Palo Alto. Randy Mastro and Theodore Boutrous co-lead the litigation group from New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP maintains its position among the top echelons of litigation practices in the US and is regularly called upon by household-name corporations in the pharmaceutical, financial services, energy and transportation sectors, among others. A cross-office team led by Michael Slade and Los Angeles-based Michael Baumann secured a bench trial victory for Boeing in the Central District of California, which found that two US subsidiaries of RSC Energia were alter egos and thus liable for a $300m judgment against the Russian company. Other successes included James Hurst’s successful representation of AbbVie in a breach of contract and good faith and fair dealing case against MedImmune. In a significant development for key client BP in a string of litigation following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a team led by Richard Godfrey, Mark Filip, Hariklia Karis and Washington-DC based Mike Brock secured the dismissal of Oil Pollution Act claims. Partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

A ‘go-to New York law firm for litigation and regulatory investigations’, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPprovides the highest level of service’ to a broad range of clients across the financial services, technology, media, sports, pharmaceutical and energy sectors. ‘Well-connected’ firm chair Brad Karp maintains a broad commercial and securities litigation practice; he and Bruce Birenboim and Elizabeth Sacksteder are defending AXA Equitable Life Insurance in a putative class action in the Southern District of New York that followed a 2013 report by the New York State Department of Financial Services on captive reinsurance. Time Warner Cable is another significant client; teams led by Jay Cohen, Jacqueline Rubin and Aidan Synnott have been representing it in two antitrust investigations and a shareholder dispute concerning corporate transactions. Leslie Fagen and Jack Baughman are also recommended. All partners are based in New York.

Renowned litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP excels in high-stake disputes, particularly in the fields of IP and financial services. In a demonstration of its prowess in the latter, New York-based Daniel Brockett successfully represented a putative class in an antitrust lawsuit against 12 Wall Street banks, culminating in the approval of a nearly $1.9bn settlement by the Southern District of New York. Other cases that made the headlines included its representation of Samsung in its long-running smartphone patent dispute with Apple; Brian Cannon and Victoria Maroulis in Silicon Valley and Kathleen Sullivan and Richard Erwine in New York had lead roles. Key figures in the Los Angeles office include John Quinn, fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers Christopher Tayback and A William Urquhart, whose broad practice takes in class action lawsuits, international arbitration and internal investigations. In March 2017, Lazar Raynal joined in Chicago from McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP demonstrates real strength in state and federal court proceedings as well as arbitration. Its recent caseload crosses multiple industries and fields of law, with a unifying feature being the complexity of the dispute at hand, often involving various lawsuits or investigations. A cross-office team including Jonathan Youngwood in New York and James Kreissman and Alexis Coll-Very in Palo Alto defended Alibaba in numerous class action and derivative cases. New York-based Noah Leibowitz took a lead role in representing a Japanese company in an ICC arbitration alleging fraudulent inducement against the former owners of an Indian company. Elsewhere, Los Angeles-based Deborah Stein is defending two insurance subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway in a cybersecurity class action lawsuit. Youngwood and Paul Curnin co-head the practice from New York, where securities and commercial litigation expert Thomas Rice is also based. Rising star Craig Waldman’s broad practice takes in complex commercial, M&A and securities ligitation.

With a strong track record in ‘bet-the-company’ litigation, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is a popular choice for major European and US companies and financial institutions involved in complex and delicate disputes. Keeping the team busy in 2016 was its representation of Volkswagen in its $14.7bn settlement with customers and multiple regulators following the emissions scandal; Robert Giuffra led the team, which also included Sharon Nelles, Suhana Han and William Monahan. In a significant case concerning the correct standard for enhanced patent infringement damages awards, Jeffrey Wall in Washington DC successfully represented Fortune 500 company Stryker Corporation in the Supreme Court. Partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s broad geographic footprint - which includes eight US offices - enables it to handle disputes across the length and breadth of the country. Complex litigation occurring on several fronts is its forte; Diane Sullivan in New Jersey and David Lender and Theodore Tsekerides in New York have been representing Exxon in proceedings in various state and federal courts, including multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of New York concerning the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline. In Florida, the highly regarded Miami-based Edward Soto secured a string of victories for client Procter & Gamble in product liability litigation. David Yohai in New York co-leads the practice with Soto; he has a strong track record in technology, media and entertainment, and insurance disputes and receives a steady flow of cases from household-name companies in these sectors. Yehudah Buchweitz is a rising star in the team, having recently secured a string of successes for clients, particularly in the media and entertainment space.

From its office in Washington DC, litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP handles complex disputes in forums across the US. It saw an uptick in international arbitration as a preferred form of dispute resolution in sensitive and high-value cases; in a recent highlight, Kevin Hardy and John Buckley represented Samsung Electronics in an ICC arbitration against Nokia in a case concerning the value of large standard essential patents (SEP) portfolios. Other highlights included Joseph Petrosinelli and John Joiner’s representation of Pfizer in a product liability MDL in the Northern District of California, and the firm’s successful representation of Bank of America at trial and on appeal to the Second Circuit against claims brought by the government that it had defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Enu Mainigi took a lead role. Robert Van Kirk and Dane Butswinkas co-head the practice, which also counts AstraZeneca, UBS and Omnicare among its clients.

With ‘excellent lawyers from senior partner to junior associate’, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP provides a ‘superb’ service. Its national practice sees its attorneys litigating in venues throughout the country and the team is also well versed in international disputes. A cross-office team including Jeffrey Rosenthal and Howard Zelbo represented Nortel Networks in several matters relating to its Chapter 11 proceedings, including a cross-border trial concerning the allocation of $7.3bn of sale proceeds. Major financial institutions account for a significant number of the team’s clients and for HSBC and BNP Paribas, Carmine Boccuzzi, Lawrence Friedman and Jonathan Blackman won an appeal in the Second Circuit affirming the Southern District of New York’s dismissal of RICO claims. ‘Senior team leader’ Thomas Moloney and ‘all-round excellent partner’ Roger Cooper are also recommended. Rishi Zutshi and Jared Gerber made partner in 2016.

Noted for its ‘exceptional trial skills and experience in large commercial cases’, Dechert LLP is a popular choice for major companies across a myriad of industries. Its ability to handle parallel litigation in multiple forums in the US and abroad is a particular draw. In a recent highlight, Robert Cohen and Dennis Hranitzky in New York worked alongside colleagues in the London and Paris offices to represent NML Capital in litigation and enforcement actions in numerous venues in the US, Europe and Africa concerning defaulted sovereign bonds issued by the Argentine Republic. William Oxley and Christopher Ruhland in Los Angeles are highlighted for their ability to ‘take very complex issues and present their case in a way that is compelling and understandable to a jury’. New York-based Andrew Levander was admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2016.

With resources on the ground in 36 offices globally, Greenberg Traurig, LLP acts for a broad range of clients, both domestic and international, and is recognized for its ‘excellent service and global reach’. In a clear illustration of its ability to handle complex, multifaceted disputes, ‘terrific attorney and counselorAlan Mansfield in New York and Elli Leibenstein in Chicago are representing RJ Reynolds Tobacco in arbitration brought by it and other settling tobacco companies arising from the high-profile Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement concerning tobacco-related illnesses that was reached with multiple states. Praise is also leveled at Philip Sellinger and David Sellinger in New Jersey and Houston-based Shari Heyen.

The ‘extremely responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Jones Day is spread across the firm’s numerous offices, providing substantial geographic coverage. Its notable trial experience is another great asset. A team led by Stephanie Parker in Atlanta recently won a case on behalf of client Idenix in a patent dispute with Gilead; after a nine-day trial, a federal jury in Delaware awarded Idenix over $2.5bn in damages, the largest patent infringement verdict in the US to date. John Majoras in Washington DC co-heads the team of ‘exceptional lawyers’ alongside Parker; receiving particular praise are Theodore Grossman, Sharyl Reisman and Louis Chaiten in New York and Cleveland-based Richard Bedell Jr.

The ‘outstanding’ litigation department at Mayer Brown, which benefits from the firm’s first-rate appellate practice, is well versed in complex litigation on multiple fronts and forums on the East and West coasts. Its diverse client base takes in household-name clients in the technology, pharmaceutical and consumer products spaces, among others. In the financial services arena, a New York team led by Matthew Ingber has been representing Bank of New York Mellon in numerous high-profile RMBS lawsuits. In Palo Alto, the ‘extremely user-friendly’ Lee Rubin is ‘a pleasure to work with’. Washington DC-based partners Andrew Pincus, Evan Tager, Archis Parasharami and Kevin Ranlett also draw praise.

The ‘top-shelf’ litigators at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP demonstrate dexterity in a multitude of commercial disputes affecting companies from diverse industries. Recent examples of high-profile, complex litigation include Washington DC-based Christina Guerola Sarchio and Los Angeles-based Valerie Goo’s successful defense of Boiron in a false advertising class action; after a week-long trial in the Central District of California, a federal jury rejected the claims. Seattle-based Paul Rugani, New York-based Richard Jacobsen and William Molinski in Los Angeles are also recommended. Peter Bicks in New York was inducted to the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2015.

Paul Hastings LLP has a strong track record in commercial litigation, where it acts for a range of financial institutions and blue-chip companies. For Amgen, a team led by Douglas Flaum and Joseph O’Malley obtained a complete victory in a breach of contract dispute brought by Pfizer. Elsewhere, Barry Sher and Los Angeles-based Joshua Hamilton secured the dismissal of claims brought against the underwriters of SeaWorld Entertainment’s IPO in shareholder litigation in the Southern District of California. Houston-based partners Samuel Cooper and S Joy Dowdle are recommended. Partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

The ‘forward-thinking’ and ‘proactive’ litigation department at Shearman & Sterling LLP acts for domestic and international companies in litigation and arbitration, and is well versed in cases with a cross-border element. Financial products disputes are a sweet spot, though the team’s recent caseload spans multiple industries and fields of law. 2016 saw a number of victories; among them Stuart Baskin and Brian Polovoy securing a win for Volaris in a RICO action brought by Mexican nationals in the Southern District of Georgia. Daniel Laguardia is ‘outstanding in every respect’. Adam Hakki and Richard Schwed co-head the department from New York, where the majority of the team is based.

Sidley Austin LLP’s team has considerable geographic reach in the US, with litigators based in cities across the country, and also demonstrates strong capabilities in cross-border disputes. The class action practice is particularly buoyant; among a string of recent successes was its defense of AT&T in a class action case alleging conspiracy to increase the cost of pay-per-use text messaging services; Charles Douglas and John Treece in Chicago led the team. In a separate case, Washington DC-based Michael Hunseder is defending the same client in litigation in the Northern District of California involving claims under the California Unfair Practices Act. Chicago-based Walter Carlson is ‘a class action lawyer to be reckoned with’. The department is led by Angela Zambrano and Yvette Ostolaza in Dallas.

With a sizable team well-versed in the gamut of litigation, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP balances a busy caseload that takes in corporate and shareholder disputes, bankruptcy-related litigation and a host of breach of contract cases. Lauren Aguiar is representing International Flavors & Fragrances in complex litigation involving claims of trade secret theft, unjust enrichment and fraudulent inducement, while Jonathan Frank and Maura Barry Grinalds are acting for Credit Acceptance Corporation in multiple litigation and arbitration proceedings seeking to challenge the company’s business practices. George Zimmerman heads the New York litigation practice, where all named partners are based.

Noted for its ‘worldwide coverage’, White & Case LLP has carved out a strong reputation for cross-border litigation, where it represents household-name multinationals. Firm developments in 2016 included the opening of an office in Boston, where Michael Kendall, Kevin Bolan and Lauren Papenhausen - who joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP - are based. A multi-office team including Bryan Merryman, James Lee and Earle Miller in Los Angeles and Kenneth Caruso in New York is representing the Export-Import Bank of Korea as plaintiff in litigation against Moneual following its high-profile fraud scandal. New York-based Glenn Kurtz is the global chair of the litigation department.

At WilmerHale, Howard Shapiro ‘leads a terrific litigation team’, which ‘leaves no stone unturned’. Securities, shareholder and bankruptcy litigation are among its areas of expertise, as is class action defense. David Ogden is representing Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in two putative class actions filed in the Middle District of Florida by former employees. In a case closely watched by the automotive industry, Robert Cultice and John Butts in Boston are representing Maserati in a case involving RICO, antitrust and unfair competition claims, and a related action surrounding a new Maserati dealership. Joel Green is also recommended. Partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP was established in January 2017 through the merger of Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer, expanding and consolidating each firm’s already considerable litigation expertise. Other developments included the arrival of Sara Shudofsky from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she was formerly chief of the civil division. In Los Angeles, James Speyer has developed a strong class action practice; in a recent highlight, he successfully defended Kohl’s in a consumer class action case. Key figures on the East coast include Kenneth Chernof in Washington DC and James Herschlein and Angela Vicari in New York.

Standout areas for Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s sizable litigation team include antitrust, insurance and securities litigation. Litigation on the East Coast accounts for a high proportion of its caseload, though the national practice is well equipped to litigate in forums across the country. The First Amendment practice is especially highly regarded; recent highlights include Floyd Abrams, Michael Weiss and Joel Kurtzberg’s representation of Amarin Corporation in a high-profile First Amendment suit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) challenging the constitutionality of certain restrictions on off-label promotion; after prevailing in the Southern District of New York, the dispute was settled.

The ‘qualified, creative and solid practitioners’ at Dentonsengage with and listen to in-house counsel in strategic decisions’. The firm’s substantial geographic reach sees it litigating in numerous states; in an ongoing case in the Northern District of Texas, Washington DC-based Lora Brzezynski and a multi-office team are representing over 20 owners of domain names - most of whom reside in Canada or China - in a major domain name dispute brought by Associated Recovery. In Denver, Sandra Wick Mulvany is ‘incredible at finding ways to win judgments and save money for her clients’ and Lino Lipinsky de Orlov is ‘very smart and effective’. Recommended partners in the St Louis office include Tami Lyn Azorsky and Stephen Rovak.

Excellent in terms of responsiveness and quality of work’, Jenner & Block LLP’s national litigation practice is active in state and federal courts in multiple states and cities. It represents Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies across a spread of industries, often in high-stakes disputes. A highlight from a substantial list of victories in 2016 was its successful defense of Duroc LLC in a patent infringement case brought by Deere in the Southern District of Iowa; practice chair Craig Martin led the team. Aside from Martin, praise is also leveled at Washington DC-based Thomas Perrelli and Katya Jestin in New York.

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP’s client base takes in Fortune 500 companies and major private equity firms, which turn to the team for representation in novel and high-stakes disputes. Of particular note during 2016 was the firm’s representation of ACA Financial Guaranty as plaintiff in a long-running dispute against Goldman Sachs concerning a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) known as Abacus; Marc Kasowitz took a lead role in the case, which was settled in October 2016. In a case playing out in New York, California and the Bahamas, Aaron Marks is representing fashion tycoon Peter Nygard in a high-profile dispute with Louis Bacon involving claims of defamation, conversion and other torts.

Very responsive’ New York-based firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is praised for its ‘actionable advice’. Daniel Goldman led the representation of The Kraft Heinz Company and Dial Corporation in a private antitrust action against News Corp, which settled favourably in 2016. On the West Coast, Barry Berke successfully defended prominent boxing manager and adviser Al Haymon against a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles by Top Rank. Also recommended are Jonathan Wagner, John Coffey and Gary Naftalis, who is ‘very smart and very practical’.

Latham & Watkins LLP has numerous offices in the US, to which it has added multiple partners and counsel in recent years. Recent hires in the New York office included New York State’s former chief judge Jonathan Lippman and Douglas Yatter, a former chief trial attorney at the CFTC. In a closely watched Supreme Court case, Gregory Garre in Washington DC secured a victory for the University of Texas at Austin, which upheld the constitutionality of the university’s affirmative action plan. In Chicago, the ‘extremely well-preparedMichael Nelson and Thomas Heiden are able to ‘anticipate legal arguments and put together a well-articulated defense’.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is particularly active in the financial services space, though its client base also takes in corporate clients in the energy and media and entertainment sectors, among others. In a case with significant implications for the mutual funds industry, a New York team including Sean Murphy, Robert Hora and James Cavoli successfully represented AXA in derivatives litigation in the District of New Jersey; finding on behalf of the firm’s client, the case was dismissed with prejudice in August 2016. Practice group leader Daniel Perry, recommended partner David Gelfand and rising star Atara Miller are also key contacts.

Proskauer Rose LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ to its clients, which include leading corporations and high-profile individuals. The team was bolstered by the arrival of prominent litigators Bart Williams and Manuel Cachán from Munger, Tolles & Olson in Los Angeles in 2016. Sports litigation is a standout area, where New York-based Bradley Ruskin and Scott Cooper in Los Angeles are leading names. Cooper is currently representing the Pacific-12 Conference in a putative class action concerning the use of college athletes’ images. Department chairs Steven Bauer and Brendan O’Rourke are based in Boston and New York respectively.

Reed Smith LLP’s sizable litigation department is split across the firm’s many offices in key hubs across the country and is highlighted for its ‘very practical advice’. Cases on the West Coast included Robert Phillips’ successful representation of Optimum Nutrition in a false advertising and misbranding case in the Southern District of California, which was resolved in 2016. In Philadelphia, Carolyn Short is ‘sharp, incisive, personable and practical’. Dan Hofmeister, Kevin Tessier and Martin Bishop in the Chicago office are also recommended.

Providing high-quality legal services’, Steptoe & Johnson LLP is highlighted for its ‘extensive trial experience’. Highlights among its substantial case list in 2016 was securing a defense verdict on behalf of client PG&E against claims brought by Tesoro arising out of a power outage at a refinery; Chicago-based Michael Dockterman and Laurie Edelstein in Palo Alto led the team. Aside from its diverse corporate client base, the team is also retained by prominent individuals in high-profile disputes. In New York, the ‘pragmatic and goal-oriented’ Michael Miller is recommended. Karl Tilleman heads the department from Phoenix.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is particularly renowned for its track record in transactional disputes and is regularly called upon by its clients in high-profile corporate governance and takeover cases. William Savitt, Bradley Wilson and Ryan McLeod represented the outside directors of the board of Facebook in a stockholder class action that challenged the company’s stock reclassification. Other cases in 2016 included antitrust and securities litigation and a host of disputes in the financial services space. Jonathan Moses co-heads the team alongside Savitt.

Winston & Strawn LLP has an impressive trial record and demonstrates strong capabilities across a diverse range of commercial disputes. In a jury trial in Lake County, Illinois, Chicago-based Stephen D’Amore secured a $93.8m verdict in favor of client AbbVie in a breach of contract dispute with MedImmune. Class action expert Amanda Groves - who splits her time between Charlotte and San Francisco - is representing Diamond Foods in a consumer class action concerning the use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in certain products. Key figures in the New York office include Harvey Kurzweil and Kelly Librera.

Allen & Overy LLP’s client base primarily consists of financial institutions and high-level executives, which call on the team for representation in a range of commercial, securities, white-collar and bankruptcy-related litigation. Under the leadership of Michael Feldberg, the New York-based litigation department handles a steady stream of cross-border disputes. David Esseks and Laura Hall are defending BNP Paribas in an antitrust class action and several parallel litigation proceedings concerning the foreign exchange market. Other key figures in the team include Pamela Chepiga, Todd Fishman and Jacob Pultman.

The ‘reliable, trustworthy and knowledgeable’ attorneys at Bracewell LLP are particularly prominent in the energy sector, in which many of the firm’s major clients operate. Stephen Crain and Andrew Zeve are representing Baker Hughes in high-profile litigation brought by German company TRIUVA concerning allegedly defective equipment; the court granted the motion to stay the case pending arbitration in Germany. Though Texas is its main stomping ground, the team is experienced in litigating in various forums elsewhere in the US; in an ongoing case in Arkansas, Sean Gorman is defending Southwestern Energy Company in litigation concerning royalty payments for a gas producing area in the Fayetteville Shale.

The ‘always prepared’ team at Chadbourne & Parke LLP maintains a broad commercial litigation practice and is particularly adept in disputes with cross-border elements. A recent case in point is New York-based Thomas Hall’s representation of Argentinian oil and gas company YPF in major environmental litigation brought by Occidental Chemical Corporation, and in separate litigation filed by Peterson Energía and other entities in a dispute involving sovereign immunity and Act of State issues. Robin Ball in Los Angeles and Thomas McCormack in New York draw strong praise.

K&L Gates balanced a busy caseload in 2016 and secured a number of victories for its clients, particularly in IP litigation, which is a sweet spot for the practice. A highlight was its representation of Carnegie Mellon University in a patent infringement dispute with Marvell Technology; after a lengthy trial process, the case was settled favorably in February 2016, with Patrick McElhinny in Pittsburgh and Seattle-based Douglas Greenswag taking lead roles. Other key litigators in the sizable disputes department are located in Los Angeles and Newark.

The ‘great team’ at King & Spalding LLP stands out for its extensive trial experience and track record of successful verdicts. It handles litigation and arbitration in various forums in the US and is also adept at cases with cross-border aspects. Clients include multinational energy, industrial and pharmaceutical companies and leading accounting firms. Recent high-profile engagements include Richard Marooney’s representation of a KBR subsidiary in a complex dispute with Pemex; he and the team secured confirmation of an arbitral award, which was subsequently affirmed by the Second Circuit, despite the award being previously annulled by Mexico’s highest court. James Capra, Israel Dahan, Kenneth Turnbull and Michael Pauzé are recommended.

With a significant international network, K&L Gates is regularly entrusted in complex, cross-border disputes, often taking a special litigation counsel role. A case in point was its work for Chevron in enforcing an arbitral award in multiple jurisdictions. Key figures in the ‘very responsive’ team include founding partners Michael Kim and Steven Kobre, head of financial products and services litigation Danielle Rose, and David McGill, who provides ‘invaluable and practical, business-oriented advice’.

From its office in New York Linklaters LLP handles a range of cross-border disputes and investigations. It has international renown in antitrust litigation and continues to represent Air France, KLM and Martinair in a private lawsuit brought by Schenker following investigations into an air cargo cartel; James Warnot took a key role. Warnot is also leading the firm’s representation of Société Generale in a class action in the Southern District of New York. White-collar crime and government investigations expert Adam Lurie joined the Washington DC office in 2016.

Healthcare litigation is a sweet spot for McDermott Will & Emery LLP, which is also well versed in financial litigation and tax controversies. Product liability cases also feature; Anthony Bongiorno in Boston is representing key client ExxonMobil in litigation brought by state claimant Rhode Island against major players in the oil industry. Its office network means it has partners on the ground in strategic locations across the country; key figures include Russell Hayman in Los Angeles. In March 2017, Lazar Raynal joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

The ‘imaginative and persistent’ team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a diverse and busy caseload, which includes numerous class action cases. In a recent highlight, a team led by J Gordon Cooney and Steven Reed in Philadelphia resolved two putative class action suits against clients Cephalon and Teva regarding “off-label” promotion; the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied certification, and the plaintiffs’ petition to appeal was denied. Among its ‘superb lawyers’ are the ‘client orientedHugh Tanner in Houston, and Kenneth Kliebard and Gregory Fouts in Chicago.

Private equity and healthcare are among the key areas of expertise at Ropes & Gray LLP, which counts Boston Children’s Hospital, TPG Capital and Artis Capital Management among its clients. The firm has litigators in major hubs on the East and West coasts. Among the department’s leading figures are the ‘fantastic’ Robert Fischler in New York, Richard Gallagher, who co-manages the San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices, Chicago-based Jeffrey Bushofsky, who maintains an active pro bono practice alongside his regular caseload and Anne Johnson Palmer in San Francisco.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s recent cases include complex shareholder, antitrust and bankruptcy-related litigation. Its reputation in the financial services sector ensures a steady flow of mandates from major players in this field and it is a popular choice also for lawyers and law firms. Names to note include Robert Abrahams, Michael Swartz and Alan Glickman; all three are based in New York, from where the team handles litigation in various states.

Litigation firm Susman Godfrey LLP is highly visible in the market, both in its birthplace of Texas and throughout the country. Patent litigation and energy-related disputes are particular sweet spots, though the firm maintains a diverse commercial litigation practice representing both plaintiffs and defendants. In one recent highlight, Jacob Buchdahl and Arun Subramanian successfully represented Globus Medical before a jury in the Eastern District of Texas in a patent infringement dispute.

The ‘very responsive’ team at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a broad commercial litigation practice and is particularly noted for trial work. It is regularly engaged by household-name companies as well as individuals in high-stakes litigation. Recent cases include New York-based Todd Cosenza’s successful defense of Barclays in litigation brought by MBI International seeking billions in damages concerning alleged bribery; the New York Commercial Division rejected the claims. In Washington DC, David Murray, Michael Hurwitz and ‘first-rate legal mind’ and senior counsel Richard Bernstein are recommended. Tariq Mundiya chairs the litigation department from New York.

A great firm from top to bottom’, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP impresses with its extensive trial experience. It has a strong track record taking on a variety of disputes, including antitrust, patent and product liability litigation. The team’s busy caseload included Jeffrey Hall, Martha Pacold and John Phillips’s representation of DuPont in a mass environmental tort action in New Jersey Superior Court. Highly recommended are the ‘exceptionally bright’ Adam Hoeflich, Sean Gallagher, whose ‘commitment to getting the best possible result for his client is truly amazing’, and Chris Lind, whose ‘charisma and charm in the courtroom are a valuable asset’.

First-rate litigation boutiqueCohen & Gresserdifferentiates itself by the creativity and flexibility it brings to its work, enabling it to handle disputes across an incredibly wide number of subject areas’. It is regularly engaged by multinational companies and financial institutions in a host of commercial disputes, with recent cases including antitrust litigation, consumer class actions and royalties disputes. Firm developments in 2016 included the opening of a new office in Washington DC, under the leadership of the ‘extraordinary’ Melissa Maxman. Also recommended are ‘outstanding lawyer and shrewd tactician’ Nathaniel Read, ‘very good litigatorMark Cohen, the ‘committed and insightfulS Gale Dick and the ‘very knowledgeable and thoroughDaniel Tabak.

Cooley LLP is particularly adept at handling complex litigation in the technology and life sciences sectors. In a recent highlight, Michael Rhodes and Matthew Brown in San Francisco successfully defended Facebook against class actions consolidated in the Northern District of California concerning its users’ privacy rights. In a long-running dispute involving claims of unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty, among others, Alan Levine, Ian Shapiro and Celia Goldwag Barenholtz in New York represented AIB as plaintiff against Citibank, which settled favorably in 2016.

Crowell & Moring LLP’s repertoire includes patent infringement, antitrust, tortious interference and trade secrets litigation. The healthcare industry is a focus area; other major clients are drawn from the retail, education and hospitality sectors. In San Francisco, Gregory Call successfully represented the Regents of the University of California and professor Michael Jung in complex litigation concerning licensing for a prostate cancer drug. Key contacts on the East Coast include Jack Thomas in New York and Tracy Roman in Washington DC.

Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP was born in February 2017 following the merger of Eversheds and Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. The team is particularly well versed in high-stakes litigation in the education sector. In one recent example, a team led by Rocco Testani defended the state defendants in a constitutional challenge to Florida’s public school funding system; the team secured a victory after a four-week trial and the case is now pending before the Florida First District Court of Appeal. The firm’s accountants’ liability practice continues to thrive; Amelia Toy Rudolph is a key name in this field. Other sector specialisms include insurance, where Thomas Curvin is active.

Extremely knowledgeable in complex litigation’, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s US dispute resolution department is split across its New York and Washington DC offices and forms part of the firm’s global litigation network. Aaron Marcu leads the team, which includes key litigators Timothy Harkness, Linda Martin and Gabrielle Gould. Marshall Fishman left for Goodwin in January 2017.

James Wareham’s ‘smart, thoughtful and super responsive’ team at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP was bolstered by the arrival of Scott Luftglass from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Real estate litigation is a mainstay, where recommended partner Janice Mac Avoy is a key figure. Lisa Bebchick successfully defended Pier 55 in the New York State Supreme Court in an Article 78 proceeding brought by the City Club of New York.

The 26-strong team at Gibbs & Bruns LLP operates from Houston and is widely recognized as a leading litigation firm in Texas. Its broad caseload also takes it elsewhere in the country, with recent cases playing out in New York, Alabama and California. Scott Humphries, Aundrea Gulley and Sam Cruse are currently representing FGH Biotech in fraud and trade secrets litigation against Medivation. Founding partner Robin Gibbs is a ‘top-of-his-game trial lawyer’.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP’s litigation department is split across the New York and New Jersey offices and is particularly renowned for real estate disputes. Therese Doherty and Ronald Levine co-head the practice. Other key figures include employment litigation expert Carol Goodman and Lawrence Kaye, who specializes in art law, acting for both domestic and international clients.

McGuireWoods LLP has experts in the energy, healthcare and financial services sectors across its offices, who act for Fortune 500 companies and financial institutions. In one highlight, a team led by Bryan Fratkin in Richmond, Virginia obtained a victory for Bank of America in a class action lawsuit in the Central District of California concerning its employment application practices. For key client Verizon, Los Angeles-based Gregory Evans has handled numerous disputes in states such as California, Nevada and Arizona; in a recent case, he led a successful challenge against the City of Los Angeles’ use of a nuisance statute which would have halted a Verizon Wireless communications facility.

Michelman & Robinson, LLP saw significant expansion in 2016, hiring litigators to its New York and Orange County offices, and opening a new office in Chicago under the leadership of Michael Kasdin and Seth Darmstadter, who between them have a range of litigation and regulatory experience. Insurance litigation is among the firm’s specialisms, with Todd Stitt and Mona Hanna in Orange County key names in this space. The class action practice is particularly buoyant; in a recent success, Hanna settled an employment class action that was moved to mediation on favorable terms for client Norman Industrial Materials.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP added a number of litigators to its ranks in 2016, with new arrivals in its Washington DC, San Antonio and Dallas offices. The department’s impressive trial experience is a major draw. In one highlight, Jeffrey Margulies secured a successful jury verdict for Hyland in a false advertising class action suit and later obtained dismissal of two remaining claims. M Scott Incerto and Richard Krumholz head the practice. John Simpson and Michelle Pardo are recommended.

Kirke Hasson and Kenneth Taber lead the litigation department at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, which made several hires to its New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC offices in 2016. The sizable team balances a busy workload, which recently included litigation and arbitration concerning fraud, insurance and antitrust claims, among others. Joseph Jean and Colin Kemp secured a significant victory for client Victaulic in a long-running dispute with three AIG entities that included a six-week jury trial.

The ‘hardworking and client-friendly’ team at Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLPstands out for its responsiveness and experience’. Of particular note is its ‘incredible grasp of complex financial instruments’. Clients include ICAP Capital Markets, Black Diamond Capital Management and Wibbert Investment Company. Among the team’s key litigators are ‘excellent operator’ H Rowan Gaither as well as ‘smart and strategic thinkers’ David Daniels and Matthew Riccardi. Brian Fraser joined Akerman LLP in May 2017.

Consumer class actions are a focus area for Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, which recently defended numerous financial institutions in lawsuits brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). Miami and New York are the key hubs, though the firm also has litigators stationed in the Los Angeles and Washington DC offices. Charles Moerdler and Alan Klinger chair the group.

Sullivan & Worcester LLP’s ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ team acts for a plethora of financial services clients, though its client base extends into various other industries. Ongoing cases include representing Bank of Austria in multiple disputes surrounding clawback claims asserted by the Madoff Trustee, where Franklin Velie has a lead role. Laura Steinberg is representing Comcast subsidiaries in litigation brought by government units under the False Claims Act in multiple states. Harry Rimm and Clark Freeman are ‘super smart and very effective lawyers’.

Vinson & Elkins LLP has carved out a leading position for energy litigation in Texas and throughout the country. It is also called upon by well-known companies in diverse sectors such as pharmaceuticals, TMT and automotive, where its trial experience is a strong draw. Highlights in 2016 included its work as lead trial counsel for Energy Transfer Equity in litigation in Delaware Chancery Court with The Williams Companies concerning a merger agreement; Michael Holmes, John Wander and George Gerachis led the team.


International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. International arbitration
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Who Represents Who

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The ‘top-quality’ department at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP delivers ‘excellent response times’ and has ‘a fantastic reputation’ for advising on international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and public international law. The international dispute resolution team is led by the ‘renownedDonald Donovan and the ‘vastly experiencedDavid W Rivkin. It acted for Tethyan Copper Company in an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration with the Pakistani province of Balochistan and also represented it in an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration with Pakistan. Other highlights included acting for Perenco Ecuador as claimant against the Republic of Ecuador in an ICSID claim concerning Ecuador’s 2006 amendment of the hydrocarbons law, as well as assisting Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Occidental Exploration and Production Company in an ICSID case with the Republic of Ecuador. The ‘exceptionalCatherine Amirfar, who rejoined the firm in 2016 after spending two years as counselor on international law at the US Department of State, is co-head of the public international law group. Other key contacts include Mark Friedman, who is ‘first rate’, the ‘excellentNatalie Reid and recently made partner Ina Popova. All individuals mentioned are based in New York.

The ‘pre-eminent’ five-partner practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP provides ‘an exceptional service’ and ‘immediate responses’. It is noted for its expertise in energy, natural resources, mining and construction disputes. It is acting for Burlington Resources, a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips, in an expropriation claim against Ecuador arising out of a dispute involving a 99% tax on windfall profits and successfully represented Crystallex International Corporation in an investment treaty claim against Venezuela arising from the expropriation of one of the largest untapped gold mines in the world. It also successfully represented Engie, Aguas de Barcelona and Interagua in an arbitration under the France-Argentina and the Spain-Argentina BITs regarding the expropriation of a water and wastewater treatment concession in Argentina. Tenaris, Johnson & Johnson and Total are other clients. Key names in Washington DC include the ‘eloquent’ and ‘pragmaticNigel Blackaby, who is US and global head of international arbitration, and the ‘well-prepared and client-orientatedCaroline Richard, who was promoted to partner in 2016. In New York, Brian King has ‘tremendous advocacy skills’, Latin America practice co-head Noiana Marigo has ‘solid knowledge’ and Elliot Friedman is ‘first rate’.

At King & Spalding LLP, the ‘strength of the team is outstanding’ and clients can rely on ‘careful review of complex legal matters’. It has a strong track record in the oil and gas sector, and recent highlights include representing Murphy Oil in a UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) arbitration with Ecuador involving a dispute under the US-Ecuador BIT and confirming a $100m award in the US Supreme Court for Chevron in a long-running dispute with Ecuador. In addition, the team successfully represented ConocoPhillips in securing an UNCITRAL award in February 2016 against the owner and operator of an Indonesian gas pipeline. The team is jointly led by the ‘astuteEdward Kehoe from New York and the ‘very experienced’ Doak Bishop from Houston. A significant portion of the team is spread across these two cities, with Reginald Smith, John Bowman and Silvia Marchili key contacts in Houston, and David Kiefer, who recently joined from Dentons, James Berger, Henry Burnett and Guillermo Aguilar-Alvarez key names in New York. Washington DC-based consultant Margrete Stevens is also recommended. Wade Coriell is now based in the firm’s Singapore office and Eric Schwartz recently retired.

White & Case LLP’s ‘impressive’ team is ‘seamlessly able to coordinate worldwide’, fielding ‘strategic thinkers’ and ‘directly engaged partners’. Led by New York-based Paul Friedland, the 12-partner practice has ‘strong’ experience in investor-state arbitrations and is particularly active in construction, energy, oil, gas, financial services and transport disputes. It recently represented the People’s Republic of Bulgaria on several matters, including an ICSID arbitration commenced by Energo-Pro under the Energy Charter Treaty and the Bulgaria-Czech Republic BIT. Other highlights included acting for the Republic of Uzbekistan in its longstanding dispute with Oxus Gold and representing the Russian Federation in a high-profile dispute with ex-majority shareholders relating to the bankruptcy and collapse of Yukos. Carolyn Lamm, who ‘eloquently advocates for the client’, Latin America practice head Jonathan Hamilton and the ‘brilliantAbby Cohen Smutny are key contacts in Washington DC.

The ‘thorough and methodical’ team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP leaves ‘no stone unturned’. David Sabel, who splits his time between New York and London, Lawrence Friedman and Washington DC-based Matthew Slater led in representing the Russian Federation in annulling three arbitral awards totaling more than $50bn obtained by the former majority shareholders of Yukos. The Hellenic Republic, Rosneft Oil Company and Argentina are also clients. Other key contacts include the ‘calm’ Howard Zelbo, Jeffrey Rosenthal, who was recently named to the board of directors of the New York International Arbitration Center, and Jonathan Blackman. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s ‘hugely talented’ team is one of the ‘best in the business of international arbitration’, advising on international commercial, investor-state, and state-to-state matters. Headline work included representing the claimants in five arbitrations with the Russian Federation under the Russia-Ukraine BIT to recover the loss of investments by a group of Ukrainian investors in Crimea. The practice also secured a $1.4bn award for Crystallex International Corporation in an ICSID arbitration with Venezuela regarding an investment in a gold-mining project. John Townsend in Washington DC and John Fellas chair the international arbitration and ADR group, while Alexander Yanos and Steven Hammond lead the treaty arbitration team. Former US law adviser to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea Thomas Lee joined as counsel. All named individuals are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘first-rate’ department is ‘strong’ on investor state and commercial arbitrations. A team led by Washington DC-based partners Stanimir Alexandrov, who is team co-head, James Mendenhall and Jennifer Haworth McCandless is acting for TransCanada in its NAFTA dispute over the US government’s decision to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Alexandrov and Marinn Carlson, also based in Washington DC, are representing Veolia in an ICSID case against Lithuania regarding investments in district heating and electricity generation. The states of Peru and Costa Rica as well as Belize Social Development (BSDL), Philip Morris International, BCB Holdings and The Belize Bank are other clients. New York key contacts include team co-head Louis Kimmelman, the ‘excellent’ Martin Jackson and of counsel Dana MacGrath.

The international arbitration practice at newly merged Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is led by the ‘exceptionalPaolo Di Rosa in Washington DC. The team has vast experience in advising sovereign states; it acted for The Republic of Chile in its ICSID case against Victor Pey Casado and Fundación Presidente Allende, successfully concluding this long-running dispute. Other highlights included winning an ICSID case for Panama in an arbitration brought by Transglobal Green Energy and its affiliate Transglobal Green Panama, relating to a hydro-electric power concession claim, and representing Bulgaria in two separate treaty disputes. Thad Dameris in Houston, Gaela Gehring Flores and Whitney Debevoise in Washington DC, and Anton Ware in San Francisco are key members of the team. Jean Kalicki left to become an independent arbitrator and John Roesser joined Dechert LLP.

The eight-partner practice at Baker Botts L.L.P. fields ‘impressive senior arbitration partners’, who regularly handle commercial and investor-state disputes relating to, among others, construction, technology, energy and financial services. The team secured an award for Newco on a dispute with Belize regarding a concession agreement entitling Newco to expand and operate Belize’s international airport. The ‘strategic’, ‘personable and highly experiencedMichael Goldberg, who splits his time between New York and Houston, heads the team alongside Jay Alexander, who has ‘sound judgement’ and is based in London and Washington DC. Edward Schorr in New York and Ryan Bull in Washington DC are also recommended among the ‘expert’ team.

Solution-orientated’ firm Chaffetz Lindsey LLP focuses on high-end international dispute resolution matters, leveraging its ‘strength in depth’ and ‘good understanding of the commercial sensitivities of cases’. The ‘vastly experienced’ David Lindsey and James Hosking, who has ‘excellent business acumen to get to the heart of the matter, providing first-class strategic and practical advice’, lead the team. Hosking acted for two subsidiaries of AEI (Jaguar Energy Guatemala and AEI Guatemala Jaguar) in an ICC arbitration with China Machine New Energy Corporation (CMNC), concerning disputes arising out of Jaguar’s termination of a contract with CMNC for the engineering, procurement and construction of a thermal power generation plant located in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Aníbal Sabater is leading advice for Albacora in a claim against Ecuador for arbitrary taxation measures imposed within a free trade zone. Andreas Frischknecht and Yasmine Lahlou are ‘impressive’. Jennifer Permesly joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as counsel. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘expert’ department is ‘a team to be used on critical and complex arbitrations’, and is particularly praised for its ‘remarkable’ cross-firm collaboration. The group is lead counsel for subsidiaries of Tidewater in an ICSID arbitration arising out of the expropriation of certain investments in Venezuela and is also representing Ukraine on a state-to-state dispute with Russia heard under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. It is also acting for Eli Lilly & Company on a NAFTA investment treaty arbitration against Canada. Marney Cheek and Allan Moore head the team, which includes the ‘detail-orientatedMiguel López Forastier and New York key contact David Pinsky. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is well known for its investment treaty arbitration work, acting for governments and state-owned entities in investor-state arbitrations. Highlights included defending Venezuela in arbitrations related to multibillion-dollar claims by Mobil Corporation and ConocoPhillips arising from the restructuring of the country’s petroleum industry and representing India in a group of high-profile arbitrations brought by a number of foreign investors in the telecoms sector. The team is also acting for Cyprus in three arbitrations involving the regulation of the banking industry. In New York, department head George Kahale III is ‘extremely effective in developing and managing a team to work on a case’, Mark O’Donoghue and Miriam Harwood are ‘strong analytically’, and Benard Preziosi is ‘very effective’. In Washington DC, Borzu Sabahi and Justin Jacinto, who also operates out of the London office, made partner.

The New York-based two-partner department at Herbert Smith Freehills has ‘great industry knowledge’ and the team members ‘dedicate themselves to the case completely’. Laurence Shore is ‘a real expert’ and Christian Leathley ‘has a wealth of experience in international arbitration’, providing ‘very strategic decision-making’. Leathley is defending Costa Rica in arbitration proceedings brought against it by US investors under CAFTA, involving the development of a residential and hotel project that was closed down by the environmental agency. Counsel Amal Bouchenaki is ‘very knowledgeable, and is a real asset to the team’.

The team at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP is spread across Washington DC, New York and Houston, acting for clients in disputes relating to the media, mining, maritime, and energy sectors. It is acting for Mobil Investments Canada, an affiliate of ExxonMobil, in arbitration proceedings with Canada heard under NAFTA and is advising Kazakhstan in connection with the pending enforcement in the US of an international arbitration award issued in a contested Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC) matter concerning oil and gas leases. Vicinay Cadenas, Gold Reserve and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are also clients. In Houston, Kevin O’Gorman and the ‘strategically excellent’ global practice co-head Mark Baker are recommended. Matthew Kirtland is a key contact in Washington DC.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s ‘very strong’ three-partner department ‘punches well above its weight’ and is noted for its energy, natural resources, construction, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, finance and telecoms-sector experience. New York-based Henry Weisburg represented, alongside colleagues in Paris, 13 financial investment companies and two individuals as claimants in an ICC arbitration against a major European telecoms company. A Washington DC-based team, led by Christopher Ryan and of counsel Thomas Wilner, is defending Venezuela in an ICSID arbitration initiated by Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International regarding the construction and operation of an ammonia and urea production facility. The ‘outstandingJonathan Greenblatt splits his time between the New York and Washington DC offices.

The New York team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP handles complex arbitrations, in the commercial sphere and in the investment treaty field. It represented Japanese corporation NTT Docomo in a London-seated arbitration relating to a shareholders agreement regarding Tata. It is also acting for Barbados-incorporated investor Gambrinus in ICSID proceedings heard under the Barbados-Venezuela BIT relating to the 2010 expropriation of FertiNitro, and acted for Devas Multimedia in an ICC arbitration with Antrix Corporation regarding the launch and operation of communication satellites. Global co-head of international litigation and arbitration John Gardiner heads the Americas practice. Timothy Nelson and Julie Bédard, who also operates out of the São Paulo office, are ‘terrific’. The team was bolstered by the arrival of counsel Jennifer Permesly from Chaffetz Lindsey LLP.

Washington DC-based two-partner firm Three Crowns LLP is solely dedicated to the practise of international arbitration. The ‘top-notch’ Jan Paulsson and the ‘open-minded’ Luke Sobota head the ‘exceptional’ team. Highlights included representing ConocoPhillips in ICSID arbitration proceedings against Venezuela and acting as co-counsel for Chevron in its investment treaty arbitration with Ecuador regarding the order, issued by Ecuador’s highest court, against the oil major to pay $9.5bn for environmental damage. The group also represented Pakistan in a potential water conflict with India arising in the Kashmir region and is acting for the investors of Marfin Popular Bank in a dispute against Cyprus. BP, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum and Tenoch Holdings are other clients.

WilmerHale delivers ‘thoughtful and insightful analysis’ and handles commercial as well as investor-state arbitrations, with particular expertise in IP, telecoms, oil and gas, financial services, defense and aviation-related disputes. ‘Strong communicator’ Rachael Kent in Washington DC is vice chair of the international arbitration practice and ‘has the ability to look at the overall business picture’. John Pierce ‘gives sound legal and practical advice’ and leads the team in New York, where James Carter is also based. John Trenor is ‘a very detailed and effective advocate’, who splits his time between the London and Washington DC offices.

Highlights for the ‘first-rate’ practice at Baker & Hostetler LLP include representing the Maltese majority shareholder of Meinl Bank (Austria) in a €200m ICSID investor-state claim against Austria and acting for several tobacco company clients in a longstanding arbitration, allocating payments exceeding $1.6bn among 22 states, heard under the Tobacco Litigation Master Settlement Agreement. The ‘very able, experienced and diligent’ Mark Cymrot heads the team, which includes Kenneth Reisenfeld. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

The sizeable US-based team at Baker McKenzie LLP operates closely with the firm’s international network of offices. Maria Chedid, who is based in the San Francisco office, is representing Turkish energy company Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim, in a multibillion-dollar ICSID arbitration regarding its investment in a rental power project in Pakistan. New York-based Grant Hanessian is acting for Gavrilovic, alongside colleagues in Vienna, on an ICSID arbitration with Croatia pursuant to the Austria-Croatia BIT. Clients also include IBT Group and Longreef. Luis O’Naghten in Miami and David Zaslowsky in New York are also recommended.

Specialist dispute resolution firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP has ‘a dedicated, responsive and well prepared team’ in the US, which works closely with its London office and handles a range of commercial as well as investor-state arbitration matters. It is particularly recognized for its experience in finance and banking arbitration. New York-based department head Jonathan Schiller is ‘an experienced and robust strategy lawyer with a pragmatic and business-like approach’. Duane Loft, who splits his time between London and New York, is ‘a calm lawyer, who is impressive in synthesizing different arguments and finding new solutions’.

At Clifford Chance, key highlights included representing a Spanish investor in an UNCITRAL claim for violations of a BIT arising out of the expropriation of a concession agreement to run Bolivia’s three international airports, and acting for a group of oil companies in proceedings to confirm and enforce a $1.4bn arbitral award against the Nigerian state oil company. In Washington DC, special legal consultant Ignacio Suarez Anzorena, who has a particularly strong Latin America practice, is recommended, and the team was recently bolstered by the arrival of the ‘brilliant’ Janet Whittaker from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.

Dechert LLP’s ‘growing US international arbitration team’ utilizes its global network of offices to provide comprehensive advice on complex international arbitrations involving businesses and governments worldwide. It also handles a number of ‘bet the company cases’. Recent highlights include acting for the Czech Republic in a UNCITRAL arbitration against WNC Factoring arising from the privatization process of a former Czech state company and representing the country in a UNCITRAL arbitration against WCV World Capital Ventures arising from changes in the regulatory framework for lotteries and gaming. Department co-chair Arif Ali splits his time between Washington DC and London. Alexandre de Gramont is based in Washington DC, while the New York office recently hired John Roesser from Arnold & Porter LLP.

Foley Hoag LLP is ‘a formidable pick for state-side international law work’ and the team, based across its Washington DC, New York and Boston offices, has ‘excellent strategists’. It primarily acts on behalf of sovereign states and state-owned enterprises. It represented Uruguay in an ICSID arbitration concerning the state regulation of tobacco product packaging against three subsidiaries of Philip Morris International. Paul Reichler chairs the international litigation and arbitration practice, while Lawrence Martin is the deputy chair. The ‘very committed’ Derek Smith, the ‘impressively agile and persuasive oral advocate’ Mark Clodfelter and Tafadzwa Pasipanodya, who was recently promoted to partner, are also recommended. All lawyers named are based in Washington DC.

The ‘innovative’ and ‘business-minded’ team at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP delivers ‘a client-focused’ service. Highlights included acting for Total in ICSID arbitration proceedings with the Republic of Uganda relating to petroleum investments made by the oil major in the country. Cerner UK, Dassault Aviation, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Prufrock Management are other clients. Joseph LoBue, who is ‘very capable, especially with technical issues’, is the key contact in Washington DC. Former department head Elliot Polebaum retired in March 2017.

The team at Hogan Lovells US LLP is based across its New York, Miami, Washington DC, Houston and Los Angeles offices, acting for businesses and governments. It is particularly noted for its ‘strong’ Latin America practice and is advising Panama on two ICSID arbitrations including one alleging expropriation of investments in real estate assets in violation of the Netherlands-Panama BIT. The team is also active in the Middle East; it is representing Fluor Transworld Services in ICC arbitration proceedings with Petrixo Oil & Gas relating to projects in the UAE. Daniel González in Miami and Samaa Haridi in New York are recommended.

The ‘focused and creative’ department at Jenner & Block LLP operates out of its New York, Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles offices. It handles arbitrations involving a wide range of industry sectors such as aerospace, defense, hospitality, food and beverage, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and reinsurance. Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, General Dynamics, Ritz-Carlton, Gulfstream Aerospace and IAP Worldwide are clients. Lawrence Schaner in Chicago and Richard Ziegler in New York head the department.

The US-based team at Jones Day spans its Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Washington DC offices. Recent highlights include representing a US energy company in a UNCITRAL arbitration, heard under English law, with another major international energy conglomerate with which it is partnered. It is also acting for Turkish company Federal Elektrik Yatirim ve Ticaret and three of its shareholders in a dispute arising under the Energy Charter Treaty and the Turkey-Uzbekistan BIT. Washington DC-based Gregory Shumaker is global disputes practice head. In San Francisco, Steven Smith focuses on commercial arbitration and Stephen O’Neal is recommended for construction disputes. Baiju Vasani, who splits his time between London and Washington DC, is ‘developing a big name’.

The ‘focused and commercially aware’ international arbitration team at Mayer Brownthinks strategically and is several moves ahead’. It advises on a range of complex international arbitrations, including numerous commercial and investment treaty disputes, acting for clients such as Suzlon Wind Energy Corporation and Panama Canal Authority. Recent highlights include representing Merck & Co in an ICDR arbitration and related litigation involving the breach of the license to a patent covering a drug used in cardiac surgery. The ‘deep bench of top-notch lawyers’ is led by Ted Howes in New York. Houston-based Michael Lennon is ‘very experienced’.

Led by the ‘exceptional’ and ‘reputedJoseph Profaizer from Washington DC, the team at Paul Hastings LLP handles numerous international commercial matters and investment treaty disputes. Key clients include AIG, Global Gaming Asset Management, GE Capital and Pacific Steel Projects. The firm has a strong Asia practice and a growing Latin America one. Camilo Cardozo joined in New York from DLA Piper LLP (US).

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s international arbitration practice operates out of its New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles offices. It regularly handles commercial matters, investor-state cases under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, and state-to-state disputes. Key work highlights included representing the claimants in an investment treaty dispute against Pakistan relating to investments made in the largest gas import terminal in Pakistan heard under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules, pursuant to the Mauritius-Pakistan BIT. Key contacts in Washington DC include international arbitration practice head David Orta, who is recommended for Latin America-related work, William Urquhart and Daniel Salinas-Serrano. New York team head Tai-Heng Cheng is ‘well-grounded in international law’ and Los Angeles-based Fred Bennett has ‘in-depth experience’.

The team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has recently undergone some changes, with the retirement of former department co-head, Robert Smit and the move of Janet Whittaker to join Clifford Chance as partner. Peter Thomas in Washington DC and London-based Tyler Robinson now lead the department. Key highlights included advising Japanese pharmaceuticals company Daiichi Sankyo in an ICC arbitration with the former owners of Indian pharmaceuticals company Ranbaxy. Berkshire Hathaway, Danone and J.P. Morgan are other clients.

Vinson & Elkins LLP works across the energy, infrastructure development and construction industries, handling international commercial arbitrations and investor-state disputes. Houston-based department head James Loftis, who is ‘capable, practical and well connected’, represented Khaitan Holdings (Mauritius), working with colleagues in London, in a licensing dispute heard under the Mauritius-India BIT. He is also acting for the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq in a dispute concerning the operation of the Iraq-Turkey Pipeline (ITP).

New York-based Eric Ordway heads the team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, which also includes Ted Posner in Washington DC. It successfully represented Forbes in a $9m arbitration with Ukraine-based United Media Holding regarding a contested termination of a licensing agreement and is representing Hungary in an arbitration involving a claim under the Portugal-Hungary BIT. It also represented MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company in its dispute with the Government of Croatia regarding its investment in Croatian oil and gas company INA.

The four-partner US team at Winston & Strawn LLP is mainly based in the Washington DC office. Recent highlights include representing telecoms mogul Michael Dagher on an investment arbitration filed before ICSID against Sudan, with claims arising under the Jordan-Sudan and Lebanon-Sudan BITs. This is the first-ever ICSID arbitration against Sudan. It is also acting for Ecuador on matters including a multibillion-dollar arbitration instituted by Chevron and Texaco, and on related investor-state arbitration proceedings under the US-Ecuador BIT. Based across the London and Chicago offices, Ricardo Ugarte heads the team. Eric Bloom, Tomás Leonard and Nicole Silver are key contacts in Washington DC.


International litigation

Index of tables

  1. International litigation
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which International litigation clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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With a ‘deep bench of world-class lawyers’, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is skilled at advising international and domestic financial institutions and corporations, sovereign governments and state-owned institutions. The team advises several global financial institutions, including HSBC, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Citigroup and The Bank of New York Mellon on matters arising from the Madoff fraud and the bankruptcy of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities. The team is also advising National Westminster Bank, Credit Lyonnais, Commerzbank, BNP Paribas and BNP Paribas (Suisse) in seven different lawsuits asserting claims under the US Anti-Terrorism Act, in three different US district courts. Nortel Networks and Petrobras are also clients. In New York, Lawrence Friedman, Howard Zelbo, Jeffrey Rosenthal, Jonathan Blackman, who splits his time between London and New York, and Carmine Boccuzzi are recommended. Jared Gerber and Rishi Zutshi were recently promoted to partner.

Co-chaired by Donald Donovan and David W Rivkin in New York, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘vast’ international dispute resolution team is ‘very experienced’ on a range of matters, including high-profile commercial litigation, white-collar and regulatory defense work, cybersecurity and data privacy matters, and complex IP disputes. Rivkin and Christopher Tahbaz, also based in New York, led Sanum Investments on a Singapore Court of Appeal case against its holding company Lao Holdings. David O’Neil in Washington DC and Courtney Dankworth in New York represent EMI Music Publishing Management in litigation brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) seeking more than $1bn in an asset forfeiture matter. Also in New York, Bruce Yannett chairs the white-collar and regulatory defense group, Mary Beth Hogan co-heads the litigation group alongside Andrew Ceresney, who recently rejoined the firm after serving as the director of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), David Bernstein heads the IP litigation group, and David Sarratt was recently promoted to partner. John Kiernan and Mark Friedman, who divides his time between London and New York, are also recommended.

With ‘deep expertise and extraordinary commercial judgment’, Dechert LLP advises on a range of complex international disputes and is skilled at handling litigation ongoing in several jurisdictions simultaneously, in response to which it can draw on the expertise of its many US litigators and international offices. Recent highlights include representing NML Capital in litigation and parallel enforcement proceedings in the US, UK, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Ghana to enforce defaulted sovereign bonds issued by the Argentine Republic. The firm also advised an affiliate of Contrarian Capital on judgment enforcement proceedings in four countries and on challenging a scheme of arrangement by the Indonesian Asia Pulp and Paper Group before the English High Court. The firm also advised Marco Lacchini, an Italian national and arbitrator, in a case alleging that he agreed to accept compensation to provide favorable results in two arbitrations for which he was the head of the arbitral panels. The ‘creative and proactiveDennis Hranitzky in New York has a ‘willingness to think outside the box and encourage others to do so’. New York-based Gary Mennitt co-heads the firm’s complex commercial litigation practice, and Andrew Wong in Los Angeles is also recommended. Robert Cohen retired in 2016.

The ‘terrific’ transnational litigation team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP specializes in protecting clients against claims in US courts stemming from overseas activities, as well as reducing and eliminating the risks posed by foreign litigation, and is led jointly by Perlette Jura and William Thomson in Los Angeles and Andrea Neuman in New York. Theodore Olson and Matthew McGill in Washington DC successfully advised more than 1,300 US victims of terrorist attacks linked to Iran in Supreme Court case Bank Markazi v Peterson. Highlights also included representing Chevron at the Second Circuit, which affirmed the lower court’s decision that a $9.5bn judgment issued against Chevron in Ecuador was the product of fraud and corruption and could not be enforced in the US. Names such as Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, DFS Galleria, Crédit Agricole Group and Gucci are clients. In Los Angeles, Theodore Boutrous and Scott Edelman are singled out for praise, as are the ‘exceptionalRandy Mastro and Anne Champion in New York.

Particularly noted for its experience in cross-border finance disputes, Allen & Overy LLP advised a global financial institution on investigations relating to alleged manipulation and collusion in the market for US Treasury securities and in related multidistrict class action proceedings; Todd Fishman and the ‘brilliant’ David Esseks in New York led the work. Department head Michael Feldberg in New York and John Roberti in Washington DC led advice to German multinational Bosch Companies in antitrust litigation, consolidated in the Eastern District of Michigan, involving claims for damages for alleged cartel behavior. Additional highlights included advising a global financial services firm in regulatory matters relating to alleged manipulation and collusion in the global precious metals markets. New York-based Pamela Chepiga and Laura Hall are also recommended.

The ‘exceptional’ litigation team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is ‘excellent in cross-border matters’ and advises global clients on white-collar defense as well as complex commercial, securities and antitrust litigation. In New York, practice head Aaron Marcu is leading work for MoneyGram International alongside colleagues from ten offices worldwide on anti-money laundering compliance matters. Co-head of the global investigations practice Adam Siegel, also based in New York, is defending Bristol-Myers Squibb on a Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) investigation conducted by the DOJ and the SEC relating to issues in sales and marketing practices and relationships with officials outside the US. Tim Harkness, who also operates out of New York, has ‘a no-nonsense approach to litigation’ and is leading advice to an international trust structure administered out of Monaco in alleged subsequent transfers in a Madoff clawback action. In New York, Olivia Radin and Kimberly Zelnick are also recommended. In Washington DC, former deputy chief of the fraud section of the criminal division at the DOJ Daniel Braun joined the firm, and counsel Nabeel Yousef joined from Latham & Watkins LLP. Marshall Fishman joined Goodwin in early 2017.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s US-based international litigation team is ‘fully capable of rendering excellent services for multinational companies, even in a foreign jurisdiction’. Daniel González and Richard Lorenzo in Miami are leading IBM México in multibillion-dollar litigation pending in the Southern District of New York. Peter Spivack and Katie Hellings in Washington DC are leading advice to Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras (Eletrobras) on a vast corruption and bribery case involving Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras. Lorenzo is also advising Pequiven, the government-owned petrochemical company for Venezuela, in a suit filed in the Southern District of Florida alleging expropriations of Venezuelan companies in violation of international law. New York-based Dennis Tracey III heads the firm’s Americas litigation group. Bruce Oakley in Houston is also noted.

Highlights for Latham & Watkins LLP’s international litigation team included advising American Airlines on various matters, including an antitrust lawsuit and a proposed class action alleging RICO violations involving claims airlines knowingly and unlawfully charge Mexican citizens millions of dollars in unauthorized fees. The firm also advises the British Bankers’ Association on all US litigation relating to allegations of Libor manipulation and acts for CARE USA in its compliance with US sanctions against Syria, Cuba, Sudan and Somalia. The firm also successfully defended the Dubai-based Emirates Bank against various claims brought by Californian technology company InfoSpan. Schlumberger, Ocean Spray and The London Metal Exchange are also clients. Jamie Wine in New York is global chair of the firm’s litigation and trial department, while Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago, Doug Lumish in Silicon Valley and Al Pfeiffer in San Francisco are vice chairs.

The ‘knowledgeable’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP delivers ‘excellent response times’ and advises large corporations and financial institutions on complex, high-value and sensitive multi-jurisdictional disputes. The team represents BMW in a dispute regarding the recall of certain vehicles using Takata airbags. Harvest Natural Resources, Vicinay Cadenas and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company are also clients. Houston’s Gerard Pecht is global head of dispute resolution and litigation, and Dallas-based Richard Krumholz is the US head of dispute resolution and litigation. Lana Varney in Austin is particularly noted for her experience in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sector, while Houston’s Kevin O’Gorman and Mark Baker, who is the global co-head of international arbitration, are ‘particularly good on strategy’. The team has been bolstered by several hires at partner level, including the addition of Michael Edney, who recently joined in Washington DC from Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s ‘forward-thinking’ team advises international and multinational corporations and financial institutions on high-profile and sensitive disputes, including complex litigation, investigations and enforcement matters. The team also has a leading China securities litigation practice. The team achieved an appellate victory for Daimler and CEO Dieter Zetsche in a retirement benefit and age discrimination dispute. It is also advising Citigroup on an internal investigation and on US regulatory and enforcement matters regarding a $400m fraud against Citigroup’s Mexican unit, Banamex. It is also representing multiple financial institutions in Libor and other rate-setting disputes. In New York, global head of litigation Adam Hakki and deputy head of the litigation department Richard Schwed are recommended and Paula Anderson is ‘adept at international disputes’. John Cove joined the team in San Francisco from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s ‘highly regarded’ international litigation practice has ‘vast’ experience on a range of international disputes and is particularly experienced in cross-border investigations, compliance and regulatory matters. A team led by Julie Bédard in São Paulo and Jay Kasner and Scott Musoff in New York acts for the underwriters of Petrobras securities on disputes regarding a Brazilian police investigation, which included the enforcement of warrants for search and seizure, temporary and preventive detention and coercive measures, with the aim of ascertaining a money laundering scheme. The firm is also defending numerous Asia-based issuers in securities litigation related to IPOs in the US.

The ‘brilliant’ team at White & Case LLP has ‘encyclopedic knowledge of jurisdictions around the world and is able to marshal resources to handle any matter’. The firm defended Toshiba in a securities class action brought in the US, and a team led by ‘tremendous lawyerAalok Sharma in Los Angeles serves as Facebook’s global litigation counsel. Glenn Kurtz is global chair of commercial litigation and is based in New York, as is the ‘brilliantOwen Pell; Rachel Feldman in Los Angeles and Christopher Curran in Washington DC are also noted. Dennis Orr joined in New York from Morrison & Foerster LLP, and four white-collar and civil litigation partners joined from McDermott Will & Emery LLP, three of them in New York and Michael Kendall in Boston.

Washington DC-based litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP is ‘outstanding for international disputes’ and defends both US and international corporations, individuals and governments and government agencies in litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings, including FCPA investigations. Robert Van Kirk is leading advice to Carlyle Capital Corp on a range of matters, including a series of securities class actions brought against Carlyle and several of its officers in the US, and in claims that have been filed or threatened in jurisdictions around the world, such as Kuwait, the Netherlands and Guernsey. The ‘highly diligent, focused and responsive’ Ana Reyes co-heads the team alongside the ‘commercially aware’ Peter Kahn. Reyes is leading advice to the former president of Bolivia in a US civil litigation case.

Baker & Hostetler LLP advises multinationals, sovereign governments, international organizations, and private investors on a variety of international disputes. The firm serves as court-appointed counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) trustee for the liquidation of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities, working on the global investigation of the Madoff Ponzi scheme and related litigation seeking recovery for the BLMIS Customer Fund. It is also advising the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina on an immunity dispute. Mark Cymrot in Washington DC and Gonzalo Zeballos in New York are recommended.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s US team spans its Chicago, New York, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Washington DC and Miami offices, with clients also able to benefit from the firm’s huge international network in a variety of complex cross-border disputes. Colin Murray in San Francisco is leading advice to Hewlett-Packard, HP Enterprise Services and HP Malaysia on allegations filed by a Singaporean subcontractor regarding work performed in Malaysia for Bank Negara Malaysia. Dallas-based Brian Hurst and colleagues overseas are advising John Paul DeJoria, a billionaire American entrepreneur and philanthropist, on efforts to invalidate a Moroccan judgment regarding a failed Moroccan oil exploration venture. San Francisco-based senior counsel Bruce Jackson is representing Russian national Vitaly Smagin in proceedings to enforce an $84m arbitration award issued by the London Court of International Arbitration. Luis O’Naghten in Miami is also recommended. Mark Taylor in Dallas chairs the North America litigation practice.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s international litigation team advises on a range of international and cross-border disputes. It advised PepsiCo on a wrongful termination, breach of contract, willful destruction of business and breach of fiduciary duty case brought by a former Peruvian PepsiCo bottler, CEPSA. Lycos Internet Limited, Online Media Solutions, DolarToday and Banca Mifel are also clients. New York-based Louis Solomon is now global co-head of international litigation, having joined the firm in 2016 alongside Hal Shaftel, Colin Underwood, and Michael Lazaroff from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘service is instant and considered’. The team is active across complex litigation and regulatory matters and is particularly noted for its FCPA and anti-corruption investigations practice. Alongside colleagues in London and Dubai, Mark Maloney in Atlanta is advising KFH Capital Investment Company and Kuwait Finance House Real Estate Company on a London Commercial Court fraud claim. Charles Correll in San Francisco, Richard Marooney in New York and Jeff Bucholtz in Washington DC advised Commisa, a subsidiary of KBR, on the enforcement of an arbitral award obtained in an ICC arbitration in Mexico. Chevron and ConocoPhillips are also key clients. Managing partner of the New York office Edward Kehoe is also noted.

Disputes and investigations firm Kobre & Kim has offices in New York, Washington DC, San Francisco and Miami, as well as international offices in London, Seoul, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands and BVI. It has ‘significant experience in dealing with international litigation matters’ and its ‘presence in various jurisdictions makes it a very good option’. Baha Mar, the developers of a $3.5bn resort complex in the Bahamas, retained the firm on an international dispute regarding the completion of the resort. Chevron is also a key client. Firm founders Michael Kim and Steven Kobre are ‘first rate’, Danielle Rose heads the financial products and services litigation practice, and Carrie Tendler heads the international judgment enforcement and offshore asset recovery practice. David McGill is ‘insightful, uber responsive and fearless’.

Litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has 20 offices across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific, giving it a strong platform to advise on a range of cross-border and multi-jurisdictional litigation. Washington DC-based Juan Morillo is co-chair of the white-collar and corporate investigations practice and is leading advice to FIFA in connection with US criminal investigations into alleged bribery and corruption. William Urquhart, who splits his time between the firm’s Los Angeles and Washington DC offices, Fred Bennett in Los Angeles, and David Orta in Washington DC co-head the team.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP has ‘vast trial experience in the US and abroad’. Key highlights included advising Dakota Petroleum Transport Solutions and DPTS Marketing against claims arising from the Lac Mégantic railway fire and explosion in Canada. It also represents clients such as SI Group Consort, National Bank of Moldova and ExxonMobil. Karl Tilleman in Phoenix heads the team. Washington DC-based Steven Davidson and Michael Baratz are also recommended, and Michael Miller in New York has ‘a very international approach’.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP advises a range of US and non-US companies on critical international disputes spanning investigations, regulatory matters and trials. In New York, Joseph Neuhaus advises on international commercial disputes and Nicolas Bourtin focuses on white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations, regulatory enforcement, and securities and complex civil litigation. Also based in New York, Darrell Cafasso advises multinational clients on regulatory and criminal investigations as well as securities law, bank regulation, consumer financial products and employment disputes. Theodore Edelman operates across the firm’s London and New York offices and his expertise spans antitrust, commercial contracts, banking, securities, insurance, IP, and M&A disputes.


International trade

Index of tables

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Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Led out of its Washington DC headquarters by Stuart Eizenstat and Peter Lichtenbaum, Covington & Burling LLP’s team provides ‘savvy and sophisticated advice’ that is mindful of both legal and policy concerns. Benefiting from the experience of numerous former high-ranking government officials, including Eizenstat, former US ambassador to the EU, and John Veroneau, a former deputy US trade representative (USTR), the team has ‘excellent connections with all the major players in DC’ and is ‘absolutely superb on trade policy issues’. Praised for its ‘ability to anticipate government concerns’, the team is also a top choice for advice to domestic and international corporates on their trade strategies and in the context of economic sanctions and export controls, where the ‘terrificPeter Flanagan stands out. Corinne Goldstein has ‘a keen understanding of the various regulatory regimes’ and is particularly accomplished at advising clients on the sanctions programs administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Led by David Fagan and Mark Plotkin, the firm’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) practice is recognized as ‘among the very best for managing national security issues in very sensitive matters’. In a deal which attracted intense scrutiny, Fagan and Plotkin advised NXP Semiconductors on the $2.7bn sale of its Standard Products business to Chinese government-owned funds. The pair also secured clearance for Altice pertaining to the $9.1bn acquisition of Suddenlink and $17.7bn acquisition of Cablevision. The team is rounded out by counsel Shara Aranoff and Alexander Chinoy on the customs front, and Steve Fagell and Donald Ridings, who jointly head the anti-corruption sub group.

Benefitting from a strong presence in Washington DC as well as globally, Hogan Lovells US LLP provides an ‘excellent service’ to domestic and international corporate clients of the firm, as well as in discrete standalone mandates. Co-head Deen Kaplan has a ‘fantastic’ reputation for trade remedies matters and leads the firm’s work in numerous high-profile matters, including the representation of Emirates Group as one of several Gulf airlines accused by a coalition of US airlines of operating in violation of the ‘Open Skies’ policy because of the receipt of alleged government subsidies. Kaplan is also representing the Government of Ontario, alongside of counsel Mark McConnell and Jonathan Stoel, in its trade matters with the US. Co-head Beth Peters has ‘good relations with high-ranking government officials’ and is consequently a go-to practitioner for clients seeking strategic and nuanced advice relating to export controls and sanctions. Alongside Stephen Propst, Peters successfully secured the relevant licenses allowing Carnival Cruise Line to become the first US ship operator to sail to Cuba in more than 50 years, following the recent easing of sanctions with Cuba. Recently promoted partner Brian Curran has handled some notable CFIUS mandates of late, including for Dell on the approximately $3.1bn sale of its IT services provider to NTT Data. Other recommended partners include Robert Kyle, who has ‘long experience in corporate affairs related to government agencies’; the ‘clear-thinkingAleksandar Dukic, who excels on export controls and sanctions matters; CFIUS expert Jeanne Archibald; and T Clark Weymouth, who ‘knows how to deal with big transparency challenges in big companies’.

Sidley Austin LLP provides a ‘very well-rounded’ service across the spectrum of international trade issues, including trade remedies, trade policy, CFIUS, and export control and economic sanctions. Splitting his time between Washington DC and Brussels, Richard Weiner is ‘very experienced in both European and US trade cases’ and is representing the Chinese solar industry in the largest trade remedy investigations and reviews ever mounted in the US and EU. Working closely with the firm’s Geneva office, Eric Solovy is regularly engaged in World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes and is currently representing the Dominican Republic in challenging certain Australian laws and regulations imposing trademark restrictions and other plain packaging requirements on tobacco and packaging. Andrew Shoyer provides ‘nuanced and practical advice’ to clients on trade policy issues, as well as on economic sanctions compliance; he is representing the Monitor, appointed by US and UK financial services agencies, in connection with HSBC’s $1.9bn resolution of sanctions and anti-money laundering (AML) violations. Senior counsel Richard Belanger has vast experience of customs matters and is currently acting for Ford in its dispute with the US government attempting to claw back a portion of import duties it paid on vans reclassified as cargo vans in a US Customs and Border Protection review. Other recommended partners include Neil Ellis for trade remedies, and James Mendenhall, whose broad ranging practice includes a significant amount of CFIUS work.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP provides ‘a knowledgeable and responsive service’ to corporates and international governments across the spectrum of matters, from export control and sanctions advice to high-profile anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, in addition to prominent WTO mandates. Joel Kaufman has vast experience representing domestic and international corporates before the International Trade Commission (ITC), including a notable recent victory for Tata Steel IJmuiden in the Dutch Cold Rolled Steel investigation. A growing number of international governments rely on the firm for WTO representation, including a number of Latin American countries such as Argentina, which Matthew Yeo and Pablo Bentes successfully represented before the WTO appellate body in a case targeting Panama tax practices. Led by the ‘excellent’ Lucinda Low, the firm also has a ‘top-notch’ anti-corruption and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) practice, which works closely with other domestic offices and its international offices in Brussels, London and Beijing. Other recommended partners include CFIUS expert Stewart Baker; trade remedies and trade policy guru Richard Cunningham; Meredith Rathbone, who has a focus on export control and economic sanctions; trade litigator Mark Moran, who is ‘an absolute star’; and Susan Esserman, who has a significant focus on US-India and US-China matters.

Led out of Washington DC by Thomas McCarthy and also able to call upon the services of practitioners in key strategic offices in Geneva, Beijing and London, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s team provides ‘an exceptional service’ to a range of domestic and international corporates from a myriad of industry sectors, as they seek to navigate the ever-evolving international trade landscape. Praised for his ‘clear and concise advice’, Spencer Griffith is a key member of the firm’s ‘world-class respondent litigation practice’ and is representing the Chinese government in a WTO dispute initiated by the Canadian government challenging China’s imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports of cellulose pulp from Canada. The ‘unassuming, patient and approachable’ Bernd Janzen is advising PulseTech Products on its efforts to obtain exclusion from the scope of anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on solar products. The firm is also noted for its ‘excellent work’ on the economic sanctions and export control front, assisting with the ever-changing landscape, particularly as it relates to Cuba, Iran, Russia and Ukraine. Wynn Segall helped Roswell Park Cancer Institute secure a first-of-its-kind US government license allowing a high-profile joint venture with Cuba-based Center of Molecular Immunology for the development and commercialization of cutting-edge cancer treatments. Other recommended practitioners include Valerie Slater and customs law specialist Lars-Erik Hjelm.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s team provides insightful and highly credible advice to an impressive roster of clients, including Samsung Electronics, EgyptAir and American Capital. Team head Lawrence Schneider has a wealth of experience advising corporates and governments on trade policy and trade remedies issues. As well as his longstanding representation of the Israeli government across a range of trade policy issues, Schneider has once again been busy advising the Province of Alberta as it reassesses its strategy and preparation for a potential reigniting of litigation with the US following the recent termination of the Softwood Lumber Agreement. J David Park has ‘a fantastic Korean trade remedies practice’ and represents Korean corporates as respondents in US anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases. As well as acting for Hyundai Steel and Posco in numerous anti-dumping cases before the Department of Commerce (DOC), he also represents Toray Chemical Korea in anti-dumping administrative proceedings involving polyester staple fiber from Korea. On the export controls and economic sanctions front, the firm has particular strength representing defense and aerospace companies such as BAE Systems, which John Barker has been advising on its implementation of the State Department Consent Agreement. Other recommended practitioners include John Bellinger and Jeffrey Smith for export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS matters; Michael Shor for trade remedies and policy; and Claire Reade. Former deputy assistant secretary for policy and negotiations at the DOC’s International Trade Administration Lynn Fischer Fox joined in March 2017.

Baker McKenzie LLP has ‘tremendous knowledge of international trade’ and the critical mass to represent clients from a broad range of industries across their most sensitive and strategically important trade issues. Spearheaded out of the US by Nicholas Coward, Janet Kim and San Francisco-based John McKenzie, and also benefiting from practitioners spread out across its vast global network, the firm has ‘an impressive depth of expertise’ pertaining to export controls as well as sanctions compliance and enforcement work, where its client base includes high-profile hi-tech companies such as Advanced Micro Devices, Intel and Veritas Technologies. McKenzie is also a key part of the firm’s customs team, which includes leading practitioners Teresa Gleason and Ted Murphy. Kevin O’Brien successfully defended the government of Trinidad and Tobago and a major chemical producer and US importer in a trade remedy case involving melamine. The ‘dedicated and thorough’ Sylwia Lis is also recommended.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is best known for its economic sanctions and export control compliance work and also for anti-corruption matters, where it is closely integrated with the firm’s market-leading white-collar group. Judith Alison Lee and senior of counsel Ronald Kirk jointly head the practice from Washington DC and Dallas respectively. Lee provides ongoing economic sanctions and export controls counseling to major global corporates and financial institutions, including First Data and Western Union’s money transfer businesses. She was also retained by MUFG Union Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to advise on OFAC and EU sanctions compliance following the recent $320m fine imposed by OFAC and New York State’s Department of Financial Services. A Former Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, New York-based Jose Fernandez has significant credibility in the market for CFIUS matters and secured clearance for Italian energy company Ansaldo Energia for its $128m acquisition of General Electric’s Power Systems Manufacturing business.

Led by Amanda DeBusk, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP provides ‘responsive, clear and pragmatic advice on business-critical trade issues’. De Busk is a ‘sage adviser on all aspects of trade law and sanctions’ and along with the ‘responsive and user-friendly’ Melissa Duffy advises Dell across a myriad of export controls and sanctions compliance matters, including complex trade compliance issues regarding the recent spin-off of Dell Software Group. The ‘hardworking and sensibleMatthew Nicely is able ‘to cut straight to the meat of the matter’ and has deep experience in anti-dumping and countervailing duties cases. Alongside the ‘incredibly talented’ and ‘strategic’ Joanne Osendarp, who excels in handling complex multi-stakeholder litigation’, Nicely represents the Canadian government in a countervailing duty matter involving supercalendered paper imported from Canada. Counsel Alan Kashdan is ‘a walking textbook on anti-boycotting issues’.

The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP provides ‘an outstanding level of service’ to US industries in trade cases seeking relief from unfairly traded imports. ‘A leading lawyer in the field of international trade’, Paul Rosenthal has an excellent reputation across trade policy work and litigation, and alongside Kathleen Cannon and Alan Luberda has been representing ArcelorMittal as one of the petitioners in ongoing anti-dumping cases brought against numerous steel-producing nations. On the trade policy front, Rosenthal and John Herrmann represented numerous interested parties, including ArcelorMittal and Specialty Steel Industry of North America, to advance the passage of the Trade Promotion Authority and other trade measures to protect US industries facing unfair trade practices such as dumping and subsidies. Team head Eric McClafferty has a focus on economic sanctions and export control counseling and advised GrafTech International on the export control portion of the CFIUS process with regard to its acquisition by Brookfield Asset Management.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘talented’ team is one of the ‘undoubted leaders on behalf of US petitioners’ in trade remedies cases. Stephen Jones leads the trade remedies sub-group and, alongside Stephen Vaughn, who joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in December 2015, successfully secured anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on behalf of AK Steel (as one of the petitioners) in International Trade Commission (ITC) hearings challenging the unfair importation of various steel products by numerous countries. Jones also recently secured anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on behalf of Domtar in the hotly contested ITC hearings against imports of certain uncoated paper. Team head Stephen Orava spends a considerable amount of time in the firm’s Geneva office working on WTO disputes and is representing the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association in challenging Thailand’s subsidies in the sugar sector. Other recommended partners include Michael Taylor for customs work; Christine Savage, who handles a range of export controls and economic sanctions and CFIUS matters; and Section 337 expert Jeffrey Telep. Leading industry figure Joseph Dorn recently retired.

Jointly headed out of Washington DC by William McGlone, the ‘knowledgeableLes Carnegie and Sarah Nappi, Latham & Watkins LLP’s export controls, economic sanctions and customs team provides ‘responsive and business-sensitive’ advice to corporates from a range of industry sectors as they seek to navigate the changing international trade landscape. The team is ‘excellent at trade compliance work’ and represents numerous multinational corporates, including Chevron, Facebook and Xcel Energy, in the enhancement and implementation of compliance programs relating to US export controls, sanctions and customs. Leveraging the firm’s impressive pipeline of transactional work, the team is also regularly involved in securing clearances on M&A mandates, including successfully securing CFIUS clearance for Avago Technologies in its $37bn acquisition of Broadcom. The team also regularly partners up with practitioners from the white-collar group, many of whom formerly held high-ranking governmental positions, including the ‘pragmaticBarry Sabin and Alice Fisher, who have ‘in-depth understanding of the workings of the DOJ’. An example of this integrated approach - involving lawyers in Frankfurt, London, Paris and Dubai - is the firm’s representation of oil services multinational Schlumberger, which was recently subjected to multiple agency investigations, enforcement actions and grand jury criminal proceedings surrounding alleged violations of US sanctions laws.

Led by Duane Layton, Mayer Brown’s team contains many former high-ranking government officials and provides ‘practical, thorough and responsive’ advice across the spectrum of international trade matters. Although the firm is historically known for its respondent-focused trade remedies practice, it has recently picked up some significant petitioner-side work for US Steel, including securing affirmative anti-dumping duties following a petition filed before the DOC targeting US imports of certain hot-rolled steel from Japan. Layton was involved in the aforementioned case and also has one of the most active WTO practices in the country; he and Sydney Mintzer are representing the Indonesian government in its WTO challenge of Australian measures requiring ‘plain packaging’ on tobacco products. Mintzer also acts for Federal-Mogul on global trade compliance issues. On the sanctions front, Simeon Kriesbergknows the OFAC laws and regulations and is on top of their developments’. Other recommended partners include Matthew McConkey for trade remedies and Timothy Keeler for trade policy.

White & Case LLP’s team provides a ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ service to multinational corporates and governments across the spectrum of international trade issues, including trade remedies work and advice relating to national security matters. The practice is led by Gregory Spak from Washington DC and is aided by a comprehensive global network of offices, including practitioners in the key strategic locations of Geneva and Brussels. The group works closely with complementary practices within the firm, such as IP, with which it teams up on Section 337 ITC matters. Spak led a multidisciplinary team that successfully represented stainless steel manufacturer Valbruna before the ITC in a trade secret misappropriation case. David Bond is recommended for trade remedies work, both in the US and abroad, and also works closely with the US agricultural sector, particularly on trade policy matters. The firm is now viewed as a ‘clear tier one CFIUS practice’ since the arrival of the ‘very wise and talentedFarhad Jalinous in June 2015. Able ‘to distil complex matters involving a confluence of factors’, Jalinous secured CFIUS clearance for Suzhou Dongshan Precision Manufacturing in its $610m acquisition of Multi-Fineline Electronix. Walter Spak, William Clinton and Richard Burke are also recommended.

Wiley Rein LLP represents US companies from a range of industry sectors, including steel and energy, in their efforts to use trade laws for their benefit and to fight back against unfair competition from foreign imports. Timothy Brightbill provides ‘strategic and responsive’ advice on trade litigation and policy matters and assists SolarWorld with trade policy and remedies matters regarding solar imports from China and Taiwan. ‘Very sharp’ team head Alan Price represents leading domestic steel producer Nucor. He is also well regarded for his thought leadership on China-related trade matters, recently authoring a comprehensive report on global steel overcapacity and subsequently testifying on its findings before the USTR and DOC. In addition to trade remedies work, Daniel Pickard regularly advises clients across the spectrum of national security matters, including economic sanctions and export controls. Robert DeFrancesco, John Shane and Maureen Thorson are also recommended.

Headed by Charlene Barshefsky, herself a former USTR, WilmerHale’s team benefits from the knowledge of many former high-ranking government officials and excels at matters at the intersection of law, business, politics and public policy. The ‘excellent’ Barshefsky is representing American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines in its challenge of numerous Middle-Eastern airlines (including Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airlines) over unfair competition as a result of their alleged receipt of state subsidies. The firm is also regularly involved in WTO disputes, such as Robert Novick and Naboth van den Broek’s representation of Boeing in its long-running dispute with fellow aircraft manufacturer Airbus regarding mutual claims of unfair subsidies. Senior counsel Ronald Meltzer has an excellent reputation for economic sanctions and export controls work; he recently successfully secured US government authorization to produce and film the movie Fast and Furious 8 in Cuba. Other recommended practitioners include former chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Forfeiture unit from the US Attorney’s office Sharon Cohen Levin, who is based in New York and excels at matters within the AML and economic sanctions space; counsel David Ross for trade policy issues; and CFIUS expert Benjamin Powell. Counsel Patrick McLain has a flourishing practice with a focus on WTO litigation and market access counselling.

Led from Washington DC by the ‘responsive and technical’ Kay Georgi, Arent Fox LLP’s team provides an ‘excellent’ service to clients such as 3M, Coca-Cola and Tyson Foods. Georgi has a flourishing economic sanctions, export control and FCPA practice and has been active advising clients looking to enter the Cuban and Iranian markets following recent changes in sanctions policies towards those countries. The ‘superb’ Matthew Nolan has notable expertise in the Turkish steel industry, including representing the Turkish Steel Exporters Association in an ongoing anti-dumping case concerning line pipe - pipes used to transport crude oil and natural gas from the field to oil refineries and storage facilities. Matthew Clark is representing the Quebec government in the countervailing duty case targeting supercalendered paper from Canada. Other recommended partners include trade remedies expert John Gurley; Timothy Feighery, who specializes in matters at the intersection of trade and arbitration; and customs expert David Hamill.

Crowell & Moring LLP provides strategic international trade advice to domestic and international clients from a diverse array of industries, including financial services, retail and firearms. Splitting his time between the firm’s Washington DC and Brussels offices, team head Jeffrey Snyder advises clients on import and export laws, and excels at assisting multinationals with the impact of US extraterritorial regulations, including OFAC sanctions. The team has secured numerous victories against the Customs and Border Protection and other governmental agencies, including successfully representing Meridian Products before the Court of International Trade (CIT) in arguing that the DOC had incorrectly included its products within the scope of the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum extrusions from China. Other recommended partners include John Brew and Alexander Schaefer.

Led by Daniel Porter, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s four-partner team is best known in the market for its respondent-side trade remedies expertise. Aided by its office in Beijing, the firm has a focus on representing the interests of corporations and governments from China as well as Asia more widely, including Korean multinational LG Electronics, which Porter is representing in ongoing anti-dumping proceedings. Alongside William Barringer, Porter has been acting for new client Tokyo Steel in the defense of anti-dumping allegations brought by the US steel industry. Barringer also represents the Vietnam Association of Shrimp Exporters in the DOC’s annual administrative reviews of the anti-dumping duty order on frozen shrimp from Vietnam. Matthew McCullough has a flourishing practice defending the Chinese government in subsidy cases, including in its role as a defendant in WTO cases. James Durling is also recommended.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is well positioned to manage the heightened scrutiny placed on economic sanctions and money laundering issues, by dint of the firm’s ‘exceptional’ white-collar and financial services regulatory groups. It also has the ability to manage coordinated investigations as a result of its significant international offering, particularly from London and Hong Kong. As part of her broad-ranging white-collar expertise, New York-based Jennifer Newstead has handled numerous FCPA, OFAC and AML investigations; she successfully defended Intesa Sanpaolo in high-profile sanctions, OFAC and criminal investigations, resulting in a public declination to pursue criminal charges. The ‘excellent’ John Reynolds, who splits his time between New York and Washington DC, regularly advises corporates and financial services entities on sanctions and AML compliance, however he is perhaps best known for his ‘top-notch’ CFIUS practice on behalf of foreign acquirers and domestic sellers. Able to leverage the firm’s outstanding pipeline of transactional work, Reynolds has seen a surge in China-related work, such as his representation of Syngenta in its $43bn sale to ChemChina.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s practice covers export controls and economic sanctions compliance advice as well as trade litigation, including anti-dumping and WTO cases. Practice head David Levine and Raymond Paretzky are representing Illinois Tool Works in several anti-dumping and customs duty matters before the DOC and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Levine is also noted for his export controls and sanctions work, where he represents clients including Owens Corning and Alere on compliance and licensing issues, among other matters. Carolyn Gleason is another pivotal member of the team and, having formerly served for almost two decades on the president’s US Agricultural Private Sector Advisory Committee, provides unique insight into the agribusiness sector on trade policy matters.

Particularly noted for its export control and economic sanctions expertise, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s three-partner team has been at the vanguard of the rapidly developing US sanctions policies for Cuba, Iran, Russia and Myanmar. The ‘exceptional’ Stephan Becker has ‘superb knowledge of the aerospace industry as it relates to international trade’ and acts for Airbus on export control, economic sanctions and customs compliance issues involving aircraft and aircraft components. Becker also has ‘a strong understanding of the administration and policies underlying trade and investment rules and includes in his advice these important dimensions’. Nancy Fischer regularly handles CFIUS clearance matters and trade compliance work, and is also representing a group of ten nuclear utilities in trade remedy matters before the DOC related to the Russian suspension agreement. Christopher Wall handles export controls and sanctions work for a range of high-caliber clients, including Rolls-Royce.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s three-partner team maintains a strong reputation for handling trade remedies matters for petitioners from a wide array of industries, despite the recent departure of former team head Robert Lighthizer to join President Trump’s government as his chief trade negotiator. Particularly noted for its work in the steel industry, the firm handles a significant amount of work for longstanding client US Steel, including representing it, as part of a coalition of domestic steel producers, in litigating anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations involving corrosion-resistant steel, hot-rolled steel, and cold-rolled steel. Newly appointed team head Jeffrey Gerrish has been a pivotal presence in the defense of US Steel in these cases and also recently secured a notable victory for Georgia-based Tensar International in its action, brought before the ITC, regarding the alleged dumping of Chinese imports of biaxial integral geogrid products. The firm is also noted for its ‘superb CFIUS offering’; Ivan Schlager and counsel Malcolm Tuesley recently advised Broadcom Corporation on the CFIUS clearance necessary to facilitate its $37bn sale to Avago Technologies.

Baker & Hostetler LLP’s five-partner team is active across the spectrum of international trade matters, including trade remedies and customs work. The team was bolstered on the economic sanctions front by the arrival of co-head Kerry Scarlott in January 2016 from Goulston & Storrs, who brings a wealth of expertise in compliance matters for clients across a range of sectors, including aerospace and defense. Co-head Melvin Schwechter recently assisted a logistics company with economic sanctions issues, including advising on the preparation of a voluntary self-disclosure submission to OFAC. The ‘composed and knowledgeable’ John Burke has vast experience in trade remedies matters and, alongside Michael Snarr, recently achieved some excellent results for Electrolux in several anti-dumping administrative reviews conducted by the DOC.

Led by Kimberly Zelnick out of New York, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP provides a ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ one-stop-shop service to multinational clients appreciative of the firm’s international network and ability to provide ‘global advice related to sanctions and export controls’. Counsel Anahita Thoms has a ‘hands-on approach’ and an ability to propose ‘practical solutions’, particularly in matters arising at the intersection of US and EU trade and data protection laws. On the transactional front, Washington DC-based of counsel Robert Schlossberg regularly advises on CFIUS matters and, working alongside colleagues in Europe and Beijing, is advising the Smiths Group on its proposed acquisition of the Morpho Detection business of Safran.

Drawing on practitioners from within the firm’s international and white-collar litigation departments, Miller & Chevalier Chartered excels at handling complex sanctions and FCPA matters, where it ‘combines a sophisticated knowledge of the law with pragmatism and good working relationships with the US regulators’. Team head Kathryn Cameron Atkinson concluded her work for Parker Drilling by ensuring the on-time dismissal of a three-year deferred prosecution agreement imposed on it for alleged FCPA breaches. James Tillen was also involved in this matter and is noted for his ‘consistently excellent advice to clients, particularly in the oil and gas field’. The ‘very user-friendly’ Timothy O’Toole and Matthew Reinhard have ‘a good bedside manner with international clients’. Larry Christensen provides ‘a good balance between scientific thoroughness and a practical hands-on approach’ on export control and economic sanctions matters.

Led by Greta Lichtenbaum and Theodore Kassinger, O’Melveny & Myers LLP provides ‘knowledgeable and practical’ advice on export controls and economic sanctions. The ‘smart and practical’ Lichtenbaum ‘benefits from strong contacts with the key agencies’ and helped conduct an internal investigation for a Chinese energy services company looking into potential violations of Iranian sanctions. Kassinger is also noted for his CFIUS expertise and alongside Thomas Donilon advised US biotech company Cytovance Biologics on its acquisition by Chinese-owned Hepalink.

At Stewart and Stewart, Terence Stewart is ‘well known in the industry’ as a result of his vigorous advocacy on behalf of US companies as petitioners in trade remedy cases and his expertise in trade policy matters. Stewart is also well versed in China-related matters, as is Elizabeth Drake, who is noted across a broad array of international trade policy and litigation, including WTO disputes.

Drawing from practitioners in the firm’s top-notch white-collar and financial services regulatory groups, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s multi-disciplinary international trade group excels at providing economic sanctions, AML and FCPA advice to the firm’s impressive roster of domestic and international financial institutions. As well as advising on compliance issues, the team, which includes seven former federal and state prosecutors, is an excellent choice in global investigations and has been involved in most of the significant OFAC settlements for banks in recent years. Outside of the financial services sector, New York-based Nicolas Bourtin and Karen Patton Seymour represent a major European energy company in three high-profile FCPA investigations related to its oil and gas businesses in North Africa. Led by the ‘excellent’ Eric Kadel from Washington DC, the team is also regularly called upon to provide regulatory transactional support, including CFIUS advice, to clients engaged in M&A mandates in sensitive industries, such as semiconductors.

Leveraging the firm’s extensive array of private equity sponsor clients, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s team is undoubtedly best known for the ‘thoughtful and responsive’ advice it provides on CFIUS clearance work. ‘Experienced and client - focused’ team head Theodore Posner has ‘not only a knowledge of the relevant law and policy, but also a close working relationship with the CFIUS agencies’ and works with clients to ‘understand the long-term and short-term ramifications of every business decision’. Possner recently represented Opera Software in a CFIUS review pertaining to a take private acquisition of its browser business by a consortium of Chinese companies.


Leading trial lawyers

Leading trial lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Leading trial lawyers clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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David Boies - Boies Schiller Flexner LLP David Boies’ enviable track record warrants his reputation as the go-to attorney for seemingly unwinnable cases at trial as well as appellate level. The New York-based lawyer acts for companies across a broad range of sectors, including antitrust, banking, cybersecurity, technology and white-collar crime. Sony, Apple, HSBC and NASCAR are some of his representative clients. Boies is defending Maurice Greenberg against claims of orchestrating a fraudulent accounting scheme allegedly committed during his time as a chairman of American International Group.

John Keker - Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP San Francisco-based John Keker is one of the top trial lawyers in the country, practicing in the areas of general commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense and intellectual property. Keker was lead counsel to Fannie Mae’s former CEO Daniel Mudd in a financial crisis-related case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleging the defendant approved misleading statements to investors about holdings of mortgage securities. In another highlight, following a three-week bench trial, Keker secured the largest plaintiff verdict in California in 2015 (by dollar value) for the San Diego County Water Authority in its $188m inflated and illegal water transportations rates claim against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Daniel Petrocelli - O’Melveny & Myers LLP The ‘thorough, knowledgeable and practical’ Daniel Petrocelli is ‘one of the best litigators around’ and achieves ‘outstanding quality and results’. Based in Los Angeles, he earned his star reputation acting for the Goldman family in the civil litigation against OJ Simpson and has a solid track record representing Hollywood studios, professional athletes, celebrities and financial institutions in major litigation. He is representing Kesha in an ongoing dispute with her producer Lukasz Gottwald and handles Fox’s claims alleging an unlawful campaign to target and raid its executives by Netflix. The broad geographical scope of Petrocelli’s practice is reflected by his representation of Tesla Motors in licensing proceedings nationwide. Active on cases drawing public attention, Petrocelli served as trial counsel to Donald Trump and Trump University in two class action lawsuits.

Dan Webb - Winston & Strawn LLP Dan Webb has served as first chair in over 100 trials, advising clients in the areas of commercial litigation and white-collar crime. Webb was part of the chief trial defense team in Federal Trade Commission v Advocate Health Care Network, arising from allegations that the proposed merger of NorthShore University with Advocate Health Care would unlawfully restrain competition in the acute care inpatient services in the Chicago metropolitan area. Webb, based in Chicago, also acted for Brunswick Corporation in a challenge to a $25m settlement in a post-trial fraud dispute with Brunswick’s trial opponents and their counsel.

Theodore Wells - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Theodore Wells co-chairs the litigation and white-collar and regulatory defense departments from New York. Highlights included advising key firm client the National Football League (NFL) on an internal investigation into alleged tampering of game-day balls used by the New England Patriots and representing the same client in lawsuits brought by over 5,000 former NFL players - including an MDL - arising from the alleged long-term effects of concussions sustained during their professional football careers.

Beth Wilkinson - Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz Renowned trial lawyer Beth Wilkinson is based in Washington DC and has a reputation across multiple industries, including sports, life sciences and media. She served as a lead trial counsel to the NFL in a putative antitrust class action arising from the broadcast arrangement for the Sunday Ticket Package and to Georgia-Pacific in a multibillion-dollar antitrust class action. Other highlights included representing Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff in civil litigation arising from the use of private email during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State and acting for FedEx Ground in a lawsuit brought by the state and city of New York alleging illegal shipment of untaxed cigarettes.

Evan Chesler - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP New York-based Evan Chesler’s sector expertise ranges from life sciences to sports. He has a stellar track record in appellate courts and represented Mylan Laboratories in antitrust litigation pertaining to reversed payment agreements between Cephalon and generic drug manufacturers; he also defended Novartis in two qui tam actions alleging violations of the False Claim Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute. Chesler’s activity in the securities area is reflected in his representation of Merck & Co alongside its current and former officers and directors in individual and class action securities cases pertaining to the development and sale of a prescription pain medication withdrawn from the market in 2004.

Robin Gibbs - Gibbs & Bruns LLPAll-around excellent trial lawyer’ Robin Gibbs represents both plaintiffs and defendants. The Houston-based lawyer is acting for plaintiff Sanchez Oil & Gas and two related public companies against three former employees and Terra Energy Partners, claiming alleged trade secret and confidential data misappropriation; the trial is scheduled for March 2017. Other highlights included assisting Enterprise with delay, defect and project mismanagement claims against Amec Foster Wheeler arising from the construction of a large petrochemical refinery in Mont Belvieu, Texas. Houston-based Gibbs is also defending a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan against the attempt to frustrate a coal delivery contract by Drummond Coal Sales.

Randy Mastro - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP Randy Mastro is a go-to name for commercial litigation and operates from the firm’s New York office. In a widely publicized highlight, he acted for a coalition of food container manufacturers and small business owners in a case seeking to reverse New York City’s ban on polystyrene foam foodservice articles. Mastro represented Lavastone in bringing claims against Coventry and the Buerger family alleging fraud and other crimes in the sale of life insurance policies. He also defended Vale in a federal securities class action alleging public misstatements and omissions in the aftermath of the environmental disaster following the collapse of the Fundão Dam.

James Quinn - Berg & Androphy New York’s James Quinn moved from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to his new firm in January 2017. Work conducted at his previous firm includes securing the dismissal with prejudice of a putative nationwide class action for CBS Broadcasting brought against several college athletic conferences, networks and licensors pertaining to the broadcasting of college sports games. The suit, filed by current and former student athletes, alleged violations of the Tennessee right of publicity statute, the Sherman Act and the Lanham Act. Quinn also successfully defended Vivendi in a $57m securities fraud class action and secured summary judgment in a related claim filed by a company shareholder.

John Quinn - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP John Quinn’s track record has earned him multiple accolades and the distinction of being among the country’s toughest trial lawyers. Los Angeles-based Quinn is defending the University of Southern California in a dispute brought by the University of California, San Diego, following the move of an employee from the plaintiff to the USC; claims include misappropriation of confidential research information pertaining to the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study.

David Beck - Beck Redden Texas-based David Beck is a seasoned trial lawyer with 50 years of practice under his belt. His areas of expertise include insurance coverage disputes, product liability class actions and general commercial litigation, particularly within the energy sector.

Richard Clary - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP New York-based Richard Clary’s expertise includes acting for large financial institutions in complex litigation across the country. Clary is defending Credit Suisse against allegations of civil conspiracy through assisting monetary transactions for certain Iranian commercial banks that were allegedly used by Iran to fund terrorist groups attacking US forces in Iraq; the suit is brought by veterans of war in Iraq and their estates. He is also defending the client in proceedings filed by Lehman Brothers Special Financing for the recovery of payments allegedly received by Credit Suisse from sponsored investments in synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).

Sandra Goldstein - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP A strong choice for securities, M&A and commercial litigation, Sandra Goldstein secured dismissal of consolidated putative class actions against Mylan Pharmaceuticals brought by its shareholders alleging breach of fiduciary and contractual duty following the company’s acquisition of Abbott Laboratories. Goldstein, based in New York, also assisted Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and its directors with the dismissal of a derivative suit brought by its shareholders alleging breach of fiduciary duty and other wrongdoing pertaining to the $13.3bn merger with Marriott International.

Marc Kasowitz - Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP Mark Kasowitz’s areas of expertise include banking and securities disputes. Kasowitz, based in New York, is defending affiliates of AMC Networks Entertainment in a $200m-plus action brought by Frank Darabont and Creative Artists Agency for alleged unpaid contingent compensation concerning The Walking Dead television series. He also represented ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation in claims against Goldman Sachs of fraud and unjust enrichment pertaining to a synthetic CDO; the case settled.

Abbe Lowell - Chadbourne & Parke LLP Abbe Lowell is a renowned white-collar defense and trial lawyer, who splits his time between Washington DC and New York. Key work examples included defending international companies as well as public officials, lobbyists and international organizations against allegations of conspiracy, financial fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations and money laundering. Goldman Sachs and Intuit are examples of past clients.

Gary Naftalis - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP Pre-eminent New York trial lawyer Gary Naftalis has a client base that includes investment banks and brokerage firms as well as CEOs and media companies. Naftalis represented Al-Rushaid Parker Drilling and its affiliates in a claim filed against vendors alleging bribery of the plaintiffs’ former employees. In another highlight, Naftalis also successfully represented Congregation Jeshuat Israel in a dispute with a New York City congregation over the ownership of Touro Synagogue.

Kathy Patrick - Gibbs & Bruns LLP Although Kathy Patrick’s main strength is in securities law, she also tries cases of legal malpractice and credit recovery. She secured court approval for a $4.5bn settlement for 21 institutional investors in a case involving mortgage repurchase claims filed by the trustees of 330 RMBS trusts. Houston-based Patrick’s clients also included PIMCO, Ambac Assurance and the State of Arizona.

William Price - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP A specialist in defending ‘bet-the-company’ cases, Los Angeles-based William Price is co-chair of the firm’s national trial practice. In 2015, Price secured a favorable sentence for Joseph Sigelman, the co-founder of Colombian oil company PetroTiger, rebutting allegations of bribery, money laundering and fraud. He also defended Micron Technology in antitrust proceedings pertaining to random access memory chips; the $4bn claims for compensatory damages, filed by Rambus, included violations of the Cartwright Act.

Diane Sullivan - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP New York-based Diane Sullivan achieved a complete defense jury verdict for Philip Morris USA in a class action arising from a multimillion-dollar ‘medical monitoring’ claim. Sullivan is acting for Repsol in a counterclaim against OxyChem for the recovery of $65m in clean-up costs following a dispute between the oil and gas companies and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection arising from pollution of the Passaic River. Also in the energy sector, Sullivan represented ExxonMobil in several disputes arising from the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline. Antitrust highlights included acting for Toyobo in a series of investigations and litigation pertaining to the use of Zylon fiber in bullet-resistant vests used by law enforcement agencies worldwide, and representing Staples in an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into its $6.3bn acquisition of Office Depot.

Robert Van Nest - Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP Robert Van Nest, based in San Francisco, is a seasoned advocate with numerous high-stakes trials for clients such as Intel, Google and Broadcom under his belt. His track record includes cases ranging from patent infringement to securities fraud and antitrust proceedings. Oracle America v Google is one of Van Nest’s landmark trial appearances.

Elkan Abramowitz - Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. White-collar crime expert Elkan Abramowitz is renowned for acting for high-profile executives in investigations. The New York-based attorney defended former Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis in a prosecutorial probe into allegations of wrongdoing and misrepresentation of the firm’s financial situation, including a scheme to defraud and conspiracy, and acted for the Executive Chamber of the Office of the Governor of the State of New York in relation to the inquiry into the shutdown of the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption. Another highlight included representing Kenneth Lipper in a claim of accounting malpractice against PwC; the jury award exceeded $6m in damages.

Philip Beck - Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP Philip Beck’s impressive CV includes representing George Bush in Bush v Gore and the United States in United States v Microsoft. Chicago-based Beck also acted as lead counsel to PwC in a dispute with shareholders of Freddie Mac, defending the client against allegations of assisting the Treasury Department and the Fair Housing Finance Agency to divert profits from the plaintiff to the Treasury during the housing crisis.

Barry Berke - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP Co-chair of the firm’s litigation department, New York-based Barry Berke acts for corporate clients in class actions and in all matters related to white-collar crime, including investigations and trials. Berke defended Al Haymon against a $100m antitrust claim brought by Top Rank alleging an attempt to monopolize US boxing management and marketing.

Jay Cohen - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Jay Cohen in New York is a reputable name among media and creative clients. Recent highlights include securing the dismissal of an FCC administrative action alleging unlawful discrimination brought by Liberman Broadcasting against client Comcast, and defending Harlequin Enterprises in a royalty class action brought by authors of romance novels claiming unfair compensation for the digitalization of their works written between 1990 and 2004. Another client is Time Warner Cable, which Cohen defended in an action brought by the company’s shareholders involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duties by the directors in relation to the merger of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications.

Arturo González - Morrison & Foerster LLP Arturo González in San Francisco successfully defended Los Angeles World Airports in a five-week trial arising from the supply contract for fire trucks. He also defended VMware in a $100m dispute filed by Phoenix Technologies claiming licensing and copyright breaches. As a lead trial counsel to Monster Energy, González defended against allegations of failure to disclose adverse effects of consuming the company’s beverages; the matter is set for trial in April 2017.

Susan Harriman - Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP San Francisco-based Susan Harriman’s past successes include defending Western Athletic Clubs in a class action suit alleging age discrimination. Harriman also defended Electronic Arts against claims for unpaid royalties filed by Robin Antonick, the programmer of John Madden Football video game. Her general commercial litigation practice also extends to real estate and wrongful termination cases.

Bill Isaacson - Boies Schiller Flexner LLP New York’s Bill Isaacson represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex antitrust litigation. In 2015, he secured a $50m verdict for Oracle in a copyright infringement and state law violation case. Another historical win was in O’Bannon v NCAA in 2014, in which he represented college athletes.

Brad Karp - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Brad Karp in New York is renowned for his expertise in sports law and special investigations. Karp defended the NFL against lawsuits filed by over 5,000 former NFL players alleging concussions sustained during their professional careers had long-term effects. He acted for the defendant in Ross v AXA Life Insurance, a putative class action brought by policyholders claiming a private right of action for ‘persons aggrieved’ by an insurer’s misrepresentation of its financial condition.

Stephen Neal - Cooley LLP Stephen Neal secured a favorable outcome for Pure Storage in a case filed by EMC alleging patent infringement, confidential data misappropriation and conspiracy to poach customers and employees. He defended Qualcomm against a $500m patent infringement claim filed by ParkerVision in the electromagnetic signal conversion sector. In another highlight, Palo Alto-based Neal acted for Sony and its subsidiaries in multidistrict litigation, including two class actions and several direct actions and allegations of a conspiracy to fix lithium-ion battery prices with other manufacturers in breach of section 1 of the Sherman Act.


M&A: litigation: defense

Index of tables

  1. M&A: litigation: defense
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which M&A: litigation: defense clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP provides ‘top-quality service with immediate responses and advice that is always spot on; the firm quickly finds creative and commercial resolutions’. Sandra Goldstein is ‘at the very top of the list of M&A litigators - few, if any, can match her tenacity and skillful advocacy’. She helped 3G Capital and HJ Heinz achieve settlement of a derivative action filed in Virginia state and federal courts and Illinois federal court arising from Heinz’s $60bn merger with Kraft Foods. Gary Bornstein’s highlights included the dismissal of a class action against his client AGL Resources regarding its $12bn acquisition by The Southern Company. Respected practitioner Robert Baron represented Grupo Villar Mir in settling a class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty in its merger with Globe Specialty Metals. The firm’s precedent-setting work included securing a dismissal for First Citizens BancShares that enables Delaware corporations to adopt foreign forum selection bylaws. Kevin Orsini is highly recommended. The firm counts IBM Corporation and British American Tobacco among its clients.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has ‘an excellent litigation practice with extremely knowledgeable lawyers giving excellent advice’. Yosef Riemer has ‘an outstanding practice and is at the top of the game for private equity litigation, having led some pivotal cases’. He achieved a major victory for Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital’s portfolio company BMC Software in a case relating to its $6.9bn take-private transaction by securing a favorable opinion in the largest Delaware statutory appraisal action ever to reach a post-trial decision. Riemer and Matthew Solum defended former directors of Clearwire Corporation in a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit challenging its $14bn acquisition by Sprint. Solum and Jay Lefkowitz acted for Epiq Systems in litigation and a proxy contest. Los Angeles-based Mark Holscher, who had a key role in defending Pershing Square Capital Management in cases arising from its hostile takeover bid for Allergan, is also recommended. All named attorneys are based in New York except where otherwise stated.

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘at the top of the market’, according to clients, and provides ‘a great service in a timely, professional and effective way’. Peter Wald in San Francisco and Orange County-based Michele Johnson scored a major victory for Allergan in matters arising from a hostile takeover bid by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and continue to represent the company in a related class action against Valeant and Pershing Square Capital Management. Johnson and Los Angeles-based Brian Glennon achieved a favorable settlement in their defense of Avago Technologies in challenges in state and federal court to its $37bn acquisition of Broadcom. In New York, Blair Connelly and ‘elder statesman of the M&A barJames Brandt achieved the dismissal of all post-closing claims of breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting for Books-A-Million in a class action in Delaware that challenged its take-private transaction. Jeff Hammel’s highlights included defending JPMorgan Securities in a case arising from the $54bn merger of pharmaceutical companies AbbVie and Shire. Colleen Smith in San Diego is also recommended.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s team is ‘extremely talented in Delaware business law’ and its New York team has real strength in depth. Its stars include Peter Kazanoff, who defended Microsoft in cases arising from its $26bn acquisition of LinkedIn and represented Tyco in a challenge to its multibillion merger with Johnson Controls; Joseph McLaughlin, who secured the voluntary dismissal of a putative breach of fiduciary duty class action against the board of Halcón Resources Corp; and Paul Gluckow, who acted for ADT Corporation in four actions related to its acquisition of Apollo Global Management, all of which were voluntarily dismissed. Litigation co-chair Jonathan Youngwood and rising star Craig Waldman (who is ‘a real leader in his field’) acted for Blackstone Group in purported class actions challenging its $8bn acquisition of BioMed Realty Trust. James Kreissman in Palo Alto led a team that defended Silver Lake Partners in 26 class actions arising from its $24.8bn acquisition of Dell and its $67bn acquisition of EMC.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is ‘one of the firms that wrote the book on M&A and, as a result, has a prominent role in the litigation space’. Edward Welch leads the firm’s Wilmington office, where the team focuses not only on matters at the Delaware Court of Chancery but in federal and state courts across the US. Welch’s highlights included acting for CME Group in matters concerning its proposed $580m takeover of GFI Group. Edward Micheletti led a team that won two high-profile cases in Delaware for American Apparel, winning injunctive relief against CEO Dov Charney in one of them. He also defended independent directors of Viacom in breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by stockholders in class actions and derivative complaints. Another leading light is Robert Saunders, who represented directors of Rite Aid Corporation in stockholder litigation concerning its $17.2bn acquisition of Walgreens Boots Alliance and acted for Sprint Communications and Clearwire in fiduciary duty and appraisal lawsuits.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s litigation and transactional teams have become one of the dominant forces in the M&A market. John Hardiman, who won a $1.5bn victory for a European telecoms company in a multi-jurisdictional ICC arbitration concerning an international acquisition, and Brian Frawley are leading lights in New York. Frawley’s highlights included representing Columbia Pipeline Group in a challenge to its $13bn acquisition by TransCanada, in which he defeated a request to expedite litigation. Robert Sacks in Los Angeles, who has built a strong reputation in appraisal litigation, achieved a favorable settlement for ACE Ltd in a consolidated class action arising from the $28bn acquisition through merger with Chubb Corporation. Frawley and Sacks represented Valeant Pharmaceuticals in a securities class action filed in California that alleged the company provided inside information to Pershing Square Capital Management about its $55bn attempted takeover of Allergan. The firm’s client list includes AT&T, Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Everbank.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is ‘the crème de la crème, undoubtedly at the top of the market, a fantastic M&A shop and absolutely a first-tier player’. Having set the doctrinal framework for M&A litigation over the years, the firm continues its run of success in high-stakes matters. William Savitt, who is ‘one of the best M&A litigators around’ and has a long track record of victories in the Delaware Court of Chancery, defended Lexmark International and its board in a challenge to its $3.6bn acquisition by a consortium of investors led by Apex Technology. The team successfully argued that the case should be moved from Kentucky state court to Delaware due to forum selection bylaws and the case was dismissed. Savitt, who co-leads the practice with Jonathan Moses, represented all defendants in An Nguyen v Michael G Barrett, et al, which challenged disclosures issued by Millennial Media in connection with its 2015 acquisition by AOL. The court dismissed all claims. Rising star Ryan McLeod is now a partner.

At Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, ‘the work is always of high quality and the team has an unmatched wealth of experience’. John Neuwirth and Joseph Allerhand in New York are ‘brilliant, the best in the business; tough yet smart’. Neuwirth led the defense of Fidelity National Financial in an appraisal case arising from a $2.9bn merger that included the acquisition of Lender Processing Services. After a four-day trial in Delaware, the court confirmed the deal price as fair value. Allerhand defended Kinder Morgan in shareholder litigation challenging its $70bn corporate consolidation, in which the Delaware Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of all claims. He also won a significant decision for Signet Jewelers when the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Court of Chancery’s dismissal of Singh v Attenborough, which challenged the company’s $690m acquisition of Zale Corporation. Jonathan Polkes won a major appellate victory for Lehman Brothers Holdings in a case that raised objections to its $16bn sale of Archstone Enterprise.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York has a standout litigator in Meredith Kotler, whose highlights included representing industrial gas producer Air Liquide in matters relating to its $13.4bn acquisition of US distributor Airgas. Kotler also acted as counsel to Goldman Sachs in litigation relating to its role as financial adviser to medical device maker Volcano Corporation, which was sold to Koninklijke Philips for $1.2bn. With Lawrence Friedman, she advised Google on a challenge to its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The firm also handled litigation for Danfoss, Kindred Healthcare and EVOQ Properties. Mitchell Lowenthal and Roger Cooper are also recommended.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLPshould certainly be considered one of the top firms in this space’ and has a go-to practice for high-stakes litigation. Neal Potischman in Menlo Park is a key figure and his highlights included representing JPMorgan in litigation and appraisal petitions resulting from the $24bn acquisition of Dell by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management. He also acted for Micrel and several of its directors in matters related to its $830m sale to Microchip Technology, and represented Affymetrix in shareholder litigation concerning its proposed acquisition by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Lawrence Portnoy in New York advised NBCUniversal on its $3.8bn acquisition of Dreamworks Animation and potential litigation related to the deal. Newly promoted Andrew Ditchfield is also recommended.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is ‘well versed in Delaware law and in M&A litigation in its broadest sense’, says a client who notes that ‘its past experience in bet-the-company litigation is compelling’. In San Francisco, Brian Lutz, who scored a major victory for pharmaceutical company DepoMed by fending off a $3bn hostile takeover bid from Horizon Pharma, and department co-head Thad Davis are key figures. In Orange County, Meryl Young, who advised Newport Corporation on a matter arising from its $980m acquisition by MKS Instruments, is recommended. Jonathan Dickey, who advised VMWare on a shareholder class action challenging its parent company’s acquisition by Dell, and Paul Collins are the stars in Palo Alto. The New York team includes Adam Offenhartz, who secured a motion to dismiss for Towers Watson to enable its $18bn merger with Willis Group Holdings, and Robert Serio.

Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP is ‘certainly one of the two leading Delaware firms and has a rich history in the Court of Chancery - it knows the legal issues at stake and can work through the most complex problems’. Megan Ward Cascio and Kevin Coen lead the practice group, and William Lafferty is hailed as ‘a go-to lawyer for matters in Delaware’. Kenneth Nachbar is another leading light and, with Cascio, he advised TradingScreen and a special committee of directors on litigation brought by a preferred stockholder regarding redemption rights. S Mark Hurd represented Capital One Finance Corporation in defending claims that directors breached their fiduciary duty of oversight in Reiter v Fairbank, et al. In Johnson v Driscoll, R Judson Scaggs successfully opposed expedition of all claims against Diamond Foods in a stockholder class action challenging its acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance Inc. Jon Abramczyk is also recommended.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLPhas very talented people in its Delaware office’ and is ‘always at the top of the M&A litigation arena, a worthy adversary that regularly produces top-quality legal work’. Stephen Lamb in Wilmington, who served as vice chancellor in the Delaware Court of Chancery before joining the firm in 2009, and New York-based Daniel Kramer secured the dismissal of a breach of fiduciary duty claim for ADT Corporation. Also in New York are Richard Rosen, who acted for Apollo Global Management in a case regarding its $1.14bn going-private deal; Jay Cohen, who represented Time Warner Cable in a breach of fiduciary action concerning negotiations for its merger with Charter Communications; and Lewis Clayton, who is ‘a consummate leader of bet-the-company cases’ and advised CORE Media Group on an appraisal case in which the going-private deal price was confirmed as fair value. Clients also recommend ‘young, hardworking partner’ Geoff Chepiga.

Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. is ‘best of breed among the Delaware firms’. In In re Appraisal of PetSmart, Inc, which is one of the largest appraisal matters in Delaware history, Gregory Williams led a team that successfully argued that financial advisers and PR firms do not automatically prevent privileged communications and against the waiver of PetSmart’s attorney-client privilege as a result of third-party actions. Williams, Catherine Dearlove and John Hendershot represented Dell in litigation brought by shareholders of VMware challenging Dell’s acquisition of EMC. For JPMorgan Chase, they also secured the dismissal of derivative actions following breach of fiduciary duty claims. In Gore v Al Jazeera America Holdings I, Inc, Gregory Varallo (who is ‘a lawyer you really want in the foxhole with you, incredibly smart and experienced’) and Rudolf Koch represented former vice president Al Gore and selling shareholders in litigation over a $65m escrow fund in a $500m deal. Blake Rohrbacher is also recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is ‘very responsive and has high subject matter expertise along with real-world, practical experience’, including in recent high-profile matters. For Merrill Lynch, the firm secured a victory in an aiding and abetting case arising from Signet’s acquisition of Zale Corporation; New York’s Alan Goudiss and Paula Anderson led a team that achieved dismissal based on the shareholder vote. Goudiss is also representing Merrill Lynch in a class action related to the merger of Hutchison Technology and TDK Corporation. Highly respected litigator and global head of litigation Adam Hakki and Jaculin Aaron are representing former CEO of Providence Service Corporation in a Delaware derivative and class litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty in financing transactions intended to consummate a pending acquisition. John Cove joined in San Francisco from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.

Sidley Austin LLP has ‘a breadth and depth in litigation across the country that few can match’. New York-based Andrew Stern and Steven Bierman represented directors and officers of Duke Energy in seven derivative actions in Delaware and North Carolina that alleged breach of fiduciary duty in the replacement of announced post-merger CEO William Johnson. Stern also played a key role in the successful defense of directors of Kenneth Cole Productions in a breach of fiduciary duty class action resulting from the company’s going-private deal. In Chicago, Jim Ducayet and Kristen Seeger are acting for Walgreens in cases related to the company’s acceleration of its merger with Boots Alliance. For Keurig Green Mountain, Ducayet and rising star Nilofer Umar are handling stockholder cases that challenge its $14bn acquisition by a private equity-led group of investors. Walter Carlson is ‘a class action lawyer to be reckoned with but has a great bedside manner’.

Dechert LLP is ‘strong in Delaware law and federal securities law’. Linda Goldstein and Chicago-based David Kistenbroker provide ‘good strategic judgment and a pragmatic approach’. New York-based Goldstein and Matthew Larrabee secured victories for Alberstons LLC, Cerberus Capital Management and Safeway, Inc in merger consent proceedings and an appraisal action following Safeway’s $9.4bn merger with Albertsons. Washington DC-based Joshua Hess and Neil Steiner in New York defeated an attempt to enjoin a shareholder vote on the merger between their client VTB Holdings and Parametric Sound. Joni Jacobsen in Chicago is also recommended.

At Goodwin, Stephen Poss in Boston is acting as Massachusetts counsel for Dell Inc in shareholder litigation brought by EMC stockholders in connection with the $67bn merger between the two companies. Boston-based Deborah Birnbach and Michael Jones in Menlo Park are awaiting court approval of a settlement for Onyx Pharmaceuticals in a class action in California and Delaware that challenged its $10.4bn merger with Amgen.

Paul Hastings LLP continues to build its track record in M&A litigation with significant victories for both plaintiffs and defendants. In New York, Douglas Flaum obtained the dismissal of a nine-count civil complaint against Barclays Bank brought by a plaintiff that failed to acquire a fiber optic telecoms company and sought damages of $1.25bn. Kevin Logue’s highlights included securing the dismissal of a class action brought by unitholders of a master limited partnership (MLP). Peter Stone in Palo Alto represented Dole Foods chairman and CEO David Murdock in putative class actions in Delaware and California challenging his $1.6bn take-private transaction, successfully defeating the Delaware motion to expedite proceedings. William Sullivan in Los Angeles and Samuel Cooper in Houston are also recommended.

Reed Smith LLP is known for ‘high quality and a practical approach’. Clients single out Roy Arnold in Pittsburgh for praise. His highlights included representing a special committee of Caesars Entertainment Corporation in fiduciary duty claims relating to its $2.2bn sale of four casinos. He stands out for his work with financial services clients and with Daniel Booker he represented PNC Financial Services in consolidated derivative lawsuits alleging failure of oversight following the acquisition of National City Corporation. He also represented National Penn Bancshares and its board in three shareholder cases seeking to enjoin the company’s proposed $1.89bn sale to BB&T Corporation. The firm’s strong presence in the life sciences and energy sectors saw it represent Mylan in a challenge to its efforts to prevent a $27bn hostile takeover by Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Ropes & Gray LLP has ‘a leading practice for banks in aiding and abetting litigation’ but its practice also has a broader focus. David Hennes in New York is lead counsel to Deutsche Bank Securities in In re PLX Technology Shareholders Litigation, in which plaintiffs allege aiding and abetting of breach of fiduciary duty in the approval of the sale of PLX Technology. Hennes and Boston-based John Donovan acted for Shire US in a case alleging breach of merger agreement brought by stockholders of SARcode Bioscience following its 2013 acquisition by Shire. In Boston, clients praise Christopher Green, whose clients include Silver Lake Partners, and Peter Welsh, who acted in a multibillion-dollar appraisal case for a life sciences company.

Delaware firm Ross Aronstam & Moritz LLP is ‘very sophisticated, really lean and mean’ and has ‘a strong bench that partners with the best of the best’. The firm teamed up with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP to successfully represent Lender Processing Services in an appraisal case arising from its $4.2bn acquisition by Fidelity National Financial, in which the plaintiff received none of the $90m consideration it sought. Bradley Aronstam, Garrett Moritz and the ‘fantastic’ David Ross are highly recommended. The firm represented Tesla Motors in litigation arising from its $2.6bn merger with SolarCity Corp.

New York-based Tariq Mundiya, chair of the litigation department at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, helped demonstrate the firm’s strong presence in the M&A litigation space with his representation of Kenneth Cole in a case brought by minority shareholders challenging his going-private transaction for Kenneth Cole Productions. The $100m action was dismissed by the New York Court of Appeals. He also achieved a settlement for software company Kony Inc in a minority shareholder action in Texas and Delaware. Todd Cosenza, who defended Morgan Stanley in a breach of fiduciary duty action relating to Mitel Networks’ $560m acquisition of Mavenir Systems, is also recommended.

Out of Houston, Baker Botts L.L.P.’s litigation chair David Sterling and Danny David (who ‘knows how to frame a persuasive argument and is in total command of the facts and the process’) represented the audit and conflicts committee of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and the special committee of Kinder Morgan Management in a lawsuit opposing their $70bn merger. Seth Taube in New York chairs the securities and shareholder litigation practice group and Jonathan Shapiro is spearheading securities litigation in the firm’s new San Francisco office.

King & Spalding LLP has a dominant position in shareholder litigation in the Southern United States and its Atlanta office has prominent partners in the form of Michael Smith, Warren Pope and Robert Thornton. Pope’s highlights included In re Books-A-Million, Inc Stockholders Litigation, in which he represented independent directors in a class action arising from the company’s going-private transaction. Pope and Smith represented AGL Resources in a class action challenging its $12bn acquisition by the Southern Company.

Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP is ‘really closing the gap on the leading Delaware firms’, according to one partner at a national defense firm. It acted as counsel to RBC Capital Markets in a case in Delaware Supreme Court where the Rural Metro decision set the legal standard for determining whether corporate directors breached fiduciary duty in evaluating and approving a merger. The firm’s standout attorneys include Donald Wolfe Jr, Peter Walsh, Myron Steele, Michael Pittenger and Kevin Shannon, who is ‘a first port of call’ for national firms needing Delaware counsel.

Vinson & Elkins LLP is a major player in energy sector M&A and litigation. Dallas-based partners John Wander and Michael Holmes served as lead trial counsel to Energy Transfer Equity in expedited litigation in Delaware in which proposed merger partner The Williams Companies alleged breaches of the parties’ merger agreement. Holmes and newly promoted Craig Zieminski advised C&J Energy Services and its board on litigation arising from its stock-for-stock merger with Nabors. The case was dismissed by a Delaware judge who awarded C&J over $500,000 in damages.

The Wilmington office of Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP is ‘excellent and its team does a lot of high caliber work’. The firm is a popular pick for national firms seeking local counsel in Delaware. Rolin Bissell, Bruce Silverstein and veteran David McBride, who is best known for activist investor cases, are among the firm’s standout partners.


M&A litigation: plaintiff

Index of tables

  1. M&A litigation: plaintiff
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Kimberley Evans - Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.

Who Represents Who

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New York-based plaintiff firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP is ‘top tier, providing superlative scholarship and advocacy’, according to clients, and ‘the best in the country’, according to opposing counsel. Its broad practice covers class actions, antitrust, securities fraud and corporate governance issues, but M&A-related litigation is one of the firm’s most prominent practice areas. Its long track record in high-profile M&A and derivative matters continued last year with remarkable results in matters such as In Re Vaalco Energy, Inc Consolidated Stockholder Litigation, in which incumbent directors faced a proxy fight with a large investor seeking to change the board. Mark Lebovitch and Jeroen van Kwawegen obtained a summary judgment in favor of the board members and, as a result, around 150 companies were forced to change their corporate bylaws and charters. Lebovitch and van Kwawegen also represented stockholders in a challenge to Grupo Villar Mir’s acquisition of Globe Specialty Metals, which was billed as a stock-for-stock merger, and secured $32.5m for its clients. Also recommended is David Wales, who worked with Lebovitch on In re GFI Group Inc Stockholder Litigation to secure a higher selling price for the vendor.

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. is one of the leading firms for asset recovery and complex financial litigation and, over the last ten years, has recovered in excess of $28bn for its clients. The Wilmington office has a strong team led by Stuart Grant, who is ‘certainly among the best’ and has been active in many high-profile appraisal cases, including In re Appraisal of Dell, Inc, where the firm is sole legal counsel to shareholders seeking an appraisal of the fair value of shares following the $24.6bn management-led leveraged buyout by chairman and CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Management. The decision in the Delaware Court of Chancery valued the shares 28% higher than the merger consideration. In 2016, Grant secured an increase in the price per share for shareholders of LSF8, which was bought by DFC Global in 2014. Grant and Nathan Cook are currently acting as lead counsel in the largest appraisal case in Delaware Chancery Court history - In re Appraisal of PetSmart, Inc - in which they are representing five investors who held a $1bn stake in the company before it was taken private in March 2013 for $83 per share. The firm has a strong bench, with director Michael Barry and senior counsels Christine Mackintosh and Kimberly Evans receiving praise from clients.

The Wilmington office of Labaton Sucharow LLPlitigates hard and will take matters all the way to trial and beyond’. Christine Azar recently retired and so Ned Weinberger is now chair of the corporate governance and shareholder rights litigation practice, which has ‘great experience in both business and law’. The firm’s highlights included securing a favorable settlement as co-lead counsel in a derivative action alleging breach of fiduciary duty against directors and officers of Sears Holding Corporation after the company sold more than 200 properties to a real estate investment trust for leaseback. Azar and Weinberger also secured a partial settlement for Haverhill Retirement System in a derivative action alleging that the chairman of The Providence Services Corporation engaged in an improper financing arrangement as part of its $400m acquisition of healthcare provider CCHN Group. The Wilmington team is also representing Cambridge Retirement System in a derivative complaint against DeCarlo et al relating to transactions involving AmTrust Financial Services. In New York, Michael Stocker and Ira Schochet also play active roles in the M&A litigation practice.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is ‘undoubtedly one of the biggest players in the market and is building on its track record in some of the biggest cases’, which currently includes a matter for investors challenging BlackBerry’s $425m acquisition of Good Technology. During the last two years, the firm has recovered $4bn for investors and shareholders across its M&A and securities litigation practices. Its San Diego office is home to outstanding lawyers in the M&A litigation space, including Randall Baron, who is a go-to lawyer for corporate takeover and breach of fiduciary duty actions, and Rick Atwood, who is building a reputation on matters such as the Dole Food case, in which he helped recover $148m for shareholders. David Knotts was involved in some of the largest post-merger class action settlements confirmed in 2016, including a $40m settlement for shareholders of Websense following its acquisition by Vista and a $30m settlement in In re Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc Shareholder Litigation.

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP is known for class action litigation and its track record includes a $148m award for shareholders in Dole Food Company after the company was taken private by its chairman. The firm recently represented Erie County Employees’ Retirement System in an expedited merger litigation that alleged that American Italian Pasta Company’s top-up option to purchase additional shares in a merger agreement violated Delaware law and threatened the right to seek post-closing appraisal. Marc Topaz in Pennsylvania is the firm’s leading light.

Robbins Arroyo LLP is a San Diego firm with a strong reputation in shareholder derivative litigation and class actions relating to mergers and acquisitions. The firm recently filed a class action against Outerwall Inc on behalf of shareholders that alleges the board of directors made a materially false and misleading Representation Statement that affected shareholders’ ability to make an informed decision about approving the proposed acquisition by Apollo Global Management. Another recently filed case alleges that the board of United Online Inc issued a misleading Proxy Statement affecting shareholders’ ability to approve its acquisition by B Riley Financial.


Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport

Index of tables

  1. Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport
  2. Leading lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Product liability, mass tort and class action: automotive/transport clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Bowman and Brooke LLP continues to defend a number of manufacturers in high-profile mass torts and class actions, often serving as lead national and trial counsel. In Detroit, Thomas Branigan has been serving as lead counsel to BMW against class action and personal injury claims in the ongoing Takata airbag multi-district litigation (MDL). Phoenix-based Thomas Klein successfully defended General Motors as co-lead trial counsel against a $10m claim brought by a plaintiff who was left quadriplegic following a rollover accident involving the 2004 GMC Savana. The department is jointly headed by Vincent Galvin in San Jose and Paul Cereghini in Phoenix; the Miami office significantly bolstered its offering with a number of lateral hires from Carlton Fields and Arnstein & Lehr LLP. Gary Davis joined Butler Snow LLP in Austin.

Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy P.C. has vast experience acting for a wide range of clients in the automotive industry. Group head James Campbell and Michelle Schaffer defended gas station operator Alliance Energy against negligence claims concerning a motor vehicle accident that occurred at a highway rest area that the defendant was contracted to maintain. Appellate specialist Katherine Wang and trial lawyer Lynne O’Brien Ingram were promoted to partner in the Berwyn office, which also houses the highly regarded William Conroy. All other named partners are based in Boston. The firm’s longstanding clients include Toyota, Ford and Allianz.

Denver-based firm Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP excels in handling class actions and product liability lawsuits. Clients recommend Peter Herzog, who defended Toyota against class certification regarding claims alleging that Tacoma pickup trucks manufactured between 2005 and 2009 were subject to rust. Bryan Cross has been representing General Motors in a wrongful death suit regarding a catastrophic accident in Colorado. Michael O’Donnell leads the practice, which also includes Malcolm Wheeler.

Highly regarded in the automotive industry, Ballard Spahr LLP has a deep bench that is experienced acting for a broad range of clients, including OEMs, component part suppliers and domestic distributers. The group often advises on regulatory and risk management issues, including cybersecurity-related matters. In New Jersey, practice head Neal Walters and Roberto Rivera-Soto have been defending Kia in a number of class actions, including the decertification of a class action concerning warranty claims. In Denver, Roger Thomasch, David Stauss and of counsel Patrick Pugh have been serving as regional counsel to Goodyear in a number of matters, including a wrongful death case in South Dakota. Other clients include Subaru and Johnson Controls.

In the class action arena, Dykema Gossett PLLC’s ‘excellent’ and ‘extremely knowledgeable’ group is noted for its strong strategic capabilities, including its expert depositions. Led by practice head Terri Reiskin and senior counsel Eric Tew in Washington DC, and John Thomas in Ann Arbor, the team obtained summary judgment for Ford before the New Jersey District Court in Coba et al v Ford Motor Co, in which the plaintiff claimed that certain diesel fuel tanks in the client’s F-series trucks and E-series vans were defective. In Los Angeles, Derek Whitefield served as lead counsel to Kia in Drake v Kia Motors Corporation, a case arising from a severe crash in which airbags did not deploy. The firm’s Detroit office was strengthened by the arrival of senior counsel Harold Pope from Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss. The wider litigation department is headed by the ‘extremely well-preparedMichael Cooney in Detroit.

The diverse practice at McGuireWoods LLP includes automotive specialist Tracy Walker in Richmond, and transport experts Brian Jackson and Bryan Brantley, who are based in Charlottesville and Pittsburgh respectively. Walker led the representation of Mazda before the Supreme Court of Virginia, obtaining the reversal of a $20m jury verdict concerning a rollover accident involving a soft top car. Walker and Samuel Tarry, who heads the wider product and consumer litigation department, continue to serve as national counsel to Ford in a number of class actions. The team was bolstered by the arrival of Lisa Taylor in Jacksonville.

In Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s San Francisco office, Frank Kelly, Grant Law and Amir Nassihi obtained a defense verdict for Ford before the Superior Court of San Mateo County following a four-week trial in a lawsuit alleging faulty vehicle modifications. Nassihi, along with Kansas City-based William Sampson and San Francisco-based Kevin Underhill, obtained dismissal for Nissan in a putative class action brought against 18 automakers. Robert Adams and Ann Songer are names to note in the firm’s Kansas City office.

Sidley Austin LLP’s department has strong experience representing OEMs and also counts Honda and Toyota among its clients. In Los Angeles, consumer class actions co-head Michael Mallow acted for Mazda in the Stedman v Mazda Motors lawsuit concerning allegations of defective dashboards. Mallow and Chicago-based Liv Kiser represented Subaru in O’Neill v Subaru of America, Inc, in which the plaintiff claimed that the halogen headlamps were defective. The group also includes Eric Mattson in Chicago and James Huizinga in Washington DC, who lead the consumer class action team alongside Mallow. The products liability practice is jointly led by Sara Gourley and Maja Eaton in Chicago and Debra Pole in Los Angeles.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s wider product liability and mass torts practice is jointly headed by Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego. In Philadelphia, William Kiniry represented Porsche in an MDL arising out of 12 putative class actions alleging defects in the plastic engine cooling tubes in the first generation of Cayenne SUVs. The group includes Philadelphia-based James Brogan, who often advises on discovery and risk management issues, and Baltimore-based trial lawyer Joel Dewey. The firm’s clients include Goodyear.

Based in Washington DC, Hogan Lovells US LLP’s department has notable experience representing OEMs in high-profile class actions. Adam Kushner and Latane Montague have been leading the team in representing Hyundai before both the DOJ and EPA regarding its settlement in relation to allegations that the automaker violated the Clean Air Act. The team includes Jessica Ellsworth, who often advises on product liability-related appellate matters and has experience acting for clients before the DC Circuit. Michael Kidney heads the practice.

King & Spalding LLP’s Atlanta-based group often represents automotive manufacturers and transportation companies in a broad range of litigation, including wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases. Dan Willoughby has been serving as national discovery counsel to Toyota in a number of matters, including unintended acceleration and product liability litigation. Randall Bassett and Susan Clare led the team in representing UPS as lead trial counsel in a high-profile wrongful death trucking case before state court in Duval County, Florida. The firm’s Washington DC office was strengthened by the arrival of former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief counsel Jacqueline Glassman.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s products and mass tort practice has deep experience serving as regional trial counsel for a wide range of clients in the automotive industry. San Antonio-based group head Steven Jansma has been representing Walmart and its subsidiary Sam’s Club in a number of product liability matters, including allegations that Sam’s Club failed to notify a customer of a Michelin tire recall while servicing its vehicle, which was later involved in a rollover accident causing life-ending injuries. Jansma has also been representing BMW in the Takata airbag MDL in Miami. Jessica Farley is recommended in Houston.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP often defends clients against class actions. In Los Angeles, Carlos Lazatin and of counsel Michael Reynolds obtained dismissal before the Central District of California of plaintiffs’ claims against client Hyundai alleging failure to inform customers of defective sunroofs in certain models. Lazatin, Reynolds and San Francisco-based Randall Edwards successfully obtained a motion to dismiss a consumer class action brought against Ford regarding defective keyless cars. The practice is jointly headed by Richard Goetz and Steve Brody in Los Angeles and Washington DC, respectively. Brian Anderson is now of counsel.

Bryan Cave LLP has strong experience acting for clients in high-stakes litigation. Bettina Strauss has been defending long-term client Enterprise Rent-A-Car in a number of matters. Robert Ebert has been representing U-Haul as lead national counsel in a number of wrongful death claims. The group is headed by Stephen Strauss. All partners are based in St Louis.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s product liability and mass tort litigation practice has experience handling class and putative class actions and personal injury lawsuits. Robert Ellis in Chicago and Robyn Bladow in Los Angeles have been representing General Motors in a class action alleging defects in the headlamp systems on 2014 and 2015 pickup trucks. In Washington DC, Stuart Drake and Andrew Clubok have been leading advice to Volkswagen in an MDL alleging the company’s violation of the Clean Air Act. Key partners include Andrew Bloomer in Chicago.

Jointly headed by Paul Zevnik in Washington DC and Brady Edwards in Houston, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP often handles class actions for automotive and transportation clients. In Los Angeles, David Schrader has been representing Toyota in a class action brought against a number of other automotive manufacturers alleging a defect in keyless cars that led to carbon monoxide poisoning. The team includes trial expert Daniel Savrin in Boston.

Reed Smith LLP is jointly headed by Robert Roth in Chicago, who leads the product liability team, and John Hooper in New York, who leads on complex litigation. In addition to product liability matters, the team often assists automotive clients with industry-related consumer fraud issues. Roth successfully defended Volvo in a putative class action brought before the Northern District of Illinois alleging misrepresentations of the mileage range of Volvo’s XC90 T8 Twin Engine hybrid SUV. Hooper served as strategic counsel to Toyota in a class action concerning defective rust protection on certain vehicles. In 2016, Tracy Ferak and Jason Whitt joined Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s Chicago office, while James Reiland joined CA Ventures as in-house counsel.

St Louis-based firm Thompson Coburn LLP handles class actions and product liability litigation for a broad range of clients. Co-head Rick Mueller has been leading the representation of Kawasaki in a number of matters regarding allegations of motorcycle defects following a post-accident recall. Co-head Carl Pesce successfully obtained dismissal for Honda of a product liability case alleging a defect in the ignition switch interlock. Co-head Kathy Wisniewski has been handling a number of class action cases brought against Fiat Chrysler in the US and Canada.


Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)

Index of tables

  1. Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco)
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Product liability, mass tort and class action: consumer products (including tobacco) clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Following its merger, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s product liability litigation department is jointly headed by Anand Agneshwar in New York and Pamela Yates in Los Angeles, while its consumer products and services group is led by Trenton Norris in San Francisco. Norris has been defending a number of coffee sellers, including 7-Eleven and Dunkin’ Donuts, in Proposition 65 litigation before the Los Angeles County Superior Court regarding the chemical acrylamide in coffee. Led by John Massaro and of counsel David Kouba in Washington DC, the group represented long-term client Philip Morris in a number of class actions alleging that the company’s ‘light’ cigarettes were misleading, including successfully obtaining a complete defense verdict in Missouri. In Washington DC, the team was strengthened by the arrival of Michelle Gillice as of counsel from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the promotion of Jennifer Karmonick to of counsel.

Headed by Joanne Gray in New York, Goodwin’s practice often acts for clients in the food and beverage industry. Gray has represented long-term client Herbalife in a number of lawsuits and is advising Mattson on regulatory and risk management issues. In San Francisco, Forrest Hainline represented The Wonderful Company (formerly Roll Global) in Lanham Act litigation brought against Coca Cola regarding the labeling and marketing of Coca Cola’s juice blend, which allegedly misled customers and caused The Wonderful Company to lose sales. New York-based Glenn Kerner is recommended.

Jones Day’s ‘extremely responsive and knowledgeable’ group has ‘always provided solid representation in consumer product class actions’ and has impressive jury trial experience. Irvine-based Darren Cottriel has been representing Procter & Gamble in a number of class actions, including a putative class action alleging violations of FDA regulations through the misbranding of certain food products. In Columbus, Matthew Kairis has been serving as lead counsel to Pennsylvania State University, Brigham Young University, University of Miami and the Trustees of Boston College in an MDL comprising 24 class action concussion cases brought by a number of former football players regarding defective helmets. The team includes New York-based Theodore Grossman, whom clients regard as one of ‘the best trial lawyers ever encountered’, and Paul Pohl in Pittsburgh. Stephanie Parker heads the practice from Atlanta.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘first-rate’ practice acts for a wide range of clients and has particular expertise in the tobacco and sports industries. In Chicago, Sean Berkowitz and Mark Mester represented the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 12 concussion-related defective equipment class actions before the Northern District of Illinois. Mester represented vitamin and nutritional supplements manufacturer Schiff in a series of nationwide class actions in California and Florida. In Boston, the team includes the well-regarded Kenneth Parsigian, who has been leading advice to Philip Morris on a number of matters alongside ‘efficient’ practice co-head Gwyn Williams. The other practice heads are Michael Romey in Los Angeles and Mary Rose Alexander and Thomas Heiden in Chicago.

The ‘knowledgeable’ group at Sidley Austin LLP has notable experience handling high-value class actions for clients in the food and beverage, sports and cosmetics industries, among others. Led by the ‘smart and very goodKara McCall in Chicago, Eamon Joyce in New York and Amy Lally in Los Angeles, the team has been defending Kimberly-Clark in a number of nationwide class actions alleging breach of warranty, consumer fraud and unjust enrichment regarding the company’s flushable wipes. In Los Angeles, Michael Mallow, who is co-head of the consumer class actions team, and Mark Campbell successfully obtained denial of class certification at the Central District of California in a case brought against sports equipment and clothing company Head alleging violations of consumer protection statutes. The other co-heads of the consumer class actions team are Washington DC-based James Huizinga and Chicago’s Eric Mattson. The wider product liability department is jointly headed by Sara Gourley and Maja Eaton in Chicago and Debra Pole in Los Angeles.

Headed by Samuel Tarry, McGuireWoods LLP’s product and consumer litigation department often serves as coordinating and trial counsel to clients in a wide range of sectors. Tracy Walker served as lead trial counsel to United Technologies subsidiary Kidde in a number of cases, recently obtaining a motion for summary judgment in a product liability lawsuit before the Southern District of New York. Led by Terrence Bagley, the team has been serving as national counsel to ConAgra in a series of nationwide consumer class actions. All partners are based in Richmond.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice has strong experience representing technology clients in class actions and other product liability litigation. In Los Angeles, Dan Marmalefsky has been defending Monster Beverage in a number of false advertising and unfair competition consumer class actions arising from alleged violations of FDA regulations on certain products. San Diego-based practice head Erin Bosman continued to represent Fitbit in a putative class action in the Northern District of California regarding claims of misrepresentation of the accuracy of Fitbit’s fitness tracker. The team also includes San Francisco-based James Schurz, who often acts for clients before federal and state courts. Other clients include Lumber Liquidators and Gree Electric.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s group has experience acting for a broad range of clients in the tobacco and food and beverage industries. Led by Frank Kelly in San Francisco, the team obtained a defense verdict for Philip Morris following a three-week trial before the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Miami-Dade County, Florida as part of the ‘Engle progeny’ litigation. Key partners include tobacco litigation expert Kenneth Reilly in Miami and Holly Smith and Ann Songer in Kansas City.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s Chicago-based practice has a strong track record defending clients in the food and beverage, sports and pharmaceutical industries. In Los Angeles, David Aronoff continues to serve as national coordinating counsel to a sporting goods company in helmet concussion litigation, including a number of individual and class action claims. Co-head George Lombardi has been representing Philip Morris as lead trial counsel in a number of tobacco litigation cases. Co-head Stephen D’Amore and Dan Webb are also noted. Neil Murphy is now in-house counsel at Arthur J Gallagher.

With deep experience handling high-profile litigation, Bowman and Brooke LLP’s product liability and mass tort team has seen an increase in work for clients in the fitness and construction industries. Phoenix-based group head Paul Cereghini has been serving as lead counsel to Riddell in various concussion litigation, successfully obtaining a dismissal with prejudice of a product liability claim alleging manufacturing defects brought by a number of college athletes before the Southern District of Indiana. Also in Phoenix, Cereghini and William Auther have been defending Beazer in a class action brought by a number of homeowners alleging the improper installation of a tile roof system. The team includes David Campbell in Detroit, Michelle Gilboe in Minneapolis and Robert Wise in Richmond.

Headed by Ben Barnett, Dechert LLP’s practice often represents pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements manufacturers. In Chicago, Nathan Hoffman continues to serve as trial counsel to Pfizer in Krueger v Wyeth Inc, et al, a consumer class action in which the plaintiff alleges false advertising of certain prescription drugs. In Philadelphia, Hope Freiwald has been defending Bodybuilding.com in a wrongful death claim regarding allegations of a nutritional supplement containing a stimulant that caused the plaintiff’s husband to suffer cardiac arrest. The team includes William Oxley in Los Angeles and Robert Heim and Judy Leone in Philadelphia. David Bernick is now at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s product liability and mass torts department is highly regarded by clients for its ‘very deep bench’ in high-profile matters. Los Angeles-based practice co-head Robert Herrington represented Twin Hill in a products liability suit brought by more than 170 Alaska Airlines flight attendants alleging that the uniform garments provided by Twin Hill contained various toxins, heavy metals and allergenic dyes. In Chicago, ‘highly experienced and capable’ co-head Francis Citera defended Louisville Distilling Company in a putative class action brought before the Northern District of Illinois alleging false marketing and advertising regarding its product. The firm’s Houston office grew in 2016 with the arrival of Paul Kerlin and David Oliver from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s litigation practice handles class action defense for a wide range of clients. Richard Godfrey and Andrew Langan, both of whom are based in Chicago, have been representing L3 Technologies in a class action alleging defective military and consumer rifle accessories. In Washington DC, Eugene Assaf and Daniel Bress successfully obtained complete dismissals with prejudice for United Technologies in three putative federal class actions concerning allegations of defects in the company’s Carrier home air conditioning systems. The team includes Andrew McGaan in Chicago and Jay Lefkowitz in New York.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s mass torts and consumer litigation team has experience acting for clients in the sports, construction and technology sectors, among others. In Washington DC, practice head John Beisner, Jessica Miller and of counsel Geoffrey Wyatt have been representing Electrolux in a number of class actions alleging a washing machine design defect. In Palo Alto, Jack DiCanio obtained dismissal of a putative class action filed against the NFL by ten retired players alleging that the NFL improperly provided prescription painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Other clients include Tamko Building Products and the NHL.

The product liability and mass torts group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has notable experience defending consumer fraud class actions for high-profile clients. In Princeton, Diane Sullivan successfully obtained a defense verdict for Philip Morris following a three-week jury trial in a medical monitoring class action regarding the client’s cigarettes. Miami-based Edward Soto obtained dismissal of six remaining cases in the denture cream MDL brought against Procter & Gamble alleging that the use of its Fixodent product caused neurological injuries. Practice head Arvin Maskin, who is based in New York, has been serving as lead trial counsel to Japanese fiber manufacturer Toyobo in False Claims Act litigation brought by the federal government concerning Toyobo’s Zylon fiber in bullet-resistant vests. David Singh was promoted to partner in the firm’s Silicon Valley office.

Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP’s Denver-based practice often defends high-profile clients in class actions. Led by Michael Williams, the team has been serving as national counsel to Whirlpool in all class action litigation. John Fitzpatrick obtained a complete defense jury verdict for Evenflo in a $15m failure to warn trial regarding an Evenflo infant seat. Peter Herzog successfully obtained dismissal of three putative class actions brought against Yahoo! concerning daily fantasy sports contests. Michael O’Donnell heads the practice, which also includes the well-regarded Malcolm Wheeler.

Headed by Michael Wagner in Chicago, Baker McKenzie LLP’s product liability and product recall group has experience defending a wide range of clients in product liability litigation, as well as advising on compliance issues. Chicago-based Erin Maus has been defending a global manufacturer of furniture products in a number of wrongful death claims arising from a furniture warehouse fire. The team includes e-discovery expert Tod Gamlen in Palo Alto, Mark Karasik in Chicago and Washington DC-based Neil O’Flaherty, who specializes in FDA regulations.

The New York-based practice at Chadbourne & Parke LLP has experience handling class actions for clients ranging from the food and beverages, cosmetics and electronics industries, excelling in preemption work. On behalf of Clarins, practice head Mary Yelenick successfully obtained denial of class certification at the Southern District of Florida in a lawsuit alleging unjust enrichment and violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Yelenick and Donald Strauber successfully obtained dismissal and denial of class certification in nine nationwide class actions brought against Beam Suntory regarding its cocktail product. Robin Ball in Los Angeles is also recommended. The team’s clients include Miele.

DLA Piper LLP (US)’s product liability and mass torts group handles consumer class actions for a wide range of clients, including tobacco and healthcare product manufacturers. In Philadelphia, co-head Raymond Williams primarily represents clients in FDA-related matters. San Diego-based co-head Christopher Young has strong experience serving as both local and national counsel to clients in the life sciences and food and beverage industries. Brian Foster is also recommended in San Diego.

Led by Thomas Riley, Herbert Smith Freehills’ New York-based team primarily handles domestic and cross-border tobacco litigation, as well as food and beverages matters. Gregory Loss, who has ‘a wealth of experience running massive litigation in the US and abroad’, and the ‘exceptional’ Benjamin Rubinstein have been leading the representation of British American Tobacco in various claims brought by a number of foreign governments regarding healthcare costs for the treatment of smoking-related illnesses. Clients also recommend the ‘no-nonsense and creative’ David Wallace, who often defends clients before federal and state courts. Other clients include Twinings, Souza Cruz and Diageo.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s product liability practice has strong experience representing clients ranging from electronics retailers to food and beverage companies. New York-based department head Phoebe Wilkinson has been representing Best Buy and LG Electronics in a nationwide putative class action brought before the District of Minnesota alleging fraud in the marketing and sale of LED televisions manufactured by LG Electronics and sold by Best Buy. In Silicon Valley, Robert Hawk has been defending StarKist in an action brought before the Northern District of California alleging violations of FDA regulations regarding the client’s canned tuna product. The team was strengthened by the arrival of trial expert Regina Rodriguez in the firm’s Denver office from Faegre Baker Daniels and Michael Turrill in Los Angeles from Arent Fox LLP.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP’s ‘excellent’ group excels in class actions and mass tort litigation, with a particular niche in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) cases. The ‘highly rated’ Parsippany-based Lauri Mazzuchetti and Chicago-based Givonna Long have been representing Essendant in a putative class action filed by a number of companies alleging violations of the TCPA. In New York, Jonathan Cooperman served as counsel to BP in a number of liability cases regarding an October 2009 explosion at a petroleum storage terminal near San Juan, Puerto Rico. The group is headed by Michael Lynch in New York.

King & Spalding LLP’s department primarily acts for clients in the tobacco industry. Led by Richard Schneider in Atlanta, the group continues to act for RJ Reynolds in a number of ‘Engle progeny’ cases in Florida. Charlotte-based Cory Hohnbaum obtained a complete defense verdict for the client in a claim brought by two plaintiffs alleging its cigarettes caused coronary heart disease. Also in Charlotte, Jeffrey Furr obtained a defense verdict in a claim in which plaintiffs sought recovery of $15m for alleged addiction caused by the cigarettes. Bradley Pratt left to found Pratt Law, LLC.

Headed by Dale Giali in Los Angeles and Carmine Zarlenga in Washington DC, Mayer Brown’s ‘very responsive, efficient and easy-to-work-with’ group acts for a wide range of retailers and manufacturers, with a ‘very deep bench’ in the food and beverages area. Giali and Zarlenga successfully obtained dismissal with prejudice for Nestlé in a consumer class action complaint brought before the Northern District of California concerning misrepresentation of ingredients in the client’s Coffee-Mate product. Clients regard Michele Odorizzi in Chicago and Lauren Goldman and Scott Chesin in New York as ‘first-rate advocates and strategists’; the three have been leading the team as national counsel to Philip Morris subsidiary Altria in a number of nationwide consumer fraud actions, including various ‘Engle progeny’ trials and appeals in Florida. The firm’s client base includes Whirlpool, Chobani and Gerber.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s practice has experience representing a wide range of clients in class actions, including in false advertising claims. Continuing their representation of Johnson & Johnson, practice co-head Richard Goetz, New Port Beach-based Amy Laurendeau and of counsel Cynthia Merrill and Joe O’Connor won summary judgment and denial of class certification in two Neutrogena sunscreen cases in Florida federal court alleging misleading product labeling. Washington DC-based Steve Brody is the other co-head of the team, which also includes San Francisco-based Randall Edwards. All named attorneys are based in Los Angeles except where otherwise stated. Carla Christofferson is now in-house counsel at Aecom.


Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense

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The newly merged practice at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP is jointly headed by Anand Agneshwar in New York and Pamela Yates in Los Angeles. Agneshwar has been serving as national counsel to Bristol-Myers Squibb in a series of Abilify cases alleging failure to warn of possible links to compulsive behavior. Led by Yates, the legacy Kaye Scholer team successfully obtained a motion for summary judgment for Bayer in a claim alleging toxicity through ingestion of Bayer’s low-dose aspirin. The group was strengthened by the arrival of Michelle Gillice as of counsel, whose experience includes acting as compliance attorney at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and senior attorney in the Justice Department’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Office of Chief Counsel. In Washington DC, Paige Sharpe was promoted to partner. Other clients include Pfizer, Endo and AstraZeneca.

Bowman and Brooke LLP’s Minneapolis-based practice has deep experience handling high-profile cases and class actions. Paul Cereghini in Phoenix, Robert Wise in Richmond, Marion Mauch in Los Angeles and Susan Burnett in Austin successfully obtained denial of class certification for Breg in litigation alleging violations of California’s consumer protection laws, fraud and breaches of warranty regarding the company’s Polar Car 500 cold therapy device. Michelle Gilboe has been serving as national counsel to Enhancement Medical in all personal injury and product liability claims concerning its hyaluronic acid product Expression. Kim Schmid heads the practice.

Jointly headed by Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego, DLA Piper LLP (US)’s ‘standout’ product liability and mass torts practice has a strong technical background in the life sciences. Young and Williams have been representing Medtronic in SynchroMed litigation alleging injury or death resulting from use of the device. New York-based Loren Brown, who jointly leads the wider litigation department, and the ‘fantastic’ Boston-based Matthew Holian led as national co-counsel defending Pfizer in a high-stakes MDL alleging melanoma developed through the use of Viagra. Lucas Przymusinski and Jessica Wilson were promoted in the New York and Boston offices respectively. Philadelphia’s James Brogan jointly heads the practice with Brown. Heidi Levine is now at Sidley Austin LLP.

Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP’s ‘superb’ team is praised by clients as having ‘notable expert discovery and trial skills’. Chicago-based Jennifer Greenblatt, who was promoted to partner in 2016, was lead trial counsel to Medtronic in Snow et al v Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital et al. Greenblatt was also part of the team defending Merck & Co in litigation concerning its osteoporosis medication Fosamax; ‘extraordinary’ co-founders Andrew Goldman (Santa Monica) and Tarek Ismail (Chicago) were also on the team, which was led by Kenneth Baum (Chicago). In Dallas, the ‘distinguished’ Joe Tomaselli led the representation of Merck & Co in a number of lawsuits brought by the state attorney’s general alleging violations of consumer protection statutes regarding its Vioxx medication. The ‘laudable’ Sean Brennan in Dallas is also recommended.

Reed Smith LLP has notable experience handling large-scale MDLs. Led by Barbara Binis in Philadelphia, the team continues to serve as national counsel to Endo in the In re Transvaginal Mesh Litigation, involving more than 30,000 cases, most of which have been consolidated into an MDL filed in the Southern District of West Virginia. In Los Angeles, Michael Brown has been representing Medtronic in all aspects of the Infuse bone graft litigation. Brown and San Francisco-based Sonja Weissman have been serving as lead trial counsel to GSK in litigation regarding its type 2 diabetes prescription drug Avandia. Melissa Geist heads the practice from Princeton.

Sidley Austin LLP’s practice has seen an increase in medical device litigation, as well as consumer class action work. In Chicago, Eugene Schoon and Kara McCall have been representing Bayer in a number of consumer fraud class actions concerning the client’s probiotic supplements. Co-heads Sara Gourley in Chicago and Debra Pole in Los Angeles, as well as Jana Wozniak in Chicago, served as national coordinating counsel to Takeda in more than 9,000 Actos cases in state and federal courts. Chicago-based Maja Eaton, also practice co-head, has been representing Ferring Pharmaceuticals in a class action and a number of individual lawsuits regarding the company’s recalled fertility drug Bravelle. The team saw a number of changes in 2016: Heidi Levine joined the firm’s New York office, while James Mizgala and Sherry Knutson joined Tucker Ellis LLP’s newest office in Chicago.

Jointly headed by the ‘thoughtful’ Heidi Hubbard and Joseph Petrosinelli, Williams & Connolly LLP’s ‘first-rate’ department has deep trial strength in addition to its capabilities as national coordinating and resolution counsel. Hubbard successfully obtained summary judgment for Pfizer in Zoloft litigation brought by two plaintiffs alleging birth defects caused by use of the drug. ‘Extraordinary strategist’ Douglas Marvin has been serving as trial counsel to Merck & Co in remaining Vioxx personal injury litigation transferred from the MDL. Other clients include Takeda, Bayer and Daiichi Sankyo.

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP often handles high-stakes litigation and has strong experience serving as national trial counsel to major clients. The firm has been acting for Bayer in various litigation, including serving as strategic and trial counsel to the company in Xarelto litigation arising from claims that it failed to warn about alleged risks associated with the drug. Rebecca Bacon and John Fitzpatrick represented Bayer - with Covington & Burling LLP as co-counsel - in the first Mirena trial arising from allegations that the IUD caused damage after insertion. Key names include Jameson Jones in Denver, Philip Beck, Steven Derringer and Kaspar Stoffelmayr. All partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Butler Snow LLP has strong experience serving as national coordinating counsel to clients in both state and federal court. The group continues to serve as national counsel in pelvic mesh litigation pending in an MDL in Charleston, West Virginia and a number of state courts across the US. The firm has also been defending a pharmaceutical company in an MDL concerning an over-the-counter product. Key names include Helen Downs in Birmingham and Christy Jones in Jacksonville.

Historically known for its strong pharmaceuticals and medical devices practice, Covington & Burling LLP’s Washington DC-based team often advises on strategic issues. Michael Imbroscio, Paul Schmidt and Phyllis Jones obtained summary judgment and termination of 1,225 cases in the Mirena IUD MDL for Bayer, with Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP as co-counsel. Imbroscio, Jones and San Francisco-based Jeffrey Davidson have been serving as national counsel to Eli Lilly in litigation concerning erectile dysfunction drug Cialis. Imbroscio, Schmidt and Shankar Duraiswamy defended Genentech in the company’s first product liability suit regarding its Lucentis eye treatment product. The team includes Keith Teel and Raymond Biagini.

Dechert LLP’s group is often retained by major companies in high-profile trials. In Philadelphia, Robert Heim has been serving as lead appellate counsel to Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in more than 1,000 personal injury cases filed in Pennsylvania state court alleging the drug Risperdal caused the plaintiffs to develop gynecomastia. Chicago-based Nathan Hoffman has been serving Pfizer as trial counsel in a consumer fraud class action brought before the Southern District of California alleging false advertising of prescription drugs Premarin, Prempro and Premhpase. Ben Barnett leads the practice. David Bernick is now at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Headed by Lori Cohen in Atlanta, Greenberg Traurig LLP’s pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare litigation department often acts for clients as lead trial counsel. Cohen has been serving as national counsel to Sandoz in various litigation, including eight federal cases alleging the promotion and distribution of Sandoz’s generic medication Amiodarone without required medication guides. Cohen and Atlanta-based Victoria Lockard have been serving as lead counsel to Teva Pharmaceuticals in remaining litigation concerning the company’s prescription pain medication propoxyphene. The team also includes Gregory Ostfeld in Chicago and Christiana Jacxsens in Atlanta.

The ‘experienced, comprehensive and always prompt’ group at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has strong experience handling high-stakes litigation, with a particular expertise in medical expert issues. ‘Superb strategist’ Theodore Mayer and Wilfred Coronato, based in New York and Jersey City respectively, continue to serve as national coordinating counsel to long-term client Pfizer in remaining litigation concerning its recalled diet drug Pondimin. New York-based co-head Diane Lifton has been representing Terumo in a medical device product liability case in Utah. The team was strengthened by the arrival in New Jersey of Mary Bartkus (of counsel) from Merck & Co. Co-head Robb Patryk is based in New York.

Always timely, thoughtful and creative’, King & Spalding LLP’s team often acts as national counsel to major clients. Led by ‘excellent’ practice co-head Andrew Bayman in Atlanta, Peter Strotz and Donald Zimmer in San Francisco, the team continued to defend GSK in litigation concerning its antidepressant medication Paxil, including obtaining a directed verdict for the company in Rader v GlaxoSmithKline PLC, et al. Zimmer has been serving as national counsel to Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca in personal injury and wrongful death claims regarding the diabetes medication Onglyza. Bruce Hurley heads the group alongside Bayman, while the overall litigation practice is led by fellow Houston-based lawyer Carol Wood. Clients also recommend ‘superb trial lawyerChilton Varner in Atlanta.

Headed by Paul Zevnik in Washington DC, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s group has strong experience handling product liability matters, as well as related insurance recovery work. In Philadelphia, Gordon Cooney has been leading the team in defending Cephalon and parent company Teva Pharmaceuticals against a high-profile wrongful death claim regarding allegations of opiate addictions brought before the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. Also in Philadelphia, John Lavelle continues to represent Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Synthes in product liability litigation concerning a tibial implant medical device. David Cox and Leah Houghton were promoted to partner in the Los Angeles and Boston offices respectively. The team includes Yardena Zwang-Weissman in Los Angeles and David Luttinger in New York.

Pepper Hamilton LLP’s practice frequently serves as lead counsel to a number of major pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Sean Fahey continues to serve Medtronic as national coordinating and trial counsel in litigation concerning a number of products, including the company’s Infuse device. Department chair Nina Gussack has been serving as national trial and settlement counsel to GSK in litigation alleging that the diabetes medication Avandia causes heart attacks, strokes and other medical problems. Gussack has also been representing Eli Lilly in litigation regarding its diabetes treatment medication Byetta. Andrew Kantra is also recommended. All partners are based in Philadelphia.

The litigation team at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP provides a ‘high level of service’ under the joint leadership of Michael Lyle in Washington DC and Sheila Birnbaum, Mark Cheffo, Faith Gay and Sandra Bresnick in New York. Cheffo has been serving as national counsel to Endo and various subsidiaries in litigation concerning recalled prescription pain medication propoxyphene; Cheffo successfully obtained dismissal of approximately 800 claims with prejudice brought before Oklahoma state court. Birnbaum and Cheffo have been representing Pfizer in litigation brought by more than 8,000 plaintiffs alleging that the statin medication Lipitor causes diabetes. The team includes Douglas Fleming.

Headed by Alicia Donahue in San Francisco, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s pharmaceutical and medical device group often defends clients in mass tort MDLs and coordinated proceedings. Led by Mark Hegarty in Kansas City and Gene Williams and Hunter Ahern in Houston, the team obtained summary judgment for Johnson & Johnson in two lawsuits alleging the company’s talc-based powder product caused plaintiffs to develop ovarian cancer. Before the Southern District of New York, Houston-based James Shepherd successfully obtained dismissal of all 1,225 cases in an MDL against Bayer alleging injuries arising from the use of Bayer’s contraceptive Mirena IUD.

Headed by John Beisner, the Washington DC-based mass torts and insurance practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has strong experience handling product liability lawsuits and MDLs. Beisner and Jessica Miller as well as counsel Nina Rose and counsel Geoffrey Wyatt have been representing Johnson & Johnson in a number of lawsuits alleging that the company’s talc-based powder product is toxic and causes ovarian cancer, obtaining motion to exclude the testimony of the plaintiffs’ primary causation experts prior to having the lawsuits centralized in New Jersey federal court. Beisner, Miller and Wyatt have also been acting for long-term client Merck & Co in a number of matters, including successfully obtaining dismissal of MDL claims alleging that the company’s osteoporosis drug Fosamax causes femur fractures. Other clients include Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Venable LLP’s product liability group often serves as national counsel to high-profile pharmaceutical clients. Led by co-head Paul Strain, David Heubeck and Stephen Marshall, the team continues to represent Merck & Co in ongoing Fosamax litigation. Bruce Parker continues to act for LabCorp as national counsel in a number of matters in which plaintiffs allege errors in prenatal genetic testing procedures conducted by the company. John McCauley has been defending Johnson & Johnson in various Pinnacle hip prosthetics litigation. The Baltimore-based practice’s other co-head is Sally Bryan.

Led by Stephen Strauss, Bryan Cave LLP’s St Louis-based product liability team regularly handles class actions and personal injury cases in the pharmaceutical and medical device arena. Strauss has been defending Merck & Co in three putative class actions alleging that the company is violating consumer fraud laws regarding the sale of its glaucoma medication. Strauss and Dan Ball have been representing Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 14 personal injury cases regarding the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Other clients include Johnson & Johnson and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Pragmatic, business-savvy and responsive’, the product liability group at Goodwin has seen an increase in claims brought against generics. New York-based Glenn Kerner secured dismissal of all claims brought against Teva Pharmaceuticals regarding the prescription drug Amiodarone. In Boston, Richard Oetheimer continues to represent Teva Pharmaceuticals in nationwide Metoclopramide mass tort litigation, including in preemption appeals in a number of state courts and at the Supreme Court of Georgia. Joanne Gray heads the department in New York.

Hogan Lovells US LLP’s Baltimore-based product litigation practice has been focusing increasingly on litigation in the digital health space, in addition to handling traditional product liability lawsuits. Practice head Lauren Colton has been serving as national counsel to Amgen in a number of matters concerning the arthritis treatment prescription drug Enbrel. Colton and Barry Thompson, who is based in Los Angeles, have been serving as national coordinating counsel to Bristol-Myers Squibb in a number of lawsuits and claims alleging that the client’s antipsychotic drug Abilify caused plaintiffs to develop compulsive gambling and other impulse control disorders. The group was strengthened by the arrival of Regina Rodriguez in the firm’s Denver office from Faegre Baker Daniels.

Praised as having ‘excellent client service’, Jones Day’s product liability team has strong experience defending clients in high-profile lawsuits. The firm counts Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie among its clients. June Ghezzi obtained dismissal of a complaint brought against both companies alleging a variety of adverse reactions caused by use of the prescription drug Lupron. Daniel Reidy, José Isasi and Melissa Hirst have been representing Abbott Laboratories in claims alleging that the company negligently designed, marketed, tested and warned for its FreeStyle Lite blood glucose meter. Stephanie Parker heads the wider litigation practice from the firm’s Atlanta office. All partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s practice excels in defending clients against product liability claims. The group has been serving as national counsel to Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie in a number of claims alleging failure to warn regarding the company’s arthritis drug Humira; the firm won dismissal of two cases with no payment for AbbVie. In New York and Washington DC respectively, Jay Lefkowitz and Michael Shumsky represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in Welch v Merck & Co, Inc et al before the Third Circuit, which affirmed the dismissal of all product liability claims arising from the plaintiff’s use of the generic drug alendronate sodium. Clients also recommend Mike Brock, who is based in Washington DC.

Jointly headed by Henninger Bullock in New York and Michael Olsen and Daniel Ring in Chicago, Mayer Brown’s department often serves as counsel to clients in medical device lawsuits. Ring and Andrew Tauber, who is based in Washington DC, continue to act for Medtronic as national preemption counsel in a number of matters regarding the Infuse bone graft litigation. The team has also been representing St Jude Medical in a putative class action alleging damages caused by potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in certain cardiac rhythm devices. Eli Lilly, GSK and UCB are among the firm’s clients.

The ‘very strong’ product liability team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has strong experience handling product liability and mass tort cases concerning medical devices. In San Diego, practice head Erin Bosman continues to represent Fresenius in litigation in Florida state court alleging that the drug Heparin was contaminated. Clients recommend New York-based Grant Esposito, who heads the firm’s wider litigation department and is highly experienced in handling cross-border litigation for domestic clients. The team also includes Julie Park in San Diego. James Huston sadly passed away.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s practice often acts as e-discovery and trial counsel to high-profile clients. In Austin, Stacey Martinez regularly serves as coordinating counsel to clients in both domestic and international litigation. Dallas-based Jonathan Skidmore has particular expertise handling mass torts for pharmaceutical clients. The firm’s client base includes Coloplast, Bayer, Zimmer and Christus Health. Steven Jansma heads the practice out of San Antonio.

Headed by Richard Goetz in Los Angeles and Steve Brody in Washington DC, O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s group often defends clients in class actions and MDLs as well as advising them on government investigations. Goetz and Matt Powers in San Francisco have been defending long-term client Johnson & Johnson in class actions alleging that the use of the company’s talc-based baby powder product causes ovarian cancer; the team obtained dismissal of initial complaints in three federal district courts. In Century City and Newport Beach respectively, Daniel Petrocelli and Jeffrey Barker continue to represent Endo in pelvic mesh litigation. The firm also acts for Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s largely Princeton-based practice has strong experience defending class actions. Diane Sullivan successfully obtained dismissal of all claims in a putative consumer class action brought against Sanofi regarding its epinephrine injection product Auvi-Q following an earlier global recall. Sullivan has also been representing Walgreens in a number of consumer class actions concerning allegations of the inaccurate blood-testing device Edison produced by Theranos and sold through Walgreens. Allison Brown was promoted to partner. Arvin Maskin heads the practice out of New York.

The team at Denver-based litigation firm Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP often handles MDLs and mass tort litigation. Team head Michael O’Donnell has been representing long-term client GE Healthcare in remaining litigation - out of more than 700 claims - regarding the company’s Omniscan injection product. Habib Nasrullah continues to represent McKesson and subsidiary NorthstarRx in Lipitor litigation alleging that the drug causes diabetes in some women. The team also represents Pfizer.


Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - plaintiff

Index of tables

  1. Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - plaintiff
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - plaintiff clients in United States using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.’s Denver-based group has notable experience handling MDLs and mass tort work. Practice head Michael Burg and Seth Katz represented plaintiffs across the US in a bellwether trial arising from claims of injuries sustained through use of the drug Xarelto. Katz has been leading the representation of a number of plaintiffs in mass tort litigation regarding claims of ovarian cancer developed through use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder product. Meghan Quinlivan acted as a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the power morcellators device MDL arising from claims that the devices increased risk of undiagnosed uterine cancer; the MDL was dissolved in 2016 following the settlement of a majority of the cases.

Within the drug and device arena, Herman, Herman & Katz LLC’s expertise covers high-profile MDLs and class actions, including appellate work. Leonard Davis, Steve Herman, James Klick and of counsel Joseph Kott have been acting for plaintiffs in the Zofran MDL against GSK arising from allegations of defects. Davis, Klick, Kott and Brian Katz continue to represent clients in claims against a number of defendants concerning the drug Fosamax, which is currently on appeal in a number of jurisdictions. Davis, Russ Herman and Maury Herman continue to act for claimants in testosterone replacement therapy litigation brought against AbbVie and a number of other defendants before the Northern District of Illinois. The firm is headquartered in New Orleans.

Based in Pensacola, Florida, Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. has impressive capabilities handling personal injury cases, often obtaining jury verdicts across the US. Troy Rafferty was appointed as one of five members of the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the Abilify MDL brought against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals before the Northern District of Florida. The firm has also been representing plaintiffs across the US in lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceuticals arising from allegations of kidney injuries caused by use of the drug Invokana. Mike Papantonio is also recommended.

Based in San Francisco, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP has a diverse prescription drug and device practice. Lexi Hazam has been representing various claimants as a member of the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the Abilify MDL. In New York, Wendy Fleishman was appointed to the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the IVC filter blood clot litigation. The firm continues to represent plaintiffs in a number of medical device claims, including Pinnacle hip injury litigation against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary DePuy. Key partners include Elizabeth Cabraser and Robert Nelson.

Headed by W Mark Lanier in Houston, The Lanier Law Firm has strong trial capabilities and experience obtaining significant settlements for plaintiffs. In 2016, the firm obtained a federal jury verdict of more than $1bn for six plaintiffs in the Johnson & Johnson Pinnacle hip implant litigation. Richard Meadow was appointed as one of four members to the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the federal MDL brought against Johnson & Johnson concerning ovarian cancer claims arising from use of the company’s talc-based powder products. Lee Cirsch is now at Capstone Law APC.

Headed by co-founder Christopher Seeger, Seeger Weiss LLP’s personal injury practice has deep experience handling drug injury and medical device litigation, including class actions. In 2017, Seeger was appointed as co-lead counsel of the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the Invokana MDL arising from 55 actions alleging that Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ drug causes injuries, such as diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney damage. David Buchanan continues to serve as liaison counsel in coordinated proceedings concerning Accutane, DePuy hip implants and Yaz/Yasmin. Jeffrey Grand has been acting as a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee regarding seven federal transvaginal mesh product MDLs. All partners are based in New York.

In Washington DC, Ashcraft & Gerel LLP’s pharmaceutical and medical device group continues to handle a broad range of high-profile litigation. In 2016, Michelle Parfitt was appointed to serve as co-lead counsel in the Johnson & Johnson talc-based powder products MDL before the New Jersey District Court following various judgments against the company in other jurisdictions. Parfitt, Christopher Tisi and veteran litigator James Green have been acting for plaintiffs in morcellator lawsuits arising from claims that the surgical devices increase the risk of spreading unsuspected cancerous tissue in hysterectomies and myomectomies. The team is also currently handling negligent misrepresentation and failure to warn claims brought against Bayer regarding the company’s Essure birth control implant.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. has notable experience serving in leadership positions in major drug and device MDLs. In 2017, Danielle Mason was appointed to the plaintiffs’ steering committee for the Invokana MDL consolidated in New Jersey federal court regarding allegations that Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ diabetes drug failed to warn for risks associated with its use. Meanwhile, Leigh O’Dell has been serving as co-lead counsel in the Johnson & Johnson talc MDL regarding allegations that the powder product causes ovarian cancer. The team includes the well-regarded Andy Birchfield, Navan Ward and Frank Woodson.

Under the leadership of Arnold Levin, Howard Sedran and Laurence Berman, Levin Sedran & Berman continues to handle a number of dangerous drug lawsuits, as well as medical malpractice and personal injury matters. Michael Weinkowitz continues to act as a committee member in the Xarelto and Yaz/Yasmin litigation. In the medical device arena, the group has been representing plaintiffs across the US in the Mirena IUD lawsuits and in litigation arising from the 2016 recall of the Stryker femoral head hip implant. The firm is headquartered in Philadelphia.


Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense

Index of tables

  1. Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - defense
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Led out of New York by Anand Agneshwar, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP’s toxic tort practice primarily handles personal injury-related work, as well as a broad range of environmental litigation led by environment partner Lester Sotsky in Washington DC. Sotsky and Michael Daneker, who is also based in Washington DC, have been serving as lead counsel to Honeywell in a number of matters, including a class action in Tampa regarding groundwater contamination from a former facility and a lawsuit brought by residents of a trailer park in California alleging toxic tort injuries caused by exposure to soil contamination from a manufacturing facility. In Los Angeles, Matthew Heartney and Lawrence Cox have been serving as co-national coordinating counsel to BP in MDL proceedings alleging groundwater contamination caused by leakage or spillage of gasoline containing MTBE. Eric Rubel and Philip Curtis, in Washington DC and New York respectively, are also recommended.

Acting for a wide range of clients, Jones Day’s toxic tort department often takes cases to trial. In Pittsburgh, Kimberly Brown has been representing Dow AgroSciences in a multi-defendant golf course pesticide exposure lawsuit and successfully won a Frye test challenge to exclude the testimony of the plaintiff’s medical causation expert. San Diego-based Edward Swan has been defending PetroSource in 20 toxic tort cases in Los Angeles regarding claims that the mineral spirits sold by the company to Safety-Kleen contained unsafe levels of benzene. Jeffrey Ubersax in Cleveland has been representing long-term client Materion as national coordinating counsel in litigation regarding allegations of exposure to beryllium in the golf clubs Materion manufactured. Atlanta-based Stephanie Parker heads the department, which also includes the well-regarded Paul Pohl in Pittsburgh.

At Kirkland & Ellis LLP, the product liability and mass tort practice’s deep bench of trial experts often handles high-profile litigation. Douglas Kurtenbach and Jeffrey Clark, in Chicago and Washington DC respectively, have been defending Axiall in various toxic tort lawsuits claiming personal injuries resulting from exposure to a fire at a vinyl chloride plant in Louisiana, including a number of cases at the Fifth Circuit and the US Supreme Court. In Chicago, Kevin Van Wart and Brenton Rogers have been defending YRC Worldwide and Roadway Express in lawsuits alleging that the vinyl chloride contamination of drinking water in Sauk Village, Illinois was caused by the companies’ operations. Key names include Jay Lefkowitz in New York and Eugene Assaf in Washington DC. Clients recommend Andrew McGaan, Richard Godfrey and Mark Filip in Chicago.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP’s Houston-based group has deep experience handling toxic tort litigation concerning a wide range of substances and fracking-related issues. Stephen Dillard and William Wood have been representing Cabot Oil & Gas in remaining litigation alleging water contamination, personal injuries, property damage and contract breaches concerning oil and gas development on or near the plaintiffs’ properties. Dillard has also been serving as lead counsel to EOG Resources in a lawsuit alleging personal injury and property damage due to the contamination of the plaintiffs’ private water wells. Jessica Farley and Brett Young were promoted to partner, while Edward Adams is now in-house counsel at Crown Castle. San Antonio-based Steven Jansma heads the practice. Other clients include Chevron, Vulcan Materials Company and AIG.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s product liability and toxic tort practice has particularly strong capabilities in the energy sector. Group head Ty Buthod has been defending BASF in asbestos cases, as well as in various litigation concerning claims that certain chemical products manufactured by the company cause blood diseases. Buthod also continues to act for ExxonMobil in personal injury and environmental litigation across the US. In 2016, Macey Stokes and Amy Hefley successfully represented Shell and Chevron in obtaining affirmation of a summary judgment granted to the defendants in a wrongful death case. All partners are based in Houston.

The ‘excellent’ product liability and mass tort department at Goodwin primarily handles asbestos litigation. Boston-based Richard Oetheimer successfully obtained six separate no-pay dismissals of asbestos personal injury lawsuits for government contractor Northrop Grumman. In Washington DC, the well-regarded William Hanlon continues to serve as national counsel to Dana Companies in various asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death cases. Mark Tully in Boston continues to represent Gulf Oil and Cumberland Farms in cases alleging that MTBE potentially contaminated drinking water in communities across the US. The group, which is headed by Joanne Gray in New York, also includes Mark Raffman in Washington DC.

The toxic tort group at Greenberg Traurig LLP acts for a broad range of chemical product manufacturers. In Tampa, practice head David Weinstein and Christopher Torres obtained a summary judgment for Mosaic Company in a lawsuit brought against the company alleging that the plaintiff was harmed due to exposure to hazardous air pollutants and other toxins from the company’s manufacturing facility in Florida. Environment partner David Mandelbaum has been serving as lead counsel to Glatfelter in remaining litigation regarding a contaminated sediment site in the US. The group was strengthened by the arrival of Bernadette Rappold in the Washington DC office.

King & Spalding LLP’s ‘incredibly strong’ group serves as counsel to a wide range of clients, including chemical, pharmaceutical and automotive manufacturers. Robert Meadows continues to defend Chevron in various litigation, including serving as lead trial counsel to the client in a high-profile multi-defendant lawsuit brought by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East alleging that nearly 100 oil and gas companies caused coastal erosion and weakened the area’s flood protection. In San Francisco, Gennaro Filice and Nicholas Kayhan have been serving as national counsel to Dow Chemical in a number of lawsuits and actions alleging water contamination. Kevin Buster heads the practice. All partners are based in Atlanta unless otherwise stated.

The ‘exceptional’ practice at Latham & Watkins LLP has notable trial strength and often handles class actions and appeals. In San Diego, Robert Howard and Kelly Richardson have been representing Monsanto, Solutia and Pharmacia in eight federal cases brought by a number of municipalities alleging that water contamination on the West Coast were caused by legacy manufacturers. Richardson has also been representing Montrose Chemical in various litigation concerning the company’s former manufacturing of the pesticide DDT. Kegan Brown and Garrett Long were promoted to partner and of counsel in New York and Chicago respectively. The group is jointly headed by Michael Romey in Los Angeles, Gwyn Williams in Boston, and Thomas Heiden and Mary Rose Alexander in Chicago.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s product liability department has strong experience acting for a broad range of clients, including oil and gas, technology and chemical companies. New York-based James Pardo has been defending long-term client ExxonMobil in an MDL alleging environmental contamination brought by private parties, public water providers and sovereign states. Practice co-head Anthony Upshaw in Miami has been representing Monsanto in a number of mass torts alleging that the company’s chemical product PCB caused the plaintiffs to develop lymphoma. The team, which is also led by Terrence Dee in Chicago, includes oil and gas expert Peter Sacripanti in New York.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s product liability, tort and insurance group often handles asbestos litigation as well as environmental work concerning the energy industry. In Los Angeles, James Dragna has been serving as lead coordinating and litigation counsel to Southern California Gas Company and Sempra Energy in major litigation concerning a natural gas leak in the Aliso Canyon storage facility. Washington DC-based practice head Paul Zevnik and Boston-based Jeffrey Moss have been representing Johnson Controls in a series of asbestos actions. David Cox and Leah Houghton were promoted to partner in Los Angeles and Boston respectively.

Headed by Erin Bosman in San Diego, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice handles class actions and personal injury lawsuits for a broad range of clients. In San Francisco, James Schurz successfully defended Lumber Liquidators in a Proposition 65 trial regarding allegations that the company failed to warn plaintiffs of the formaldehyde in its laminate wood flooring. Los Angeles-based Peter Hsiao obtained summary judgment for BASF and Ricoh Electronics in a joint defense concerning allegations of groundwater contamination in California. The team also includes Michèle Corash in San Francisco.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s New York-based group is praised for its ‘notable depth’ of experience, particularly in relation to representing international clients before US courts. ‘Responsive’ co-head Kristen Fournier and Morton Dubin have been serving as national coordinating and litigation counsel to Union Carbide in a number of asbestos exposure personal injury matters. Dublin, Fournier and John Ewald continue to represent Dow Chemical in various litigation, including a wrongful death case alleging exposure to two chemicals supplied by the company. The practice is also led by Stephen Foresta.

The ‘fantastic’ team at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has significant experience handling high-profile chemical exposure matters. In New York, department co-head Faith Gay has been defending Colgate-Palmolive as lead trial counsel in various litigation; in 2016, the team won a jury trial in which plaintiffs alleged that the company’s talc powder products caused them to develop mesothelioma. Co-head Michael Lyle and Eric Lyttle, both of whom are based in Washington DC, successfully obtained dismissal of thousands of clean-up claims brought against Seacor Holdings in the Deepwater Horizon MDL. The department is also led by Sheila Birnbaum, Mark Cheffo and Sandra Bresnick in New York.

Jointly led by Ricky Raven in Houston and Belynda Reck in Los Angeles, Reed Smith LLP’s department is often retained by high-profile companies in environmental and asbestos litigation. Raven successfully obtained a defense verdict for Honeywell subsidiary BendixKing in an 11-day jury trial before the Los Angeles Superior Court concerning an asbestos-related wrongful death claim. In New York, John Hooper has been serving as national coordinating counsel to Mine Safety Appliances in various toxic tort and product liability litigation across the US. The firm’s clients also include Shell and Johnson Controls. Leah Rudnicki and Brett McClure are now at Hall Estill and Shoreline respectively.

In Kansas City, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s toxic tort and exposure litigation group has considerable experience defeating class certification. Group head Mark Anstoetter often acts for clients in the energy sector and has a strong track record for winning bellwether trials, as well as obtaining dismissals of personal injury claims. Environment partner David Erickson regularly defends food and beverage manufacturers in claims concerning groundwater contamination due to historic manufacturing processes.

Sidley Austin LLP has noted a significant increase in asbestos matters that go to trial. In Washington DC, David Buente and white-collar litigation partner Karen Popp have been advising Duke Energy as national counsel in various matters concerning a 2014 coal ash spill from a closed power plant in North Carolina. Rebecca Wood in Washington DC and Tim Kapshandy and practice co-head Maja Eaton in Chicago continue to serve as national coordinating counsel to long-term client General Electric in asbestos litigation. In Chicago, Eugene Schoon has been defending a number of cell phone service providers and manufacturers in class actions and individual claims alleging that exposure of radio frequency energy from cell phones causes brain cancer. The group is also led by Sara Gourley in Chicago and Debra Pole in Los Angeles.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s environmental, products and mass tort practice is noted for its deep trial bench in both domestic and international markets, with particular expertise in chemicals and oil and gas. Group head Robert Shuftan and John Frey successfully obtained dismissal of a putative class action brought against Osmose before the US District Court of the Virgin Islands alleging premature deterioration of the company’s treated wood. Shuftan, Derek Smith and Jeremy Goldkind have been representing Honeywell, Beazer East, Koppers and Vertellus in 69 toxic tort cases alleging that exposure to the coal-tar pitch manufactured by the clients causes various forms of cancer. The firm’s clients also include Shell and Monsanto.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP’s Houston-based department primarily handles asbestos litigation and also has notable experience acting for the BP family of companies, as well as representing clients in matters concerning processed water systems. Practice head Thomas Taylor has strong experience defending clients in MDLs, as well as representing clients in civil jury trials before state and federal court. Alexis Gomez specializes in handling energy-related litigation. Dallas-based Joseph Blizzard is also recommended.

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP’s team has strong trial experience, including in class action jury trials. John Phillips in Denver and Jeffrey Hall and Martha Pacold in Chicago have been serving as lead counsel to DuPont in a number of remaining claims from a mass environmental tort action brought by more than 500 plaintiffs alleging groundwater contamination in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. In Chicago, Andrew MacNally has been defending United Technologies in more than 20 personal injury claims and two putative class actions alleging environmental contamination near the company’s facility in Florida. Key names include Andrew Baak in Denver and Sean Gallagher and Brian Prestes in Chicago.

At DLA Piper LLP (US), the product liability group defends clients in a wide range of matters, including asbestos and pesticide-related work. Practice head Christopher Campbell, who splits his time between Atlanta and New York, served as lead litigation counsel to Bayer against claims that the company failed to warn of severe adverse reactions regarding its pesticide products; in 2016, the claims were dismissed without prejudice. The team has been acting for BASF as national coordinating counsel in talc litigation across the country concerning allegations of asbestos contamination in certain products sold by a legacy company; advice is led by Matthew Holian in Boston, John Wellschlager in Baltimore and William Kiniry in Philadelphia. In Baltimore, Charles Scheeler and John Griffith continue to act for ExxonMobil in remaining litigation concerning Exxon Mobil Corporation v Albright, et al and Exxon Mobil Corporation v Ford, et al. In 2016, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a number of cases while several others were settled. Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego jointly lead the wider department.

Dechert LLP’s department handles asbestos litigation for a broad range of clients. In Chicago, Nathan Hoffman continues to represent Pfizer in ‘apparent manufacturer’ asbestos litigation regarding a subsidiary that Pfizer acquired in 1968. Trial veteran William Oxley in Los Angeles has experience representing large corporations and achieving defense verdicts in high-profile litigation. Ben Barnett heads the practice out of Philadelphia.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Dentons is praised by clients as having ‘exceptional industry knowledge’ in toxic tort litigation. It has deep experience acting as national counsel to manufacturers in asbestos exposure work. Los Angeles-based Karleen Murphy, who was promoted to of counsel, has experience handling mesothelioma cases. The group is jointly headed by Peg Hall in Dallas and Lisa Oberg in San Francisco. Clients include ExxonMobil and GSK.

With a strong presence in California and Washington DC, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s practice has exceptional expertise in class action and mass tort work. Patrick Dennis in Los Angeles and Daniel Nelson and Michael Murphy in Washington DC have been advising International Paper as co-counsel on various litigation alleging contamination of the San Jacinto River, Texas due to dioxin from the paper mill waste at an adjacent facility. Nelson has also been defending the company in claims brought by over 200 plaintiffs alleging personal injuries and property damage caused by airborne emissions from the company’s paper mill in Selma, Alabama. Notable partners include Theodore Boutrous in Los Angeles and Peter Modlin in San Francisco.

Mayer Brown’s team has a deep trial bench and notable appellate practice in the environment and toxic tort arena. The group has been representing Veolia in a lawsuit brought by the Michigan Attorney General and in related federal and state class actions regarding allegations the company contributed to the ongoing Flint water crisis that began in 2014; advice is led by Michael Lackey and Andrew Pincus in Washington DC, and Lori Lightfoot and Mark Molen in Chicago. Molen and Chicago-based Craig Woods have been serving as national counsel to Kerry in a number of food flavoring cases alleging lung injuries caused by inhaling the butter flavoring in the company’s microwave popcorn product. Also in Chicago, co-heads Michael Olsen and Daniel Ring, alongside Woods and Richard Bulger, continue to represent Union Carbide in asbestos litigation. Practice co-head Henninger Bullock is based in the New York office.

Headed by Stephen Busch, McGuireWoods LLP’s Richmond-based practice often defends clients in litigation brought by regulators. Busch served as lead trial and coordinating counsel to Universal Corporation, successful obtaining dismissal of six lawsuits brought by more than 400 plaintiffs before the Superior Court of New Castle County, Delaware alleging birth defects caused by exposure to pesticides used in the cultivation of tobacco in Argentina. Trent Taylor has been representing Dollar General in an MDL comprising over 20 proposed class actions alleging the unsustainability of the motor oil sold by the retailer. The team includes Mark Anderson in Raleigh, Samuel Tarry and Tracy Walker. Leo Boyd is now in-house counsel at SunTrust Bank.

Jointly headed by New York-based Joseph Ortego and Vivian Quinn, who splits her time between Buffalo and New York, Nixon Peabody LLP’s practice continues to handle petrochemical work in the toxic tort arena, as well as late entry asbestos litigation for industrial clients. Ortego often acts as national trial counsel in class actions in both state and federal courts. Quinn, who has a background in life sciences, frequently advises clients on regulatory compliance.

Tucker Ellis LLP’s mass tort and product liability department has experience defending industrial, chemical and construction machinery manufacturers. In Cleveland, of counsel Brendan Kelley often acts as local and national coordinating counsel in asbestos cases. In St Louis, Brian Huelsmann’s track record includes serving as national counsel to clients in asbestos, benzene and silica litigation. Practice head Jeffrey Healy in Cleveland has been representing a number of companies in high-exposure toxic tort litigation.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s diverse group handles class actions for a wide range of clients. In Miami, Edward Soto has been representing Dometic in a putative class action brought before the Southern District of Florida alleging defects in the gas absorption refrigerators manufactured by the company for use in vehicles and boats. Soto and Diane Sullivan, who is based in New Jersey, continue to serve as lead trial counsel to Repsol in multi-defendant litigation brought by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection concerning the pollution of the Passaic River in New Jersey; in 2016, the team obtained summary judgment dismissing all remaining claims against the company. Sullivan and New York-based pair David Lender and Theodore Tsekerides continue to represent ExxonMobil as lead trial counsel in various MTBE litigation brought before both state and federal courts. Princeton-based Allison Brown was promoted to partner. New York-based Arvin Maskin heads the practice.

Denver-based litigation firm Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP has notable experience serving as national counsel to large corporations in asbestos litigation. Led by John Fitzpatrick, the team successfully obtained summary judgment for General Electric in two multimillion-dollar asbestos lawsuits. Headed by Michael O’Donnell, the team also includes Miko Brown, who often defends clients in high-profile personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Other clients include Dana Corporation, Amec Foster Wheeler and Georgia-Pacific.


Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - plaintiff

Index of tables

  1. Product liability, mass tort and class action: toxic tort - plaintiff
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • Russell Budd - Baron & Budd, P.C.
    • Robert Gordon - Weitz & Luxenberg PC
    • Perry Weitz - Weitz & Luxenberg PC

Who Represents Who

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Baron & Budd, P.C. continues to handle a diverse range of environmental litigation brought against high-profile companies, covering water contamination, PCB and Proposition 65-related cases. Dallas-based environmental litigation head Scott Summy has been acting as co-counsel to the State of Rhode Island in an MTBE groundwater contamination lawsuit brought against nearly three dozen oil companies. Also in Dallas, John Fiske has been leading the representations for the city of Portland in a lawsuit brought against Monsanto before Oregon District Court regarding widespread PCB contamination in various Portland water bodies, including the Willamette River and Columbia Slough. The firm continues to act for plaintiffs in various litigation, including the Porter Ranch gas leak and Butte Wildfire lawsuits. Co-founder Russell Budd and of counsel Mark Pifko are recommended in the firm’s Dallas and Los Angeles offices respectively.

New York-based firm Napoli Shkolnik PLLC excels in representing plaintiffs in a broad range of environmental and asbestos litigation, including personal injury and mass tort work. The firm continues to represent a number of plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit concerning the high-profile Flint water crisis in Michigan. It has also been acting for plaintiffs in the Wheatfield lawsuit arising from claims of chemical contamination from the Niagara Sanitation Landfill site. The group has also been acting for military personnel who resided in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 in a water contamination case. Key partners include Marie Napoli, Hunter Shkolnik and of counsel Paul Napoli.

Weitz & Luxenberg PC specializes in bringing asbestos, water contamination and other environmental lawsuits against members of the oil and gas industry. New York-based of counsel Robin Greenwald, who heads the environmental pollution group, has been leading the team in representing a number of plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed in Payne County, Oklahoma concerning claims of fracking-induced earthquakes. In Cherry Hill, Jerry Kristal obtained a $75m verdict for two plaintiffs in asbestos litigation brought against Dana Companies and Fel-Pro, which were among other defendants that previously settled. Associate Danny Kraft in New York successfully won a $12.5m verdict brought against Caterpillar on behalf of an individual who developed lung cancer due to asbestos exposure. Key names include co-founder Perry Weitz and of counsel Robert Gordon, both of whom are in New York.

Motley Rice LLC has deep experience acting for plaintiffs in asbestos and toxic exposure cases. The firm has been representing various plaintiffs in long-term asbestos litigation brought against Matson regarding the deaths of three seamen caused by asbestos exposure; in 2016, a Third Circuit appellate panel overturned a 2014 decision to dismiss the lawsuit. Charleston-based associate John Guerry has been representing a former Tennessee senator in asbestos exposure litigation. Notable partners include Jodi Flowers and Joseph Rice, who continues to act for clients on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the high-profile Volkswagen emissions fraud case. All partners are based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina unless otherwise stated.

Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC’s Mount Pleasant-based group often handles class actions and MDLs concerning asbestos and environmental litigation. Christopher Tuck represented a number of homeowners in a class action against Horry Electric following the discovery of mold growing in the plaintiffs’ shrink-wrapped homes; in 2016, the defendant’s motion to disqualify certain plaintiffs as class members was opposed and the South Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed the terms of the $6m settlement. The team includes J David Butler in Barnwell, Michael Brickman in Charleston and Gregory Lofstead. Jay Ward is now at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC.

Simmons Hanly Conroy has deep experience handling historical asbestos and chemical exposure cases, as well as oil-related contamination work. New York-based co-head Jayne Conroy is often appointed as a member of plaintiffs’ steering committees in high-profile litigation, including the Volkswagen ‘clean diesel’ MDL. In Alton, Illinois founder John Simmons concentrates on asbestos litigation. The firm is also led by Michael Angelides in Alton and New York-based Paul Hanly, whose experience prior to joining the firm included serving as national trial and settlement counsel to corporations in asbestos litigation. Paul Lesko is now at Peiffer Rosca Wolf Abdullah Carr & Kane.


Securities litigation: defense

Index of tables

  1. Securities litigation: defense
  2. Leading lawyers
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York ‘certainly belongs in the top echelon of securities litigation firms’. Its continues to play a major role in high-profile cases such as In re Akorn, Inc Securities Litigation, in which head of litigation Daniel Slifkin, Antony Ryan and David Stuart are representing Akorn in a case alleging misrepresentation by the company and its board. The firm’s respected regulatory enforcement team is handling an SEC investigation into Akorn’s accounting restatements. Michael Paskin and Timothy Cameron’s recent highlights include Willis v Big Lots, Inc, et al, in which plaintiffs allege Big Lots made false statements about its financial performance and that executives earned $37m from insider trading. Richard Clary’s strong track record in RMBS matters continues with cases for Credit Suisse such as People of the State of New York v Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, et al.Robert Baron is acting for Deutsche Bank Securities and Credit Suisse Securities; Evan Chesler and Karin DeMasi are handling the appeal of a class action against DreamWorks Animation; and Sandra Goldstein won dismissal of a case against ADT Corporation’s former CFO. The regulatory enforcement team has standout practitioners in Rachel Skaistis, John Buretta and Benjamin Gruenstein.

In New York, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has ‘a highly experienced team that draws on the firm’s strong corporate and capital markets practices’. James Rouhandeh and Lawrence Portnoy are co-chairs of the team, which has ‘an extraordinary list of successes’. Rouhandeh and Charles Duggan defended the 33 underwriters of Facebook’s IPO in a consolidated class action and persuaded the court that they were not insiders subject to the disgorgement of short-swing trading profits. Rouhandeh has served as counsel to Morgan Stanley in more than 50 lawsuits relating to the financial crisis and his recent victories include the dismissal of a case brought by Dexia Holdings concerning $620m in RMBS holdings. Edmund Polubinski reached a settlement in a securities class action for all 33 underwriters - including Citigroup and JP Morgan - of the IPO of Hospital Corporation of America. Portnoy’s highlights included defending IBM in a class action. Brian Weinstein has ‘a great track record acting for investment banks’ and secured a victory for Morgan Stanley in two RMBS putback litigation cases.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has a ‘robust securities litigation practice and the excellence of its results speaks for itself’. ‘Great litigatorJonathan Dickey in Palo Alto and Thad Davis in San Francisco stepped down as co-chairs of the practice to devote themselves to client work; Meryl Young in Orange County and Robert Serio in New York now steer the group. Serio’s highlights included helping Och-Ziff Capital Management, which has over $45bn in assets, to conclude high-value cases with the SEC and DOJ arising from Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigations. Dickey’s biggest win was securing the final dismissal of all securities fraud claims against Herbalife. Mark Kirsch in New York scored a decisive win for Coty Inc in a class action alleging that its pre-IPO statement was false and misleading. The case was dismissed with prejudice. San Francisco-based ‘young superstarBrian Lutz worked with Young to defend Quiksilver in a class action following the disclosure of improper revenue recognition. For litigation and enforcement work, clients recommend Paul Collins in Palo Alto and Joseph Warin in Washington DC, respectively.

A leading firm for Wall Street banks’, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s New York-based team is ‘without peer on all criteria in litigation and regulatory matters, certainly a firm that is at the top table’. The firm has ‘extraordinary depth in litigation generally and in securities litigation specifically’. Firm chair Brad Karp (who ‘always has a good read on the merits of a case’), Susanna Buergel and Richard Rosen secured the dismissal of an $800m claim against Citigroup for fraud and negligent misrepresentation of subprime mortgage exposure. ‘We trust his judgment implicitly’ say clients of ‘“ne plus ultra” litigatorDaniel Kramer, who ‘has great, practical business sense’. He acted for ADT Corporation in securing the dismissal of a stock-drop case filed in Florida. Martin Flumenbaum, Andrew Ehrlich and Claudia Hammerman are also recommended. Charles Davidow in Washington DC is highly recommended for both enforcement work and litigation. He played a key role in defending Merck in cases relating to its pain medication Vioxx. The firm has also played a key role in cases arising from the alleged manipulation of financial benchmarks and settled a key Libor-related matter for Deutsche Bank.

Equally at home in securities litigation or government investigations’, the team at Shearman & Sterling LLPworks hard to deliver top-notch work and an extraordinary level of customer service’. The firm has ‘a dynamic young group of lawyers led by senior statesmen’ and has developed a strong client base among accounting firms and Wall Street banks. New York-based head of litigation Adam Hakki, Daniel Lewis and San Francisco-based Patrick Robbins are representing underwriters of SunEdison and TerraForm Global securities in class actions alleging failure to disclose liquidity problems. Hakki and Lewis also secured an appellate victory for Credit Suisse and Jefferies in In re Tremor Video Securities Litigation. Hakki and Agnès Dunogué won for Barclays and Citigroup in cases arising from the IPO of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, and for Credit Suisse and Citigroup in a class action regarding Endocyte’s IPO. The firm continued to play a key role in MBS and Libor-related matters. Clients praise Jaculin Aaron, Stuart Baskin and Brian Polovoy, who ‘has a great way of explaining the issues’.

Securities litigation is a premier practice at the firm’, say clients of Sidley Austin LLP, where the lawyers are ‘among the best at what they do and can handle difficult matters economically with spot-on advice’. The firm has ‘seamless national coverage with enough people power, brain power and experience to defend bet-the-company cases’. The firm’s deep bench includes Yvette Ostolaza in Dallas (‘obviously smart and deeply experienced’), who defended Trinity Industries in a class action brought in Texas; Chicago-based Hille Sheppard and the ‘thoughtful, creative and practicalSara Brody in San Francisco, who both handled a securities class action for renewable energy company SunEdison; New York-based Andrew Stern, who is a ‘persuasive advocate that provides strategic direction and terrific execution’ and handled a 1934 Act class action for Cigna Corp; Walter Carlson and James Ducayet in Chicago, who represented Las Vegas Sands in a stock-drop class action in Nevada; and Norman Blears in Palo Alto, who is ‘extremely knowledgeable and takes the drama out of stressful situations’. San Francisco-based Jaime Bartlett is a rising star. The firm regularly represents leading accounting firms in regulatory enforcement matters.

It is hard to argue with its place in the top tier of firms’, say clients and peers of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Jonathan Youngwood, who leads the securities litigation group, and Palo Alto-based Jonathan Kreissman are representing Twitter in two putative class actions alleging misrepresentation of user-tracking metrics. Youngwood and Los Angeles-based Chet Kronenberg continued to represent SeaWorld Entertainment in a class action claiming it underreported the negative impact of documentary film Blackfish. Co-head of the firm’s global litigation practice Paul Curnin secured the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against MDC Partners that alleged it had overstated goodwill and reported earnings. Joseph McLaughlin and George Wang secured the reversal of a class certification in a 10b-5 claim against Best Buy and its executives. Wang and Lynn Neuner also obtained the dismissal of a class action against Weight Watchers International on the grounds that plaintiffs failed to show actionable reporting misstatements or omissions. Peter Kazanoff is ‘especially well regarded’ and won victories in key Ponzi-scheme cases. Thomas Rice is described as ‘a worthy adversary, a very smart lawyer’. Above named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York, Jay Kasner (who is ‘a major force in securities litigation’) is head of the firm’s national practice. He and Scott Musoff are ‘terrific, they are among the most able lawyers at a very strong firm’. Together they represented 14 underwriters of Petrobras securities, successfully obtaining the dismissal of Securities Act claims arising from the company’s global note offering and subsequently securing a stay in pending shareholder litigation until an appeal of class certification is decided at the Second Circuit. For News Corp and Rupert and James Murdoch they also defeated a motion to reconsider prior dismissals of securities class actions arising out of the improper newsgathering practices of newspapers The Sun and The News of the World. Their long list of successes also includes achieving dismissal with prejudice of a putative securities class action against Vivint Solar and The Blackstone Group, which alleged that the former’s registration statement misled investors. Susan Saltzstein, who achieved a favorable settlement for Covisint in a class action challenging its IPO, is also recommended.

In recent years, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s New York office has established itself as one of the powerhouses of financial crisis-related securities litigation and its list of significant victories for clients continues in the financial services sector and beyond. Robert Giuffra (who is ‘deservedly seen as a leading light’) obtained the dismissal with prejudice of an investor lawsuit against Goldman Sachs claiming that the bank overpaid its board by $2bn in the run up to the financial crisis. Jeffrey Scott successfully defended Barclays in a case brought by investors in the LX dark pool. Richard Klapper defended both Barclays and Goldman Sachs in cases alleging securities fraud and convinced the Second Circuit to grant separate petitions for class certification. The cases raise important issues about evidentiary standards for rebutting the fraud-on-the-market presumption. Richard Pepperman and Washington DC-based Daryl Libow scored a victory for BP at the Fifth Circuit in shareholder litigation arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by securing a summary judgment in four matters on the basis that the plaintiffs had failed to show loss causation or damages. The firm also handled high-value matters for Volkswagen, BHP Billiton and Fiat Chrysler.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is ‘highly responsive, excellent at client preparation and has a strong team at partner and associate level’. The firm’s strength is representing investment banks and Herbert Washer, who leads the firm’s litigation and regulatory practices, and David Januszewski played central roles in defending Credit Suisse Group in cases alleging manipulation of Libor and other financial benchmarks during the financial crisis. Januszewski and Charles Gilman are handling several matters for Deutsche Bank, including high-frequency trading and trust preferred securities cases. Washer, Januszewski and David Wishengrad represented Barclays in a credit default swap case. Floyd Abrams represented McGraw Hill Financial and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services in several lawsuits across the US relating to the credit rating of mortgage-backed securities. Washington DC-based regulatory enforcement specialist Bradley Bondi has ‘in-depth knowledge of the SEC and how to deal with it’. He represented David Weishaus in an SEC insider trading case. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘a stable of brilliant and scholarly lawyers with deep knowledge of even the most esoteric areas of law’. The firm has a role in some of the highest-profile securities fraud cases in the market, such as the Petrobras litigation, in which New York partners Roger Cooper and Lewis Liman are defending the company. Cooper and Lawrence Friedman won the dismissal of a putative class action that alleged securities fraud by client Atlantic Power Corporation and certain executives in statements about the company’s debt and sustainability. Meredith Kotler and Jared Gerber helped secure dismissal of all claims against Barclays Bank and Barclays Capital in a case arising from a foreign bank’s $123m investment in CDOs. Last year, the firm saw the end of its work for more than 40 bank underwriters of Lehman Brothers securities when the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the only remaining action. The SEC’s enforcement division’s former chief litigation counsel Matthew Solomon recently joined the team in Washington DC.

For the biggest, hardest problems it has an enormous track record of success’, say clients of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. While the firm’s securities litigation team is not the largest in New York it ‘punches above its weight and has a presence on some of the most prominent matters in the market’. Litigation department co-chair John Kiernan has standout litigators in his team, including Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert, who represented Prudential Financial in two key matters; in Burton v The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, they secured dismissal of a putative class action that raised issues of first impression concerning the interpretation of provisions in the California Insurance Code. O’Connor also represents insurance company MetLife. The firm’s workload covers diverse industry sectors. For example, Bruce Yannett and Washington DC-based Colby Smith are acting for mining company Barrick Gold in a class action alleging securities fraud. O’Connor and Schallert successfully defended the former CFO of Hertz in a class action alleging misstatements of the company’s financial position. In a significant development, the firm’s regulatory enforcement practice saw the return of former SEC Chair Mary Jo White and former SEC enforcement director Andrew Ceresney in early 2017.

At Dechert LLP, firm chairman and ‘terrific lawyerAndrew Levander is representing former Hertz Global CEO Mark Frissora in a class action alleging the company made false and misleading financial statements. Global litigation head Matthew Larrabee is respected for cases in the financial services, mutual fund, hedge fund, technology and healthcare industries. David Kistenbroker, who splits his time between New York and Chicago, defended Endocyte against claims the company made false and misleading statements about experimental drug Vynfinit. He also defended Exide Technologies in a $500m case alleging that it concealed the extent of its environmental liability. Also involved in the Endocyte case was the notable Joni Jacobsen. David Kelley, who joined from Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and is a former US Attorney, adds significant regulatory enforcement experience. Michael Kichline in Philadelphia is representing Ocean Power Technologies in a consolidated 1934 Act class action. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s geographically broad and talented team has strengthen significantly in recent times. From the West Palm Beach office, Joseph Coates leads the local securities litigation group and Bradford Kaufman is co-chair of firm’s wider securities litigation team, while Daniel Tyukody in Los Angeles leads on securities class actions. In New York, William Briendel and Robert Horowitz are the heads of the broker-dealer litigation practice. Washington DC-based Elaine Greenberg, whose experience includes 25 years at the SEC, joined from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. Louis Solomon, who is now co-head of the firm’s international litigation practice, joined in New York from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP along with colleagues Hal Shaftel and Colin Underwood - . The firm’s highlights included Tyukody’s defense of Bridgepoint Education in a class action based on allegations that the company intentionally manipulated its accounting processes to influence its stock price. Clients also recommend Karl Dial’s team in Dallas; Hilarie Bass and David Coulson in Miami; and Terry Weiss in Atlanta.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has ‘a top-notch team that delivers phenomenal client service’, say clients, who appreciate its ‘ethical and energetic representation’. On behalf of the board of SAIC, Mark Filip, who works from Chicago and Washington DC, obtained the complete dismissal of matters arising from the CityTime fraud committed by two low-level employees. Chicago-based Robert Kopecky and Joshua Rabinovitz are defending General Motors in four derivative actions relating to the company’s recall of ignition switches. Highlights for Andrew Clubok in New York included defending Facebook in a series of securities class actions, derivative suits and government investigations in the wake of its IPO. He secured the dismissal of all derivative suits. Clubok’s team for the class actions included the ‘deal-oriented’ Elizabeth Deeley in Los Angeles. Joseph Serino in New York and Susan Davies in Chicago are defending a class action for BASF Metals alleging conspiracy to manipulate platinum and palladium prices. Clients also recommend New York-based former SEC director of enforcement Robert Khuzami.

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘very strong on the West Coast’ and also has strength in depth in its New York office. In New York, Jeff Hammel and Richard Owens are representing the British Bankers’ Association in a large multi-district litigation (MDL) relating to the alleged manipulation of Libor. Christopher Clark and veteran James Brandt are defending a 10b-5 class action for Credit Suisse Securities concerning a complex derivatives transaction. Miles Ruthberg chairs the New York litigation and trial department and is representing Deloitte & Touche against a $3.5bn negligent misrepresentation claim brought by Freddie Mac in Florida. The firm has ‘one of the leading practices for the representation of accounting firms’ and Peter Wald in San Francisco is advising Deloitte as the auditor of capital management firm Aequitas in a class action alleging false and misleading statements about the company’s sales. The firm’s deep West Coast bench includes Brian Glennon in Los Angeles - who co-chairs the firm securities litigation practice with Hammel and Clark - and Orange County’s Michele Johnson. The Chicago office also has a strong team, which includes Sean Berkowitz.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has ‘a track record of success and great efficiency’ and is seen as ‘one of the top SEC enforcement practices’. Jordan Hershman and Jason Frank in Boston successfully served as lead counsel to FreddieMac in mortgage-backed securities cases. Charlene Shimada in San Francisco handled several IPO-related cases, notably in the pharmaceuticals sector. She also advised underwriters, including Jeffries and RBC Capital Markets, on a 1933 Act class action; a motion for settlement is pending. Kenneth Schacter in New York often handles insider trading cases. His highlights included defending GPS manufacturer Deere & Company against allegations that it concealed its receivers were subject to interference from telecoms company LightSquared’s proposed network, which was later denied regulatory approval and subsequently went into administration. Marc Sonnenfeld in Philadelphia secured a motion to dismiss at the Sixth Circuit for General Cable Company in a case that accused the defendants of fraudulently inflating the company’s stock price. In Chicago, Merri Jo Gillette and SEC veteran Peter Chan are among many recommended partners.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a strong presence in its home turf of California and is also growing stronger in Washington DC and New York. In recent moves, former US Attorney Melinda Haag rejoined the firm’s San Francisco office and Robert Stern joined from O’Melveny & Myers LLP, splitting his time between Washington DC and New York. San Francisco-based practice head James Kramer (who excels in stock-drop cases and ‘has boundless energy and can charm judges and opponents like magic’) advised Resonant in a securities class action brought by investors who accuse the company of failure to disclose problems meeting technology development milestones. Kramer and experienced trial lawyer Robert Varian represented 23andMe in nine class actions arising from alleged failure to validate its saliva-collection kits. Kenneth Herzinger is recommended for SEC enforcement cases and class actions. Los Angeles-based Michael Tu and San Francisco-based senior associate Alex Talarides are also recommended. The firm’s regulatory enforcement practice has been strengthened following the merger of its securities litigation and white-collar defense practices into one group. Jason Halper joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Paul Hastings LLP has an extensive network across the country and is known for ‘good people, good coverage and great response times’. The firm has ‘an incredibly robust practice in SEC enforcement work and DOJ investigations’ as well as a strong bench of litigators. Douglas Flaum in New York and Peter Stone in Palo Alto are co-chairs of the global securities litigation practice. The firm has an impressive roster of investment bank clients and New York-based global litigation chair Barry Sher and Joshua Hamilton in Los Angeles obtained the dismissal of all claims against the underwriters of the SeaWorld Entertainment IPO, including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Sher and Flaum represented UBS in securities fraud litigation relating to the NS Repack CDO. New York’s Kevin Logue secured the dismissal of two complaints against Brookfield Investment Management in a high-profile case that raised questions about statutes of repose. Los Angeles-based William Sullivan, who is known for his ‘experience, understanding and sound advice’, obtained confirmation that the DOJ will not bring charges against individual executives of Countrywide in relation to mortgage-backed securities. Samuel Cooper in Houston is also recommended.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz has great depth in its securities litigation team, which is led by ‘exceptional lawyerWilliam Savitt and Jonathan Moses. The firm regularly acts in high-stakes litigation for blue-chip corporate clients such as Facebook and JP Morgan. Savitt, Bradley Wilson and rising star Ryan McLeod are representing outside directors and the board of Facebook in connection with a putative class action challenging the proposed reclassification of the company’s common stock in order to increase Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropic activities. Savitt also represented Lionsgate in obtaining the dismissal of a securities class action alleging that the company had misled investors by not disclosing a pending SEC investigation. In Lima v Vivint Solar Inc,Paul Vizcarrondo and Carrie Reilly achieved a victory for underwriters of Vivint Solar’s IPO by obtaining the complete dismissal with prejudice of all claims. John Saverese has long represented JP Morgan in Madoff-related litigation, which continued in 2016.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s New York-based team is ‘responsive, detail-oriented and secures outstanding results across the board’. Clients say that ‘the advice always makes sense from a legal and business perspective’, describing John Neuwirth and Joseph Allerhand as ‘reliable, proactive and worth the hourly rate’. Neuwirth achieved a decisive court of appeals victory for Sanofi with the dismissal of a high-profile securities fraud class action concerning the results of clinical trials for a multiple sclerosis drug. Allerhand scored three victories for Fairway Group Holdings in matters relating to its 2013 IPO. Miranda Schiller and Gregory Silbert defeated a $57m claim against Vivendi in one of the largest securities fraud class actions to be tried to judgment. Highlights for former federal prosecutor Jonathan Polkes included a victory for Morgan Stanley when a New York federal jury issued a verdict of no liability in private insider trading claims brought by a Russian billionaire. Stephen Radin and Stacy Nettleton are among the other respected partners. Jim Quinn left the firm.

Litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC is ‘one of the few firms outside New York that is having a big impact in securities litigation’. It is known for its robust style that stems from its ‘deep expertise and a focus on litigation that means, right from the start, cases are prepared for trial rather than settlement’. Veteran litigator Brendan Sullivan led the defense of Bank of America in a case brought by the US government that alleged that it defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by selling loans that breached contractual warranties. On appeal, a $1.3bn penalty awarded in district court was overturned. Robert Van Kirk acted for $22bn MBS vehicle Carlyle Capital Corporation in securities class actions seeking over $1bn in damages. Kannon Shanmugam is advising Nasdaq on In re Facebook IPO Securities and Derivative Litigation. Dane Butswinkas and Steven Farina reduced settlement from $3.7bn to $1.5bn in Lawrence E Jaffe Pension Plan v Household International Inc.Hackney Wiegmann is also recommended.

Based mainly out of Washington DC, WilmerHale’s team is ‘excellent for high-value, bet-the-company matters and has an excellent business sense and terrific depth’. William McLucas is chair of the securities practice, which provides ‘outstanding service and practical, useful advice’. Among the three practice vice chairs, Christopher Davies is taking the lead in the defense of securities fraud actions against blood-testing company Theranos; Fraser Hunter in New York is defending RBS in all US litigation concerning alleged manipulation of Libor; and Boston-based Andrea Robinson is representing a Big Four accounting firm in SEC investigations. Michael Bongiorno in New York and Peter Kolovos in Boston are ‘aggressive when they need to be but can also provide good advice on complex and challenging matters’. Matthew Martens in Washington DC, a former head of the SEC’s trial unit, is highly recommended. Clients also praise Timothy Perla and ‘brilliant legal mind and superb strategist’ John Batter in Boston and New York-based enforcement lawyer Lori Martin.

The merger of Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer to form Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP combined a strong regulatory enforcement practice with a skilled securities litigation team. ‘A great team offering excellent advice and a first-rate service that proactively finds practical solutions’, say clients. Veronica Rendón Callahan in New York and Michael Trager in Washington DC, who count leading accounting firms among their clients, are co-chairs of the practice. New York-based Vincent Sama is ‘a standout superstar litigator who combines superior knowledge with impeccable judgment and terrific business instincts’, says a client; Catherine Schumacher and Daphne Morduchowitz are also recommended. All three handled the court of appeals defense of former AIG CFO Howard Smith against claims that the company concealed losses and inflated reserves. Gilbert Serota in San Francisco secured dismissal of a class action against Yelp that alleged failure to disclose unreliable views on its online platforms. Washington DC-based Scott Schreiber, Arthur Luk and counsel Adam Rienhart are also recommended.

One of the best mid-sized firms, with the experience and skill to handle complex matters’, Cohen & Gresser is ‘very professional and knowledgeable and its lawyers have good judgment while being hard-nosed but pleasant litigators’. The ‘smart, experiencedMark Cohen leads the team and is ‘a real combination of trial lawyer, commercial litigator and client counselor’. Daniel Tabak frequently advises key client Goldman Sachs on regulatory investigations, while the investment bank also calls upon C Evan Stewart for complex litigation matters. Lawrence Gresser, Nathaniel Read and Gale Dick are highly recommended, as is ‘experienced trial lawyer’ Stephen Sinaiko, who joined from Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP to add significant expertise in class actions and regulatory enforcement matters. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Covington & Burling LLP has ‘an excellent litigation department with very knowledgeable lawyers who are highly experienced but also quick learners’. The firm has ‘great instincts for how judges and opposing counsel will react’. In New York, Mark Gimbel (who is ‘a great listener and his thoughtful approach is of great value’) and William Phillips chair the practice. They are handling a motion to dismiss a class action against SandRidge Energy CEO James Bennett that alleges misrepresentation of the value of oil and gas assets. David Kornblau, Nancy Kestenbaum, Washington DC-based Bruce Baird and San Francisco’s Tammy Albarrán are noted for government investigations and litigation. Gimbel and Robert Wick are advising JPMorgan Securities in an MDL alleging collusion to manipulate the market for US Treasury securities.

DLA Piper LLP (US)continues to grow its credibility’ thanks in part to its ‘dogged and determined style’. John Clarke in New York and James Mathias in Baltimore (who is ‘a leading player in REITs cases’) co-chair a practice with a nationwide presence. Timothy Hoeffner in New York obtained dismissal of complaints seeking $7bn in damages from Deloitte & Touche for alleged negligent misrepresentation in Adelphia Communications’ financial statements. In San Diego, Robert Brownlie and Shirli Weiss are recommended. Brownlie represented Southwest Water Company in a long-running matter in which the Ninth Circuit denied plaintiffs’ rights to reopen securities fraud claims. Perrie Weiner in Los Angeles secured the dismissal of claims against Resonant Inc IPO underwriter MBD Capital. Stellman Keehnel and ‘superstarAndrew Escobar in Seattle secured the dismissal of a class action against real estate database company Zillow. Also recommended are ‘fantastic litigatorJohn Hillebrecht in New York and SEC enforcement lawyer Ryan O’Quinn in Miami.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has a strong track record in high-stakes litigation and the firm continued to build its team in 2016 with the hire of Scott Luftglass from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. James Wareham in Washington DC is global chair of the litigation department and alongside New York-based Israel David he obtained a notable victory for Aerie Pharmaceuticals in a 10b-5 case that alleged the company made false and misleading statements relating to candidate drug Rhopressa. Wareham and James Anklam, who is also based in Washington DC, are representing Perrigo Company in a case alleging that its former CEO failed to disclose problems with the integration of Omega Pharma Invest. In the New York office, William McGuinness and Stephen Juris are counsel to the underwriters, including Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank Securities, in matters relating to MaxPoint Interactive’s IPO.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is ‘driven, practical and more positive than other defense firms’, says one client. Practice co-head Bruce Vanyo, based in Los Angeles and New York, is ‘a top-notch strategist whose reputation as an ethical and fair defense lawyer is invaluable’. For Amarin Corporation, he obtained the dismissal of a 10b-5 class action arising from the FDA’s failure to approve the wider use of cholesterol drug Vascepa. He also acted for Angie’s List in two putative class actions alleging misrepresentation of the company’s financials. Christian Kemnitz defended Rosenthal Collins Group in litigation after its investment manager pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme that lost $30m for clients. Michael Diver in Chicago is highly recommended. In New York, Jason Vigna joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and William Regan moved to Hogan Lovells US LLP.

At Mayer Brown, ‘the level of service is top tier’, according to one client, who also praises the firm’s ‘pragmatic approach, experienced team and solid advice’. Joseph De Simone, Richard Spehr and Steven Wolowitz lead the practice from New York. De Simone’s highlights included defending Bank of China (Hong Kong) against claims relating to a transfer of $35m by Chinacast CEO Tze Ngon from the company’s US accounts. Wolowitz led the defense of Société Générale in class actions alleging manipulation of the USD Libor. Christopher Houpt, Michael Martinez and ‘thought-leader and very skilled trial lawyerMatthew Ingber acted as key advisers to Bank of New York Mellon in MBS-related cases. New hire Daniel Stein, from the US Attorney’s office, leads the firm’s global regulatory and investigations group. In Chicago, Michele Odorizzi is ‘as smart as they come and has an unrivaled ability to distill complex issues down to manageable arguments’.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in New York has a strong bench led by head of litigation and arbitration George Canellos and practice group leader Daniel Perry. Clients describe the firm as having ‘one of the leading 1940 Act practices in the country’. Sean Murphy and rising star Robert Hora represented AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company in a derivative action under the 1940 Investment Act in a precedent-setting excessive fee case where the claims were dismissed with prejudice after a 25-day trial. Firm chairman Scott Edelman secured the dismissal of several lawsuits against Citibank arising from allegations of currency exchange fraud. David Gelfand’s highlights included representing Rabobank in a class action alleging manipulation of Libor. Jed Schwartz, Thomas Arena and Antonia Apps are recommended. James Benedict retired.

Clients praise Morrison & Foerster LLP for its ‘subject matter expertise and clear communication with clients’, calling it ‘outstanding in all respects’. The practice has three co-heads in Jordan Eth in San Francisco, Joel Haims in New York and Demme Doufekias in Washington DC. Eth, Haims and Los Angeles-based Dan Marmalefsky successfully represented BlackBerry in multiple securities fraud actions relating to statements about the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices and ensured plaintiffs’ motion to reconsider the claims was dismissed. Judson Lobdell in San Francisco is defending a stock-drop class action for online marketplace Etsy. San Francisco-based Anna Erickson White and Erik Olson in Palo Alto are also recommended. In the Washington DC office, Jessie Liu, who joined from Jenner & Block LLP, defended a Fortune 100 aerospace company against allegations of false claims.

O’Melveny & Myers LLPscores five out of five for the talent of its lawyers’. New York-based head of securities litigation Jonathan Rosenberg won the dismissal of a qui tam action for ACE/Chubb entities against False Claims Act allegations. Matthew Close (who ‘ranks high for his skill and his customer services’) is also recommended, as is Seth Aronson, who represented former American Apparel CEO Dov Charney in a shareholder derivative action and an SEC investigation; both are based in Los Angeles. Jeffrey Kilduff and Shannon Barrett in Washington DC persuaded the court to dismiss a stock-drop complaint against Evercore Trust Company for alleged imprudent monitoring of the JCPenney 401(k) plan’s stock option. In New York, Allen Burton acted for Fifth Street Finance in 1934 Act class actions and derivative lawsuits, and Bradley Butwin, Andrew Bednark and Bill Sushon are also recommended. Robert Stern joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Proskauer Rose LLPmakes sure its clients’ needs are met and has a proactive approach thanks to an incredibly nimble team’. Ann Ashton and Ralph Ferrara in Washington DC are ‘top-notch strategists with experience in all kinds of litigation and enforcement matters’. They advised Fifth Street Asset Management on class actions and derivative actions concerning allegations that it overvalued investments. Ferrara is now acting as lead outside counsel for the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico, which is charged with helping the territory achieve fiscal responsibility. In New York, new hire Joshua Newville, previously senior counsel in the SEC’s enforcement division, adds considerable skills in regulatory matters. Highlights for Stephen Ratner and practice co-head Gregg Mashberg included securing a victory for The Depository Trust Company in a long-running case that found its processes and procedures were fair to micro-cap issuers. Practice co-head Jonathan Richman is also recommended.

Ropes & Gray LLPknows what it is doing in litigation and enforcement matters and always does an excellent job’. The firm’s ‘top-notch lawyers’ include Randall Bodner in Boston and Anne Johnson Palmer in San Francisco, who together represented Keurig Green Mountain in a federal securities case that was voluntarily dismissed when the evidence of confidential witnesses was proven to be unreliable. Boston-based Christopher Green is leading the defense of Sarepta Therapeutics in a case seeking $1bn in damages following setbacks in the filing of a new drug application. The case is now on appeal before the First Circuit. The firm has a strong pharma practice that generates 10b-5 cases and a leading 1940 Act practice representing funds. John Donovan is leading the defense of numerous fund advisers including Pimco in excessive fee litigation. Donovan and David Hennes are advising biopharmaceuticals company Chiasma on a class action.

At Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, New York-based accounting expert and securities litigation practice chair Michael Young is ‘clearly a leader in his field, combining real trial experience with organizational talent’. Washington DC-based senior counsel Richard Bernstein’s highlights included representing Facebook in a consolidated securities class action concerning its IPO under the Securities Act of 1933. Todd Cosenza in New York handles securities class actions as part of his complex financial litigation practice. He has secured numerous victories for Lehman Brothers Holdings, the most recent being the successful motion to expunge RMBS claims relating to 726,000 loans. Martin Seidel joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Superb, smart, incredibly articulate’ group chair James Smith is ‘an excellent lawyer with great judgment and leads a very strong litigation team’ at Winston & Strawn LLP. New York-based Smith and Richard Reinthaler and Los Angeles-based John Schreiber (who is ‘an excellent strategic partner who provides exceptional strategy’) are representing Omnicare in a review of the Sixth Circuit decision regarding statements of personal opinion and the grounds for liability in securities class actions. Smith and Schreiber are also leading the defense of RCS Capital in a 10b-5 stock-drop case. Clients also praise New York’s Stephen Sheinfeld (a ‘very smart, knowledgeable and tough negotiator and trial attorney who is dedicated to his clients’), newly promoted Ian Eisner, Chicago-based Caryn Jacobs and Robert Sperling, and Casey Berger in Houston.

At Baker Botts L.L.P., ‘the level of service is outstanding and the product is of the highest caliber’. David Sterling chairs the litigation department from Houston and Seth Taube in New York leads the firm-wide securities and shareholder litigation practice. Sterling and ‘deep, creative thinker and skilled litigatorDanny David (who is ‘experienced, thoughtful and has great insight’) defended Key Energy in a 10b-5 case alleging misrepresentation of the company’s FCPA compliance. Sterling and Jessica Pulliam in Dallas acted for Halliburton and its CEO in a class action alleging the company misrepresented its liability for, inter alia, asbestos-related claims and the benefits of its merger with Dresser Industries. Securities litigation specialist Jonathan Shapiro joined in San Francisco from Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C..

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has ‘a strong core team for securities litigation’, despite several departures. Louis Solomon, Hal Shaftel and Colin Underwood moved to Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Gregory Markel joined Seyfarth Shaw LLP; and Martin Seidel joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP. One significant hire is Jason Halper in New York from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who is ‘an excellent litigator - responsive and engaged’. Also in New York, newly promoted Nathan Bull has ‘has great skills and can write beautifully’, and Jonathan Hoff is acting for Salix Pharmaceuticals in a class action that alleges the company made false and misleading statements regarding its wholesaler inventory levels and its financial results.

Dentons has a deep bench of talent and is ‘very cost effective because of its national and global reach’. In New York, practice head Sandra Hauser and Patrick Gennardo successfully defended Metropolitan Life Insurance in five federal class actions alleging the company misrepresented its financial status, while Reid Ashinoff advised Genworth Financial on a stock-drop case alleging materially false statements in relation to a partial IPO. In Chicago, Stephen Senderowitz and Rachel Cannon won a high-profile ‘spoofing’ case in federal district court for proprietary trading firm 3Red Trading. In Washington DC, Nancy Grunberg (who is ‘client-oriented and outstanding on response times, business acumen and value for money’) is recommended for SEC matters.

Silicon Valley-headquartered Fenwick & West LLP has ‘credible and substantive knowledge of the technology and life sciences sectors and a deep understanding of clients’ needs’. In San Francisco, Susan Muck and Kevin Muck ‘work hard, know the facts of a case inside and out, and are savvy about managing litigation’. Former Associate Regional Director for enforcement at the SEC Michael Dicke and Jay Pomerantz, who splits his time between Mountain View and the firm’s recently opened New York office, are recommended. The firm’s highlights included securing for GoPro the dismissal of state and federal shareholder litigation relating to its 2014 IPO.

Goodwin’s national practice has built a reputation for favorable results in MBS matters and investment advisory cases involving excessive fees. Clients praise its ‘proactive approach and high-level strategic advice’. Grant Fondo in Silicon Valley is among the partners defending insider trading claims in Securities and Exchange Commission v Ashish Aggarwal, et al. Mark Holland in New York and Washington DC-based Michael Isenman are representing JPMorgan Investment Management in an excessive fees case. Also recommended are Derek Cohen (who is ‘a true star, smart and creative’) and Brian Pastuszenski in New York and Boston-based Todd Cronan.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has three co-chairs of its securities litigation group: New York-based William Maguire and Edward Little and Washington DC-based Kevin Abikoff. Maguire and Sarah Cave represented accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in litigation arising out of its audits of funds that invested with Bernard Madoff Securities, including a federal class action that was dismissed in the New York Appellate Division. New York-based Christopher Kiplok’s highlights included several matters for the trustee in the SIPA liquidation of Lehman Brothers. Washington DC-based Roel Campos chairs the firm’s securities enforcement practice, which also includes Terence Healy and New York’s Marc Weinstein.

Jones Day has an experienced team that includes former chiefs of the securities fraud unit in the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York in Charles Carberry and Washington DC-based Peter Romatowski. Also in Washington DC, Joan McKown is a former chief counsel for the SEC’s enforcement division. In New York, Robert Micheletto and Kelly Carrero represented Harman International in a securities fraud class action alleging false disclosures, and Jay Tambe advised Deutsche Bank on matters arising from emerging market CLO and CDS deals. Tambe and Boston-based Traci Lovitt are among the partners acting for Wells Fargo in RMBS cases. Patricia Villalreal in Dallas is recommended. Robert Gaffey retired.

King & Spalding LLP has a team spread across eight US offices that is ‘supportive, experienced, always quick to respond and extremely patient in explaining details’. Paul Bessette and Israel Dahan are representing FXCM in a class action alleging misrepresentation of the risk of the Swiss National Bank allowing the franc to trade freely against the euro. Peter Isajiw is acting for directors of Digital Domain Media Group in securities fraud and class action lawsuits concerning alleged misstatements. James Capra’s highlights included advising PwC Brazil in connection with the Petrobras corruption scandal. William Johnson, Austin-based Michael Biles and Dixie Johnson in Washington DC are all recommended. Warren Pope and Michael Smith in Atlanta defended misrepresentation claims against Galectin Therapeutics. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

New York firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is ‘a go-to firm for significant matters - timely, responsive and thoughtful of the business implications’. Gary Naftalis and Barry Berke lead the practice, and former plaintiff lawyer John Coffey is also highly regarded. Coffey is representing Pershing Square Capital Management in a class action alleging insider trading in relation to its attempt to acquire Allergan. Michael Dell, who has 30 years’ experience as a trial and appellate lawyer, acted for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in the appeal of an $806m settlement against Nomura Holding America in MBS-related litigation. Jonathan Wagner, Alan Friedman and Arthur Aufses are also recommended.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s team spans offices across the US and is strong in both SEC enforcement matters and securities litigation. Frederic Firestone in Washington DC leads the firm’s SEC defense practice and co-chairs the FCPA practice. He won a complete victory for John Flannery in an SEC enforcement action arising from communications to investors during the subprime mortgage crisis. In Chicago, experienced trial lawyer Steve Scholes is representing the former manager and former chief risk officer of AlphaMetrix Group in litigation arising from the company’s financial failure. Jeffrey Stone is also recommended.

New York-based litigation boutique Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. is ‘fantastic, a very fine firm with significant trial experience’. Strong in securities enforcement, it has ‘a top white-collar team that helps clients with securities litigation thanks to really smart advocates’ such as Edward Spiro and Judith Mogul. Spiro is representing the former CEO of Petrobras in a securities class action relating to an alleged bribery scheme. Spiro also defended directors of Merck in derivative litigation concerning clinical trial results. Mogul and Robert Anello secured an initial win for the former CEO of a European investment management firm for losses from an alleged US stocks scheme. Lawrence Iason and Elkan Abramowitz are also recommended.

A firm you want to have on speed dial’, Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP in New York is ‘outstanding value for money and the partners pride themselves on their industry knowledge’. Shari Brandt, Rowan Gaither and Matthew Riccardi ‘solve difficult problems with practical advice’. Brandt and Gaither defended interdealer broker ICAP in a class action arising from an alleged conspiracy to manipulate the ISDAfix swaps benchmark rate, and are handling the defense of the same client against claims that it manipulated the price of futures contracts tied to the Yen Libor benchmark. Daniel Zinman and Alex Soloman are also recommended. Steven Paradise joined from Vinson & Elkins LLP. The firm’s clients include Black Diamond Capital Management and executives of RBS Securities.

Securities litigation is a strong area for Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, which has an excellent presence among hedge funds and private equity houses. Martin Perschetz and William Gussman advised Merck’s former chief scientist on the Vioxx securities class action, the settlement of which was confirmed last year. Charles Clark is ‘a real star’ in the SEC enforcement space and was involved in significant regulatory investigations in the pharmaceuticals industry. Michael Swartz is ‘at the forefront of his practice area’ in M&A and securities litigation. Gary Stein is also recommended for regulatory matters, as are Washington DC-based Howard Schiffman and Eric Bensky, who defended a broker-dealer in an SEC investigation into fraud and insider trading. Named attorneys are based in New York except where stated otherwise.

Vinson & Elkins LLP’s team, led out of Dallas by John Wander and Michael Holmes, is ‘constructive, responsive and pleasant to work with’. Holmes, New York-based Clifford Thau and Austin-based Jennifer Poppe were among the partners who represented consumer finance company EZCorp in a 10b-5 case alleging the company made false and misleading statements. Also recommended is Michael Charlson in San Francisco, who led the defense of Vivus in a stock-drop case arising from the FDA’s failure to approve obesity drug candidate Qsymia. Steven Paradise joined Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP.

White & Case LLP scored a significant victory for Toshiba Corporation with the dismissal of a securities class action in California brought by purchasers of American depository receipts referencing Toshiba stock. Owen Pell, Washington DC-based Christopher Curran and Los Angeles-based Bryan Merryman successfully argued that under the US Supreme Court’s ruling in Morrison v National Australia Bank Ltd, the US Exchange Act does not apply to foreign issuers. Commercial litigation practice leader Glenn Kurtz, Douglas Baumstein and Miami’s James Robinson are also recommended. Named attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

At Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP, the team is led by Dallas-based Bradley Foster and new arrival in New York from Foley & Lardner LLPMark Mandel, who is also former chief of the New York office of the SEC’s broker-dealer enforcement division. Foster, Matthew Nielsen in Dallas and Austin-based David Whittlesey are representing insurer Bowen, Miclette & Britt in a $7bn international class action. The firm’s other highlights included defending former McGinn Smith owner Thomas Livingston in SEC administrative proceedings.

Baker & Hostetler LLP has ‘excellent knowledge of defense representation, good depth in the team and skills that inspire confidence’. In New York, experienced litigator Geoffrey Coll has over 20 years’ experience in class actions, and clients praise the ‘knowledge and desire to win’ of Marc Powers and the ‘strong work ethic’ of associate Jonathan Blattmachr. Coll represented trustees of Virtus Opportunities Trust in a $100m class action alleging misrepresentation of the performance of investment strategies by mutual funds. Jessie Gabriel is an up-and-coming name.

Clifford Chance is ‘terrific at defending securities fraud investigations’ and clients highlight Robert Houck as ‘very commercially minded and a vigorous advocate’. He is defending Bank of Montreal in an MDL comprising more than 40 class actions against primary dealers alleging they colluded to manipulate the auction and resale of US Treasury debt securities. He is also representing ICBC Standard Bank in a class action alleging manipulation of platinum and palladium price benchmarks. Clients also praise the ‘extraordinarily talented and smartEdward O’Callaghan and Chris Morvillo, who is representing the founder of Autonomy in cross-border matters. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Cooley LLP is ‘dominant in the technology space’. Peers describe it as ‘an outstanding firm with very talented lawyers for technology matters on the West Coast’, including the ‘very impressive’ John Dwyer in Palo Alto and Stephen Neal in San Francisco. Also singled out for praise is ‘very strong lawyer’ Lyle Roberts in Washington DC. The firm acted as co-counsel for global semiconductor company AMD in a securities class action in California alleging the company made false and misleading statements about the production and demand for a combined CPU and graphics processor.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in New York is leading the defense of a Rothschild Bank affiliate in a class action brought by Lehman Brothers seeking to invalidate collateral positions in CDO contracts. Tim Harkness, who led the oral argument in that case, is also representing structured investment vehicle Tensyr in clawback litigation relating to the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Gabrielle Gould’s highlights included acting for Citigroup in a securities fraud matter arising from unrated junk bond sales. Marshall Fishman joined Goodwin.

Jenner & Block LLPis not a legal factory but gives highly personalized advice’. ‘The depth and diversity of its partners’ experience stands out’, say clients. ‘Excellent tacticianStephen Ascher in New York ‘offers strong representation when the stakes are high and everything is on the line’. Howard Suskin in Chicago is also recommended. The firm’s highlights included defending a world famous financial services company accused of not disclosing risk in a co-brand relationship.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has a strong reputation among both energy companies and financial institutions. Houston-based global head of dispute resolution and litigation Gerard Pecht is representing oilfield technology company Flotek Industries in a securities class action and SEC investigation concerning allegations that its core software product did not work as advertised. Peter Stokes in Austin represented the former CFO of QRX Pharma in a 10b-5 case alleging material misrepresentation of the efficacy of a new drug. Rodney Acker in Dallas is also recommended.

San Francisco-based Sarah Good and Bruce Ericson lead the securities litigation and enforcement team at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP, which has a national scope. Ericson is defending a challenge to the settlement against former Hewlett-Packard CEO Leo Apotheker arising from the company’s acquisition of Autonomy. David Furbush acted for China Gerui Advanced Materials Group in a class action claiming the CEO spent $234m of cash reserves on a collection of antique Chinese porcelain, mislabeled the purchase and caused a 20% stock drop.

At Seward & Kissel LLP in New York, partners Mark Hyland, Michael McNamara and Michael Considine advised an investment manager with over $3bn under management in a case arising from an $800m currency loss. The firm is strong in regulatory enforcement matters and Jack Yoskowitz and counsel Ross Hooper are defending a Bermuda investment manager in Securities and Exchange Commission v Revelation Capital Management, Ltd, which raises issues of US securities law jurisdiction. Bruce Paulsen is also recommended.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP is ‘a strong, up-and-coming firm in this space with a respected practice that shows tremendous creativity and outside-the-box thinking’. The firm has a strong track record in mid-market cases and boosted its bench significantly with the hire of leading light Gregory Markel in New York from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP. Will Prickett in Boston defended directors and officers of Nanosphere in cases brought after the announcement of its acquisition by Luminex Corp. Andrew Boutros, who operates from Chicago and Washington DC, is ‘exceptional, the real deal - very thorough, meticulous and client-focused’.

Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth in Newport Beach is ‘an excellent boutique for high-end corporate advisory and litigation work’. ‘Consummate professional’ John Cannon and ‘real up-and-coming young partner’ Jason de Bretteville successfully defended Spectrum Pharmaceuticals in a stock-drop case seeking $100m in damages and alleging that the company did not disclose the risk to sales from a generic competitor to its cancer drug, Fusilev. Kathleen Marcus is also recommended.

Vedder Price in Chicago is ‘outstanding in every area with fast response times and a high level of expertise’. Chair of the financial services group Thomas Cimino is representing former Akorn CFO Tim Dick in a 10b-5 case concerning restatements of the company’s financial position. Chair of the government enforcement group Junaid Zubairi is acting for a high-level automotive sector executive in regulatory investigations into sales reporting practices. Recent highlights for Randall Lending include advising former directors of First United Bank in a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) investigation.


Securities litigation: plaintiff

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Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP has a long and successful history in securities litigation, having obtained some of the largest securities fraud recoveries on record in cases such as In re WorldCom, Inc Securities Litigation ($6.2bn) and In re Cendant Corporation Securities Litigation ($3.3bn). This track record continued last year in the landmark In re Merck & Co, Inc Securities Litigation, which was resolved shortly before trial after 12 years of litigation and resulted in the largest securities recovery ever against a pharmaceutical company with the award of $1.06bn. The firm also recovered $300m in New York State Teachers’ Retirement System v General Motors Company and $243m in In re MF Global Holdings Limited Securities Litigation. The firm is ‘one of the biggest names in the market’ and in the New York office Max Berger, Salvatore Graziano, Gerald Silk (who is ‘very smart and always brings cases with merit’) and Avi Josefson are among the leading names. In San Diego, Blair Nicholas advises many funds and insurance companies on high-stakes securities litigation and David Stickney has a strong track record in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) cases.

Jay Eisenhofer in New York and Stuart Grant in Wilmington lead the team at Grant & Eisenhofer P.A., which is ‘a formidable opponent known for bringing cases with merit’, according to defense counsel. Eisenhofer secured a $1.36bn settlement, the largest in European history, for more than 160 institutional investors holding in excess of 80 million shares, in a case against Fortis for materially misleading investors with incomplete information about its solvency status and its exposure to US subprime assets in the lead up to its purchase of ABN Amro Holding. Further recent highlights include an active securities action for institutional investors against RBS in the High Court in London that concerns a £12bn rights offering in 2008, in which Eisenhofer is bringing allegations of material misrepresentation and omissions concerning subprime credit exposure and the value of goodwill in its then-recent acquisition of ABN Amro. He is also bringing a case against Volkswagen in Germany following its vehicle emissions scandal. Grant’s recent highlights include representing European investors in the Commercial Court of Paris in a claim against Vivendi alleging material and fraudulent misstatement of financial results to inflate share prices.

Litigation juggernautQuinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP handles a large amount of defense work but its practice acts predominantly for plaintiffs, notably institutional clients bringing cases against large banks. The firm ‘prepares for optimum recovery and is prepared to take things to the mat’. Philippe Selendy in New York stands out for his work in Federal Housing Finance Agency v Nomura Holding America Inc et al, in which he secured an $806m judgment against Nomura and RBS for violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the blue sky laws of Virginia and the District of Columbia. Daniel Brockett’s highlights included In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litigation, in which he represented Salix Capital in a case alleging collusion in the credit default swap market by defendants including 12 major Wall Street banks. Peter Calamari’s case Financial Guaranty Insurance Company v The Putnam Advisory Company, LLC is now at the discovery stage. Jon Pickhardt obtained a $100m award in National Australia Bank v Goldman Sachs Arbitration. In Los Angeles, Harry Olivar, who represented over 200 plaintiffs in a case arising from the Petrobras bribery scandal, and Molly Stephens, whose highlights included GoldenTree Master Fund, Ltd, et al v Howard M Meyers, et al, are highly recommended.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is ‘one of the market leaders and has a disproportionate number of cases as lead counsel’. Its track record of success continued last year when a team from the firm’s San Diego office, including Michael Dowd, Spencer Burkholz and Maureen Mueller, secured approval of a $1.57bn recovery in the Jaffe v Household Int’l, Inc 10b5 case, which was the largest-ever award following a securities class action trial. Also involved in that case were Daniel Drosman and Luke Brooks, whose other highlights included obtaining a $388m recovery in Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund v JP Morgan Chase & Co, et al for investors who purchased RMBS offerings from the bank. A team led by Darren Robbins also recovered $272m from Goldman Sachs in one of the last remaining RMBS purchaser class actions. Founding partner Mark Solomon regularly represents US and UK pension funds and asset managers in securities litigation in federal and state courts. Danielle Myers, Lucas Olts, Elise Grace and ‘formidable adversaryBenny Goodman are also recommended.

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC enters the ranking in part because of its list of successes in MBS cases. Acting as lead counsel in eight of the 19 MBS class actions filed, it has recovered nearly $2bn for its clients. A team including Joel Laitman represented lead plaintiff New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund in a class action brought by purchasers of MBS issued by Residential Capital, which paid a $100m settlement supplemented by a further $235m settlement from underwriters including Goldman Sachs. The firm’s ‘creative and diligent litigators’ include managing partner Steven Toll and Daniel Sommers, who jointly chair the securities group. Toll and Julie Reiser led In re BP plc Securities Litigation, which resulted in a $175m settlement of lawsuits arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon drilling platform explosion. Sommers and Laitman also secured $500m in the MBS case In re Bear Stearns Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Litigation.

Barrister-style practiceGibbs & Bruns LLP in Houston has ‘a sophisticated client base of institutional investors for which it finds helpful and creative ways to solve problems’. Following successes in high-profile MBS cases, which included securing settlements for institutional investors of $8.5bn in the Countrywide RMBS matter and $4.5bn from JPMorgan, the firm is now heavily involved in a wide range of cases. The firm’s ‘brilliant, well-rounded lawyers’ include Kathy Patrick and Scott Humphries, who are representing institutional investors including WGI Emerging Markets in a securities fraud action against Petrobras arising from the company’s Lava Jato bribes-for-contracts scandal. Patrick and David Sheeren are also part of the team that filed an $800m suit on behalf of Fannie Mae against nine banks for alleged manipulation of financial benchmarks, including Libor. Robert Madden and founding partner Robin Gibbs are also highly recommended.

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP predominantly acts for plaintiffs in securities litigation, but its experience as defense counsel gives it a broad strategic view of cases. The firm has ‘a deep bench with many former federal prosecutors in its ranks’ and is ‘a serious practice for clients taking on the Wall Street banks’. The firm does not pursue class actions, but it does handle high-profile cases on behalf of private investors. Sheron Korpus is handling the firm’s biggest project, which is a series of multimillion-dollar claims on behalf of CDO investor Loreley Financing against investment banks. A $965m claim against Citigroup was settled last year on confidential terms. Marc Kasowitz, who is known as ‘one of the toughest lawyers on Wall Street’, successfully argued on behalf of ACA Financial Guaranty Corp in the New York Court of Appeals to reinstate a $120m lawsuit against Goldman Sachs relating to the Abacus CDO scheme.

Labaton Sucharow LLP is ‘at the very highest level of quality in terms of its investigative team, which is tightly integrated into its litigation capability’. A team led by name partner Lawrence Sucharow in New York secured final approval of a $300m settlement for lead plaintiff Arkansas Teacher Retirement System in a case against State Street Corporation after a ten-year investigation into the financial services company’s foreign exchange trading practices. Jonathan Gardner and Serena Hallowell obtained $140m for Union Asset Management Holding and LRI Invest in In re Barrick Gold Securities Litigation that alleged misrepresentation of the company’s flagship Pascua-Lama mining project. Joel Bernstein and Ira Schochet’s highlights included a $120m recovery for Sacramento City Employees’ Retirement System from oil and gas services company Weatherford. Thomas Dubbs - who led a securities class action for Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds and secured a $95m settlement from biotech company Amgen - and new hire from the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York Michael Canty are also recommended.

MoloLamken LLP is ‘outstanding and has real trial prowess’. In New York, Steven Molo and the ‘brilliant’ Robert Kry, who also spends time in the Washington DC office, are ‘great lawyers in a really good team - the firm is a boutique so you get thoughtful and considered responses’. In Washington DC, Thomas Wiegand, Jeff Lamken, the ‘bright, thoughtful’ Justin Weiner and former federal prosecutor Justin Shur are also recommended. Molo, Wiegand and Weiner represented Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, as Trustee for Morgan Stanley ABS Capital I, in a $130m RMBS case against Decision One Mortgage Company that alleged misrepresentation of the quality of mortgage loans. This ‘put back’ case will be among the first of its kind to go to trial. Molo and Lamken are currently representing a group of trusts and companies owned by insurance entrepreneur Arthur Williams in a ‘holder’ claim securities suit against Citigroup and its directors. Jessica Ortiz joined in New York from the US Attorney’s office.

Berman DeValerio specializes in complex securities and antitrust litigation from its offices in Boston, San Francisco and Palm Beach. It excels in representing public pension funds and institutional investors in class actions, notably in the mortgage-backed securities space. Nicole Lavallee in San Francisco and Leslie Stern in Boston lead the practice. In California Public Employees’ Retirement System v Moody’s Corp, San Francisco-based partners Joseph Tabacco, Todd Seaver and Daniel E Barenbaum secured a $255m settlement in a case alleging negligent misrepresentation in the rating of three structured investment vehicles. Boston-based Glen DeValerio and Steven Buttacavoli secured a $175m settlement for Ohio Public Employees Retirement System in In re BP plc Securities Litigation.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP in New York has a lean practice with a national reputation. The firm continues to file securities class action claims, including a new matter at New Jersey District Court on behalf of shareholders of Impax Laboratories arising from a Department of Justice investigation into price collusion among generic pharmaceutical companies. The firm is also bringing a class action against Wells Fargo arising from the bank’s cross-selling practices. Stanley Bernstein, Stephanie Beige, Seth Ottensoser and Michael Bigin are among the firm’s respected litigators.

At Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP, New York-based Robert Kaplan and Frederic Fox are seasoned trial lawyers. The firm’s securities class action against Arena Pharmaceuticals, which alleges the company concealed safety concerns about its weight loss drug lorcsaserin, was revived at the end of last year by the Ninth Circuit. The firm has a long track record of successes for institutional investors, including some of the world’s largest public pension funds.

Milberg LLP’s New York team continued its strong showing in securities litigation, with Matthew Kupillas and Peggy Wedgworth seeing their $1bn recovery for Merck shareholders confirmed last year in a securities fraud class action stemming from the withdrawal from the market of blockbuster drug Vioxx. Ariana Tadler, who leads the e-discovery unit, acted as co-lead counsel in a class action on behalf of shareholders against Ariad Pharmaceuticals arising from safety concerns about its cancer medication, ponatinib. Sanford Dumain and Paul Novak are also key names in the securities litigation team.


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