United States > Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings
Index of tables
General commercial disputes
- Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
- Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
- Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
- Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
- Williams & Connolly LLP
Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP
- Bracewell LLP
- Brown Rudnick LLP
- Cooley LLP
- Crowell & Moring LLP
- McGuireWoods LLP
Michelman & Robinson, LLP
- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP
- Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP
- Sullivan & Worcester LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
- Vinson & Elkins LLP
- Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
- David Boies - Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP
Michael Carroll -
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
- Mark Filip - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Jonathan Frank -
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
- Richard Godfrey - Kirkland & Ellis LLP
- Brad Karp - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
- John Kiernan - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
- Randy Mastro - Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- Richard Pepperman II - Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
John Quinn -
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Thomas Rice -
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
- Edward Soto - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
- Theodore Wells - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
- David Yohai - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
New York-based Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has a ‘well-deserved reputation’ as ‘one of the finest law firms in the world’. In an illustration of both its reputation in the financial services space and its geographic reach, the team acts as lead counsel to Credit Suisse in ongoing RMBS litigation in nine states across the country. ESPN is another active client; J Wesley Earnhardt, Roger Brooks* and ‘brilliant advocate’ Evan Chesler represented it and other network defendants in a putative class action filed in Tennessee by student athletes regarding compensation; the court granted a motion to dismiss, which has been appealed by the plaintiffs. Sandra Goldstein is representing Mylan in a consolidated class action in Pennsylvania. On the plaintiff side, David Marriott is representing Alcon Laboratories in an action challenging the constitutionality of a state statute concerning pricing policies, which is on appeal before the Tenth Circuit. *Since publication, Roger Brooks has retired from the firm's litigation practice.
The highly regarded litigation department at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is regularly engaged in high-profile and complex commercial disputes, securing a number of dismissals and favorable settlements for its clients in 2015. Carey Dunne and Frances Bivens are representing key client Con Edison in an investigation and related litigation surrounding a gas explosion in Manhattan’s East Village in 2015, as well as consolidated litigation concerning a steam rupture in Manhattan in 2007, and a host of civil suits arising from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Other key figures in the team include Benjamin Kaminetzky, who is a key name for commercial and bankruptcy litigation, and Paul Spagnoletti, who is noted for his expertise in legal malpractice claims. Michael Carroll was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2015.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s New York-based team is considered ‘outstanding for bet-the-farm litigation’, particularly in the healthcare and financial services sectors. Recent highlights include Maeve O’Connor and Edwin Schallert’s representation of Prudential Financial in numerous class actions across the country, and Mark Goodman and Sean Hecker’s defense of a major pharmaceutical company in a breach of contract claim. The team of ‘technically excellent litigators’ includes the ‘scalpel sharp’ Maura Monaghan, Shannon Rose Selden, who has a strong private equity client base, and John Kiernan, whose broad practice spans contract disputes, derivatives and consumer class actions.
Randy Mastro chairs Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s sizeable commercial litigation practice, which was further bolstered by numerous lateral hires and partner promotions in 2015. It is regularly engaged in cases with over $1bn in dispute; Washington DC-based Matthew McGill and Theodore Olson’s representation of BlueMountain Capital Management in litigation pertaining to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s debt restructuring is one recent example; after prevailing in the District of Puerto Rico, the decision was affirmed by the First Circuit. Orin Snyder and Josh Krevitt are representing Square co-founders Jack Dorsey (also co-founder of Twitter) and Jim McKelvey in a claim concerning an alleged breach of an oral joint venture agreement. Recent highlights for the buoyant class action practice include representing Uber in putative class actions brought by drivers in Massachusetts and California, and BNSF Railway in a price-fixing class action brought against four major rail companies. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
‘Among the best in the country’, Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘thorough, reliable and accurate’ and is considered a ‘go-to firm for highly complex commercial and regulatory litigation disputes’. The department is regularly engaged in disputes involving numerous regulatory bodies and civil litigation parties; recent examples include representing Deutsche Bank in enforcement investigations and concurrent class actions surrounding the alleged price-fixing of foreign exchange rates. The team acts for market leaders across the pharmaceutical, energy and TMT sectors; James Hurst successfully represented AbbVie in a breach of contract case in Lake County, Illinois, and Richard Godfrey and Mark Filip serve as lead counsel to BP in the sprawling litigation arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Praise is also levelled at the ‘first-rate’ Mark Holscher in Los Angeles, and James Gillespie, Eugene Assaf and Winn Allen in Washington DC. All partners are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was engaged in high-stakes litigation throughout 2015, often handling cases with a commercial litigation component and parallel regulatory investigations. For key client Citigroup, teams led by Brad Karp have recently handled international arbitration proceedings brought by a sovereign wealth fund concerning a $7.5bn investment, closely watched litigation concerning an SEC settlement, which concerned the scope of judicial review of regulatory settlements, as well as a host of litigation connected with RMBS sales. Karp and a team that included Theodore Wells and Bruce Birenboim represented the NFL in a landmark concussion settlement with former NFL players. Media and entertainment is another area of strength, where Jay Cohen and Allan Arffa are particularly prominent. Daniel Beller and Leslie Fagen are also recommended. All partners are based in New York.
Household-name companies frequently seek out Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s well-known trial expertise, which regularly sees it handling arbitration proceedings and state and federal court cases. Financial services litigation is a mainstay; the latest victory in its ongoing representation of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) came in 2015, when FHFA won an $806m judgment against Nomura and RBS for securities violations; Philippe Selendy in New York took the lead role. Other major cases in 2015 included Washington DC-based William Burck and Jenny Durkan’s representation of FIFA in the US and Swiss investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption, and Chicago-based Stephen Swedlow’s representation of Uber in a federal lawsuit in Houston surrounding false advertising claims. Key contacts in Los Angeles include John Quinn, Christopher Tayback and A William Urquhart, who works across the Washington DC and Los Angeles.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has its forte in complex disputes that spawn multiple lawsuits, and its primarily New York-based team handles cases across the country. Recent examples include its defense of Fairfield Greenwich in Madoff-related litigation; in one recent development, a team led by Mark Cunha and Peter Kazanoff obtained the dismissal of certain of Madoff’s trustees’ claims against foreign Fairfield Greenwich entities in federal bankruptcy court. Insurance is another major strength and Nicholas Goldin and Los Angeles-based Deborah Stein represented Berkshire Hathaway Insurance and Cyprus Insurance in a cybersecurity class action suit in California. Jonathan Youngwood and Paul Curnin jointly chair the litigation department. Thomas Rice is hugely experienced and another key name. In Washington DC, antitrust expert Sara Razi was promoted to partner, as was New York-based Susannah Geltman.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s sizeable and renowned litigation practice is frequently retained by major clients embroiled in multiple lawsuits and regulatory investigations. In the New York office, Jonathan Frank acted for Queens Development Company in two separate actions concerning the planned $3bn development of Willets Point in Queens, New York, and Lauren Aguiar represented Fresh Del Monte Produce in multiple false advertising and breach of contract suits in the Southern District of New York. Thomas Nolan heads the West Coast litigation practice, where key litigators include Lisa Gilford, who has a buoyant class action practice, and Jason Russell, whose broad business litigation expertise takes in IP and sports law; all three are based in Los Angeles. Maura Barry Grinalds in New York is also recommended.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP acts for blue chip companies and leading financial institutions, and was retained by a number of new clients in 2015 in the automotive, energy and financial services sectors. Barclays remains a major client for David Braff; recent cases include a LIBOR-related individual action alleging false advertising and federal antitrust violations; in January 2015, the court granted Barclays’ motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case. Key litigator Robert Giuffra’s recent caseload includes the successful representation of Cablevision and its board of directors in a shareholder derivative suit filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Other recent successes for the department include its work for BP in securities fraud and derivative class actions stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where Richard Pepperman II and Daryl Libow had key roles. Sharon Nelles’ practice takes in civil and regulatory investigations and litigation; her clients include Moody’s, Standard Chartered and JPMorgan Chase.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s ‘consistently excellent’ commercial litigation practice services a global client base that includes financial institutions and energy, media and consumer products companies. For CBS, the team achieved two important victories in Tennessee and California in cases brought by current and former student athletes concerning the right of publicity; James Quinn and Yehudah Buchweitz took lead roles. Edward Soto in Miami handles product liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) for key client Procter & Gamble, and David Lender represented Credit Suisse in multiple cases concerning real estate loan disputes. Other significant wins include David Yohai’s successful defense of Farmers Insurance in a RICO class action. Above-named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated. Diane Sullivan is the key contact in Princeton, New Jersey, and ‘aggressive advocate and strategic tactician’ Christopher Cox heads the California litigation practice from Silicon Valley.
Washington-DC based litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP is highly rated by peers and clients. Dane Butswinkas secured numerous victories for his blue-chip client base, including obtaining a favorable verdict for AstraZeneca in a federal jury trial in a case concerning antitrust, patent, and food and drug law. Elsewhere, Butswinkas and First Amendment expert Kevin Baine successfully defended HBO in a defamation case brought by Mitre Sports International. Robert Van Kirk is representing the Carlyle Group in litigation brought by investors and liquidators of Carlyle Capital Corporation. Other recent successes for the team came in Colorado, Nevada and California, where John Villa and a team have been representing directors and officers of failed banks in receivership lawsuits. Ryan Scarborough is also recommended.
Standout areas for Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s strong litigation practice include antitrust, securities and professional liability. The team offers ‘unmatched expertise’ for First Amendment issues; recent highlights in this space include Floyd Abrams and Joel Kurtzberg’s representation of Amarin in a case challenging the constitutionality of FDA restrictions on off-label promotions. Abrams and a team including Tammy Roy and Penny Windle are representing McGraw Hill Financial and Standard & Poor’s in suits across the US concerning securities ratings. ‘First-rate litigator’ Jonathan Thier and the ‘superlatively intelligent and creative’ Charles Gilman and ‘amazingly responsive’ Thomas Kavaler are recommended.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a popular choice for financial institutions in securities, commercial and antitrust cases. Its work for financial services clients in Madoff-related litigation is indicative of its reputation in this sector: most recently, the team secured victories for Bank of New York Mellon in three actions in the New York State Supreme Court alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and professional negligence. Clients outside of this space include 3M, which retained a team including Leah Brannon in Washington DC and Lawrence Friedman and Arminda Bepko in New York in patent infringement, monopolization and false advertising litigation. New York-based Thomas Moloney is another noted name.
Dechert LLP has significant geographical reach with resources in cities across the US and internationally. The highly regarded David Bernick was part of a cross-office team which represented AbbVie in product liability litigation that includes an MDL and individual actions in four states. The class action practice remains active; San Francisco-based Joseph Escher is representing Golden Living in two class action cases in California and Arkansas. Other major cases that continue to keep the department busy include its representation of NML Capital in ongoing litigation against the Republic of Argentina to recover debts; Robert Cohen, Steven Engel and Dennis Hranitzky have key roles. Andrew Levander and Los Angeles-based William Oxley are also recommended. Above-named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.
Offering ‘a wealth of subject area expertise’, Greenberg Traurig, LLP has a broad commercial disputes practice that sees it representing clients across the financial services, TMT and energy sectors, among others. At any given time, the sizeable team is handling numerous class actions; recent highlights include New Jersey-based co-chair Philip Sellinger’s representation of Marriott Vacations Worldwide in multiple class actions brought by owners of timeshares at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton resorts. Co-chair Alan Mansfield in New York, Miami-based Ian Ross, Glenn Goldstein in Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles-based Jeff Scott are other names to note.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s ‘very effective’ litigation department secured multiple victories for its clients in 2015 in cases spanning IP, securities and employment law. Christina Guerola Sarchio in Washington DC and Los Angeles-based Valerie Goo successfully defended Whole Foods in a false advertising class action in the Southern District of Florida, where the pair obtained dismissal of all but one claim, which was stayed. In another example of cross-office collaboration, the ‘extraordinarily gifted’ Peter Bicks and Elyse Echtman in New York and William Molinski in Los Angeles led the defense of Dish Network in copyright and breach of contract claims brought by four broadcast networks. Deputy practice head Richard Jacobson in New York has a strong financial institution and corporate client base.
Paul Hastings LLP achieved another series of successes for its blue-chip client base in 2015, with a recent caseload spanning consumer class actions, trade secrets litigation and breach of contract and fraud claims. Global chair Barry Sher and vice-chair Kurt Hansson are based in New York. Key figures elsewhere include Los Angeles-based Dennis Ellis, whose clients include American Apparel, chair of the San Francisco office John Phillips, and Samuel Cooper in Houston.
San Francisco-based Raymond Cardozo chairs Reed Smith LLP’s litigation practice, which has a substantial presence in cities across the US and abroad. A cross-office team including Kurt Peterson in Century City and Los Angeles-based Kenneth Smersfelt is representing Anthem Blue Cross in the California Supreme Court in a case concerning questions of alleged negligence and liability. Vice-chair Jack Nelson, who splits his time between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is well versed in consumer class actions and unfair competition claims. Privacy and data security issues are another area of expertise, particularly for Mark Melodia in New York, who recently represented a multinational company in claims concerning alleged privacy violations.
Operating primarily from the New York office, Shearman & Sterling LLP’s broad litigation practice represents clients in high-stakes litigation and arbitration across the US. Among its recent successes was its representation of Daimler in a purported age discrimination class action; a team including Jaculin Aaron, Alan Goudiss and Daniel Lewis secured dismissal in the Eastern District of Michigan; the case is pending appeal. In the financial services space, Jeffrey Resetarits, Richard Schwed and global litigation head Adam Hakki acted for Bank of America in antitrust class actions alleging conspiracy in the foreign exchange market. Stuart Baskin is also recommended.
Sidley Austin LLP added to its already sizeable litigation department with a number of significant lateral hires in 2014 and 2015, including Bruce Braun, who joined the Chicago office from Winston & Strawn LLP. Recognized for its ‘professionalism’ and ‘proven successes’, the department receives work from major domestic and multinational companies. Yvette Ostolaza and Angela Zambrano in Dallas are ‘reserved and analytical when appropriate, but can also be aggressive and persuasive’. Praise is also levelled at Joseph Tompkins and Mark Guerrera in Washington DC and Supreme Court and appellate expert Mark Haddad in Los Angeles.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz maintains a strong transactional litigation practice, and is a popular choice among financial institutions for corporate, commercial and antitrust litigation. John Savarese has been leading the charge for key client JPMorgan in ongoing litigation surrounding the Madoff fraud, and recently defeated a related shareholder derivative action in the Delaware Court of Chancery. The team has seen an uptick in post-merger appraisal litigation, and successfully defended Ancestry.com in a claim brought by hedge funds seeking an award far in excess of the merger price; William Savitt and Stephen DiPrima led the team. Elsewhere, Herbert Wachtell and Jonathan Moses are representing a foreign telecoms company in international arbitration proceedings concerning an IT outsourcing agreement.
White & Case LLP is noted for its ‘very good strategic sense in how to approach and resolve litigation matters’. It excels in international arbitration and complex litigation with an international element. Highlights included obtaining a series of victories on behalf of TNK-BP in cases Norex brought in the US after litigation in Russia; Owen Pell and Scott Hershman in New York handled the suits in New York state and federal courts, working alongside colleagues in Moscow. On the West Coast, Los Angeles-based Bryan Merryman and Rachel Feldman, who made partner in 2016, represented Gerber in a putative class action brought in the Northern District of California, securing the dismissal of class certification and summary judgment of the individual claim. New York-based Heather McDevitt is another key litigator, and heads the pharmaceutical and healthcare group.
Howard Shapiro chairs the litigation department at WilmerHale, which benefits from a strong appellate and international arbitration practice. The white-collar defense group was further bolstered by a number of hires, including former US attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen, who rejoined the firm in 2015. Securities and consumer class actions are an area of strength; Matthew Martens and a team that includes Jonathan Paikin and Los Angeles-based Christopher Casamassima is representing Target in an MDL involving 17 putative consumer class action complaints, and David Ogden and New York-based Noah Levine recently defeated class action certification in a case brought against client Morgan Stanley alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act. All partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.
The New York-based litigation practice at Allen & Overy LLP is heavily concentrated on the financial services sector. Financial institutions and individual executives turn to the department in high-stakes litigation stemming from regulatory investigations and enforcements, as well as standalone commercial disputes. Pamela Chepiga and Andrew Rhys Davies are representing Deutsche Bank in RMBS litigation in Texas and New York, and Jacob Pultman is acting for Ernst & Young as monitor of Nortel Networks and Canadian entities of Nortel Group in bankruptcy proceedings being tried simultaneously in Delaware and Ontario. Practice head Michael Feldberg is also recommended.
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP was born on January 1, 2017 via the combination of legacy firms Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer. It is regularly entrusted with high-stakes and high-value litigation, particularly class action lawsuits. Data breach litigation is a mainstay for practice head Kenneth Chernof in Washington DC, who recently defended a client in the healthcare sector in two class actions arising out of the theft of a laptop. Also in the Washington DC office is William Bosch, who has an active real estate and hospitality litigation practice. Los Angeles-based James Speyer has particular expertise in franchisee class action litigation, and experienced trial and appellate lawyer Timothy Macdonald is a key contact in Denver. The legacy Kaye Scholer firm brings additional expertise in financial services and life sciences, as well as in energy, electronics, engineering and real estate. Notable practitioners include New York-based James Herschlein, Michael Rogoff and Vincent Sama.
The ‘easy-to-work-with’ and ‘efficient and effective’ team at Dentons saw further expansion following the merger with McKenna Long & Aldridge, and also added to its ranks with a number of lateral hires and partner promotions. Its significant insurance sector clients turn to the team in high-stakes disputes; recent victories include New York-based Sandra Hauser and Patrick Gennardo’s successful representation of MetLife in multiple class action suits. Other areas of strength include video privacy protection and unclaimed property litigation. Roger Heidenreich and Tami Azorsky head the department from St Louis and Washington DC respectively.
Jenner & Block LLP’s commercial disputes practice services household-name clients across the media, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and energy sectors, which benefit from the team’s trial expertise, including at the appellate and Supreme Court level. David Bradford and Craig Martin chair the department from Chicago; key figures in the New York office include Brian Fischer, whose broad commercial and regulatory disputes practice takes in fraud, IP and contract law, and Katya Jestin, who represents companies and individuals in regulatory and congressional investigations.
‘Possessing tremendous business acumen and understanding’, Jones Day’s team ‘fights hard for its clients and produces excellent results’. Atlanta-based Stephanie Parker and Gregory Katsas in Washington DC are part of a team handling multiple lawsuits for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco surrounding the Engle progeny litigation; the group secured a significant victory in the Eleventh Circuit in a decision that could impact thousands of Engle class members. In San Francisco, Robert Mittelstaedt, David Kiernan and Craig Waldman defended Adobe Systems in antitrust litigation brought by current and former employees of hi-tech companies.
Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP is retained by plaintiffs and defendants in high-profile disputes, with recent highlights including its work for FHFA in settlements with numerous financial institutions in disputes surrounding RMBS, where Marc Kasowitz had a key role. Other plaintiff-side work includes Ronald Rossi and Aaron Marks’ representation of Veleron in a federal securities claim and related state action against Morgan Stanley. Litigation arising out of enterprise resource planning (ERP) business software is another area of strength for the department, which is regularly retained to prosecute claims against software integrators and developers.
‘Highly skilled’ and ‘very sophisticated’, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in New York maintains a broad commercial litigation practice, which sees it handling patent, trade secrets and transactional disputes, among others. In addition to its strong client base of financial institutions and companies, the team also represents individuals; recent highlights include Barry Berke and Eric Tirschwell’s Third Circuit victory for three family members in which the federal government was ordered to return confiscated Double Eagle gold coins. Michael Dell is noted for his ability to ‘anticipate how the other side will react’. Daniel Goodman is also recommended.
Mayer Brown added several significant partners to its ranks in 2015; among others, arbitration specialist B Ted Howes joined in New York from McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and cybersecurity expert Rajesh De re-joined the Washington DC office after serving as general counsel to the National Security Agency. Its appellate practice is particularly strong; a cross-office team recently acted for Spokeo in a Fair Credit Reporting Act case in the Supreme Court. Leading figures in the team include Lori Lightfoot in Chicago, Reginald Goeke in Washington DC and Los Angeles-based Bronwyn Pollock.
The ‘strategically focused’ department at McDermott Will & Emery LLP is spread across numerous offices throughout the country, and is headed by Lazar Raynal in Chicago. It remains dominant in the healthcare sector, with recent highlights including Silicon Valley-based Daniel Alberti’s successful resolution of a breach of contract case on behalf of a healthcare management company against a hospital, and Washington DC-based Mark Churchill’s defense of a teaching hospital in a class action suit, which was dismissed with prejudice. Tax litigation is another major strength.
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP maintains a busy practice representing both corporate clients and major financial institutions. Scott Edelman and Daniel Perry act for key client Citigroup in numerous disputes, including actions brought by Simmtech concerning foreign exchange options, in which the team recently secured a dismissal. Former co-director of enforcement at the SEC George Canellos heads the global arbitration and litigation department. Other key figures include David Gelfand, who is active in securities and bankruptcy litigation, and Alan Stone, who has a broad corporate and business disputes practice. All named partners are based in New York.
Proskauer Rose LLP has a strong stable of clients that engage it in high-stakes litigation. Among these are Diageo, which Brendan O’Rourke has been representing for over ten years, and for which O’Rourke and Kevin Perra recently achieved a jury trial victory in a trademark infringement and dilution action. The sports litigation practice continues to thrive; Bradley Ruskin and Jennifer Scullion are currently representing MLB in a purported class action suit. Above-named lawyers are based in New York; patent litigation expert Steven Bauer is a key contact in Boston.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP receives plaudits for its ‘excellent insight’ and ‘prompt turnaround time’. The team expanded in Chicago in 2015 with the arrival of three partners, including Michael Dockterman, who draws on 40 years of experience. The department is called upon by clients across the TMT, consumer products, energy and utility sectors in high-stakes litigation, and is also a popular choice for law firms in malpractice suits. William Abrams in Palo Alto represented SK Hynix in a trade secrets case against SanDisk and Toshiba. In New York, Michael Miller is an ‘excellent trial lawyer who handles both civil and criminal matters, domestically and internationally’. Seong Kim left the firm in May 2016 and joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP's Century City office.
Stephen D’Amore and George Lombardi in Chicago chair Winston & Strawn LLP’s ‘top-notch’ litigation department, which remained busy throughout 2015 in high-stakes litigation spanning issues of unfair competition, negligence, defamation and consumer fraud, among others. Harvey Kurzweil and Kelly Librera in New York are representing Virginia Surety in multiple class action lawsuits surrounding accident and health insurance policies. Other recommended partners in the New York office include Michael Elkin, Thomas Lane and Seth Spitzer. Neal Marder, moved to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s recent caseload includes securities derivative actions, environmental litigation and a successful petition to vacate an arbitral award. Strong praise is levelled at the ‘exceptionally user-friendly’ Thomas Hall. New arrivals include former US ambassador to Uruguay and international arbitration expert Julissa Reynoso, and counsel Jenny Kramer, who joined following nine years as an assistant US attorney in the District of New Jersey. Above-named partners are based in New York.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is noted for its ‘great business acumen’, ‘responsiveness’ and ‘outstanding experience in complex financial litigation and investigations’. Among the firm's recent successes was the defense of Formula One and CVC Capital in the Supreme Court of New York, which dismissed claims of tortious interference, unjust enrichment and conspiracy. Other key figures include ‘very skilled and successful litigator’ Marshall Fishman and ‘excellent communicator’ Tim Harkness. Senior associate David Livshiz is also recommended. Since publication, Michael Lacovara has joined Latham & Watkins LLP.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP saw significant changes in 2015, with the arrival of new litigation chair James Wareham in Washington DC from DLA Piper LLP (US), and other lateral hires that significantly bolster the firm’s white-collar criminal defense practice. Recent cases for the team in New York include Peter Simmons’ representation of York Risk Services in a RICO claim, and Stephen Juris’ defense of BMO Harris Bank in litigationcameron arising out of the Thomas Petters Ponzi scheme.
Therese Doherty and Ronald Levine head the litigation practice at Herrick, Feinstein LLP, which services a solid client base of well-known corporations and financial institutions. Real estate litigation is a particular strength; highlights in this space included Kevin Fullington and David Feuerstein’s representation of the Rent Stabilization Association of NYC and Community Housing Improvement Program in a case challenging the legitimacy of New York’s Tenant Protection Unit and new rent regulations.
With commercial litigators based across several offices, K&L Gates’ size and geographic reach makes it well equipped to handle litigation and arbitration proceedings throughout the country. Thomas Birsic chairs the department from Pittsburgh, where insurance expert Paul Del Vecchio, as well as John Sylvester and Michael Lynch are also based. In Dallas, Paul Genender has a broad disputes practice representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Key contacts in Newark include Christopher Carton and Charles Rysavy.
Kobre & Kim’s conflict-free model sees it acting as special litigation counsel in high-stakes litigation for a variety of well-known clients. With a presence in the US, Hong Kong, London and offshore jurisdictions, it excels in cross-border disputes. Steven Kobre and Carrie Tendler were part of a team that successfully negotiated a second settlement on behalf of Chevron in a dispute with a UK-based litigator funder. Danielle Rose heads the financial products and services litigation practice.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s size and breadth allows it to handle a range of disputes in court and in arbitration forums across the country. Areas of strength include sports litigation, where recent highlights include representing Illinois High School Association in a high-profile putative concussion class action; Chicago-based Thomas Heiden took the lead role. Recommended partners in the Washington DC office include Gregory Garre and Edward Shapiro. Since publication, Michael Lacovara has joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.
Based in New York, Linklaters LLP’s team has a strong international disputes and investigations practice, where it is a popular choice for leading financial institutions. Paul Hessler and Lance Croffoot-Suede are part of a multi-office collaboration working alongside colleagues in Europe to assist a global financial services client with a regulatory investigation. In the antitrust litigation space, James Warnot represents KLM, Martinair and Air France in an individual action brought by Schenker alleging conspiracy to fix prices of air cargo services.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has a particularly strong track record representing clients in highly regulated sectors, with recent highlights including a series of successes for Cephalon and Teva in cases surrounding medicine marketing; Philadelphia-based J Gordon Cooney led the team. Practice head Susan DiCicco in New York, who is one of several new arrivals from Bingham McCutchen, maintains a broad securities and commercial litigation practice. Tera Heintz in San Francisco and Chicago-based Tinos Diamantatos made partner in 2015.
Ropes & Gray LLP has a strong private equity client base, and also represents companies in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Other clients include Target, which a cross-office team including Douglas Meal and Richard Batchelder in Boston and Michelle Visser in San Francisco represented in an MDL in the District of Minnesota. Robert Jones and Christopher Green in Boston and San Francisco-based Rocky Tsai were part of a team that secured the dismissal of a case arising out of bankruptcy litigation for key client Bain Capital.
The ‘responsive, thoughtful and thorough’ team at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has particular strength in bankruptcy, antitrust and M&A litigation, and is frequently engaged by a variety of financial services sector clients. New York is the main hub, where Robert Abrahams is based, along with key litigators Robert Ward and Alan Glickman. William Gussman is also recommended. Charles Clark joined the Washington DC office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in 2015.
The majority of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP’s litigation partners are spread across the Miami and New York offices, with additional resources in Washington DC and Los Angeles. Clients include the Associations of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York, which Alan Klinger is representing in litigation concerning healthcare contributions, and Grant Thornton, which James Bernard is acting for in a high-stakes MDL.
Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP has experience representing household-name clients in high-profile litigation, with past work spanning product liability, breach of contract, patent and antitrust actions in forums across the US. Rebecca Bacon is a leading figure in the Chicago office, with particular expertise in the pharmaceutical sector. Sean Grimsley and Eric Olson are key contacts in Denver.
Bracewell LLP’s stellar client base of leading energy companies engages the team in a broad range of high-value disputes. Sean Gorman joined in 2015; he successfully obtained dismissal of tortious interference claims against client Eni, which was later affirmed on appeal. Stephen Crain leads the team, which is primarily based in Houston.
Brown Rudnick LLP’s team is spread across the New York, Boston and Orange County offices, from which it handles tort, contract, fraud and bankruptcy litigation. Past cases include Orange County-based Ronald Rus’ representation of a major waste management company in a dispute concerning the misappropriation of funds owed in a joint venture.
Cooley LLP maintains its reputation for high-stakes litigation in the technology sector, with recent successes including its representation of Sony in a class action concerning the Video Privacy Protection Act. In that matter, San-Diego based Michelle Doolin and Mike Rhodes in San Francisco obtained a dismissal which was subsequently affirmed in the appellate court. Michael Attanasio in San Diego chairs the practice.
Crowell & Moring LLP maintains a busy litigation and arbitration practice, and is particularly well regarded for healthcare disputes. Gregory Call in San Francisco represents the Regents of the University of California and professor Michael Jung in litigation surrounding prostate cancer treatment. Los Angeles-based Jennifer Romano is recommended.
McGuireWoods LLP’s team is noted for its ‘excellent response times’ and ‘great depth of knowledge’ and achieved a series of victories for its clients throughout 2014 and 2015. Highlights included Richmond-based Bryan Fratkin’s successful representation of Capital One in an MDL in the Northern District of Georgia. David Hartsell and Marta Stein in Chicago are recommended.
Michelman & Robinson, LLP secured several wins for its clients during 2015. Highlights included its successful defense of Rightscorp in a putative class action alleging numerous statutory violations; Orange County-based Mona Hanna and Sanford Michelman in Los Angeles led the team. Todd Stitt is particularly active in the insurance sector; he leads the class action and complex litigation practice from Orange County.
The ‘expert and efficient’ lawyers at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP have experience in litigation and arbitration across a range of industries, with recent clients spanning the TMT, financial services and transport sectors, among others. Deborah Baum ‘thinks, writes, argues and strategizes at the highest level’. Matthew MacLean and ADR expert Michael Jaffe are also recommended.
The ‘strong team’ at Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP is noted for its ‘pragmatic approach’ and ‘proactive service’. Clients include individuals, companies and leading law firms. David Daniels and Matthew Riccardi are representing Black Diamond Capital Management in an action against Barclays concerning a $1.5bn total return swap. Brian Fraser is ‘candid with his evaluative work, often saving you meaningful money by honestly pointing out the weaknesses in your position’.
The ‘seasoned team’ at Sullivan & Worcester LLP ‘makes you feel like an important client and not just “a number within many”’. Its recent caseload spans complex contractual claims, sovereign debt collections, insolvency and tax litigation. Andrew Solomon chairs the practice from New York, where Harry Rimm and Franklin Velie are also based. Paul Summit and Patrick Dinardo are key names in Boston.
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is noted for its ‘creative analysis, arguments and writing’. The department’s insurance offering was further bolstered by the arrival of Michael Nelson and his team from Nelson Brown & Co. Other areas of strength include accountants’ liability, where Amelia Rudolph is a key figure. Rocco Testani is also recommended.
Energy sector clients frequently engage Vinson & Elkins LLP, which is noted for its broad trial expertise. Highlights included the successful representation of Gastar Exploration in two lawsuits in Pennsylvania and West Virginia concerning fracking activities; James Thompson and Phillip Dye led the team. Clients outside of this space include eBay, Software AG and UBS Securities.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acts for blue-chip clients and financial institutions across a broad spectrum of disputes, with recent cases spanning antitrust, tax, bankruptcy and RICO litigation. Kevin Clark co-chairs the practice from Washington DC, where recommended partner David Murray is also based. Co-chair Mitchell Auslander in New York is another name to note.