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Index of tables

  1. International litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

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Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s dispute resolution team is among the best in the world for handling commercial litigation, enforcement proceedings and government investigations on behalf of multinational companies, states and state-owned entities. New York-based Donald Donovan and London-based Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC are lead counsel for insurance company Cigna in the US courts, and for Cigna’s parent company, ACE, in the Cayman Islands and before the Privy Council. The case, which stems from denied coverage claims regarding alleged losses incurred during the Liberian civil war, concerns the enforcement of competing awards obtained in multiple jurisdictions. Goldsmith, the firm’s co-managing partner and chair of the European and Asian litigation team, is ‘very professional and particularly experienced’. Bruce Yannett, head of the white-collar practice and a ‘leading FCPA lawyer’, represents financial institutions, manufacturers, retail chains and other types of company in government investigations. Other esteemed members of the group include David Rivkin, Sophie Lamb, Mark Friedman and David Bernstein.

Dechert LLP’s US-based international litigation team is ‘super sharp, practical and thorough’, and represents individuals, corporations, financial institutions and investors across the globe. The US team works closely with the firm’s offices in London, Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong and Singapore. Dennis Hranitzky and Robert Cohen, both based in New York, have decades of experience handling complex international commercial disputes and enforcement proceedings against foreign governments and government agencies. The two recently teamed up with Andrew Hearn in the London office and Xavier Nyssen in the Paris office to represent NML Capital in a $3bn dispute regarding defaulted sovereign bonds issued by Argentina. Litigation and parallel enforcement proceedings are ongoing in the US, UK, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Ghana. In another highlight, Allan Brilliant and Hranitzky were lead counsel to an ad hoc group of noteholders in connection with cross-border restrictions placed on $1.6bn in defaulted senior notes issued by Mexico’s largest glass manufacturer. Washington DC-based Jeremy Zucker focuses on regulations and investigations, and is well versed in areas such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the anti-money laundering provisions of the Patriot Act.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s transnational litigation group is well placed to defend foreign clients in the US courts and US clients in jurisdictions around the world. The team is made up of lawyers who, with regard to clients’ real and potential legal predicaments, ‘think about problems from a global perspective and consider the global options and implications’. In 2014, in what some have called the ‘case of the century’, Randy Mastro, a former mob prosecutor and current co-chair of the litigation group, led the firm’s successful representation of Chevron in a racketeering case that ultimately exposed criminal activity in the Ecuadorian courts as well as a major US law firm. Mastro worked with colleagues across the nation on the high-profile dispute, including members of the firm’s Washington DC, Denver and Los Angeles offices. In another highlight, Patrick Dennis and Perlette Jura defended Philip Morris and Altria Group against a transnational toxic tort suit brought by Argentine tobacco farmers who claimed that exposure to herbicides caused birth defects. The group represents corporations and financial institutions such as NML Capital, Daimler AG, World Fuel Services, Petrobras and Rosneft.

Allen & Overy LLP’s litigation team is adept at handling cross-border disputes, particularly in the financial realm and/or those with an Asia element. For instance, David Esseks and Michael Feldberg are advising a British company regarding anti-bribery laws related to its US subsidiary’s communication technology business in Asia. Esseks is also advising a major financial in enforcement and private damages actions relating to the Forex scandal. Pamela Chepiga is advising a financial organization in a US regulatory investigation regarding the global trading of sovereign and supra-sovereign debt. Laura Hall, who focuses on complex cross-border litigation and especially bankruptcy matters, was promoted to partner in May 2015. In July 2015, patent and trade secret expert Paul Keller moved to Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s international litigation practice excels at handling matters for multinational and domestic financial institutions and corporations, sovereign governments and state-owned institutions. The firm has had an international presence since the opening of its Paris office in 1949, and today’s international litigation and arbitration team tries cases under US and foreign laws for clients in the US, Europe, Russia, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Jonathan Blackman, who splits his time between New York and London, is particularly adept in international litigation, securities litigation and letters of credit. Washington DC-based Matthew Slater often represents clients in international arbitration-related litigation in US courts, and has expertise in, among other things, government regulatory and enforcement actions, securities law and product liability. New York’s Howard Zelbo often represents international bidders and targets in takeover litigation.

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP has recently bolstered its international litigation practice with several additions to its already talented team. Paul Keller, who focuses on patent and trade secret litigation, joined the firm’s New York office from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2015. Robin Adelstein, former counsel to the generics division of Novartis, arrived in the New York office in the same month. David Navetta and Boris Segalis, cybersecurity experts based in Denver and New York respectively, came on board in November 2014. These four joined Houston-based Gerard Pecht, the global head of dispute resolution and litigation, and Louis Strubeck, who splits his time between New York and Dallas. In a recent highlight, Bill Leone represented a former managing director in JPMorgan’s chief investment office in various proceedings brought by regulatory enforcement agencies in the US and elsewhere, including the DOJ, the SEC and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. The firm services global corporations such as AT&T, General Electric and Shell.

Shearman & Sterling LLP represents multinational corporations and financial institutions and excels with respect to Asia-related cases, particularly securities matters involving China. Indeed, the firm has represented parties in more than 50 disputes involving lawsuits filed by shareholders of Chinese companies listed in the US. Among the group’s many clients involved in such suits are China-Biotics, China Electric Motor, China Green Agriculture, China Integrated Energy, China Natural Gas, China XD Plastics and JinkoSolar. The firm represents many of these companies in shareholder derivative actions related to securities class actions. On a different tack, New York-based global litigation head Adam Hakki is representing Japanese bank Mizuho in a putative class action related to alleged manipulation of yen LIBOR and ‘euroyen’ TIBOR rates.

Baker McKenzie LLP benefits greatly in this arena from its broad international network and its longstanding relationships with major oil and gas companies. Standout cases include Brendan Cook’s representation of a Bangalore client pursuing claims in the US concerning the ownership of a database used in the oil and gas industry. Cook was also lead counsel for a Norwegian investor and its Texas-based downhole oilfield tool company in a dispute concerning the misappropriation of trade secrets and violation of non-compete agreements. San Francisco-based Colin Murray worked with colleagues in the firm’s Kuala Lumpur office in the representation of three Hewlett-Packard entities in a case filed by a Singaporean subcontractor over work performed for a bank in Malaysia. The New York office brought in William Devaney from Venable LLP in December 2014. Devaney is a former US district attorney who specializes in white-collar criminal defense, investigations and compliance.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handles a variety of cross-border matters for international clients and excels with respect to investigations and litigation involving allegations of financial accounting violations, securities fraud, insider trading, options backdating, cartel and other anti-competitive activity, and FCPA matters. Marshall Fishman recently represented a financial institution in class actions involving claims of market manipulation and has handled matters arising from the Madoff investment scandal. Elliot Friedman focuses on international litigation and arbitration related to energy and natural resources. His past work includes energy-related disputes regarding long-term contracts, joint venture agreements, construction contracts, distribution agreements and intellectual property. Friedman also regularly represents companies in transnational litigation in US courts, especially the enforcement of arbitral awards. Senior associate Leah Friedman specializes in multi-jurisdictional disputes and advises clients on antitrust, corporate, criminal, Alien Tort Statute, financial services and IP matters. All lawyers mentioned are based in New York.

King & Spalding LLP has a huge international footprint and an impressive FCPA and related anticorruption investigations practice. The US-based group is spread across the firm’s Houston, Atlanta, New York and Washington DC offices, and works closely with the London and Paris teams. The firm has an exceptional reputation for its handling of international arbitrations and frequently represents clients in related litigation in the US and abroad. James Berger, for example, represents Harbour Victoria Investment Holdings, a Mauritius-based entity owned by JPMorgan Chase, in an attempt to confirm an English arbitral award in the US courts. Esteemed arbitration specialists Edward Kehoe and Doak Bishop, based in New York and Houston respectively, frequently handle related litigation.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s global policy and litigation strategy lawyers provide a comprehensive crisis management service and litigate high-profile disputes around the world. The firm handles, among other things, compliance and regulatory issues, government investigations, and government and political relationships. It is experienced in the US and UK trial and appellate courts and assists counsel in various jurisdictions regarding public and private international law. New York-based Julie Bédard has handled various suits in Brazil arising from joint venture disputes between Brazilian, Uruguayan and US companies. Washington DC-based Gary DiBIanco has experience handling matters related to the FCPA and UK Bribery Act, as well as global investigations, responses to multinational governmental inquiries and due diligence in connection with complex transactions. Of counsel Gregory Craig, also in Washington DC, is another name to note.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP regularly handles matters involving international trade issues, in particular the defense of organizations and individuals facing anti-money-laundering investigations and anti-corruption allegations. New York-based Nicolas Bourtin frequently represents non-US companies and individuals in connection with US investigations related to accounting fraud, antitrust, insider trading, money laundering, and securities and tax fraud. Darrell Cafasso, also in New York, litigates for multinationals and financial institutions in complex commercial cases related to securities law, ERISA, employment, consumer financial products and contracts. Theodore Edelman, who splits his time between New York and London, counsels corporate clients on disputes related to commercial contracts, commercial banking, securities, insurance and annuities, intellectual property and M&A.

White & Case LLP is best known for its expertise in international arbitration, but the firm also has a strong commercial litigation group that caters to corporate clients as well as some states and state-owned entities. Owen Pell, for instance, defended Tyumen Oil Company (TNK-BP) in a case brought by Norex Petroleum alleging misappropriation of its shareholder interest in a Russian oil company that became a TNK-BP subsidiary. The claims were dismissed in August 2015 by the New York Supreme Court. Elsewhere, Washington DC-based Christopher Curran and Nicole Erb were lead counsel for the Sudan in several lawsuits in the US regarding the provision of resources to militants responsible for the bombings of two American embassies in 1998 and the USS Cole in 2000. In another highlight, Pell and Gregory Starner represented Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank in a securities fraud case in the Southern District of New York.

Litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP often defends foreign companies and individuals involved in US-filed lawsuits. The firm, which is run out of a single office in Washington DC, was lead counsel for News Corp regarding a DOJ investigation into alleged bribery of public officials and interception of voicemail by its subsidiary in the UK. Elsewhere, Ana Reyes represented a former president of a country in Latin America in a US civil case that involved principles of international law such as head-of-state immunity and proportionality of military response. Joseph Petrosinelli and counsel David Kendall are representing an individual in an FCPA investigation and Peter Kahn is representing a multinational corporation in US civil RICO litigation.

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