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Led out of New York by Anand Agneshwar, Arnold & Porter’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.

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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.

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