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  1. Transport: rail and road
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Who Represents Who

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Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s litigation team has particular experience representing railroad companies, trade associations, auto manufacturers and a variety of transportation companies at all levels of court. Washington DC-based Thomas Dupree Jr serves as lead counsel to the Association of American Railroads (AAR), and in 2016 won an important judgment for the trade association, which declared unconstitutional a statute giving Amtrak regulatory right-of-way authority over freight trains; he also represents AAR in multiple rulemaking procedures. Other notable rail clients include CSX Transportation and BNSF Railway Company. In an example of auto-related work, Los Angeles-based Theodore Boutrous Jr successfully represented Uber Technologies in the Ninth Circuit regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements with the company’s drivers; with this decision, Uber will no longer need to litigate any class actions brought by California drivers, who accepted arbitration agreements. Key automotive clients include Fiat Chrysler, Toyota Motor Group and Ford Motor Company.

The team at King & Spalding LLP has extensive experience handling litigation and advising clients such as auto manufacturers and trade associations on regulatory investigations, especially concerning recalls. Washington DC-based Jacqueline Glassman, who recently joined from Hogan Lovells US LLP, is part of a team assisting Toyota with the regulatory, legislative and enforcement aspects of the Takata airbag recall - the largest auto recall in history. Granta Nakayama (also in Washington DC) specializes in tort and environmental law, and is advising a number of auto manufacturers, including Kia Motors America, on Clean Air Act offenses arising out of vehicle emission regulations. Other clients include General Motors, which the team assisted with enforcement matters, labor and employment lawsuits and recalls, and UPS, which the group has represented in high-profile trucking injury cases. Atlanta-based Philip Holladay Jr, who focuses on product liability, toxic tort and commercial disputes, is another key contact.

Mayer Brown has strong dispute resolution and regulatory practices focusing on the rail industry, and also handles the transactional side of rail-related projects. CSX Transportation retains Andrew Tauber to handle the appellate litigation concerning whether federal pre-emption pursuant to the Federal Railroad Safety Act denies a plaintiff compensation under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. Senior counsel Adrian Steel is handling various arbitration proceedings for BNSF Railway, including a dispute with Union Pacific concerning the allocation of positive train control costs when one of the two operates over lines of the other. The group also represents BNSF in multiple disputes with Union Pacific regarding terms imposed by Surface Transportation Board (STB) following Union Pacific’s merger with Southern Pacific. In the road and automotive practice, Philip Recht and Andrew Kugler advise Google on state and federal regulatory issues with respect to the company’s driverless car project. Evan Tager and Erika Jones are other key contacts. All named individuals are based in Los Angeles and Washington DC.

Raymond Atkins leads the Washington DC-based transportation group at Sidley Austin LLP, which is especially experienced in representing railroad companies in regulatory proceedings before the STB and in appellate litigation. The team is acting for Union Pacific Railroad in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in an appeal of new rules requiring railroads to adopt new braking technology on railcars carrying flammable liquids; the team is also assisting the client with possible related federal pre-emption cases. In 2016, Paul Moates won an STB decision for CSX Transportation, which stated that rates charged to Total Petrochemicals & Refining were not unreasonably high following a Stand-Alone Cost test. Other clients include Norfolk Southern Railway Company and the AAR. Louis Warchot joined the firm in 2016, from AAR, where he served as senior vice president and general counsel.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s litigation team represents rail and automotive clients in high-profile product liability and personal injury cases. General Motors is among the group’s key clients, and Richard Godfrey and Andrew Bloomer in Chicago, as well as Mike Brock in Washington DC, act as lead counsel in over 2,000 personal injury suits arising out of the company’s recalls of 2.6 million vehicles relating to ignition switches, power steering and other safety concerns. In other standout matters, Washington DC partners Daniel Donovan and Bridget O’Connor won a dismissal of a $40m lawsuit brought against BNSF Railway Company. The team is also part of a multi-firm effort to defend Volkswagen in DOJ proceedings regarding violations of the Clean Air Act.

McGuireWoods LLP is ‘a fantastic resource’ for rail and road clients facing high-stakes litigation. In addition to representing CSX Transportation in a multitude of class actions and environmental-related litigation, Charlotte-based Patricia Hosmer acted for the client in the negotiation and execution of an agreement with General Electric Company for the purchase of 300 locomotives. Scott Cairns heads the firm’s rail department from Jacksonville, while Brian Jackson leads the trucking group from Charlottesville, which acts for truckers, logistics companies and insurance brokers in a variety of collision cases, property damage incidents and personal injury matters. Beam Bros. Trucking is another other key client, for which Richmond-based Stephen Busch favorably settled a personal injury case in 2016. In recent personnel developments, Lisa Ormand Taylor joined the Jacksonville team from XPO Logistics, and Donald Anderson left to join the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The transportation team at Steptoe & Johnson LLP acts for BNSF Railway and Union Pacific in a variety of contentious matters; Anthony LaRocca and Samuel Sipe represent the former in a motion to dismiss a claim brought by American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers before the STB, which challenges the railway’s rates for transportation of hazardous crude oil in certain types of tank cars. The duo is also retained by AAR to advise on a rulemaking procedure concerning when a freight railroad could be compelled to handle freight traffic on behalf of a potential competitor. Work for Union Pacific Railroad includes multiple federal pre-emption cases, which are led by Alice Loughran. The team also has a presence in the automotive sector, and David Coburn acts for Coach USA in relation to various rulemaking and regulatory procedures. All named individuals are based in Washington DC.

Covington & Burling LLP’s transportation group handles litigation and regulatory issues for railroad companies and trade associations. Practice chair Michael Rosenthal in Washington DC represents rail giant Union Pacific Railroad Company before the STB regarding issues such as maximum rate regulations, competitive access, antitrust matters, infrastructure investments and Union Pacific’s relationship with Amtrak and other passenger railroads. Senior counsel Carolyn Corwin (also in Washington DC) was part of a team that successfully prevented Sherwin Alumina from compelling Union Pacific to provide common carrier service to one of Sherwin’s plants during a labor strike at that plant. The team also advises AAR on various regulatory, legislative and rulemaking matters, especially those involving economic regulations.

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