The Legal 500

United States > Litigation

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Editorial

Overview

The broad spectrum of work that falls under the heading of commercial litigation means that national and regional firms can build formidable reputations for specific industry sectors or local jurisdictions, but the leaders in this field cover most of the waterfront and have the capacity to handle the biggest national or international cases. This is a practice area in which trial experience is of prime importance, as is the tactical nous to know when to settle cases on favorable terms.

The emergence of litigation boutiques such as Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP as potent forces in the market has become a strong trend in recent years and such firms are often adept at both plaintiff and defense work. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is regarded by peers as a firm that has ramped up its litigation capability to become a major contender, though the top of the market it still dominated by the well-known and long-established New York firms.

International arbitration continues to be a lucrative area for a number of major firms, which provide a highly specialized service. Energy and infrastructure disputes make up a large portion of the cases, so alongside the larger centers such as Washington DC and New York, it’s unsurprising to see Houston play host to some of the leading practitioners in this area such as King & Spalding LLP. Given the international nature of the disputes, arbitration – be it investment treaty disputes or more general commercial arbitrations – is one of the few easily transportable areas where UK firms have managed to gain traction in the US market: notably Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Herbert Smith Freehills and Norton Rose Fulbright. Conversely, the top US firms, such as Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and White & Case LLP, stand out for having equally strong teams in other key locations such as London, Paris, Moscow, and increasingly, Asia.

The overall international trade picture is one of heightened activity, and firms are hiring to keep up with demand. In particular, the sanctions side is booming. US and EU-led sanctions against Russia are driving a significant volume of work. In addition, the US’s historic deal with Cuba in December 2014 to restore diplomatic ties and relax commercial and travel restrictions is expected to see Cuban-related work skyrocket. The continued global focus on anti-corruption matters has seen multinationals pay greater attention to compliance programs, and FCPA work has become an increasingly prominent part of international trade practices as a result.

As liquidity returns to global markets, firms report that trade-related litigation – particularly WTO disputes – has become increasingly contentious, with clients fighting tooth and nail to defend their positions. On the treaty side, firms are increasingly advising on issues relating to the controversial US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The continued stability of the US economy has created a corresponding uptick in transactional trade matters, which in turn has seen more deals analyzed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews the national security implications of foreign investments in US companies or operations. Chinese companies are particularly subject to scrutiny.

Trial lawyers are a rare and arguably declining breed in the United States. The lawyers in this section have a unique set of skills, and are able to assimilate vast amounts of information in short periods of time in order to simplify a client’s case before a courtroom. However in an era of increasing legal specialization there remain fears that there is less and less space for the traditional jack-of-all-trades courtroom specialist. Although many of these lawyers handle matters across a range of industries, some are now becoming more specialized during the course of their careers, usually towards IP where there is lots of work, or financial litigation which is also in abundant supply. Another trend is the increasing number of high-profile appeals handled by attorneys on this list.

Trends in the labor and employment class action space include a noted rise in plaintiffs pursuing gender discrimination litigation and, in the hotel and catering industry, an increase in cases challenging independent contractor laws. There has been a surge in gender litigation against Silicon Valley companies following the release of diversity results in 2014, while plaintiffs continue to pursue litigation in the high-tech sector related to an alleged collusion to suppress wages. Wage and overtime cases continue to make up a significant proportion of the labor and employment docket.

There were several significant settlements in the area of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in 2014, including the headline-grabbing NFL concussion litigation initiated by former football players; a settlement was granted final approval by the court in July. New litigation in this area includes a multidistrict litigation (MDL) action consolidated in Louisiana over the blood-thinner Xarelto. Firms in the ranking demonstrate a strong commitment to this practice area and have obtained sustained, and excellent, results serving in leadership positions in MDLs.

There has continued to be a noted drop-off in instructions for US securities work following an upturn in the US economy and the conclusion of several long-running securities cases that arose from the recession and the subprime mortgage crisis. However, US firms are increasingly instructed to manage cross-border litigation and are representing institutional investors, in conjunction with local counsel, in litigation across jurisdictions including the Netherlands, France and Japan. 2014 also saw the conclusion of the long-running Fannie Mae litigation, which settled for $170m subject to court approval. In a positive development for the plaintiffs’ bar, the Supreme Court issued the definitive ruling in Halliburton v Erica P John Fund upholding the ‘fraud on the market’ presumption of reliance theory; however, the Court also ruled that the defendants may challenge, and defeat, the theory at the class certification stage. Securities cases are frequently litigated with shareholder and derivatives litigation and firms with the capability to handle this work are increasingly in demand.

Asbestos and mesothelioma litigation continues to dominate toxic tort, however, toxic tort departments are increasingly working with environmental pollution teams to represent plaintiffs in water contamination and lead poisoning cases. Firms continue to act in Deepwater Horizon litigation.

In the product liability defense: pharmaceuticals space, courts continued to grapple with the impact of Mensing and the protection it affords to generic manufacturers facing ‘failure to warn’ claims. A number of leading firms played key roles in these cases, with Teva v Sandoz, and In re: Reglan Litigation serving as notable examples.

Follow-on litigation arising from Deepwater Horizon continues to involve a number of leading toxic tort defense firms. The plaintiffs’ bar brought a steady flow of asbestos cases in the year under review, with New York serving as the preferred jurisdiction.

High-profile automotive litigation for 2014 included various actions arising from General Motors’ mass recall of automotives containing faulty ignition switches.

Food, beverage and supplements products remain prime targets for class actions, particularly where products were associated with allegedly unfounded health claims. The tobacco industry faced major medical monitoring class actions during the period under review, while outstanding Engle progeny cases continued to account for much of the year’s tobacco litigation activity.

As the multitude of cases relating to the financial crisis – in particular, mortgage-backed securities – start to work their way towards conclusion, and fewer stock drop cases are filed because of the relative buoyancy of the stock market, the balance of securities litigation work is slowly changing. IPO-related litigation on the rise, for example, and alongside the financial services sector other industries including technology, energy and life sciences are emerging as hotbeds for new filings. Nevertheless, financial institutions are still in plaintiffs’ crosshairs and cases arising from the alleged manipulation of financial benchmarks such as LIBOR and the ISDAFIX global reference rate for interest rate swap transactions are growing in number.

The more aggressive stance adopted by regulators such as the SEC, which has talked much about a ‘broken windows’ policy that will see it crack down on even minor transgressions – is putting more emphasis on the integration of law firms’ resources to cover regulatory investigations as well as shareholder litigation, as these practice groups must often work closely as matters evolve from regulatory enforcement into civil litigation. At the same time, however, regulatory matters are increasingly pursued as private administrative actions before administrative law judges appointed by the SEC rather than as public matters in federal or district court.

Last year the Supreme Court reached its highly anticipated verdict in the Halliburton case that could have had serious implications for the ‘fraud on the market’ presumption, but it has not yet had the seismic effect that many expected. However, the Omnicare case is now the one everyone is watching closely, as it raises questions about when a statement of opinion can be deemed false in light of subsequent events and whether one has to establish if a speaker believed the statement was false at the time. The decision could head off much spurious litigation in the future or make it even easier for plaintiffs to get past motions to dismiss.

The Supreme Court hears a limited number of cases per year, so competition for this rare work is stiff and tends to be confined to a few specialized practitioners. The matters the Court accepts are therefore uniquely representative of the state of modern America: in recent years the Court has heard landmark issues related to gay marriage and immigration as well as issues related to the size of government – the constitutionality of Obamacare being the most high-profile of these. The appeals courts hear a far larger number of cases, and there has been a recent trend for complex IP appeals. Some firms have standalone appellate divisions made up of lawyers with marked ability to ‘parachute in’ to argue points of law having not handled the original trial. Other New York firms, such as Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, prefer a vertical approach to litigation and will tend to stick with a case from trial through to appeal and up to the Supreme Court if need be.

As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile, employees moving to competing organizations is a common problem as it isn’t difficult for them to transfer knowledge or confidential information. Many of the law firms in the trade secrets section are expert at drawing up agreements to prevent problems further down the line, and in litigating aggressively should problems arise. There has been an increase in recent years in complex and high-stakes litigation with a multi-jurisdictional flavor, and contentious issues involving China and India are very much on the rise. This year Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P. joins Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Paul Hastings LLP and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in the top tier of the rankings.

While there has been no let-up in the number of white-collar cases pursued by the DOJ and SEC, some of the results recently returned by the courts may be giving prosecuting authorities pause for thought. In July 2014 Rengan Rajaratnam became the first to escape conviction in the federal crackdown on insider trading. Following that in December, a federal appeals court vacated the insider trading convictions of two former hedge fund managers. Nonetheless, there has been renewed focus by the SEC on financial statement fraud and auditor responsibility, and there continues to be active policing of the US financial services industry including an increasing number of financial institutions prosecuted under the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Further, the DOJ and SEC are increasingly seeking to bring cases against individuals for FCPA and other types of violations in the belief that punishing individuals may be a greater deterrent against corporate crime than punishing companies.

Following the highly publicized three-way settlement among UBS, the US Government and Switzerland, the US Government continues to aggressively pursue prosecutions and enforcement actions against non-US banks and bankers based on allegations of aiding and abetting tax evasion by individuals. The program jointly announced in August 2013 by the DOJ and the Swiss Government enables banks in Switzerland to resolve potential liability under US law for providing banking services to US customers that did not comply with their tax obligations under US law.

Elsewhere, the auto parts antitrust investigation – which is to date the largest antitrust criminal matter brought by the DOJ – has developed into an investigation into the auto industry focusing on failure to report safety violations. First Toyota and then General Motors and Honda have all been forced to pay substantial fines.

Increased whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act are causing an uptick in other kinds of litigation such as False Claims Act (FCA) breaches. The expanded whistleblowers plan of spar is bringing a lot more cases before the courts as individuals show more interest in pursuing cases, even when the Government declines to get involved.


Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York is ‘best in class, providing excellent service in every area’. It has ‘an outstanding team that exceeds expectations and is a credible and real threat at trial’. Standout names include Evan Chesler, who led the defense of ABC and ESPN in a lawsuit alleging conspiracy to limit athletes’ participation in commercial activity and is currently representing Warner Brothers Entertainment and New Line Cinema in a dispute concerning distribution of revenue from the later films in The Hobbit series. Robert Baron and Timothy Cameron are defending Agrium Asia Pacific against the Republic of Iraq’s allegations of conspiracy to corrupt the United Nations Oil-for-Food program, and David Marriott’s highlights include defending IBM against claims of improperly contributing a source code from UNIX to the open source Linux system. Clients note that ‘a strong team ethic and an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach ensure clients get value and efficiency from experienced partners’. Sandra Goldstein and Daniel Slifkin are other names to note.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is ‘a top-quality firm that provides client-friendly service and unique creativity in complex, sensitive and significant litigation. In New York, ‘one of the premier trial lawyers in the US’ Michael Carroll rejoined after working as GC at Castleton Commodities International; he ‘has had unbelievable trial wins’ and successfully represented a major investment bank in a breach of contract case. Frances Bivens defended the US Treasury Department against challenges to the Government’s bailout of AIG. The firm ‘serves the most sophisticated clients in life-threatening cases’. For Morgan Stanley, Benjamin Kaminetzky saw the Supreme Court dismiss IDT Corporation’s claims of tortious interference with an arbitration against Telefónica. ‘The lawyers’ lawyer’ Paul Spagnoletti has ‘cutting-edge knowledge, strong strategic vision and excellent judgment’; he successfully obtained denial of an appeal motion filed against Paul Hastings LLP. Brian Weinstein represented Morgan Stanley in mortgage repurchase litigation.

New York’s Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is praised for ‘excellent service, judgment, expertise and an incredibly productive approach’. Clients remark that ‘in terms of product and the manner in which they deal with myriad personalities the team stands out for excellence’. Mark Goodman and Mary Beth Hogan co-chair a practice in which ‘partners roll up their sleeves and actively participate’. Goodman and Shannon Selden obtained a motion to dismiss for a private equity firm in a suit seeking $600m in damages. Hogan secured dismissal of a $100m suit brought by Las Vegas retail development investors against client Sidley Austin LLP. John Kiernan advises the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a dispute seeking $25bn in damages for its bailout of AIG, and is also defending a $3bn claim against Westfield American Trust. Maura Monaghan obtained a landmark ruling for American Airlines affirming the decision that the 9/11 attacks were acts of war and foreclosing liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The firm also handled high-value matters for Hospital Corporation of America, GlaxoSmithKline and MetLife.

A firm that at the top of the market that constantly excels’, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is ‘a top-tier litigation practice – very effective and high quality’. Randy Mastro and Mark Kirsch in New York, and Jeffrey Thomas in Orange County, lead a practice that spans the country and are in charge of ‘great talent doing a great job’. Mastro and New York partners Andrea Neuman and Reed Brodsky won at trial for Chevron in a $9bn RICO and fraud suit. Theodore Olson in Washington DC led a team that scored big wins for NML Capital in its efforts to collect $1.8bn in judgments against the Republic of Argentina. For Energy Future Holdings, Robert Walters in Dallas won dismissal of a $725m claim brought by a hedge fund. New York-based Josh Krevitt and Orin Snyder defended Twitter in a claim alleging breach of an oral agreement to form technology start-up Square Inc. A ‘pre-eminent litigation practice with top trial lawyers acting in the most complex cases that always stands out’, it also counts Verizon, AT&T and Nike among its clients.

Few firms meet the bar set for customer service’ by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, which is ‘top of the market year in, year out’. The firm advises blue-chip clients such as IBM and Siemens. Clients ‘can always count on an exceptional job being done and always get an impressive team of lawyers’. In Chicago, Mark Filip and Richard Godfrey represent BP in cases arising out of Deepwater Horizon. Godfrey and Robert Kopecky represent General Motors in more than 50 cases nationwide relating to a recall of ignition switches. Jay Lefkowitz in New York advises Pershing Square Capital Management in a challenge to its $50bn takeover bid for Allergan. Eugene Assaf in Washington DC is advising Wyndham Worldwide on a claim relating to data security breaches. Michael Foradas in Chicago leads a team that is nationwide counsel to Abbott Laboratories in multiple cases nationwide relating to its blockbuster drug Humira. Clients pick out a number of ‘great strategists’within the team; they include Washington DC-based Winn Allen, James Gillespie, Emily Hughes and Edwin U, as well as Leslie Smith in Chicago, who advised World Fuel Services Corporation, Los Angeles-based Mark Holscher (among the top litigators in the country’) and Matthew Solum in New York. New hires include James Hurst in Chicago, previously head of the global litigation practice at Winston & Strawn LLP, and seasoned Washington DC trial lawyer Mike Brock.

Known for decades as one of the best litigation firms in America’, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has ‘a fantastic practice and is one of the pre-eminent US firms’. In New York it has 55 litigation partners that constitute ‘a very deep bench of superstars, who are tremendous trial lawyers’. For Bank of New York, Brad Karp and Allan Arffa won a substantial victory against Arrowgrass Master Fund’s $1bn breach of contract claim. Jay Cohen and Eric Stone represented the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) at trial to determine a reasonable license fee for the use of musical works by streaming music service Pandora. Greatly respected trial lawyer Theodore Wells led a team that defended a major energy company against a $9bn natural resource damages claim. Karp and Bruce Birenboim assisted the NFL with hundreds of concussion suits brought by former players. The firm scored a major coup when it hired Lorin Reisner as a partner following his time as head of the criminal division of the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is ‘a top-rank firm for commercial matters and home to spectacular litigators’. Some call it ‘the top litigation firm in the country’ and note that its ‘tremendous success in the litigation space is built on the great talent of its lawyers’. John Quinn and William Price in Los Angeles led the successful defense of Samsung against a $2bn claim in the so-called smartphone wars; Kathleen Sullivan in New York, chair of the national appellate practice, also advised Samsung on appeals against a $930m judgment in the same context. ‘The firm has made a big splash in the litigation arena’ and has ‘unmatched depth in trial experience’ thanks to the likes of A William Urquhart, who works between Los Angeles and Washington DC, Diane Doolittle in Silicon Valley, co-chair of the national trial practice group, and Charles Verhoeven in San Francisco, who won a major victory for satellite designer ViaSat against Space Systems/Loral. Christopher Tayback in Los Angeles won a $200m case at trial for Union Bank, which faced allegations of mismanagement during the financial crisis. Washington DC-based William Burck, who splits his time with the New York office, is also recommended.

Part of the pantheon of litigation firms’, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is ‘always at the top of people’s minds for litigation’. ‘The firm’s A-team is truly exceptional’ and across its network of US offices it has ‘many high-end litigators for high-value matters’. In New York, Jonathan Frank is assisting Queens Development Group with resisting efforts to stop its $3bn development of the blighted area of Willets Point, Lauren Aguiar won a favorable settlement for plaintiff Norwest Equity Partners in a breach of contract claim against BASF, and Maura Barry Grinalds won dismissal of claims against client SHFL Entertainment attempting to halt its merger with Bally Technologies. Highlights for the Los Angeles team include Thomas Nolan’s representation of Purdue Pharma in a $4bn claim arising from its sale of painkillers such as OxyContin, and Lisa Gilford’s defense of Community Health Systems in a $300m dispute. In Washington DC, Jennifer Spaziano advised Computer Sciences Corporation and Terumo Cardiovacular Group on high-value matters. Charles Smith and Albert Hogan are highly recommended in Chicago.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is ‘always impressive and does a fantastic job developing and executing successful strategies’. It is ‘a go-to firm for blue-chip corporates across the world’ such as BP, for which Richard Pepperman II and Marc De Leeuw in New York, and Washington DC partners Daryl Libow and Amanda Flug Davidoff, handled a host of matters arising from Deepwater Horizon. Robert Giuffra in New York led a team that won for DISH Network and EchoStar after a two-week trial in which plaintiffs sought $4bn in damages for alleged civil conspiracy, fraud and tortious interference. John Hardiman and Rick Fessel in New York, and Laura Kabler Oswell in Palo Alto represented Apollo Holdings in Delaware Chancery Court in matters arising from its proposed $2.5bn merger with Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. Other ‘very efficient litigators’ include New-York-based David Braff, who advised Barclays, and Brian Frawley and Brian Glueckstein, who are ‘attentive, skilful and masterful’.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has ‘tremendous reach nationally and tremendous experience’. Edward Soto in Miami, co-head of the complex commercial litigation practice, is ‘one of the most renowned trial lawyers in Florida’ and recently won a major victory for Procter & Gamble in an MDL. With New York-based co-head David Yohai (‘a seasoned trial lawyer with a great record’) and David Lender, who leads the broader litigation department, Soto oversees ‘a very deep bench in which all lawyers are meticulous, smart, careful, practical, energetic and tenacious’. Yohai led a team that won a motion victory for Panasonic in an MDL alleging price-fixing. New York is also home to ‘legendary litigatorJames Quinn and Yehudah Buchweitz, who regularly represent CBS Corporation in commercial disputes, and Diane Sullivan, who is ‘one of the foremost litigators in town’ and who won a favorable jury verdict for ESPN in defense of a $200m claim. Christopher Cox in Silicon Valley and Ray Guy in Dallas played key roles in a cross-border team that won a complete victory for Deutsche Bank, Barclays and Commerzbank with the dismissal of a $429m fraud action brought by MGA Entertainment.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s heritage as a premier litigation firm dates back to the 1930s and it maintains a ‘focused and goal-oriented team’ of 150 litigators in New York. ‘Known for trying cases, not pushing paper’, the firm fields ‘lean teams but has enough capacity to handle any matter including huge, first-principle cases’. Charles Gilman has won numerous dismissals for Deutsche Bank in state and federal lawsuits across the US. Floyd Abrams led the defense of McGraw Hill Financial and Standard & Poor’s in dozens of cases relating to its ratings of financial products during the financial crisis. Susan Buckley and Brian Markley represented ABC, Associated Press, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBCUniversal in actions challenging the constitutionality of state efforts to restrict their exit polling activities on election day. Thomas Kavaler and rising star Landis Best are other names among many highly recommended practitioners.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘a big-name firm with a big reputation in litigation’ and in New York it has ‘a deep bench of quality lawyers’; with ‘trial experience a key element of the practice’. Thomas Moloney, Lawrence Friedman and Carmine Boccuzzi are among many partners known for defending global financial institutions, and their recent victories include obtaining full dismissal for BNY Mellon in three Supreme Court lawsuits. Howard Zelbo is central to a team advising Nortel Networks in a host of matters including mediation and litigation over the allocation of more than $7bn among its debtors. The firm, which is ‘strong on cross-border matters’, secured a dismissal with prejudice for The Bank for International Settlements relating to historic bond payments.

From Philadelphia Ben Barnett co-chairs a complex commercial litigation group at Dechert LLP that is ‘top of the class and ruthless in its execution of client-focused solutions’. Renowned trial attorney David Bernick, who brings a 35-year track record from Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, is lead trial counsel for JM Eagle in matters alleging violations of the False Claims Act. The firm has ‘an extraordinary amount of expertise’ in New York, where Andrew Levander and Hector Gonzalez lead on a huge caseload for Takata, including more than 60 class actions and MDL matters arising from allegedly faulty airbags. William Oxley in Los Angeles is a longstanding lead trial lawyer for Union Carbide, often trying numerous cases each year. Christopher Ruhland, who represented DHL in matters concerning its exit from the US domestic shipping market, is also recommended in Los Angeles for ‘first-rate service and results’.

Commercial litigation is the heart and soul’ of Greenberg Traurig LLP, which is ‘one of the top firms because of the personalities, compassion and expertise of its lawyers in complicated matters’. Alan Mansfield in New York and ‘first-tier trial lawyerPhilip Sellinger in New Jersey co-chair the global litigation team, which has widespread geographical presence and ‘strong knowledge of local jurisdictions’. Sellinger is defending Hearst Corporation against a predatory pricing suit filed by the San Francisco Examiner. The firm has additional outstanding practitioners across the country, including Hilarie Bass in Miami, who secured dismissal with prejudice of claims of unjust enrichment and gross negligence against hedge fund manager Paulson Advisors LLC, William Clayton in Fort Lauderdale, who secured a complete defense verdict for longstanding client Jack Boyle, Los Angeles-based Jeff Scott, who advises major entertainment-sector clients, and Mark Tratos in Las Vegas, who has ‘extensive experience and litigation expertise’.

Jenner & Block LLP has ‘a commercial litigation practice that lives up to one’s expectations of a top law firm’. David Bradford and Craig Martin in Chicago lead a national team of 360 litigators known for ‘deep legal knowledge, resources, professionalism and quality of service’. Martin secured a jury win for Olin Corporation in a long-running dispute with its insurance carrier. The firm’s ‘top talent’ also includes Terri Mascherin in Chicago, who led in a five-month bench trial; and in Washington DC ‘exceptionally responsive and skilled litigatorJerome Epstein, who ‘understands what motivates business clients’, and David DeBruin, ‘a superb, client-focused lawyer who makes clients’ problems his own’. Brian Fischer and Katya Jestin in New York, whose clients include CashCall Inc and Dow Chemical, are among many renowned partners in a practice for which ‘commercial litigation is one of its greatest strengths’.

Highly responsive, incredibly knowledgeable and experienced’, say observers of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, which provides ‘extremely insightful legal advice and outstanding results in a very cost-effective manner’. New York-based practice heads Marc Kasowitz and Aaron Marks represent AMC Network Entertainment in a profit participation dispute with the creator of The Walking Dead series and talent agency CAA. Also recommended in New York are Hector Torres, who is ‘one of the most capable attorneys in the business, highly effective in critical areas including the quick analysis of complex legal situations’, Harold Levison, whose ‘considerable experience and expertise is invaluable’, and ‘seasoned attorneys’ Edward McNally and Sheron Korpus. The firm’s ‘aggressive and effective’ style is appreciated not only by plaintiffs, but also defense clients, which include Comcast.

If you simply must win, this is the firm to call’, say commentators on Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who note that its ‘first-rate team has the best strategic, analytical and creative thinkers’. William Molinski in Los Angeles leads the global litigation practice, which also includes ‘outstanding trial lawyer’ Peter Bicks in New York, ‘a master strategist who is extraordinarily well prepared, adaptable and persuasive’. Other stars include Joshua Rosenkranz, described as ‘magnificent – the best appellate lawyer I have seen, he can match the most prominent appellate advocate in the country blow-for-blow’, and Elyse Echtman who is a ‘first-rate litigator’. Molinski and Bicks represented DISH Network against contract and copyright claims brought by ABC, CBS, Fox and NBCUniversal. Major clients include Chanel and PwC.

Dynamic and hungry’, Paul Hastings LLP has ‘a commitment to winning’. Practice heads Barry Sher and Kurt Hansson in New York and Dennis Ellis in Los Angeles lead a team that is ‘creative in finding ways to resolve cases before trial, but also effective in court’. The firm’s client base encompasses blue-chip corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline, IBM and L’Oréal, as well as financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, and international business such as Samsung and Korean Air. Hansson is long-standing counsel to GE. New York-based Douglas Flaum represents Goldman Sachs in a breach of contract matter arising from its investment in NetLogic. Los Angeles-based William Sullivan is highly recommended and the arrival of a three-partner team from Bingham McCutchen LLP gives the firm a strong trial practice in Washington DC.

Reed Smith LLP has one of the largest litigation practices in the world and more than 600 litigators in the US, providing ‘excellent value in strategic and complicated matters’. Global litigation chair Jack Nelson in San Francisco oversees a practice that is ‘outstanding, showing mastery of the intricacies of the regulatory landscape and providing excellent advice in challenging circumstances’. Former prosecutor Carolyn Short is ‘one of the best litigators in Philadelphia, super smart and creative, tireless and tough, first choice for bet-the-company litigation’. In Chicago ‘superb relationship manager’ Peter Ellis represented UPS in a $50m suit filed against franchisees for breach of contract and unfair competition, and Michael O’Neil defended Sterling Infosystems in two cases alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Los Angeles-based Lorenzo Gasparetti and Karen Braje in San Francisco are ‘extremely responsive and provide high-quality advice’.

Shearman & Sterling LLP has ‘an extremely successful team even in very difficult litigation matters and has shown very reliable performance over many years’. It is noted that ‘for high-risk and high-value commercial litigation, the firm provides fast responses and excellent legal advice that is very useful for in-house decision-making’. Adam Hakki leads the litigation department from New York, where Richard Schwed represented Dun & Bradstreet in a series of class actions brought by a reseller of its CreditBuilder product. Jaculin Aaron and Stuart Baskin won an appellate victory for Viacom in a case concerning the compensation paid to its senior executives. Schwed and Alan Goudiss, who is ‘absolutely excellent and clients fully trust him’, represent Ardagh Group in matters relating to its $1.7bn acquisition of a glass container business. The firm is known for ‘excellent client service form a diverse practice with substantial trial experience’.

A truly national practice’, Sidley Austin LLPknows the local terrain’. With a client base that includes Fortune 50 companies and large financial institutions, the practice is described as ‘Wall Street meets Main Street’. New York-based Steven Bierman defended ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company in a reinsurance contract dispute. In Chicago, Holly Harrison defended Baxter Healthcare against a claim arising from an asset purchase agreement. Dallas-based Yvette Ostolaza represents MGM Resorts International and MGM Grand Hotel in a series of high-value arbitrations. In Los Angeles, Rollin Ransom and Bradley Ellis are ‘first-rate litigators with extensive experience and acumen’. Joseph Tompkins in Washington DC represents the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands in a breach of contract dispute filed in Miami. Clients report that the firm’s ‘work is impeccable and advice is always sound and wise’.

In New York, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provides ‘top-level service across the board in complex and difficult commercial litigation’. Co-chairs Thomas Rice and Paul Curnin lead a practice which has ‘a big pool of multi-talented litigators, who are trained to try cases’. ‘Partners have world-class experience and associates are always smart’. Mark Cunha, who has many years’ experience in complex business cases, is ‘outstanding, he knows how to be practical and works like an animal to get the best result’. He is counsel for beverage companies including Heineken in ten federal and state court actions seeking $2bn in damages. Mary Beth Forshaw led the defense of Berkshire Hathaway against dozens of claims arising from its insurance industry investments. One of the firm’s sweet spots is financial services, and Joseph Tringali, Paul Gluckow and Kevin Arquit obtained dismissals of several claims of bid-rigging against two private equity clients.

New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is ‘one of a few select firms at the top of the league’ and is best known for takeover and transactional litigation. Jonathan Moses and William Savitt lead a 28-partner team that advised on bet-the-company cases such as client Allergan’s takeover battle with Valeant and Pershing Square, which resulted in a ground-breaking preliminary injunction that set new federal precedent against unfair tactics in takeover bids. Further highlights include the successful defense of Sotheby’s shareholder rights plan against an activist investor attack, back-to-back motion to dismiss wins for KKR Financial Holdings and Motorola in cases relating to corporate transactions, and a landmark settlement for Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold in post-merger litigation. Its blue -chip client base also includes Goldman Sachs and General Motors.

Washington DC-based Williams & Connolly LLP is ‘a pure litigation firm with superb lawyers’. ‘Trial skills are to the fore at a firm focused on litigating large and complex cases’, and it has ‘a tight-knit, focused group of lawyers that always does its best for clients’. Robert Van Kirk continued an unbroken string of successes for Carlyle Group by preserving many appealed verdicts. Dane Butswinkas secured a complete defense verdict at trial for Ritchie Risk-Linked Strategies Trading in a case seeking $600m in damages. The firm is lead trial counsel for AstraZeneca in what could be the largest antitrust class action of all time, in which Butswinkas is the key partner. Clients appreciate the firm’s ‘strong ability to communicate with judge and jury’. Other highlights include Bruce Genderson’s defense of Samsung and F Whitten Peters representation of Intel. Walt Disney and Mars are also clients.

Litigation is the dominant practice at WilmerHale, which has ‘an eagerness to fight it out, extensive trial experience and strong subject matter expertise’. Clients say that Washington DC-based Howard Shapiro’s team is ‘absolutely top notch in all respects for the largest and most complex of matters’. Shapiro represents NBCUniversal in a $700m joint venture dispute. In Washington DC, Seth Waxman is counsel to the Clearing House Association, and Carl Nichols, who advised leading aviation industry clients on a $396m dispute, ‘makes clients feel they are in safe hands’. New York-based Philip Anker is arguing a motion to dismiss for Susquehanna Investment in an $8bn fraudulent conveyance litigation. Peter Macdonald and practice vice-chair Robert Cultice in Boston are other key members of the group, which is also noted for being ‘very comfortable and successful in the courtroom’.

Allen & Overy LLP’s New York litigation practice is in its twelfth year, and Michael Feldberg leads ‘a seamless litigation group with great experience and can easily co-ordinate a global team’. Known as a group of ‘very impressive guys’ who have ‘a willingness to take cases to trial’, its stars include Jacob Pultman, who led at trial for Ernst & Young as monitor of Nortel Networks in a $7.3bn cross-border dispute. Andrew Rhys Davies and ‘smart cookie’ Daniel Guyder represented Lyxor/GAM Global Rates Hedge Fund Limited in a complex international dispute involving English insolvency law and infrequently litigated aspects of New York contract law. SAP and Blackberry are also clients.

For ‘leading firmDentons, ‘class action litigation in the financial services space is its bread and butter’. Yet the scope of St Louis-based Roger Heidenreich’s disputes team extends across many industries and Keith Moskowitz in Chicago represents BP in the matters stemming from Deepwater Horizon. Carole Neville in New York and Sam Alberts in Washington DC are part of a team advising the Official Committee of Retirees, which stands to lose $4.6bn in the bankruptcy of Detroit. Robert Scoular in Los Angeles represents Raytheon in a $140m dispute concerning missile components.

Jones Day is known for its ‘fine trial lawyers and strong national coverage’ and it remains ‘highly visible across the country for litigation cases’. John Majoras in Columbus, J Bruce McDonald in Houston, Michael Fried in Washington DC and Paula Render in Chicago settled a case for American Airlines that could have blocked its $11bn merger with US Airways. Theodore Grossman in Cleveland successfully brought a claim of tortious interference for Macy’s against Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and JCPenney. ‘Outstanding litigator’ Bruce Bennett in Los Angeles and Robert Mittelstaedt in San Francisco are also among the firm’s many highly recommended partners.

K&L Gatescan try the most difficult and complex business cases across the country’. ‘Experienced trial lawyer’ Thomas Birsic in Pittsburgh leads the litigation practice in which Anthony La Rocco in Newark won a ground-breaking jury verdict for Telecom Labs in a six-year dispute with Avaya. The firm is national defense counsel for Alcoa, and other premier clients include NW Natural, Patheon and PPG Industries. Mark Filipini and Daniel Hurley in Seattle are representing Hertz at trial. Chicago is among the strongest of the firm’s 25 US offices and it is building capacity in the relatively new Houston office, where Brett Young joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.

New York firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP has a team of ‘very impressive people’ with a long track record of trying cases to judgment. Gary Naftalis secured a unanimous appellate decision for Sirius XM Radio in a breach of contract claim brought by One Twelve Inc. Harold Weinberger and John Coffey are advising Johnson & Johnson in a breach of merger agreement in which it is seeking $5.5bn in damages from Guidant Corporation. Michael Dell, who defended Deloitte in a $1bn fraud case, and Barry Berke, are also recommended.

The New York office of Linklaters LLPexcels in multi-jurisdictional and cross-border disputes’. After ten years in the US as a litigation practice it is ‘building growing credibility and a cadre of internationally experienced associates’. Paul Hessler represents companies in the Schahin Group in litigation relating to the design and construction of offshore drilling vessels by CIMC Raffles Offshore, which filed a $200m claim. Lance Croffoot-Suede defended Barclays Capital in a claim alleging wrongful termination of repo transactions. James Warnot has been advising Lehman Brothers International Europe.

Mayer Brown has a ‘strong appellate practice that excels in e-discovery’, as well as ‘very deep substantive expertise in financial litigation’. Reginald Goeke in Washington DC has an enviable track record of representing banks in commercial disputes. Lori Lightfoot in Chicago embodies the firm’s ‘strong trial capability’. Bronwyn Pollock in Los Angeles is also recommended. Washington DC-based Carmine Zarlenga secured a summary judgment victory for Nestlé USA in an MDL consisting of more than 90 federal lawsuits. Other major clients include Google and AT&T Mobility.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s 140-lawyer national litigation practice spans eight offices from coast to coast. Its ‘legal service and response times are excellent and it has considerable resources at all levels’. In Chicago clients pick out ‘excellent lawyer and hard worker’ William Schuman and ‘experienced lead trial lawyer’ Lazar Raynal, who oversees the global trial practice. Eric Hagen in Los Angeles and Daniel Alberti in Silicon Valley won a summary judgment in a $1bn for Seagate Technology in a 14-year dispute with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Further key clients include Honeywell and Mars. Washington DC-based Robert Burchfield is another name to note.

In New York, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP represents blue-chip corporate clients and an array of financial institutions. The practice group has three co-heads in Daniel Perry (‘a real star’), George Canellos and Scott Edelman. Perry represented Greenlight Reinsurance in a $40m claim for commission payments against Appalachian Underwriters Inc. Edelman’s highlights include bringing an action against Pandora Media on behalf of BMI concerning license fees for the use of musical compositions, and defending Inergy Midstream against a breach of contract claim. Alan Stone is recommended for his expertise in corporate control litigation.

Proskauer Rose LLP has a ‘large and vibrant’ litigation practice. Brendan O’Rourke, who won a major victory for T-Mobile in its long-running disputes against AT&T, and Bradley Ruskin co-chair the litigation department from New York which is home to outstanding practitioners such as Robert Cleary, Peter Doyle, who joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Michael Cardozo, formerly the longest serving Corporation Counsel for New York City. Ruskin’s highlights include advising the ATP World Tour on a case of first impression against Deutscher Tennis Bund. Steven Bauer in Boston is also recommended.

Glenn Kurtz in New York leads the practice at White & Case LLP, which has lead roles in many high-profile cases. Bryan Merryman in Los Angeles advised Gerber Products Company and Nestlé on a $500m product labeling dispute, and defended the LA Lakers in a claim alleging that its $3bn agreement with Time Warner Cable violated California’s unfair competition law. Heather McDevitt and David Hille in New York defended Hess Corporation in a breach of contract claim alleging it supplied adulterated oil.

Arnold & Porter LLP excels in ‘high-stakes, multi-state or international matters with a government policy nexus’, in which it can ‘go toe-to-toe with anyone’. Kenneth Chernof leads the practice from Washington DC, where David Weiner and experienced trial lawyer Jonathan Stern are highly recommended. Chernof represented Leidos in an MDL alleging five million people were injured as a result of the theft of back-up data tapes. Los Angeles-based James Speyer advised BP on a $1bn claim brought by franchisees.

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP has quickly built a stellar track record of courtroom victories. This ‘really strong litigation practice’ has ‘an excellent reputation for coming in late in the day to resolve problems’. A strong team in Chicago includes Philip Beck, Chris Lind, Adam Hoeflich and Rebecca Bacon, who have impressive trial experience, as do Sean Grimsley and Eric Olson in Denver. Highlights include defending Sonitrol in a $50m breach of contract case, and filing a claim for American Airlines against Sabre.

Chadbourne & Parke LLP provides ‘excellent service and focused advice’. Recommended New York partners include Thomas Hall, who ‘stands out for his approachability, frankness and sound judgment’; Thomas McCormack, who advised Hellas, and Robert Schwinger. Hall represents Mid-Atlantic Sports Network in a case concerning telecast rights fees, and helped Citigroup reach a $200,000 settlement in matters arising from a failed LBO that sought to recover $2.1bn.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is ‘a pre-eminent global firm with a joined up international practice that can try cases effectively’. In New York, Marshall Fishman defeated at trial a $100m contract construction and fraud claim against Citigroup and advised RBS in a dispute concerning the sale of Liverpool FC. Michael Lacovara advised a global investment bank in a consolidated MDL concerning price fixing. Tim Harkness and rising star David Onorato are recommended in a practice that ‘excels in foreign discovery issues’.

The New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provides ‘best-in-class legal services and its lawyers are highly knowledgeable and focused on customer service’. Gregg Weiner defended Costco against allegations of aiding and abetting fraud and civil conspiracy. ‘It is worth every penny’ say clients of a practice comprising ‘first-rate litigators’ such as the ‘solution-orientedDavid Hennes and the ‘super-talentedStephen Juris.

New York-based Herrick, Feinstein LLP has ‘practical, street-smart litigators who are cost-effective and ready to try cases’. The ‘practical and results-oriented’ Scott Mollen won a major victory for DataTreasury, and is representing Stuyvesant Town in a $1bn dispute. Mara Levin won a big case for Capital One that could help shape how the banking industry conducts business in New York State. 30-year veteran Christopher Sullivan is another recommended attorney in the group, which is ‘leaner and more aggressive than some larger firms’.

Kaye Scholer LLP’s team, led by James Herschlein in New York, advises clients such as Accenture, Bosch and Oracle. Herschlein defended Irving Oil as one of 29 defendants against claims of contaminating groundwater in Vermont. Jeffrey Wagner in Chicago obtained a motion to dismiss for Pfizer in one of a series of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) actions. Jeffrey Fuisz in New York led the defense of The Renco Group in fraudulent conveyance claims.

Global litigation boutiqueKobre & Kim focuses on cases with cross-border elements or conflicts of interest that rule out larger firms. It has ‘substantive expertise in esoteric matters’ such as international judicial enforcement and asset recovery and Michael Kim ‘builds confidence, comfort and trust among clients’. The firm advised the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in its suit against BioGenesis concerning the distribution of performance-enhancing substances.

Jane Willis and Robert Jones in Boston lead a nationwide practice of over 300 litigators at Ropes & Gray LLP. The firm’s strong buy-side focus sees it advise many investment managers, private equity houses and mutual funds, as well as life sciences companies. Highlights include representing Astra Tech in pursuing a fraud claim against Atlantis Components, and successfully defending the CEO of Westfield Capital Management in a breach of agreement matter. Bain Capital and PIMCO are key clients.

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLPperforms extremely well in complex litigation, with immediate responses and strong tactical advice’. In New York, Robert Abrahams, who secured a$100m settlement for interdealer broker Tullet Prebon after a five-month trial against BGC Capital Markets, and ‘highly accomplished, skilled, honest, smart and insightful strategic litigatorRobert Ward are recommended. It is a ‘world-leading firm for private investment funds’.

Karl Tilleman in Phoenix leads Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s practice, which is ‘one of the strongest in the market’ and has ‘extensive experience in trying cases with difficult fact patterns’. Washington DC-based Steven Davidson and Alfred Mamlet won a breach of contract suit at jury trial for Artel LLC concerning the supply of services to the State Department. Davidson represents ExxonMobil in its breach of contract claims against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. Seong Kim in Los Angeles is ‘renowned for his skill and effectiveness’.

Clients say Winston & Strawn LLP is ‘one of the best in the industry and the results are uniformly good’. The practice centers on Chicago practice chair Stephen D’Amore and Daniel Webb who is picked out as ‘a tier-one trial lawyer, the gold standard for litigation’. Webb scored a big win for the LA Dodgers and American Media Productions with the dismissal of a $1bn claim. The ‘steady, experiencedRobert Julian in San Francisco is also recommended.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP is a ‘litigation powerhouse’. Trial lawyer Stephen Crain, who represents BG Group in matters arising from oil and gas development agreements, leads the litigation team from Houston. The firm has a broad practice but is particularly strong in contract litigation for energy companies such as GDF Suez, ENI Petroleum and Statoil.

The ‘responsive, knowledgeable and good-value’ practice at Brown Rudnick LLP is known for its ‘fresh, creative and positive approach’ as well as ‘excellent legal judgment and commercial sense’. Recommended partners include Wayne Dennison in Boston, Sigmund Wissner-Gross and ‘great tacticianDavid Molton in New York, and Ronald Rus in Orange County, who advised CR&R Inc on a joint venture dispute.

Rooted in California but strong across the US, Cooley LLP has ‘real trial lawyers and is among the leaders for clients in Silicon Valley’. From San Diego, Michael Attanasio leads a team in which San Francisco-based Michael Rhodes successfully defeated a bid to unify multiple lawsuits against Google. The firm, which also represents Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, ‘blends traditional courtroom advocacy with new economy companies’. Stephen Neal in Palo Alto defended Gilead Sciences.

Michelman & Robinson, LLP is ‘a fine firm that does excellent work, gets great results and delivers great value for clients’. The ‘fantastic’ Sanford Michelman, who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York, represented GemCap in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract and misrepresentation case. Mona Hanna in Los Angeles is ‘an excellent trial lawyer, one of the best in Orange County’.

Clients describe Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP as ‘first choice for must-win cases’. Steven Reed in Philadelphia, who provides ‘a very high level of service with responsive, effective but practical advice’ advised Royal Dutch Shell in a large MDL case. Rollin Chippey in San Francisco led a team that won denial of an appeal against a $550m judgment for pharmaceutical company Asahi Kasei.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP is ‘excellent in every way, as good as any other firm out there’. Deborah Baum in Washington DC is ‘the whole package, working extremely well under pressure with great practice and strategic insights’. Highlights include New York-based Frederick Brodie’s representation of Mitsui Oil Exploration Company in oil spill litigation.

Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP has ‘a highly collegial practice with a lot of talent, in which clients get attention from the senior lawyers’. Brian Fraser in New York succeeded in having Boeing dismissed from 9/11-related litigation alleging $12bn in property damage. He also defends Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC) against multiple claims brought by municipalities.

Litigation is the biggest department across the four offices of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, which provides ‘excellent service, great response times and deep industry knowledge’. The practice’s ‘problem solvers who invest time in learning clients’ business needs’ include New York’s James Bernard, who advised Grant Thornton on six matters arising from the collapse of Parmalat, and Melvin Brosterman, who represented Goldman Sachs; and Miami-based James Sammataro.

Clients are ‘thoroughly pleased with the professional and pleasant team’ at Sullivan & Worcester, where ‘the partner you hire is the partner you get and the results are outstanding’. Andrew Solomon in New York oversees a team in which Harry Rimm, who advised Nestlé on a $30m contract dispute ‘rates A+’, and Franklin Velie and Jonathan Kortmansky advised sellers of diagnostics company ADI in breach of contract claims.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is ‘a well kept secret’. It delivers ‘superlative service in every way’ and is ‘a go-to firm for US Supreme Court matters’. Its outstanding partners include in Austin Sean Jordan, who is ‘one of the smartest and most thoughtful litigators’ and Kent Sullivan, and in Atlanta, ‘excellent tactician’ Rocco Testani and ‘soft-spoken legal technician and strong litigation strategist’ Amelia Rudolph.


International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. International arbitration
  2. Leading lawyers

Working primarily out of New York, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s US-based lawyers have a first-rate reputation for international disputes, be they commercial or investment treaty-related arbitrations, or public international law. The firm’s highly rated London team provides extra gravitas, and it is currently undergoing further growth in key Asian and Latin American markets. The practice also grew at home, following the promotion of Natalie Reid to partner. The team is ‘always looking for innovative ways to deal with issues and to cut time and costs’; indeed ‘its lean manning of cases means it provides excellent value for money’ as well as ‘excellent’ service levels overall. ‘There is huge strength in depth’ in this group, which is co-chaired by the ‘commercial, innovative and hugely persuasiveDavid Rivkin and ‘brilliant and result-drivenDonald Francis Donovan. Other key individuals include Mark Friedman, who is ‘extremely bright and quick on the uptake’, the ‘very responsive, focused and objectiveDietmar Prager, and the ‘extremely creative and business-oriented’ Christopher Tahbaz, who divides his time between Hong Kong and New York. A notable highlight in 2014 was representing Tethyan Copper Company in parallel ICC and ICSID arbitral proceedings respectively brought against the Governments of Balochistan and Pakistan. Other major clients include Occidental Petroleum, Perenco, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is undoubtedly ‘a force in international arbitration’ despite several high-profile departures from its global disputes practice in 2014, which were centered largely around its London and Paris offices. The US side of the practice remained relatively unscathed, and while Alexander Yanos did join Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, the promotion of the highly regarded Noiana Marigo ensured that depletion of partner ranks was minimal. As one observer put it: ‘there is an institutional knowledge of arbitration that never changes; even if certain partners and associates leave, that culture and experience always remains’. Marigo is dual qualified in Argentina and New York and is a key part of the firm’s market-leading Latin America disputes offering, an area in which Washington DC-based practice head Nigel Blackaby is considered virtually peerless. Other key partners include New York-based Elliot Friedman and the ‘always reliable and exceedingly talentedBrian King who is ‘the attorney that you want in your corner during an arbitration’. While she is no longer in the US, Lucy Reed, the firm’s Singapore-based and global arbitration head, ‘is very much involved in the US offices’ and is ‘highly esteemed in the field’. A highlight was advising BG Group on the first-ever investment treaty arbitration case to be addressed in the US Supreme Court, which reinstated a $185m award in favor of the company in its long-running dispute with Argentina. Other recent instructions came from ConocoPhillips, Repsol, Total, and Burlington Resources.

King & Spalding LLP has an extremely rich pedigree for international arbitration work, particularly oil and gas-related disputes – the majority of the team is based in Houston. However, it also has market-leading practitioners in New York, Atlanta, and San Francisco. The highly respected Edward Kehoe and Doak Bishop jointly head the practice out of New York and Houston respectively and spearhead a team of 32 partners and 48 counsel and associates; names to note among these include esteemed Houston attorneys John Bowman and Reginald Smith, and New York-based Guillermo Aguilar Alvarez, Henry Burnett and Caline Mouawad. The firm has been involved in some of the largest cases to hit the market of late, including acting for Chevron in its investment treaty dispute with Ecuador concerning alleged breaches of settlement and release agreements under the US-Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Another highlight was advising The Renco Group in its UNCITRAL arbitration against Peru concerning the client’s investment in a metallurgical smelter that it bought from the Peruvian government. Other high-profile clients include Teinver and Transglobal Green Energy.

White & Case LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice ‘provides excellent service’. The ‘amazingly deep team of attorneys’ displays ‘professionalism and has solid experience in the field of investor-state international arbitration’. The extremely well-regarded Paul Friedland heads the 12-partner team out of New York. The fact that eight of its partners are based in Washington DC is indicative of its extremely strong focus, and subsequent reputation for investment treaty disputes, where it regularly represents state clients such as the Republics of Peru, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan and the Philippines. The firm is also noted for energy-related disputes, and keystone clients such as Saudi Aramco generate a regular flow of arbitration work in this space. The firm also has a strong reputation for Latin America arbitrations, a practice that is headed by Washington DC-based Jonathan Hamilton. Recent highlights include successfully representing Canadian mining company Gold Reserve in its ICSID arbitration against Venezuela concerning the wrongful termination of its mining project in the Brisas reserve, which has one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold and copper deposits; the panel awarded Gold Reserve over $740m in damages, one of the highest awards in ICSID history. The firm has also been representing Peru as a claimant in its ICSID dispute with Caraveli Cotaruse Transmisora de Energia, regarding the $181m construction of 600 miles of electricity transmission lines; this was the first time a Latin American state registered a ICSID claim, and Peru became only the fourth state in the center’s history to become a claimant.

Arnold & Porter LLP already had an excellent reputation for international arbitration, before making an even bigger push into the market through the recruitment of a team from Hogan Lovells, including Thad Dameris and Christopher Odell in Houston and David Weiner in Washington DC. A further addition came in the form of David Huebner in Los Angeles, who joined from the US State Department, having been a former US ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. The new arrivals join a team headed by Paolo Di Rosa out of Washington DC, which also includes Jean Kalicki and Gaela Gehring Flores. The practice is particularly noted for its expertise in major investment treaty disputes, as well as Latin America and energy-related arbitrations. It has a strong track record representing sovereign states, including Hungary, Chile, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic. Recently it advised the Republic of Korea on $4.7bn worth of claims brought against it by Lone Star, concerning its attempts to sell its interest in the Korea Exchange Bank; this was the first investment treaty arbitration ever to be filed against Korea. On the claimant side, the firm represented Turkish energy company Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim in a $1.7bn ICSID arbitration against Pakistan regarding its investment in a rental power project. Other clients include Mercer International, EDF, Daimler Financial Services and the Slovak Republic.

International arbitration forms an integral part of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s wider disputes practice, and it handles a healthy mix of major commercial arbitrations and investment treaty disputes. As regards the latter, the firm has been involved in some hugely significant matters on behalf of the Republic of Argentina, including its dispute with BG Group, Continental Casualty Company and National Grid which ultimately went to the US Supreme Court. The firm also represented the Russian Federation in its ultimately unsuccessful defense of $100bn worth of compensation claims from former shareholders of Yukos Oil Company concerning the dismantlement of the company. The team’s talented and experienced practitioners include Jonathan Blackman and Howard Zelbo in New York, which is where most of the firm’s partners are based. The highly regarded Matthew Slater flies the flag in Washington DC. Other key clients include JSC Tatneft, Rosneft, the Hellenic Republic and DP World, which it represented in an investment treaty dispute with Peru.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s well-balanced practice is very active in the market, fielding expertise in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations as well as state-to-state disputes. The investment treaty side was augmented following the arrival in New York of Alexander Yanos, formerly of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, to become co-chair of the firm’s treaty arbitration practice; his highly rated fellow co-chairs are John Townsend in Washington DC and John Fellas in New York. A major highlight for the firm was its successful representation of the Government of Canada in the LCIA regarding its softwood lumber dispute with the US over alleged subsidies to Canadian softwood lumber exports. On the investment treaty side, New York’s Steven Hammond acted for leading Turkish oil exploration developer Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklıgi in a multimillion-dollar dispute with the Republic of Kazakhstan. The versatile practice also handles arbitration in the pharmaceuticals, aviation, shipping and mining sectors.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s global practice is co-headed by Houston-based Mark Baker, and also has partners in New York and Washington DC while benefiting from highly rated practices in London and Canada. However, the departure of New York-based Latin America expert Anibal Sabater to Chaffetz Lindsey LLP was a blow. Highlight cases for the group included representing Vicinay Cadenas in a $500m product liability dispute with Petrobras America and its insurers regarding alleged defects in a Vicinay-manufactured tether chain. The firm, which has a strong energy focus, also represented Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in a $325m dispute with Lutin Investments concerning the enforcement of an arbitration award issued by a sole arbitrator in Nigeria. Other key clients include AEI, Baker Hughes, KBC Advanced Technologies, Total, and Técnicas Reunidas.

Sidley Austin LLP is praised for its ‘perfect knowledge and experience in international investment disputes and energy charter treaty issues’. The practice has partners in offices throughout the US and is jointly headed by New York-based Louis Kimmelman and the ‘excellentStanimir Alexandrov in Washington DC, who is ‘an authority for investment disputes and must surely be terrifying to the other side’. Other key partners in the capital include the ‘outstandingJennifer Haworth McCandless who ‘never tires of responding to questions’, and Marinn Carlson who ‘demonstrates an excellent ability to plan, execute and negotiate the various aspects of international commercial disputes, particularly those involving discrimination and expropriation by foreign states’. The ‘smart, dependable, accessible and amicable’ team is ‘willing to lend assistance above and beyond the call of duty’, and makes ‘interaction comfortable and puts the client at ease’. Highlights include successfully defending the Republic of Turkey against over $100m of ECT claims brought by Alapli Elektrik. On the international commercial arbitration side it is representing Peruvian state-owned company Perupetro in a $50m royalty payment dispute with a consortium of investors. Other clients include The Republic of Peru and the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is ‘one of those rare firms that is able to handle both the legal aspect of arbitration as well as the cultural and political aspects’. The practice is highly recommended for its expertise in public international law, investment treaty disputes and commercial arbitrations. Global co-head Michael Goldberg, who leads the team out of Houston, ‘is simply a winner’ and ‘has the unique ability to invoke confidence with the client, which is even more impressive when you consider that the clients include distinguished government officials’. He is backed up by a top-notch team that includes Washington DC-based Ryan Bull, whose ‘lawyering and cultural skills are excellent’. The US practice works closely with highly regarded groups in London and Moscow, and its ‘transparency and precision is reflected in its billing system, which makes it reliable and worth our trust’. The firm made significant additions in 2014, particularly in New York, where it recruited a team from Hogan Lovells, including partner Edward Schorr and special counsel Andrew Behrman. The firm is noted for its expertise in the oil and gas sector and recently advised a major LNG producer on a $1bn+ dispute concerning a price review clause in a long-term contract. Key clients include the Russian Federation, Kia Motors, Frontera Resources and Cobalt International Energy.

Chaffetz Lindsey LLP is a New York-based disputes boutique with a heavy focus on international arbitration. Since opening in 2009 the firm has been making quite an impression in the market, as reflected in the caliber of partners it has begun to recruit, including the extremely well-regarded Anibal Sabater from Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm’s ‘overall level of service is outstanding’ and its ‘bench strength is a key strength,’ as the ‘quality of service provided is consistent throughout’. Clients note that ‘the extensive network its lawyers have in the arbitration and litigation world is very impressive and helpful in assessing situations and planning strategy’. James Hosking, one of its key arbitration specialists, is ‘a passionate advocate of the client and is extremely responsive no matter where he is in the world’. Andreas Frischknecht is also ‘impressive in how he can become an expert in a specific area that is the focus of the arbitration’. Clients also recommend newly promoted Jennifer Permesly and founding partner David Lindsey for their arbitration expertise. Recent highlights include representing a large Brazilian construction company in an ICC arbitration against a major oil company concerning the construction and refitting of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel. Major clients include AEI, Cukurova Holding, AIG and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Covington & Burling LLP boasts an extremely strong team of international arbitration specialists that ‘play in the big leagues, and very well’. Working primarily out of the firm’s Washington DC office, albeit with experienced partners in New York and San Francisco, the practice is jointly led by the ‘very capableMarney Cheek and Allan Moore. Highly rated senior counsel Eugene Gullandknows the field and how to play on it’, and Miguel López Forastier is ‘a rising talent’ who is ‘detail-oriented and always looking around the next corner’ and ‘does an excellent job of bridging the company/outside counsel divide on several different issues’. Clients appreciate the ‘excellent counseling’ on offer and the team as a whole is no stranger to the largest cases. Most notably it represented ExxonMobil in its successful $2bn compensation claim against the Republic of Venezuela following the expropriation of two oil projects. The firm is also representing Eli Lilly in a $500m investor-state arbitration against the Government of Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) following the alleged expropriation of the client’s patent rights. Other clients include Apache Corporation, BP and Tidewater.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is primarily known for representing governments in investment treaty arbitrations; this niche focus means its ‘lawyers have a great deal of specialized experience on which to draw’ and the practice as a whole ‘has a special talent in building teams that work together extremely well on cases’. New York-based team head and firm chairman, George Kahale III has ‘a special strength with respect to his management teams: he builds a team that is completely dedicated to the case’. Kahale, Benard Preziosi, and Mark O’Donoghue are ‘outstanding’ and ‘put the interests of the client first’. Major recent highlights include representing long-term client the Republic of Venezuela on its ICSID arbitration with ConocoPhillips regarding the expropriation of three petroleum exploration and development projects in the country. The firm is also defending the Republic of India against a $1.6bn claim brought by several Mauritius-based telecoms companies. While the firm is best known for its advice to states, it does also represent private sector clients in international arbitrations and is currently involved in a multimillion-dollar dispute for an African energy company.

New York-based Henry Weisburg heads the US arm of Shearman & Sterling LLP’s highly rated international arbitration group. He is backed up by a team in Washington DC – notably Jonathan Greenblatt and Christopher Ryan, as well as counsel Katia Yannaca-Small. The US side of the practice can often be found working alongside colleagues in the firm’s market-leading Paris-based group, as was the case in a dispute on behalf of 13 financial investment companies and two individuals in a $15bn ICC claim brought against a major European telecoms company. The firm also advised Essar Global, the respondent in a $220m ICC arbitration concerning obligations under a guarantee agreement and underlying loan agreements. The firm is also experienced in investment treaty disputes and is defending the Republic of Venezuela in a $646m ICSID claim brought by Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen concerning the construction and operation of an ammonia and urea production facility.

The ‘excellent’ team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is praised for its ‘extremely short response times’ and ‘very quick understanding of a complex situation’. New York co-head Robert Smit ‘stands out for his vast arbitration experience and has an extraordinary strategic clarity coupled with a natural, easygoing and accessible team leadership’. The majority of the firm’s work is in major commercial arbitrations, and the practice is noted for its expertise in Asia-related disputes. Most recently it has advised on several significant disputes in the pharmaceutical industry, an area where Washington DC-based co-head Peter Thomas has a particularly strong track record. A notable highlight was successfully representing Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma in a supply dispute with Janssen Biotech, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Other key clients include Danone, Daiichi Sankyo, MatlinPatterson and MediaTek. Counsel Janet Whittaker is also singled out, for her ‘great ability to work through vast amounts of complex information and distil the essence of a case’.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s highly regarded five-partner team is headed by John Gardiner out of the New York office, where the US arm is primarily based. The practice covers all areas of the market, including investment treaty arbitrations, and partners such as Julie Bédard and Timothy Nelson are noted for their expertise in Latin America-related disputes. A major highlight for the firm was representing Devas Multimedia Private in parallel UNCITRAL and ICC arbitrations against, respectively, the Government of India and government-owned Antrix Corporation; the $1.6bn claims concern the provision of India’s satellite and terrestrial audio visual, broadband and mobile services to Devas. The firm also represented the Barbados-incorporated investment company Gambrinus in a $150m ICSID claim against the Republic of Venezuela concerning the 2010 expropriation of FertiNitro, a large producer of urea and ammonia. The New York practice works very closely with the firm’s market-leading team in London.

Baker & McKenzie LLP has an expansive practice spread throughout the US: key locations include New York, where North America practice chair Grant Hanessian is based, and Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and Palo Alto. The Washington DC and Miami offices were also strengthened in 2014 following the respective hires of Edward Teddy Baldwin from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Luis O’Naghten from Akerman LLP. The US practice regularly handles commercial and investment treaty arbitrations in Europe, Latin America, Russia and the CIS. Recently it advised Longreef, an Aruban corporation, in a $500m ICSID claim against the Republic of Venezuela following the expropriation of the country’s largest coffee company, which Longreef owned. Other recent instructions came from the Government of Mongolia, AVIC, and Weatherford.

Chadbourne & Parke LLP has a strong reputation for advising global companies and sovereign states in major international disputes, particularly in the emerging markets. It also represents states and claimants in investor treaty disputes. One of the firm’s most high-profile cases was for Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International as claimants in a $650m ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Venezuela involving the expropriation of a fertilizer plant and related offtake agreement. TCR Sports Broadcasting, The Republic of Congo, and Citibank are also clients. New York-based Mark Beckett heads the well-regarded team, which also includes Marc Suskin, as well as of counsel William Perry in Washington DC.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP benefits greatly from the presence of global head Elliot Polebaum who splits his time between Washington DC and Paris. Polebaum is ‘one of the best international arbitration lawyers’ in the market and ‘an outstanding advocate’. He is backed up by a team of high-quality partners in Washington DC, including Joseph LoBue and Douglas Baruch. The firm acts for several major French clients, including EDF, Dassault Aviation and Total, and recently represented Thales Alenia Space in an ICDR arbitration brought by Globalstar concerning a $1bn contract for the supply of 48 satellites and ancillary products and services.

Herbert Smith Freehills is praised for its ‘very efficient, high-quality advice’ and ‘reasonable fees’. The firm’s New York-based head is Laurence Shore, widely considered to be one of the foremost experts in international arbitration. Chris Parker also enjoys a strong reputation, as does counsel Amal Bouchenaki, and ‘very knowledgeable’ associate Robert Rothkopf. The firm has a top-notch reputation for major commercial and investor state arbitrations, and works closely with the firm’s market-leading London office, where Christian Leathley, who has been spending considerable time in the US, is known for his Latin America expertise. Recent highlights include advising Telecom Egypt on a $450m arbitration claim brought by Mobinil concerning alleged violations of its interconnection agreement. Key clients include BP, Chevron, Marriott International and the Republic of Costa Rica.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is fairly evenly split between Washington DC and New York. The firm is similarly well balanced when it comes to investment treaty and international commercial arbitrations, and represents major international companies as well as sovereign states. Washington DC’s Arif Ali heads the team, which also includes New York-based Samaa Haridi, who is considered by clients to be a ‘brilliant tactical master in arbitration’. One of the firm’s largest cases was for MOL Group in its $2.5bn ICSID arbitration against the Government of Croatia concerning its treatment of the client’s investment in oil and gas company INA-Industrija. Other clients include Pluspetrol Peru, The Government of Hungary and DCA Trust.

WilmerHale is ‘very strong in international arbitration’ as a result of its active US practice, spread across offices in Washington DC, Boston, Palo Alto and New York. New York head John Pierce is ‘a fine advocate’ and Washington DC’s David Ogden is ‘outstanding’. Rachel Kent, vice-chair of the global practice, and senior counsel James Carter, also enjoy very strong reputations. In addition to investor-state arbitrations, the firm has developed a strong track record in IP, financial services and oil and gas disputes. The US practice also benefits from close ties to the firm’s tier one-ranked London office.

Winston & Strawn LLP has a ‘truly admirable’ team which is based primarily in Washington, DC. It is ‘exceptional and may easily defend any case in the area’. Global co-chair Mark Bravin is ‘extremely notable in this area’ and is praised for his ‘sharp knowledge’ of the energy market. Eric Bloom, one of the team’s ‘most impressive assets’, is ‘precise and accurate in his legal perspective, and his awareness in international arbitration allows him to be an incredible leader’. The firm is involved in some of the largest cases currently being fought, including representing the Republic of Ecuador in its $9bn UNCITRAL arbitration with Chevron and Texaco. On the claimant side, Ricardo Ugarte, who divides his time between Chicago and Geneva, is representing Michael Dagher in a $35m ICSID dispute with the Republic of Sudan, the first ever investment treaty claim filed against the country.


International trade

Index of tables

  1. International trade
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

The international trade practice at Covington & Burling LLP is awarded ‘the highest scores for knowledge, team depth, responsiveness and value’ by clients, who rate it as ‘best in class’. Importantly, the firm’s already deep bench was further bolstered in 2014 through a pair of high-profile arrivals to its Washington DC office: of counsel Shara Aranoff, formerly Commissioner at the US International Trade Commission, brings strong experience in legislative and policy issues, and partner Mythili Raman, who joined from the DOJ, boosts the group’s expertise in international criminal law including FCPA-related work. The team is led out of Washington DC by group chair and senior counsel Stuart Eizenstat and ‘very client-attentive’ co-chairs Peter Lichtenbaum and John Veroneau. Domestically, the group also benefits from platforms in New York and San Francisco, while internationally it maintains a robust international trade presence through its offices in China, Brussels, London and Seoul and also advises on trade issues involving Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The firm is commended for housing ‘the best CFIUS practice in the market’, which is led by the ‘truly excellentMark Plotkin and the ‘highly committed and knowledgeableDavid Fagan; together they led the firm’s successful representation of Lenovo in the CFIUS review connected to its $2.1bn acquisition of IBM’s x86 server business. On the export controls and economic sanctions side, Lichtenbaum is highly recommended alongside Peter Flanagan, Corinne Goldstein and trade controls head Kimberly Strosnider.

The ‘consistently excellent group’ at Hogan Lovells has the ‘global know-how and resources to get cases moving’. Centered in Washington DC, the practice is able to draw upon the firm’s enviable global network, which spans 25 countries across five continents, to handle trade issues relating to the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Among the names to note, export controls and sanctions specialist Beth Peters is ‘effective and proactive’ and advised a raft of clients over the past year on the evolving economic sanctions regulations concerning Iran, Syria and the Ukraine. Peters jointly heads the group alongside ‘top-notch litigatorDeen Kaplan, who acted with Mark McConnell and Craig Lewis to successfully represent Interpipe in an anti-dumping case relating to imports of oil country tubular goods from the Ukraine. Jeanne Archibald, who is widely considered ‘a top-class expert in CFIUS matters’, acted with Anthony Capobianco to successfully represent Stratasys in obtaining clearance for its acquisitions of Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies. Ajay Kuntamukkala is prominent in energy, e-commerce and life sciences-related work and notably leads the firm’s advice to the Nuclear Energy Institute in trade policy matters. Other key partners include Stephen Propst, who has particular experience in the telecoms, satellite and aerospace sectors, and T Clark Weymouth.

Driven out of Washington DC, but also able to leverage well-staffed platforms in Geneva and Brussels, Sidley Austin LLP’s international trade practice is considered by many as ‘the best of the best’. Significantly, the firm is not resting on its laurels and continues to invest in strengthening its prominence in this area. In 2014 James Mendenhall was promoted to partnership; he specializes in international trade policy and litigation and international arbitration. The firm also hired new partner Cameron Kerry, former general counsel and acting secretary of the US Department of Commerce, who brings experience in privacy and data security issues – he will split his time between Boston and Washington DC. Clients commend lawyers for providing ‘useful, practical and clear advice’ and single out Andrew Shoyer as a ‘leading name for trade policy and WTO disputes’. Washington DC-based Shoyer co-heads the global group alongside Geneva-based Scott Andersen and together they represented the Russian industry in the first WTO challenge to Russian Government measures to be reviewed by a dispute settlement panel. Senior counsel Richard Belanger is recommended for customs matters and acted alongside Peter Keisler to represent Ford in challenging US Customs’ application of a 25% rate of duty on certain vehicles. Lisa Crosby is ‘in the top bracket for export controls and economic sanctions’ and acted with Robert Torresen to advise numerous companies, including MasterCard, on Ukraine and Russia sanctions. Richard Weiner is highlighted for his ‘deep analysis of each case’ and acted with Neil Ellis and counsels Brenda Jacobs and Rajib Pal to represent the Chinese solar panel industry in solar panel anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations and in appeals to the CIT.

A ‘strong team that gets good results’, Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s globally renowned trade practice packs a punch in the full span of export controls, economic sanctions, FCPA and CFIUS matters. However, it is most often held up as ‘top in its specialized field of defending clients in trade disputes’. In a high-profile example of its work in this area, the firm is representing the Government of Argentina in a WTO dispute brought by the EU, US and Japan regarding its import regime; Mark Moran, who ‘commands respect from industry and government’, is leading the firm’s advice on this matter alongside Matthew Yeo and Brazilian qualified litigator Pablo Bentes. In addition to its ever-broadening Latin America practice, the Washington DC-based team continues to deepen its expertise in China-related matters, leveraging a solid on-the-ground presence in Beijing, and it has also recently undertaken work relating to Korea and India. The international trade group also benefits from the firm’s prominent Brussels office, which is often called upon to play a role in multi-jurisdictional cases involving EU law. Other key names in this ‘responsive, business-focused and prudent’ group include Susan Esserman, who chairs the international department, ‘trade remedies stalwart’ Richard Cunningham, FCPA lead Lucinda Low, CFIUS specialist Stewart Baker and Edward Krauland, who is recommended for export controls and economic sanctions matters.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s comprehensive practice shines across the full spectrum of export controls and economic sanctions, trade remedies and trade policy as well as CFIUS and FCPA matters. From Washington DC, trade policy specialist Hal Shapiro heads a group that is well-represented internationally through platforms in Beijing, Geneva, London, Singapore and the UAE. Edward Rubinoff, a ‘stand-out lawyer for export controls and economic sanctions’, advised UPS on successfully obtaining a license from OFAC that authorized alternative procedures for disposing of blocked packages destined for recipients on OFAC’s Specially Designated nationals list. Valerie Slater, another key name on the trade policy side, led the firm’s successful representation of the Committee for Fair Ammonium Nitrate Trade in an anti-dumping sunset review concerning imports from Ukraine. Other recommended partners include customs law expert Lars-Erik Hjelm and Wynn Segall, who has a broad practice encompassing export controls and economic sanctions, anti-corruption matters and national security issues. All individuals named are based in Washington DC.

The ‘experienced and broad group’ at Arnold & Porter LLP cemented its position as a significant player in international trade work through a trio of hires in 2014. In Washington DC, Amy Jeffress joined from the DOJ bringing experience in national and international security and compliance issues, and Charles Blanchard joined from the US Air Force, where he was general counsel. In Los Angeles, David Huebner further augments the firm’s national security capability – he was previously the US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. The ‘fabulousLawrence Schneider remains at the helm of this Washington DC-based practice and is highly regarded for trade remedy and policy matters; he is advising the Province of Alberta in four arbitration proceedings relating to the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement between the US and Canada. John Barker is revered by many for his expertise in export controls and economic sanctions and is advising United Technologies on compliance issues relating to its consent agreement with the US Department of State for unauthorized transfers under arms export regulations. Other key names include John Bellinger and Jeffrey Smith, who are both recommended for export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS matters, and trade policy specialist Michael Shor.

Baker & McKenzie LLP’s comprehensive national and international network puts the firm a ‘cut above’ as ‘it has the manpower and expertise to resolve an issue quickly’. The group attracts superlative praise for its customs and export controls practice, with San Francisco-based John McKenzie highlighted as a ‘go-to adviser for both customs and export controls’ due to his ‘encyclopedic knowledge in the area of trade compliance’. Among the firm’s other leading names for customs work, in Washington DC Ted Murphy is an ‘effective and invaluable partner who provides practical and knowledgeable counsel’ and Teresa Gleason is ‘knowledgeable and responsive’, and in New York Robert Eisen is also highly regarded. Representative customs clients include Ansell and Applied Materials. Lawyers on the export controls side provide ‘practical business advice that can be immediately implemented’, with Nicholas Coward, Sylwia Lis, Janet Kim and of counsel Steven Hill singled out by clients in this area; all are based in Washington DC. The firm also handles trade remedy matters under Washington DC-based Kevin O’Brien, who is highlighted for his ‘well-thought-out advice’. O’Brien is leading the firm’s representation of Golden Dragon in anti-dumping proceedings involving copper tube from China and Mexico.

The ‘first-rate team’ at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP distinguishes itself through its broad approach to international trade, with a strong skillset across export controls, economic sanctions, trade policy, CFIUS matters and FCPA-related issues. Washington DC-based department co-chair Judith Lee shines in the economic sanctions arena and has recently acted for clients such as Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, multinational cruise company Carnival and McDonald’s in relation to sanctions issues. Senior of counsel Ronald Kirk co-chairs the practice from Dallas and has strong experience in trade policy. The team also includes Washington DC-based Donald Harrison, who is highly recommended for trade remedies and customs matters. Harrison, alongside John Christopher Wood, recently advised American Honda Motor on a range of trade matters including representing it and its parent company Honda Motor in an anti-dumping investigation relating to imports of outboard engines from Japan. Other representative clients include Facebook, General Mills and Sony Electronics.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP’s Washington DC-based international trade practice strikes a balance between trade policy and compliance matters but really excels in anti-dumping litigation. Trade remedies specialist Kathleen Cannon heads the team and recently acted alongside the ‘extremely experienced’ Paul Rosenthal and Alan Luberda to successfully represent Davis Wire and Insteel in an anti-dumping case relating to prestressed concrete steel rail tie wire from China and Mexico. In another highlight piece of work, David Hartquist and John Herrmann filed one of the largest trade cases of recent years on behalf of the US grain-oriented steel industry, involving a seven-country petition relating to dumping from China, Germany and Japan among others. Eric McClafferty is a key name for export controls and in a cutting-edge case he successfully obtained permission for cloud computing security company Perspecsys to place export-controlled technical data on the cloud. Michael Coursey, Jeffrey Beckington, Laurence Lasoff and special counsel Jennifer McCadney are also recommended.

Top class in all areas’, King & Spalding LLP receives rave reviews from clients who say, ‘I would not go anywhere else for international trade advice’. The US team is based in Washington DC under the leadership of department chair Stephen Orava, but the global group also calls on professionals in Geneva, London, Moscow and the Middle East. Housing 11 partners nationally, the strength and breadth of the practice is evidenced by its experience in trade remedies, WTO disputes, customs matters, economic sanctions, export controls and CFIUS matters. The trade remedy area is a sweet spot, with Joseph Dorn singled out for his ‘strong depth of knowledge’ in this field. Dorn acted alongside Orava, Gilbert Kaplan, Stephen Jones and Christopher Cloutier to successfully petition for the imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports of non-oriented electrical steel from five countries. In another highlight case, Kaplan led the firm’s successful representation of Appvion in the second administrative review of the anti-dumping order on imports of lightweight thermal paper from Germany. Other names to note include Christine Savage, who is recommended for export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS matters, customs specialist Michael Taylor, and Mark Wasden.

Although Latham & Watkins LLP’s team handles a diverse spread of international trade-related work, it is particularly well known for its prominence in government investigations and enforcement matters. Its capability in this area was further strengthened in 2014 through the arrival of former federal prosecutor Michael Fee into the firm’s Boston office from Ropes & Gray LLP. The ‘formidably talentedWilliam McGlone enjoys an excellent profile for export controls and economic sanctions-related advice and co-chairs the Washington DC-headquartered department alongside Les Carnegie; together they are representing CARE USA in compliance issues relating to US sanctions against Syria, Cuba, Sudan and Somalia. Among the firm’s recent CFIUS cases, Jarrett Taubman acted for Singapore and California-based Avago Technologies in its $6.6bn acquisition of semiconductor and software company LSI. In another highlight piece of work, Carnegie and Taubman advised Infrastructure Partners on CFIUS and export control issues relating to its $1.43bn sale of a 50% stake in the Ruby pipeline to Canada’s Veresen. Other key figures in the group include white-collar experts Alice Fisher and Maria Barton, who are based in Washington DC and New York respectively, and Washington DC-based customs specialist Sarah Nappi.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s top-tier M&A capability combines with a preeminent track record in advising on CFIUS matters. In addition, the firm has extensive experience in anti-dumping and countervailing duty litigation, export controls, customs issues and trade agreements. Robert Lighthizer leads the international trade practice from Washington DC and is recommended for both trade litigation and policy advice; the hands-on partner played a key role in many of the group’s high-profile cases over the past year, such as acting with James Hecht and Jeffrey Gerrish to file anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases against imports of oil country tubular goods from nine countries, with the firm successfully obtaining relief against imports from six of the nine countries petitioned. Ivan Schlager heads the CFIUS, national security and cross-border transactions practice and is a ‘go-to lawyer’ in this area. In a significant highlight, Schlager acted alongside Malcolm Tuesley to represent China Huaxin Post and Telecommunications Economy Development Center in its $362m acquisition of the enterprise business of Alcatel-Lucent; notably, this marked the first time CFIUS approved the acquisition of a telecoms equipment manufacturer in the US by a Chinese state-owned enterprise.

The ‘well-prepared, well-orchestrated and well-versed’ team at Wiley Rein LLP has ‘unrivalled trade litigation expertise’. The Washington DC-based group also impresses with its non-contentious strength and fields significant capability across the full spread of trade remedies, trade policy, economic sanctions, export controls and national security matters. Notably, the customs side was boosted in 2014 through the promotion of Maureen Thorson to partner. Lawyers are praised for their ability to ‘remain unbowed by tactical reversals and distractions’, and department chair Alan Price is highlighted for his ‘profound knowledge of US legislation and jurisprudence in the trade area’. Price leads the firm’s ongoing advice to Nucor Corporation in trade litigation and trade policy matters. In addition, Timothy Brightbill is recommended for his ‘unflinching drive to shoulder and manage a hefty body of work with keen skill’, John Shane has a strong track record in trade remedy, export controls and FCPA issues and Robert DeFrancesco ‘really understands the legal environment in DC’. Brightbill acted with DeFrancesco to represent SolarWorld and the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing in an anti-dumping petition relating to crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China and Taiwan.

At WilmerHale, international trade chair Charlene Barshefsky is ‘phenomenal – a real dean of the international trade bar’ and brings to bear a global reputation for trade policy issues, with particular experience in China-related work. The firm’s co-managing partner Robert Novick is also highly regarded for trade policy and has a strong record in WTO disputes; he is acting alongside newly promoted partner Naboth van den Broek to represent Boeing in ongoing litigation against Airbus before the WTO, which involved challenging EU failure to comply with WTO rulings. Other representative policy-related work included acting for ACTI, a coalition of US and EU advanced manufacturing companies, in a diverse spread of global trade and IPR policy issues. Among the other names to note, Ronald Meltzer is a key name for export controls and economic sanctions work, while Patrick McLain is recommended for trade remedies. All lawyers are located in Washington DC.

From Washington DC, Arent Fox LLP’s international trade group ‘specializes in trade remedies work’ but also continues to add weight to its reputation in the export controls, economic sanctions and customs areas. Matthew Nolan chairs the team and is acting with customs expert David Hamill to advise Target on its import and export practices. John Gurley is an ‘excellent professional’ and focuses on trade relief proceedings; he is acting alongside Diana Quaia to represent Chinese manufacturer Trina Solar in an ongoing case relating to alleged Chinese state subsidies in the photovoltaic industry. Matthew Clark, Kay Georgi and Matthew Kanna are also recommended.

In one of the year’s most high-profile pieces of trade litigation, Crowell & Moring LLP represented global tire giant Bridgestone at the ITC and the US Department of Commerce in an anti-dumping and countervailing duties case concerning imports of passenger tires from China. In addition to its strong record in trade litigation, the firm also houses an eminent economic sanctions and export controls practice, with international trade head Jeffrey Snyder highly regarded for his experience in this field. Other recommended partners include John Brew, who is widely recognized for his customs expertise, and Cari Stinebower, who specializes in sanctions, export controls and anti-corruption matters. All recommended partners are based in Washington DC but the department also benefits from platforms in Brussels and London.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s well-established reputation for international trade matters stems from its robust experience in the WTO and trade remedy fields. In particular, it maintains an impressive track record in defending the Chinese Government in subsidy cases and its depth in this area was further strengthened in 2014 through the launch of a new Beijing office. William Barringer heads the Washington DC-based team and recently acted with counsel Matthew McCullough to successfully represent the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters in a WTO dispute challenging US enforcement of anti-dumping law against non-market economy countries. Daniel Porter is also an acknowledged expert in trade remedies and policy and continues to lead the firm’s representation of LG Electronics in ongoing trade work including anti-dumping proceedings. James Durling and Christopher Dunn are also recommended.

The ‘outstanding team’ at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLPstays on top of issues as they develop’ and clients rate its ‘strong CFIUS and sanctions practices that compare very favorably to the leading firms’. In Washington DC, John Reynolds is a ‘leader in the field’ and acted alongside New York-based Jennifer Newstead to represent Clearstream Banking in an OFAC investigation and parallel civil litigation concerning Iran sanctions. Also on the sanctions side, Washington DC-based Jeanine McGuinness is ‘very thorough in her analyses’. FCPA work is another noted strength and in New York Carey Dunne, who chairs the firm’s white-collar defense unit, and Angela Burgess, are both recommended for anti-corruption matters.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s international trade team is centered in Washington DC under the leadership of export controls and sanctions specialist Amanda DeBusk. The group also includes Joanne Osendarp, who regularly advises on trade remedies and customs matters, and Matthew Nicely, who has a broad practice that encompasses trade policy, trade remedies and FCPA issues. Arbitration in the trade sphere is a strong suit for the firm and Osendarp recently teamed up with arbitration and ADR chair John Townsend and Eric Parnes to successfully represent the Government of Canada in arbitration relating to the collection of export taxes. Other representative clients include Eaton, the Government of Mexico and Papierfabrik August Koehler.

Among the best for customs law’, Mayer Brown provides ‘service of the highest level in all aspects’. From Washington DC, Duane Layton heads a broad practice that also spans export controls, WTO disputes, trade remedies and trade policy matters and benefits from global platforms in China, Belgium, Singapore and Vietnam. Among the team’s recent highlights, Layton acted alongside the ‘knowledgeable and client-focusedSydney Mintzer to represent the Government of Indonesia in its WTO challenge against Australian measures requiring plain packaging on tobacco products. On the FCPA side, Simeon Kriesberg is leading the firm’s ongoing advice to Dow Chemical on anti-corruption and trade compliance risks. Timothy Keeler, Michael Kantor and Matthew McConkey are also key names.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s ‘quick, professional and cordial’ group is based in Washington DC under the leadership of the ‘outstandingly professional and analytical’ Carolyn Gleason. Gleason has a strong profile for trade disputes and trade policy and continues to act with Pamela Walther to represent Chiquita in the long-standing ‘Banana Wars’ dispute. David Levine is highly regarded for trade compliance issues and trade remedy proceedings and teamed up with Raymond Paretzky and Brussels-based Philip Bentley QC to successfully represent Illinois Tool Works in anti-dumping and customs duty matters. Jay Eizenstat is also recommended for his experience in trade strategy and WTO matters.

Lawyers at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP have the ability to ‘continually exhibit extraordinary expertise and deliver an excellent product’. Clients draw particular attention to the firm’s ‘top-notch experience in export control and FCPA matters’ but the firm also regularly handles trade remedy proceedings and CFIUS issues. Stephan Becker heads the Washington DC-based group and is working alongside Sanjay Mullick to advise Mexico’s Secretary of Commerce as outside US counsel in a wide range of NAFTA and WTO matters. On the export controls side, Nancy Fischer receives rave reviews for her ‘unsurpassed knowledge of the area’ and Christopher Wall is also recommended.

White & Case LLP is commended as ‘top of the list for WTO matters’, but its broad practice spans the full scope of international trade work and it recently bolstered its customs and trade relief practices through the hire of counsel Dean Barclay from Williams Mullen. Washington DC-based group lead Walter Spak is highlighted for his ‘professionalism and strong expertise’ and continues to act with William Clinton to provide ongoing advice to Saudi Aramco on trade remedy matters. Also in Washington DC, Gregory Spak is ‘highly responsive’ and Richard Burke has ‘strong experience’. David Bond splits his time between Washington DC and Miami and led the firm’s advice to Deacero in an anti-circumvention inquiry concerning imports of wire rod from Mexico.

At Baker & Hostetler LLP, Melvin Schwechter heads a group that has experience across a broad range of trade disputes, economic sanctions, export controls and customs issues. Among the firm’s recent cases, Elliot Feldman is representing Resolute Forest Products in a challenge to the US Department of Agriculture’s check-off program for softwood lumber. Both aforementioned partners are based in Washington DC but the trade practice also includes partners in the firm’s Ohio and Texas offices. Other representative clients include Ford, Electrolux and Siemens Energy.

Washington DC firm Miller & Chevalier Chartered blends trade and investment policy experience with a strong record in compliance issues. International corporate compliance specialist Kathryn Cameron Atkinson heads a team that was boosted by a trio of new arrivals in 2014 including anti-corruption partner Kirby Behre, who joined from Paul Hastings LLP. Counsels Richard Mojica and Emmanuel Tamen are also new additions to the group. Other recommended names include Larry Christensen, who heads up the export controls practice, and FCPA lead John Davis.

At O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Washington DC-based sanctions and export controls specialist Greta Lichtenbaum is a ‘stunning lawyer’ and attracts praise for her ‘deep knowledge’. Also in Washington DC, Theodore Kassinger is highlighted as a ‘leading name for CFIUS matters’ and also has an active trade litigation practice. The firm recently advised a major energy company in regulatory, policy and legislative matters concerning crude oil exports.

Stewart and Stewart has a well-established reputation in the trade remedy field and it also advises on customs matters, trade compliance and trade agreements. Managing partner Terence Stewart is highly regarded and oversees a Washington DC-centered practice that has particular experience in the agriculture, energy, healthcare, manufacturing and industrial sectors. William Fennell and Elizabeth Drake are also recommended.


Leading trial lawyers

David Boies - Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP: Firm chairman David Boies is arguably the most prominent lawyer of his generation, and can point to an extraordinary track record in landmark matters such as his representation of Al Gore in Bush v Gore, which decided the outcome of the 2000 Presidential election, and his legendary cross-examination of Bill Gates in US v Microsoft. Even today, this is a lawyer who remains ‘ahead of the pack’. In 2014, Boies argued before the US Supreme Court in the hugely important securities case Halliburton v Erica P John Fund, in which he successfully fought off an attempt to overturn the legal theory that underpins most securities class actions; the Court held that investors can recover damages in a private securities fraud action only if they prove that they relied on the defendant’s misrepresentation in deciding to buy or sell a company’s stock. Boies also brought a very high-profile case against the US Government, Starr v US, in which shareholders sought recompense for the bailout of insurance company AIG during the financial crisis. Boies is also noteworthy for gay marriage case Hollingsworth v Perry, in which he was successful in securing a 5-4 ruling before the Supreme Court in 2013 which struck down California’s controversial Proposition 8.

John Keker - Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.: San Francisco-based John Keker has a truly national reputation as a trial lawyer, and is ‘capable of trying any case’. Keker recently represented Standard & Poor’s in United States of America v McGraw-Hill Companies et al., in defense of a $5bn lawsuit brought by the US Government concerning accusations of a scheme to defraud investors by rating mortgage-related securities that collapsed in the financial crisis; the trial is scheduled for 2015. In another high-profile piece of financial litigation, Keker is defending former CEO of Fannie Mae Daniel Mudd in an SEC action in the Southern District of New York, in which the client is charged with approving misleading statements to investors about holdings of risky mortgage securities.

Dan Webb - Winston & Strawn LLP: Dan Webb has built a superb reputation as a trial lawyer across a range of commercial, civil, regulatory, and white-collar criminal matters with notable highlights in a stellar career including his successful prosecution of retired Admiral John Poindexter in the Iran-Contra affair, as well as representations of Microsoft in its antitrust litigation, Philip Morris in tobacco-related litigation, and Verizon in obtaining a $58m verdict in a patent litigation matter. Webb remains exceptionally active: he recently represented Ernst & Young in an arbitration against HealthSouth in which the three-judge arbitration panel rejected HealthSouth’s attempt to hold the client responsible for losses caused by the company’s overstatement of its earnings; the Supreme Court of Alabama unanimously affirmed on June 13, 2014. This ‘extremely client-focused firm’ is also home to George Lombardi, who displays ‘phenomenal judgment and a wonderful rapport with both judges and juries’.

Theodore Wells - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP: Theodore Wells is widely considered to be ‘ahead of the rest’ and brings many years’ experience to bear. He remains impressively busy: Wells recently completed an eight-month natural resource damages trial as co-lead counsel for ExxonMobil in which the State of New Jersey seeks $9bn in losses. In another highlight, Wells served as co-lead counsel for Citigroup in Terra Firma Investments v Citigroup et al, a matter worth $8bn in which Wells’ team initially won a favorable jury verdict in the Southern District of New York, finding Citigroup not liable for fraud in connection with the sale of EMI to private equity firm Terra Firma. In March 2014 the parties agreed to voluntarily dismiss the case and litigate Terra Firma’s claims in England. Other clients include Merck & Co, SAC Capital and Alcoa.

Evan Chesler - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP: As presiding partner of this ‘quite superb’ firm, it might be thought that Evan Chesler wouldn’t have time for trial work, but the reverse is true. Chesler recently represented American Express in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in a five-week antitrust class action trial in which it was alleged that the client had conspired with other credit card issuers, in violation of the Sherman Act, to adopt arbitration clauses barring class actions in card member agreements; the court held that plaintiffs did not prove the existence of an agreement among the issuers to adopt arbitration clauses. Chesler is also highly active in the appeals courts and recently represented Mylan in Teva et al v Mylan et al, consolidated with Teva et al v Sandoz et al; the ‘gifted trial lawyer’ presented oral argument and secured a reversal of an earlier district court’s decision, ruling that claims from five of the patents were invalid for indefiniteness as a result of Teva’s conflicting statements to the Patent Office during prosecution of the patents.

Robin Gibbs - Gibbs & Bruns LLP: Name partner Robin Gibbs continues to excel in trials, usually with a Texas and an energy bent. In a highlight, Gibbs joined forces with the ‘very talented’ Barrett Reasoner to represent Waste Management in Harris County Texas et al v International Paper Company et al in which it was alleged that 40 years of daily industrial paper mill waste discharges into the San Jacinto River were the fault of the client and other defendants, with damages of $3.6bn sought. Shortly before a scheduled trial, the firm obtained a summary judgment dismissal of all claims against Waste Management. Gibbs is also defending DaVita in a qui tam suit involving the allegedly improper billing to Medicare for drug ‘wastage’ over the course of nine years. This ‘brilliant attorney’ has also undertaken significant work for Vantage Drilling and Baker Botts L.L.P. recently.

Gary Naftalis - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP: Over the last few years, Gary Naftalis, who is ‘one of the greats’ and ‘still going strong’, has been regularly in court conducting long-running matters. The most high-profile of these is his representation of former managing director of McKinsey’s Rajat Gupta in both a criminal prosecution brought against him by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and a parallel SEC civil enforcement action, a matter which showcased Naftalis’ ability to handle both white-collar and civil actions. On November 10, 2014, he filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court seeking review of Gupta’s remaining conviction after partial successes in the lower courts. In another long-running matter, Naftalis scored a notable success at the appellate level on behalf of Sirius XM Radio, in which a breach of contract claim brought by Howard Stern’s production company One Twelve was dismissed.

Daniel Petrocelli - O’Melveny & Myers LLP: Daniel Petrocelli ‘has great judgment, knows how to handle people, and is great at what he does’ and so it is not surprising that he had another strong year, acting on a range of matters across different industries. In a notable highlight this ‘total superstar’ secured a $1bn jury verdict on behalf of homebuilder Lennar Corporation against a San Diego real estate developer for defamation, conspiracy, and extortion; this was one of the largest verdicts of 2013. Petrocelli also successfully defended Warner Bros in the battle over rights to the Superman franchise, and won a ten-year reduction to the prison sentence of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

James Quinn - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP: James Quinn is the former head of a litigation department full of ‘meticulous, smart, careful, practical, energetic and tenacious lawyers’. Quinn has a superb track record on behalf of household name clients such as ExxonMobil, Vivendi, CBS, Repsol, and Procter & Gamble. Quinn recently acted for Thomas H Lee Partners and Providence Equity Partners in a long-running class action matter; the court held that the client had no connection to the plaintiffs’ claims that the client had artificially fixed prices. Other clients for which Quinn has been highly active in the last year include Walt Disney and Simon & Schuster.

John Quinn - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP: As the chairman of this litigation powerhouse it is not surprising to find John Quinn active on mandates of huge significance. Quinn continues to be a vital aspect of the long-running smartphone wars; in 2014, the firm successfully secured a series of victories in the Northern District Court of California on behalf of various Samsung affiliates in relation to alleged patent infringement of software features of smartphones. Quinn also acted for Snapchat in Brown v Snapchat, Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy in which the plaintiff sought more than $1bn in damages claiming he was wrongfully excluded from the business in its early days; the matter reached a confidential settlement.

David Beck - Beck Redden: Texas-based David Beck is noted for his ‘folksy approach to advocacy’, and ‘gets juries on his side’. Beck was recently active in ExxonMobil v Drennen on behalf of flagship client ExxonMobil; in August 2014 the Texas Supreme Court found in favor of the client, holding that forfeiture conditions in an incentive compensation program are not ‘covenants not to compete’ and thus did not violate Texas public policy. In another representative matter, Beck acted for Enterprise Products in Energy Transfer Partners et al v Enterprise Products Partners et al, a matter concerning the client’s decision not to enter a joint venture; the case is now on appeal. Other significant clients for this ‘excellent trial lawyer’ include Burlington Resources and 820 Management Trust.

Philip Beck - Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP: Philip Beck is an impressively diverse trial lawyer whose trial work includes major constitutional matters such as the Bush v Gore recount litigation in 2000, antitrust litigation on behalf of the United States against Microsoft, tort and product liability cases for clients such as Vioxx and Baycol, and major IP cases on behalf of the likes of United Technologies. Ernst & Young, Deloitte and Arthur Andersen are also regular clients of Beck, who is ‘a great strategist who always has his client’s interests at heart’.

Richard Clary - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP: The ‘really terrificRichard Clary’s sweet spot is complex financial litigation in the New York courts on behalf of major institutions and 2014 saw him undertake much important work of this nature. For instance, Clary continues to take the lead in the firm’s role as nationwide coordinating counsel for Credit Suisse in all residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) litigation against it; he also handled the client’s $1.2bn bankruptcy claim against Lehman Brothers. Other clients for which Clary has carried out major work of late include the outside directors of Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities.

Sandra Goldstein - Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP: Sandra Goldstein had another banner year, appearing in a range of important cases, some of them precedent-setting. Examples include acting for First Citizen Bancshares in a case brought by City of Providence, an intricate matter which dealt with the issue of whether the client was permitted to adopt a forum selection bylaw in the M&A context; such bylaws are now becoming the norm as a result of this win. On the same day Goldstein received favorable judgment in that matter, she also received favorable judgement from the Second Circuit in a landmark case on behalf of Xerox in relation to 15-years-old securities litigation, obtaining a full dismissal of claims against the client.

Marc Kasowitz - Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP: Marc Kasowitz is the standout figure at this firm, which is ‘excellent in all areas’. In a highlight, Kasowitz acted for The Federal Housing Finance Agency in unusual litigation involving 17 separate actions against numerous financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Securities, RBS Securities and Goldman Sachs; the suits alleged that defendants made misrepresentations concerning pools of mortgage loans issued and securitized by the defendants using RMBS. After deposing more than 60 witnesses, the firm scored numerous victories at pre-trial, as well as a range of settlements including a $1.25bn settlement with Morgan Stanley.

Abbe Lowell - Chadbourne & Parke LLP: Abbe Lowell is ‘a brilliant and dedicated attorney’ who ‘thinks outside the box to win cases’. Lowell is particularly noted for representing high-profile political figures such as John Edwards, and over the years has racked up an impressive 98% victory rate in criminal, civil and administrative cases, across courts in over 12 different states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Lowell recently represented Governor George Pataki in Bailey et al v Pataki et al; taking on the case midway through and securing a dismissal of allegations that Pataki and the other defendants had violated inmates’ constitutional rights by committing them to psychiatric treatment facilities after their prison sentences. Hector Martinez and Star Scientific are also clients.

Barry Ostrager - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP: Barry Ostrager is the standout figure at a firm that has ‘the best senior partner leadership and excellent associate back-up, resulting in perfect guidance and courtroom presence’. Ostrager himself is ‘one of a kind’ and a ‘rare bird’, who has had a stellar career, trying to verdict five cases in which more than $1bn was at issue. Ostrager recently represented NoreX, successfully arguing for the reinstatement of the client’s $1bn lawsuit against two Russian billionaires for their role in the alleged conspiracy to deprive the company of its interest in a Russian oil company.

Kathy Patrick - Gibbs & Bruns LLP: Texas-based Kathy Patrick is ‘consistently better prepared than opposing counsel, and very cost-effective in her research, brief prep, and argument. She gives sound advice on strategy and tactics with respect to each case’. Patrick attained a notable victory on January 31 2014, when an $8.5bn settlement orchestrated by her on behalf of 22 institutional investors including PIMCO, BlackRock and MetLife was approved by the New York Supreme Court. Patrick is also active on behalf of Fannie Mae in Federal National Mortgage Association v Barclays, in a bid to recover $800m in damages resulting from the alleged manipulation of LIBOR.

William Price - Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP: As co-chair of the firm’s trial practice group, William Price is highly active on some of the biggest business trials around, usually on the defense side in bet-the-company matters. Price continues to be active alongside colleague John Quinn in the smartphone wars, and in another landmark matter, Price is representing the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is bringing a suit on behalf of Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac, in their bid to recover considerable losses sustained by a range of enterprises as a result of their purchase of billions of dollars in RMBS.

Robert Van Nest - Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.: ‘One of the best lawyers out there’, Robert Van Nest regularly handles high-stakes litigation on behalf of household name clients such as Intel, Google, Broadcom and American Honda with patent infringement, securities fraud, trademarks, commercial contracts and antitrust particular strengths. In a high-stakes matter, Van Nest represented Google in billion-dollar patent and copyright litigation brought by Oracle, which alleged that Google’s Android technology infringed its Java patents; the judge eventually dismissed the bulk of Oracle’s copyright claims, and at trial the jury rendered a unanimous verdict rejecting all claims of patent infringement.

Beth Wilkinson - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP: Beth Wilkinson is a ‘very impressive lawyer indeed’ and is ‘knocking it out of the park these days’. A case in point was Wilkinson’s recent victory on behalf of Michael Rubin and Kynetic, where a Massachusetts jury rejected all of the plaintiffs’ claims and determined that there was no breach of contract in the sale of website Rue La La from eBay to Rubin and Kynetic, effectively defending the client from a potential damages award of $170m. Other significant clients include National Collegiate Athletic Association, Microsoft, the NFL, Pfizer and Philip Morris.

Elkan Abramowitz - Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C.: Elkan Abramowitz is a ‘legendary figure’ and particularly well known for white-collar representations. 2014 saw Abramowitz act in a range of flagship matters: he represented Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis in connection with a probe by New York prosecutors regarding allegations of possible wrongdoing at the firm and misrepresentations of its financial situation; the matter is ongoing. He also represented BP executives in connection with litigation arising out of Deepwater Horizon. He also famously represents Woody Allen in relation to claims alleged by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow.

Barry Berke - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP: Barry Berke is a ‘very fine lawyer and he’s in court a lot’. Berke handles an impressive array of white-collar crime litigation from allegations of securities fraud to RICO and FCPA violations, tax offenses, bribery and embezzlement. Berke recently won dismissal of all claims in a federal court fraud and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit brought by Bank of America against Bear Stearns Asset Management.

Jay Cohen - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP: Jay Cohen is a ‘very fine lawyer and particularly expert in securities litigation’, with an enviable client base including Warner Music, Air Line Pilots Association International and Time Warner Cable. Cohen recently represented The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in a copyright royalty proceeding to determine a reasonable license fee for the use of its repertory by streaming service Pandora. Cohen also acted for Citigroup in its multibillion-dollar dispute with Terra Firma concerning the sale of EMI, and for Time Warner Cable he successfully defeated a carriage access complaint brought by WealthTV.

Arturo González - Morrison & Foerster LLP: Arturo González is a ‘true trial lawyer’ and tries cases on both sides of the aisle: in a superb career González has successfully defended three trials where the plaintiffs sought more than $1bn, and also won four jury verdicts in excess of $13m. In 2014, González represented Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Phaedrus Internet Development Inc v Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, a dispute involving web-based application CLAY, which two former physicians of the client developed in concert with Phaedrus Internet Development; after a three-week trial, the jury found that Phaedrus did not prove its quasi-contract case against Kaiser, an important win since it protected the client’s future profits. Important work was also undertaken recently on behalf of AIG and Iovate. Unusually for a lawyer in a large law firm, González also has a thriving civil rights practice, and has secured the largest body cavity strip search verdict in California history, as well as the largest settlement in California for the unlawful shooting of a child.

Susan Harriman - Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.: The ‘excellent’ and ‘highly skilled’ Susan Harriman handles an impressive range of state and federal cases involving commercial disputes, real estate, and wrongful termination. In 2014, Harriman was active in The Wine Group v David Kent, where Kent threatened litigation against The Wine Group over his termination as CEO and the conversion of his equity interests in the company; following a three-week hearing in April 2014, the arbitrator granted the client’s request for declaratory relief and dismissed all counterclaims.

Stephen Neal - Cooley LLP: ‘Highly experienced’ Stephen Neal recently defended Nintendo in Creative Kingdoms v Nintendo, where the plaintiff alleged that the client’s Wii system and controller infringed three of its patents relating to fantasy video game MagiQuest; the court found in favor of the client and all patents were affirmed. Neal also secured a favorable ruling at arbitration on behalf of client Gilead Sciences in F Hoffmann La Roche v Gilead Sciences, in which Gilead’s exclusive rights to hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir were affirmed.

William Pratt - Kirkland & Ellis LLP: William Pratt is the senior litigator at this ‘go-to firm’, and as such has experience in a diversity of high-profile cases including in the antitrust, securities, intellectual property, trade secrets and environmental arenas. Pratt recently secured a victory on behalf of Cigna Corporation when the US District Court for the District of New Jersey declined to certify a class involving the industry’s use of the Ingenix database. Verizon is another important client of Pratt’s.

Diane Sullivan - Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP: Diane Sullivanis a gifted trial lawyer who regularly secures favorable jury verdicts in high-stakes matters’. Sullivan was recently retained as lead trial counsel by Repsol in major litigation brought by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; a settlement was reached with some claims remaining outstanding. 2015 will find Sullivan in court in a number of matters, most notably on behalf of Philip Morris in a class action claim for medical monitoring on behalf of all Massachusetts smokers.


Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – labor and employment

Index of tables

  1. Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – labor and employment
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1
    • David Borgen - Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho
    • Eve Cervantez - Altshuler Berzon
    • James Finberg - Altshuler Berzon
    • Adam Klein - Outten & Golden LLP
    • David Lowe - Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP
    • Michael Rubin - Altshuler Berzon

Altshuler Berzon continues to be at the forefront of class action and appellate work-based policy issues and is commended for its thought leadership in this area. The San Francisco-based firm of 24 attorneys has acted on a string of wage and hour violations. It negotiated a $21.7m settlement for warehouse workers in Everardo Carrillo et al v Schneider Logistics et al; the team successfully argued that the violations were the responsibility of the warehouses’ operator, the warehouses’ customer and the labor services contractors, establishing that joint and several liability existed. The firm is currently pursuing four class actions against McDonald’s, including failure to provide meal breaks, failure to provide rest breaks and off-the-clock claims; three of the class actions involve workers at franchise-owned restaurants and consider the concept of joint employer liability, which is currently a hot topic across the US. Michael Rubin, Eve Cervantez, James Finberg, Peder Thoreen and Eileen Goldsmith are standout names in the team.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP’s practice head Kelly Dermody leads the team from the firm’s San Francisco office, where it is aptly placed to represent clients in the technology industry. It continues to represent the plaintiffs in a hybrid employment-antitrust case alleging that the defendants – technology , software and film production companies – colluded to suppress the wages of technical and creative employees, as well as agreeing a ‘no poaching’ policy to prevent employee moves. The team’s pre-eminent reputation in litigating gender discrimination cases against financial services institutions was reinforced through the $39m settlement it secured for the plaintiffs in Calibuso v Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. The team, well known for its pioneering approach, is currently representing current and former minor league baseball players in an unpaid overtime and minimum wages action. The firm has further offices in Nashville and New York, where the ‘excellent’ Rachel Geman is based.

Specialist employment firm Outten & Golden LLP has a long-standing reputation in wage and hour cases and has developed a market-leading practice pursuing several cases on behalf of interns. It continues to be active in intern litigation across the entertainment and sport sectors; it is currently seeking the recovery of unpaid wages, overtime pay, expenses, liquidated damages, interest and attorney fees on behalf of interns who participated in internship programs with Fox Searchlight and Fox Entertainment Group. Justin Swartz is a leading name in the firm for unpaid intern and volunteer cases. Other wage and hour mandates include representing individuals employed as department managers in an action against Urban Outfitters; the plaintiffs allege that they were wrongly misclassified as exempt from federal and state overtime payment requirements. The firm has significant experience in the retail sector and, as co-lead counsel, secured a settlement for garment workers employed by Donna Karan in a minimum wage and overtime class action. Its expertise extends to discrimination cases, where it has played a leading role in recent gender discrimination cases in the financial services sector. The firm is currently co-lead counsel in an action against Goldman Sachs alleging gender bias against female associates, vice-presidents and managing directors. Adam Klein and Rachel Bien co-lead the team with Swartz. All attorneys named are based in the firm’s New York office.

Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho prides itself on providing a national practice from its single-site office in Oakland, California, as well as being well attuned to state employment issues. Its excellent reputation in wage and hour cases has been further enhanced by its recent involvement in business expenses class actions. It served as co-counsel on behalf of outside account executives in the recently settled Lange v Ricoh Americas Corporation, which alleged that the defendant had failed to fully reimburse expenses for car mileage, cell phones and home office equipment; the team secured a settlement in December 2014 on behalf of case managers and foundation specialists who were misclassified as exempt from overtime pay and were not provided with meal and rest breaks. David Borgen, Laura Ho and James Kan are the key names in the ‘excellent’ team. Andrew Lee was promoted to the partnership in January 2015.

Employment specialist Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP boasts state, federal and international expertise and focuses its class action practice on wage and hour cases. It recently settled a case on behalf of leaders and receptionists employed by Weight Watchers for the alleged failure to provide minimum and overtime wages, failure to reimburse expenses and a failure to provide proper pay statements. Chaya Mandelbaum, who joined the firm in 2014 from Sanford Heisler Kimpel LLP, now acts exclusively for plaintiffs but is able to utilize the insight he gained earlier in his career when he represented employers in wage and hour and discrimination cases. Steven Zieff. David Lowe and John Mullan are other key names in the San Francisco based team.


Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – pharmaceuticals and medical devices

Index of tables

  1. Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. maintains an enviable reputation in the class action space and continues to be at the forefront of pharmaceutical and hip implant litigation. Few teams are able to match its quality of resources, with multiple attorneys occupying leadership positions in mass tort cases. It has continued to play a leading role in the Yaz/Yasmin litigation, with team members serving as co-counsel and, separately, chairing MDL committees. In 2014 Seth Katz, who is based in the firm’s Denver office, was appointed to serve both on the plaintiffs’ executive committee and as co-chair of the discovery committee in In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation in the Northern District of Illinois. The team continues to be active in the Actos litigation; the plaintiffs allege a link between Actos and developing bladder cancer. Michael Burg and Peter Burg, who are based in the firm’s Denver office, and Cincinnati-based Janet Abaray are other standout names in the team.

Herman, Herman & Katz LLC enjoys an excellent standing in this area and is well-known for its appointment to leadership positions and its expertise in electronic discovery. Team members served on the plaintiffs’ discovery and pleadings subcommittee and plaintiffs’ executive committee in a claim, recently settled, against Teva that alleged defects with the drug Budeprion. It is currently involved in the high-profile NFL concussion litigation initiated by former players against multiple defendants; of counsel Joseph Kott serves on the plaintiffs’ science and medical committee. The New Orleans-based firm remains committed to developing new cases and is currently representing plaintiffs in pending MDL proceedings for the alleged injuries caused by the blood-thinner Xarelto. Stephen Herman is valued for his ‘strategic thinking and leadership skills’ and Russ Herman is recommended for his ‘trial skills’. Soren Gisleson, Leonard Davis, Maury Herman and James Klick are also highly regarded.

Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.’s team consists almost entirely of trial lawyers and the firm continues to excel in preparing cases for trial and participating in bellwether trials. The Florida-based team was particularly influential in the Yaz/Yasmin litigation; team members served on the plaintiffs’ steering committee, co-chaired the discovery committee and were part of the bellwether trial team. It is currently preparing for trial in both the trans-vaginal mesh and metal-on-metal hip replacement cases. In 2014 the firm negotiated a $27.7m settlement with Merck & Co on behalf of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered jaw injuries after taking Fosamax. The firm’s strong standing in conducting depositions was reinforced through its involvement in the Pradaxa litigation, with team members travelling to Europe to interview witnesses. Mike Papantonio heads the practice, Troy Rafferty is a key name on mass torts, Fredric Levin is noted for his trial expertise and Timothy O’Brien is also recommended.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP continues to be involved in defective hip litigation and is representing clients in MDL and Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings (JCCP). The firm is involved in settlement negotiations for DePuy’s ASR hip implants and is preparing for bellwether trials alleging that DePuy’s Pinnacle artificial hips prematurely failed. It continues to play a leading role in the Actos litigation, and Donald Arbitblit was part of the trial team that secured an award of $9bn in punitive damages following a case in Louisiana in 2014; the firm is currently preparing to serve as lead counsel in the first Actos case to be tried in California. Elizabeth Cabraser and Robert Nelson, along with Arbitblit, are key names in the San Francisco office and Wendy Fleishman is a strong presence in New York.

The Lanier Law Firm has an excellent reputation for its courtroom ability and is led by renowned trial lawyer W Mark Lanier. Name partner Lanier led the trial team in securing a $9bn verdict on behalf of plaintiffs who alleged there was a link between bladder cancer and diabetes drug Actos. The firm continues to be involved in litigation concerning DePuy’s artificial hip implants and represents plaintiffs both nationally and overseas. Robert Leone, who is dual-qualified as a psychologist, is well known for his pre-trial jury analysis and Alex Brown and Los Angeles-based Lee Cirsch are also recommended. All attorneys, except where stated otherwise, are based in the firm’s Houston office.

Philadelphia-based firm Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman continues to take on leadership positions in high-profile litigation and has an array of discovery experience. It has been appointed to serve on the executive committee, the Daubert committee and several sub-committees in the GranuFlo litigation currently pending in the federal court of Massachusetts. The firm continues its involvement in the long-running diet drug litigation and is actively assisting the settlement trust. Arnold Levin, Frederick Longer, Laurence Berman, Michael Fishbein and Michael Weinkowitz are key names in the team.

Seeger Weiss LLP enjoys an excellent reputation in this area and serves clients from its offices in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Co-founder Christopher Seeger, who is based in the firm’s New York office, was influential in the NFL concussion litigation, serving as co-lead counsel and chief negotiator; the litigation resulted in the establishment of funds providing for a comprehensive medical exam for former players and compensation for retired players who have suffered cognitive impairment. New Jersey-based David Buchanan continues to hold positions on a variety of discovery, expert and executive committees.

Ashcraft & Gerel LLP’s team operates from its offices in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. It has continued to represent plaintiffs in litigation concerning Tylenol, Yaz/ Yasmin and DePuy’s ASR and Pinnacle hip implants. Michelle Parfitt, who is experienced in preparing expert testimony, and James Green, who has served on MDL committees for litigation including Fosamax and Rezulin, are recommended. All attorneys named are based in the firm’s Washington DC office.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. represents clients from its single site office in Montgomery, Alabama. Frank Woodson continues to be involved in both the GranuFlo and shoulder pump litigation, Matthew Teague is active in the testosterone replacement therapy litigation and P Leigh O’Dell is leading the firm’s representation in the Gardasil litigation. Andy Birchfield heads the firm’s mass tort practice.


Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – securities

Index of tables

  1. Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – securities
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP’s long-established position as a leader in securities work stems from its willingness to litigate high-profile cases, and the firm has once again enjoyed some notable successes for its clients. It represented The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS), serving as co-lead counsel, in a class action mortgage-backed securities case against JP Morgan; following an extensive discovery process which included reviewing over 28 million pages of documents, the court granted final approval to a settlement of $280m. It was also appointed to serve as co-lead counsel in In re Morgan Stanley Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Litigation; the firm represented PERS in a mortgage securities case that received preliminary approval for a $95m settlement. Max Berger, Gerald Silk, Mark Lebovitch, Salvatore Graziano, John Rizio-Hamilton, John Browne, and San Diego-based Timothy DeLange are key names in the sizeable team. Benjamin Galdston made partner in January 2014 and Jeroen van Kwawegen, who is dual qualified in the Netherlands and the US, was promoted to the partnership in March 2014. All attorneys named, except where stated otherwise, are based in the firm’s New York office.

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.’s excellent team is a recognized powerhouse in securities litigation and is increasingly instructed to manage non-US litigation alongside a steady stream of US securities mandates. It is currently representing institutional investors, in conjunction with its UK partner, in proceedings against RBS in London’s High Court. It is also collaborating with Japanese counsel in a claim against Olympus, filed in the Tokyo District Court, for allegedly falsifying financial statements. Its US work includes representing the co-lead plaintiffs, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and School Employees Retirement System of Ohio, in a securities fraud claim against JP Morgan, which is currently at the discovery stage. In addition to its class action work the firm maintains a strong practice handling securities litigation for individual clients. Co-founders and name partners Jay Eisenhofer and Stuart Grant lead the team from the firm’s New York and Wilmington offices respectively. New York-based Gordon Novod joined the firm as a director from Brown Rudnick LLP; Novod leads the bankruptcy litigation practice, which is closely aligned to the securities team. Other key names in the team include Megan McIntyre, Geoffrey Jarvis and Jeffrey Almeida in the Wilmington office and Daniel Berger and James Sabella in the firm’s New York office.

Labaton Sucharow LLP’s pre-eminence in securities litigation stems in part from the work of its in-house investigators in developing cases, combined with its excellent litigation expertise. The group principally represents institutional investors, including pension funds, union funds and health funds, and has gained Illinois State Universities Retirement System and Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System as new clients. The firm represented the Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (Commonwealth of Massachusetts), serving as co-lead counsel, in the headline securities class action case against Schering-Plough, which settled for $473m. It represented the State-Boston Retirement System in obtaining a $170m settlement (pending court approval) in the long-running action against Fannie Mae, which alleged that the defendant had misled investors on its ability to handle the risks associated with Alt-A and subprime mortgages. The team is currently serving as sole lead counsel, on behalf of the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, in an action against Amgen which is currently at the discovery stage. The ‘excellentLawrence Sucharow leads the team, which is based in the firm’s New York office. Other key names include Joel Bernstein, Christopher Keller, Thomas Dubbs and Jonathan Plasse. Serena Hallowell, Thomas Hoffman Jr, Nicole Zeiss and Michael Rogers were made up to partner in 2014. Dominic Auld, Joseph Fonti, Javier Bleichmar and Stephen Tountas left the firm to establish Bleichmar Fonti Tountas & Auld LLP.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP has enjoyed several notable successes of late in securities work and, in line with market trends, is increasingly involved in securities cases against medium-sized companies. It served as lead counsel on behalf of Houston Municipal Employees Pension System in a class action against KIT digital alleging several financial misrepresentations; the court granted final approval to a settlement worth over $6m. Other highlight work includes representing the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, as co-lead counsel, in the long-running In re Fannie Mae Securities Litigation, which settled for $153m. The practice continues to receive several instructions from pension funds and has gained the Austin Police Retirement System as a new client; it is acting for it in a securities class action against Kinross Gold, which is currently at the expert discovery case. In addition to its work for institutional investors the firm represents shareholders in securities class actions and is representing two investment funds in a class action against Tower Group, which alleges that the defendant materially misrepresented financial statements and results. Key names in the team, which serves clients from its single site office in New York, include Stanley Bernstein, Stephanie Beige, Christian Siebott and Jeffrey Haber.

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP’s team is led by the excellent Robert Kaplan and Frederic Fox from the firm’s New York office. The firm represented the plaintiffs in In re Nevsun Resources Limited, which alleged that the defendant materially overstated its gold ore resources at its mine in Eritrea; the case was litigated in both Toronto and New York and involved a joint mediation process. It also served as co-lead counsel, on behalf of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, the Boston Retirement Board and the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, in the Fannie Mae litigation, which settled in 2014. It also served as co-lead counsel, on behalf of the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, the Boston Retirement Board and the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System, in the Fannie Mae litigation, which settled in 2014. Joel Strauss and Jeffrey Campisi, who are both based in the firm’s New York office, are also recommended.

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP played a significant role in the litigation arising from the subprime financial crisis and has followed this with an increasing number of instructions to advise on cross-border securities work. It is managing cases for institutional investors against Vivendi in France and Olympus in Japan. The team is serving as lead or co-lead counsel in cases against companies including Duke Energy, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. David Kessler leads the securities litigation practice which includes Stuart Berman, who heads the firm’s global litigation efforts, and Naumon Amjed, who focuses his practice on developing new cases. All individuals mentioned are based in the firm’s Radnor office.

Milberg LLP has a committed e-discovery team and is adept at handling masses of electronic information. New York-based Ariana Tadler, who leads the e-discovery team, was recently appointed to lead the consumer-related discovery issues in In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation. The team served as co-lead counsel in the Oppenheimer Fund consolidated action, which settled for $89.5m; the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants made false and misleading disclosures to investors. It continues to serve as co-lead counsel, on behalf of Merck & Co shareholders, in litigation against the company relating to the withdrawal of Vioxx from the market. Sanford Dumain, Matthew Gluck and Robert Wallner, who are based in the firm’s New York office, are also recommended.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP utilizes its team of in-house investigators, damage analysts, economists and forensic accountants to develop and litigate securities class actions. It is currently representing institutional investors in a case against Barclays, which alleges that Barclays submitted false submission rates that were used to calculate LIBOR. Mark Solomon, who is dual qualified as an English and US lawyer, leads the international litigation practice and acts for both US and UK-based pension funds and asset managers. Elise Grace is responsible for advising the firm’s state and government pension fund clients on securities fraud and corporate governance. Founding partners Paul Geller, who is based in the firm’s Boca Raton office, and Michael Dowd, are also recommended. Individuals are based in the firm’s San Diego office except where stated otherwise.


Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – toxic tort

Index of tables

  1. Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – toxic tort
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Baron & Budd, P.C. represents clients from its offices in California, Texas and Louisiana. It is typically instructed to advise on Chinese drywall, water contamination and asbestos cases. The team represented businesses, public entities and individuals involved in the MDL following Deepwater Horizon; Scott Summy was appointed to both the plaintiffs’ steering committee and the plaintiffs’ executive committee and assisted in negotiating a settlement for the plaintiffs. Summy is a key name for water contamination cases and also represents various municipalities, water providers and private well owners in MTBE, TCP, atrazine and perchlorate litigation. Steve Baron leads the asbestos department. Managing partner Russell Budd is another name to note. The attorneys listed are based in Dallas.

Leading plaintiff firm Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP has an extensive national coverage and opened its eleventh office in Austin in 2014. It has an active mesothelioma and asbestos practice and handles claims on behalf of firefighters, veterans and plaintiffs who were part of the World Trade Center clean-up operation following 9/11. It is well-known for its environmental litigation and is experienced in assisting plaintiffs affected by gas explosions, water contamination and oil spills. It represented 23 Long Island water districts in securing a settlement of nearly $52m following MTBE contamination of water wells. Paul Napoli and Marc Bern, who are based in the firm’s New York office, and Illinois-based Patrick Haines, are key names in the team. J Bradley Smith joined the firm’s Austin office in March 2014 to head the bankruptcy trust team, which is part of the asbestos litigation department.

Weitz & Luxenberg PC remains a go-to firm for mesothelioma and environmental pollution claims, including water contamination, oil spills and lead poisoning. It has historically represented plaintiffs in MTBE litigation against oil companies. The team secured a $12.5m settlement on behalf of the families of three construction workers who died of mesothelioma. Among the recommended attorneys are Robert Gordon, who serves as the firm’s chief trial lawyer, and of counsel Robin Greenwald, who heads the environmental toxic torts litigation group. Named attorneys are based in the firm’s New York office.

Motley Rice LLC enjoys an enviable reputation for toxic tort matters and is developing its expertise on cross-border matters. The firm is currently serving in a consultancy role to a South African firm on behalf of gold mine workers who developed silicosis. It is serving as co-lead counsel in a consolidated asbestos personal injury action involving 540 plaintiffs, which is currently pending in the Superior Court of Alameda County, California. The team has an active environmental pollution practice and its representative experience includes representing plaintiffs exposed to benzene in cases against manufacturers and premises owners. Among the recommended attorneys are co-founder Joseph Rice and occupational disease practice head John Herrick, who are both based in the firm’s Mount Pleasant office. Rhode Island-based Robert McConnell is very active on lead poisoning cases and is currently leading on cases against property owners, government agencies and lead pigment companies.

Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC has an excellent reputation for its occupational disease work. The South Carolina-based firm handles cases on behalf of railroad employees exposed to diesel exhaust fumes and coal miners who have developed respiratory diseases, alongside a large caseload for asbestos-related litigation. Of counsel Gordon Rhea and Jerry Evans, who are both based in the Mount Pleasant office, are key names in the environmental contamination case. J David Butler, in the Barnwell office, is recommended for his asbestos expertise. Gregory Lofstead, who is based in the firm’s Mount Pleasant office, and Charleston-based Michael Brickman handle litigation on behalf of coal miners.


Product liability and mass tort defense: aerospace/aviation

Index of tables

  1. Product liability and mass tort defense: aerospace/aviation
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Condon & Forsyth LLP is a ‘leading firm’ and its deep involvement in airline defense work is highlighted by its key role representing American Airlines in litigation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The firm complements its impressive product liability and mass tort bench with a strong regulatory offering, and regularly represents clients in National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigations. ‘Outstanding lawyer’ Desmond Barry defends clients in high-stakes litigation and, as well as representing American Airlines, has acted for Swissair and Copa Airlines. In addition to his extensive experience representing major airlines in aviation accident investigations and litigation, Christopher Christensen has a buoyant product liability practice. Christensen has been representing various foreign and domestic air carriers in various consumer class actions arising from the application of an EU consumer protection regulation. David Harrington’s broad practice sees him represent clients spanning the aviation sector, including airlines, aircraft manufacturers and pilots. Los Angeles-based ‘expert trial attorney’ Frank Silane is well versed in aviation multi-district litigation (MDL). ‘Experienced’ of counsel Michael Holland is notable for his work defending airlines in major class actions. Marshall Turner, Diana Gurfel Shapiro and Bartholomew Banino are also key names. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

The ‘client-focused’ team at Morrison & Foerster LLP is ‘full of top-tier’ talent. The group, headed by San Diego-based ‘leading aviation attorneys’ Don Rushing and James Huston, has a deep engagement with the industry, regularly representing aircraft manufacturers, component manufacturers, commercial airlines, aviation insurers, and airport operators. The firm also advises on a range of regulatory matters, including those affecting cutting-edge technologies such as unmanned aerial systems. Rushing – who is ‘adept at managing clients and taking on responsibility for their best interests’ – has been working alongside of counsel William Janicki4 and associate Kimberley Gosling to represent Cessna Aircraft Company as coordinating and trial counsel in a federal MDL arising from accidents involving Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft flown in alleged icy conditions; following the firm’s successful resolution of the claims, only one of the 18 cases filed against the client remains outstanding. The firm is also representing Honeywell in relation to the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport; Rushing, Janicki and the ‘excellent’ William O’Connor are leading on the matter.

Perkins Coie LLP’s Seattle-based offering is ‘the gold standard of aviation and aerospace defense’. The firm has a strong relationship with Boeing, having representing the client in litigation arising from aviation accidents occurring worldwide, and is currently representing it in an MDL following the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport; the ‘excellent’ Bruce Campbell and leading lawyer John Dillow are leading on the matter. VL Woolston and Christian Moller have a key involvement in the firm’s role as national trial counsel to Honeywell in a range of cases involving aircraft and rotorcraft crashes. ‘Extremely bright lawyer’ Steve Bell is highlighted as a ‘specialist in rotorcraft accident litigation’. Steve Koh has a broad engagement with the aerospace industry, which extends to matters involving satellites. Tom McLaughlin, Brendan Murphy, Richard Coyle and Joe Silvernale are other key names. In addition to the aforementioned clients, the firm has represented BAE Systems, Turbomeca and Jeppesen in high-stakes matters.

Holland & Knight LLP has an impressive airline client base which it has repented in numerous domestic and international aircraft accidents. Randal Craft, Alan Reitzfeld, and Miami-based Lyndall Lambert’s continued role as lead counsel to Turkish Airlines in actions arising from the 2009 crash of crash of Turkish Flight 1951 illustrates the firm’s strength in such matters; all but two of the US passenger claims how now been successfully resolved. Having secured the dismissal of all actions arising from the 2009 Air France Flight 447 on behalf of Air France, Reitzfeld and Christopher Kelly consolidated the victory with a Ninth Circuit affirmation. In addition to its airline work, the firm recently advised an aircraft designer and manufacturer, and a major defense-sector client. Former NTSB counsel Gary Halbert, working out of the firm’s Washington DC office, is a key name for aircraft investigations and litigation. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Jones Day has defended aircraft and aircraft component manufacturers in numerous actions arising from high-profile incidents. This buoyant product liability practice is complemented by an active NTSB regulatory offering, where the firm has significant expertise representing clients in aviation crash investigations. Current instructions include defending Pilatus Aircraft in cases pending in Los Angeles, California and Butte, Montana state courts, arising from the 2009 crash of a Pilatus PC-12 legacy aircraft; Pittsburgh-based John Goetz and Stephanie Taylor, and Los Angeles-based Erin Burke are leading on the matter, and Goetz and Taylor are also assisting the client with a pre-litigation inspection in relation to an accident in Atlanta. In the aircraft component space, Irvine-based John Vogt and Cleveland-based Richard Bedell represent Champion Aerospace in a purported class action alleging the client’s spark plugs are defective and prone to failure when the engine is operated lean of peak. Other clients include American Airlines, SkyWest Airlines and Accessory Overhaul Group.

Nixon Peabody LLP’s broad engagement with the aviation sector is evidenced by its work for key industry clients including aircraft and aircraft component manufacturers, domestic and international airlines, and aviation electronic and avionics companies. Recent successes include its work defending ATR Aircraft in wrongful death litigation arising from a commercial airline crash in Cuba; the case was dismissed on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, a decision subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. San Francisco-based Brian Dalrymple and Eric Strain, who both bring a wealth of experience, led on the aforementioned matter. Darlymple and Strain are also working alongside fellow aviation expert Joseph Ortego, who is based in New York and Long Island, in representing aircraft manufacturer and distributor Socata in wrongful death and product liability claims. The firm also has significant experience representing clients in NTSB and FAA investigations. Other clients include Avidyne Corporation, Era Helicopters and Global Aerospace.

The ‘highly impressive’ Princeton-based Patrick Bradley leads the team at Reed Smith LLP, which attracts praise for its work defending aviation clients in major MDLs. It continues to represent Cirrus extensively as preferred and national counsel, with recent highlight work for the client including the successful resolution of two wrongful death actions arising from a mid-air collision of two aircraft in 2008 in Rock Springs, Wyoming; the actions were filed in Cook County, Illinois and subsequently consolidated. In his role as lead defense counsel to United Airlines, New York-based expert product liability litigator Oliver Beiersdorf successfully resolved two claims arising from the 2009 Continental Connection Flight 3407 crash; the two claims were the last in a total of 51 actions filed against the client. Beiersdorf also continued to represent KS Bearings in five wrongful death and survival damages arising from a fatal aircraft crash.

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellent industry knowledge, advice and responsiveness’ and stand-out trial and appellate practice. Philadelphia-based Denny Shupe continued to represent Rolls-Royce in actions arising from the crash of the Bell 206 helicopter in 2008, which resulted in several fatalities; a dismissal in favor of the client was secured at the summary judgment phase, while the case proceeded against all remaining defendants. Shupe is also national counsel to Leach and Esterline in all litigation arising from the 2008 crash of a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft in Madrid, Spain; 150 cases were subsequently filed in the US which were consolidated and ultimately resolved following the defense counsel’s move to dismiss on forum non conveniens grounds. The practice is co-headed by the ‘experienced’ Jonathan Stern in Washington DC and Robert Williams in Pittsburgh. Williams has ‘in-depth knowledge of product liability claims and the aviation sector’ coupled with ‘the ability to rapidly and strategically respond to procedural differences in various jurisdictions’. Shupe is also praised for his ‘knowledge, good judgment and preparation’.

Chicago-based Adler Murphy & McQuillen has an excellent track record for defending airlines in MDLs arising from crashes and other incidents. It is also noted for its active aviation products liability offering. ‘Fantastic trial lawyer’ Michael McQuillen attracts wide praise as a leader in the field; he successfully defended a flight control system manufacturer in wrongful death actions brought against it following the 2004 crash of a Sikorsky S-76A helicopter in Gulf of Mexico, in which he secured a dismissal in favor of the client. He also represented component and engine manufacturers, major airlines, and aircraft lessors. Fellow name partner James Murphy has a wealth of experience representing clients in high-stakes litigation and class actions, with previous successes including his defense of a component manufacturer in litigation arising from 2000 crash of Mooney M20K in Rixford, Pennsylvania; summary judgment was secured in favor of the client, which was affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and name partner John Adler has over 50 years’ experience handling aviation defense work.

The arrival of leading aviation specialist Thad Dameris to Arnold & Porter LLP from Hogan Lovells gives the newly established practice considerable gravitas. Dameris continues to act as lead counsel to Airbus Group, defending it in litigation arising from a mid-air upset involving Qantas Airways Flight 72; the consolidated litigation was brought on behalf of 179 plaintiffs in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Other current instructions include representing Airbus Military and Construcciones Aeronáuticas in litigation brought following the 2011 catastrophic crash of a CASA C-212-CC40 aircraft in Saskatoon, Canada; the case is pending in the US District Court of Arizona. Fellow former Hogan Lovells lawyer Christopher Odell joined alongside Dameris and brings extensive jury trial experience to bear, both at state and federal level. Representative work includes defending European airframe manufacturers in MDLs arising from aviation accidents.

Bryan Cave LLP has over four decades’ experience defending manufacturers, fixed-base operators and ground handlers, and airports in domestic and foreign litigation. The firm also represents clients in NTSB investigations and FAA administrative proceedings. Previous instructions include advising a manufacturer in litigation arising from the 2008 Spanair MD-82 accident in Madrid, Spain. The firm also has significant experience defending aerospace sector clients, having defended a manufacturer in claims arising from the Delta II failed launch at Cape Canaveral. It is also representing an aerospace manufacturer in litigation involving significant damage to a communications satellite. Chicago-based Jeffrey Morof has been representing clients in aviation product liability litigation for over 33 years; his impressive client base includes McDonnell Douglas and Teledyne Continental. Of counsel Douglas Winter in Washington DC has extensive experience handling trial and appellate litigation for aviation clients. Irvine-based Shalem Massey has represented a broad range of aviation-sector clients in cases including major MDL. Massey also represents clients in NTSB investigations and FAA administrative proceedings.

Cozen O’Connor’s client base runs the gamut of aviation industry participants including all types of airlines, aircraft manufacturers and repair stations, fixed-base operators, airports and airport operators, and ground handlers and aircraft owners and operators. The firm regularly represents clients in mass tort and product liability actions, and assists with their interactions with the FFA and NTSB. Miami-based veteran trial lawyer Richard Dunn has an excellent track record defending airlines and aircraft component manufacturers in high-stakes litigation. Christopher Raleigh in New York has over 25 years’ experience representing clients in complex aviation litigation. The practice was bolstered in 2014 with the arrival of William Walsh from Corr Cronin, L.L.P.; the experienced trial lawyer has a buoyant product liability practice and now co-heads the firm’s aviation industry team from the Seattle office. Washington DC-based Donald Kassilke and Mark Atwood are key contacts for regulatory matters.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has continued to advise key client Boeing on high-profile cases; the firm is often instructed to defend the client in litigation brought in the US as well as a range of jurisdictions internationally. Following the 2013 crash of a Boeing 737 in Tatarstan, Russia, key Washington DC-based lawyers Craig Primis and Matthew Papez have been assisting with ongoing with litigation brought by 15 claimants in Athens, Greece and ongoing criminal investigations in Russia. Primis, Papez and Chicago-based Michael Slade have successfully resolved 123 of 124 claims brought by plaintiffs following the 2009 Turkish Airlines flight 1951 crash at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, and the firm continues to handle the remaining claim. The firm has also advised the client in relation to accidents occurring in Nigeria, Colombia, Jamaica and Afghanistan. Other clients include Delta Airlines, Honeywell and Raytheon.

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP has a strong focus on the aviation sector and continues to benefit from its 2013 merger with Boutique firm Dombroff Gilmore Jaques & French. Thomas Almy has a wealth of experience advising on claims arising from accidents and mass disasters and is defending Sierra Nevada Corporation in a wrongful death suit brought following the crash of an aircraft used in drug interdiction work in Latin America. Almy is also representing Advanced Helicopter Concepts in a wrongful death claim brought against it. Mark Dombroff previously served as both a trial attorney with the FAA and as a member of the DOJ’s aviation unit, while in private practice he has assisted a range of aviation clients with accident investigations, FAA investigations and various civil litigation. Dane Jaques – who has been practicing aviation law for over 25 years – has significant experience representing clients in both litigation and administrative proceedings. The team is based in Mclean, Virginia.


Product liability and mass tort defense: automotive/transport

Index of tables

  1. Product liability and mass tort defense: automotive/transport
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Veteran trial firm Bowman and Brooke LLP attracts praise for its deep bench and experience representing clients in high-stakes litigation across the United States. The firm’s role as a leading defense counsel to the automotive industry is illustrated by its decades-long relationship with General Motors. In Phoenix, leading lawyer Paul Cereghini is adept at defending industry clients in a range of claims, having personally handled litigation in over 40 states. Fellow trial expert Vincent Galvin has continued to head up the firm’s role as lead counsel to Toyota from the San Jose office in all outstanding ‘unintended acceleration cases’. Minneapolis-based David Graves and Bard Borkon are also recommended for their trial expertise. Other key clients include Honda, Ford, Chrysler and BMW.

The ‘effective and efficient’ team at Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy P.C.exceeds expectations’ and attracts praise for its ‘excellent trial lawyers’ who are ‘sharp, focused and not scared to try large cases’. Philadelphia-based William Conroy and Tiffany Alexander recently led the defense of key client Ford in a crashworthiness case involving a 2005 Ford Focus where the plaintiff alleged the vehicle’s seatbelts were faulty; the firm secured a jury verdict following a five-day trial. ‘Excellent’ firm head James Campbell recently secured a defense verdict for American Honda in a case in which it was alleged the client’s rollover-activated side curtain airbag system was defective. James Campbell, Richard Campbell and David Rogers are ‘experienced trial lawyers who can focus pre-trial activities in the light of that experience’. All lawyers are based in Boston unless otherwise stated.

Denver firm Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP’s standout trial practice has a longstanding reputation for defending automobile, truck and component manufacturers in major product liability litigation and class actions. The firm is also notable for its excellent appellate offering, as illustrated by Ed Stewart’s current role representing Ford in a case before the Colorado Court of Appeals. Stewart is also representing Ford in two putative class actions alleging the manufacturer misled consumers when advertising its vehicle’s fuel economy. The firm also counts Toyota as a key client. Renowned trial lawyer Jack Trigg has an impressive record as defense counsel to industry clients, having successfully handled cases ranging from class actions to product liability litigation arising from catastrophic accidents. Leading lawyer Malcolm wheeler continues to play an active role in the firm.

Ballard Spahr LLP’s 15-partner product liability and mass tort group is deeply entrenched with the automotive industry, with clients including Subaru, AM General and Goodyear Tire and Rubber. New Jersey-based practice head Neal Walters, Roberto Rivera-Soto and Michael Carroll continue to represent Kia in two class actions, following its success in Little v Kia; the latter case saw a class of 8000 plaintiffs claim for alleged loss in their vehicle value and reimbursement of alleged repair expenses, arising from purported brake defects and, following a partial win for the plaintiffs, the firm successfully moved the court to decertify the damages class, vacate the damages verdict, and implement a claims proceeding, significantly reducing the damages award.

2014 saw DLA Piper represent Toyota Motor Sales in actions filed across the country alleging personal injury arising from a claimed unwanted acceleration defect in Toyota and Lexus vehicles; Joel Dewey and Jeffrey Yeatman – both in Baltimore – led the work. The firm has also been advising key client Porsche since 2006 and recently represented it in an MDL which followed 12 putative class actions alleging engineering defects in first-generation Cayenne SUVs; leading the matter, Philadelphia-based William Kiniry and Matthew Goldberg successfully moved to dismiss all but two of the claims and continue to act as appellate counsel in the outstanding actions. The firm also represents Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

McGuireWoods LLP’s Richmond-based team continues to act as strategic and trial counsel Ford to in high-profile matters nationwide, having acted for the company for three decades. Tracy Walker is serving as national consumer class action counsel to the client in multiple class actions alleging unintended acceleration issues in Ford vehicles from 2003 – 2010. Also for Ford, the firm secured the dismissal of a class action brought against it in 2014, which alleged that the sale of purportedly defective minivans breached consumer protection laws. The firm’s product liability group is headed by Walker and Perry Miles. It also serves as national counsel to CSX Transportation in all punitive damages cases and is defending the client in an action brought following a 2013 train derailment and secondary explosions in Baltimore.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s Robert Adam in Kansas City is a veteran litigator, having first-chaired more than 40 jury trials in various federal and state courts. Adam’s prior representations include securing a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Kia in a three-week crashworthiness trial. The firm also represents clients in class actions; General Motors has previously utilized the firm’s expertise in this area. Other clients include Toyota, Mitsubishi and Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems.

Bryan Cave LLP’s product liability and mass tort bench draws on the expertise of a number of automotive industry experts. Bettina Strauss has a strong track record defending manufacturers in state and federal courts in jurisdictions across the country. Debra Behrendt has significant experience as defense counsel in consumer class actions. Chicago-based trial lawyer Bruce Duffield has over 35 years’ experience representing clients in high-stakes litigation; he has successfully argued cases involving highly technical product design, manufacture and performance issues and those involving challenging medical issues. Stefan Mallen and Richard Casetta are also key names. All partners are based in St Louis unless otherwise stated.

Atlanta-based King & Spalding LLP’s impressive bench of trial lawyer has acted as state, regional or national counsel to clients including Toyota, General Motors, Nissan. Andrew Bayman and of counsel Franklin Brannen represented Kia in proceedings following a fatal accident where the plaintiff, a relative of the deceased, claimed that the Kia Optima was defective due to its lack of a fuel shut-off switch and that this led to subsequent collisions following the deceased’s initial impact; although the plaintiff’s claim was supported by a biomechanics expert, Bayman and Brannen successfully moved to dismiss the expert’s option, securing a summary judgment in favor of Kia, which was recently affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Phil Holladay also has a highly regarded trial and appellate practice.

Norton Rose Fulbright has an impressive record in high-stakes, multi-plaintiff cases and strong trial bench which attracts instructions from clients across the industry. Notably, the firm has niche expertise defending manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks and truck tractors, and an enviable vehicle tire and components client following, which includes Dana Holding and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. San Antonio-based Steven Jansma is representing Cooper Tire and Rubber Company in product liability litigation arising from a catastrophic accident; the case is pending in the New Mexico federal court. Houston-based Teddy Adams and of counsel John Weber in San Antonio both have impressive trial expertise.

The ‘responsive and user-friendly’ group at O’Melveny & Myers LLP provides ‘excellent and practical advice’ and has a ‘tremendous depth of talent’. The firm is noted for its ‘strength in high-exposure cases or cases involving difficult or complex issues’. Brian Boyle and Brian Anderson in Washington DC, and Randall Edwards in San Francisco are defending Ford in litigation in which plaintiffs allege the MyFord Touch touch-screen system does not function as promised. ‘Excellent’ practice head Richard Goetz and Carlos Lazatin (both in Los Angeles) are defending Kia in a class action alleging vehicle defects arising from placement of fuel tanks.

Sidley Austin LLP’s Eugene Schoon, Kara McCall and Elizabeth Chiarello are representing Delphi in litigation arising from an alleged design defect in its products which is claimed to have affected over two million vehicles; the firm is serving as both national and international counsel in the matter. Schoon and McCall, together with Jeffrey Steen, and Washington DC-based Terence Hynes and Samuel Boxerman, are representing GE in US and Canadian litigation arising from a Canadian train derailment. Attorneys mentioned are based in Chicago unless otherwise stated.

Snell & Wilmer LLP has a deep trial bench which has been defending clients in product liability actions in over 23 states. Phoenix-based practice co-head Vaughn Crawford draws on significant experience as lead trial counsel to automotive clients in product liability litigation and class actions. Fellow practice co-head Warren Platt also has a strong track record for defending international and domestic clients. Denver-based Timothy O’Neill has tried cases in state and federal courts across the country. The firm is also notable for its pre-litigation services.

In Washington DC, Dykema Gossett PLLC’s Terri Reiskin leads the firm’s representation of key client Ford in class action and product liability claims arising from cracked tailgate appliqués in certain vehicles manufactured by the client; the firm successfully filed two motions to dismiss, resolving the majority of claims. The firm has also recently represented Kia and Honda in significant class actions. In addition, it serves as lead class action counsel for Toyota in the high-profile Takata airbag class action litigation. Detroit-based Michael Cooney heads the team, which expanded with the hire of former Nissan assistant general counsel for North America Nicholas Wittner, as of counsel in 2014.

Texas boutique Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer L.L.P has an impressive footprint in the South West, where it defends clients in both consumer and more complex class actions, and a range of other product liability claims including multi-district actions. The firm’s varied client base includes manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers of products including automobiles, buses, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, heavy trucks and tires. Pryce Tucker draws on a wealth of experience defending clients against design, manufacturing and marketing defect product liability claims. Founding partner and expert trial lawyer Vernon Hartline continues to act as regional and national counsel to a number of leading manufacturing clients. Scott Edwards and David Estes are also key names.

Hogan Lovells has strong ties with the automotive industry and an excellent track record handling consumer class action cases, having previously won victories for major clients including Jaguar Land Rover. Washington DC-based Michael Kidney has represented clients in high-stakes class actions and single and multi-plaintiff product liability litigations in numerous jurisdictions. Kidney brings significant regulatory expertise to bear and has represented clients in numerous National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) actions.

Jones Day has represented automotive manufacturers and component part suppliers in high-profile product liability litigation and class actions in various state and federal courts. Highly experienced first-chair trial lawyer John Goetz has represented Yamaha in nationwide product liability litigation and has a strong rail-sector client following. Boston-based Dana Baiocco is a key member of the firm’s product recall and accident response team, and has an impressive track record in product liability defense work. Renowned trial lawyer Paul Pohl in Pittsburgh has over 30 years’ experience serving as trial and appellate counsel to the industry, with previous clients including Firestone, General Motors and Yamaha.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP advises across a range of automotive and truck industry technology and products, including cases involving rollovers, unintended acceleration and alleged airbag malfunctions. Huntington-based Melissa Foster Bird has substantial trial experience and holds membership of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel. Deirdre McCool in Charleston has served as national discovery coordinator to a leading automobile manufacturer in airbag product liability cases for several years and is well-versed in electronic discovery issues. Christopher Genovese (Columbia), and Robert Massie and Marc Williams (both in Hutington) are also key names.

Thompson Coburn LLP has continued to serve as a key adviser to Chrysler, with Kathy Wisniewski acting as national class action counsel to the client. Richard Mueller – who has an impressive track record in trying cases across the US – is national coordinating counsel to Kawasaki. Mueller and Wisniewski are both based in the firm’s St Louis office.


Product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco)

Index of tables

  1. Product liability and mass tort defense: consumer products (including tobacco)
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Praised for its ‘strong appellate team’, Arnold & Porter LLP has strong credentials acting as both strategic and trial counsel for an impressive array of clients. The firm has remained at the forefront of tobacco litigation through its role as key counsel to Altria Group – led by Washington DC-based expert litigator John Massaro, it continues to represent the client’s subsidiary Philip Morris in ‘light cigarettes’ class actions across the country, recently defeating certification in three such cases. It also maintained its impressive track record in handling outstanding Engle progeny cases for the client, where New York-based Keri Arnold has been a vital component in both strategic input and trial successes. The firm also counts a range of major food, beverage and supplements companies among its clients and is noted for its leading Proposition 65 practice: ‘excellent choice of counsel’ Trent Norris in San Francisco has particular expertise in this space and, among his work for numerous clients, is assisting Danone with long-running litigation arising from the presence of acrylamide in food. The practice is co-chaired by Washington-DC based Eric Rubel who also leads the firm’s buoyant consumer product safety commission practice. Other clients include McDonald’s, Neutrogena and PepsiCo. New York-based Ingo Sprie is also recommended.

Jones Day attracts praise for its deep bench and solid litigation track record. The firm is widely recognized as a leading tobacco defense firm and has taken a leading role in some of the largest litigation in the industry. ‘Outstanding trial lawyer’ Stephanie Parker (Atlanta) – who achieved the first ever Engle litigation defense verdict – spearheads the firm’s representation of RJ Reynolds and recently represented the client in proceedings before the Eleventh Circuit; the court returned a decision reversing a multimillion-dollar judgment against the client. Theodore Grossman and Louis Chaiten (Cleveland), and Richard Bedell and Sharyl Reisman (New York) are representing Goodman Global in various putative class actions relating to the client’s HVAC products; the suits involve claims including breach of warranty, breach of state consumer protection statute and unjust enrichment and to date, the firm has secured the dismissal of three actions. Hugh Whiting (Cleveland), Peter Biersteker (Washington DC), and Erik Swanholt and Peter Davids (Los Angeles) are representing Mattel/Fisher-Price in putative class actions filed in Northern California and Alabama following a major product recall.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP is a ‘go-to trial practice’ with an ‘impressive bench’. The firm has a longstanding reputation as a leading tobacco litigation specialist; Washington DC-based Robert McCarter, Kansas City-based Michael Walden and Miami-based Miranda Soto recently achieved a defense verdict for Philip Morris in an Engle progeny case in which the plaintiff sought over $29m in damages. The firm also has an impressive food and beverage client following and continues to represent Coca-Cola in various putative class actions, subsequently consolidated into a single MDL pending in the Eastern District of New York; the claims involve allegations the client breached consumer protection laws through the labeling and marketing of its products. It also continues to defend Golden Heritage Foods and Publix Super Markets in multiple class actions alleging grocery retailers acted contrary to the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act by failing to disclose whether pollen had been removed from honey products during ordinary processing. Kansas City-based practice chair Walt Cofer is an accomplished litigator with extensive tobacco trial credentials. San Francisco-based Frank Kelly and Miami-based Kenneth Reilly are both recognized as leading lawyers.

The ‘top-notchSidley Austin LLPalways delivers good results’ and attracts praise for its ‘outstanding regulatory expertise’. The firm was recently bolstered by the arrival of a six-lawyer consumer class action litigation team from Loeb & Loeb LLP in December 2014. Sean Commons (Los Angeles) and Robert Scarborough (Chicago) are representing POM Wonderful in a false advertising putative class action filed in the Central District of California, in which plaintiffs allege the client’s product labeling misled consumers; the Court’s decision to grant a motion to decertify the nationwide class in in March 2014 garnered much attention. The firm has handled a number of major cases in the supplements space; it represents Bayer Healthcare in a putative class action in which plaintiffs allege health claims made in the labeling and advertising of its Colon Health probiotic supplements were false and misleading; Eugene Schoon, Kara McCall and Elizabeth Chiarello (all in Chicago) and Alycia Degen (Los Angeles) were key attorneys on the matter. ‘Effective counselMichael Davis in Chicago ‘always looks for pragmatic solutions’ and ‘understands his clients’ needs’.

Goodwin Procter LLP’s national practice provides expert strategic and trial counsel in major, high-stakes cases. It has impressive breadth, both in terms of geographical presence (including offices in Boston, New York, Washington DC and California) and its client base. Food and supplements litigation is a focus area, where founding co-chair of the American Bar Association’s food and supplements group Joanne Gray draws on her wealth of experience advising the industry. Gray and fellow New York-based partner Glenn Kerner continue to handle the nationwide liability and mass tort litigation strategy on behalf of Herbalife International. Kerner has also been representing a major kitchenware products maker and distributor in a range of matters, including a recent successful resolution of a product liability claim. Kerner and San Francisco-based Proposition 65 expert Forrest Hainline continue to represent Bumble Bee Foods nationwide on a range of matters, recently defending the client in two class actions alleging misbranded food products, a false advertising class action alleging misleading health benefit claims and a Proposition 65 action. Other clients include Lafarge and Pangborn.

At Latham & Watkins LLP, Boston-based Kenneth Parsigian and Gwyn Williams attract praise for their impressive tobacco litigation credentials. Both are representing key client Philip Morris in a medical monitoring class action filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, in which plaintiffs seek to obtain a court-supervised medical surveillance program at an estimated cost of $187m. Chicago-based Mark Mester and counsel Kathleen Lally recently represented Electrolux in a class action before the Northern District of California, in which it was alleged that steel dryers sold by the client are not 100% steel; the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and the request for appeal was subsequently rejected by the Ninth Circuit. Mester, together with Washington DC-based Christine Rolph and William Rawson, also recently represented Masco in various nationwide class actions claiming significant personal injury and property damage resulting from allegedly defective diisocyanates and spray polyurethane foam (SPF); plaintiffs sought both compensatory and punitive damages, and a 50-state medical monitoring program for all homeowners whose residences had been affected by SPF, however following the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s 2013 decision to deny transfer and consolidation, the firm convinced plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss all claims by April 2014. Lally was promoted to counsel in 2014.

Outstanding’ West Coast product liability heavyweight Morrison & Foerster LLP has an enviable client roster with particularly strong followings in the food and beverage and technology sectors. In San Diego, the ‘highly impressive’ Erin Bosman, James Huston, and William Tarantino serve as national counsel to Fitbit – a producer of high-tech activity trackers – in five class actions (now settled and dismissed) and over 30 personal injury suits arising from a well-publicized product recall in March 2014. The ‘excellentMichèle Corash, James Schurz and of counsel Robin Stafford successfully represented a coalition of coffee producers, including Starbucks and Kraft, in seeing off an attempt to enforce the introduction of Proposition 65 warnings where acrylamide is present in coffee. The ‘top-notch’ Michael Steel, and Robert Falk are also key names for Proposition 65 matters. William Stern has an excellent track record for representing clients in unfair business practices and false advertising claims. All partners are based in San Francisco unless otherwise stated.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is well-versed in high-stakes MDLs and class actions, attracting clients from a range of consumer products sectors. In New York, Kenneth Plevan successfully secured the dismissal of a class action alleging consumer fraud violation on the part of Estée Lauder. Chicago-based Edward Crane successfully defended Anheuser-Busch in an MDL asserting the client had overstated the alcohol content on the labels of some of its malt beverages. The firm continues to play an active role in tobacco litigation, where Washington DC-based John Beisner and Jessica Miller secured the dismissal of a medical monitoring class action brought against Philip Morris; the court’s decision to dismiss was affirmed by the Second Circuit in April 2014. Beisner and Miller also continue to represent Electrolux in various class actions arising from allegations that the client’s washing machines are defective.

Winston & Strawn LLP has continued to build on its impressive record in both consumer products and tobacco defense work. Leading lawyer George Lombardi is representing Philip Morris in the first ‘lights’ class action to reach a jury; following a declaration of mistrial in 2011, the case is due to be retried in 2015. The ‘excellentDan Webb, Stephen D’Amore, Scott Glauberman and Neil Murphy recently defended Archer-Daniels Midland, Cargill, Ingredion and Tate & Lyle in litigation alleging the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) present in the defendants’ products is unreasonably dangerous and that its consumption caused the plaintiffs to develop type 2 diabetes; following the firm’s successful motion to dismiss the lawsuit in 2014, plaintiffs appealed to the Second Circuit. Glauberman and Steven Grimes are representing LG Electronics in various class actions alleging design defects in the client’s front-loading washing machines. All named lawyers are based in Chicago.

DLA Piper is regularly present in high-stakes class actions and other product liability litigation. For longstanding client Lorillard, it recently defended it in an action brought in the Los Angeles Superior Court alleging failure to warn, strict liability design defect and negligent design defect; led by San Diego-based Brian Foster, the firm was successful in dismissing several claims and ultimately securing a favorable jury verdict. Christopher Young, also in San Diego, is representing Chattem in a consumer fraud class action arising from the marketing of an over-the-counter mouthwash product; the case – which is pending in the District Court for the Middle District of Florida – arises from allegations that the client’s claim that its product ‘strengthens enamel’ is unsupported by scientific evidence.

Greenberg Traurig LLP has an excellent track record in both tobacco and other consumer products defense work. Jordan Grotzinger and practice co-chair Rob Herrington (both in Los Angeles) recently represented dietary supplement manufacturer FRS in a putative national class action filed against it and its former endorser Lance Armstrong; as lead counsel, they filed a successful motion to dismiss and, following the plaintiffs failure to amend and proceed with their theories, the case was dismissed with prejudice. The firm continues to represent Lorillard extensively and has recently had numerous successes in Engle progeny cases for the client. Harrington and fellow co-chair Alan Mansfield (New York) both draw on a wealth of trial experience.

The team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is regularly called upon by clients across a range of industries for strategic and trial counsel. Chicago-based Terrence Dee and Michael Slade continue to represent Motorola in 30 suits, filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court, alleging a causal link between the plaintiffs’ brain cancer and the use of the client’s cell phones. Washington DC-based Craig Primis and Eugene Assaf made significant progress in their defense of Honeywell in a high-profile False Claims Act case brought by the DOJ in the District Court for the District of Columbia; the plaintiffs, who allege that the client misrepresented the quality and durability of its ballistic material, suffered a setback when the court recently granted Honeywell’s motion to compel 13 case-critical government witnesses to give testimony.

The ‘excellentMcGuireWoods LLP has an impressive record defending a range of products. Richmond-based Terrence Bagley has continued to serve as lead counsel to ConAgra in nationwide litigation arising from a 2007 outbreak of salmonella linked the consumption of its ‘Peter Pan’ peanut butter; the firm has successfully resolved the majority of the 700 cases filed against the client and recently won a partial summary judgment in a punitive damages claim before the District of Colombia District Court. Fellow Richmond-based attorney Tracy Walker is leading the firm’s work for United Technologies in wrongful death claims filed against it in various jurisdictions.

Denver-based trial specialist Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP draws on a deep bench of specialists with significant product liability defense expertise. Recent successes for the firm include achieving a complete jury verdict for Whirlpool in the Ohio federal court after plaintiffs, a certified class of more than 150,000 members, alleged that 20 different models of front-loading washing machines manufactured by the client between 2001 and 2009 were defective, and sought over $66m in damages. A key name to note is Michael Williams, who has represented a wide range of clients in over 20 states. John Fitzpatrick is also noted for his impressive record, having tried over 220 cases to verdict.

The Phoenix-based team at trial boutique Bowman and Brooke LLP has significant experience defending product liability cases involving catastrophic injury and death. The firm has a varied client base including notable sports and exercise equipment, and consumer appliances contingents. Expert litigator Paul Cereghini continues to serve as a lead counsel to Riddell in an MDL brought by over 1,000 ex-NFL players; the plaintiffs allege that defects in the client’s helmets caused players to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other neurological injuries. Other clients include Cybex International.

Chadbourne & Parke LLP has a depth of experience handling food and beverage litigation, with Donald Strauber having a particularly strong reputation for defending the alcohol sector in some landscape-changing litigation. New York-based Strauber and Mary Yelenick continue to represent longstanding client Beam in numerous putative and consumer-fraud class actions alleging that the use of the term ‘all natural’ in the advertising campaign for the client’s Skinnygirl Margarita product was false and misleading; to date, only two of the original nine cases remain outstanding. The firm has also been advising a consumer appliances manufacturer on product liability defense and regulatory issues.

Having acted for the likes of Philip Morris and Johnson & Johnson, Dechert LLP has strong track record handling litigation at both first instance and appellate level across the US. New York-based David Bernick has over 35 years’ experience in the field, and has particular expertise in tobacco cases having previously served as general counsel to Philip Morris. In Philadelphia, Donald Le Gower has a wealth of experience advising on consolidated and class action litigation. Austin-based Amy Rudd has substantial trial experience and has represented clients in industries as varied as shipping, computer and manufacturing in state and federal courts across the country. Chicago-based Erik Snapp is a key name for consumer fraud matters, and fellow Chicago lawyer Nathan Hoffman also has extensive experience in both consumer fraud cases and multi-district product liability litigation.

Hogan Lovells continues to draw on the substantial experience of New York-based Phoebe Wilkinson, who has an impressive following within the consumer appliance manufacturer space. Wilkinson’s recent successes include securing the dismissal of all claims in a consumer fraud/RICO nationwide putative class action brought against a global manufacturer of commercial HVAC products. Seasoned litigator Robert Hawk in Silicon Valley is popular with food, beverage and nutritional supplements clients.

Building on more than 25 years’ experience handling tobacco defense work, King & Spalding LLP continues to play a leading role in the Engle progeny litigation. Jeffrey Furr, Ursula Henninger and Cory Hohnbaum (all in Charlotte), and Ray Persons, Frank Bayuk and Randall Bassett (all in Atlanta) have been involved in the firm’s representation of RJ Reynolds, recently securing three defense verdicts in four days on behalf of the client. San Francisco-based Donald Zimmer recently obtained a dismissal on behalf of client Landis+Gyr in ‘smart meter’ litigation brought in the Superior Court of California; the plaintiffs had alleged various injuries as a result of exposure to radio frequency radiation from smart meters manufactured by the client.

Based across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Washington DC, the 13-partner O’Melveny & Myers LLP team handles defense work involving products ranging from food and beverages to high-technology. Randall Edwards (San Francisco) and Carla Christofferson (Los Angeles) continued to represent Trader Joe’s in a consumer fraud class action arising from the client’s use of the term ‘all natural’, settling the case successfully in February 2014. The firm has also secured a number of victories in consumer class actions brought against a leading producer of consumer electronics.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s David Ichel in New York has 36 years’ experience handling high-stakes litigation and is widely recognized for his work in ground-breaking alcohol product liability work. Among others, Ichel has represented industry heavyweights Brown-Forman Corporation, Heineken and The Seagram Company. Joe McLaughlin has significant experience in the tobacco defense space, having successfully represented British American Tobacco in a multibillion-dollar jury trial. McLaughlin, who is also based in New York, has handled class actions and other consolidated litigation at trial and appellate level throughout the US.


Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices

Index of tables

  1. Product liability and mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

DLA Piper impresses in its defense of many industry leaders in large-scale MDLs and class actions. The firm’s ability to handle such cases is evidenced by its role as co-national counsel to Pfizer – a key client of the firm – in its defense of 3,000 product liability claims and various consumer class actions brought by plaintiffs alleging neuropsychiatric and other injuries resulting from their use of smoking cessation aid Chantix; following the return of a defense verdict by a federal judge in one of the key MDLs, the firm was able to successfully resolve all outstanding claims. New York-based Loren Brown led on the Pfizer matter, and San Diego-based Christopher Young and Brian Foster are leading the firm’s role as national counsel to DJO Global in all claims brought by plaintiffs alleging personal injury or other damage arising from the application of the client’s ‘cold therapy’ medical devices. Other clients include Bayer and Novo Nordisk.

Kaye Scholer LLP is an ‘excellent choice of strategic counsel’, having handled large-scale mass torts on behalf of a number of industry giants. Los Angeles-based Pamela Yates plays a key role in Pfizer’s national counsel team, defending the client in litigation (consisting of several hundred cases and an MDL) alleging its prescription medication Zoloft causes birth defects. The firm is also national counsel to Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth in defense of over 7,000 claims involving the drug Reglan; Washington DC-based William Hoffman leads on the matter, which examines a number of novel issues including innovator’s liability for harms allegedly caused by generic medicines. Other key clients include Endo Pharmaceuticals, Novartis and Boston Scientific.

Reed Smith LLP’s broad offering covers both the strategic and trial aspects of complex multi-jurisdictional litigation. The firm is representing key client CR Bard in two high-stakes mass tort actions. Led by Michael Brown in Los Angeles and Steven Boranian in San Francisco, it also defeated a motion to certify a medical monitoring class action of 13,000 patients treated with certain Bard inferior vena cava filters. Michael Scott in Philadelphia, and Sonja Weissman in San Francisco continue to serve as national counsel to GlaxoSmithKline in thalidomide litigation having resolved by summary judgment or dismissal a significant number of the 52 cases brought against the client. In addition to the aforementioned names, the firm’s enviable client base captures a large section of both the pharmaceuticals and medical devices sectors, with other key names including St Jude Medical, Medtronic and Merck & Co. Washington DC-based counsel Jesse Ash rejoined the firm in 2014, a year which also saw Philadelphia-based Heather Ritch and New York-based Jacqueline Seidel promoted to partner.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP attracts wide praise for its ‘deep bench’ and ‘strong trial practice’. Drawing on over 35 years’ experience handling high-profile litigation for industry heavyweights, the firm continues to serve as national counsel to Bausch & Lomb in litigation arising from the 2006 recall of its contact lens solution; the majority of the 2,000 claims brought against the client were deposed following a favorable Daubert/Frye ruling in favor of the client. Washington DC-based practice head Madeleine McDonough handles both product liability defense and preventative litigation strategies.

Impressive’ leading lawyer Sara Gourley at Sidley Austin LLP works alongside Sherry Knutson, James Mizgala, Jana Jobes (all in Chicago) and Debra Pole (Los Angeles) to act as coordinating counsel to Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Eli Lilly in over 6,000 cases alleging that the use of diabetes drug Actos caused cancer. The firm’s versatility is evidenced by its additional role as trial counsel to Takeda in critical litigation, with Pole and Knutson securing a defense verdict for the client in the first bellwether case to be tried in Illinois, and Gourley achieving similar success in Los Angeles. Maja Eaton (Chicago), Rebecca Wood and Robert Keeling (both in Washington DC), and Alycia Degen (Los Angeles) are representing St Jude Medical and its subsidiary Pacesetter in high-profile litigation arising from the 2011 recall of its Riata implantable cardiac defibrillator ICD leads; the firm recently secured a number of favorable results including a summary judgment before the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

Washington DC firm Williams & Connolly LLP is noted for its ‘science-focused approach’ and has decades of experience representing industry heavyweights in all capacities. Eva Esber, Paul Boehm and ‘excellent’ leading lawyer Douglas Marvin serve as lead counsel to Merck & Co in various product liability cases, both at state and federal level, relating to the client’s Januvia and Janumet type 2 diabetes medications. ‘Excellent trial counsel’ Heidi Hubbard recently secured a jury defense verdict on behalf of Wyeth before the District Court for the District of Massachusetts; the jury was asked to decide whether the warning accompanying its drug Pondimin was adequate, and returned a verdict asserting that it was. The firm has also acted extensively for Pfizer, including serving as nationwide appellate counsel in ‘innovator liability’ litigation where Kannon Shanmugam plays a leading role. The firm also represents American Medical Systems.

Arnold & Porter LLP is national counsel to Bristol-Myers Squibb in litigation – currently pending in New Jersey, California, New York, Illinois and Delaware – brought by 6,000 plaintiffs alleging improper sales and marketing of its drug Plavix; led by New York-based Anand Agneshwar, it recently won a landmark ruling before the Cook County trial court which established that over 400 out-of-state claimants could not establish personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The firm also serves as national counsel to the same client in personal injury litigation involving its antipsychotic medication Abilify. In addition, the firm has substantial experience in the medical devices space, recently securing voluntary dismissals in all three product liability suits involving the client’s NovaSure endometrial ablation device. Ellen Reisman (Los Angeles), and Steven Reade and Daniel Pariser (both in Washington DC) are also key names.

Leading trial boutique’ Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP attracts praise for its deep bench of litigation experts who have substantial experience representing industry players in both trial and strategic roles. Chicago-based ‘fantastic lawyer’ Philip Beck has served as lead trial lawyer in numerous high-stakes cases, which include representing Merck & Co in five bellwether trials arising from allegations that the drug Vioxx caused heart attacks and strokes; Beck won outright defense verdicts in four of the five trials. ‘Leading MDL specialist’ Adam Hoeflich, also in Chicago, is recognized as a ‘master strategist’. Denver-based Donald Scott – who has served as trial counsel to AstraZeneca and Merck & Co in high-stakes product liability cases – is also recommended.

An ‘up-and-comer’ in this particular space, Bowman and Brooke LLP continues to attract high-profile instructions from across the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. The 28-partner team handles matters nationwide from offices in Minneapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Austin and San Diego. Minneapolis-based Kim Schmid was recently sought out by Johnson & Johnson to handle the first transvaginal pelvic mesh litigation bellwether trial in California. Austin-based Kelly Kimbrough continues to head up the firm’s role as national counsel to Alaven Pharmaceutical in litigation brought by thousands of plaintiffs who allege that Reglan/Metoclopramide causes harmful side effects. Minneapolis-based Alana Bassin heads up a team which handles the majority of American Medical Systems’ product liability claims at national level. The firm also serves as Eli Lilly’s national trial counsel.

Go-to trial firmButler Snow LLP is frequently noted for its ‘top-notch bench of litigation experts’ and ‘strong track record’. The firm is well-versed in MDLs and mass torts, having tried numerous high-stakes cases for an enviable array of clients. ‘Outstanding trial lawyer’ Christy Jones in Jackson is consistently highlighted as ‘highly respected’ and ‘experienced’, and is a frequent adviser to key firm client Johnson & Johnson. New York-based David Cohen is adept at formulating scientific defense strategies and serves as national trial counsel to various pharmaceutical companies in metoclopramide mass tort litigation.

Covington & Burling LLP continues to represent major pharmaceuticals in large-scale product liability litigation. Paul Schmidt, Mike Imbroscio, Keith Teel, Joanne Grossman, Phyllis Jones and Shankar Duraiswamy, all in Washington DC, are lead counsel to Boehringer Ingelheim in defense of over 5,000 claims alleging blood-thinning drug Pradax causes severe bleeding and, to date, have favorably resolved the majority of claims. Schmidt, Imbroscio and Jones continued to build on a string of victories for Roche, with the New Jersey Appellate affirming the firm’s 2011 jury trial victory in highly-publicized litigation brought by actor James Marshall and a fellow plaintiff, and reversed a decision relating to a claim brought by a third plaintiff; the trial marked the firm’s twelfth appeal victory in a series of cases in which plaintiffs allege Accutane caused them to develop permanent gastrointestinal injury.

Philadelphia-based Dechert LLP has a strong relationship with Pfizer and often represents the company in high-stakes maters. Robert Heim and Will Sachse have played a key role defending the client in litigation concerning the drug Reglan since 2011; the firm has handled the majority of claims brought in Philadelphia. Heim, together with Judy Leone and Donald Le Gower, continues to represent the client in a range of other matters, including Zoloft and hormone therapy litigation. The firm has also continued to act for key client Baxter Healthcare in various matters.

The ‘outstanding trial lawyers’ at Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP attract praise for their ‘deep understanding of scientific and medical issues’. The firm is representing Bayer as lead national trial counsel in litigation filed by over 2,800 plaintiffs – filed in state and federal courts across the country – who allege various injuries as a result of their use of the Mirena contraceptive system. For Merck & Co, the firm is a member of the national science and expert team, as well as trial counsel, in Fosamax litigation where it is alleged that the drug caused osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical fractures of their femur; the cases consist of two consolidated MDLs and various suits filed at state level and to date the firm has secured a range of trial victories, voluntary dismissals and settlements. Andrew Goldman, Shayna Cook, Brian O’Donoghue and ‘extremely strong choice of counsel’ Tarek Ismail (all in Chicago) and Joe Tomaselli (Dallas) are key names.

Greenberg Traurig LLP continued to attract a range of high-profile work from key client Medtronic, with recent success including its defense of a product liability case in which the plaintiff alleged injury following the use of a Medtronic spinal cord stimulator; a motion to dismiss with prejudice was granted by the Louisiana state court. The firm continues to serve as national counsel to CR Bard in major transvaginal pelvic mesh litigation, which involves over 13,000 cases consolidated into an MDL in West Virginia; in addition to undertaking extensive discovery work, the firm tried and resolved a number of bellwether cases in 2014 and continues to represent the client in key litigation at appellate level. The ‘highly impressiveLori Cohen heads the practice from Atlanta. Tampa-based Nicholas Secco joined the team from Kirkland & Ellis LLP in April 2014.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP attracts a steady flow of instructions from major pharmaceutical manufacturers such as Pfizer and Merck & Co in high-stakes litigation across the country. Jersey City-based Will Coronato and Ted Mayer, Robb Patryk and Michael Tiger serve as national coordinating counsel to Pfizer in long-running litigation in which the plaintiffs allege they developed pulmonary arterial hypertension as a result of using diet drugs Pondimin and Redux; recent successes in the matter include securing a complete jury verdict following a two-week trial in the Boston federal court, where the jury concluded that Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth had not negligently failed to warn plaintiff’s prescribing physician of medical risks posed by Pondimin. Co-chair Robb Patryk has over 20 years’ experience coordinating mass tort defense. Fellow co-chair Diane Lifton has a background in the complex scientific and technical aspects of cases. Attorneys are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

King & Spalding LLP’s Andy Bayman, together with the ‘highly impressiveChilton Varner (both in Atlanta) recently represented Merck & Co in Fosamax litigation pending before the District Court of New Jersey, securing a significant pre-emption victory in the MDL which involves claims from an estimated 650 plaintiffs. Other recent successes for the group include securing the dismissal of two federal cases on statute of limitations grounds; the cases, filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Southern District of Florida, involved allegations the client’s drug Paxil caused significant cardiac injuries. San Francisco-based lawyers Peter Strotz and Donald Zimmer serve as national coordinating counsel in a 560-plaintiff claim filed in California State Court which alleges various injuries arising from the use of prescription cholesterol-reducing medication Crestor.

The 25-partner team at Pepper Hamilton LLP counts a number of industry heavyweights among its key clients. The firm’s reputation is illustrated by its selection as national counsel, trial counsel and settling counsel to GSK in litigation involving allegations that its diabetes drug Avandia causes heart attacks, strokes and other medical issues. The wide-ranging litigation involves federal MDL, class action and state court product liability and personal injury claims in addition to third-party consumer fraud actions. Leading the matter, Philadelphia-based Nina Gussack and her colleagues recently secured the dismissal of hundreds of cases in the MDL proceedings, and the dismissal of four consumer class actions. The firm also serves as counsel to Eli Lilly in litigation involving a range of products including Byetta, Actos, Zyprexa and Prozac. Fellow Philadelphia counsel Sean Fahey heads up the firm’s representation of Medtronic.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s standing in this area continues to rise following the 2013 arrival of the ‘outstanding’ Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo to the New York office, who both brought with them an ‘excellent combination of trial and strategic expertise’. Cheffo is leading the group’s role as national counsel to Pfizer in a 4,800-plaintiff case alleging the client’s statin medication Lipitor caused them to develop type 2 diabetes; it has seen a number of successes so far, including the removal of approximately 90 cases from California state court to federal court. In addition, Birnbaum and Cheffo are lead counsel to Pfizer in litigation in which 600 plaintiffs allege use of Zoloft during pregnancy caused a range of birth defects; key progress was made when the federal multidistrict litigation court excluded the opinions of all four plaintiffs’ general causation experts in June 2014. Other clients include Forest Laboratories.

Pharmaceuticals and medical devices work remains a key focus area for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which has advised numerous industry heavyweights in high-profile litigation. The firm handles a range of work for Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries, with recent highlights including ‘great strategic thinker’ John Beisner, Stephen Harburg andJessica Miller’s work representing subsidiary DePuy Orthopaedics in litigation arising from allegations its Pinnacle hip implant is defective; the firm secured a defense verdict for the client in the first bellwether trial heard in a federal MDL as one of 7,000 similar suits filed by plaintiffs. The firm frequently serves as counsel to Pfizer, including recently handling a putative class action in which plaintiffs allege the client improperly promoted the benefits of hormone replacement therapy drugs. Other clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co and Intuitive Surgical.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is serving as national counsel to AstraZeneca defending against claims that it failed to warn consumers of harmful side effects of its antipsychotic medication Seroquel. Mike Bennett in Houston and Aaron Davidson in Dallas are representing Novartis in all litigation involving Texas plaintiffs, relating to claims that certain types of its IV-medication cause osteonecrosis of the jaw. Other recent clients of the firm include Merck & Co and Biogen Idec. Houston-based Travis Sales heads the team.

The New York-based team at Goodwin Procter LLP counts Teva Pharmaceuticals as a key client, having advised on some of its most significant litigation to date. Glenn Kerner and colleagues Joanne Gray and Nilda Isidro are representing the company in a major case in which the plaintiff’s husband suffered catastrophic injury, allegedly as a result of exposure to a recalled batch of anesthesia propofol. The case – in which plaintiffs demand $100m in damages – involves a number of highly complex medical and scientific, and regulatory issues. The firm is also representing the client in coordinated mass tort proceedings involving claims related to the drug Metoclopramide. Other clients include a medical device manufacturer and a major dietary supplements company.

The October 2014 arrival of Mike Brock and Chadwick Morriss to the Washington DC office in October 2014 added to Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s already impressive bench of trial lawyers. The firms acts for a range of major industry clients and also has resources in New York and Chicago. New York-based Jay Lefkowitz recently argued and secured a motion for summary judgment on behalf of Baxter in litigation involving negligence, failure to warn, and breach of warranty claims relating to a generic version of the drug Phenergan. Chicago-based Michael Foradas has continued to see success leading the firm’s role as national counsel to AbbVie in dozens of cases filed nationwide relating to its drug Humira.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP counts a number of industry leaders among its client base: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline are examples. Philadelphia-based John Lavelle is defending Medtronic in various litigation related to its implantable drug pumps, insulin infusion pumps, and spinal cord stimulation systems medical devices. Also in Philadelphia, James Pagliaro and Troy Brown recently achieved a major appellate victory for client Zimmer in litigation brought by a plaintiff alleging injury as a result of their participation in marketing video for the company’s knee implant product; the firm was not trial counsel at first instance, but persuaded the Pennsylvania Superior Court to reverse and remand for new trial a trial court decision which had upheld a $27.6m jury verdict against the client.

At Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Diego-based James Huston and Erin Bosman have been advising Fresenius Kabi in product liability litigation involving off-label psychiatric medication metoclopramide, of which the client acquired the rights to following an asset purchase from Fujisawa Pharmaceutical. The cases – which are pending in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California – will examine the liability of successor corporations where the relevant drug was withdrawn from the market prior to the asset purchase. Bosman, and San Francisco-based Arturo González and William Tarantino, represented Iovate Health Sciences in a mass tort and MDL in which plaintiffs alleged breach of warranty and violation of state consumer protection laws due to personal injury caused by dietary supplement Hydroxycut. Other clients include Aptalis.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has significant experience serving as both trial and coordinating counsel to major pharmaceuticals and medical devices clients including CR Bard, Eli Lilly and Wyeth. The firm’s track record includes victories in multi-district, multi-plaintiff, class action and individual cases in litigation involving products as varied as hormonal agents, diabetes medications, heart valves and respiratory equipment. Atlanta-based Richard North serves as national counsel to a medical device manufacturer in litigation involving vascular devices and urological products. Columbia-based James Rogers has had a number of impressive class action victories and has handled litigation involving an impressive range of pharmaceutical and medical device products. Highly respected trial lawyer David Dukes and Mark Jones (both in Columbia) both have significant experience in the space.

Norton Rose Fulbright is defending Bayer in nationwide litigation involving oral contraceptives Yaz/Yasmin, which plaintiffs allege cause serious injury; Houston-based Gerry Lowry and Dallas-based Jonathan Skidmore lead on the litigation, which consists of an MDL and various state coordinated proceedings, and Lowry is set to serve as trial counsel in the first bellwether case to be tried in Pennsylvania. Los Angeles-based Jan Dodd will be representing Zimmer as trial counsel in the first bellwether case to be tried as part of the California coordinated docket involving the Durom Cup hip replacement products, which plaintiffs allege were defective. Other clients includes Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Coloplast and Salix Pharmaceuticals.

Tucker Ellis LLP draws on extensive trial experience, having represented pharmaceuticals and medical devices clients in state and federal courts throughout the country. Los Angeles-based practice head Mollie Benedict has a track record of defending clients in various high-stakes matters, which include jury trials as part of a transvaginal pelvic mesh MDL and a wrongful death case involving surgical clips. Renowned trial lawyer Robert Tucker in Cleveland has a wealth of experience defending cases involving vast range of drugs, devices and other products. Fellow Cleveland-based counsel and trial department chair Rita Maimbourg has particular expertise when it comes to recalled products, opioids, and transdermal drugs, as well as specialist medical devices.

Venable LLP’s Baltimore-based practice has a close relationship with Merck & Co, which selected the firm to handle the overall management and strategy in Fosamax litigation, where plaintiffs allege the osteoporosis medication causes osteonecrosis of the jaw and atypical femur fractures; it involves two MDL proceedings in federal court and various claims in state courts. Paul Strain and Stephen Marshall represented the same client in negotiating the settlement of 1,200 plaintiffs’ claims in relation to the osteonecrosis of the jaw cases in late 2013, and Marshall played a key role in securing the dismissal of over 600 atypical femur fractures cases on pre-emption grounds in early 2014. Bruce Parker and Craig Thompson are representing Takeda Pharmaceuticals in litigation relating to diabetes drug Actos. Other clients of the group include AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim and LabCorp.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s Diane Sullivan in New York attracts wide praise for her impressive track record trying cases for major names. The firm continues to represent key client Johnson & Johnson in a range of matters, and has been serving as national trial counsel for subsidiary Janssen in litigation relating to its antipsychotic drug Risperdal, which recently saw the firm leading bellwether trials in Philadelphia. Other key clients include Genzyme and Sanofi. New York-based practice head Arvin Maskin has extensive experience handling highly publicized and complex tort litigation.

Expert trial practice Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP is representing Pfizer in a 600-plaintiff MDL alleging the medication Zoloft causes birth defects; leading on the matter, James Hooper was able to successfully challenge the admissibility of all four of the plaintiffs’ causations experts in arguments before the federal court in Philadelphia. Habib Nasrullah is leading the firm’s work as lead coordinating and trial counsel to McKesson in defense of a class action in which plaintiffs allege the cholesterol drug Lipitor causes the onset of type 2 diabetes in women.


Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort

Index of tables

  1. Product liability and mass tort defense: toxic tort
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Arnold & Porter LLP’s credentials are widely recognized by the oil and gas and chemicals industries, and this is reflected by its impressive following of clients such as BP and Honeywell. The firm has continued to build on its fantastic track record, representing Arco in lead pigment litigation, where it has tried and won cases in jurisdictions across the country; of particular note is Jonathan Stern’s success as lead trial counsel in County of Santa Clara et al v Atlantic Richfield Company et al where the Superior Court of California found in the client’s favor, while three other defendants were required to participate in the funding of a funding a $1.1bn abatement program. Thomas Milch and Michael Daneker have spearheaded the firm’s work for Honeywell, and represent the client in resisting the certification of two major classes of claimants seeking damages as a result of their proximity to chromium ore sites. New York-based Anand Agneshwar and Eric Rubel co-head the team. All partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

The ‘highly impressive’ Paul Pohl heads the Jones Day team from Pittsburgh. Pohl and fellow Pittsburgh attorney Charles Moellenberg lead the firm’s work defending Sherwin-Williams in all of its lead paint and pigment litigation, with outstanding matters including multiple personal injury claims and a purported class action. Mary Ellen Powers in Washington DC, Nancy MacKimm in Houston, and Sharyl Reisman and Robert Gaffey, both in New York, are representing IBM in numerous claims in which plaintiffs seek over 20 years of medical monitoring costs in relation to their alleged exposure to chemicals emitted from the client’s former manufacturing facility in New York. The firm recently saw success in dismissing a number of claims made by plaintiffs with no present injuries. The firm also has a strong track record in asbestos litigation and is representing various respirator manufacturers in a wrongful death case pending as part of the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL); Boston-based Dana Baiocco is leading on the matter.

King & Spalding LLP has ‘one of the strongest toxic tort defense teams in the country’, attracting praise for its ‘bench strength’, ‘responsiveness’ and ‘unparalleled scientific knowledge’. The firm has a high standing among major heavy industry clients as illustrated by its role as counsel to Dow Chemical Company (headed by San Francisco-based Gus Filice and Nick Kayhan), Chevron (headed by Houston-based Charles Correll, Robert Meadows and Jeremiah Anderson) and Shell (headed by Houston-based Tracie Renfroe) in suits filed across the country by plaintiffs alleging that various chemicals have contaminated water supply wells or interfered with projects. Filice also leads the firm’s defense of Chevron in personal injury and property damage litigation arising from a refinery fire in which plaintiffs allege harm as a result of both the fire and subsequent exposure to chemicals. Kevin Buster and Richard Schneider in Atlanta are ‘outstanding’ and ‘a strong choice for “bet-the-company" litigation’.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP has an excellent track record in defense work involving high-profile, complex incidents. Chicago-based Richard Godfrey and Mark Filip continue to represent BP in relation to Deepwater Horizon, from trial court to appellate and Supreme Court level. Recent successes for the client include a victory on preemption grounds before the Court of Appeals for the Firth Circuit, in litigation brought by two separate groups of 11 Louisiana parishes. The firm also continues to advise on major asbestos litigation; Chicago-based Andrew McGaan recently played a key role in securing a defense verdict for Dow Chemical Company following a three-week jury trial St Louis. Washington DC-based Michael Williams and Peter Farrell, and Kevin Van Wart in Chicago lead the firm’s defense of Boeing in personal injury and property damage claims brought by 100 plaintiffs alleging exposure to harmful chemicals as a result of historic groundwater contamination. Jay Lefkowitz in New York and Leslie Smith in Chicago are also key names. Nicholas Secco left to join Greenberg Traurig LLP in 2014.

Greenberg Traurig LLP complements its excellent environmental practice with an impressive mass tort and class action offering. The firm is well-versed in large-scale defense work, as illustrated by its continued role defending various clients in the MTBE groundwater contamination MDL, with Washington DC-based Brent Allen leading on the matter. In Tampa, practice chair David Weinstein and Christopher Torres are representing Coronet Industries in litigation brought by 1,100 plaintiffs alleging various harms and damages claims in relation to purported groundwater, surface water, soil, and air contamination in the area surrounding the client’s manufacturing facility. The team was bolstered by the arrival of product liability trial expert Nicholas Secco in 2014, who joined the Tampa office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Recommended for its ‘high level of service’, Latham & Watkins LLP combines an impressive environmental regulatory practice with a strong product liability offering. The firm’s experience in large-scale matters is illustrated by its role as counsel to Riverside Cement Company in a mass tort involving 50 suits (including six medical monitoring class actions) alleging exposure to hexavalent chromium or other emissions from the client’s operational facilities; Los Angeles-based Kirk Wilkinson and Michael Romey have implemented a successful pre-litigation strategy. Washington DC-based Peter Winik, Alice Fisher and Gregory Garre are representing Buckeye Partners in a mass tort pending in Washington County state court arising from the accidental release of gasoline from a pipeline owned and operated by the client; the action involves over 400 individual plaintiffs who allege a range of injuries including severe emotional distress and diminution in property value. Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander is recommended.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has an impressive track record handling defense work for a range of technology, heavy industry and energy clients. The firm has been advising ExxonMobil in MTBE litigation brought by State of Vermont and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The firm is also serving as national coordinating counsel to Honeywell in Bendix automotive friction product asbestos personal injury actions. New York-based James Pardo and Miami-based Anthony Upshaw are key contacts.

Philadelphia-based James Pagliaro and John Lavelle head up the experienced team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. The firm – led by Collie James in Irvine – continues to represent Pepsi in actions brought by past residents of Willits, California who allege various injuries as a result of toxic exposure to hexavalent chromium, dioxins, and volatile organic compounds from a chrome plating facility owned and operated by the client’s subsidiaries; the firm has achieved various victories in the long-running litigation and has reduced the number of outstanding claims from 1,000 down to two. Houston-based Hugh Tanner recently secured a major trial victory for Schlumberger subsidiary M-I, where claims brought against the client as part of the Deepwater Horizon litigation were dismissed with prejudice.

The ‘top-notchMorrison & Foerster LLP has particular expertise in toxic torts relating to consumer products, and is noted for its deep bench of Proposition 65 specialists. The firm represents various product manufacturers in litigation relating to the presence of DEHP and other phthalate chemicals in products made with vinyl or pliable plastic parts or grips. San Francisco-based Robert Falk, and Michael Steel, who ‘provides good, solid advice’ and ‘has enormous business acumen’, are leading on the aforementioned matter. Michèle Corash, James Schurz, and Robin Stafford (all in San Francisco) are representing a range of international coffee producers in litigation relating to the presence of acrylamide in coffee. Los Angeles-based Peter Hsiao is recommended for his expertise in environmental matters.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Houston-based team is notable for its impressive oil and gas following, which sees it act in a range of significant toxic tort defense work. Lead by practice head Otway Denny, the firm secured two jury defense verdicts for BP in an MDL arising from a 2010 flaring incident, which involves over 50,000 plaintiffs who allege various minor injuries as a result of exposure to chemicals following the incident. Austin-based Stacey Martinez and San Antonio-based Lisa Shub successfully defended AMD against claims that exposure to toxic chemicals allegedly caused birth defects in the plaintiff’s children. Houston-based Stephen Dillard played a key role in securing the case’s dismissal.

Laurie Strauch Weiss heads the New York-based team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, which is praised for its ‘strong national strategy and trial capabilities’. The firm continues to act extensively for key client The Dow Chemical Company, and ‘dynamic trial lawyer’ Morton Dubin and John Ewald are currently defending the client in an action brought in federal court by a plaintiff alleging she developed a severe lung disease as a result of using its sealant product. The firm continues to serve as national counsel to Union Carbide in asbestos litigation, providing both overall strategic guidance and trial representation. Of counsel Kristen Fournier is an ‘outstanding trial lawyer’, who is ‘also very talented at developing, implementing and organizing national strategy in mass tort defense’.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s Michael Lyle in Washington DC continues represent SEACOR Holdings and its subsidiaries in the Deepwater Horizon MDL, which are implicated due to their involvement in clean-up efforts following the spill. The firm has a strong reputation in asbestos litigation as evidenced by Colgate-Palmolive’s selection of the firm as replacement trial counsel in two NYCAL cases in which plaintiffs allege a cosmetic powder product causes mesothelioma; in New York, Faith Gay and her team have since seen their mandate increase to cover all such cases on a national basis.

Reed Smith LLP is noted for its work handling large, complex torts involving multiple jurisdictions as illustrated by its role as national coordinating counsel to Mine Safety Appliances in thousands of active asbestos, CWP and silica cases pending in multiple federal and state courts. Practice head John Hooper, Jason Cohen and Russell Gaudreau (all in New York) lead on the matter. Houston-based Stan Perry has notable expertise in benzene litigation, and continues to head the firm’s role as national counsel to Shell in its aromatics litigation. Other clients include BASF, Johnson Controls and Baker Hughes.

Peers note Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s excellent trial track record in cases ranging from major incidents to long-term chemical exposures. Kansas City-based practice head Mark Anstoetter draws on over 25 years’ litigation experience and has a strong energy sector client following; Anstoetter is representing a large electric utility company in several purported class actions and numerous individual actions arising from a power plant containment failure. Fellow Kansas City-based environmental law expert David Erickson is representing a food and beverage manufacturer in litigation brought by plaintiffs alleging property damage and personal injury as a result groundwater contamination.

Sidley Austin LLP’s combined expertise in environmental, regulatory, and mass tort matters is evidenced by its role representing Coronet Industries in both site assessment and remediation negotiations with regulators, and in its defense of a related 1,000-plaintiff suit; Washington DC-based ‘standout lawyer’ David Buente and Timothy Webster lead on the litigation, which rests on allegations of wrongful death, personal injury, medical monitoring, and property damage as result of purported exposure to chemicals from an historic phosphate mining operation. The firm continues to serve as both national coordinating counsel and trial counsel to GE; among various recent representations, Chicago-based Maja Eaton and Tim Kapshandy secured summary judgment in dozens of cases alleging liability as a result of insulation applied to marine steam turbines sold to the Navy by the client.

Based across offices in Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Tucker Ellis LLP is noted for its deep bench of asbestos and silica litigation specialists. Laura Hong has a standout track record which includes obtaining a defense verdict on behalf of a thermal insulation manufacturer in a mesothelioma death case. Jennifer Steinmetz’s experience in major cases includes representing a food flavoring ingredient distributor in a six-year mass tort involving various cases brought by plaintiffs alleging respiratory injury as a result of exposure to chemicals in the workplace. Carter Strang has an impressive background in contamination cases. Jeffrey Healy heads the team from the Cleveland office, where the aforementioned lawyers are based.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s impressive client base includes LyondellBasell and Union Carbide. The firm is noted for its strength in asbestos defense matters as illustrated by Houston-based counsel Walter Lynch and Kevin Jacobs’ recent success securing a jury verdict in favour BASF; the case, which saw the plaintiff allege wrongful death and survival claims, centered on allegations that BASF was negligent in failing to provide a safe workplace and failing to warn the plaintiff of the dangers of working with and around asbestos-containing products. Recommended Houston counsel Ty Buthod and Russell Lewis continue to spearhead the firm’s role in ExxonMobil’s benzene litigation across various states.

DLA Piper’s Loren Brown in New York serves as national and trial counsel to former Pfizer subsidiary American Optical in hundreds of workplace silica exposure suits filed in Mississippi and Arkansas; recent victories include securing summary judgment on statute of limitation grounds in the Southern District of Mississippi. Charles Scheeler and John Griffith, both in Baltimore, have played key roles in the firm’s defense of ExxonMobil in claims arising from a gasoline leak; the claims resulted in a $1.65bn jury verdict which was subsequently reversed by the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Dechert LLP has an excellent track record in asbestos litigation and fields a number of experts, including Los Angeles-based William Oxley, who is frequently instructed by key client Union Carbide, and Philadelphia-based practice head Ben Barnett. Recent trial successes include its role in securing a summary judgment in favor of Pfizer in an ‘apparent manufacturer’ case arising from allegations that exposure to asbestos-containing product Insulag (manufactured by Pfizer subsidiary Quigley) causes mesothelioma and other lung diseases; Chicago-based Nathan Hoffman LLP led on the matter.

At Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Los Angeles-based Patrick Dennis and Perlette Jura, and Raymond Ludwiszewski, secured the complete dismissal of two of four cases brought against Intel by former employees alleging that exposure to chemicals during the course of their work caused births defects in their children. Dennis, of counsel Charlie Haake, Daniel Nelson, and Stacie Fletcher are representing International Paper in a coordinated series of claims, brought across various jurisdictions, alleging harms as a result of mill emissions. Dennis and Peter Seley co-chair the practice. Attorneys are based in Washington DC except where stated.

Goodwin Procter LLP provides ‘an excellent service’, drawing on of decades of experience defending clients in major mass torts. Notable recent work includes representing a client in an MDL arising from an infectious outbreak. The firm is also serving as lead counsel to a manufacturer in litigation alleging its products caused severe lung injuries. Washington DC-based ‘exceptional litigator’ Bill Hanlon ‘not only excels in resolving settlements in a favorable way for clients’, but also ‘presents a formidable threat if a reasonable settlement can’t be reached’. James Rehnquist and Roberto Braceras in Boston, and Washington DC-based Mark Raffman, are other key names.

Michael Olsen heads the Chicago-based team at Mayer Brown, which works closely with the firm’s substantial environmental practice to advise on major claims – involving both products and facilities – nationwide. Craig Woods has represented clients in cases involving asbestos, silica and diacetyl; he represents a Fortune 500 company in a 1,300-plaintiff consolidated case arising out of sales of isocyanates for use in coal mine roof and ventilation control polyurethane products. Mark Ter Molen has represented an impressive array of clients – including Dow Chemical Company, Union Carbide and Cargill – in high-profile mass torts and class actions. Counsel Jaimy Hamburg has experience defending clients in various claims, including those arising from petroleum refineries, mining sites, dioxins and solvents.

McGuireWoods LLP has an impressive bench of litigators with significant experience defending clients in toxic and nuisance tort claims. Leading the matter, Richmond-based Steven Williams and his team continue to act as national coordinating counsel to DuPont in all of its lead pigment litigation; recent successes include securing a dismissal in a public nuisance case brought by ten California municipalities. Baltimore office managing partner Ava Lias-Booker recently spearheaded the firm’s defense of ExxonMobil in two MTBE contamination cases arising from a gasoline leak. In appeals before the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the firm secured the dismissal of over $1.5bn in combined damages awarded at first instance by the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Stephen Busch chairs the team from Richmond.

Nixon Peabody LLP has a buoyant asbestos defense offering which has significant experience handling both product and premises-related cases. The firm represents Daimler Trucks in litigation throughout the US, and is currently handling 400 cases pending in the New York Metropolitan Area. Other major clients include distributors of chemicals and chemical manufacturers. Litigation co-chair Jennifer Kuenster in San Francisco is also a key name.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP represents clients in major litigation arising both inside and outside of the US. Los Angeles-based practice head Lawrence Riff and Washington DC-based Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov are representing Shell in a property damage and medical monitoring putative class action arising from groundwater contamination. The firm also works closely with Monsanto, with Riff and fellow Los Angeles-based lawyer Daniel Blakey serving as co-lead counsel in claims brought by Argentine farmers alleging its agricultural product causes birth defects in children.


Securities: shareholder litigation

Index of tables

  1. Securities: shareholder litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

At Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, ‘the overall service is superior’ and it has ‘an exceptionally flexible practice across litigation and regulatory enforcement’. Its ‘outstanding litigators focused on practical and efficient business solutions’ include practice head Sandra Goldstein, J Wesley Earnhardt and Daniel Slifkin; the latter not only defends JPMorgan Chase in 15 residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) lawsuits in state and federal courts, but also Vivendi in appeals against many trial victories. Evan Chesler and Karin DeMasi, who are ‘worth every penny’, defend Dreamworks Animation in shareholder class actions alleging misrepresentation of its financial performance relating to the animated feature film Turbo. Chesler and Robert Baron are defending Merck & Co in derivative actions and claims from institutional investors relating to the development of pain medication VIOXX. Richard Clary, who embodies the firm’s ‘impeccable work product and expertise’, acts for Credit Suisse in numerous RMBS matters. Antony Ryan’s clients include Deloitte and PwC. Regulatory investigation specialists John Buretta, (previously a leading light in the DOJ’s Criminal Division), and newly promoted David Stuart are highly commended, as are Rachel Skaistis and - Benjamin Gruenstein for regulatory enforcement matters.

Elite New York firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is ‘in all respects superb, it is unmatched and its unparalleled reputation is totally justified’. Providing ‘the highest degree of advocacy’, James Rouhandeh and Daniel Schwartz are praised for ‘thoroughness, creativity and commitment’. Rouhandeh, Charles Duggan and Neal Potischman are defending underwriters of Facebook’s IPO against shareholder claims in more than 30 class actions, which were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding. Lawrence Portnoy, who co-chairs the practice with Rouhandeh, is advising Comcast in eight class actions challenging its proposed $45bn Time Warner Cable merger. Edmund Polubinski’s highlights include defending 20 claims for MF Global. The highly recommended James Windels secured the dismissal of all claims against Credit Suisse in a class action arising from exchange-traded notes issuance. The ‘always impressive’ Michael Flynn represented PwC China in an SEC trial for violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Former head of enforcement at the SEC Linda Thomsen has ‘a very strong SEC actions practice’.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLPeffectively marries regulatory enforcement work with litigation’ and has ‘a market-leading 10b-5 practice’. For Dell, the firm shut down 26 shareholder class action lawsuits opposing its $25bn sale. John Kiernan, co-chair of the firm’s litigation practice, leads ‘a disciplined securities litigation team that can hit the ground running in shareholder derivative cases’. Kiernan, Maeve O’Connor and Gary Kubek successfully defended the Federal Reserve Bank of New York against direct and derivative claims of breach of fiduciary duty brought by Starr International Co. O’Connor, who won a landmark summary judgment from the Supreme Court for Providence Equity Partners, and Edwin Schallert, won significant defense victories in class actions for a long-standing client in cases such as McKittrick v The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America. Colby Smith in Washington DC and Bruce Yannett in New York represented former Hewlett-Packard CEO Léo Apotheker in a federal class action, derivative lawsuits and regulatory investigations arising from the company’s acquisition of Autonomy. Shannon Selden in New York and Jonathan Tuttle in Washington DC are also recommended, for regulatory matters and litigation respectively.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has ‘an enviable market position as a leader in bet-the-company litigation’. The ‘always availableBrad Karp co-chairs the ‘very service-oriented’ securities litigation and enforcement group with ‘outstanding lawyerRichard Rosen. Karp and Bruce Birenboim represent Citigroup in multiple RMBS matters and won a $7.5bn arbitration claim brought by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund. Rosen achieved a major victory for UBS at trial, seeing an action by German investors alleging fraud in the CDO sales dismissed with prejudice. ‘World classDaniel Kramer is ‘extraordinarily responsive – his turnaround time is impressive as is his pragmatic approach’. He represented Steve Cohen and SAC Capital in shareholder lawsuits arising out of allegations of insider trading, and secured dismissal of two derivative actions for Bank of America relating to its Merrill Lynch merger. Also among the team’s many stars, who are ‘excellent in what they do and how they do it’, are Charles Davidow, who won a motion to dismiss for Citigroup in a putative subprime class action, defense strategist Susanna Buergel who advised Citigroup on a landmark victory against the SEC, Martin Flumenbaum, who secured dismissal of numerous cases involving non-prime RMBS, Claudia Hammerman, who excels in securities litigation and regulatory investigations, and Audra Soloway, who acted for Citigroup in credit crisis-related cases.

A ‘universally well-regarded firm’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is prominent in the private equity space but its securities litigation practice covers the whole waterfront. In New York it has ‘a population of very professional and very able lawyers’ co-ordinated by Jonathan Youngwood, who took over after Bruce Angiolillo became GC of Takata. Youngwood obtained dismissals for Twitter in a case relating to its IPO, and for Goldman Sachs in a securities fraud complaint. He is acting for Seaworld and the Blackstone Group in a class action and derivative suit for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty. Peter Kazanoff’s many highlights include defending Fairfield Greenwich in shareholder litigation relating to the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Paul Curnin advised AIG’s directors on actions brought by the company’s former CEO and defended the CFO of Porsche against securities fraud allegations. Paul Gluckow and Thomas Rice are defending JPMorgan Chase in LIBOR-related matters, and Rice is defending RBS and Deutsche Bank in RMBS cases. Joe McLaughlin defended directors of Clearwire in a putative class action arising from its acquisition by Sprint. Jeffrey Knox, former head of the DOJ’s fraud section, joined in Washington DC to lead on high-stakes regulatory enforcement matters. An increasingly strong West Coast team includes Jonathan Kreissman in Palo Alto, who defended Silver Lake Partners against challenges to its $24.8bn acquisition of Dell.

Led from New York by Jay Kasner, the team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is ‘undeniably one of the top practices in the market’. Kasner and Charles Schwartz advised Anadarko Petroleum in securing a $12.5m settlement in a class action relating to its interests in the oil well at the center of the Deepwater Horizon spill. ‘Superstar’ Scott Musoff, who has a strong track record in representing Asian issuers in securities cases, represents News Corp following the dismissal of a class action concerning newsgathering practices at its newspapers. Susan Saltzstein secured the dismissal of federal claims seeking recovery of funds from Madoff Securities. In Los Angeles, Thomas Nolan, who is ‘one of the best trial lawyers in the country’, and Peter Morrison are defending Barclays against claims alleging power market manipulation. James Carroll stands out in the Boston office, from where he is defending former directors of Savient Pharmaceuticals in a case in Delaware alleging securities fraud. The greatly respected securities enforcement and compliance practice, led by Colleen Mahoney in Washington DC, has a big-hitter in Chicago in the shape of former US District Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is ‘completely focused on getting the best result in the most efficient manner’. In New York, practice head Robert Giuffra and Matthew Schwartz, who are among the ‘very impressive lawyers providing top-notch, consistently excellent work’, persuaded the District Court for the Eastern District of New York to dismiss with prejudice a claim against Cablevision Systems concerning retransmission fees. Richard Pepperman II led a team that had many successes for BP in Deepwater Horizon shareholder litigation, including the dismissal of a stock-drop class action. Providing ‘valuable advice on litigation and regulatory matters’, New York partners including David Braff and Jeffrey Scott defended Barclays against allegations of manipulating LIBOR. Clients appreciate the ‘exceptionally responsive, reasoned and consistently thoughtful advice’ of Suhana Han, who obtained a landmark decision for Porsche in defence of claims from hedge funds of stock price manipulation; Sharon Nelles, who advised JPMorgan Chase on a settlement with the DOJ; Washington DC-based Daryl Libow, who advised JPMorgan Chase on derivative actions; and Diane McGimsey in Los Angeles, who represented Standard Chartered Bank. ‘Senior and junior members of the team all dig in, work hard and provide excellent service’, according to observers.

One of the best, certainly a top-tier firm’, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in New York is ‘the cream of the crop, head and shoulders above for M&A-related work; no firm is better in corporate governance and securities litigation’. Jonathan Moses and William Savitt co-chair a 28-partner practice that counts General Motors and Goldman Sachs among its high-profile clients. John Savarese regularly represents Fortune 500 corporations and major financial institutions in regulatory enforcement proceedings and complex securities litigations; along with George Conway, he acted for Halliburton in a securities class action in which the Supreme Court upheld the ‘fraud-on-the-market’ presumption. Marc Wolinsky advised Hewlett-Packard in long-running securities litigation and derivative matters arising from its $11bn Autonomy acquisition. Ted Mirvis and Elaine Golin, who advised Bank of America on its $8.5bn settlement mortgage-backed securities claims, and counsel Eric Roth, are also among the highly recommended practitioners. The firm also successfully defended clients in cases such as Morrison v National Australia Bank, which set domestic limits on the reach of the Securities Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is ‘undoubtedly a leader in government enforcement work’, and across the securities litigation space it has ‘talent and ability to focus on client service’. In New York, Herbert Washer, who advised Barclays on a CDS matter, and the newly elected partner David Wishengrad represented Credit Suisse in benchmark rate investigations conducted by the DOJ, the CFTC and foreign regulators. Floyd Abrams, Charles Gilman, Penny Windle, and rising stars Adam Zurofsky and Tammy Roy represent McGraw-Hill Financial in pending investigations by the DOJ, SEC and other regulators, and secured dismissal of a securities fraud complaint for Standard & Poor’s. For Deutsche Bank, Gilman and ‘go-to litigatorDavid Januszewski are handling high-frequency trading cases worldwide and secured dismissal of a trust preferred securities matter. The New York office also saw the arrival of Michael Feinberg from Credit Suisse, and the Washington DC office brought in former assistant US Attorney Sean Tonolli to add capacity in the regulatory enforcement space.

Excellent firmCleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has ‘a very strong financial institution and issuer practice’. Its New York team has many outstanding lawyers such as David Brodsky and Thomas Moloney, who successfully saw an appeal by trustees of Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities denied in the Supreme Court for HSBC. Lewis Liman obtained full dismissal of three lawsuits against BNY Mellon in matters arising from the Madoff Ponzi scheme. Meredith Kotler’s standout matters include an ongoing arbitration for Barclays Capital arising from claims of alleged misrepresentation in the sale of CDOs. Roger Cooper, who is representing Atlantic Power Corporation in a 10b-5 case, and Mitchell Lowenthal agreed a successful settlement for a host of banks such as Wells Fargo and UBS as underwriters of securities issued by Lehman Brothers.

Dechert LLP is ‘top tier in mutual fund litigation and has especially good experience in litigating 40 Act issues’. Nevertheless, across its widespread network of US offices, it has a broad practice and ‘does very fine work in the area of shareholder litigation thanks to a deep bench’. In New York, global litigation head Matthew Larrabee, whose clients include PIMCO, and the ‘ridiculously goodAndrew Levander are ‘top-tier litigators’; they are defending Albertson’s in state and federal courts against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty in the company’s $9bn sale to Safeway. ‘Great lawyerHector Gonzalez is also singled out for praise. Jeffrey Brown joined from the US Attorney’s Office. In Chicago, David Kistenbroker is defending the board and senior executives of Exide Technologies against a putative class action alleging violations of section 10b of the Securities and Exchange Act, and is representing Delcath Systems in a shareholder class action alleging false and misleading statements or omissions regarding its drug application for Melblez. Also recommended are Michael Kichline, Steven Feirson and Michael Doluisio in Philadelphia, and David Kotler in New York.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is ‘a star that continues to rise – the firm is becoming increasingly prominent in the market’. Thad Davis in San Francisco, Meryl Young in Orange County, Jonathan Dickey in Palo Alto and Robert Serio in New York co-chair the practice, which is ‘clearly a serious player’. Serio successfully appealed in the Supreme Court on behalf of Credit Suisse Securities to bar multibillion-dollar claims relating to mortgage-backed securities. Young’s highlights include the defense of Dole Food in a class action opposing the going private transaction proposed by principal stockholder David Murdock. Dickey and Paul Collins in Palo Alto are defending Microsoft in a class action filed after it announced a $900m inventory write-down following price reductions for its Surface tablets. Davis prevailed for Chao Jiang in the first criminal securities trial to arise from DOJ and SEC investigations into Chinese reverse mergers. Brian Lutz in San Francisco and Washington DC’s Mark Perry are defending Wal-Mart in shareholder derivative cases and a class action alleging corrupt practices in Mexico. Wayne Smith in Los Angeles and Lawrence Zweifach in New York are also among the firm’s many standout practitioners.

Top-notch litigation practiceKirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘among the very best, head and shoulders above many competitors’. The practice centers on a strong Chicago office where key partners Mark Filip and Robert Kopecky are advising Hospira on a securities fraud class action and three derivative claims seeking over $1bn in damages and alleging failure to disclose quality control issues at a manufacturing facility. Kopecky and Joshua Rabinovitz, who provide ‘extremely prompt, thoughtful and well-researched responses’, won dismissal of a class action against General Motors following what was then the biggest IPO in US history. John Hartmann is also recommended in a team known for ‘excellent service, top-notch business knowledge, responsiveness and good value’. The New York office is ‘extremely strong in enforcement defense’ thanks to Robert Khuzami and Kenneth Lench, who both have extensive in-house experience at the SEC. It also has ‘smart litigators who work well as a team’ such as Andrew Clubok, who represents Facebook in more than 40 shareholder class actions, and Yosef Riemer, who advised private equity client Apax Partners. The teams in San Francisco and Washington DC also have considerable talent in securities litigation.

Latham & Watkins LLP has ‘a truly nationwide practice’, with prominent litigators spread from coast to coast. Brian Glennon in Los Angeles is now global co-chair of securities litigation alongside Jeff Hammel in New York and William Baker III in Washington DC. New York’s James Brandt and Richard Owens are among the lawyers representing Deutsche Bank in RMBS cases across the US. The practice is often called upon by major accounting firms – Miles Ruthberg is defending Deloitte China and Ernst & Young in SEC proceedings and class actions respectively. New hires mark the upward trajectory of the Chicago office, which brought in former chair of litigation at DLA Piper Samuel Isaacson and SEC veteran John Sikora. There is also expansion in Los Angeles, where John Pierce, who has ‘a real trial presence’, joined from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The firm also has ‘a talented bench in Silicon Valley’, where Patrick Gibbs and Matt Rawlinson have a large technology client base; they defended the former CEO of sTec Inc in one of the SEC’s largest insider trading investigations. Kevin Metz in Washington DC and Peter Wald in San Francisco are acting for Weatherford International in several shareholder class actions.

Pure litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is ‘simply the best – unmatched on the plaintiff side, having scored big wins against all the big defense firms’. Chair of securities and structured finance Philippe Selendy in New York, and national securities co-chair Harry Olivar in Los Angeles lead the group, which is known for its ‘nimble, strategic and aggressive approach’. Its caseload is dominated by RMBS matters, including the representation of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in 14 actions against major banks; the firm has already recovered over $25bn. Selendy is acting for the FHFA at trial against Nomura, and an action against RBS is in discovery. Olivar obtained successful rulings at the pleading stage for MassMutual, for which he has already achieved three settlements for RMBS losses. In New York, Daniel Brockett is taking a lead on cases involving LIBOR. The firm’s deep bench of securities litigators also includes New York-based Jonathan Oblak, Andrew Rossman and insurance-sector specialist Jennifer Barrett as well as Molly Stephens in Los Angeles and Houston-based veteran litigator Karl Stern, whose arrival from Vinson & Elkins LLP is a real coup.

A go-to firm for financial institutions’, Shearman & Sterling LLP is ‘right at the top of the market for matters arising from the financial crisis and is one of the leading firms in mortgage-backed securities cases’. In New York, Adam Hakki, who leads the litigation practice, Kirsten Cunha and Daniel Lewis are part of the firm’s national counsel team for Countrywide as defendant in high-profile RMBS matters. Joseph Frank leads the RMBS defense team for Barclays. The firm is ‘pre-eminent in cases related to financial benchmarks’ and both Hakki and Frank are acting for Bank of America in class actions alleging manipulation of the ISDAFIX reference rate. Jaculin Aaron, Stuart Baskin and Brian Polovoy are also highly recommended in New York. The firm is also dominant in defending shareholder lawsuits against US-listed Chinese companies, for which New York’s Jerome Fortinsky and Stephen Hibbard in San Francisco garner high praise.

Sidley Austin LLP has ‘a solid and pragmatic defense practice that effectively cuts to the chase’. Its ‘superb strategists who always provide timely and cost-effective advice’ include Sara Brody in San Francisco and Robert Pietrzak in New York, who work with the large team in Chicago to co-ordinate the practice. Brody and Norman Blears in Palo Alto are ‘outstanding litigators on the West Coast’. Pietrzak stands out for defending banks in mortgage-backed securities cases and secured dismissal of a class action for CNOOC. The Chicago team ‘has two of the best litigators in the country’ in Charles Douglas and David Graham. James Ducayet, who is advising Meadowbrook Insurance Group on two shareholder class actions, ‘brings matters to a conclusion swiftly and on good terms’. Also recommended are Hille Sheppard, who acted for Patriot Coal Corporation; Walter Carlson (‘a leader in issuer-side litigation’); former Supreme Court Justice Jack Jacobs; former assistant US Attorney Jack Pirozzolo, who brings additional securities enforcement capability to the Boston office; and ‘outstanding lawyerKristen Seeger.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP has ‘a litigation team known as one of the best in the business, which works proactively with clients to efficiently resolve major litigation matters’. Led by Joseph Allerhand and John Neuwirth, who ‘sees the big picture and manages his team efficiently through the granular issues’, the New York team includes former federal prosecutor Jonathan Polkes. Polkes continues to serve as lead counsel to AIG on financial crisis-related shareholder and derivative actions. Neuwirth not only achieved a decisive win for pharmaceutical giant Sanofi in a securities fraud class action, but also won a motion to strike for semiconductor supplier ATMI in a shareholder class action following its $1.15bn acquisition by a competitor. He also counts Morgan Stanley and BlackRock among his clients. Irwin Warren and Miranda Schiller secured a big victory for Agnico-Eagle Mines by having a securities fraud action dismissed. Stephen Radin is another recommended member of the team, which ‘offers a seamless, informed service which is most valuable to a corporation’.

WilmerHale is ‘one of the best, its work is impeccable’. One of the standout practices for regulatory enforcement matters, ‘its lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and responsive, providing advice that is spot on and obtaining truly remarkable results’. The deep bench is led from Washington DC by William McLucas, who is ‘extremely well regarded on SEC enforcement’, and co-chair Harry Weiss. John Valentine, who leads the defense of the former Thornburg Mortgage CEO in an SEC action, and Christopher Davies are recommended in the DC office, which added enviable enforcement skills with the hire of Matthew Martens, former head of the SEC’s trial unit. In New York, clients have nothing but praise for Michael Bongiorno, Fraser Hunter and Lori Martin. In Boston, Andrea Robinson and Timothy Perla are ‘smart, practical, talented and responsive’. The practice counts AVEO Pharmaceuticals and Eagle Bulk Shipping among its clients.

At Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, ‘seamless integration of teams around a unified strategy results in superior advice and value for money’. Louis Solomon in New York leads on securities litigation, and Bradley Bondi in Washington DC leads on regulatory enforcement matters. The practice comprises ‘a team of experts in their fields led by strategic thinkers’. The New York office has one of the elder statesmen of securities litigation in Gregory Markel, who, along with Anthony Mansfield advised Morgan Stanley in a class action alleging fixing of Brent crude oil prices. Martin Seidel and Israel Dahan defended Sino Gas in a class action arising from a going-private transaction. Peter Isajiw is advising the former CEO of KIT Digital on securities class actions and derivative suits. Howard Hawkins, who has ‘extensive experience and excellent knowledge that allows him to identify key issues’, and Jonathan Hoff, are also recommended.

The people to call for any regulatory event leading to a securities case’, Covington & Burling LLP is ‘a great firm with a flexible approach to meeting clients’ needs’. New York-based practice chair William Phillips is ‘a willing and effective trial lawyer’ who counts Johnson & Johnson and Freddie Mac among his clients. Mark Gimbel, who advises Sandridge Energy in numerous derivative litigation matters, also represented Atlas Pipeline Partners in a shareholder class action arising from its $5bn sale to Targa. David Kornblau, co-chair of securities enforcement, and ‘star attorneyAndrew Ruffino are also recommended in New York. In Washington DC the ‘SEC enforcement group is one of the strongest in the business’ thanks to the likes of Lanny Breuer, who returned from the DOJ, and Bruce Baird in Washington DC. The San Francisco office also has outstanding lawyers in David Bayless and experienced SEC investigation specialist Tammy Albarrán.

Obsessive about responsiveness’ is how Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s practice is described. The practice, chaired by William McGuinness in New York, is in growth mode: Evan Barr from Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Stephen Juris from Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. and Lawrence Gerschwer from Morrison & Foerster LLP , who represents many clients in pending financial benchmark matters, add considerable regulatory enforcement experience. McGuinness and Israel David represent General Motors in securities litigation related to its $20bn IPO, and GMAC as underwriter of $26bn in RMBS deals that are subject to a huge securities class action. Practice vice-chair Gregg Weiner is handling multiple shareholder class actions for Brookfield Office Properties, and David Hennes is advising Deutsche Bank in a major shareholder litigation arising from Dole Food Company’s going-private transaction.

The New York office of Mayer Brown is busy with financial crisis-related matters. Co-chair of the global securities litigation and enforcement group Joseph De Simone, and Richard Spehr, are representing a leading insurer in huge securities and derivative actions. Matthew Ingber and Christopher Houpt advised BNY Mellon in litigation arising from its role as trustee of $8.5bn in RMBS deals. Steven Wolowitz is defending Société Générale against allegations of financial benchmark manipulation. The practice’s other co-chairs Matthew Rossi, who joined from the SEC, and Richard Rosenfeld work from Washington DC, where Laurence Urgenson and Audrey Harris joined from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Michele Odorizzi in Chicago is also recommended. The firm advises major financial institutions including CIBC, Morgan Stanley and UBS.

Terrific firmMilbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is ‘a leader in the broker-dealer space and prominent among mutual funds’. In New York, firm chairman Scott Edelman represents Morgan Stanley in putative class actions relating to high-frequency trading. Sean Murphy and David Gelfand represent Rabobank in class actions alleging manipulation of LIBOR. Murphy, Robert Hora and James Benedict are defending AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company in a derivative action alleging it charged excessive fees for managing funds. In ‘a major coup’, George Correlos joined to head the global litigation group after five years as co-director of the SEC’s enforcement division. Antonia Apps, who prosecuted many high-profile securities fraud cases for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, was another key hire in New York.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLPhas a deep understanding of the legal landscape, including the nuances between circuits’ and is ‘strong in securities litigation across the entire country’. In Philadelphia, Marc Sonnenfeld, who obtained a motion to dismiss for Hewlett-Packard in a derivative suit alleging breach of fiduciary duty, and Steven Reed, are highly regarded. In New York, Michael Kraut specializes in complex securities litigation and Amy Greer joined from the SEC. The Chicago office also hired an SEC veteran Peter Chan, and Merri Jo Gillette in the same office also stands out for her extensive in-house experience at the SEC and is ‘a real boon in the enforcement arena’. The practice brought in some highly skilled securities litigators through the merger with Bingham McCutchen LLP including in Boston Jordan Hershman, who is currently serving as lead counsel to Freddie Mac in several high-profile class action cases, and shareholder class action specialist Jason Frank, as well as Dale Barnes in San Francisco and Susan DiCicco and Steven Brody in New York.

Morrison & Foerster LLP provides ‘outstanding service and spot-on advice’ honed by ‘a very practical approach and a good eye to managing costs’. San Francisco is home to chair of securities litigation, enforcement and white-collar criminal defense Jordan Eth, who is ‘very insightful, a great litigator’ and Judson Lobdell, who is ‘a creative thinker and talented writer who really understands the facts and case law’. Eth and Anna Erickson White are defending online games company Zynga against breach of fiduciary duty allegations. ‘Smart and dedicated’ Stacey Sprenkel is ‘an up-and-coming talent’ on the West Coast. Eth and New York’s Joel Haims represent Blackberry in securities class actions. Jamie Levitt is also recommended on the East Coast. Darryl Rains, who represents Cirrus Logic, and Erik Olson, who advised SoftBank, are recommended in Palo Alto.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP is praised for ‘smart, strategic and responsive service from a deep team’. The ‘very versatile practice’ has a leading light in Washington DC in the form of Jeffrey Kilduff, who with Michael Stern and Robert Stern successfully settled a consolidated securities class action for Fannie Mae after a decade of hard-fought litigation. Andrew Bednark, Jonathan Rosenberg and Bill Sushon in New York and Matthew Close in Los Angeles defended Bank of America against Countrywide Financial-related successor liability claims seeking multibillion-dollar damages. New York-based Bradley Butwin’s clients include Raser Technologies. In Los Angeles, Seth Aronson achieved a complete victory in an alleged securities fraud case brought by the SEC against the former CFO of Basin Water after an eight-day bench trial.

James Kramer in San Francisco presides over a team with ‘very high quality and a deep bench’ at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. The firm has ‘a deep understanding of the business environment and provides good value for regulatory matters and litigation’. From the same office, Robert Varian and Kenneth Herzinger continued a run of high-profile victories for Chesapeake Energy with two wins before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and William Alderman won an appellate victory for Deckers Outdoor Corporation. In Seattle, Daniel Dunne and George Greer have ‘excellent judgment and think about matters creatively to optimize solutions’. Michael Tu in Los Angeles is ‘particularly strong in securities class actions with a cross-border element’. In Washington DC the firm hired Elaine Greenberg from the SEC’s Enforcement Division. In New York, Jason Halper joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Paul Hastings LLP is commended for its ‘ability and experience to try cases’. Practice co-chair Peter Stone and Edward Han in Palo Alto are defending the CEO of Dole Food Company in putative class actions challenging his $1.6bn move to take the company private. In New York, global litigation chair Barry Sher secured dismissal of a shareholder claim against Barclays Capital and Morgan Stanley arising from the Hi-Crush IPO, and practice co-chair Douglas Flaum defended Goldman Sachs against a breach of agreement claim. Kevin Logue, whose clients include Doral Financial Corporation, is also recommended. In Los Angeles, William Sullivan successfully defended a shareholder derivative action for Jacobs Engineering Group related to the ‘say on pay’ provision of the Dodd-Frank Act. The firm is advising a Brazilian bank consortium in a securities class action against Petrobras.

Proskauer Rose LLP is ‘known for the breadth and depth of its practice’, particularly among private equity houses, hedge funds and alternative investment managers. Its ‘long-standing pedigree in litigation’ endures, not least because of the experience of Ralph Ferrara in Washington DC, who with Ann Ashton and, in New York Jonathan Richman and Tanya Dmitronow, represents a special committee of Hewlett-Packard in derivative matters arising from its acquisition of Autonomy. Ferrara and Richman are also representing Vestas Wind Systems in a putative class action. New York-based Gregg Mashberg and Stephen Ratner are defending The Depository Trust Company against a $7.2bn MDL. The firm is also advising corporates such as Bed Bath & Beyond and Celgene Corporation on securities matters.

Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC achieves ‘great results in a cost-effective manner, the quality is unparalleled’. ‘Highly respected’ veteran litigator Brendan Sullivan is acting for Bank of America in four suits relating to mortgage-backed securities, and Kannon Shanmugam is leading the defense of Omnicare in a Supreme Court matter. Robert Van Kirk and Hackney Wiegmann successfully defended claims against Carlyle Capital relating to mortgage-backed securities, and Steven Farina won at arbitration for Ernst & Young. Also recommended are John Villa, who secured dismissal of a class action against Pfizer that alleged misleading statements about clinical trial results for a potential Alzheimer’s drug, and Kevin Downey, in a team that ‘has developed a presence in securities litigation through being unafraid to be creative’.

Its reputation for being ‘among the best in the business at litigation’ sees Winston & Strawn LLP climb the ranking. In New York, group chair James Smith and Richard Reinthaler, along with Los Angeles-based rising star John Schreiber, represent the defendant in one of the market’s most high-profile cases – Indiana State District Council of Laborers and Hod Carriers v Omnicare – in which the Supreme Court’s verdict could have far-reaching implications for the securities litigation market. Schreiber and Neal Marder, also in Los Angeles, ensured class certification was denied in securities fraud and shareholder derivative actions against China Automotive Systems. The firm also has greatly respected partners in Chicago including Caryn Jacobs and Robert Sperling, and in Houston Casey Berger.

At Arnold & Porter LLPthe very broad regulatory practice comes from its roots in Washington DC and works seamlessly with its litigation team’. A strong grounding in accountancy practices sees the securities enforcement and litigation group often represent auditors as well as senior officers of public companies. Veronica Rendon in New York, who is representing an accounting firm in an SEC investigation, and regulatory enforcement expert Michael Trager in Washington DC, co-chair the practice. Also based in Washington DC, Scott Schreiber saw a 10b-5 case against Overseas Shipholding Group dismissed. In San Francisco, Gilbert Serota is defending Yelp in class actions that allege the concealment of activities to suppress poor consumer reviews in its web and mobile platforms.

At Baker Botts L.L.P., David Sterling, who leads the litigation department from Houston, has been fully absorbed in the potentially market-defining Halliburton case in the Supreme Court, in which Aaron Streett and Jessica Pulliam are also heavily involved. The firm has ‘a large market share in Texas because of its deep understanding of the energy industry’. Seth Taube in New York, who leads the securities litigation team and is considered ‘one of the best’, defended Coda Octopus in an action alleging breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. William Jeffress and Julia Guttman in Washington DC advised the former CFO of Bank of America in a class action arising from mortgage-backed securities. Douglas Henkin, formerly of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, brings a longstanding relationship with NYSE to the New York office.

Cooley LLP dominates the life sciences, pharmaceutical and biotechnology space on the West Coast, in which securities class actions are rife. The firm also has ‘a great track record and high-quality service’ for clients in the food and technology sectors. John Dwyer in Palo Alto, who advised Affymax on class actions arising from its recall of an anemia drug, and Koji Fukumura in San Diego, who represented Arena Pharmaceuticals in a series of class actions and derivative suits, co-chair the nationwide practice. Lyle Roberts in Washington DC advised entrepreneur Mark Cuban on an SEC insider trading case and, with Palo Alto-based Stephen Neal, represented Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman in class actions stemming from its $11bn acquisition of Autonomy.

DLA Piper has ‘an outstanding team’ in which more than 40 partners devote much of their time to a securities litigation practice that is ‘among the best’. James Mathias in Baltimore and John Clarke in New York oversee a team that has ‘great depth and wide geographic coverage’. Baltimore-based John Wellschlager and New York-based Michael Hynes won summary judgment to dismiss for client Pfizer. In San Diego, Shirli Weiss advised Countrywide’s former CFO in 20 class actions and an SEC enforcement matter, and Robert Brownlie defended South West Water in a shareholder matter. In Los Angeles, Perrie Weiner advised China-based company Orient Paper on a class action. New York-based Patrick Smith saw a class action against Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan dismissed.

Dentons has ‘real strength in class action defense’. In New York, Sandra Hauser, who leads the practice, and Reid Ashinoff successfully defeated a class certification matter in a major 10b-5 class action for Genworth Financial. Hauser also succeeded in having RMBS-related claims brought by FHFA dropped against officers of Washington Mutual. Christopher King in Chicago advised Molex in shareholder litigation arising from its $7bn merger with Koch Industries. ‘World class trial lawyers’ in Kansas City, Stephen Hill and Maxwell Carr-Howard, who together secured a total defense verdict for Stephen Kovzan in an SEC fraud case, are ‘incredibly personable, likeable and down to earth’.

The practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP has ‘top talent and well respected lawyers’ – among them co-chairs Bradford Kaufman in West Palm Beach and, in New York, William Briendel, who leads on broker-dealer matters, and Robert Horowitz. Briendel and Los Angeles-based Paul Schumacher defended Deutsche Bank Securities against a claim for Standard &Poor’s put-option losses. Richard Edlin, who chairs the broader litigation practice from New York, obtained dismissal of a $1.16bn claim by MBIA Insurance for client JPMorgan Chase in a mortgage-backed securities lawsuit. Also recommended are Hilarie Bass, who advised Paulson & Co, and David Coulson in Miami, Joseph Coates in West Palm Beach, Steven Malina in Chicago, Terry Weiss in Atlanta and George Sullivan in White Plains.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is ‘respected in the trustee and accounting space’ for securities litigation. Kevin Abikoff in Washington DC and New York-based Edward Little and ‘excellent practitionerWilliam Maguire co-chair a team that also includes New York-based partners William Maguire, Marc Weinstein, Christopher Kiplok, Sarah Cave and rising star Neil Oxford; they represent the Lehman Brothers Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee in matters arising from its bankruptcy. Weinstein and Little also secured the dismissal before trial of Bank of America’s claims against former Bear Stearns executives. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a key client for securities litigation.

New York-based financial markets litigation boutique Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP is ‘top notch with impressive capacity, tremendous experience and considerable expertise’. Known as ‘a very good, very aggressive litigation firm’, it is ‘a go-to for clients who want to sue banks’. New York-based practice heads Sheron Korpus and Marc Kasowitz represented CDO investor Loreley Financing in claims against banks totalling $13bn, including a $965m claim alleging Citigroup had committed fraud by inducing Loreley to invest in CDOs stocked with assets selected by short investors. Kasowitz and Hector Torres are advising FHFA in 17 actions in federal and state courts against banks such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and RBS Securities.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s Bruce Vanyo, based in Los Angeles and New York, ‘has long been a leading light in securities litigation’. Vanyo and New York-based William Regan represented Amarin Corporation in a 10b-5 class action arising from the company’s marketing of lipid-lowering drug Vascepa. Across three offices, the firm has ‘a very diverse practice that is strong in financial services and for which derivative litigation is a sweet spot’. The third key hub is Chicago, where Michael Diver leads the securities litigation and enforcement practice. It is also home to Christian Kemnitz, who defended Kansas City Southern in a series of 10b-5 class actions and derivative cases arising from declines in its stock price.

New York-based Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is a growing force in the defense of issuers and their officers and directors in securities class actions and derivative litigation, and ‘regulatory cases are the firm’s sweet spot’. Barry Berke and Eric Tirschwell scored a major victory for JPMorgan Chase’s Bear Stearns Asset Management unit with the dismissal of Bank of America’s claims arising from a $4bn CDO. Gary Naftalis acted for the former president of MF Global in regulatory investigations and a multi-district class action. One year after joining the firm, former plaintiff lawyer John Coffey is leading the defense of mortgage servicer Ocwen in shareholder litigation and SEC investigations. Also recommended are Michael Dell, who defended a major accounting firm at arbitration, and Arthur Aufses.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s 50-lawyer securities litigation and government enforcement practice spans six offices and is noted for ‘real experience at trial’. In Chicago, Steve Scholes’ highlights include representation of a special committee of the board of Inland American Real Estate Trust, the largest non-publicly traded REIT in the US, in shareholder actions and SEC investigations, and Joel Chefitz defeated a shareholder class action for Young Innovations. ‘Effective problem-solver’ John Sten in Boston is defending Smith & Wesson in a derivative action. Frederic Firestone in Washington DC is also recommended.

Elkan Abramowitz’s 15-partner team at New York-based Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. is outstanding in regulatory litigation. Edward Spiro and Robert Anello represented the former COO of Fairfield Greenwich Group in Madoff-related matters. Anello also led a team that secured an injunction for prime broker Bank of America Securities to prevent further claims from investors who lost money in a major securities fraud. Spiro and Richard Weinberg defended Merill Lynch in a state court action relating to the State of New Mexico’s purchase of CDOs. Spiro and Lawrence Bader advised Merck & CO on the settlement of a derivative action arising from poor results in a clinical trial. Among the firm’s other ‘greatly respected’ partners are Jonathan Sack, Lawrence Iason and Judith Mogul.

Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP has ‘one of the strongest practices in securities litigation, particularly for regulatory matters and international issues’. Its ‘long history in the financial services industry and in securities cases’ positions it to be ‘involved in the biggest securities class actions around, including LIBOR manipulation matters’. In New York, Daniel Zinman defended senior executives of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch against claims brought by the FHFA. Craig Newman’s highlights include advising BDC Finance LLC in an action against Barclays relating to swap deals. Brian Fraser and Shari Brandt acted for monoline insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC) in multiple matters. In Washington DC, Michael Mann is ‘highly accomplished in navigating international issues for regulated entities such as hedge funds’.

Financial services boutique Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is ‘very good at tax-related and hedge fund matters’. New York-based Martin Perschetz, whose ‘trial experience is invaluable’, and Gary Stein successfully opposed a shareholder class certification to head off a 10b-5 case against Monster Beverage Corporation. Harry Davis and Robert Abrahams secured a $100m settlement for London-based interdealer broker Tullett Prebon from BGC Partners, which it pursued in a FINRA proceeding and a Supreme Court RICO case. In Washington DC, Howard Schiffman, who co-chairs the litigation group with Perschetz, and Eric Bensky are strongly recommended. With its reputation as ‘the leading investment management practice in the US’, it advises numerous hedge funds.

Vinson & Elkins LLP has a ‘highly integrated practice across regulatory enforcement and securities litigation’ in the energy space. Clifford Thau and Steven Paradise in New York are ‘very impressive’. Dallas-based Michael Holmes, who is very active in M&A-related matters, defended Eagle Rock Energy in three consolidated class actions challenging its acquisition of midstream assets. Strong partners such as John Wander in Dallas and Jeffrey Johnston in Houston are key to the firm’s prominence in Texas. Michael Charlson, who is helping to build the practice in San Francisco, advised Dendreon in shareholder litigation arising from its withdrawal of revenue guidance for 2011 and the subsequent $3bn drop in its stock market value. Karl Stern joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

From its base in Texas, Andrews Kurth LLP is developing a securities litigation practice with ‘real capability in litigation and at trial’. Bradley Foster and rising star Matthew Nielsen in Dallas, and David Whittlesey in Austin, represent Texas-based Bowen, Miclette & Britt Insurance Agency in a $7bn class action and multi-district litigation. James Maloney in Houston, former head of the trial group at Baker Botts L.L.P., is also recommended.

Baker & Hostetler LLP is ‘an A+ law firm where the lawyers are well prepared, professional, impressive and extremely capable’. The ‘smart and strategically astute’ Marc Powers in New York leads ‘a vibrant practice’ that is prominent among investment banks and hedge funds. The firm, which ‘knows when to push the buttons and be aggressive’, had ‘amazing success in representing the Madoff estate’ in representing its SIPA trustee. Dean Hunt in Houston, who with Powers represented former CEO of Global Geophysical Services Richard Degner in a securities class action, and Mark Kornfeld in New York are highly recommended.

As good as any New York firm and better than most’, Cohen & Gresser LLP provides ‘big firm quality for mid-market work’. Mark Cohen leads ‘an extraordinary team of attorneys, who present cases in the best and most efficient manner practicable’. Cohen, ‘the maestro of the team’, and managing partner Lawrence Gresser, Gale Dick, Daniel Tabak and respected trial lawyer C Evan Stewart are ‘all impressive’. Gresser and Tabak secured dismissal of a short swing profits case brought by Leap Wireless against client Goldman Sachs.

Fenwick & West LLP’s San Francisco office has ‘a lean and mean litigation team focused on getting the right result’. Among the ‘great group of lawyers with a strong technology focus’, Susan Muck stands out; she secured the dismissal of a class action against Immersion Corporation arising from disappointing earnings figures. Muck also recently settled a class action and SEC enforcement action against client Diamond Foods arising from allegations that it intentionally misstated the value of its commodity costs. Michael Dicke, most recently the SEC’s associate regional director for enforcement in San Francisco, brings ‘unmatched experience’ to the enforcement practice.

Gibbs & Bruns LLP in Houston is respected for the advocacy skills of its ‘curious and creative lawyers’. Kathy Patrick and founding partner Robin Gibbs lead a team that has seen many successes in mortgage-backed securities cases. Patrick, Scott Humphries, Robert Madden and David Sheeren achieved approval of an $8.5bn settlement for institutional investors such as PIMCO and BlackRock from Countrywide and its corporate parent BNY Mellon in claims relating to 530 RMBS deals. The same team achieved a $4.5bn settlement with JP Morgan for 21 institutional investors relating to 303 RMBS Trusts.

Goodwin Procter LLP has ‘a very fine litigation department’ that is ‘unreservedly recommended for complex litigation’. Mark Holland in New York and Michael Isenman in Washington DC are defending JPMorgan Chase against claims of receiving excessive fees on three bond funds. Among the partners who are ‘dedicated, work tirelessly on the client’s behalf and bring intellectual rigour to projects’, are New York-based Brian Pastuszenski, who represented Countrywide Financial in mortgage-backed securities matters and Stephen Poss, as well as Los Angeles-based Daniel Tyukody, who also advised Countrywide, Mike Jones, who is a popular choice among technology and life sciences clients, and Washington DC-based former Latham & Watkins LLP partner Michele Rose.

Herrick, Feinstein LLP in New York is all about ‘hard work, aggressive representation and good results’. Arthur Jakoby and Therese Docherty, who is a ‘fantastic litigator and excellent partner to clients’, co-chair the securities litigation practice in New York. Jakoby achieved settlements for Madoff feeder funds Beacon and Andover. Former federal prosecutor Victor Rocco, who joined to lead the white-collar defense and investigations practice, has ‘an amazing reputation and great experience’ in securities litigation.

Jenner & Block LLP is ‘an outstanding law firm’ where partners are ‘quick to respond and able to craft advice in a bespoke fashion ideally suited to the client’s needs’. Stephen Ascher and Richard Ziegler in New York won a bench trial for natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy and represented Brookfield Asset Management in a declaratory judgment action against AIG in a $1.5bn dispute in federal court. Ascher and Thomas Newkirk in Washington DC advised institutional plaintiffs in a case relating to losses from auction rate securities and CDOs.

New York’s Kaye Scholer LLP joins the ranking thanks to the formidable reputation of Vincent Sama, who is ‘known for bet-the-company cases’. His team represents the former CFO of insurer AIG in matters relating to alleged bid-rigging practices and undisclosed contingent commissions paid to brokers. Jonathan Green, a former SEC senior counsel, advises Spirit AeroSystems in a shareholder action and government inquiry arising from its public announcement in 2012 of $590m in forward loss charges.

Norton Rose Fulbright is ‘among the leading firms for securities litigation for energy companies’ and has ‘a strong reputation among financial institutions’ such as Bank of America and Fidelity. Gerard Pecht represented LINN Energy in a series of class action and derivative lawsuits, one of which alleged that it misled investors in its calculation of adjusted EBITDA, and advised Magnum Hunter Resources in matters relating to a $200m stock drop. Rodney Acker in Dallas defended clearing broker Merrill Lynch in claims arising from a stock transfer. The firm’s SEC enforcement group in Washington DC is also recommended.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLPworks expertly across the waterfront of SEC investigations, shareholder and derivative litigation’. ‘A miracle worker in the most difficult of cases’, San Francisco-based Sarah Good is ‘an exceptional attorney of the highest caliber, brilliant on substance and practical in execution’. Also in San Francisco is Bruce Ericson, who co-chairs the practice with Good, represents the CEO of Hewlett-Packard in huge class action and derivative cases relating to the Autonomy acquisition. 30-year litigation and enforcement veteran David Furbush is also recommended.

Ropes & Gray LLP has ‘a strong bench with a heavy buy-side focus’ that serves a broad private equity client base as well as many pharmaceutical, life sciences and biotechnology companies. Led from Boston by Jane Willis and Robert Jones, the team defended Columbia Laboratories against a shareholder action alleging the company misled investors about clinical studies supporting a new FDA drug application. ‘Securities litigator extraordinaireRichard Gallagher joined the San Francisco office from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Lean, mean and cost-effective, the firm punches above its weight’, say observers of Seward & Kissel LLP’s New York practice, which is ‘comfortable litigating alongside larger firms’. Litigation department co-chair Mark Hyland and Bruce Paulsen are defending Star Bulk Carriers in a shareholder class action and derivative claim challenging its acquisition of Oceanbulk Shipping. Co-chair Michael McNamara won summary judgment for Royal Bank of Canada in defense of a $140m claim brought by institutional investors.

In Chicago, Vedder Price’s Thomas Cimino successfully obtained dismissal of a nationwide shareholder class action for a large REIT and is busy with derivative lawsuits. Randall Lending is defending numerous clients in investigations by The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, one of which seeks $126m in damages. Germain Labat in Los Angeles, who joined from Mayer Brown, adds enviable trial experience.

White & Case LLP’s New York-based global director of commercial litigation Glenn Kurtz and Douglas Baumstein secured the dismissal of a class action against Talbots, which was accused of making false and misleading public statements to conceal inventory and vendor problems. They also saw dismissed with prejudice claims including a putative 10b-5 case against client Dynegy arising from its restructuring and refinancing in the months leading up to its bankruptcy filing. Owen Pell is also recommended.


Supreme Court and appellate

Index of tables

  1. Supreme Court
  2. Appellate
  3. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Bancroft PLLC’s team is headed up by former US Solicitor General Paul Clement who observers say ‘can’t be beaten’. In addition to a superb track record of some 75 cases before the Court, Clement is also ‘very busy on the appellate front’. Clement ‘is a very talented lawyer, but his overarching strength is his oral advocacy, and it’s his consistency that’s really amazing’. Associate Jeff Harris is ‘fabulous and a real star’. In October 2014, Clement presented argument before the Court on behalf of the appellant in Integrity Staffing Solutions v Busk in which the Court considered the question of whether post-shift security screenings are compensable activities under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Portal-to-Portal Act; in December, the Court found in favor of the client, reversing an earlier Ninth Circuit decision holding that time spent in screenings is not compensable under the Act. In another recent highlight Erin Murphy, ‘who is definitely someone who is up-and-coming, and is gaining some profile’, presented argument before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on behalf of the plaintiffs in Fyock v Sunnyvale; the case involves a Second Amendment challenge to a Sunnyvale ordinance that prohibits possession of magazines with a capacity of more than ten rounds. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Top-tierGibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is a ‘firm full of top talent’ – and even more so now that it has added former general counsel to the New York County District Attorney’s Office Caitlin Halligan to its ranks. Halligan joins a star line-up that includes Theodore Boutrous in Los Angeles, Thomas Hungar and former assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States Miguel Estrada, Theodore Olson (‘a real superstar: you think “wow"’), and the widely esteemed Mark Perry in Washington DC. Perry recently won a unanimous victory before the Court on behalf of CLS Bank in which it was established that intermediated settlement is not patent-eligible under Section 101 of the Patent Act. Other highlights before the Court included two major US Supreme Court victories for NML Capital, which Olson led on; and also Estrada’s representation of a group of Republican congressional leaders in which the Court unanimously affirmed a lower-court ruling holding unconstitutional three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The firm is also a consistent presence in appeals courts nationwide. Washington DC-based Helgi Walker secured a victory for Verizon in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the high-profile challenge to the FCC’s ‘net neutrality’ regulations governing internet access; the court vacated the FCC’s anti-discrimination requirements as violative of the Communications Act, a landmark decision with great ramifications for the internet going forward. Other key clients at the appellate level include Danisco and Covidien.

Former Solicitor General of the United States Gregory Garre presides over the team at Latham & Watkins LLP which recently strengthened its ranks with the return of Melissa Sherry after serving for five years as an assistant to the United States Solicitor General in the Department of Justice. Garre was recently active in Fisher v University of Texas in which the firm successfully defended the University of Texas’ race conscious admissions program against an attack on the plan and on race-conscious admissions plans more generally. In the appellate courts, the widely regarded Richard Bress secured a victory in the New York State Court of Appeals on behalf of the American Beverage Association in a successful challenge to the City of New York’s ban on sugar-sweetened soft drinks; the Court of Appeals struck down the Soda Ban as ultra vires, and ruled that the New York City Board of Health had exceeded its executive authority. Another highlight saw Garre represent WildTangent in Ultramercial v Hulu, obtaining a dismissal of patent infringement allegations made against the client.

Mayer Brown is ‘a go-to firm for high-stakes appellate work’. The ‘very strongStephen Shapiro, Andrew Pincus, Evan Tager, Archis Parasharami, Kevin Ranlett and Donald Falk (who ‘should be on every shortlist for high-stakes appellate work and US Supreme Court work’) form ‘an impressive team of big-hitting partners’. The firm recently represented Ray Haluch Gravel in Ray Haluch Gravel v Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers and participating employers, in which the firm successfully reversed a First Circuit decision; the widely esteemed Dan Himmelfarb argued the case. The firm also had a banner year in the appeals courts: for instance, Falk won a victory in the California Supreme Court on behalf of Target in Verdugo v Target, where the plaintiffs brought a wrongful-death action against the client for failing to make an automated external defibrillator available to a customer who died from cardiac arrest while shopping. One client enthuses: ‘no firm is better’.

Sidley Austin LLPis an outstanding firm’ and the team is led by Washington DC-based Joseph Guerra, Peter Keisler and Mark Haddad in Los Angeles, and Chicago-based Constantine Trela. Carter Phillips is another hugely significant figure at the firm and has a record 80 arguments before the Court, more than 100 cases in United States courts of appeals, and more than 25 in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2014, Keisler argued Utility Air Regulatory Group v EPA on behalf of The American Chemistry Council and several other trade associations; the Court was asked to consider whether the EPA misinterpreted the Clean Air Act to require preconstruction permits from stationary sources bases solely on the amount of greenhouse gases those sources emit, and held that the EPA has no authority to impose obligations on a source based solely on its emissions of greenhouse gases. In another highlight Jonathan Cohn acted for Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation in Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation v Hoeper, in which the Court held that the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, which grants airlines and their employees immunity against civil liability for reporting suspicious behavior, also accords immunity to materially true statements. Appeals-wise, Phillips was recently successful in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on behalf of KPMG in Pippins v KPMG; a class of employees known as audit associates challenged the district court’s summary judgment ruling that KPMG correctly classified them as overtime-exempt professionals under the Fair Labor Standards Act; the court affirmed the previous decision. The firm has also conducted significant appeals in the last year on behalf of AstraZeneca and Portland Cement Association.

WilmerHale is built around the talents of department chair Seth Waxman who in 2014 ‘had one of the best years anyone can remember’, and now has 69 Supreme Court cases to his name. Danielle Spinelli, Mark Fleming and Paul Wolfson are also standout names. Waxman represented POM Wonderful in a case against Coca-Cola; the Supreme Court agreed with the client that neither the FDCA nor the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations preclude Lanham Act claims, a ruling that ensures that the Lanham Act remains available to protect the commercial interests of the food industry against unfair competition. The firm also handles pro bono work such as 2014’s Hall v Florida where, in a 5-4 opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court reasoned that there was a national consensus against the use of IQ tests as a rigid cut-off in determining whether an individual possesses an intellectual disability. On the appellate front, it is the variety of the work that most impresses: in 2014, 13 different attorneys made 27 arguments in six different federal and state courts of appeals across a range of legal issues including antitrust, bankruptcy, communications, constitutional law, criminal law, intellectual property, financial institutions, and securities law. Waxman recently won a victory on behalf of RBS in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in which it was held that RBS’ existing disclosures satisfied its legal obligations. Monsanto is another client of the team.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s 15-lawyer department is built around the superb win-loss record of Lisa Blatt, who has prevailed in an impressive 32 out of her 33 Supreme Court arguments to date. This streak continued in 2014 when Blatt was successful in Frank v Walker, when the Court granted the clients’ emergency application to block implementation of Wisconsin’s voter ID law. Blatt is also active in landmark matters in the appeals courts; she represented GlaxoSmithKline before the Ninth Circuit in which it was held that the Constitution forbids using peremptory strikes against gays and lesbians from jury service based on their sexual orientation, and that the client was entitled to a new trial because Abbott improperly struck a juror on this basis. Jerome Falk rejoined the firm’s San Francisco office.

Hogan Lovells has ‘a lot of momentum in the appellate space’ with Neal Katyal and Cate Stetson making ‘a strong team’. Recent highlights include representing Highmark in a case against Allcare Health; the firm scored a 9-0 victory on behalf of the client, with the Court asserting that all aspects of the exceptional case determination underlying patent fee awards must be reviewed for abuse of discretion, and it will now be easier for patent-holders to obtain sanctions against plaintiffs that bring meritless patent suits. Katyal presented argument on the aforementioned matter, and also acted for Bay Mills Indian Community in Michigan v Bay Mills Indian Community, this time securing a 5-4 decision, effectively barring the state of Michigan from suing the client tribe for operating an off-reservation casino in Vanderbilt; the widely esteemed Jessica Ellsworth also played a prominent role in this matter. In the 2013-2014 year, the firm’s lawyers presented more than 30 appellate arguments. New York-based Dori Ann Hanswirth won a victory for Fox News reporter Jana Winter in which the New York Court of Appeals reversed a decision of the lower courts, ruling that Winter was not compelled to reveal her source in the context of a murder enquiry. Other key clients at the appellate level include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ford and GE Capital. Unless otherwise stated, named attorneys work in Washington DC.

The ‘excellent’ group at Jenner & Block LLP is ‘very responsive, provides good advice, and works very well with strong in-house counsel, and staffs matters appropriately’. The ‘highly skilledPaul Smith recently acted for Fox Broadcasting before the Supreme Court against Aereo, securing a 6-3 verdict in favor of the client, establishing that Aereo’s retransmission of copyrighted over-the-air television programming without broadcaster authorization is a violation of copyright law. Matthew Hellman, who is ‘a great young appellate star, a very clear strategic and legal thinker, good on his feet, and a great writer’, is also a force before the Court, securing a win for pro bono client Stephen Law in Law v Siegel, and also leading a team that drafted amicus brief on behalf of the Service Employees International Union in Harris v Quinn. At the appellate level, the firm was particularly active in 2014-5 in the second and third circuits on behalf of clients such as Dow Chemical and Certified Environmental Services. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Washington DC-based Beth Heifetz heads the strong offering at Jones Day which spans 12 offices and boasts 36 former United States Supreme Court clerks and 62 former federal courts of appeals clerks. It is not surprising therefore to find the firm active before the Supreme Court and displaying a nationwide footprint in the appellate courts. In respect of the former, a team led by Noel Francisco secured a favorable verdict on behalf of the Noel Canning Corporation, holding that President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB exceeded the scope of his authority under the Recess Appointments Clause. In another Supreme Court highlight, the firm won a verdict for The Susan B Anthony List, holding that advocacy groups may pursue their First Amendment challenge to Ohio’s criminal prohibition on making false statements in election campaigns, overturning a previous adverse Sixth Circuit decision. On the appeals front, the firm won a significant decision from The Ninth Circuit affirming the district court’s decision to overturn a $1.3bn verdict against SAP in a long-running copyright dispute with Oracle. The firm also conducted significant work in appeals courts on behalf of the City of Detroit and RJ Reynolds.

Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C. is ‘high quality, with very significant, good people’. The firm has argued 43 appeals before the Supreme Court across a range of matters including arbitration, antitrust, civil RICO, communications, copyright, and federal jurisdiction. In a recent highlight it represented the petitioner technology company in winning unanimous reversal of a Federal Circuit ruling expanding the doctrine of induced infringement in Limelight Networks v Akamai Technologies; the widely regarded Aaron Panner argued the case. This firm is also strong in the appeals court, particularly in patent-related appeals before Federal Circuit panels and the en banc court. David Frederick ‘is terrific and does a lot in the Supreme Court’. All mentioned attorneys are in Washington DC.

King & Spalding LLP has a number of highly respected practitioners including former acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bucholtz, who is ‘doing a great job’, and is particularly noted for life sciences, administrative, healthcare and product liability work, Daryl Joseffer who ‘justifiably gets a lot of attention and is doing a lot of work in the Federal Circuit’ and is well regarded for IP appeals, and Ashley Parrish who is noted for energy-related appeals. Recent Supreme Court highlights include a 9-0 win in Walden v Fiore which established important limits on due process personal jurisdiction; Bucholtz argued. Meanwhile, Parrish won a victory on behalf of Carol Ann Bond in Bond v United States, in which it was held that the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act did not reach Ms Bond’s conviction for simple assault. In the lower courts, the firm won major victories on behalf of The Electric Power Supply Association, Chevron and Eisai. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is ‘one of the best firms available’. With Michael McConnell taking the lead, it recently represented the petitioners in the Supreme Court matter Marvin D Horne et al. v United States Department of Agriculture, a matter concerning the validity of fines sought by the Department of Agriculture from raisin farmers; the firm won a favorable decision before the Court regarding jurisdiction and the remainder of the matter is now under review by the Court. On the appeals front, the firm recently won a victory on behalf of ConAgra before the Seventh Circuit in a case relating to a fire at the client’s premises, and the firm managed to overturn an earlier adverse verdict against the client of $130m. Luke Dauchot and Alex Mackimmon are ‘best in class’. Christopher Landau and Jay Lefkowitz also have superb reputations. All in all this is a ‘superior firm for litigation’.

Wonder woman’ Kathleen Sullivan heads the team at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP which has won five merits cases before the Court in the last six years. New York-based Sheila Birnbaum recently represented Randy Shauers and his insurer State Farm Insurance in Warger v Shauers; the Court will decide whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) permits a party moving for a new trial based on alleged juror dishonesty during voir dire to introduce juror testimony about allegedly dishonest statements made during deliberations. The firm is also notable for handling high-stakes appeals both on behalf of Samsung affiliates in the smartphone wars, and on behalf of Shell in respect of its $4bn Arctic drilling operations. The firm is particularly strong in the Federal Circuit – where the hugely respected San Francisco-based Charles Verhoeven has an outstanding 14-1 win-loss record – and in the New York Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court.

The ‘outstandingRobbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauberis very active before the Court and in the courts of appeal’. Roy Englert ‘is very very good, and there is a next generation including Mark Stancil - who has multiple Supreme Court and in courts of appeal cases and is an impressive lawyer’. In 2015, Stancil will argue Harris v Viegelahn, where he will take the position that the Chapter 13 trustee’s services terminate upon conversion, and that funds in the trustee’s possession must be refunded at the point of conversion to the debtor if they are not part of the estate. In the lower courts, the firm recently won a victory on behalf of the US Chamber before the Georgia Supreme Court, with the court reversing an earlier class certification order. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Top-notch’ shop Williams & Connolly LLPhas an excellent reputation that is well earned’. The standout figure is Kannon Shanmugam, ‘ a graceful writer and a very fluid and polished oral advocate’ who ‘understands the need to make an appellate brief tell a compelling story, which is one of the reasons that he has had a recent spate of cases in the Supreme Court’. Recent examples include representing Brandon C Clark and Heidi K Heffron-Clark in Clark v Rameker. In 2015, Shanmugam will argue Omnicare v Laborers District Council on behalf of Omnicare, in which the Court will decide under what circumstances a statement of opinion is actionable under the federal securities laws. At the appeals level, the firm is acting for AstraZeneca in the In re Nexium antitrust litigation and for Pfizer in GD. Searle v Lupin Pharmaceuticals before the Federal Circuit. Associate Allison Jones has ‘excellent knowledge of the Supreme Court and excellent writing advocacy skills’. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a ‘terrific firm’. Group co-head Pratik Shah is ‘very good, very smart’ and ‘has all the qualities and capabilities’, as well as a strong track record before the Court with 13 arguments to date. Rex Heinke – who also co-heads the team from Los Angeles – had a strong year in the appellate courts; he was active in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Sutherland v Ernst & Young on behalf of Ernst & Young, securing a favorable ruling concerning the enforceability of arbitration agreements established by the Federal Arbitration Act. In another highlight, Dallas-based Mary O’Connor led advice to Planned Parenthood of Houston in a case in which the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a qui tam suit against the client alleging fraudulent Medicaid billing practices under the False Claims Act and Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act.

Robert Long’s 31-lawyer team at Covington & Burling LLP has an ‘impressive bench of attorneys’ including Paul Schmidt and ‘up-and-coming starMark Mosier. Long recently successfully argued Fifth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer, in which the Supreme Court unanimously vacated a lower court decision effectively exonerating the bank from any wrongdoing in failing to foresee the drop in price of employee stock ownership plans. Mosier represented a group of religious organizations including the Baptist Joint Committee For Religious Liberty in Town of Greece v Galloway, filing a brief arguing against the constitutionality of predominantly Christian prayers. In the appellate courts, the firm is currently representing Chiquita in large Alien Tort Statute litigation involving more than 6000 plaintiffs.

Goodwin Procter LLP is headed by ‘veteran’ William Jay, a former Assistant Solicitor General who has argued 11 Supreme Court cases. In a highlight the firm recently represented Teva Pharmaceuticals in a case against Sandoz, in which the client is seeking to prevent the launch of a purported generic version of COPAXONE. Jay also won a significant victory before the Fourth Circuit on behalf of Municipal Mortgage & Equity in Yates v Municipal Mortgage & Equity, a major Securities Act case. Other clients include Cisco and Wells Fargo.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has an impressive Supreme Court practice built around the constitutional law expertise of Miller Baker who regularly files amicus curiae briefs before the Court, and Bobby Burchfield, who is ‘a very fine attorney indeed’. Burchfield was recently active on behalf of Senator Mitch McConnell in McCutcheon and RNC v Federal Election Commission; the Court was asked to decide whether the aggregate contribution limit is invalid under the First Amendment and Burchfield was permitted to argue on behalf of McConnell, a rare event for an amicus curiae. Baker was also active on behalf of the State of Arizona in Arizona v Inter Tribal Council in which the Court held that Arizona, not Congress, has the last word over the qualifications for its voters. In the lower courts, the firm had a slew of victories, including a win for Liberty Mutual in a Second Circuit ERISA pre-emption decision, a successful 9/11 Appeal for the WTC Captive Insurance Company, and a Federal Circuit Win for Hanmi Pharmaceuticals in a patent infringement matter against AstraZeneca.

At ‘well-developed and respected’ firm MoloLamken LLP, the key figure is name partner Jeffrey Lamken, ‘who has a background in energy work. He has more flexibility than the big firms in terms of conflicts and pricing structure’. Lamken has argued 21 cases before the US Supreme Court and briefed on a wide range of topics, including administrative law, civil rights, criminal procedure, and IP. In terms of the lower courts, the firm recently obtained a key victory for investors in four RMBS trusts worth in excess of $4bn when the US District Court for the District of Connecticut ruled that the cases can move forward against WMC, a mortgage loan originator owned by GE.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP’s widely esteemed head Allyson Ho has a busy docket in 2015 and will argue two cases back to back before the Court. In the first, Ho will argue on behalf of M&G Polymers in the retiree benefits case M&G Polymers v Tackett; the Court will decide how to construe silence in collective bargaining agreements as to the duration of retiree healthcare benefits provided by the employer. In the second, Ho will argue Perez v Mortgage Bankers Association on behalf of the defendant, in which the Court will decide when an administrative agency must use notice and comment procedures to reverse course on a previously authoritative position. The firm had an impressive 2014 in the appellate courts, prevailing in the Sixth Circuit on behalf of American Airlines in a complex ERISA case, and scoring a notable victory on behalf of Hon Hai Precision Industry in the Second Circuit affirming the dismissal of an antitrust suit brought by Lotes. San Francisco-based Thomas Peterson is another name to note.

In 2014 Morrison & Foerster LLP added former assistant to the Solicitor-General Joseph Palmore as co-chair of its specialist appellate division. In Palmore and Deanne Maynard ‘the firm now has two of the top practitioners in the field, with deep expertise in areas like intellectual property, telecommunications, and environmental law’. Brian Matsui and Los Angeles-based Miriam Vogel are also significant names. Maynard recently represented Sandoz and Momenta Pharmaceuticals in Teva v Sandoz in complex patent litigation related to multiple sclerosis drug COPAXONE. This firm also has great strength before the second, ninth and federal circuits. For instance Benjamin Fox recently won a victory on behalf of internet service providers Verizon, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, reversing a district judge’s ruling that had allowed the plaintiff to subpoena ISPs for personal information linked to more than 1,000 internet subscribers. Other key appellate clients include Target and Sling Media. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Among the best firms’ in this space, O’Melveny & Myers LLP provides ‘excellent service and value’. Charles Lifland, Walter Dellinger and Jonathan Hacker are all highly recommended. In Ford v United States the firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of Ford in a dispute over the accrual of interest on its overpayment of taxes, thus persuading the Court to grant cert. The firm had a banner year in the lower courts, with Lifland leading in securing two major victories for Johnson & Johnson before the Supreme Courts of Arkansas and Louisiana in litigation over the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Other key work was undertaken for ACE and Caribbean Petroleum Liquidating Trust.

The standout figure at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is Joshua Rosenkranz whose Supreme Court and appellate practice is remarkably diverse, spanning securities, intellectual property, antitrust, federal pre-emption and insurance. Among his recent clients are Morgan Stanley, Nintendo, and UBS. Eric Shumsky, who has authored more than 75 briefs before the Supreme Court and is a former acting deputy director and special appellate counsel of the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the US Department of Justice is another significant figure in the team, as is Robert Loeb. All aforementioned are based in Washington DC.

Paul Hastings LLP had two significant victories before the Supreme Court in the last year. Neal Mollen prevailed in Christopher v GlaxoSmithKline Beecham in which it was established that pharmaceutical sales representatives are not entitled to overtime pay, a significant win for the client. In another highlight, Stephen Kinnaird represented Marvin Peugh in Peugh v United States in which the Court held by a 5-4 vote that a federal judge’s reliance on tough guidelines in fashioning Peugh’s sentence constituted an ex post facto violation. The firm also won a significant class action case on behalf of AT&T Mobility in Rodriguez v AT&T Mobility in the Ninth Circuit, and a reversal on behalf of Kolon Industries of a $919m jury verdict in a trade secrets matter in the Fourth Circuit. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Proskauer Rose LLP is ‘excellent in all respects’ and praised for its knowledge of the different culture at different circuits: Mark Harris is ‘knowledgeable’ about the Supreme Court; Elise Bloom is valued for her ‘knowledge of the Second, Third and Seventh Circuits’ and Mark Batten possesses ‘substantive knowledge of the FLSA’. Harris recently acted for Biosig Instruments in Nautilus v Biosig Instruments in which the Court issued a favorable opinion regarding the standard of clarity required for a patent claim. The firm also conducted significant work in the appellate courts in 2014 on behalf of Maimonides Medical Center Fox Searchlight and Giant of Maryland. One client enthuses: ‘this firm is among the best we’ve used’.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is an ‘on-the-move Supreme Court practice’ which is ‘on a dramatic upward trajectory’. Washington DC-based Jeffrey Wall, who ‘takes charge of the process, strongly influences the direction and shape of the analysis and produces excellent briefs’, is counsel for Barclays and other major financial institutions in a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court in 2015, after the US District Court for the Southern District of New York granted Barclays’ joint motion to dismiss antitrust and RICO claims related to alleged manipulation of LIBOR. Porsche Automobil Holding and JPMorgan Chase are also clients of this ‘elite firm’. On the appeals front, it has particular strength in the ninth and second circuits.

First rate in every respect’, Vinson & Elkins LLP is especially noted as ‘an outstanding law firm in the energy field’. Praise abounds for lawyers at this firm: Washington DC-based John Elwoodcompares favorably’, Dallas-based Thomas Leatherburyis excellent at developing overall legal strategy, and appellate briefing and oral advocacy’, and Dallas-based Marie Yeates’ ‘appellate advocacy work, including oral argument expertise, is of a very high order’. In 2015, Elwood will argue US ex rel Carter v KBR on behalf of KBR in which the Court will revisit the Fourth Circuit’s earlier reading of the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act and first-to-file bar, both issues that affect qui tam defendants. The Episcopal Leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and The Port of Houston Authority are active clients of this firm’s thriving appellate division. All in all, this firm is ‘first in class’.

The ‘excellent and top-rate’ Andrew McBride at Wiley Rein LLP has a superb reputation before the Supreme Court and before the country’s appellate courts. The widely esteemed Brian Pandya recently assisted the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association as amicus in support of Highmark at both the certiorari and merit stages of Supreme Court case Highmark v Allcare Health; the firm also filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Defense Industrial Association in Kellogg Brown & Root Services v Harris. The firm handled significant appeals in the last year on behalf of Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Friedberg, Smith & Company. Richard Simpson is ‘a great writer with a great demeanor’. Megan Brown is ‘top of the list’. William Consovoy left to start Consovoy McCarthy PLLC, a new boutique which is expected to be a future player in the market.

Winston & Strawn LLP has ‘an impressive number of star attorneys’ and ‘always does first-rate work’. Linda Coberly was recently active alongside Kannon Shanmugam of Williams & Connolly LLP on behalf of Omnicare in Omnicare v Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund, a matter involving the pleading standards for claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933. Coberly is also expert in corporate fraud, professional liability and bankruptcy trustee appeals. Steffen Johnson, who is ‘a fantastic name’ for patent litigation, particularly in the pharmaceuticals space, recently won a victory for Mutual Pharma in Tyco Healthcare v Mutual Pharmaceutical, a patent infringement matter relating to the insomnia drug Restoril. Elizabeth Papez is noted for financial services and antitrust work. An observer states: ‘if someone is looking for high-quality, timely, sophisticated legal work in high-profile cases, they can’t go wrong with this firm’.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP favors a vertical approach to litigation, meaning that it is frequently found in the appellate courts as a natural step to having handled matters at trial. The work is often of a rarefied nature: for instance Robert Baron recently led in representing Agrium Asia Pacific in an action filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York by the Republic of Iraq against 93 defendants who allegedly participated in a conspiracy to corrupt the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food Programme; the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed the appeal, a win for the client. This is also a ‘go-to firm’ for complex securities appeals, for which area Richard Clary is a standout practitioner. Firm presiding partner Evan Chesler has a superb reputation, and has been particularly active of late in high-stakes pharmaceuticals appeals. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s team leader Warren Harris is a ‘very, very good lawyer’ and the firm itself has a superb reputation. Harris recently represented W&T Offshore in W&T Offshore v Indemnity Insurance Company of North America et al, winning judgment for the client in a reversal of the district court’s decision that the underwriters were not liable for W&T’s removal of wreck and debris as a result of losses incurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Dale Wainright, who ‘does outstanding work’, appears regularly before the Supreme Court of Texas and has authored more than 125 opinions during a standout career.

Hartford-based Eric Brunstad, Steven Feirson in Philadelphia, and the ‘particularly good’ Washington DC-based Steven Engel are the names to note at Dechert LLP. The firm handles the full ambit of appellate law from antitrust to banking, as well as IP and telecoms. The firm is also a presence before the Supreme Court; for instance, Brunstad recently won a victory on behalf of Peter H Arkison in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v Arkison; in this instance the Court held unanimously that bankruptcy courts may treat so-called Stern claims as if they are non-core and may submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law for review by the district court. Other key clients include DHL Express and NML Capital.

Elliot Scherker’s team at Greenberg Traurig LLPdoes extraordinary work’ on account of its ‘ability to understand the issues in depth, and present them simply, clearly, and in a compelling fashion to the court’. The firm has an impressively varied docket and recently prevailed on a number of labor and employment appeals including on behalf of Mia Resorts in the Third Circuit, and also lodged an important amicus brief before the Supreme Court on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Businesses in Noel Canning v NLRB. The firm also won a major $145bn reversal on appeal for Lorillard Tobacco. Scherker ‘has a clear and analytic mind, and an affable personality’.

Nixon Peabody LLPdoes excellent work’. David Tennant (‘a fine and knowledgeable attorney’) recently represented Madison County and Oneida County in Oneida Indian Nation of New York v Madison County and Oneida County, a matter involving taxation of tribally owned properties that are held in fee and were recently purchased from non-Indian landowners; in 2014 a historic settlement was reached. Thaddeus Stauber has a superb reputation for complex appeals in the art world.

Reed Smith LLPis an excellent litigation firm’ and its lawyers ‘are always available, very responsive, provide excellent service at reasonable rates and are very cost efficient’. The firm is particularly strong on the West Coast, where department chair Paul Fogel recently led on advice to the Appellate Division of the Los Angeles County Superior Court in a matter before the Supreme Court of California in which it was established that Penal Code section 959.1(c), which permits court clerks to issue misdemeanor complaints arising from a driver’s failure to appear in traffic court on a traffic citation, was constitutional. Other key clients include Anthem Blue Cross and Highmark. Stuart Shanus ‘has a very good understanding of a client’s concerns and internal processes’ and Raymond Cardozo ‘has an exceptional legal mind’.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLPis best in class across all categories’ and ‘truly impressive’. In 2014, the ‘indefatigable’ Barry Ostrager joined forces with department co-chair Mary Kay Vyskocil and the ‘incredibly dedicated’ Jonathan Weiss to represent Norex in a suit against Russian oligarchs regarding the illegal takeover of Norex’s stake in a Russian oil field. Deutsche Bank is another key client of the firm, which overall is ‘recommended wholeheartedly and without hesitation’.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP fields a varied litigation practice. The widely well-regarded Steven Reiss continues to represent Sotheby’s in the appellate phase of a high-profile suite of class action cases brought by groups of artists that allege that the client and other auction houses failed to comply with the California Resale Royalties Act. In another standout piece of work Gregory Silbert and James Quinn recently acted for Simon & Schuster in an appeal concerning electronic books pricing. Other clients include Walt Disney and Newegg. All named lawyers are based in New York.


Trade secrets

Index of tables

  1. Trade secrets
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.’s Rachael Meny is a strong name for trade secrets litigation; she recently defended Netflix in Jerry Kowal v Netflix and Amazon before the Los Angeles County Superior Court in a high-profile defamation and blacklisting lawsuit; all the plaintiff’s claims were dismissed five and a half months after the complaint was filed. ‘Absolutely superb’ name partner John Keker brings broad courtroom experience to the table, and Jeffrey Chanin also has a strong reputation. Pinterest and TrueBlood Network are also flagship clients. All named lawyers are based in San Francisco. One commentator observes: ‘If you look at the work this firm does, it’s definitely top tier’.

Top tierKirkland & Ellis LLP draws on its 435-partner strong litigation practice, as well as a standout IP division, to service clients across the country in this space. Los Angeles-based Diana Torres, who is ‘the crème de la crème’, is currently defending LifeLock subsidiaries Lemon and Lemon Argentina in a dispute relating to bitcoin wallet technology. In another highlight, Chicago-based Nader Boulous and New York-based Jay Lefkowitz are defending Akorn in a misappropriation of trade secrets suit filed by Fera; a substantial portion of the complaint was dismissed in 2013 and the remainder of the matter is ongoing. Boeing, Miller UK, and Avison Young are also on its roster. One client reports: ‘When I get a really tough case, this is the firm I approach’.

Robert Shwarts’ team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLPcompares very favorably indeed in this sector’. The firm recently represented The Sierra Railroad Company in a trade secrets misappropriation dispute with Patriot Rail, and was able to prove that the latter misused the client’s confidential trade secret information, obtained during failed acquisition discussions, in order to submit a bid for a rail contract at McClellan Business Park; the firm has so far been successful in securing a federal jury $17.4m damages award and a jury verdict of $22m and will now proceed to seek exemplary damages. Sacramento-based Michael Weed led on the aforementioned matter. Silicon Valley-based Neel Chatterjee, whose clients include Facebook, LinkedIn and Oracle, is another name to note.

Paul Hastings LLPis as good as or better than other firms at handling the most difficult litigation’. New York-based Victoria Cundiff is arguably the firm’s standout figure and provides ‘excellent advice’. Cundiff is particularly experienced in high-stakes cloud technology litigation, and also has numerous clients in the fashion industry. Carla Walworth is another name to note in New York. The firm also has significant strength in Palo Alto; for instance, Bradford Newman was lead counsel to Zynga in a very large trade secrets case in the gaming industry, successfully securing a preliminary injunction enjoining a competitor of the client from releasing a specific game with a specific game mechanic.

One highlight for the team at ‘litigation powerhouseQuinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP was its representation of Sukhoi Civil Aircraft in Aeromanagement v Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, in which the plaintiff alleged that the client had received the designs for the Sukhoi Super Jet from Aeromanagement; a team led by Silicon Valley-based Claude Stern successfully secured the suit’s dismissal. Widely esteemed New York-based attorney Robert Raskopf is currently defending Las Vegas Sands and The Venetian in a $5bn claim brought by Asian American Entertainment in relation to copyright issues surrounding a joint bid which failed to proceed. This firm has an enviable client base of household names including Google, Samsung, Motorola, Qualcomm and General Motors. It also has impressive international reach into Europe and the Far East.

Covington & Burling LLP is ‘among the best’ for trade secrets work. The firm is strong across the board on trade secrets matters, both in the contentious arena and in cybersecurity issues and economic espionage. The firm recently acted for Intercos in Intercos et al v Cosmetic Group USA, a long-running matter which began as a patent infringement defense on behalf of the client but ended with a favorable settlement between the parties, protecting all the client’s trade secrets; Washington DC-based George Pappas led the team. Other standout attorneys at the firm include Kevin Collins who is also based in Washington DC, Silicon Valley-based Kurt Calia, and Michael Plimack who is a significant figure in the firm’s San Francisco office. Other key clients include Monsanto and Manheim Auctions.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has over 175 lawyers working on trade secrets matters, with particular strength in its California and Chicago offices. Silicon Valley-based Eric Hagen and Daniel Alberti recently achieved a victory on behalf of Seagate Technology against Convolve and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, after plaintiffs asserted misappropriation of 57 trade secrets, infringement of three patents, breach of a nondisclosure agreement and various other business torts; in July 2014 all allegations were dismissed. Another highlight saw Chicago-based Linda Doyle secure a victory on behalf of The Heico Companies in a trade secrets matter, prevailing on all counts in state court in Ohio. Other clients include Butterfly Health and Quidel.

Morrison & Foerster LLP is ‘rated very highly’ for its ‘business acumen’ and its provision of ‘practical, straightforward advice that helps the client address real-world business problems’. Team head and standout trial lawyer Arturo Gonzalez recently represented Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in a dispute with Phaedrus Internet Development over the usage of a web-based application known as CLAY; the court found that there was no competent evidence to support the claim that the client had misappropriated the trade secret. ManTech International and Konica Minolta are also significant clients of the team. Palo Alto-based Kenneth Kuwayti ‘is at the top of his game and is a great legal mind’. San Francisco-based Harold McElhinny ‘has a wealth of experience, which allows him to provide extremely practical legal advice’.

San Francisco-based Darin Snyder heads the offering at O’Melveny & Myers LLP which is particularly strong on the West Coast with offices and partner strength in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley and Newport Beach. Eric Amdursky recently represented the president and COO of Global Medical Solutions Jay Simon in reaching a favorable settlement with Global Medical Solutions after the team secured partial summary judgment that the plaintiff’s conversion claim was pre-empted by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The firm is also conducting significant work for Extreme Reach, successfully securing a preliminary injunction against three departing California sales managers who accessed significant confidential customer information in the week before their simultaneous resignations. Fusion Multisystems, Integrated Device Technologies and Viacom are also clients of the team.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s team is built around the talents of Michael Album, who is particularly expert in compensation arrangements with non-compete and post-termination restrictions, and Newark-based John Barry, an experienced litigator who counts Sientra, RBS, and Sotheby’s among his clients. In a recent highlight, Barry led representation of Citizens Bank in litigation against former financial services representative Frank Oftring; the firm successfully obtained a permanent injunction on behalf of the client. AOL, The New York Times Company and Sanofi are also key clients of the team.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP is ‘well worth it’, according to clients. The firm fields a dedicated practice which is well versed in trade secret theft and misappropriation, violations of non-competes and computer fraud, and it also has a 12-attorney e-discovery and information governance group. Clients ‘could not be happier’ with the service provided by Chicago-based team head Michael Wexler, who recently acted for Stryker in securing a preliminary injunction barring Blue Belt and former Stryker employee, James Bruty from using the client’s confidential information and from soliciting any of its customers or employees. Wexler is also joining forces with Jason Patrick Stiehl (‘provides support whenever issues arise’) to assist Danaher in bringing forward claims against CorDEX Instruments in alleging that trade secrets related to the design for IR-windows had been misappropriated.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLPconstructs attorney teams on a national level that provide highly tailored advice to address very specific types of claims or combinations of issues. The result is a premier level of service that very few firms can match.’ The firm recently obtained a preliminary injunction in Nevada federal court in a trade secrets case on behalf of Smart City Holdings and Smart City Networks. Other clients include Health Management Systems, Genstar Capital and Evolution1. Silicon Valley-based Christopher Cox is ‘recommended because of his deep trade secrets experience and history of success handling large, multi-jurisdictional disputes. He brings a great deal of subject matter expertise along with an understanding of technology, litigation strategy, crisis management, forensics and e-discovery’. Jeffrey Klein is the contact for the firm’s New York practice, and has ‘tremendous experience’.

With offices in Denver and Chicago, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP retains its superb reputation across the range of trade secrets litigation. The firm is also noteworthy for its experienced trial lawyers: Chicago-based Sean Gallagher has deep experience in complex litigation and Lindley Brenza in Denver has a strong track record in trade secrets representations; she recently represented Pratt & Whitney in a series of suits, namely United Technologies Corporation v Precision Technologies, United Technologies Corporation v Chromalloy Gas Turbine, and In re Excel Industries, scoring a victory in each to successfully protect the client’s trade secrets relating to aircraft engine parts and services.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP has rich experience litigating in the trade secrets context across a variety of industries, including computer technology, insurance and reinsurance, telecoms and finance. In a highlight, Roger Brooks and George Zobitz implemented a global strategy on behalf of flagship client DuPont for the protection and enforcement of its trade secrets relating to chloride-route production of titanium dioxide pigment, after former employees misappropriated those secrets to a Chinese manufacturer. Other key clients include Qualcomm and Renaissance Technologies. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP fields a team of 18 partners across offices in Palo Alto, Boston and Washington DC and handles the range of trade secrets work, from non-disclosure contracts with employees and third parties to litigation if the need arises. The firm retains strength in the energy, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing sectors. Don Burley is a suitable contact in Washington DC, and Scott Mosko in Palo Alto is a name to note. Clients include Xylem, Richwave and LG Electronics.

Perry Viscounty heads the team at Latham & Watkins LLP out of Silicon Valley which benefits from IP strength and from international reach into London, New York and Washington DC. San Francisco-based James Lynch is currently representing Lyft in litigation against the company’s former COO alleging breach of written contract, confidentiality agreement and fiduciary duty, by allegedly taking Lyft materials to a competitor. Other clients include household names such as Ford and GE. Matthew Rawlinson is another name to note in the firm’s Silicon Valley office. Viscounty and San Diego-based Jennifer Barry are ‘creative thinking with broad knowledge and show dedication’. All in all this is a firm that has ‘earned its reputation in the IP industry’.

Alan Grimaldi and John Mancini are the significant names at Mayer Brown in a team notable for its global reach into Europe and Asia and also for its trial lawyer and appellate-level expertise. The firm is active across a range of industries including biotechnology, food products, and pharmaceuticals. In a highlight, Mancini is currently assisting Cricket Wireless in M Seven System Limited v Leap Wireless International et al, a federal district court case involving claims of trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement and violation of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, in which it is alleged that a former employee of the client worked with a group of subcontractors in Korea to steal a source code. The firm’s eclectic client roster also includes Faiveley Transport and Avago Technologies.

Schiff Hardin LLP fields a group of attorneys expert in trade secrets litigation: Linda Stevens is experienced in emergency injunctive relief in trade secrets, Roger Pascal has a track record in landmark trade secrets litigation such as 1995’s PepsiCo v Redmond and Quaker Oats, which established the now widely used doctrine of inevitable disclosure. Trial lawyer Matthew Prewitt also has a superb record in multi-year trade secrets litigation. All named lawyers are based in Chicago.

Choate, Hall & Stewart is co-chaired by Paul Popeo and Michael Bunis, and litigates in the trade secrets context across the country. Popeo is currently serving as counsel to EMC in several cases relating to former key employees who left the company to found a commercial rival using stolen trade secrets; preliminary injunction has already been achieved in two of the cases and arbitration is pending in three others. Other key clients include New England BioLabs, EMC and AvePoint.

Recent highlights at Dorsey & Whitney LLP include Joseph Hammell acting as co-lead counsel for the defense in an employee raiding and trade secret case before the Eighth Circuit with claimed damages of $450m. David Murphy is a suitable contact in the firm’s Palo Alto office. New York-based Nick Akerman, who has notable experience in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, recently represented Lockheed Martin in trade secrets and computer fraud case against L-3 Communications.

FisherBroyles, LLP was bolstered in 2014 by the arrival of Mark Halligan from Nixon Peabody LLP. Halligan recently represented bankruptcy attorney Peter Geraci in Peter Geraci v R William Amidon and Thomas Macey, a matter involving the alleged misappropriation of trade secret software source code, systems and processes by defendants; the case is scheduled for trial by jury. CVS Pharmacy and Bob Rogers Travel are also clients of the team.

Kurt Kappes in Sacramento and Rich McCrea in Tampa jointly head the team at Greenberg Traurig LLP which has grown tremendously over the last 10 years to comprise 90 fee-earners with involvement in matters across the country. William Briendel is ‘highly recommended’. The firm is currently representing RadioShack and Joseph Magnacca in Walgreens v Magnacca and RadioShack, in defense of allegations that Magnacca breached the non-solicitation provision in his employment agreement by soliciting other employees to leave Walgreens and work at RadioShack; injunctive relief was successfully secured for the client, as well as a $1.8m award. Other clients include NFP and Air Express International.

Excellent in all areasKilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has an impressive mix of clients including mature businesses, joint ventures, and Fortune 50 companies. Atlanta-based James Bogan heads a team in which Joel Bush and Thomas Christopher are also significant figures in the firm’s Atlanta office, and Mehrnaz Boroumand Smith and James Gilliland are suitable contacts in the firm’s San Francisco base. The firm recently represented Jackson Therapy Partners in an instance where a top salesperson left to start up a competing business having transferred sensitive data to a personal e-mail account; the firm retrieved the data and managed to secure a permanent injunction on behalf of the client. All in all, this is a firm that demonstrates ‘resourcefulness’.

Exceptional’ and ‘top-notchMcKenna Long & Aldridge LLPworks on all sizes of matters, including very high-profile matters’. The team is led by the ‘superb’ Lora Brzezynski, and has nine offices, which enables it to act across an impressive range of courts and industries including energy, finance and the military. In a highlight, Washington DC-based Daniel Johnson recently successfully defended Analex in an alleged $30m misappropriation of trade secrets claim after a two-year jury trial. San Diego-based John Vaughn is ‘smart, pragmatic, diligent, and always a pleasure to deal with’. All in all, this is a firm that offers ‘considerable expertise’ and a ‘results-oriented approach’.

Although Nixon Peabody LLP will miss the talents of Mark Halligan who recently left for FisherBroyles, LLP, the arrival of Jeffrey Lokey from Greenberg Traurig LLP was a positive move, and the team continues to be a force in the market. Lokey recently represented Education.com Holdings Inc in a case involving trade secret misappropriation claims against a former employee who copied the company’s server, software architecture and confidential files and then started a competing business; the firm was successful in securing legal fees and a permanent injunction. Other clients include Priewasser and V Solar Holdings. San Francisco-based Robert Weikert heads the team.

Recent highlights for the team at WilmerHale include obtaining an award of $32.7m in damages for Fusion Lighting in an action against Northrop Grumman involving misappropriation of trade secrets and patent rights. In another, the firm achieved a favorable result for software company Raindrop Geomagic in a trade secret misappropriation suit brought by two large hearing aid manufacturers – Siemens Hearing Instruments and Phonak – involving the application of sophisticated hearing aid software. Boston-based Donald Steinberg, New York-based Jane Love and Joseph Haag in Palo Alto, all have superb reputations.

Winston & Strawn LLPprovides an excellent service throughout’. Houston office managing partner John Keville is ‘an outstanding lawyer, dedicated to representing his clients’; he recently represented the plaintiff company in Schlumberger v Humair Shaikh, obtaining a temporary restraining order before securing a successful settlement. In another highlight, New York office managing partner Michael Elkin – ‘a first-rate litigation and business adviser’ – is representing PNY Technologies in a case against Miller Kaplan Arase & Co; it is alleged by the client that the defendant concealed a relationship with third party Sandisk, sharing confidential information during an audit. This is a ‘go-to firm for any serious trade secret enforcement matter’.


White-collar criminal defense

Index of tables

  1. White-collar criminal defense
  2. Leading lawyers

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s white-collar practice continues to thrive, with the expansion of the firm’s Hong Kong office and the return of former deputy assistant attorney general for the DOJ Denis McInerney. As well as advising clients such as IBM and BHP Billiton on multi-jurisdictional FCPA investigations, the practice has also seen OFAC activity, with practice chair Carey Dunne leading the team representing Clearstream in an OFAC investigation and parallel civil litigation in the Southern District of New York. Other significant work ranges from investigations relating to insider trading, to antitrust and criminal tax. The firm’s Washington DC office includes securities law specialist Linda Chatman Thomsen, Raul Yanes, who focuses on non-US FCPA matters, and Neil MacBride. The other mentioned attorneys are based in New York.

The practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has seen a number of new hires: former federal prosecutor David O’Neil in Washington DC, and in New York, former general counsel of JPMorgan Chase’s consumer and community banking arm Matthew Biben, and Jim Pastore from the Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. As well as enjoying an upsurge in cybersecurity matters, the team has also been active in consumer regulated cases evolving into prosecutions such as advising Toyota on its settlement with the Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York following various investigations relating to vehicle acceleration issues. Bruce Yannett heads the substantial New York practice and together with Sean Hecker and Jonathan Tuttle in Washington DC, is representing JPMorgan Chase in investigations by multiple enforcement agencies arising from RMBS. Yannett and Hecker are also representing four Swiss banks in connection with the DOJ and Swiss Government’s co-operation program. Former attorney-general Michael Mukasey adds additional weight to the team in New York.

Although particularly known for its strength in FCPA investigations, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s team has recently enjoyed some notable trial successes, including securing the acquittal of Nelson Obus in an insider trading case, and successfully acting in the first-ever criminal securities fraud trial stemming from the DOJ’s and SEC’s investigation of Chinese reverse mergers. Practice co-chair Joseph Warin, who leads in Washington DC, assisted Weatherford’s audit committee with settling allegations by the SEC and other regulators relating to alleged violations of the FCPA, trade sanctions and export controls laws. Warin’s co-chairs are Charles Stevens, who recently joined the firm’s San Francisco office, and Debra Wong Yang in Los Angeles; the latter recently acted in the high-profile internal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane realignment. In New York, the team has been boosted by the arrival of the former global head of investigations at UBS, Mark Shelton, while the firm has also reinforced its offerings in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s known courtroom expertise was reaffirmed through a number of important victories, including Mark Pomerantz’s successful appeal of hedge fund trader Anthony Chiasson’s conviction, and Brad Karp’s representation of Citigroup in persuading the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to uphold the ability of corporations to resolve federal regulatory matters without having to admit liability. Other significant work for the team includes representing SAC Capital and Steven Cohen in an insider trading investigation and related litigation, and acting for the NFL in an investigation into workplace conduct within the Miami Dolphins. Other key partners include Michael Gertzman, Michele Hirshman and the former chief of the criminal division of the Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, Lorin Reisner, along with ‘superstar trial lawyerTheodore Wells who is also part of this team. All named partners are based in New York.

At Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Samuel Seymour’s team has particular expertise handling cross-border enforcement investigations. One recent area of focus has been breaches of OFAC sanctions, with Seymour continuing to deal with the spin-off of breaches by HSBC and Standard Chartered, and Karen Patton Seymour and Rodgin Cohen acting for BNP Paribas in its $9bn settlement of criminal and civil charges arising from the violation of federal regulations restricting trade with Cuba, Iran and Sudan. The team has also been involved with FCPA and criminal antitrust matters and is currently representing Barclays and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in international, multi-agency investigations into benchmark interest rates, including LIBOR and Euribor. Aside from financial institutions – the firm’s close ties with the industry are well known – other clients are drawn from industries such as energy and automobile manufacturing; the team is acting for a senior employee of General Motors in ongoing investigations into safety and recall issues involving the Chevy Cobalt and other vehicles. All named partners are based in New York.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP draws on its strong banking regulatory practice in Washington DC to attract significant work from financial institutions and the firm is representing a number of these in high-profile matters such as Forex and the structuring and marketing of mortgage-backed securities. The team is also counsel to BNP Paribas, HSBC, Citigroup and Bank of New York Mellon in dealing with various banking related exposures in connection with the Madoff Ponzi scheme as well as in related civil litigation. Other sources of activity include FCPA, where the team is advising Alfred C Toepfer International on investigations involving alleged bribery in Ukraine, and insider trading, where the team is representing several hedge funds and individuals in DOJ and SEC investigations arising out of the Galleon and SAC prosecutions. Key partners in the New York office include David Brodsky, Lewis Liman, Lev Dassin and Breon Peace. Shawn Chen has left the Washington DC office to work in-house.

Covington & Burling LLP’s recruitment of Mythili Raman means that along with Lanny Breuer, the firm now has two former assistant attorney-generals for the criminal division in its well-respected Washington DC office. Other key members in that office include practice co-chair Ethan Posner and Steven Fagell, who represented Hewlett-Packard in its highly publicized FCPA settlement with the DOJ and SEC concerning alleged improper payments in Russia, Poland, and Mexico. Nancy Kestenbaum leads the team in New York and is representing the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in investigations relating to the closure of traffic lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge. Additional work for the New York team includes dealing with an alleged off-label marketing investigation for Johnson & Johnson, and representing a non-US financial institution in investigations into the processing of dollar transactions involving parties covered by US sanctions laws.

At Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP David Meister’s return from the CFTC to head the practice in New York has led to an increase in securities work, with Meister acting for a financial institution and a global securities broker respectively in investigations concerning the valuation of certain oil-based swap positions and the handling of penny stocks. Other key members of the team include: David Zornow, who negotiated a favorable settlement for BlackRock in an investigation of a global program to survey sell-side analysts, John Carroll, who is acting for Bank of America in the first two cases brought by the federal-state RMBS working group concerning the issuance ofRMBS, and Keith Krakaur who has been active in a number of FCPA and OFAC investigations. Outside of New York, the practice has a number of other highly respected practitioners including Chicago-based Patrick Fitzgerald, who assisted BNP Paribas as co-lead counsel in reaching a $9bn settlement regarding sanctions violations, and ‘fabulous trial lawyer’ Richard Marmaro who heads the West Coast practice.

The practice at Washington DC-based litigation shop Williams & Connolly LLP is spearheaded by trial lawyer Brendan Sullivan who is described as ‘the best litigator in the country’. As well as playing to its strength in public corruption work, the team has also been active in a wide array of matters including securities and financial fraud, insider trading and antitrust. In addition, the firm has been involved in international work throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and Africa. Recent successes include negotiating a settlement on behalf of Takata Corporation following the DOJ’s criminal antitrust investigation of the auto parts industry, and for MoneyGram, settling a criminal investigation into allegations relating to its anti-money-laundering controls. Practice group leader David Zinn, Robert Cary and Emmet Flood are all singled out as ‘top notch’.

Dechert LLP’s team has been kept busy worldwide representing Takata Corporation and its affiliates, including TK Holdings Inc, in litigation related to air bags manufactured or sold by the company. The team has also been representing a substantial number of senior executives, with the ‘fabulousAndrew Levander continuing to represent Jon Corzine, the former CEO of MF Global Holdings, in matters arising from the company’s bankruptcy. Hedge funds are another important source of work for the practice, with Levander and Neil Steiner defending a hedge fund manager and his company, Gabriel Capital Corporation, in multiple pieces of litigation arising out of the hedge funds’ losses as a result of the Madoff Ponzi fraud; and practice head Jonathan Streeter repeatedly instructed by hedge funds on compliance issues. In addition to the strong New York office where all named partners are based, the firm has white-collar presence in Washington DC, Philadelphia and Chicago.

The white-collar team at Hogan Lovells is particularly well known for handling complex FCA work, having been active in a number of high-profile matters in the space; these include representing Chemed Corporation and VITAS Healthcare in a nationwide FCA case in which the Government is seeking over $1bn in damages, and acting for DaVita in negotiating a global settlement of a federal grand jury investigation and related civil suit under the qui tam provisions of the federal FCA. Peter Spivack leads the practice from Washington DC where other key team members include highly rated trial lawyer Robert Bennett and Kathryn Hellings who is a recent recruit from the DOJ’s antitrust division. Hellings’ strong cartel practice adds further depth to a team which has seen involvement in a number of significant antitrust matters, including advising the former general manager of Toyota’s sales unit in relation to safety violations in the auto industry. In addition, the firm has handled an anti-money laundering investigation on behalf of FBME Bank and also benefited from its international reach to see an increase in FCPA matters.

King & Spalding LLP significantly extended its securities enforcement expertise with the arrival of William Johnson and Carmen Lawrence in the New York office, and Dixie Johnson in the Washington DC office, all from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. The firm, though particularly known for its work in the healthcare sector, handles a wide spread of matters including FCPA, securities fraud, and trade sanctions for multinational corporations including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and CVS Caremark. Highly rated investigations specialist Christopher Wray chairs the group from DC and is acting for Credit Suisse in the DOJ’s investigation of potential US tax law violations committed by the bank. Wray also successfully resolved a global settlement on behalf of a medical device company, in parallel criminal and civil investigations under the FCA for alleged kickbacks paid to customers and physicians. Other recommended practitioners include DC-based Gary Grindler and the ‘incredibly knowledgeable and prodigiously hard-workingAndrew Hruska who works out of the firm’s New York office.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’ practice – which includes a significant number of former federal prosecutors – is led from Chicago by the highly rated Mark Filip. The firm’s strong client base in the pharmaceutical sector has led to ongoing white-collar work, with the team representing Abbott Laboratories in various alleged off-label marketing matters, as well as successfully defending Baxter International in the highly publicized industry-wide investigation into FCPA activity in the sector. The firm is also known for its FCPA practice and is advantaged in this area by its sizeable white-collar team in Asia. In New York, Michael Garcia’s appointment by FIFA as its first independent lead prosecutor to investigate allegations of corruption in world football has been continued to 2017, while the recent hire of Robert Khuzami and Kenneth Lench from the SEC has boosted the Washington DC office’s securities capability. Khuzami has been active in a number of SEC matters.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP’s practice, under the leadership of co-chairs Paul Schoeman and Eric Tirschwell, is particularly known for its trial work, with the ‘superb’ Barry Berke and Gary Naftalis singled out as ‘two of the top US trial attorneys’. As well as representing Rajat Gupta, McKinsey’s former managing director worldwide, in both a criminal prosecution brought against him and a parallel SEC civil enforcement action, the team is also handling a high-profile insider trading appeal for Michael Steinberg, which touches on the hotly contested standards for imposing insider trading liability on remote tippees. The firm also assists companies and audit committees with investigations work and has recently advised in relation to SEC and antitrust matters. All named partners are based in New York.

The growing team at Latham & Watkins LLP recently saw Kathryn Ruemmler and Jonathan Su return to the Washington DC office from the Office of the White House Counsel and John Sikora and Michael Fee join the Chicago and Boston offices respectively. The practice, which is known for successfully handling one of few trials of a major corporation, is once again heading down this route in representing PG&E in relation to a pipeline explosion in a residential community. Other areas of expertise include environmental crime and data privacy. In New York, Richard Owens and Jeff Hammel are very active on the financial services front, including representing the British Bankers’ Association in all US litigation relating to allegations of manipulation of LIBOR, while in Washington DC, Alice Fisher and Brian Kowalski successfully obtained a declination from the DOJ with regards its FCPA investigation of Merck & Co. The highly rated David Schindler, who ‘provides tough but practical advice’, leads in Los Angeles.

Along with its considerable US and international presence, Sidley Austin LLP’s practice is praised as having ‘particular strength and depth in healthcare work’ and is currently involved in numerous FCA, off-label and anti-kickback investigations on behalf of pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. Global co-chair John Gallo in Chicago handles both trials and investigations and is currently representing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in an investigation into allegations of campaign finance misconduct, while in Los Angeles, co-chair Kimberly Dunne is commended for providing ‘strong advocacy and excellent counsel on difficult issues’. The firm’s breadth ensures a wide range of work including securities fraud and FCPA, for example New York based Timothy Treanor and John Kuster’s representation of PetroTiger before the DOJ in a multi-year FCPA investigation. Karen Popp and Mark Hopson lead in Washington DC, where recent work includes representing an aluminium manufacturing company in a criminal environmental investigation regarding hazardous waste discharges.

At New York-based Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz the white-collar team is ‘a small group of people who handle the most difficult investigations’. The team has recently advised on significant work in the international tax arena, including assisting a number of Swiss banks in relation to the DOJ’s disclosure program, and representing UBS in the recent trial of former executive Raoul Weil. Accounting revenue recognition has also been a major focus and the practice is assisting various industrial companies such as Monsanto with disclosure and accounting fraud issues. Despite the firm not having a global network of offices, such is its reach that it has been involved in some substantial FCPA investigations in countries such as China, India, Libya and Latin America. Key players include John Savarese, ‘a good player with a very significant practice’, David Anders, who recently led the investigation into racism at the LA Clippers, and head of the practice Lawrence Pedowitz.

WilmerHale’s practice has been boosted by a number of new arrivals, including former FBI director Robert Mueller, who brings with him considerable cybersecurity expertise, and Matthew Martens from the SEC. As well as exercising its known strength in SEC matters, with Washington DC practice co-head Howard Shapiro and William McLucas in particular singled out in this regard, the firm has been involved in a number of FCPA investigations: Los Angeles-based Randall Lee and New York-based Erin Sloane successfully acted for Hewlett-Packard’s Mexican subsidiary in settling allegations that it falsified corporate books and records and circumvented HP internal controls in connection with contracts to sell hardware, software, and licenses to Pemex. In addition, the team continued to act for Lufthansa Technik and Bizjet International Sales and Support in its settlement of charges relating to payments made to secure government aircraft maintenance and repair contracts. Boyd Johnson mainly acts for financial institutions in New York, while practice co-chair Stephen Jonas is based in Boston. Other partners are based in Washington DC unless stated.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP’s wide-ranging client base stretches across the financial services, automotive and retail sectors. Examples of recent work include overseeing Toyota’s compliance with a deferred prosecution agreement agreed with the DOJ following safety violations by the company, and representing the audit committee of Wal-Mart Stores during DOJ and SEC investigations into possible multinational FCPA violations. As well as drawing on Anirudh Bansal’s banking and securities expertise to handle a large amount of major securities and commodities matters, the firm also has a strong track record for developing anti-corruption compliance programs for clients. Compliance expert Bart Friedman and David Kelley are advising Teva in an ongoing compliance review and investigation by the SEC and DOJ into its global compliance with the FCPA. Additional growth for the team has come with the arrival of Washington DC based Sean Tonolli from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and David Slovick from the CFTC. Named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP wins praise for its ‘in-depth knowledge and ability to tactically guide the client through many complex issues’. The team has recently seen growth in its work for financial institutions and is currently involved in a number of significant matters for clients such JPMorgan Chase and HSH Nordbank. New York-based Aaron Marcu co-leads the financial institutions litigation group and successfully co-defended the former global head of UBS wealth management in a major criminal tax case brought by the DOJ. Marcu was also appointed as corporate monitor for MoneyGram in relation to its deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ following the company’s wire fraud admission. Other key members of the team include Benito Romano who has moved from the firm’s New York office to Washington DC, and Tim Coleman who specializes in FCPA investigations and is also based in the capital. New York-based Adam Siegel is co-head of the firm’s global investigations practice.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s ‘tremendous financial practice’ should help to see the white-collar group through a period of change, with the departures of William Johnson, Carmen Lawrence and Dixie Johnson to King & Spalding LLP. Steven Witzel now leads the practice and has been quick to respond with the hire of Stephen Juris from Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C., Lawrence Gerschwer from Morrison & Foerster LLP and Evan Barr from Steptoe & Johnson LLP. Recent work for the team includes representing Joseph Gregory, the former president of Lehman Brothers, in all civil litigation arising out of its collapse, as well as acting for the ex-wife of a criminal defendant in connection with claims filed on her behalf in criminal and civil forfeiture actions arising out of a $200m fraud and obstruction of justice case. Witzel continues to serve as independent monitor of the US Virgin Islands Police Department. Other noteworthy practitioners at the firm are Lisa Bebchick and litigation chair William McGuinness. All named partners are based in New York.

Litigation boutique Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.fights well above its weight’ and from its office in San Francisco acts for individuals as well as companies such as Comcast, Electronic Arts and Google. It represented the former chief financial officer of Autonomy in relation to Hewlett-Packard’s acrimonious acquisition of the former, and also successfully defended Timothy Murawski in a criminal investigation and parallel SEC investigation and securities fraud suit regarding revenue recognition for sales of medical devices at Hansen Medical. Other significant matters handled by the firm include leading Standard & Poor’s defense of a $5bn lawsuit brought by the US Government arising out of an alleged mortgage-related securities fraud. Founding partner John Keker leads a team well known for its trial expertise which also includes Elliot Peters and Jan Nielsen Little.

The ‘superbLankler Siffert & Wohl LLP handles mainly litigation from its New York base and has recently been involved in a number of premier cases. As well as Daniel Gitner’s well-publicized acquittal for hedge fund trader Rengan Rajaratnam, name partner John Siffert successfully appealed Steven Goldberg’s conviction in a significant antitrust matter. Other work for the team includes representing individuals and corporates in LIBOR and Forex as well as dealing with FCPA, OFAC and money-laundering issues. Helen Gredd and Charles Spada concentrate on compliance and regulatory matters, while John Wing’s practice extends to tax fraud and environmental law violations.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s sizeable white-collar team extends across Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Silicon Valley and Washington DC, with head of practice Michael Kendall based in Boston. The firm’s reputation is built on investigations and the team is currently involved in a number of significant antitrust, FCA and SEC matters and it also attracts praise for its FCPA expertise. In the Los Angeles office Russell Hayman is representing Teichert Construction in a criminal investigation arising from the construction-related deaths of two workers, while in Chicago Steven Scholes is acting for the special litigation committee of the Board of Directors of the largest non-publicly traded real estate investment trust in the country in an investigation into director and external manager misconduct, and in a parallel SEC investigation. The team also assists in developing compliance policies and conducting FCPA due diligence in cross-border deals.

At Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP the practice continues to be busy particularly in the international arena and has been handling FCPA, general corruption, import-export, government healthcare and fraud matters. As well as seeing a large volume of investigations, the team has also been involved in a number of courtroom successes, with Martha Stolley and Allyson Ho securing a major appellate victory in a medical information privacy lawsuit for Guthrie. The firm’s expanding client base takes in Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The loss suffered by the team with the departure of Leslie Caldwell to the Criminal Division of DOJ has been offset by a number of new additions, not least as a result of the recent merger with Bingham McCutchen LLP. Philadelphia-based Eric Sitarchuk heads the white-collar practice, but former co-chair George Terwilliger is now with McGuireWoods LLP.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s strength in white-collar matters relates in part to the diversity of a team which can draw on privacy experts, an in-house forensic accounting specialist, a certified fraud examiner, and an audit partner. Adam Hoffinger leads in Washington DC, and as well as advising executives in a number of major FCPA and healthcare investigations, is currently representing the former CEO of PA Cyber in relation to an 11-count federal indictment alleging inter alia mail fraud and bribery. Despite the loss of Lawrence Gerschwer to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, the New York office led by Carl Loewenson has also kept busy and is conducting a cross-border internal investigation into potential violations of anti-corruption laws by international affiliates of a global technology company. In Los Angeles, Dan Marmalefsky successfully acted for the former CEO of Vitesse Semiconductor in parallel criminal and SEC civil enforcement proceedings relating to an alleged securities fraud. Charles Duross was recently recruited to the Washington DC office from the Criminal Division of the DOJ to head up the firm’s FCPA and global anti-corruption practice.

At New York litigation boutique Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. the team handles a wide range of white-collar matters including FCPA, healthcare, insider trading and regulatory work. Elkan Abramowitz, ‘one of the deans of the white-collar bar’, heads the practice and is currently representing the former Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman in defending allegations of possible wrongdoing at the firm and misrepresentations of the firm’s financial situation. Other key members of the team include Robert Anello, whose caseload includes acting for a senior executive of a large, multi-national investment banking firm in an SEC litigation regarding transactions involving synthetic derivatives, ‘leading criminal tax specialistJeremy Temkin, and the ‘superbJonathan Sack. Although particularly known for representing individuals at trial, the group also acts for corporate entities and is currently assisting a Canadian company in an investigation into allegations of payoffs in connection with environmental clean-up contracts. The team is also assisting a broker-dealer in connection with a FINRA investigation relating to alleged misconduct by several of its independent representatives.

The ‘small but outstanding’, Los Angeles-headquartered Munger, Tolles & Olson is particularly known for its trial expertise. The team covers the full range of white-collar work including securities, accounting and tax fraud, insider trading and environmental crimes. In the Los Angeles office, Brad Brian is singled out as particularly strong while other key players include Gregory Weingart, Sean Eskovitz and Bart Williams. In San Franciso, Jerome Roth is the main contact.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s practice, under the leadership of San Francisco-based Daniel Bookin, has particular expertise in healthcare work; it is acting for various companies in qui tam FCA investigations, including a nationally managed care company in an investigation into compliance with Medicare Advantage regulations, and an international biotechnology manufacturer in an investigation into kick-back and off-label marketing allegations. Other significant areas of work are economic sanctions, antitrust and FCPA; in the case of the latter, the firm is conducting an independent internal FCPA investigation on behalf of the audit committee of a major owner of casinos. As well as companies and audit committees, the client roster also includes individuals; in one recent case the team secured a crucial victory for a former employee of a financial institution imprisoned for his alleged role in a municipal bond bid-rigging scheme. Key members of the team include healthcare specialist David Deaton in Los Angeles, and Richard Grime and former presidential national security adviser Thomas Donilon who are based in Washington DC.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has significantly developed its internal investigations expertise, particularly in the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering area, with the hire of four prosecutors from government practice: Guy Singer has joined the firm’s New York office, Jonathan Lopez and William Jacobson have been recruited in Washington DC, and Randy Luskey has joined in San Francisco. The firm handles a variety of matters for both individuals and companies, particularly in the retail, technology and energy sectors, and has recently been active in FCPA, SEC and antitrust matters. In the Los Angeles office, Mark Mermelstein wins praise for ‘being responsive and clear in advice’, while in San Francisco Walter Brown and Pamela Davis are also recommended.

Litigation-only firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is known in the white-collar space for its ability to provide ‘excellent advice, scoped for the needs of the client and understanding the commercial realities of the business.’ The firm is also noted for its trial expertise, with Washington DC-based practice co-chair William Burck singled out as a ‘great strategist in adversarial proceedings’, and Los Angeles-based James Asperger and Duane Lyons also praised in this respect. Burk is currently representing the former co-CEO of PetroTiger in a federal bribery prosecution regarding alleged payments to an alleged Colombian Government official. Other significant matters for the team include acting for a group of companies that comprise one of the largest manufacturers of steel and other metals in China in an economic espionage case and representing Alpine in a high-profile insider trading action brought by the SEC. In the San Francisco office John Potter recently secured a complete victory for Actelion Pharmaceuticals following the end of a four-year criminal off-label investigation by the DOJ. ‘Superstar’ Juan Morillo co-leads in DC, while David Gerger is the name to note in Houston.

Very wise counsel’ Lee Richards heads the department at Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP where the firm’s known expertise in representing individuals at trial is complemented by an increasing amount of white-collar work for companies. As well as representing ICAP in a settlement with US and UK regulators over its alleged role in LIBOR, the team is also currently representing a major bank in connection with DOJ and SEC investigations into allegations that an affiliate fraudulently failed to disclose the taking of trading profits. The arrival of David Massey from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has helped to broaden the firm’s tax and sanctions offering, with Massey advising two Swiss banks, a Swiss law firm and a Swiss trade association in connection with the DOJ’s amnesty program for Swiss banks. Other key members of the team are Shari Brandt, Daniel Zinman and Washington DC-based William Barry and Jeffrey Lehtman. Paul Leder and Daniel Stein left the firm to join the SEC and US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York respectively. Named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

At Shearman & Sterling LLP the practice’s focus on financial services has led to involvement in a number of high-profile matters, including the much-publicized successful appeal of Todd Newman’s insider trading conviction. In the New York office, white-collar co-chair Stephen Fishbein and John Nathanson, who handled both Newman’s trial and appeal, also win praise for their investigations work, with the pair commended for ‘striking the right tone both with company staff and with regulators and prosecutors.’ Other highlights for the team include representing multiple financial institutions in LIBOR and continuing to act as national counsel to Galleon in insider trading matters. In San Francisco, co-chair Patrick Robbins secured the acquittal of Borlong Bai who was indicted on federal price-fixing charges as part of a major antitrust case revolving around LCD panels. The firm has also strengthened its offering on the securities side with the hire in New York of Joseph Frank, Matthew Craner and Agnès Dunogué from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Lauded for its ‘unique code of good conduct and ethics’, Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s team has been busy on a variety of matters including representing BP’s former head of exploration for the Gulf of Mexico in a criminal case arising out of Deepwater Horizon, and leading an internal investigation into claims that Pilot Flying J sales employees defrauded trucking company customers. One particular specialism is public corruption cases and the team recently defended John Rowland in relation to a number of campaign finance violations. The ‘outstanding’ Brian Heberlig leads a team that includes FCPA specialist Lucinda Low, New York-based Michelle Levin and Reid Weingarten, who is singled out as being ‘one of the nation’s finest white-collar trial lawyers’. Evan Barr left the firm in January 2015 to join Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Named partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represents a wide spectrum of clients on a range of matters including FCPA, market manipulation, regulatory investigations and OFAC issues. Jonathan Polkes is based in New York and can draw on the securities and antitrust expertise of Christoper Garcia and Steven Reiss respectively. In the firm’s Washington DC office, global head of practice Steven Tyrrell’s team has been joined by Adam Safwat, who was formerly deputy chief of the fraud section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division. Recent work for the team includes advising Sanofi in connection with a DOJ and SEC investigation into alleged violations of the FCPA involving the company’s subsidiaries in Asia and Africa, and representing Tom Hayes, a former trader at a major financial institution, in the DOJ’s criminal investigation into alleged manipulation of LIBOR.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s white-collar practice continued to expand with the hire of trial lawyer Gerald Shargel in New York and former deputy chief of the Criminal Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey Donald Davidson in San Francisco. Robb Adkins heads the practice from the firm’s San Francisco office and has seen an increase in internal investigations work, while in Chicago white-collar heavyweight Dan Webb has been active in a number of matters; as well as being appointed as special prosecutor to investigate the homicide of 21-year-old David Koschman, Webb successfully negotiated a deferred prosecution agreement for Ronald Ferguson, the former CEO of General Re who was convicted of mail and securities fraud. In New York, Suzanne Bloom is acting for Omnicare in relation to wideranging allegations of healthcare fraud, while Shargel is defending a state senator charged in a federal criminal case with conspiracy to bribe the leaders of New York City’s Republican party.

With a reputation for mainly representing individuals in criminal proceedings, litigation boutique Zuckerman Spaeder is the ‘go-to place for a high-level executive or manager’. The firm is experienced in handling litigation on multiple fronts, including criminal, regulatory, and civil, and has extensive subject-matter expertise in a host of heavily regulated areas including securities, food and drug, healthcare and tax. In New York, key practitioners include Paul Shechtman and former judge Barbara Jones whose practice ranges from accounting and securities fraud to antitrust. William Taylor and Eric Delinsky are the names to note in Washington DC.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s white-collar team continues to see a substantial amount of healthcare work, with head of practice John Nassikas leading the joint defense team that settled Par Pharmaceutical’s off-label promotion investigation by the DOJ, FDA, and the New Jersey US Attorney’s Office. In addition, healthcare specialist Kirk Ogrosky has been active on behalf of clients such as Bristol-Myers Squibb. James Cooper, who wins praise for his antitrust abilities, negotiated a settlement for Fujikura in the DOJ Antitrust Division’s investigation into alleged price-fixing and bid-rigging in the sale of car components to Japanese auto manufacturers, and the firm is involved in several other major matters relating to alleged Japanese auto parts cartels. Trial lawyer Marcus Asner leads in New York and is assisting AllPay Consolidated Investment Holdings in an investigation concerning alleged bribery arising from a major South African Government contract. The practice has seen some expansion with the addition of former attaché to the US Embassy in London Amy Jeffress, and Irvin Nathan in Washington DC, who rejoined the firm after serving as attorney general for the District of Columbia from 2011-2014. All named partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

The bulk of Baker & McKenzie LLP’s white-collar practice relates to FCPA work driven by the firm’s impressive international presence, although the team has also been active in criminal tax, FCA and public corruption matters. Practitioner strength is most evident in Washington DC where key members include co-head of the practice Joan Meyer, former deputy attorney-general Paul McNulty, and Brian Whisler, who recently represented 27 staff members of the Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth during the federal grand jury investigation of former governor Bob McDonnell and his wife for allegations of public corruption. Other key players in the team are New York-based Douglas Tween who co-heads the practice, Robert Kent in Chicago, and trial lawyer Robert Tarun in San Francisco. William Devaney joined the New York office from Venable, bringing FCPA and anti-corruption experience.

At Baker Botts L.L.P., the white-collar team draws on the firm’s strong energy client base to advise clients such as Halliburton, Marathon Oil Company and Marathon Petroleum on a variety of significant matters. Two particular areas of specialism are multi-jurisdictional FCPA and political corruption cases, and Houston-based Michael Goldberg is currently representing Cobalt International Energy in its ongoing investigation by the SEC and DOJ concerning activities relating to an offshore drilling project in the Republic of Angola. Elsewhere, William Jeffress defended the former CFO of Bank of America in litigation arising from its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, and Bridget Moore negotiated the first-ever individual deferred prosecution agreement on behalf of a former hedge fund administrator. All named partners including head of practice Michael Barta are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

New York-based Marc Mukasey heads the white-collar practice at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and has led the team to some notable recent successes such as settling Halliburton’s criminal investigation following Deepwater Horizon with no criminal charges for the company. Mukasey also led the trial defense and sentencing of a former executive at UBS in a prosecution brought by the DOJ’s Antitrust Division relating to municipal bond bid rigging. Other key players in the New York office include Philip Bezanson, who is assisting Mukasey in representing Michael DuHaime in investigations concerning the decision to close the lanes of the George Washington Bridge, and Daniel Connolly who represented Structure Tone in a wide-ranging construction fraud investigation conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. In Washington DC, well-respected trial lawyer Richard Beckler is the main contact.

Considered to be ‘on the rise’, BuckleySandler LLP is particularly known for its successful defense of individuals in FCPA, financial fraud, and environmental law matters. David Krakoff, ‘a thorough, capable lawyer who is willing to try cases’, leads a team that includes the ‘organized and proactive’ Benjamin Klubes and Christopher Regan who is singled out as being ‘detail oriented and with very particular knowledge in the environmental area’. As well as currently representing senior executives in international Government enforcement actions relating to LIBOR and Forex manipulation, the team is also defending Aruze in a criminal DOJ inquiry, civil litigation in Nevada state court, and an administrative matter before the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The team’s diverse practice extends to international data privacy and Samuel Buffone assisted with the acquittal of two Google officers in a criminal data privacy case in Italy. Andrew Schilling is the main contact in New York. All other named partners are based in Washington DC.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s ‘responsive and knowledgeable team provides strategic advice’ under the leadership of department chair Kenneth Wainstein who is based in Washington DC. As well as performing the full range of white-collar work, the team has substantial expertise in the areas of corporate compliance and governance, having represented and served as outside compliance counsel to major international corporations across various industries. The Washington DC office includes the ‘experienced and creative’ Raymond Banoun, who successfully represented LyondellBasell Industries in an internal investigation and parallel DOJ investigation relating to alleged violations of the FCPA in Kazakhstan. Bradley Bondi recently moved to Cahill Gordan & Reindel. Also in the capital, Peter Clark has charge of FCPA matters, while Jodi Avergun, who focuses on representing corporations and individuals in criminal and regulatory matters, successfully negotiated the first ever non-prosecution agreement between the SEC and an individual following an insider trading investigation surrounding eBay’s acquisition of GSI Commerce.

Clifford Chance’s white-collar practice benefits from the firm’s extensive and experienced global network and handles a substantial amount of work for major international financial institutions. One particular area of expertise is US sanctions compliance and the firm has been active advising on voluntary disclosures to OFAC, as well as settling penalties for breaches. As well as acting for banks and hedge funds, the varied client base extends to pharmaceutical companies, US defense contractors and film and drink distributors. The team also represents individuals and is currently defending a former Alstom executive in relation to violations of the FCPA, money laundering statutes, and the federal conspiracy statute. In the Washington DC office key players include managing partner David DiBari and Steven Gatti, who specializes in regulatory enforcement proceedings before the SEC and other securities regulators. In New York, Edward O’Callaghan and Christopher Morvillo are the names to note.

At Cooley LLP there is no shortage of white-collar trial expertise, with a bench that includes ‘great trial lawyer’ Stephen Neal in Palo Alto, practice chair William Schwartz in New York and recent recruit William Donovan, who joined the Los Angeles office from DLA Piper. As well as representing individuals, the team also has the capability to act for companies faced with white-collar investigations and Schwartz recently acted as co-counsel to Credit Suisse in a settlement relating to securities litigation brought against the bank for its alleged role in a $2.9bn Ponzi scheme. In San Diego, litigation chair Michael Attanasio enjoyed a number of notable trial successes including the rare withdrawal of a guilty plea for the owner of a payment processing company indicted for money laundering by the DOJ.

DLA Piper’s team, under the leadership of the well-respected Patrick Smith, continued to advise key clients such as Pfizer, BDO and Net 1 UEPS Technologies on a range of white-collar matters including alleged FCPA and security law violations. Smith, who is based in New York, achieved a favorable sentence for Jesse Litvak, an RMBS trader convicted of criminal securities fraud. Also in New York, Caryn Schechtman successfully represented Yorkville Advisors in repelling an action filed by the SEC relating to hedge fund losses. Elsewhere, Seattle-based John Wolfe led the representation of one of two senior company managers targeted by federal prosecutors in criminal and civil proceedings following a catastrophic oil refinery explosion. The firm has offset a number of departures, including Peter Zeidenberg to Arent Fox LLP and Matthew Jacobs in-house, with the hire of Jonathan Haray in Washington DC from the SEC.

Acting for Fortune 500 companies, corporate executives and other individual business leaders, Goodwin Procter LLP’s team has been involved in a number of significant white-collar trials and excels at advising on corporate governance issues and structuring compliance programs. The well-respected Richard Strassberg co-leads the practice from New York, where recent work includes advising on benchmark, insider trading and criminal tax matters. Strassberg and William Harrington acted as counsel to Countrywide Home Loans and Countrywide Bank in a whistleblower and FIRREA civil suit brought by the DOJ in the Southern District of New York, and Harrington is representing Canaccord Genuity in relation to allegations of insider trading by a former employee. The New York team has also dealt with a number of healthcare matters and is serving as counsel to Physicians’ Alliance Ltd in relation to a qui tam lawsuit involving allegations of Medicaid and Medicare fraud. Practice co-chair Todd Cronan is based in Boston where recent work includes FCPA and anti-kickback investigations. Derek Cohen joined in New York from the DOJ.

Kobre & Kim’s ‘juggernaut has talent and vision in the niches they have chosen to operate’ and despite the relative youth of the firm, it is often seen in major white-collar trials. ‘Terrific trial lawyer’ Matthew Menchel acted as co-counsel in securing the acquittal of Raoul Weil, the highest-ranking Swiss banker to stand trial in the US on criminal tax charges, and, assisted by the ‘outstanding’ Eric Bruce, represented Matthew Teeple in a criminal action relating to an alleged insider trading scheme. Name partners Steven Kobre and Michael Kim have also been active, with Kobre securing a non-custodial sentence for the former CFO of DHB Industries in an insider trading and accounting improprieties case and Kim representing Rebekah Brooks, former CEO of News International, in securities litigation arising from the widely publicized UK phone hacking scandal. As well as winning praise for its depth of experience, the team is also praised for its ‘breadth of geographical coverage’; the firm has expanded well beyond its New York headquarters with offices in London, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Miami, Washington DC, and San Francisco. All named partners are based in New York save for Menchel who is based in Miami.

At Mayer Brown the white-collar team has seen some expansion in its Washington DC office with the arrival of FCPA specialist Laurence Urgenson and Audrey Harris from Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Also based in Washington DC is department co-chair Kelly Kramer who wins praise for his ‘tenacity and high-level of skill in courtroom litigation’. Kramer is currently handling the appeal of former Congressman Richard Renzi who was indicted on public corruption, fraud, and money laundering charges. Chicago-based William Michael co-leads the practice and has been conducting an investigation on behalf of Sweett Group in both a DOJ and UK SFO investigation into allegations of bribery connected to a $100m hospital construction project in Morocco. Other highlights for the team include representing 14 Swiss banks in connection with tax evasion issues and conducting an independent investigation for the audit committee of SandRidge Energy into allegations raised against the CEO and chairman pertaining to self-dealing and front-running of various business opportunities.

Known for its particular focus on FCPA, tax and antitrust matters, Miller & Chevalier Chartered’s white-collar team is co-led by Mark Rochon and James Bensfield. Despite the firm only being resident in Washington DC, the practice handles an unusually high number of matters that involve cross-border issues, one recent example being the representation of Julian Assange in respect of the WikiLeaks investigation. As well as work for individuals, the team also performs significant work for companies, including handling a large number of FCPA investigations in sectors ranging from energy and telecoms to retail. Additional strength has been provided with the hire of Andrew Herman from Brand Law Group whose practice focuses on congressional investigations, and Kirby Behre who joined the firm from Paul Hastings LLP. Behre is singled out for his ‘terrific cartel/antitrust practice’.

At Paul Hastings LLP the recruitment of Michael Levy, Amy Carpenter-Holmes and Michael Spafford from Bingham McCutchen LLP has boosted the firm’s Washington DC office. The new arrivals are handling a number of high-profile matters including involvement in LIBOR and defending Thomas Lund, the former head of Fannie Mae’s largest business, against securities fraud charges filed by the SEC. Spafford, who concentrates on representing financial institutions, hedge funds and traders, is representing a number of traders in an FERC enforcement investigation of Barclays trading in the California power markets. Also in Washington DC, Timothy Dickinson and Corinne Lammers continue to act as anti-corruption compliance counsel to KBR following its criminal FCPA settlement with the DOJ and SEC. In New York, practice co-head Kenneth Breen has been involved with an accounting fraud investigation concerning Wilmington Trust, while his Los Angeles-based co-head, Thomas Zaccaro, won a major trial victory on behalf of the founder of sTec in a large insider trading case brought by the SEC.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP’s white-collar practice has once again been active in the international arena, seeing business generated from its substantial Tokyo office and also representing several Swiss banks as part of the DOJ’s program for non-prosecution agreements. Mark Hellerer co-leads the practice from the firm’s New York office and mainly handles international work for financial institutions while in Washington DC, practice co-head William Sullivan concentrates on international criminal cartel enforcement, securities regulation and the FCPA. Sullivan recently represented Jared Abbruzzese, a key witness in two high-profile public corruption trials involving former New York Senate Majority Leader, Joseph Bruno. Also in Washington DC, Thomas Hill represented the Victaulic Company in a lawsuit involving allegations of customs fraud filed by a qui tam relator under the FCA. In San Francisco Marc Axelbaum is a name to note.

Robert Cleary and Dietrich Snell co-chair Proskauer Rose LLP’s white-collar practice from the New York office, where there is a particular focus on fraud involving complex financial products. The wide-ranging practice also extends to tax, FCPA, money laundering and criminal antitrust cases, and the team recently represented an executive of Japan-based Denso Corporation as part of the auto parts investigation brought by the DOJ. Other key members of the department include appellate specialist Mark Harris, and Sigal Mandelker, who represents individual and corporate clients in with government investigations and prosecutions, including SEC and related enforcement matters, internal investigations, public corruption, and cybersecurity. The bulk of the team is based in New York, and the firm recently strengthened its offering in Asia with the hire of Hong Kong-based David Chu from Dechert.

Standing out in particular for its ‘terrific healthcare work’, Ropes & Gray LLP enters the ranking as its white-collar team continues to thrive in this area; recent successes include securing the dismissal of an entire qui tam whistleblower FCA suit for a client. It is currently representing Kurt Mix, a former drilling engineer for BP and the first individual to be indicted in connection with Deepwater Horizon. Joshua Levy co-heads the practice from Boston, where other key practitioners include Brien O’Connor, who was part of the team that conducted an independent investigation on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline concerning allegations that the company paid physicians and hospitals to boost drug sales. In Washington DC, practice co-chair Colleen Conry has been active in a range of areas, including FCPA and trade secrets matters, while in New York the team has been involved in high-profile investigations such as benchmark manipulation and auto parts. Also in New York, Richard Marshall and Eva Carman advised a client in relation to litigation brought by the SEC concerning derivative securities losses.

A substantial part of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s work involves representing high-profile financial and investment management companies and their officers involved in investigations and cases brought by the SEC, DOJ, CFTC and FINRA. The team, which is co-led by Martin Perschetz and Howard Schiffman, includes the highly rated Barry Bohrer, who recently defended an individual accused of participating in the largest fraud in history committed against New York City. Peter White has been active in a number of significant matters including serving as lead trial counsel for Lockheed Martin and its investment management arm in a major ERISA class action. The firm has offset the departure of Sung-Hee Suh to the DOJ with the hire of money laundering specialist Seetha Ramachandran and securities expert Michael Yaeger from the DOJ. Named partners are based in New York, save for Schiffman who also maintains offices in Washington DC.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has added considerable breadth to its white-collar practice in Washington DC with the hire of the DOJ’s former head of fraud Jeffrey Knox. Knox joins a team which also includes former chief of the SEC’s FCPA unit, Cheryl Scarboro, who has been representing a global telecoms company in an SEC inquiry regarding alleged payments to government officials in various countries in violation of the FCPA. In the group’s main stomping ground of New York, leaders Mark Stein and Paul Curnin are handling a range of matters including assisting a major government contractor in DOJ and SEC inquiries concerning alleged accounting improprieties, and representing the audit committee of a large beverage manufacturer in an internal investigation concerning potential FCPA violation, financial improprieties and kickbacks from a sub-distributor in China. The team also advises individuals, with New York trial lawyer Nicholas Goldin representing a trade finance executive of an international bank in a DOJ and New York District Attorney investigation concerning alleged violations of the US economic sanctions on Iran and Sudan.

Attracting praise for its ‘practical approach’, the team at Vinson & Elkins LLP has shrugged off its energy industry stereotype to perform a wide range of significant matters including FCPA, theft of trade secrets, public corruption and antitrust for a wide range of clients. There is particular practitioner strength in Washington DC, where the team is headed by William Lawler, and San Francisco, where practice co-chair Matthew Jacobs is resident. Lawlor recently acted on behalf of Saipem SpA in settling an enforcement action brought by The African Development Bank, and highly rated ‘problem solverCraig Margolis is leading the team defending Avnet in a non-intervened qui tam action alleging that it violated the FCA in connection with its provision of telecoms products and services. Further examples of recent work include ongoing representation of KBR in the defense of multiple FCA and qui tam cases, and advising Vernon Hawkins in relation to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s highly publicized and wide ranging investigation of the city’s 2010 Mayoral race. All named partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Praised for being ‘responsive, knowing industry trends, and providing advice that is both pragmatic and well-reasoned’, White & Case LLP’s team is led by the ‘unflappable, and commercially oriented’ Darryl Lew who is based in Washington DC. The team is particularly known for handling high-end international and cross-border government and regulatory investigations and is currently dealing with a range of benchmark-related and FCPA matters for major companies and financial institutions. Other recent avenues of work include FCA, antitrust, money laundering and breaches of US sanctions. In New York, key practitioners include Kenneth Caruso and Scott Hershman, while in Los Angeles Fernando Aenlle-Rocha is the name to note. Aenlle-Rocha is currently representing Grupo Internacional de Asesores and its shareholders in a civil forfeiture action brought by the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California following allegations of bribery. As well as developing its Miami office, the firm also added weight in Washington DC with the hire of Kathleen Hamann and Daniel Levin from government.


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