The Legal 500

United States > Litigation

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Arbitration remains a hot area of law in the US. Both investment treaty and commercial arbitrations are on a steady rise and are gaining popularity in an increasing number of countries, although the two areas are subject to different trends with the vast majority of practitioners tending to specialize in one or the other. Most leading teams are based in New York, followed by Washington DC and Houston, and are able to draw on international networks to effectively serve their clients worldwide.

Sources reported a renewed appetite for seasoned practitioners in the market, as law firms seek to develop and strengthen their practices. 2013 saw some notable movement within the profession, with big names moving to competing practices or setting up their own boutiques. As a result, a number of teams are in a ‘building and integration’ phase, while others are in the process of negotiating a generational switch, with the third wave of international arbitration experts gradually coming to the fore.

The international trade section features an elite selection of firms which handle high-level, complex work across the spectrum of international trade issues: trade litigation, export controls, CFIUS, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and OFAC sanctions. Most specialized teams operate from Washington DC, and are notable for their insider knowledge and contacts with government agencies and trade institutions.

Many firms report a slump in WTO work, while trade remedy and trade control work has been very much on the rise, with vigorous enforcement by the US of its export controls resulting in more prosecutions. Another trend has been the uptick in the scrutiny of financial institutions by the US government, with the result that law firms have been busy with criminal and regulatory investigations relating to OFAC sanctions.

The leading trial lawyers section consists of elite lawyers, all of whom have extraordinary track records in difficult and headline-grabbing matters, with most having risen to prominence on the back of varied dockets. These practitioners are capable of trying cases across a range of areas and are often ‘parachuted in’ for their courtroom skills and ability to master facts in a short period of time. As a result, a leading trial lawyer might be found almost anywhere, be it trying landmark equality or constitutional matters before the Supreme Court, or major class actions and intricate white-collar work before the appellate and lower courts. Current growth areas include large IP instructions on the West Coast, post-2008 securities litigation – usually with a New York tint – and controversial cases that define the reach and scope of government.

In the class actions space, a number of labor and employment class actions have arisen following the continued success and growth of start-up companies situated in Silicon Valley. Plaintiffs allege that companies have colluded in attempts to keep wages low by agreeing not to recruit one another’s employees and the first trials are scheduled for 2014. Overtime cases remain prominent and plaintiffs continue to file claims alleging they have been misclassified as exempt from overtime pay.

Issues that have come to the fore within pharmaceutical and medical device litigation include pre-emption, which has proved a challenge for plaintiff firms, with defendants raising the issue in motions to dismiss. Firms have noticed an increase in Attorney General litigation in economic claims in order to recoup medical costs.

Asbestos claims remain vibrant in the toxic tort arena, and there has also been an up-turn in litigation related to the World Trade Center clean-up.

Last year saw a notable increase in food and beverage-related false advertising litigation, with courts in Northern California serving as the primary jurisdiction for such actions. Tobacco-focused teams were kept busy handling the remaining Engle progeny cases in Florida, while actions arising from the sale of ‘light cigarettes’ were a further source of activity.

The continued prominence of ‘unintended acceleration’ litigation saw a number of major automotive manufacturers instruct leading firms in multi-district actions throughout the US.

With the US economy showing signs of recovery, securities litigation has reduced. There has been a drop-off in the marquee litigation brought against financial institutions alleging financial fraud which resulted in record settlements, and an up-turn in relatively lower-value litigation. There are still many financial crisis-related matters, but emerging trends indicate that the blend of work is changing for many firms. Firms have noted a trend for non-disclosure cases and cases brought against the pharmaceutical industry concerning upside effects. At the time of going to press, the plaintiffs’ securities bar faces great uncertainty due to the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case of Halliburton Co v Erica P John Fund; the Court is expected to issue a ruling in summer 2014. Hailed as a potential game-changer, the case will review the ‘fraud-on-the-market’ theory and could overrule the precedent set in Basic v Levinson. Decisions such as these could make it harder to file class actions and lead to more matters brought by individual claimants. Merger-related claims abound, with the vast majority of IPOs valued over $500m being subject to numerous lawsuits. The line between shareholder class actions, derivative lawsuits and investigations by regulatory bodies such as the SEC is blurring, so those firms that have capability across the board are increasingly in demand.

The Supreme Court section is concerned with the small number of elite firms that regularly conduct arguments before the highest court in the US. The Court now hears on average about 70 cases on the merits each year, and with around half of these being criminal, the competition among firms to handle big civil cases is intense. A group of highly specialized advocates such as Lisa Blatt of Arnold & Porter LLP, Paul Clement of Bancroft PLLC, Gregory Garre of Latham & Watkins LLP, Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin LLP and Seth Waxman of WilmerHale scoop of a lot of the work and are undoubtedly figures of national significance. Meanwhile the appellate table – although it consists of many of the same firms – covers a far larger amount of work across the country, and the firms in this table retain impressive, diverse and national dockets. IP and environmental litigation remain dominant trends in this highly specialized area of law.

Trade secrets is a relatively new area of law, and as such is often handled by cross-departmental liaison between IP and litigation departments. This highly technical sector has grown as employees have become more mobile; it is also an area of practice that is thriving now that the US economy is beginning to pick up. Trade secrets misappropriation matters usually present great challenges for lawyers, both in terms of enforcing non-compete clauses and restrictive covenants but also in the provision of advice to clients looking to avoid problems further down the road; lawyers must fight to stay ahead of the curve technology-wise. Another complication is the increasing internationalization of cases, as companies seek to protect the movement of information to far-flung jurisdictions all over the world, particularly in East Asia. The area is likely to continue to grow and become more complex as the global economy itself becomes more intricate and globally competitive.

White-collar crime continues to be a key priority for federal prosecutors, with the traditional areas of securities fraud and FCPA remaining buoyant. The pressure on the financial services sector continues unabated, meaning the demand for top-quality lawyers well-versed in this highly regulated market is still high. Attorneys are increasingly called on for assistance in internal investigations, which have become commonplace among large corporations as they seek to address possible compliance issues or whistleblower allegations prior to government involvement. Criminal tax is also emerging as a key area of activity, in part due to the DOJ’s disclosure program for Swiss banks. The DOJ’s investigation into alleged cartel activity in the auto parts industry also continues to spawn cases involving both companies and individuals. The emphasis on holding individuals accountable for white-collar criminal actions continues, playing into the hands of those top litigation boutiques which frequently represent high-level executives. Meanwhile, as more and more countries adopt or update their own anti-corruption legislation, investigations are of an increasingly international character, requiring co-ordinated cross-border representation, which works to the advantage of those multinational firms with strong office networks. As would be expected, many of the leading firms in this space are based in New York, although there are some excellent practices located on the West Coast and in Washington DC.

International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. International arbitration
  2. Leading lawyers

Experienced across the full spectrum of arbitration matters, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s global practice has historical strength in the US and has expanded its capacity in both London and Hong Kong. Key sources of growth for the practice have been Latin America and the mining sector. Team co-chair Donald Francis Donovan, Mark Friedman and Dietmar Prager are representing the Tethyan Copper Company, a joint venture between Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada and Chile’s Antofagasta, in two arbitral proceedings against the government of Balochistan in the ICC, and the government of Pakistan in ICSID, both in relation to the denial of a mining license. BIT cases remain a strength for the team, following on from its high-profile success for Occidental Petroleum in a $2.3bn investment dispute. Practice co-chair David Rivkin and Catherine Amirfar are representing Slovac bank Postova banka in a $500m BIT dispute against the Greek government in relation to the forced exchange of bonds held by investors before the country’s debt restructuring. The duo were joined by Prager in defending Brazil’s Grupo Diniz in two ICC arbitrations seated in Sao Paulo against a European joint venture partner; and by Christopher Tahbaz in representing Lao Holdings in two $1bn ICSID and ad hoc arbitrations. The attorneys named are all based in New York.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP fields a ‘brilliant, extremely knowledgeable and tremendously skilled’ international arbitration team, whose dedication to the area – ‘from paralegals to associates to partners’ – is ‘unique and impressive’. The sizeable team has ‘unparalleled experience’, covering commercial and investment arbitration under a wide range of institutional rules and providing ‘the most cost-effective and high-quality service out there’. Practice head Nigel Blackaby, in Washington DC, stands out for his experience in the energy sector and in Latin America-related cases. Together with Alexander Yanos and Washington-based counsel Alexander Wilbraham, he has been representing Crystallex International Corporation in an ICSID dispute against Venezuela in relation to the alleged expropriation of its investment in one of the largest undeveloped gold mines in the world. The ‘impressiveBrian King is ‘a brilliant strategist’ who delivers ‘the perfect combination of intelligence and diligence’. King and Yanos are representing ConocoPhillips in an ICSID arbitration against Venezuela, one of the largest investment treaty cases ever filed. Noted as ‘a go-to firm for arbitration disputes against governments’, it is also acting for Burlington Resources in its $1.3bn ICSID arbitration claim against Ecuador. Newly promoted partner Elliot Friedman and ‘very clever’ counsel Noiana Marigo are also recommended. The attorneys named are based in New York, unless otherwise stated.

A ‘market-leading firm worldwide in investor-state arbitration’, King & Spalding LLP shows a ‘high level of professionalism’ and ‘vast experience in dealing with the governments of the countries in which its clients have their operations’. Led by Edward Kehoe and Reginald Smith from New York and Houston respectively, the 70-strong group includes 17 US-based partners alongside lawyers in Paris, London, Singapore, Frankfurt and Moscow. Energy disputes, particularly in the oil and gas sector, are the team’s forte, and it also remains active in investment, commercial, IP and construction arbitrations, with Latin America a particular focus. It is currently handling more than 30 arbitration proceedings from the US with a total value of $36bn. Highlights included representing Chevron in an UNCITRAL arbitration against Ecuador arising under the US-Ecuador BIT, with the final award confirmed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia in June 2013; Kehoe, Doak Bishop, Caline Mouawad and Wade Coriell led the team from Houston and New York. Roberto Aguirre Luzi is ‘amazing in investment arbitration’, and is currently representing Teinver in a $1.2bn ICSID dispute under the Spain-Argentina bilateral investment treaty over Argentina’s nationalization of two Argentine airlines and their subsidiaries. In another ongoing matter, Kehoe and Henry Burnett are acting for The Renco Group in its $800m UNCITRAL arbitration against Peru. John Bowman has a strong following among international oil and service companies.

White & Case LLP provides an ‘outstanding service’ and has ‘extensive expertise’ in all types of arbitration. It stands out for the depth, breadth and integration of its international practice, able to draw on ‘efficient, professional and business-minded’ teams in New York, Washington DC, Paris, Singapore, London and Stockholm. Investor-state arbitrations are mainly handled from Washington, while the New York team focuses on commercial cases. In Washington, Carolyn Lamm and Andrea Menaker are representing the Republic of Uzbekistan in five ICSID arbitrations; and, together with ‘the very reliableJonathan Hamilton, have also been representing Peru and its state-owned petroleum company in six separate investment arbitrations, recently achieving success against Caraveli, a subsidiary of two Spanish infrastructure firms, and Argentine investors. In another highlight, Lamm, Hamilton, Menaker, and Francis Vasquez, Jr are advising Abaclat and thousands of other Italian holders of Argentine bonds in an ongoing $1.3bn ICSID arbitration in relation to sovereign default; the case involves the largest-known number of claimants in a single arbitration. The team has significant muscle in the construction and transportation sectors, recently representing the Republic of the Philippines in a $500m ICSID arbitration against Fraport in relation to the concession for the construction and operation of a terminal at Manila’s international airport. Abby Cohen Smutny stands out for her 'excellent strategic thinking', and Ank Santens has 'impressive professional proficiency'.In New York, team head Paul Friedland, whose ‘professional track record speaks for itself’, secured a landmark award in favor of SGS Société Générale de Surveillance in a dispute over non-payment for inspection services against Paraguay, which expands the potential protection afforded to foreign investors under international law. Hansel Pham was promoted to the partnership.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP performs ‘exceptional work’ across its broad geographic platform, adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to international arbitration and fielding ‘highly specialized’ practitioners spread across various practice groups and offices. Its expertise in the US is heavily concentrated in New York and Washington DC. The group continues to receive a steady stream of instructions on treaty arbitration disputes, and clients rate its abilities in that field as ‘excellent, almost second to none’. The team has taken a lead role defending the Russian Federation in a number of arbitration proceedings, including over $100bn expropriation claims under the Energy Charter Treaty brought by the former majority shareholders of Yukos Oil Company; the case involves the highest damages claim ever brought in an international arbitration. The firm is also representing DP World in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Peru under a concession agreement, in relation to Peru’s largest commercial port and the UK-Peru bilateral investment treaty. The team of ‘leading, professional and qualified attorneys’ includes the ‘highly experiencedJonathan Blackman, ‘wonderful cross-examinerJeffrey Rosenthal, Howard Zelbo in New York, and Matthew Slater in Washington.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s policy of acting only for states and state-owned entities in investor-state treaty arbitrations ‘prevents conflicts of interest and translates into a very consistent approach’; it is ‘very well attuned to the complexities and subtleties inherent’ in such work. It delivers ‘what one would expect to find in any top-notch firm’ and ‘does not engage in gratuitous legalism’, and is also noted for its ‘quite remarkable team of oil industry experts’ and ‘very wide geographical footprint’, with hubs in New York, Washington DC, Paris, London and Mexico City. The firm is best known for its representation of Venezuela in two major ICSID arbitration proceedings, one brought by ConocoPhillips Petrozuata and the other by Mobil Corporation, both in relation to petroleum projects in the country, with the claimants seeking $31bn and $18bn in damages respectively. New client wins include the Republic of India, which the team is representing in a $1.6bn dispute over the government’s decision to reserve the S-band satellite spectrum for national security purposes. In another highlight, the team was instructed by Turkmenistan in an ICSID arbitration brought by a Turkish construction company under the Turkey-Turkmenistan bilateral investment treaty. George Kahale III is hailed as ‘one of the best lawyers around’, with an ‘exceptional ability to see the big picture of each case’. Team head Miriam Harwood is ‘thorough and careful, as well as forceful in pursuing issues she judges of merit’. Benard Preziosi, Jr. has an ‘unsurpassed command of facts and valuation models’. Mark O’Donoghueputs the interests of the clients first’. All of them are ‘outstanding’.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has a broad, 45-attorney practice which covers both commercial and investment arbitrations worldwide for a very diverse range of clients. Co-chairs John Townsend and John Fellas are two very prominent arbitration partners, based in Washington DC and New York respectively, and both regularly sit as arbitrators. Townsend has a particularly high profile in investment arbitration, while Fellas has more of a focus on commercial cases, with strong expertise in matters related to Latin America. The team continues to represent Canada in its dispute against the US over the interpretation of an LCIA award in relation to the Softwood Lumber Agreement. Steven Hammond recently represented Turkish oil exploration and development company Türkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortaklığı in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Kazakhstan; Christopher Paparella, who specializes in energy disputes, acted for a heavy equipment supplier in an ICC arbitration involving over $150m".

Norton Rose Fulbright’s power base is Houston, but also has strong international arbitration expertise in New York and Washington DC and an expanded worldwide platform post-merger. The ‘very solid’ team has particular muscle in energy disputes. Chair Mark Baker is praised for his ‘business knowledge and negotiating skills’, and is a well-respected name for derivatives arbitration. The ‘very clever and experiencedAnibal Sabater in New York is hailed as ‘one of the best lawyers around’, and has a significant profile in Latin American matters. In Houston, Kevin O’Gorman has a strong focus on energy disputes; and in Washington, Matthew Kirtland has extensive experience in complex commercial, regulatory and white-collar cases. UK-qualified Lucy Greenwood, who is well regarded for construction matters, is also recommended. Clients of the team include Baker Hughes Incorporated, Total, AEI Energy, Transierra and Técnicas Reunidas.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘exceptional reputation’ is ‘well deserved’, with partner-level expertise in Washington DC, New York and Los Angeles. The ‘superb’ and ‘extremely qualified’ practice grew its commercial arbitration capability in New York with the hire of ‘world-class arbitration attorney’ and ‘sharp strategistLouis Kimmelman and ‘intelligent, capable and hard-working’ counsel Dana MacGrath from Allen & Overy LLP; they brought with them a string of clients and both ‘rank with the highest’. Traditionally the team has mainly acted for investors, but it has broadened its client base and now works for a balanced mix of corporates and governments in both commercial and investment treaty arbitrations. The ‘very knowledgeableStanimir Alexandrov is the head of the firm’s global practice and predominantly takes the lead in investment arbitrations out of Washington, recently representing the Republic of Peru in a $50bn ICSID case, alongside Jennifer Haworth McCandless and the ‘very organized and responsiveMarinn Carlson. On the commercial side, McCandless and Carlson acted for a Russian company in a high-profile €1bn ICC arbitration over the termination of a European nuclear power plant project. Allen Kim relocated to Los Angeles from the firm’s Hong Kong office, and ‘thrives in highly complicated and challenging cases’. Newly promoted partner James Mendenhall has a wealth of experience in bilateral treaty negotiations.

Paolo di Rosa’s team at Arnold & Porter LLP maintains its historical strength in sovereign representation and Latin America related work, and its prolific track record now includes 18 consecutive positive rulings for sovereign states at ICSID. The practice has successfully expanded to cover commercial disputes and claimant-side mandates since di Rosa took over the reins in 2007, and now includes more than 40 attorneys whose main focus is on international arbitration matters. The practice stands out for its ‘deep knowledge of the electricity sector’, with recent work including representing the government of Hungary in a $700m ICSID case against Belgian company Electrabel under the Energy Charter Treaty, led by Jean Kalicki. On the claimant side, di Rosa and Lawrence Schneider are acting for Turkish electricity company Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim in a high-value ICSID dispute regarding its investment in a rental power project in Pakistan. In another high-profile matter, the team is representing the government of South Korea, a new client, in a $4.4bn claim brought by a subsidiary of private equity fund Lone Star over alleged regulatory obstruction by the Korean banking authorities; Di Rosa and Kalocki are leading on the case, which is the first investment treaty arbitration ever filed against the country. Other client wins included the Slovak Republic, which the team is defending in an investment treaty claim brought by a Dutch subsidiary of Steel Corporation over tariffs applied to electricity production. Patricio Grané is now with Volterra Fietta in London. The individuals named are all based in Washington DC.

Baker Botts L.L.P. has a particularly strong record in energy cases, with construction, IP and tax also strong areas of expertise. It acts for respondents and claimants in both investment and commercial arbitrations, and is co-headed by highly regarded trial lawyer Michael Goldberg in Houston. Other recommended names in the US include Jennifer Smith, Michael Lennon and Washington DC based Ryan Bull. Recent instructions include claims under bilateral treaties, disputes regarding carbon trading credits, construction disputes relating to projects in Africa and South America, and cases over gas price reviews, oil bunkering, oil drilling and commercial joint ventures. Key clients include the Russian Federation, the Republic of Ecuador and Kia Motors. The group has recently hired four partners in the Middle East and London.

New York-based outfit Chaffetz Lindsey LLPhas succeeded where many others have failed: in the creation of a specialized, top-notch international arbitration boutique’. It is noted for its ‘efficiency and responsiveness’, and ‘consistent quality of service’. Clients have ‘complete trust’ in James Hosking, and value his ‘vast experience in arbitration’ and ‘quick understanding of the business facts of a case’. Name partner David Lindsey is a ‘super lawyer’ and ‘an extremely responsive and outstanding practitioner’; and Peter Chaffetz, Charles Scibetta, Cecilia Moss and recently promoted partner Andreas Frischknecht all ‘demonstrate the same skill, knowledge and commercial focus’. The firm regularly acts for sovereigns and corporates in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, with areas of specialism including energy, mining, construction and post-acquisition disputes. Jennifer Gorskie was promoted to the partnership in February 2014, and is noted for her extensive experience representing sovereigns and companies based in and investing in Latin America. Other clients of the team include AEI, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Samwhan Corporation, the Republic of Liberia and American International Group.

Led from Washington DC by Allan Moore and senior counsel Eugene Gulland, the ‘outstandingCovington & Burling LLP has ‘a very solid practice in international arbitration’, with a ‘young but very well-experienced team’ and an excellent record in the insurance, life sciences, energy and mining sectors. It handles a healthy flow of commercial and investment treaty work, and regularly represents industry associations and companies before the WTO thanks in part to the firm’s impressive international trade group. Also in Washington, Marney Cheek and John Veroneau were able to draw on the firm’s strong patent practice in representing Eli Lilly & Company in an investor-state arbitration against the government of Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement over the alleged expropriation of its IP rights. Other clients include BP America, ExxonMobil and Petrotin. Mitchell Dolin is a ‘prominent expert in insurance coverage matters’. ‘Superb lawyerNicole Duclos, who recently joined in New York from Allen & Overy LLP, has a strong Latin American practice. Also in New York, David Pinsky was made up to partner in 2013.

Shearman & Sterling LLP has vast experience in sensitive commercial and investment arbitrations under bilateral and multilateral treaties, and attracts particular praise for the quality of New York partner Henry Weisburg, who is ‘very impressive as a big-picture guy’. Among its areas of specialism, the team handles disputes in the chemical, natural resources, energy and financial sectors. It successfully secured the largest ICC arbitration award ever for The Dow Chemical Company in its dispute against a Kuwaiti state-owned entity over a failed petrochemicals joint venture. It has a strong foothold in the Latin American market, and recently represented the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in a claim brought by OI European Group under the Netherlands-Venezuela BIT, relating to the operation of an industrial plant. The practice’s base remains Washington DC, where highly regarded names include Jonathan Greenblatt, Christopher Ryan, of counsel Thomas Wilner and counsel Katia Yannaca-Small.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is noted for its focus on ‘multimillion-dollar, big-ticket, complex arbitrations’; clients ‘want it at their side in times of real trouble’. The ‘super-responsive’ team is ‘very ably’ led by Peter Thomas in Washington DC and Robert Smit in New York, who both ‘live and breathe their clients’ problems’ and ‘stand shoulder to shoulder, well supported by a strong bench’ which includes five other dedicated partners. Clients are drawn from a broad range of industry sectors, and the team enjoys a strong following in Asia, in particular Japan and Korea. In a recent highlight, Thomas successfully represented Japan’s Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation in an ICC arbitration against US-based Janssen Biotech over the supply price for the Remicade drug under a development distribution agreement. Washington-based counsel Janet Whittaker brings Latin America and investment treaty expertise to the team, and Barry Ostrager in New York has vast experience in insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes.

Particularly strong in London, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s global international arbitration group includes five partners in New York who devote a high proportion of their time to the practice. The team is known for high-stakes, intricate and multidisciplinary disputes and represents clients across a raft of industries including energy, telecoms and banking. The firm is acting for India’s Devas Multimedia Private Limited in a high-profile $1.6bn ICC arbitration and a related $1bn UNICITRAL investment treaty arbitration against the state-owned Antrix over the cancellation of a satellite contract; and is representing Barbados-based investor Gambrinus in ICSID proceedings under the Barbados-Venezuela BIT concerning the alleged expropriation of Venezuelan urea and ammonia producer FertiNitro. The team won a notable decision for BNP Paribas when it obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all claims over the ‘Oil for Food’ programme brought by the Northern Governorates of Iraq. Julie Bédard is a ‘great lawyer’, and ‘highly effective’. Practice head Timothy Nelson, Lea Haber Kuck and Marco Schnabl are also recommended.

Baker & McKenzie LLP’s US practice spans the firm’s bases in New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Washington, and its extensive geographical presence is matched by its broad coverage of arbitration matters. The firm is particularly well known for commercial arbitration work, with expertise in engineering, construction, oil and gas and post-M&A cases, and also has growing capability in investment treaty arbitration led by team head Grant Hanessian in New York. The firm is representing Longreef Investments in its $500m ICSID claim against Venezuela; Gravilovic in its $200m ICSID claim against the Republic of Croatia; and Canaccord Financial in a post-acquisition ICDR dispute against Morgan Joseph. David Zaslowsky in New York, Brendan Cook in Houston, Matthew Allison in Chicago and Donald Hayden in Miami are other names to note.

In 2013, Chadbourne & Parke LLP suffered a blow with the departure of key international arbitration practitioners Oliver Armas, Thomas Pieper and Luis Enrique Graham to Hogan Lovells, although this was offset by the hire of highly regarded partners Mark Beckett and Rachel Thorn and counsel Marc Suskin in New York, from Latham & Watkins LLP. The team is able to draw on the firm’s renowned project finance practice and continues to represent a raft of clients in the construction, energy, engineering, IT outsourcing and manufacturing sectors. Beckett is representing Koch Minerals and Koch Nitrogen International in an ICSID dispute over the alleged expropriation by Venezuela of a fertilizer plant and a related offtake agreement. The team has also recently represented ZAO Lanit. ‘Very impressive’ senior associate Christina Hioureas is ‘solid in both investment and public law arbitration’.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s Elliot Polebaum has ‘skill and expertise in international commercial arbitration’ and heads a ‘well-balanced and responsive team’ of Washington DC-based attorneys who ‘perceptibly enjoy working together’ and are qualified to take on ‘technical cases in the hi-tech arena’. Polebaum himself divides his time between Washington DC and Paris, and his client roster includes major French corporations such as Thales Alenia Space France, which he and recently promoted partner Joseph LoBue defended in a $350m ICDR arbitration against satellite operator Globalstar. Other clients are drawn from the oil and gas, telecoms, aerospace and defense sectors, and include TNK-BP, EDF, Orange and Total. Eugene Hansen was promoted to special counsel.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP provides a ‘top-quality and highly reliable service’ in international arbitration from its New York platform, handling a healthy mix of commercial and sovereign arbitration mandates. The team brings the firm’s top-tier expertise in project finance to bear in energy disputes, with a strong focus on Latin American work. Team head Joseph Neuhaus continued to defend Standard Chartered Bank in a number of ICDR claims brought by Latin American investors arising from the $60bn Madoff Ponzi scheme, and in June 2013 successfully obtained the dismissal of a purported class arbitration. John Hardiman is recommended for financial services, aerospace and telecoms disputes, and continues to represent TeliaSonera and Sonera Holding in a long-running ICC arbitration against Turkey’s Cukurova over control of the Turkish mobile network.

Arif Ali and his ‘extremely sophisticated’ team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP deliver a ‘superb service’, with ‘top-shelf knowledge of international arbitration practice in connection with any sort of international dispute’. Divided between the firm’s New York and Washington DC offices in the US, the practice also has very strong international capability and ‘works with the client in the most cost-efficient manner’ through its platforms in Paris, Budapest, London, Prague and Warsaw. In Washington, Ali and Marguerite Walter are acting for H&H Enterprises Investments in a bilateral investment treaty dispute against Egypt before ICSID in relation to an investment in the Egyptian tourism industry. In New York, Eric Ordway is representing the government of Hungary in a Portugal-Hungary bilateral investment treaty claim, with Samaa Haridi, Chip Roh and three partners in Budapest also acting in the case. The team’s impressive client roster also includes companies in the hospitality, pharmaceutical, oil and gas and construction sectors. The ‘meticulous’ Ali is ‘passionate about his job’, and ‘a force within the international arbitration community’.

International arbitration powerhouse WilmerHale’s US team is ‘a brilliant example of a successful group of professionals’; their work is ‘always prompt, complete, focused and convincing’. ‘Especially impressive’ is Rachael Kent, who ‘wins the admiration of tribunals’ with her ‘easy and fluent manner of oral presentation’. Clients also hail senior counsel James Carter as an ‘icon in the field’. The practice is particularly recommended for ‘high-value and complex international arbitrations’, both commercial and investor-state, and is evenly split between Washington DC and New York. The team leverages the firm’s muscle in IP litigation, securities, antitrust and financial services, and also has a strong record in the infrastructure and energy sectors. John Pierce in New York and John Trenor in Washington DC are the other names to note.

Winston & Strawn LLP impresses with a ‘first-rate team’ which includes ‘high-quality international advocates with a great deal of talent’. The ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and enormously experiencedMark Bravin co-heads the practice and is praised as ‘one of the most knowledgeable investor-state arbitration lawyers practising today’. He mainly acts on the investor side, and recently obtained a successful award for McKesson Corporation against Iran before the Supreme Court in a longstanding dispute over the expropriation of a holding in Pak Dairy. Eric Bloom, Tomás Leonard and New York-based Neil Mitchell represented Ecuador against ChevronTexaco Corporation and Texaco Petroleum Company in a $19bn UNCITRAL case under the US-Ecuador BIT over alleged breaches of investment contracts and denial of justice. The US-based team draws on the firm’s international presence in Geneva, Paris, London and Hong Kong to provide an ‘excellent service’ in ‘highly sensitive international matters’. The individuals named are based in Washington DC, unless otherwise stated.

International trade

Index of tables

  1. International trade
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Covington & Burling LLP is ‘one of the very best’, and has a ‘top CFIUS practice’ in Washington DC headed by Mark Plotkin and David Fagan, and provides ‘consistently outstanding advice’. The ‘extremely intelligent, hardworking and tremendously experienced’ Fagan is recommended ‘for the most sensitive, difficult cases’, and Plotkin is ‘excellent’. The firm has increasing strength in countries such as China, India and Korea as well as in the Middle East, Latin America and Africa; among its recent work, Fagan and Plotkin successfully assisted Nexen, an exploration company with assets in the US, in the approval process of its $15.1bn acquisition by China National Offshore Oil Corp. The team also impresses with its ‘best-in-class knowledge of US export controls and economic sanctions regimes’; team co-chair Peter Lichtenbaum and Peter Flanagan both ‘have mastery of that technical specialty’, and Kimberly Strosnider and Corinne Goldstein are ‘also very strong’. Lichtenbaum advised Enstrom Helicopter on notifications and technology transfer relating to its acquisition by a state-owned enterprise of the Chinese government. Able to tap into the firm’s IP expertise, the team also advised a major US trade association on issues under the WTO agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). Co-chairs of the international trade group Stuart Eizenstat and John Veroneau are also recommended.

Excellent in every respect’, Hogan Lovells provides an ‘extremely high level of service’ and ‘top-quality advice’ across the trade spectrum to both governments and major corporations. Co-headed by litigation expert Deen Kaplan and the ‘deeply knowledgeableBeth Peters, who leads on trade control work, the Washington DC-based team is particularly adept at nuclear export control matters and work for financial institutions. Recent highlights include successfully obtaining CFIUS clearance for Israel’s Objet and Minnesota-based Stratasys on their $1.5bn merger transaction; Peters, Jeanne Archibald and Ajay Kuntamukkala led the advice. Among significant ongoing matters, trade litigation specialist Mark McConnell and Kaplan are representing the government of Ontario in one of the largest international trade disputes worldwide under the US-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement. Combining international trade and privacy management expertise, a multidisciplinary seven-partner team is also advising the Coalition for Privacy and Free Trade on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiation between the US and the European Union. Other clients include global defense company General Dynamics, Barclays and Westinghouse Electric Company. The ‘highly competent’Stephen Propst is ‘a pleasure to work with’, and clients turn to T Clark Weymouthfor his understanding of complex compliance matters’.

International trade is a major strength of Sidley Austin LLP, particularly in the WTO litigation and trade remedy arena. Key to the firm’s success in the field is practice head Andrew Shoyer, who leads a team of ‘practical’, ‘business-oriented’ professionals and ‘tailors resources effectively, with clients’ overall interests in mind’. Based in Washington DC and leveraging the firm’s resources in Geneva and Brussels, the practice is prominent across the full spectrum of traditional international trade work and acts for a strong mix of clients from various regions and industry sectors. ‘Unsurpassed on the respondent side’, the team continues to advise the Chinese solar industry on imports of solar panels in the US market and anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations conducted by the European Commission; the ‘straightforward and pragmaticNeil Ellis, Richard Weiner, Brenda Jacobs and counsel Rajib Pal are leading the advice. Among other highlights on the trade remedy side, James Mendenhall advised MasterCard Worldwide on trade and investment rules on market access and international trade negotiations. The firm continues to gain market share in the WTO dispute space; in 2013, Shoyer, Pal, Weiner and litigator Eric Solovy successfully acted for a complaining party in a WTO challenge to the government of Ontario’s requirements for renewable electricity generation equipment. Robert Torresen and Lisa Crosby regularly advise key client Caterpillar on all aspects of US and EU export control and sanctions laws and regulations. Senior counsel Richard Belanger is also recommended.

One of the leading US firms for complex international trade issues’, Steptoe & Johnson LLP provides ‘a consistently excellent level of service’ and has ‘a deep bench with a strong established network’, including ‘excellent legal contacts in China’; clients ‘highly value its counsel’, which is ‘well worth its rates’. The team continues to blaze a trail in trade disputes between the US and China, and acts across the spectrum of matters including export controls, economic sanctions and CFIUS. New mandates from US companies on trade matters involving China included countervailing investigations, and trade policy and merger review issues, and it also represented MeadWestvaco in an anti-dumping case. Pre-eminent in the WTO arena, its recent work includes representing the government of Argentina in a dispute over its import regime, and it strengthened its Latin American practice with the hire of seasoned Brazilian trade litigator Pablo Bentes. The team also successfully represented USEC before the International Trade Commission in the anti-dumping sunset review on low enriched uranium from France. Susan Esserman heads the Washington DC-based team, which also includes Stewart Baker; the ‘best-in-class’ Mark Moran; the ‘pragmatic’ Edward Krauland; of counsel Gregory McCue; and Richard Cunningham, who is considered a ‘statesman in US trade circles’.

Hal Shapiro’s ‘very solid’ 13-partner team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP handles a plethora of international trade matters, covering WTO and trade remedy litigation, export controls and economic sanctions, CFIUS, customs and import controls, trade policy and FCPA work. It successfully acted for the government of British Columbia in arbitration proceedings under the US-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement, and Valerie Slater secured the revocation of the anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders against Atlantic salmon imports from Norway on behalf of the Norwegian Seafood Export Council. Shapiro specializes in US-EU relations and trade disputes. Edward Rubinoff is an expert in US international trade controls. The highly regarded Wynn Segall is another name to note. The individuals named are all based in Washington DC.

At Arnold & Porter LLP, Lawrence Schneider heads a nine-partner team in Washington DC which has decades of experience in trade remedy cases, attracts instructions from corporations across the full range of US industry groups, and is able to draw on the expertise of former senior US government officials. While new instructions on CFIUS and import cases have slowed down in recent years, the team has seen an uptick in export control work. John Barker is currently advising BAE Systems on export compliance matters regarding the implementation of a consent agreement with the US Department of State. On the import side, Michael Shor successfully represented Indonesian paper producer Tjiwi Kimia in an ITC sunset review of anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders against paper supplies from Indonesia. Schneider and Shor regularly advise the government of Israel, a longstanding client of the firm, on international trade, customs, and related legislation. The team also continues to assist the Province of Alberta on issues arising under the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement between the US and Canada and in three arbitration proceedings in the London Court of International Arbitration. Former US government legal adviser John Bellinger focuses on export control and economic sanctions matters. Jeffrey Smith is also recommended.

Baker & McKenzie LLP is ‘certainly among the best in export controls and customs compliance advice’ and is heartily endorsed by clients, who rate the overall level of service as ‘superb’. The team has ‘particular expertise in representing hi-tech companies in Silicon Valley’, thanks to the ‘amazing’ and ‘extraordinarily knowledgeable’ John McKenzie. Based in San Francisco, he is ‘able to cite chapter and verse of the law’ and ‘tailor his advice to the issue at hand’. The firm also stands out for its ‘worldwide bench depth’, with clients able to receive ‘top-notch, practical and focused trade compliance advice’ throughout the US and across borders. It recently bolstered its export control and trade sanctions practice with the hire of former US prosecutor Jonathan Poling. Clients in that area include Symantec and Lam Research Corporation. The ‘genial’ Robert Eisen in New York has ‘deep experience’ in customs compliance issues, particularly in China-related transactions. He recently assisted Coldwater Creek on global customs and supply chain planning matters. Although weaker than some of its competitors in the trade remedy arena, the team regularly handles anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings; the ‘very technical’ Kevin O’Brien, for instance, continues to represent Golden Dragon in trade remedies matters. Co-head Nicholas Coward, ‘top customs attorney’ Ted Murphy, Teresa Gleason, Edward Dyson and Janet Kim, all based in Washington DC, are also recommended.

Based in Washington DC, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP’s 19-attorney international trade group has a thriving trade remedy and export control practice and is hailed by clients as ‘the best in the field by far’. Practice head and anti-dumping expert Kathleen Cannon is ‘knowledgeable, and an effective communicator’, and recently teamed up with Alan Luberda and Paul Rosenthal in representing two US producers, Dynamic Materials and ArcelorMittal, in an ITC sunset review of a longstanding trade order against dumped imports from Japan, successfully securing its preservation. Michael Coursey, John Herrmann and Rosenthal are representing US producers in a CIT lawsuit over the recovery of anti-dumping duties from ‘new shipper’ bonds, and have succeeded in netting $65m so far. Eric McClafferty has been busy on compliance and anti-corruption matters. David ‘Skip’ Hartquist, Jeffrey Beckington and special counsel Jennifer McCadney are also recommended.

A stalwart of the international trade arena, King & Spalding LLP brings to bear both broad experience and impressive resources, with no fewer than 11 high-profile partners in Washington DC, including practice head Stephen Orava and the ‘very highly regardedJoseph Dorn. The ‘second-to-none’ practice, which extends to Geneva, London, Moscow and Riyadh, features in a growing number of US countervailing duty cases against imports from China, with Orava and Christopher Cloutier actively involved in that field. Together with Dorn and Stephen Jones, the pair are currently acting for AK Steel Corporation in six anti-dumping and three countervailing duty investigations. The team continues to assist the American Furniture Manufacturers Committee for Legal Trade in US anti-dumping administrative and judicial litigation concerning wooden bedroom furniture imports from China. It also regularly acts for US companies in international trade proceedings outside the US, Section 337 cases at the ITC, import and export compliance investigations, and dispute settlement proceedings before the WTO. Jones and Michael Taylor lead on customs work, while Christine Savage and Mark Wasden have dedicated CFIUS, economic sanctions and export control practices. Other clients include The Dow Chemical Company, Nokia and Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation.

The ‘absolutely terrificLatham & Watkins LLP is a ‘phenomenal resource’ to its clients, combining ‘superior technical knowledge and practical solutions’ with ‘commitment to its clients’ needs and operational realities’. Clients describe the Washington DC-based team as a ‘model practice group’ and note its ability to ‘nimbly tap other legal resources within the firm’ to ‘deepen its advice’. It combines white-collar and regulatory expertise to act in relation to export control and sanctions, CFIUS, customs and FCPA/anti-corruption matters, and its client list includes a raft of large multinationals and traded companies. Among its highlights in the FCPA arena, Alice Fisher, Doug Greenburg and William Baker III successfully settled one of the longest-running FCPA investigations in the SEC’s history, on behalf of Eli Lilly & Company. The ‘extremely seasoned, practical, responsive and politically connectedWilliam McGlone heads the team, which recently welcomed the arrival of white-collar specialist Maria Barton in New York and ‘tireless, engaging advocate and forward thinkerLes Carnegie.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s international trade work spans litigation, policy and compliance matters. The firm continues to combine its strength in corporate transactions with its CFIUS practice, and recently advised A123 Systems on the CFIUS aspects of the $257m sale of its assets to Wanxiang Group; CFIUS, national security and cross-border transactions expert Ivan Schlager and counsel Malcolm Tuesley led the advice. Other clients include manufacturing, hi-tech, pharmaceutical, services and agricultural companies. Robert Lighthizer heads the team, which includes trade litigators James Hecht, Jeffrey Gerrish and counsel Stephen Vaughn, who are also policy and compliance specialists. The individuals named are all based in Washington DC.

At Wiley Rein LLP, practice head and ‘can-do lawyer’ Alan Price ‘gets desired results nearly 100% of the time’ and is ‘unsurpassed in terms of competence, creativity and acumen’. His ‘top’ Washington DC-based team has impressive all-round international trade capability but excels in large litigation cases with a trade element, including trade remedy actions and WTO proceedings. Other areas of expertise include export controls, CFIUS, economic sanctions and government contracts. 2013 highlights included representing Rebar Trade Action Coalition in US Department of Commerce (USDOC) investigations into unfairly traded rebar imports from Turkey and Mexico, and successfully obtaining the extension of anti-dumping duty orders on seven countries in a second sunset review. John Shane takes a lead role in trade remedy and export control matters, while Timothy Brightbill specializes in WTO work and economic sanctions. Brightbill recently acted for SolarWorld Industries America and the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing in the first anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations in the renewable energy sector, which looked at photovoltaic cells and modules from China and involved $3bn worth of imports in 2011. Robert DeFrancesco III and Christopher Weld were promoted to partner.

Headed by the Washington DC-based Charlene Barshefsky, WilmerHale’s ‘highly renowned’ international trade practice acts for major industrial companies as well as governments in WTO disputes, trade remedy litigation, trade negotiations and export control matters. The team has expertise in technology and internet-related issues related to international trade, and is also notable for its strong presence in the pharmaceutical and agriculture spaces and its ‘excellent knowledge of European legislation’. It recently assisted ACTI, a coalition of advanced manufacturing companies including Siemens, ExxonMobil and Philips, on a number of global technology and IPR challenges as well as in TTIP and ITA negotiations. The firm’s co-managing partner Robert Novick and ‘very good’ special counsel Naboth van den Broek are representing key client Boeing in connection with the US challenge in the WTO to the EU’s alleged failure to comply with demands to withdraw unfair subsidies for large civil aircraft, as well as defending US compliance in a parallel proceeding. Other ongoing matters include representing a US manufacturer in EU and US anti-dumping and countervailing duty challenges regarding solar photovoltaic panels and modules. David Weller left for an in-house position.

Noted for its ‘excellent and accurate advice’, Matthew Nolan’s Washington DC-based team at Arent Fox LLP continues to enjoy market share in traditional trade litigation. The firm’s recent record includes acting for NatureSweet in an ongoing trade dispute over imports of Mexican tomatoes; and securing victory for CP-Kelco at the US International Trade Commission in an anti-dumping duty petition over the import of xanthan gum from Austria and China. The team is also an active force in export controls, economic sanctions, and anti-boycott compliance. David Hamill, who ‘goes out of his way to keep his clients informed’, is advising meat and food company Hillshire Brands on import and export compliance matters. Also well known in the field are Nolan and Kay Georgi, who assist clients such as National Oilwell Varco, G4S International and TRW. John Gurley, Matthew Clark and Matthew Kanna are also recommended.

Let by ‘outstanding practitioner’ Jeffrey Snyder, Crowell & Moring LLP’s ‘very solid’ Washington DC-based group has strength in a range of specialisms, including export control, trade litigation and customs. Leveraging the firm’s offices in Brussels and London, as well as its international policy and regulatory affairs consulting affiliate, the team is able to tackle emerging trade issues worldwide. It is regularly involved in anti-dumping cases in multiple jurisdictions and has experience acting for governments in anti-dumping, countervailing duty and anti-subsidy matters. Clients include Alcoa, DuPont, Caterpillar, SC Johnson, General Motors, Mazda, Electrolux, Bosch and Schlumberger. John Brew and Cari Stinebower are also recommended.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP’s ‘excellent team’ picked up fewer WTO cases than in past years, but handled a significant flow of work on trade remedies and trade policy. China is very much to the fore in that space, and the firm’s planned office in Beijing will further strengthen the team’s muscle in South East Asia. The team’s work is typically high end, with recent highlights including Daniel Porter and James Durling’s representation of GPX International Tire in landmark anti-dumping and countervailing duty court appeals. The team recently showcased its ability to secure work in emerging markets when the Vietnam Association of Shrimp Exporters instructed it on the USDOC’s administrative reviews of the anti-dumping duty order on frozen shrimp from Vietnam; ‘highly respected’ team head William Barringer and counsel Matthew McCullough obtained favorable rulings for the client. Porter is the contact partner for key Korean client LG Electronics, which now entrusts all its international trade work to the firm; recent mandates include anti-dumping and countervailing duty proceedings and a WTO case against the US. The attorneys named are all based in Washington DC.

Litigators Carey Dunne and James Rouhandeh head Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s New York-based international trade practice, which is composed of lawyers with experience in white-collar crime, corporate, regulatory and commercial litigation. The firm has invested in building a solid FCPA and economic sanctions practice for its strong finance-focused client base, and has extensive experience advising clients on CFIUS reviews in connection with US acquisitions and investments. Dunne and Jennifer Newstead successfully represented Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo in an industry-wide investigation by the DOJ, Manhattan DA, and OFAC into alleged violations of US sanctions in connection with transactions relating to Iran, Cuba, Libya and Sudan. The ‘top-notch’ Newstead is singled out for her ‘strength on the regulatory enforcement side’; she ‘excels as an advocate’ and ‘delivers tremendous outcomes’. Scott Muller and Angela Burgess acted for BHP Billiton in an FCPA investigation, and John Reynolds, III assisted Automatic Data Processing on economic sanctions compliance.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s five-partner international trade group represents blue-chip clients from a variety of industries, with particular expertise in the finance and technology sectors. The team stands out for its wide-ranging capabilities and has been particularly busy with CFIUS filings and economic sanctions work in connection with the Middle East and South East Asia. Recent highlights include advising Crédit Agricole in a number of OFAC compliance and licensing matters involving US and multilateral economic sanctions against Iran; and representing the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in an investigation by the State of New York Department of Financial Services on compliance with US economic sanctions. The firm is also acting for Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in a number of trade remedy matters. The firm has a sophisticated customs practice, and has been assisting American Honda for more than 20 years on a range of import issues. Practice head Judith Lee focuses on export control, sanctions and CFIUS matters, while Donald Harrison and John Christopher Wood specialize in trade remedies, with all three based in Washington DC. Jose Fernandez and Ron Kirk joined the team in New York and Dallas respectively.

Amanda DeBusk’s Washington DC-based team at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLPprovides excellent timeliness, support and coverage’, and is valued for its ‘extensive experience and knowledge of the government and its clients’ industries’. The ‘very well-connected and continuously dedicated’ DeBusk and celebrated litigator Eric Parnes are representing Eaton in multiple export control matters under the three major regimes, involving munitions, dual-use items, and sanctions compliance, the team having previously advised the client on its $13bn acquisition of electrical equipment supplier Cooper Industries, now in its integration stage. In the trade remedy space, DeBusk, Parnes, Matthew Nicely and John Wood are representing German thermal paper manufacturer Papierfabrik August Koehler in anti-dumping proceedings. Joanne Osendarp, John Townsend and Parnes represented the government of Canada in arbitration over the interpretation of an earlier arbitral award relating to the collection of export taxes.

Mayer Brown is a ‘go-to firm for international trade matters’, with a team of ‘skilled professionals’ whom clients ‘whole-heartedly recommend’. It enjoys a premium reputation for WTO work, steering complex cases under the direction of the ‘particularly goodDuane Layton, and also has strong expertise in trade remedy, customs and export control matters. Key mandates included successfully representing the government of Indonesia in a USDOC anti-subsidy investigation relating to frozen warm-water shrimp; and acting for Rayonier in a Chinese anti-dumping investigation into dissolving pulp from the US, Canada and Brazil, one of the largest Chinese trade cases against the US. Other clients include ArcelorMittal, Microsoft and Time Warner. Also recommended are Simeon Kriesberg, Michael Kantor, Timothy Keeler, Sydney Mintzer and Matthew McConkey, all in Washington DC.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s practice in Washington DC handles the full gamut of international trade work for a diverse selection of clients, many drawn from the food, beverage and agribusiness industries. Team head Carolyn Gleason and Pamela Walther continue to represent Chiquita Brands International in the high-profile ‘Banana Wars’ dispute, and succeeded in negotiating a settlement in the form of two major WTO agreements. David Levine and Raymond Paretzky lead the team on import relief proceedings and regulatory trade controls compliance, while Jay Eizenstat focuses on market access disputes, particularly those with a connection to Asia and South Korea.

Miller & Chevalier Chartered’s international trade strength lies in its export control and FCPA capabilities, and stands out from more traditional practices for its strategic distance from WTO work. While many firms approach FCPA matters from a white-collar perspective, Kathryn Cameron Atkinson’s team specializes in developing compliance programs worldwide, from the firm’s headquarters in Washington DC. John Davis leads the FCPA practice and advises various companies in highly regulated sectors such as mining, oil and gas, and telecoms. Former director of the regulatory policy division at the USDOC Larry Christensen is an expert in export control work. Other areas of expertise for the firm include commodity jurisdiction, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, government and multi-jurisdictional investigations, and the Export Control Reform Initiative.

Washington DC-based Stewart and Stewart’s niche practice is prominent in the trade remedy field, thanks to the widely acknowledged expertise of name partner Terence Stewart. The practice is focused on large domestic companies across a host of industries, and spans both regulatory and contentious matters. Of particular note is the firm’s capability in matters involving trade relations with China. William Fennell, Geert De Prest, Alan Dunn, Eric Salonen and Elizabeth Drake are recommended.

Walter Spak’s sizeable and ‘highly specialized’ team at White & Case LLP, in Washington DC, has ‘deep knowledge of the industries in which its clients operate’, and is ‘excellent in all regards’. A firm of choice for both leading corporates and sovereign entities, it handled an impressive flow of WTO work in 2013, and has grown in stature in the export controls arena. It advised Saudi Aramco on global trade remedy matters and WTO rules; assisted the government of Thailand in the US countervailing duty investigation into frozen warm-water shrimp; and assisted Hyundai Heavy Industries and its US importer Hyundai Corp in relation to a US anti-dumping review before the USDOC. Other clients include Fujifilm, Japan’s Ministry of Economy of Trade and Industry, and Tyson. Gregory Spak and Spanish speaker Richard Burke ‘stand out’ for their ‘extensive experience, practical focus and deep knowledge of US export control laws and regulations’. In Miami, David Bond takes a ‘reasoned business approach to addressing issues’, and William Clinton is also recommended.

Leading trial lawyers

David Beck Beck Redden: Texas-based David Beck continues to have a ‘very active trial docket’, and is especially known for trying defense cases of significant magnitude. For instance, Beck recently obtained a defense verdict for Memorial Hermann Hospital System in a major antitrust lawsuit, a two-and-a-half-month trial in which the physician-investor plaintiffs claimed that the client was responsible for the hospital’s failure; Beck won a complete defense verdict. This ‘brilliant advocate’s track record also includes major actions on behalf of plaintiffs; he served as trial co-counsel with Joe Jamail on behalf of Clear Channel Communications, where the client alleged that a suite of banks including Citigroup, RBS, and Morgan Stanley were attempting to renege on an obligation to loan $22bn; in this instance, a favorable settlement was secured. Beck is known for his ‘direct, homespun approach’ and his ‘fearlessness’. Other recent clients include ExxonMobil and Becton, Dickinson and Company.

David Boies Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP: To say that chairman and name partner David Boies is a part of the cultural fabric of the United States is not an overstatement. Boies is particularly regarded for representing Vice President Al Gore in Bush v Gore and for his cross-examination of Bill Gates in United States v Microsoft . One observer remarks: ‘Boies is always busy, and a very, very good lawyer. He keeps going from year to year, and is an absolute go-to guy, picking what he wants to do, but remaining very active. He works incredibly hard. He’s remarkable, and no different to the past’. Boies’ most recent instructions include representing tobacco companies Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds and Liggett Group in appealing a $2.5m Tampa jury verdict on the death of smoker Charlotte Douglas. In 2013 Boies continued his role as co-counsel alongside Theodore Olson to argue landmark gay marriage case Hollingsworth v Perry: on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court rendered a 5–4 decision, declining to revisit an earlier Ninth Circuit decision, effectively disagreeing with the Ninth Circuit’s prior affirmation of the controversial Proposition 8’s standing; this was viewed as a significant win for gay rights.

Evan Chesler Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP: As chairman of a firm which ‘demonstrates first-rate knowledge in its field of expertise, and excels in achieving the best results possible’, it is not surprising to find that Evan Chesler maintains an impressive and varied docket. He is currently representing American Express in various important matters; for instance, in 2013, he was active in a five-week bench trial for this flagship client in a class action brought in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York by individuals who hold credit cards issued on the Visa, MasterCard and Diner’s Club networks; in this case, it is alleged that the client participated in a conspiracy to include arbitration provisions in the cardholder agreements. Chesler is also considered a great manager of a firm that includes numerous other highly regarded trial lawyers: Robert Baronhas excellent analytical skills and the ability to master large volumes of information’, and David Marriottbuilds trusting relationships with everyone around him’.

Robin Gibbs Gibbs & Bruns LLP: Robin Gibbs is one of the co-founders of a firm which is ‘outstanding in all regards. The most impressive thing about these lawyers is that they are brilliant but have actual personalities as well – they are engaging, interesting people who are excellent at what they do’. Gibbs is currently active alongside the ‘extremely talented’ Grant Harvey in representing Fortune 500-listed healthcare provider DaVita in a substantial qui tam matter involving alleged improper billing to Medicare for drug ‘wastage’ over a nine-year time period. He is also representing ERG Resources in suits filed against Nabors Industries, Ramshorn International Limited, Parex, and Appleby seeking specific performance or damages for breach of contract and against Parex for tortious interference with ERG’s contract. Gibbs attracts much praise from clients: he is ‘a very strong courtroom presence, a good evaluator of circumstances, and a great communicator’. Barrett Reasoner is also ‘excellent’.

John Keker Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.: The ‘just excellent’ John Keker is arguably the significant figure in ‘a very strong trial practice’ which is ‘one of the best out there’. Keker – who is known for both white-collar and civil matters – had a busy 2013. For instance he was active on behalf of Standard and Poor’s in defending a $5bn lawsuit brought against it by the US government, in which instance the client is accused of a scheme to defraud investors by rating mortgage-related securities that collapsed in the financial crisis. In another highlight, Keker acted for Major League Baseball after it was sued by the city of San Jose in a lawsuit that challenges the client’s monopoly over professional baseball. One client enthuses: ‘Keker is the person to see if you have any kind of criminal problem’.

Gary Naftalis Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP: Name partner Gary Naftalisdefinitely belongs at the top of the list’. Naftalis is an ‘amazingly charismatic advocate who often uses humor to win over a jury’; and has had a successful career both in the white-collar crime and major civil litigation arenas. In 2013, Naftalis continued to represent former managing director of McKinsey’s Rajat Kumar Gupta, in both a criminal prosecution brought against him by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and in a civil enforcement action brought by the SEC in the Galleon insider trading matter; initially, Gupta was acquitted of two criminal accounts but convicted on others, and after the granting of bail, the appeal was argued in May 2013. Other clients on Naftalis’ roster are a former president of MF Global Holdings, Muriel Faye Siebert and SiruisXM Radio.

Daniel Petrocelli O'Melveny & Myers LLP: Daniel Petrocelli maintained a hectic schedule in 2013, trying a slew of cases back-to-back in different parts of the country across a variety of industries. Key examples include obtaining a critical ruling from the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Warner Bros. relating to its Superman franchise, in which it was affirmed that co-creator Joe Shuster’s heirs’ copyright claims against the client were invalid, a significant and lasting victory for the company. Petrocelli’s other recent victories include a major federal trade secret misappropriation trial on behalf of Botox-maker Allergan; winning terminating sanctions twice for boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and leading homebuilder Lennar Corporation; and negotiating a 10-year reduction to former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s 24-year prison sentence.

James Quinn Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP: James Quinn is one of the most prominent litigators at this ‘awesome litigation firm’. In 2012 and 2013, Quinn maintained momentum; for instance, he tried a three-month, multimillion-dollar case on behalf of ExxonMobil in New Hampshire state court relating to the use of MTBE in gasoline; the matter is now on appeal. He also continued to fight shareholder claims on behalf of Vivendi in a very large shareholder class action; as well as handling the players’ associations of major US sports leagues in the resolution of league lockouts, in which regard his most recent client was the NHL Players Association. This is also the firm of ‘first-rate’ Diane Sullivan who is ‘in a small class of bet-the-company trial lawyers’.

John Quinn Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP: John Quinn is the managing partner of a litigation powerhouse which has ‘changed the face of litigation’. Quinn is known for his ‘sharp, incisive courtroom style’ and is ‘capable of trying any case’. His recent track record incudes obtaining a $1.1bn settlement on behalf of General Motors in a trade secret misappropriation case against Volkswagen and GM’s former head of sourcing in Detroit. Quinn also obtained an $80m jury verdict on behalf of Avery Dennison, also in a theft of trade secret matter. In addition Quinn continues to represent Samsung Electronics and other Samsung companies in the long-running and wide-ranging patent litigation case against Apple. The firm recently won a victory before the Federal Circuit, successfully vacating a preliminary injunction that had originally prohibited Samsung from selling its Galaxy Nexus phones, a big win for the client with significant ramifications across the industry.

Dan Webb Winston & Strawn LLP: Dan Webb is arguably the most prominent figure in a firm which is ‘just superb in massive, bet-the-company litigation’. Webb successfully represented Microsoft in State of New York v Microsoft, a large antitrust matter in which the court decided that Microsoft’s Windows operating system didn’t violate antitrust laws. In another highlight, Webb prosecuted the US government’s case against former national security advisor Admiral John M. Poindexter in the immensely high profile Iran Contra Hearings. Webb’s colleague George Lombardi is ‘a first-rate trial counsel and puts together an excellent team from top to bottom’. Other significant clients of Webb’s over the years include Phillip Morris, Pfizer and Verizon.

Theodore Wells Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP: Theodore Wells has built a superb reputation over the years in high-stakes litigation including white-collar criminal defense, complex civil and corporate litigation, SEC regulatory work, FCPA investigations, environmental matters and class actions. He is particularly known for representing corporations such as Citigroup, ExxonMobil and Merck & Co in large class actions, and also has a reputation for defending malpractice cases on behalf of law firms, political figures and corporate executives. In 2013, Wells represented Merck & Co in a large securities fraud class action relating to the drug Vytorin, reaching a favorable settlement on behalf of the client. Wells is currently defending ExxonMobil against a natural resource damages claim brought by the State of New Jersey under the New Jersey Spill Act claiming $9bn in losses due to the alleged release of oil and other hazardous discharges.

Philip Beck Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP: Philip Beck is a trial lawyer noted for his ‘prudence and putting the client’s needs first’; in particular, he is revered for ‘his ability to make a judgment about whether a settlement is preferable’. Beck shot to prominence as the head of George W. Bush’s trial team in the Florida recount litigation that ultimately determined the 2000 presidential election, but it is the diversity of his work which most impresses: in his career Beck has tried significant mass tort and product liability cases for clients such as Vioxx and Baycol, major IP cases such as acting for United Technologies Corporation in Rolls-Royce v United Technologies Corporation in a $4bn patent infringement claim concerning the fan blades used in jet engines, as well as cases in the commercial sphere. Beck has longstanding relationships with clients such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte and Arthur Andersen.

Richard Clary Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP: Clients ‘can’t say enough good things’ about Richard Clary. He is particularly known for handling complex residential mortgage-backed securities litigation; for instance, Clary is currently coordinating counsel on behalf of Credit Suisse in over three dozen actions filed across 11 states; in 2013, the firm obtained the dismissal of all claims against the client in The Union Central Life Insurance Company et al v Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC et al. Clary also represented Credit Suisse AG as creditors in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of Lehman Brothers Holdings. One peer simply describes Clary as ‘phenomenal’.

Jay Cohen Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP: Jay Cohen has built a fantastic reputation defending major financial institutions and corporations in critical litigation; he has ‘deep expertise’ in antitrust, securities, IP and general complex commercial disputes. A recent highlight saw Cohen serve as lead trial counsel for Citigroup in the successful defense of a $7.5bn arbitration with ADIA. Cohen is also noted for representing large entertainment entities such as Time Warner Cable and Warner Music, and went to trial in December 2013 on behalf of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in a rate proceeding with Pandor Media about the appropriate public performance rate for online radio.

Sandra Goldstein Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP: Recent highlights for the ‘very, very skilledSandra Goldstein include her successful defense of client Xerox in a $2bn long-running securities class action; in this instance, the plaintiffs alleged that the company and certain of its former executives committed securities fraud by misrepresenting the success of its 1998 global restructuring program, but in 2013, the court determined that the plaintiffs had failed to create genuine issues of fact. Another flagship client is Par Pharmaceuticals, which Goldstein represents in major shareholder class action litigation; she was recently successful both in staying discovery in New Jersey federal court, and in staying consolidation action in New Jersey state court; these victories led to defeat for the plaintiffs.

Marc Kasowitz Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP: The name partner in this ‘excellent, costs-conscious firm’ Marc Kasowitz is ‘great on his feet and well-connected in the New York courts’. A significant amount of Kasowitz’ time of late has been taken up by his advice to large monoline insurer MBIA in several actions concerning MBIA’s 2009 corporate restructuring; this was an unusual case in which the client’s restructuring was challenged by 19 financial institutions; the challenge included both an Article 78 proceeding seeking to vacate approval of the restructuring and a plenary action challenging the restructuring as a purported fraudulent conveyance. By 2013, Kasowitz had won the client $1.7bn and a $500m line of credit from Bank of America.

Barry Ostrager Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP: One client enthuses: ‘Without a doubt, no lawyer has ever come close to being as “good” as Barry Ostrager. His dedication and standards are picked up by the associates who work with him. He is a constant, and he delights in driving himself to achieve superior results, non-stop. He knocked the ball out of the park again this year’. 2013 was a whirlwind year in which he represented United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company in a major asbestos insurance coverage dispute; Clean Sweep in a series of title insurance antitrust cases; and in May 2013, scored a unanimous affirmation on behalf of client Mohammad Al-Saleh in the Florida Fourth District Court in which not only was a previous jury verdict affirmed, but the court also granted cross-appeal for pre-judgment interest, thus increasing the original $28.8m jury award to $40m.

Kathy Patrick Gibbs & Bruns LLP: Kathy Patrick is one of the most prominent figures in a firm that is ‘without question one of the absolute best’. Patrick is ‘someone you want on your side; she commands respect and has a great grasp of the facts and the law'. She is particularly known for handling immensely complex matters in the mortgage-backed securities space, acting for large institutional investors. One example was orchestrating an $8.5bn settlement with Bank of America on behalf of 22 institutional investors relating to $424bn of mortgage-backed securities issued by Countrywide. In 2013, Patrick acted for 17 institutional investors to achieve an agreement with ResCap and its affiliated debtors to grant an $8.7bn claim to 392 residential mortgage-backed securities trusts. One client enthuses: ‘I have never met an attorney who is better at all of these matters and at dealing with a diverse client group’.

William Price Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP: William Price is certainly among this firm’s ‘go-to trial lawyers’; he is ‘extremely knowledgeable on trial strategy and presents very well in court’. 2013 saw Price continue his busy high-profile docket; for instance he was active in Rambus Inc v Micron Technology et al in which instance he obtained a complete defense verdict for Micron, with the matter currently on appeal. He also represented a group of insurance companies, including Zurich, before San Francisco Superior Court’s complex claims department and secured a ruling which will result in entry of judgment in favor of the client relating to $14bn worth of fraudulent transfer claims brought by 30 corporate plaintiffs.

Robert Van Nest Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.: A recent highlight for Robert Van Nest was defending HTC Corporation in Eastman Kodak Co v HTC Corporation, a five-patent investigation brought by Kodak before the International Trade Commission; the case was conducted on a fast schedule and resolved upon the sale of Kodak’s patent portfolio prior to the scheduled hearing date. In September 2013, Van Nest also reached a favorable settlement on behalf of CedarCrestone in misappropriation of IP case Oracle America v CedarCrestone.

Morgan Chu Irell & Manella LLP: One recent highlight for IP litigator Morgan Chu was Tessera Technologies v Amkor Technology; Chu was part of a team acting for Tessera, successfully defeating Amkor’s attack on a July 2012 arbitration award from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Chu is praised for his ‘focused advocacy’.

Susan Harriman Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.: Susan Harriman recently won a significant victory on behalf of key client Electronic Arts in Robin Antonick v Electronic Arts, successfully securing the reversal of an $11m copyright infringement award. Ongoing highlights include defending luxury health club chain Western Athletic Clubs in a purported class action alleging age discrimination in Javorsky v Western Athletic Clubs, and handling securities civil litigation on behalf of a renewable biotech company.

Abbe Lowell Chadbourne & Parke LLP: A leading figure in a ‘superb, immensely professional firm’, Abbe Lowell is ‘one of the top criminal attorneys in America. He also has one of America’s most decisive legal minds, combined with a caring and gentle manner’. Lowell is known for representing high-profile figures such as Senator John Edwards and Senator Joseph Bruno and 2013 continued this trend: for instance, Lowell represented former New York Governor George Pataki in a case brought against him and other New York State agencies and officials in federal court by a group of convicted sexual predators who said their constitutional rights were violated; Lowell secured a complete verdict for the Governor, with his role in procedures deemed proper and lawful. Other clients include Jack Abramoff and Star Scientific.

Randy Mastro Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP: Randy Mastro is particularly well known for representing Chevron in the long-running Lago Agrio litigation; on the client’s behalf, he is currently arguing against the enforcement of a $19bn judgment entered in Ecuador across a range of jurisdictions. Mastro also achieved a major victory in May 2013 for client Hudson River Park Trust, in a dispute with Chelsea Piers over the maintenance and leasing of piers; the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division affirmed a 2012 order dismissing the lawsuit, which helped ensure the continued existence of the trust. Mastro is a ‘lawyer who will fight tooth and nail for his clients’.

Stephen Neal Cooley LLP: The ‘deeply experienced’ Stephen Neal is a highly significant figure in this ‘firm of excellent trial lawyers’. He was recently active on behalf of longstanding client Nintendo in an International Trade Commission Section 337 investigation initiated by live-action adventure game manufacturer Creative Kingdom. Numerous other lawyers stand out at this firm: Michael Rhodes is ‘very effective in the courtroom’; William Schwartz and Jonathan Bach are ‘respected by their peers’; Steve Strauss is noted for ‘great preparation’; Michael Attanasio and patent litigation specialist Thomas Friel are also names to note.

William Pratt Kirkland & Ellis LLP: A recent highlight for ‘one of the best trial lawyersWilliam Pratt was representing Verizon Communications in class action Remson, et al v Verizon Communications, in which plaintiffs allege that the class was exposed for hazardous substances. In June 2013, the parties settled and the case was dismissed with prejudice. Pratt’s roster of clients for which he has acted as lead counsel is impressive and diverse and includes General Motors, Morgan Stanley and Time Warner.

Beth Wilkinson Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP: Beth Wilkinson has national prominence as a trial lawyer. Wilkinson is particularly well-respected for her ongoing work on behalf of Pfizer; she is currently acting for the company in a securities class action involving alleged false disclosures regarding cardiovascular risks associated with Celebrex and Bextra, and is also defending the client in a consumer class action regarding hormone therapy purchase use. Another major client is National Football League, which the firm is defending in hundreds of concussion suits brought by former players; this matter is currently before the federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – antitrust

Index of tables

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

An ‘excellent firm’ based in Philadelphia, Berger & Montague, P.C. is ‘easy to deal with’ and is noted for the depth of its team. The practice, co-chaired by name partner H Laddie Montague and Merrill Davidoff, covers price-fixing, monopolization and cartel cases, and is particularly well versed in the pharmaceutical sector and in matters relating to payment cards. It acted as co-lead counsel in In re Payment Card Interchange Fee & Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, representing a class of merchants against Visa and MasterCard and achieving a $5.7bn settlement, the largest-ever monetary settlement of private antitrust litigation, as well as establishing the merchants’ right to surcharge, which is believed to increase competition in interchange fees. The firm also regularly acts in proactive class actions not resulting from government investigations; examples include In re Titanium Dioxide, a price-fixing case in which it represented a class of direct purchasers. Eric Cramer and David Sorensen are also recommended.

With ten offices including Miami, New York, Washington DC and Oakland, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is an ‘excellent’ and ‘nationally recognized firm’ which handles antitrust disputes for both defendants and plaintiffs. It acted as co-lead counsel in In re Vitamins Antitrust Litigation, reaching a $1.1bn initial settlement for a class of direct purchasers. Managing partner Donald Flexner is experienced in representing large clients, and recently acted for American Express in a dispute with Visa, achieving a $2.2bn settlement. The ‘fantastic’ William Isaacson acted as trial counsel in an antitrust action against certain Chinese companies for cartel conduct, winning a $162m judgment and a $33m settlement. Name partner David Boies, based in Armonk, NY, is a luminary in antitrust litigation. Isaacson is located in Washington DC and Flexner in New York.

Washington DC firm Hausfeld LLP is a ‘market transformer’, and the ‘most innovative firm with respect to antitrust damages’. ‘Driven by excellence’, the team ‘anticipates the evolving needs of clients’ and delivers ‘outstanding advice not only in legal terms but also with a true entrepreneurial touch’. In a highly publicized dispute between the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and student athletes claiming payments from the NCAA for their image and likenesses, the firm scored a major victory by securing class certification of the athletes. The team is also co-lead counsel for a class of direct purchasers in In re Air Cargo Shipping Services, one of the largest class actions in the country; the team is responsible for managing interactions with the 60-plus US firms involved in the case. The ‘incredibly impressive’ Michael Hausfeld and Brian Ratner are ‘highly skilled negotiators and litigators, and real fighters with an outstanding strategic sense’. Megan Jones is also recommended.

Excellent’ Minneapolis-based plaintiff firm Heins Mills & Olson, PLC is held in high regard throughout the market, and represents both direct and indirect purchasers in high-profile antitrust litigations. It is involved in a number of class actions regarding pay-for-delay arrangements whereby brand name drug manufacturers allegedly pay generic competitors to delay market entry of their cheaper generic drugs. Practice chair Vincent Esades and David Woodward are acting as co-lead counsel in In re Lipitor, and Renae Steiner is co-lead counsel in In re Solodyn, as well as being a member of the court-appointed executive committees in In re Suboxone and In re Niaspan; in all these cases the firm is representing the proposed end-payor class. The firm is also co-lead counsel for Glaberson (formerly Behrend) in the widely debated dispute with Comcast; Woodward is proceeding with a motion to certify a revised class, after the Supreme Court denied the plaintiffs’ initial class certification in a ruling believed to have far-reaching implications for plaintiffs. The firm is also involved in In re Titanium Dioxide and In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing.

With offices in Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, Susman Godfrey LLP is a ‘very well-recognized name’ and a ‘nationally known litigation firm’. The practice continues to grow organically, with five attorneys having recently been promoted to partner. The firm regularly represents plaintiffs in complex monopolization cases, and has also been involved in ‘pay-for-delay’ class actions. It represented a direct purchaser class in In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation concerning a price-fixing conspiracy among Chinese vitamin C manufacturers, winning a $162.3m treble-damages verdict. With vast trial experience, the practice group is also co-lead counsel in In re Crude Oil Commodity Futures Litigation, concerning an alleged conspiracy to manipulate crude oil prices. Notable team members include name partner Stephen Susman in New York; Marc Seltzer in Los Angeles; and James Southwick, William Carmody and Arun Subramanian in Houston.

A ‘highly ethical and very effective’ plaintiff firm, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll LLPhas achieved excellent results on behalf of classes’. Among its highlights, the team secured a $118m damage verdict in In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, in which a class of e-book purchasers claimed that the largest publication companies, conspired to artificially inflate e-book prices through an ‘agency model’. Notable practice members include Daniel Small, who ‘combines one of the best analytical minds with a deep knowledge of antitrust law, an exceptionally even temperament and unquestioned integrity’; Richard Koffman, a ‘strong brief writer and an excellent oral advocate’; and Kit Pierson, who ‘impresses as a very talented trial attorney, with good instincts and a strong presence in the court room’. The firm bolstered its government expertise with the addition of former DOJ official Matthew Axelrod. George Farah was promoted to partner in January 2014. Both Axelrod and Farah are located in New York, while Small, Koffman and Pierson work from Washington DC.

As well as its plaintiff representation in antitrust litigation, ‘small but top-quality’ boutique firm Fine Kaplan & Black handles commercial disputes and has experience in defending criminal investigations by the DOJ antitrust division. The Philadelphia-based firm is primarily involved in price-fixing cases and is acting as co-lead counsel for a class of direct purchasers in In re Urethane Antitrust Litigation, in relation to an alleged price-fixing conspiracy between chemicals manufacturers Dow, Bayer, BASF, Hunstman and Lyondell; this is one of a number of the firm’s cases not preceded by a government investigation but pursued proactively. An expert in class certification, Matthew Duncan was promoted to partner in June 2013. Roberta Liebenberg, Allen Black and Donald Perelman are also recommended.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP acts for both direct and indirect purchasers, primarily in price-fixing and to a lesser extent in monopolization cases, and is active at the increasingly important intersection between antitrust and IP law. It acted as co-lead counsel for a class of indirect purchasers in In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation; and in In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, it succeeded in obtaining a jury verdict against Toshiba and in reaching a settlement totaling over $470m with all defendants. Eric Fastiff leads the team from San Francisco, with New York partner Brendan Glackin and the recently promoted Dean Harvey in San Francisco also recommended.

Acting both for classes and for opt-out plaintiffs, Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP is ‘among the most academic and most honorable of cartel-focused plaintiffsfirms’, and is ‘well respected both in California and nationally’. Headquartered in San Francisco, the antitrust practice has ‘extraordinary experience and depth of talent’, and its lawyers are ‘very professional and enjoyable to work with’. In In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, it acted as co-lead counsel for a class of indirect purchasers, achieving a total settlement of $1.1bn, and is handling appeals against the settlement and the distribution of the settled amount to class members. The firm is also instructed in other prominent class actions such as In re Lithium Batteries and In re Automotive Parts. With a ‘keen intellect’ and ability to be ‘very effective with judges’, practice chair Francis Scarpulla is a ‘master at the game’, and a ‘tough but fair settlement negotiator’. Craig Corbitt is ‘among the most academic of the plaintiffs’ bar’, and is ‘well known for his persuasive analysis of complex legal issues’. Also recommended is Judith Zahid, a ‘first-rate case manager’ and an ‘up-and-comer who does much of the actual work needed in big cartel cases’.

With ‘great leadership and competent team support’, New York firm Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP stands out for its ‘capacity to quickly learn the relevant facts and details about complex and varying industries’. Among other high-profile class actions, it acted in In re Air Cargo Antitrust Litigation, and was responsible for the negotiation of several nine-figure settlements. ‘A leader of the plaintiffs' antitrust bar’, Robert Kaplan is ‘exceptionally good at consensus-building and teamwork’, and ‘digs into the documents like a terrier, determined to find the evidence that will win his case’. The ‘terrificGregory Arenson is ‘one of the best lawyers in the world when it comes to dealing with economic experts’.

Labaton Sucharow LLP, in New York, is a ‘very effective plaintiffs’ counsel’, and ‘always acts with a good degree of professionalism’. The firm is representing a class of direct purchasers in In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation, in which it has obtained nearly $500m in partial settlements to date. On the monopoly side, the team is representing a class of direct purchasers of swimming pool products in a case involving allegations of price fixing and attempted monopolization. Jay Himes is a ‘very solid and highly experienced antitrust lawyer’, and the recently promoted Gregory Asciolla is also recommended. In February 2013, Bernard Persky, Kellie Lerner and Hollis Salzman moved to Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P..

An ‘excellent’, ‘preeminent firm in the class action field’, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. has recently considerably expanded its antitrust practice with the hire of Bernard Persky, Kellie Lerner and the ‘smart, knowledgeable and thorough’ Hollis Salzman, all from Labaton Sucharow LLP. Lerner and Salzman are praised for their ‘superior intellect, determination and political savvy in getting the job done for the class’. The team has been involved in major antitrust litigation, including In re Air Cargo Shipping Services, In re Automotive Parts, and In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, in which it reached a $7.3bn proposed settlement on behalf of a class. Minneapolis-based K Craig Wildfang co-chairs the practice alongside newcomer Salzman, who like Persky and Lerner is located in New York.

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

San Francisco-based Altshuler Berzon’s 22-attorney, 14-partner team represents labor federations, international and local labor unions, workers and public interest organisations. Michael Rubin is co-leading a wage and hour class action against Wal-mart on behalf of 2000 warehouse workers in proceedings in southern California; in January 2014 the defendants were denied motion to dismiss and the case is currently at the discovery stage. Rubin is also leading in three separate cases brought on behalf of bank cashiers and check-out operators against JPMorgan Chase, CVS and Wal-mart. The cases were argued in the Ninth Circuit, where Rubin was the sole lead, and the parties are waiting to hear whether the class action will be certified by the California courts. The firm continues to litigate meal and rest break class actions and the ‘resilient’ James Finberg is co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in state and federal courts against Pizza Hut. Eve Cervantez is also recommended.

First tier’ firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is ‘well-respected’ in the market. The firm acted in Vedachalam v Tata America International Corporation, led by ‘excellent’ San Francisco-based practice head Kelly Dermody; the case alleged that Tata violated California law by requiring employees to sign over their federal and state tax refund checks to the company, and that it breached contracts with foreign nationals by failing to pay the wages promised; the US District Court granted final approval to a $29.75m settlement on behalf of 12,700 foreign nationals. The firm is co-counsel in a case that alleges companies illegally conspired to drive wages down by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees; it involves 60,000 Silicon Valley workers and is scheduled to go to trial in May 2014. Dermody is leading the firm’s role as co-lead counsel in the ongoing Chen-Oster v Goldman Sachs, a gender discrimination class action that is currently at the discovery stage. New York-based Rachel Geman is another key name in the team, and additional resources are located in Nashville.

Outten & Golden LLP’s ‘excellent’ class action team operates from the firm’s offices in New York, Stamford and Chicago and is led by practice heads Justin Swartz, ‘the tenacious and incredibly smart’ Adam Klein and Rachel Bien, who are all based in New York. Key areas of focus for the team include wage and hour violations and employment discrimination. The firm has experience acting for unpaid interns and volunteers and is seeking to have a class action certified on behalf of volunteers who performed work for Major League Baseball (MLB) during its All-Star Fanfest and All-Star Summer. The firm is co-counsel in a class action against Driver Solutions in which it is alleged that in using criminal history reports in hiring-related decisions, it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and thus illegally discriminates against African-American and Latino job applicants. Swartz continues to advise workers in overtime lawsuits against CVS, Boston Market, Family Dollar Stores, TD Ameritrade, Starbucks and JPMorgan Chase amongst others, and is acting for cleaning workers in overtime cases. Bien has advised on a number of overtime and tip-theft cases against New York City restaurants on behalf of restaurant workers and is currently acting for unpaid interns in minimum wage and overtime lawsuits against Fox Searchlight Pictures, Hearst Corp. and The Charlie Rose Show.

Oakland, California-based Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho has advised on cases concerning Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Pregnancy Disability Act. The firm continued to act in conjunction with two other firms in Vasich v City of Chicago, a class action lawsuit challenging the ‘physical abilities’ test applicants were required to take prior to entering the Chicago Fire Academy; in 2013 the plaintiffs reached an agreement with the City of Chicago for $2m in back-pay to class members and the introduction of a new physical test to screen applicants. The firm is also active in wage and hour cases and acted for the plaintiffs in Morazan v Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel Group Inc et al, a class action seeking payment for unpaid regular, minimum and overtime wages, premium pay for missed meals and rest breaks, waiting time penalties, penalties and damages for failure to provide accurate itemized wage statements and other civil and statutory penalties; final approval was granted to a settlement in November 2013. Key names to note in the four-partner team include name partners David Borgen and Laura Ho. James Kan was promoted to the partnership in early 2014.

The ‘excellentRudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, LLP has represented a range of clients including insurance claims adjusters, pharmaceutical sales representatives, computer technology workers and financial services professionals. The San Francisco-based firm is currently co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Ruggeri v Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation, in which current and former pharmaceutical representatives are seeking recovery of unpaid overtime and other related claims. David Lowe, John Mullen and Steven Zieff are names to note.

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

The ‘excellentBurg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. is ‘one of the leaders in this field’ and is praised for ‘seeing a case through to trial if necessary’. The firm remains involved in the Yaz /Yasmin multi-district litigation (MDL), where practice head Michael Burg is co-lead counsel, Seth Katz serves as the chair of the discovery committee and Janet Abaray is co-chair of the science and expert committee. In 2013 the firm was also involved in negotiating a global settlement with Bayer with regard to gall bladder injuries; it recently entered into negotiations with the company regarding compensation for venous injuries suffered by over 8000 women. Katz, who is particularly ‘strong on electronic discovery’, is currently serving as co-lead counsel in the Pradaxa litigation, and is also a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the MDL involving DePuy Orthopaedics’ recalled ASR XL metal-on-metal hip device and the alleged failure of its ASR XL Acetabular Hip System. Abaray is the lead attorney in the Depakote products liability claims, where depositions are ongoing and expert witnesses have been retained. Michael Burg and Peter Burgare experienced and highly capable trial lawyers who are absolutely devoted to their clients and practices’.

Herman, Herman & Katz LLC has an active practice operating out of New Orleans. The firm is currently representing plaintiffs in Granuflo litigation against Fresenius Medical Care; the case was established as an MDL in 2013, with James Klick serving on the plaintiffs’ executive committee and of counsel Joseph Kott serving as co-chair of the science committee. The firm is also active in the TYLENOL MDL, with Leonard Davis serving on the plaintiffs’ steering committee, and its role in the Vioxx litigation recently saw it negotiating a $23m settlement for the reimbursement of prescription costs; Russ Herman serves as the plaintiffs’ liaison counsel and chair of the executive committee, Davis is an ex-officio member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee and Stephen Herman is co-chair of the sales and marketing committee, insurance committee and a member of the drafting team.

The ‘highly regardedLevin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. is headquartered in northwest Florida, and its track record includes handling litigation involving Actos, Accutane, GranuFlo, antidepressants and DePuy hip implants; in the latter, Ben Gordon serves on the plaintiffs’ executive committee and has been appointed as co-chair of the science and expert committee. Other key names in the team Troy Rafferty and Timothy O’Brien are involved in the gadolinium-based contrast agent litigation and Fosamax product liability litigation respectively. Mike Papantonio is a ‘good trial lawyer’.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is ‘very good’, particularly in hip replacement cases; it remains active in the DePuy artificial hip litigation, where Wendy Fleishman serves on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the MDL and Robert Nelson serves on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in co-ordinated proceedings in the California state court. Other activities in 2013 included filing claims in the Medtronic InFUSE litigation, where injuries are alleged to have arisen from the off-label use of the InFUSE bone graft. The firm is also active in pharmaceutical litigation such as the Actos litigation; Donald Arbitblit serves on the science committee. Practice head Elizabeth Cabraser is a ‘stand-out name’ in this area. Cabraser, Arbitblit and Nelson are based in the firm’s San Francisco office, while Fleishman is New York-based.

Name partner W Mark Lanier at The Lanier Law Firm is a ‘major player’; opponents note that when this ‘formidable’ attorney is on the other side that they ‘stand up and take notice’. The firm, which has offices in Texas, California and New York, has represented clients in litigation involving DePuy hip replacements, transvaginal mesh, failed knee replacements, CHANTIX and Paxil. The firm is currently representing plaintiffs in claims against Intuitive Surgical, which manufactures the da Vinci Surgical Robot, for failure to properly train surgeons on the proper use of the product; plaintiffs claim to have suffered injuries following surgery involving the Robot, including tears or burns to blood vessels, intestines and other internal organs. New York-based pharmaceutical litigation chair Richard Meadow continues to serve on a number of plaintiffs’ steering committees.

The ‘very professional’ team at Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman is praised by peers for ‘getting the ball moving’ in litigation and is ‘fabulous in pulmonary hypertension cases’. The firm is currently lead plaintiffs’ counsel in the nationwide class action concerning diet drugs, representing clients in both the trial and appellate courts. The ‘excellent’ Arnold Levin serves on the negotiating plaintiffs’ counsel committee in the Vioxx litigation. Frederick Longer and Michael Fishbein are also recommended. The team is based in the firm’s sole office in Philadelphia.

Seeger Weiss LLP’s ‘very active’ team is made up of ‘civil, ethical lawyers who do their job well’; it operates from offices in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Co-founder Christopher Seeger is a ‘very good organizer’ and continues to act in MDLs; for example he is on the plaintiffs’ steering committee in the Actos litigation, and has been appointed to the plaintiffs’ executive committee in the the DePuy artificial hip litigation. David Buchanan, who is ‘excellent’, is noted for his expertise in electronic discovery.

Ashcraft & Gerel LLP’s 20 fee-earner team operates from offices in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. It represents plaintiffs in litigation involving Actos, the da Vinci Surgical System, GranuFlo, Pradaxa and TYLENOL. Michelle Parfitt and James Green in the firm’s Washington DC office are ‘top names’ in this area; the latter has been appointed to serve on the MDL committees for prescription drugs including Fosamax, Rezulin and Zyprexa.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., which is based in Montgomery, Alabama, is praised by peers for its ‘good work’. Highlights included Frank Woodson’s appointment to serve on the plaintiffs’ steering committee for the GranuFlo litigation and Roger Smith’s appointment to serve on the plaintiffs’ steering committee for the Mirena IUD litigation. Andy Birchfield heads the mass torts practice, which includes P Leigh O’Dell, and which has recently added seven of counsel.

Mass tort and class action: plaintiff representation – securities

Index of tables

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

Considered ‘one of the very best’ in this field, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP provides a ‘very high’ level of service and is a ‘high-quality’ firm with ‘depth’. It served as lead counsel for the Minneapolis Firefighters’ Relief Association, Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System and Louisiana Sheriffs’ Pension and Relief Fund in a case against Citigroup alleging that it made material misrepresentations and omissions regarding its exposure to mortgage-related assets in public offerings of its business prior to the collapse of the subprime mortgage market; John Browne and John Rizio-Hamilton led advice to the plaintiffs and a settlement was granted final approval by the court in August 2013. The firm served as co-lead counsel in In re Schering-Plough Corporation/ENHANCE Securities Litigation, which settled for $473m; the case was prosecuted in coordination with In re Merck & Co, Inc Vytorin/Zetia securities litigation, which settled for $215m; the ‘extremely goodSalvatore Graziano led the firm’s role as co-lead counsel. Practice head Max Berger is a ‘dean of the bar’ and ‘superb at settlement negotiations’. The ‘excellent and hard-workingMark Lebovitch, is ‘smart’, and Gerald Silk, and San Diego-based Timothy DeLange are also recommended. Steven Singer has retired. Attorneys are based in New York except where stated.

Grant & Eisenhofer P.A.’s team of ‘outstanding professionals’ compares ‘extremely well’ to peers. The firm represents institutional investors throughout the world, and has seen an uptick in instructions from independent investors in class action opt-outs. The firm served as co-lead counsel on behalf of several pension funds in a class action against Merck & Co in In re: Merck & Co, Inc Vytorin/Zetia securities litigation; the case was brought against Merck & Co after its stock price plummeted following the results of a clinical trial that indicated its anti-cholesterol drug Vytorin had no statistical advantage in treating atherosclerosis over a cheaper alternative. It is currently representing Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS), School Employees Retirement System of Ohio and State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio in securities fraud claims in In re: JPMorgan Chase & Co securities litigation, relating to the ‘London Whale’ proprietary trading. The firm is also representing the plaintiffs as class counsel in a certified federal securities class action against Pfizer and its former officers and directors. Practice heads and founding partners Jay Eisenhofer in New York, (an ‘excellent practitioner’) and the Wilmington-based Stuart Grant lead the eight-partner team. Adam Levitt joined the firm in January 2013 as a director and leads the firm’s national consumer class action litigation; he also heads the Chicago office.

The ‘superbLabaton Sucharow LLP is ‘at the top of its game’ and has a team of ‘hard-working lawyers, who push themselves to thoroughly investigate the facts’ and conduct ‘very diligent research’. Joseph Fonti led advice to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board as lead counsel in In re Computer Sciences Corporation Securities Litigation, where the defendant was alleged to have made misleading representations on its NHS contract and false statements on its accounting practices; a $97.5m settlement was granted full approval by the court in the Eastern District of Virginia. The firm serves as co-lead counsel in In re Massey Energy Co Securities Litigation, where it represents the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust. Thomas Dubbs and Lawrence Sucharow are ‘strong and passionate advocates with a desire to win’; both are ‘valued for their long-term thinking’ and ‘act with integrity and professionalism’. In addition, Joel Bernstein is a ‘formidable adversary’, Christopher Keller is a ‘sharp and a tenacious advocate’ who ‘has his pulse on the trends’ and Jonathan Plasse is also recommended. Dominic Auld was promoted to the partnership in May 2013 and heads the firm’s international litigation practice. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Litigation boutique Bernstein Liebhard LLP comprises ten partners operating from a single office in New York. The firm served as co-lead counsel for OPERS and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio in litigation against Fannie Mae, where it had responsibility for taking fact and expert witness depositions and drafting briefs. Practice head Stanley Bernstein, along with Sandy Liebhard and Christian Siebott led on the case and secured a preliminary approval of $153m. The firm served as investor counsel in In re Beacon Associates Litigation, representing investors who lost money in hedge funds invested with Madoff. Jeffrey Haber led the firm’s role as lead counsel for the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System in In re KIT Digital, Inc. Securities Litigation. Oklahoma Police Pension & Retirement System was a new client win.

Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP has exceptional depth, and is extremely resourceful’; the 12-fee earners are ‘team-oriented, with each member willing to complement the others’ and the attorneys are also ‘very responsive’. In the New York office, Robert Kaplan is a ‘particularly strong lawyer with a great deal of experience and expertise’, who is valued for his ‘insight and perseverance’; he and Jeffrey Campisi are leading advice to the plaintiffs in In re: Nevsun Resources Limited, a class action alleging that the defendant materially overstated its gold ore resources at its Bisha mine in Eritrea, East Africa. Joel Strauss is representing longstanding firm client the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System in In re: Gentiva Securities Litigation, in which the defendant is alleged to have misled its investors in relation to its compliance with the Medicare system. Frederic Fox, ‘an expert in the field’ with ‘outstanding’ argument skills, is admired for his ability to ‘lead a complex litigation team’.

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP serves as lead counsel in federal and state courts nationwide, from offices in California and Pennsylvania. In the firm’s Radnor office, the ‘excellent’ David Kessler leads the securities department and is advising on the Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Hewlett-Packard, Pfizer and Morgan Stanley securities litigation. Matthew Mustokoff is acting as lead counsel to a plaintiff in litigation against Pfizer, as well as acting as lead counsel to six pension funds in the Texas federal court, in the securities MDL against BP arising from the Deepwater Horizon litigation.

Milberg LLP’s ‘practical’ and ‘client-oriented’ team represents a number of institutional investors, including public and private pension funds and individual investors. It is currently active in the Vivendi securities class action and In re: Merck & Co securities, derivative & ‘ERISA’ litigation. The firm is particularly ‘well regarded’ for its electronic discovery work; Ariana Tadler, who chairs this practice, is ‘well respected’ and ‘extremely knowledgeable and competent’. Other recommended attorneys include Sanford Dumain, who is ‘very smart and dedicated to his clients’, and Matthew Gluck, Robert Wallner and Brad Friedman.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP has a ‘very large practice’ consisting of 200 lawyers in 10 offices nationwide. Its client base is made up of a number of individual investors and pension fund clients. It recently commenced proceedings against Advanced Micro Devices and certain of its officers and directors on behalf of purchasers of AMD common stock, and filed a complaint against Barnes & Noble and certain of its officers and directors on behalf of purchasers of securities between June 2012 and December 2013. In San Diego, Scott Saham served as lead counsel in the Pharmacia securities litigation, which concerned the publication of gastrointestinal data from a Celebrex study and resulted in a $164m settlement. Michael Dowd and Debra Wyman are other key names in the group.

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
    • Russell Budd Baron & Budd PC
    • Robert Gordon Weitz & Luxenberg PC
    • Perry Weitz Weitz & Luxenberg PC

Baron & Budd PC has four offices across Texas, Louisiana and California and acts for clients nationwide; mandates typically include cases relating to asbestos, groundwater contamination, Chinese drywall, and Proposition 65. Scott Summy, heads the firm’s specialist water contamination team, which is a popular choice among public water providers and school districts owing to its ‘particular expertise’; it is currently representing over 30 water providers in atrazine litigation and is co-lead counsel in MTBE contamination litigation. In 2013 John Langdoc served as lead counsel in the Sidney Mabile v Dow Chemical Co litigation, where the plaintiff was awarded $5.95m as a result of suffering exposure to asbestos; Steve Baron leads the firm’s asbestos litigation team. Russell Budd is also recommended. The attorneys listed are based in Dallas.

The 20 fee-earner team at Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP operates from offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Florida and California. From the New York office, Paul Napoli and Marc Bern are representing 1500 plaintiffs who were part of the World Trade Center clean-up operation following 9/11 in a case relating to the victim compensation fund. Bern is also representing plaintiffs in a case currently pending in Atlanta, Georgia concerning contamination from a coal-fired plant in the area around Macon. In 2013 Patrick Haines, who is primarily focused on asbestos litigation, joined from The Lanier Law Firm and senior associate Diane Coffey joined from a government position.

Weitz & Luxenberg PC is active in mesothelioma and environmental pollution claims such as cases involving benzene, water contamination and pesticides. The firm has recently filed litigation against Northrop Grumman Corporation on behalf of Bethpage, New York’s water district in a groundwater contamination case. Other recent work includes representing plaintiffs exposed to asbestos while working as steamfitters, plumbers and construction workers; they were awarded $190m by the New York Supreme Court. Among the recommended attorneys are of counsel and environmental head Robin Greenwald, who is ‘very respected in groundwater litigation’, co-founder Perry Weitz and the firm’s chief trial lawyer Robert Gordon are recommended. Named attorneys are based in the firm’s New York office.

Motley Rice LLCcommands respect’ from its peers. The firm is active in litigation surrounding mesothelioma and asbestos, benzene and burn pits, as well as environmental contamination, natural resources damage and lead poisoning litigation. The firm is spread through the US, with offices in South Carolina, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Connecticut, New York, West Virginia, Washington, DC and California. In 2013 New York-based Fidelma Fitzpatrick served as co-lead trial counsel in The People of California v Atlantic Richfield Company et al, where the firm assisted ten Californian cities and counties in litigation brought against lead paint companies for creating a public nuisance by concealing the dangers of lead, amongst other claims. The court awarded over $1bn in a ruling finalized in January 2014. Co-founder Joseph Rice, who is based in the firm’s Mount Pleasant office, is a ‘leader in the toxic tort industry’.

Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC has four offices across South Carolina and Illinois. A mix of individuals, corporations and governments call upon the group for its expertise in areas such as mesothelioma and asbestos, toxic dust, environmental and natural resources damage litigation. It has recently increased its focus on trichloroethylene TCE and benzene groundwater contamination. Jena Borden, Michael Brickman, Charles Patrick, who are all in the firm’s Charleston office, and Edward Westbrook, who is in the firm’s Mount Pleasant office, are names to note.

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’s ‘top-notch’ team is noted for its experience in insurance-related cases and its expertise assisting aircraft manufacturers and carriers in investigations conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The firm has a longstanding reputation as a ‘go-to firm’ for airline defense work, in part owing to its role advising American Airlines in litigation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The ‘excellent’ Desmond Barry is currently representing American Airlines in multibillion-dollar property litigation. David Harrington is ‘hugely experienced’ in both litigation and NTSB-related matters. Notably, Harrington took the lead role in settlement negotiations of more than 250 wrongful death cases arising from the 2001 American Airlines Flight 587 crash. Los Angeles-based Frank Silane is an ‘excellent trial lawyer’ who has extensive experience representing aviation clients in multi-district litigation. Christopher Christensen is notable for his expertise representing manufacturers of civilian and military helicopters in high-profile air accidents. Marshall Turner has expertise representing manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of military products in aviation-related litigation. Diana Gurfel Shapiro, Bartholomew Banino and Michael Holland are also names to note. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Morrison & Foerster LLPhas the depth needed to handle large complex cases’ and ‘goes out of its way to meet the needs and expectations of its clients’. The firm is noted for its ‘strong defense counsel’ and ‘deep industry knowledge’, and also comes recommended as ‘the “go to” firm for complex litigation for aviation manufacturers and airlines’. ‘Excellent trial lawyer’ Don Rushing and the ‘outstanding’ James Huston head the practice in San Diego. Rushing and William Janicki continue to serve as national coordinating trial counsel to Cessna Aircraft Company in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving its Cessna Caravan 208 series aircraft. The cases, which consist of 18 separate actions, arising from 37 deaths and 13 personal injuries and pending in 16 different jurisdictions, involve tens of millions of dollars in damages claims. Huston’s recent instructions also include successfully defending Honeywell in a personal injury case arising from the crash of a US Army CH-47F Chinook helicopter. The ‘knowledgeable’ William O’Connor in Los Angeles has also had an impressive year, representing Alaska Airlines, MD Helicopters, and Honeywell in separate matters; O’Connor is noted for his ability to ‘defend a claim robustly or negotiate an early resolution’. Also recommended are Erin Bosman and associate Kimberly Gosling in San Diego, and Charles Kerr in New York.

Perkins Coie LLP’s ‘excellent’ and ‘market-leading’ aerospace and aviation product liability practice is very well established. The team has extensive experience defending clients at state, federal and appellate level and also represents clients in litigation internationally. Of note is the firm’s impressive aerospace practice, which defends clients in satellite-related product liability actions. The ‘hugely experienced’ John Dillow, a key name at the firm, represents longstanding clients Raytheon and Boeing in class actions and product liability litigation. Steve Koh is notable for his aerospace expertise and previously defended a company and its insurers in arbitration concerning alleged wilful misconduct, gross negligence and breach of contract concerning the loss of a satellite. Bruce Campbell is currently defending an aircraft manufacturer in litigation arising out of the 2013 crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport. Chicago-based Bates Larson is noted for her work representing manufacturers in product liability actions at state and federal level. All lawyers are based out of Seattle unless otherwise noted.

Holland & Knight LLP’s broad aviation practice represents airlines in high-profile actions arising from both domestic and international aircraft accidents. The firm is also strong in handling mediations and settlements and passenger liability cases. Christopher Kelly and Alan Reitzfeld continue to act as lead US counsel to Air France in connection with litigation arising from the 2009 crash of Flight 447. The multi-district litigation involving 57 separate actions was centralized for coordinated pre-trial proceedings before the US District Court for the Northern District of California, which dismissed all actions on forum non conveniens grounds. Practice head Randal Craft, Reitzfeld, and Miami-based Lyndall Lambert have also continued to advise Turkish Airlines on personal injury actions arising from the 2009 crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 in Amsterdam, again as lead counsel. To date, the firm has successfully settled the majority of the claims against the client. Also of note is the firm’s recent work handling a product liability action involving a military aircraft. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise noted.

Jones Day defends clients in litigation arising from catastrophic accidents domestically and internationally, including specific expertise in product liability cases and advising on NTSB regulatory matters. Pittsburgh-based John Goetz and associate Stephanie Taylor represented the Doncasters Group in post-trial motions following an adverse verdict (where the firm had not represented it); the first instance ruling on the case, which arose from the crash of a de Havilland DHC-6-100 aircraft, saw the company made liable for a total of $48m in damages, but Goetz and Taylor were successful in persuading the trial court to vacate this award and it was later affirmed by the Missouri Court of Appeals. Also of note is Boston-based Dana Baiocco’s work leading the defense of Parker Hannifin in an action relating to a 2008 general aviation plane crash; following the fatal accident, the plaintiff claimed that the client’s vacuum pumps, which had been installed on the plane, were defective, but a summary judgment motion ruled that action against the client was barred under the General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) and the plaintiff filed a motion to non-suit Parker Hannifin.

Nixon Peabody LLP has a ‘deep knowledge of the aviation industry and of the technical features of aircraft’ which ‘allows the firm to advise and interact with both the legal and technical teams’. The ‘excellent’ Joseph Ortego in New York and ‘outstanding lawyer’ Eric Strain in San Francisco recently represented Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) in a wrongful death and serious personal injury action arising from the 2007 crash of a US Customs and Border Protection helicopter. The firm secured a unanimous jury verdict for the client following a two-week trial. The ‘first-class’ Brian Dalrymple in San Francisco has ‘huge experience in aviation product liability’ and has recently been defending clients in various wrongful death and personal injury claims.

The New York-based team at Reed Smith LLP has a depth of experience handling high-profile, multi-district actions arising from catastrophic aviation accidents. The team is led by the ‘outstanding’ Patrick Bradley, who acts as national and preferred counsel for the Cirrus Design Corporation; Bradley has led the defense in a seven-year action arising from a high-profile aircraft crash in New York involving a sports professional, and secured a highly favorable outcome for the client in December 2012, with the Second Circuit affirming the trial court’s prior defense verdict that the plaintiffs were liable for costs. Bradley and Oliver Beiersdorf continue to represent Continental Airlines in actions related to the 2009 Continental Connection Flight 3407 crash and secured the settlement of 39 actions, including 12 claims of wrongful death. The firm also acts for parts manufacturers; one example client is KS Bearings, which it is defending in five wrongful death and survival damages actions arising from a fatal aircraft crash.

The ‘top-notchSchnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP is ‘particularly well versed in aviation-related product litigation and the regulatory environment in which aviation companies operate’ and ‘offers a depth of resources in the areas of appellate practice and complex commercial litigation’. ‘Superior trial lawyer’ Denny Shupe in Philadelphia is noted for his ‘outstanding technical knowledge’; he currently heads the team that is serving as lead counsel for Rolls-Royce in litigation arising from a Bell 206 helicopter accident in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted in multiple fatalities. Alison Finnegan, also in Philadelphia, is an ‘excellent legal analyst and writer’ and ‘a very effective litigator’. Finnegan and the ‘excellent’ San Francisco-based counsel Leo Murphy are currently acting for Esterline Corporation and its subsidiary in a product liability case arising from the crash of a US Army AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter at the National Guard Base in Eastover. Washington DC-based counsel Jonathan Stern is ‘a highly experienced aviation law attorney’ who ‘brings a depth of knowledge to bear’. Ralph Wellington in Philadelphia is ‘a very experienced trial attorney’ who is noted for his ‘great, pragmatic approach to strategy and risk management’.

Chicago-based Adler Murphy & McQuillen is ‘excellent’ and provides ‘great value for money’. The firm has a broad industry client base made up of airlines, helicopter operators and component manufacturers. Of note is the firm’s work for an aircraft operator in litigation arising out of a crash involving a Cessna 421B airplane at Palwaukee Municipal Airport, Illinois. Michael McQuillen, who has over 25 years’ experience as a trial lawyer, is ‘among the best in the country’; John Adler has deep industry experience, having previously worked at both the US Department of Justice, and in-house at United Airlines and to date has tried approximately 75 wrongful death cases. James Murphy has particular expertise in aviation and aerospace-related class actions. United Airlines and Great Lakes Airline are key clients.

Bryan Cave LLP, which has been active in the field of aviation law for over four decades, has an enviable reputation for representing manufacturers, fixed base operators and ground handlers, and domestic and foreign airports, in wrongful death, personal injury and product liability actions. The firm has a solid regulatory practice and represents clients in NTSB and Department of Transportation investigations, as well as in Federal Aviation Administration administrative proceedings. The firm has represented an impressive array of clients in product liability litigation, including Boeing, AmSafe and Teledyne. The practice is also noted for its work within the aerospace sector, and is representing an aerospace manufacturer in an action involving significant damage to a communications satellite. Chicago-based Jeffrey Morof and Washington DC-based counsel Douglas Winter are the key names.

Cozen O'Connor has a broad aviation practice and extensive experience representing aviation clients in high-stakes litigation actions arising from wrongful death, personal injury, product liability, warranty claims, product recalls and property damage. The team also represents aircraft and airport facilities in a range of property damage claims. The highly regarded Richard Dunn in Miami represents airlines and aircraft part manufacturers in high-stakes litigation. New York-based Christopher Raleigh has over 25 years’ experience in aviation-related litigation. Mark Atwood has significant aviation regulatory experience and expertise. West Conshohocken-based vice-chairman and veteran trial lawyer Patrick O’Connor also has a depth of experience trying cases within the aviation sector. Ann Thornton Field and Catherine Slavin left the firm in 2013 to join Gordon & Rees.

The Houston-based team at Hogan Lovells is noted for its extensive expertise trying aviation matters at all levels, and has significant experience handling cases relating to accidents that occurred outside the US. The firm recently acted extensively for long-standing client The Airbus Group in a range of personal injury and wrongful death actions; the firm has recently been representing it in litigation filed against it and Aero Union in Hidalgo County, Texas, arising from the 2010 crash of an Airbus A310 freight aircraft in Monterrey, Mexico. It is also defending The Airbus Group in multi-district litigation arising from the 2009 crash involving Air France Flight 447. The ‘excellent’ Bruce Oakley is noted for his excellent skill in the cross-examination of expert witnesses. Other clients include Vector Aerospace and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. The team suffered a serious blow in January 2014 with the departure of Thad Dameris who joins Arnold & Porter LLP’s newly established Houston team. Christopher Odell left to join Arnold & Porter LLP.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is well-regarded for its work for Boeing in complex litigation arising from catastrophic accidents in the US and abroad; the company recently instructed the firm in 43 separate actions arising from the 2009 Turkish Airlines flight 1951 crash in the Netherlands, which resulted in nine deaths and multiple injuries; the majority of claims, which were filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois and involved 124 plaintiffs, have been favorably settled. Craig Primis and Matthew Papez in Washington DC, and Michael Slade in Chicago, led on the aforementioned matter. The firm also represents Boeing in an action arising from the 2012 crash of Dana Air flight 992 in Nigeria which resulted in over 150 fatalities; the spouse of a deceased passenger has filed claims in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where a motion to dismiss is still pending. Other clients of the firm include Honeywell and Delta Air Lines.

The ‘excellent’ team at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP is noted for its ‘prompt response times’ and ‘good industry knowledge’. The firm grew significantly in 2013 through its merger with boutique aviation firm Dombroff Gilmore Jaques & French. ‘Excellent’ practice head Dane Jaques recently led the firm’s work for StandardAero in consolidated wrongful death and personal injury litigation arising from the 2008 crash of a Learjet 45 in Mexico City; the client, who had performed maintenance on the aircraft, was able to favorably settle all claims after the firm successfully moved for an application of Mexican law. Thomas Almy recently represented both Robinson Aviation and Berkley Aviation in wrongful death actions which allege negligent provision of air traffic control services; a favorable settlement was secured for the client following the completion of discovery, while a motion for summary judgment in favor of defendants was pending. Mark Dombroff and Morgan Campbell are also recommended. 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

Bowman and Brooke LLP a ‘Litigation heavyweight’ handles product liability actions nationwide, and has extensive experience representing domestic and international manufacturers of automobiles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. The firm is known for high-profile litigation involving deaths or catastrophic injury, as evidenced by San Jose-based Vincent Galvin’s work for Toyota in a recent multimillion-dollar action; it was alleged that the client failed to install a safety device in its vehicle, thereby causing the death of the plaintiffs’ relative, however the firm secured a defense verdict on the client’s behalf, setting a precedent for future ‘unintended acceleration’ cases. Another mandate from Toyota included a putative class action alleging its vehicles have defective anti-lock braking systems; managing partner Kurt Kern led the defense from Dallas. The firm’s prowess in high-stakes litigation also came to the fore when Phoenix-based Paul Cereghini represented American Honda and BMW in two separate brain injury actions; directed verdicts were given in both cases.

Campbell Campbell Edwards & Conroy P.C.really knows how to try a case’ and is ‘always focused on winning the suit’. The practice, based across the firm’s Boston and Philadelphia offices, represents clients in high-risk automotive personal injury and product liability actions. Boston-based James Campbell recently represented Ford in a wrongful death claim arising from an automotive accident in which the deceased was not wearing a seatbelt; the plaintiff’s claim hinged on alleged design defects, which they argued rendered it unreasonably dangerous and defective, but a full defense verdict was returned in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts following a three-week trial. The firm also represented Toyota in a number of matters, including an ‘unintended acceleration’ action in which the plaintiff alleged his second-hand vehicle was unreasonably dangerous and defective, the firm secured a summary judgment victory in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Boston-based James Campbell and Richard P Campbell are both ‘outstanding trial lawyers’, who ‘know how to efficiently prepare a case for trial and effectively present it to a jury’.

McGuireWoods LLP’s product liability and class action practice has a national focus, and a case-in-point is its role as national trial, class action and appellate counsel for Ford; the firm has represented the company in consumer fraud class actions since 2008, and is currently handling multiple ‘unintended acceleration’ class actions. Richmond-based Tracy Walker and Perry Miles lead the product liability group; both have been representing Ford in wrongful death and severe injury claims nationwide for over three decades, and in a recent wrongful death action it secured an appellate victory for the client in the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP counts major manufacturers Kia and Isuzu among its client list, and has also previously acted for Ford, Tyco and Toyota. Robert Adams, who heads the practice, recently led the firm’s defense of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems in an action alleging that its brake systems were responsible for a school bus crash which resulted in two fatalities and multiple injuries to children; a defense verdict was secured following an eight-week trial.

Phoenix-based ‘Great lawyer’ Warren Platt and the ‘excellent’ Vaughn Crawford co-head the practice at Snell & Wilmer LLP. The firm is noted for its deep trial experience, and senior litigation partner Timothy O'Neill in Denver frequently represents automotive clients in class actions and product liability cases throughout the US. The firm also advises clients on pre-litigation strategies and has a number of lawyers who bring experience from prior in-house roles.

Excellent’ Denver firm Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP has a strong record for defense work in high-profile product liability litigation and class actions across the country. Edward Stewart and Jack Trigg are the key names for automotive and transport matters, and both have experience representing major manufacturers such as Ford and Toyota. Stewart recently led a team defending Ford in a case involving a fatal car accident that resulted from the negligent driving of a third party but hinged on whether Ford had a duty to make some of its optional safety equipment standard at the time of the accident; the initial defense judgment secured by the team was appealed, but in February 2013 the Montana Supreme Court unanimously affirmed judgment in favor of Ford. The ‘hugely experienced’ Malcolm Wheeler leads the practice.

Ballard Spahr LLP’s team operates across seven offices and handles a broad range of class action and product liability work. The firm has represented Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co for many years, with Roger Thomasch in Denver leading the firm’s work as trial counsel for the Rocky Mountain region. The firm also continues to represent Kia in a post-trial class action in which plaintiffs allege brake defects in its vehicles; the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, but the firm was then able to move the court to vacate the damages verdict, decertify the class on damages, and implement claims proceedings, thereby securing a favorable outcome for the client. New Jersey-based Neal Walters, Roberto Rivera-Soto and Michael Carroll led on this matter.

Bryan Cave LLP has a strong track record for high-profile class actions and product liability litigation within the automotive sector. Chicago-based Bruce Duffield has a wealth of experience, and is particularly noted for his expert handling of class actions and product liability cases involving complex product designs; he has previously acted as sole product liability counsel for General Motors. Also of note is the ‘experienced’ Peter Herzog, who has represented Ford and Mercedes-Benz in consumer class actions throughout the country.

DLA Piper has been representing Porsche since 2006, and is currently defending it in a putative class action brought by clients alleging that the design of its vehicles lead them to be desirable and vulnerable to thieves, thereby breaching the South Florida, in Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act; Philadelphia-based William Kiniry is leading on the matter. In Baltimore Joel Dewey, who leads the firm’s work as regional and strategic counsel for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. in a number of personal injury lawsuits alleging unwanted acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The firm also serves as national discovery counsel and regional trial counsel for the North East to Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Alongside Kiniry, the practice is co-headed by Loren Brown in New York and Christopher Young in San Diego.

King & Spalding LLP’s practice is centered in Atlanta. It has over 50 years’ experience defending product liability, wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases within the transportation and automobile sectors. The firm is noted for providing ‘value for money’, and its ‘excellent lawyers’ are ‘not afraid to go to trial’. Philip Holladay recently led a team acting for General Motors Canada in successfully petitioning the Alabama Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus directing a lower court to enter a summary judgment in the client’s favour; the court’s decision put an end to the plaintiff’s claims, which related to a catastrophic injury in 2007. Other recent instructions include representing Toyota in an ‘unintended acceleration’ action and defending an international luxury car manufacturer in a putative multi-state class action. Halli Cohn is also recommended.

Los Angeles-based Practice chair Richard Goetz is the key name to note at O'Melveny & Myers LLP; he is an experienced litigator with a strong track record that includes representing Ford in national class actions. Washington DC-based of counsel Brian Anderson is another key name for automotive product liability work. Jonathan Hacker, also in Washington DC, heads the Supreme Court and appellate practice; he has previously successfully represented a client in a US Supreme Court case concerning questions of pre-emption and claims concerning asbestos in locomotives.

Texas-based boutique Hartline, Dacus, Barger, Dreyer L.L.P has a strong presence throughout the South West, where it represents a clients in class actions and multi-party litigation disputes concerning defective products, warranty claims and franchises. The group’s client base is varied, taking in manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers of products including automobiles, buses, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, heavy trucks and tires. Of note is Dallas-based founding partner and experienced litigator Vernon Hartline. Corpus Christi-based Richard Crews has particular expertise in representing component part suppliers and car manufacturers.

Hogan Lovells has an impressive track record for automotive class action defense work, and is able to draw on the expertise of its regulatory practice in handling cases. The firm recently handled class actions for a number of high-profile automotive clients, and is currently representing Jaguar Land Rover North America in a consolidated multi-district litigation alleging design defects in the client’s vehicles. Michael Kidney is notable for his regulatory expertise, especially in actions concerning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The firm continued to represent Costa Cruises in litigation arising from the grounding of the Costa Concordia cruise ships, and has been successful in securing the dismissal of the majority of claims on forum non conveniens grounds. The team suffered a blow in January 2014 with the departure of Thad Dameris who joins Arnold & Porter LLP’s newly established Houston team.

Jones Day represents automotive manufacturers and component part suppliers in a range of class action and product liability litigation. Pittsburgh-based John Goetz has an impressive track record for defending rail-related actions, and recently represented a client in connection with a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation. Both Goetz and Paul Pohl have represented Yamaha in numerous actions arising from serious accidents.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has experience representing vehicle, tire and component part manufacturers in product liability claims, with over half of its instructions involving ‘crashworthiness’ claims. Colombia-based Christopher Genovese’s previous experience in the sector includes the successful dismissal of putative nationwide false advertising class actions on behalf of a major automotive manufacturer. Deirdre McCool in Charleston, and Melissa Foster Bird, Marc Williams and Robert Massie in Huntingdon are also names to note.

Chicago-based Michael Andolina and Eric Mattson are the key names at Sidley Austin LLP, which has represented American Honda in consumer fraud class actions for a number of years. The firm recently secured a dismissal of a nationwide class action on behalf of Honda, in which plaintiffs alleged a motorcycle produced by the company was defective, resulting in unexpected gear-shifting. The firm is also acting as lead counsel for a client in a train derailment matter.

Thompson Coburn LLP’s Kathy Wisniewski, who is based in St Louis, serves as Chrysler Motors’ national class action counsel and has defended the client in cases alleging defective vehicle components. Richard Mueller, also in St Louis, is national coordinating counsel for Kawasaki Motors, and also acts for Yamaha. Further clients of the firm include Volkswagen Group and DaimlerChrysler Financial Services.

Norton Rose Fulbright has experience defending clients in a range of litigation within the industry, including cases involving air bags, crash worthiness, seats, seatbelts and post-crash fires. Of note is the firm’s track record in representing manufacturers of trucks and truck tractors, and tracked mobile equipment. In particular, the firm has deep experience of claims involving tires, and acts extensively for Cooper Tire & Rubber Company; San Antonio-based Steven Jansma recently led advice to the company and to Pep Boys in a catastrophic injury action involving damages claims of over $120m. Other recent highlights include representing a major moving equipment rental company.

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

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The ‘outstandingArnold & Porter LLP has a number of ‘sound strategists’ handling consumer product safety litigation. Industry giant Philip Morris USA entrusts the group as national counsel in product liability and consumer fraud cases, and its status in the market is further evidenced through its recent work defending its parent company, Altria Group, in ‘light cigarettes’ litigation, as well as the firm’s continued involvement in the Engle progeny suits. The group has particular expertise representing food, beverage, and dietary supplement companies, and its impressive track record for Proposition 65 matters has seen it represent manufacturers, retailers, growers, restaurants, and trade associations active across various industries. San Francisco-based Trenton Norris is noted for his ‘keen, analytical mind’ and leads the firm’s work in the aforementioned field; he has recently represented an impressive array of clients, including General Mills, Kellogg’s and Post Foods in actions filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court. A complementary strength is the firm’s longstanding expertise in FDA-related matters, a recent example was San Francisco-based Angel Garganta’s defense of Dannon in a nationwide purported class action alleging that its Activia yogurt did not meet the FDA’s Standards of Identity; the case, filed in the Southern District of New York, was dismissed with prejudice. Practice co-chair Eric Rubel leads the firm’s Consumer Product Safety Commission practice from Washington DC. New York-based fellow co-chair Anand Agneshwar is also recommended.

Jones Day is ‘quick to turn around projects’ and is noted for its ‘deep’ trial and appellate teams and ‘significant industry knowledge’. The firm is widely recognized for its work in high-profile tobacco litigation, and an Atlanta-based team led by Stephanie Parker, John Walker and John Yarber continues to represent R.J. Reynolds in Engle progeny cases throughout Florida. R.J. Reynolds also called upon the firm in a class action alleging fraud involving the sale and marketing of ‘light cigarettes’; the team, led by San Diego-based Steven Geise and the ‘fantastic’ Washington DC-based Peter Biersteker, secured full dismissal on its behalf. Boston-based Dana Baiocco and Christopher Morrison, and Chicago-based James Daly represent Virbram, a manufacturer of rubber outsoles for footwear, in putative class actions alleging false advertising. The firm has also continued to represent longstanding client Sherwin-Williams in lead paint and pigments-related ligation. Practice head Paul Pohl is a ‘top-notch courtroom lawyer’ and Charles Moellenberg is ‘analytical’ and ‘thoughtful’. Both the aforementioned are based in Pittsburgh.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP is lauded for its deep bench of trial lawyers and strong reputation for high-profile defense work across various industries. The firm has long been viewed as a heavyweight in tobacco-related litigation, and is currently defending over 7000 individual Engle progeny tobacco cases in Florida. Kansas City-based practice chair Walt Cofer and Miami-based William Geraghty are both highly regarded for tobacco-related work and have worked extensively for Philip Morris USA; Geraghty secured two product liability action defense verdicts for the client in 2012. Outside of tobacco, the firm is defending multiple class actions on behalf of Golden Heritage Foods and Publix Super Markets, in which plaintiffs claim there was a failure to disclose whether pollen was removed from honey products, which breaches the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Kansas-based Bradley Bodamer and Tristan Duncan recently secured a defense verdict on behalf of 7-Eleven and other fuel vendors in multi-district litigation alleging the clients had breached consumer protection rules. The firm also handles cases involving consumer products such as alcoholic beverages, electronics and firearms.

Goodwin Procter LLP provides an ‘outstanding level of service’ and is praised as a ‘go-to firm for complex legal issues’. It handles mass torts, product liability and litigation strategy at a countrywide level, and has an impressive array of clients spanning a range of sectors. Of note is the firm’s knowledge of food and supplement litigation, which brings to bear the expertise of New York-based group chair Joanne Gray, who is a founding co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Food and Supplements Group. Gray and fellow New York partner Glenn Kerner represent dietary supplement company Herbalife International extensively, and are responsible for developing and executing its entire product liability and mass tort litigation strategy in the US. San Francisco-based Forrest Hainline is representing Bumble Bee Foods in two separate disputes related to labeling, including a class action filed in San Francisco. In Washington DC, Mark Raffman represented Lafarge in two product liability actions involving allegations of defective gypsum drywall; the first action was heard before the Florida State Court, and the second, a multi-district litigation involving dozens of claimants and a putative class of thousands, was filed in Louisiana; both claims were dismissed with prejudice.

The ‘effective and efficient’ team at Latham & Watkins LLP has continued to draw on the strength of former Goodwin Procter LLP lawyers Kenneth Parsigian and Gwyn Williams, who joined in October 2012. Parsigian, who is ‘the complete package’ and ‘delivers on all fronts’, has been representing Philip Morris International for over a decade and advises the company on cases arising in a range of international jurisdictions. Alongside the ‘dedicated’ Williams, Parsigan also represents both Philip Morris USA and Philip Morris International in a medical monitoring class action filed in the district court of the District of Massachusetts, and a further case with the same client is a class action appeal before the New York Court of Appeals, which raises the novel issue of whether New York will recognize a claim for medical monitoring. Outside of the tobacco litigation space, Washington DC-based Christine Rolph and William Rawson are leading advice to Masco Corporation in a national class action alleging that its spray polyurethane foam (SPF) product has caused personal injury and property damage; the high-profile matter also brings the firm’s chemical regulatory expertise to bear.

The ‘highly responsive’ team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has ‘great industry knowledge’ and is noted for its ability to handle high-risk litigation. The firm has a strong West Coast presence, placing it in close proximity to its impressive food and beverage, and technology sector client base. The firm undertakes a broad range of litigation including product liability cases, class actions and cases involving the Consumer Product Safety Commission. San Francisco-based ‘excellent lawyerMichèle Corash has extensive experience handling California Proposition 65 actions, with recent clients including Gerber, Starbucks, Kraft and Yum! brands, among others. Also of note is the ‘outstanding’ William Stern, also in San Francisco, who recently defended Monier Group in a 128,000 member false advertising class action, which saw the firm make a successful motion for nonsuit on behalf of its client. The ‘exceptional’ Erin Bosman chairs the product liability group from San Diego. Don Rushing and associate Ellen Adler in San Diego, and William Tarantino in San Francisco, are also recommended. In 2013, Linda Lane left the firm to establish her own practice, and David Walsh joined from Paul Hastings LLP.

Sidley Austin LLP provides an ‘outstanding service’ and ‘outstanding legal and regulatory expertise’. The firm’s broad consumer products offering sees it handling a range of class action and product liability work, including multi-jurisdiction litigation, out of four offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC. The team is particularly strong in FDA-related matters, and its experience in false advertising actions is evidenced by its ongoing work for the Dial Corporation in a class action arising from claims that it had misrepresented the efficacy of its antibacterial soup product; the case is being led by Eugene Schoon and Richard Raskin. Kara McCall is leading the defense of Phusion Projects in several personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout the US. Also recommended is the ‘pragmaticMichael Davis who ‘provides effective counsel and representation’.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has expertise handling multi-district class actions and product liability matters at strategic, trial and appellate stages. The firm’s broad client base spans an impressive range of sectors, including food and beverage, electronic appliances, and cosmetics. Los Angeles-based Jason Russell, New York-based Kenneth Plevan and Gregory Craig in Washington DC are representing Red Bull in a nationwide putative class action alleging false advertising. The firm is simultaneously advising Red Bull in relation to congressional investigations into the energy drink industry. Washington DC-based John Beisner and Jessica Miller are acting for Electrolux in several class actions filed in California, Ohio, New York and South Carolina, in which plaintiffs are seeking compensation for alleged defects in the manufacturer’s washing machines. The practice suffered setbacks with the 2013 departures of Sheila Birnbaum to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Russell Jackson, who left to establish his own practice.

2013 saw Chadbourne & Parke LLP suffer further losses as former co-head Phoebe Wilkinson left the firm to head up Hogan Lovells’ product liability practice. However, joint practice heads Mary Yelenick and the ‘exceptionalDonald Strauber, who is ‘revered by the alcohol industry’ are both highly regarded and continue to represent clients in high-profile cases. Longstanding client Beam has recently called upon the firm for class actions filed in federal courts throughout the US, involving plaintiffs’ claims of alleged consumer fraud due to its use of ‘all natural’ on the labeling of its Skinnygirl Margarita product. Yelenick also has experience representing appliance manufacturers in product liability claims and class actions.

DLA Piper’s broad practice spans a number of sectors, with impressive names from the tobacco, construction, food and beverage sectors all having called upon the firm. A key selling point is its extensive geographical reach, and its three practice heads, Loren Brown, William Kiniry and Christopher Young are based across offices in New York, Philadelphia and San Diego, respectively. The group is representing Jamba Juice Company in a consumer class action alleging that the company made false and misleading statements in the sale of its Immunity Boost product. San-Diego based Brian Foster continues to represent Lorillard in tobacco-related claims. The firm also handled class actions on behalf of Live Nation Entertainment, Chattem and Pulte Homes. Steven Har and Cara Edwards, both based out of New York, were promoted to the partnership in 2013.

The 20-partner practice at Dechert LLP provides ‘high-quality representation’ and is ‘extremely well-versed in mass tort and class action claims’. The firm continues to be active in tobacco litigation through its representation of longstanding client Philip Morris USA and is also noted for having a strong regulatory practice. Its expertise stretches beyond the tobacco space, however; Austin-based Steven Weisburd recently led the defense of a technology giant in a consumer class action alleging that the company misrepresented the functionality of its product, and following three consecutive successful motions to dismiss, the case was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice by the plaintiff following a nominal settlement. The team was strengthened in 2013 by the arrival of David Bernick from Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, and Erik Snapp and Nathan Hoffman from Winston & Strawn LLP. 2013 also saw Amy Rudd and Donald Le Gower promoted to the partnership. Philadelphia-based Ben Barnett leads the practice, and ‘superb lawyerEzra Rosenberg is also recommended.

The 11-partner team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP is split between Chicago and Washington DC, and defends high-profile product liability cases and class actions at all levels. Washington DC-based attorneys Craig Primis and Eugene Assaf continue to represent Honeywell in a case brought by the US DOJ under the False Claims Act in the US District Court for the District of Columbia; it is alleged that the client misrepresented the quality and durability of its ballistic material. Chicago-based Terrence Dee is leading advice to Motorola in 17 cases before the District of Colombia Superior Court, after there was alleged to be a link between the claimants’ cell phone use and brain cancer. Practice head Andrew McGaan in Chicago continues to represent longstanding client R.J Reynolds, and has extensive experience representing the client in multi-state arbitration regarding adjustments to the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

Michael Williams and John Fitzpatrick are both well-known names at Denver-based Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP. Despite the practice’s limited size, it has an enviable reputation for defending high-profile class action and product liability cases. The firm serves as national trial counsel to Whirlpool and as trial counsel to Sears. Also of note is Fitzpatrick’s success in securing a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of Evenflo Company; the highly sensitive case involved a car accident resulting in the catastrophic brain injury of a four-month-old infant and centered on alleged defects in the client’s car seat. ‘Renowned litigator’ and name partner Malcolm Wheeler is also highly recommended.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s broad class action and product liability practice has a strong Mid-West and East Coast presence, and experience defending clients in high-risk matters nationwide. As national trial counsel to Philip Morris USA, the firm has an established reputation in tobacco litigation; notably, New York-based practice chair Thomas Quigley recently led the defense for the client in an action filed in the district court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that its ‘Marlboro Lights’ cigarettes were marketed fraudulently; the jury rejected the plaintiff’s claim and a full defense verdict was returned. In appliance-related work, Chicago-based Scott Glauberman is currently representing LG in numerous class actions consolidated in the Federal District Court of New Jersey; the plaintiffs claim that its washing machines are defective and are seeking $300m in damages. The firm also has a burgeoning food and nutrition practice, with Glauberman leading the firm’s work for the Corn Refiners Association, Diamond Foods and Abbott Laboratories.

Phoenix-based Bowman and Brooke LLP is notable for its extensive trial expertise and strong track record for product liability defense work. The team frequently handles cases involving catastrophic injury and death, and has an impressive following within the sports and exercise equipment, and appliances sectors. Veteran litigator Paul Cereghini is currently leading advice to Riddell in multi-district litigation involving over 1000 claims brought against the client by ex-NFL players; the plaintiffs allege that defects in their helmets caused chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other neurological injuries. Other clients include Electrolux, Hamilton Beach, Whirlpool Corporation and Cybex International.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s nationwide product liability practice is praised for its trial expertise and has recently represented a number of impressive clients including Lorillard and Sears. Chicago-based Gretchen Miller and New Jersey-based David Sellinger recently represented Walmart in a class action filed in the Northern District of Illinois, alleging unjust enrichment on grounds that the company’s advertisements for its crib products were misleading; the firm secured a summary judgment on behalf of the client. It also continues to represent a number of homebuilders in litigation involving allegedly defective Chinese-manufactured drywall. Francis Citera and Robert Herrington co-chair the practice from Chicago and San Francisco respectively.

Hogan Lovells’ practice was significantly strengthened through the arrival of the ‘excellent’ and ‘experiencedPhoebe Wilkinson from Chadbourne & Parke LLP in 2013. Wilkinson’s expertise in consumer appliance and electronics-related litigation supplements the firm’s existing focus on food and beverage and cosmetics. Silicon Valley-based Robert Hawk is leading the firm’s defense of ConAgra Foods in a number of false advertising actions arising from its use of the terms ‘natural’ and ‘100% natural’ in labeling. For LG Electronics, New York-based Wilkinson secured a dismissal with prejudice in a putative class action brought against it; Wilkinson also led the firm’s work as lead counsel to Miele USA in a consumer fraud putative class action filed in the district court of New Jersey.

King & Spalding LLP has an enviable track record for tobacco litigation defense, with over 25 years’ experience in the field. R.J Reynolds remains a key client for which the firm currently has hundreds of Engle progeny cases currently pending in Florida; several defense verdicts were secured in 2013 alone. In a separate matter, it represented R. J Reynolds along with Brown & Williamson, American Tobacco Co, Philip Morris and Lorillard in a long-running action involving hundreds of plaintiffs; the product liability claims, filed in West Virginia State Court, became subject to a Mass Litigation Panel and, following three mistrials, lead trial counsel Jeffrey Furr, based in Charlotte, and Richard Schneider in Atlanta, secured a highly favorable verdict on behalf of the clients, with almost all plaintiffs’ claims rejected in their entirety. Also recommended is Atlanta-based Randy Bassett, who is an ‘excellent trial lawyer’ and ‘creative and aggressive in working up a case’.

McGuireWoods LLP’s highly reputed, trial-focused practice acts for clients across a range of industries. It is acting as national coordinating counsel for ConAgra in a major food recall matter involving over 600 cases; Richmond-based Terrence Bagley is leading for the firm in the multimillion-dollar litigation, in which plaintiffs allege the client distributed tainted peanut butter. The firm also serves as national product liability counsel to United Technologies Corporation's Kidde business unit, and practice chair Tracy Walker is overseeing the defense of wrongful death smoke alarm cases currently pending in several jurisdictions. Further recent clients include snus, moist snuff, and chewing tobacco producer Swedish Match and cushion product manufacturer Carpenter.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s 14-partner team is based across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Washington DC. Recent instructions for the team span a range of sectors, from clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Trader Joe’s and a major technology company. Los Angeles-based practice chair Richard Goetz and San Francisco-based Matt Powers recently secured a defense verdict for Johnson & Johnson in a class action claiming $150m in damages due to allegations that its anti-wrinkle products were falsely advertised. Also of note is Los Angeles-based Scott Voelz and San Francisco-based Darin Snyder’s recent work in obtaining a favorable outcome for technology company Strava in a wrongful death action.

New York-based Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s longstanding reputation for mass tort and product liability work has seen the firm continue to attract clients in high-profile actions. Practice head David Ichel is highly regarded for his work in alcoholic beverage-related litigation, and has defended a number of industry giants including Brown-Forman Corporation, Heineken and The Seagram Company. Ichel recently chaired a defense counsel group that successfully saw the dismissal of nine purported class actions alleging that Heineken and other alcohol manufacturers were targeting underage youths in the their marketing. Ichel is also representing Brown-Forman in a failure to warn action. Joseph McLaughlin has extensive expertise handling class actions, and has previously represented British American Tobacco in a multibillion-dollar healthcare reimbursement action.

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

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Observers are ‘impressed with the depth of the team’ at DLA Piper, which is co-chaired by William Kiniry, Christopher Young and the ‘smartLoren Brown in Philadelphia, San Diego and New York, respectively. The firm is acting for Pfizer in the nationwide CHANTIX litigation, as co-lead and co-liaison counsel in MDL proceedings and as lead counsel in a coordinated proceeding in the New York state court. For new client Novo Nordisk, it is serving as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel in MDL litigation surrounding Victoza, as well as acting as national counsel in federal and state courts in Victoza cases outside of the co-ordinated MDL. Cara Edwards was promoted to the partnership in January 2013; she is based in New York, alongside Christopher Campbell, who ‘commands respect’.

New York-based Arthur Brown and Lori Leskin co-head the ‘excellent’ 35 fee-earner product liability group at Kaye Scholer LLP, which ‘has a great reputation’ among peers. The ‘celebrated’ William Hoffman, who co-heads the firm’s life sciences group from its Washington DC office, leads the firm’s role as national counsel for Pfizer in litigation involving Reglan; it partook in a number of trials and appellate cases in 2013. The firm also continues to act as national counsel for Qualitest Pharmaceuticals and Endo Health Solutions following product liability claims arising from their decision to voluntarily recall several oral contraceptive products as a result of a packaging error; so far it has successfully dismissed claims on behalf of both clients. In Los Angeles, Pamela Yates is also recommended as an ‘excellent trial attorney’. Other key clients of the firm include AstraZeneca, and Boston Scientific.

Recent highlights for the team at Reed Smith LLP include acting as national coordinating counsel for Merck & Co in the NuvaRing product liability litigation; Princeton-based practice head Melissa Geist and Los Angeles-based Thomas Yoo are leading the litigation, with the team obtaining summary judgment in a number of cases. The ‘well-regarded and respected’ Barbara Binis who is ‘very good at strategic thinking’, continues to lead on advice to Endo Health Care Solutions and its subsidiary American Medical Systems, in transvaginal mesh litigation, with a number of bellwether trials scheduled for 2014 in Minnesota and Delaware. The firm strengthened its Houston office in 2013 with the additions of Stephen Scheve and counsel Rebecca Zahniser Hammerbeck, both from Baker Botts L.L.P., and Julie Hardin from legacy Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. Eric Buhr, Heather Ritch and Jacqueline Seidel all recently made partner and are based in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York, respectively.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP’s practice is ‘very strong’ and experienced, having served as regional or national counsel in legal actions involving acne drugs, antipsychotic drugs, blood and plasma products, bone screws, defibrillators, latex gloves, snakebite anti-venom and surgical instruments. Recent work examples include Miami-based duo Hildy Sastre and Rebecca Ocariz serving as jurisdictional counsel for Pfizer in hormone therapy litigation, and as counsel for Bayer in the Yaz/Yasmin litigation. Ocarviz is also workup counsel in litigation involving Accutane, and is representing Stryker in litigation surrounding its hip implant system, Rejuvenate. Houston-based Hunter Ahern represented the pharmaceutical manufacturer of a topical immunomodulator in a nationwide product liability case concerning product labeling revisions. Washington DC-based Madeleine McDonough chairs the firm’s pharmaceutical and medical devices litigation division, which includes chair emeritus of the pharmaceutical and medical device litigation division, Harvey Kaplan in the firm’s Kansas City office.

Chicago-based Sara Gourley leads the team at Sidley Austin LLP, and is commended for her ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’. The firm is acting for Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Eli Lilly and Company in Actos litigation: as trial counsel in Jack Cooper v Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, a non-suit was granted post-trial, ruling that the plaintiffs’ expert’s testimony should not have been heard by the jury as it was inherently unreliable. The firm is also lead counsel in several other pieces of litigation regarding Actos, with cases pending in numerous state courts. Eugene Schoon is valued for his ‘work with experts’, Craig Knot provides ‘daily support’ and Maja Eaton is also recommended.

Washington DC-based Williams & Connolly LLP is renowned for its ‘trial expertise’ and, more specifically, its ‘first-chair trial capability’. The firm is counsel for Merck & Co in litigation filed against its diabetes medications, JANUVIA and JANUMET; the federal cases have recently been designated an MDL. Joseph Petrosinelli, Heidi Hubbard and John Joiner are heading up the firm’s role as co-lead national counsel for Pfizer in claims relating to CHANTIX. Hubbard, who is ‘very respected’ in the market, is also leading on advice to American Medical Systems, a subsidiary of Endo Health Solutions, in ongoing litigation concerning its transvaginal mesh product. The ‘excellent’ Douglas Marvin is another key name in the team, and Paul Boehm and Grant Geyerman were promoted to the partnership in January 2013 and January 2014 respectively.

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP’s Philip Beck is ‘a very accomplished trial lawyer’ and is ‘supported by talented strategists’; indeed this ‘go-to firm’ has a ‘deep bench’ with ‘all-round capability’. The firm has a long track record of serving as lead counsel, usually in a defense-planning and/or MDL coordinator role. It served as national, MDL and lead trial counsel for Bayer in litigation arising from its withdrawal of Baycol; Rebecca Weinstein Bacon, led on the matter. Steven Derringer led a separate case for Bayer, as lead national counsel in litigation concerning TRYASLOL; the firm argued and won summary judgment in two bellwether cases and defended the judgments at the 11th Circuit on appeal. Shayna Cook recently left to join Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP. Named attorneys are based in the Chicago office.

The ‘excellentBowman and Brooke LLP has ‘really stepped it up recently’, a point exemplified through the opening of its tenth office – which will primarily focus on mass tort defense – in San Diego in November 2013. The ‘very strong firm’ is ‘trusted’ by clients due to its ‘ability to get to the facts of a matter expeditiously’ and ‘sensitivity to the client’s concerns’. Smiths Medical, Thoratec and Triad Group are among the more institutional clients, while new clients have come on board via recent dietary and nutritional supplement litigation. Highlights included advising Breg in a case concerning its PAIN CARE 3000 infusion pump, where the firm obtained a complete defense verdict in bellwether judicial council coordinated proceedings; Minneapolis-based practice head Kim Schmid served as national coordinating counsel and lead counsel, and Richmond-based Sandra Giannone Ezell served as lead trial counsel. The firm is also national counsel for Thoratec Corporation in defending its ventricular assist devices; Schmid, Alana Bassin and Jenny Covington are leading the advice. Other recommended attorneys include Michael Hurvitz and Gregory Jackson, who joined the San Diego office from Morris, Polich & Purdy to assist in bio-medical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical cases, and John Sear, who ‘does a good job’.

Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens and Cannada, PLLC has ‘some of the best trial lawyers for product liability in the country’ within its ‘very broad bench of excellent attorneys’. Particular praise is reserved for William Gage, who leads the team from its Ridgeland office. The firm provides ‘excellent value for money’, acting predominantly for branded pharmaceutical companies; it recently started acting for a Japanese pharmaceutical company, adding to an already flourishing client base. One of its longstanding clients is Johnson & Johnson/Ethicon, which it is representing in pelvic mesh litigation in the US District Court of West Virginia and consolidated state-court proceedings in New Jersey. Christy Jones, an ‘outstanding trial lawyer’ who is ‘very good with juries’, is leading on a separate matter for Johnson & Johnson relating to TYLENOL, where the firm serves as MDL and national counsel. Memphis-based Liz Smithhart was promoted to the partnership in January 2013 and New York-based David Cohen, a ‘“go-to” guy for scientific matters’, joined the firm in October 2013 from Baker Botts L.L.P.. Also recommended is Orlando Richmond, ‘one of the best trial lawyers in the country’.

The ‘excellent’ team at Covington & Burling LLP has some ‘very good associates and young partners’ and possesses ‘good industry knowledge’. The firm gained Boehringer Ingelheim as a new client in 2013 and is serving as lead counsel and lead trial counsel in over 1300 lawsuits relating to its Pradaxa drug; Paul Schmidt is leading the team, which includes practice vice-chair Mike Imbroscio (both attorneys are ‘excellent’), and renowned trial lawyer Mike Brock (one of the best trial lawyers in the country, who is always strong on regulatory matters’); the first bellwether trial is scheduled for August 2014. The firm is advising Genentech in cases relating to Avastin and Rituxan; it recently resolved suits in Miami and Alabama filed against Avastin, is defending a further suit in California, and the Rituxan litigation is pending. Pfizer continues to instruct the firm, with Brock serving as national trial counsel in the CHANTIX litigation. Brock is also national trial counsel for Merck & Co on the Fosamax litigation. Trial lawyer Phyllis Jones was promoted to the partnership in October 2013. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Dechert LLP’s Philadelphia team played a key role for Baxter in two separate pieces of litigation relating to heparin; Richard Berkman, Donald Le Gower and Will Sachse were among those who helped achieve dismissals in a number of cases, with a further two cases still ongoing. The firm is also representing Pfizer in the Reglan/Metoclopramide litigation, where litigation is currently pending in Philadelphia and New Jersey. The group has seen a number of personnel developments recently: Austin-based Amy Rudd and Le Gower were promoted to the partnership in January 2013, New York-based David Bernick joined from Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and Erik Snapp and Nathan Hoffman, both in the firm’s Chicago office, joined from Winston & Strawn LLP. Ben Barnett leads the team from Philadelphia.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP operates across the firm’s three offices in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. Praised for delivering ‘exceptional client service’, it has ‘a thorough understanding of complex medical and scientific matters’ – Los Angeles-based Kenneth Baum is a ‘stand-out name’ in this area – and ‘strong trial advocacy skills’ to boot. ‘Leading figure’ Tarek Ismail is serving as trial counsel for Boehringer Ingelheim in the Pradaxa MDL in the Southern District of Illinois; bellwether trials are scheduled to commence in August 2014. The firm is lead outside counsel for Bayer in litigation involving Mirena in a federal court MDL and in consolidated state court cases; Shayna Cook, who joined in January 2013 from Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP, serves as lead trial counsel and Brian O’Donoghue as coordinating counsel. The firm continues to represent Bayer as national counsel in the Nephrogenic systemic fybrosis (NSF)/gadolinium product liability litigation pertaining to its Magnevist product; Ismail serves as lead trial counsel and lead counsel in all coordinated proceedings. Also recommended are Alan Littmann and Andrew Goldman who is ‘a fantastic lawyer, very hard-working and smart’. Attorneys are based in Chicago unless stated.

The ‘phenomenalGreenberg Traurig LLP has a ‘very strong practice’ in this space. Practice head Lori Cohen is ‘fantastic’ and ‘has achieved a number of good results’; she is acting for Medtronic in state and federal courts and has achieved several dismissals on pre-emption grounds over the last year. The firm is also representing generic drug manufacturer Sandoz in various pieces of litigation in state and federal courts; for example, in the Metoclopramide litigation it serves as national coordinating counsel as well as local counsel in certain jurisdictions including Pennsylvania and California. Clarence Davis, who is experienced in serving as first chair trial attorney, joined the firm in 2013 from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP. Ginger Pigott, who is in the firm’s Los Angeles office, and Victoria Davis Lockard are also recommended. Attorneys are based in Atlanta unless stated.

King & Spalding LLP’s practice is spread across offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, San Francisco and Washington DC. For Merck & Co, Andy Bayman and Chilton Varner are acting in two separate federal MDLs in the District of New Jersey and the southern District of New York, concerning Fosamax; in the bellwether case Glynn v Merck & Co, a total defense verdict was returned by the jury and the court granted the client’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on federal pre-emption grounds in 2013. The firm continues to serve as national coordinating and trial counsel for GlaxoSmithKline in the Paxil birth defects litigation and the Paxil suicide/homicide litigation, recently obtaining summary judgment for dismissal in Scott A Baymiller v GlaxoSmithKline. Donald Zimmer, Robert Woo, Bruce Hurley and Stephen Devereaux are also recommended. Other key clients include AstraZeneca, and Purdue Pharma.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP is experienced in advising clients in multiparty and multijurisdictional cases, class actions, MDL proceedings and state coordinated proceedings. It continues to act for clients including CR Bard, Eli Lilly and Wyeth, acting for the latter as national co-ordinating counsel, and is regularly involved in litigation relating to hip implants, knee implants and defibrillators. Atlanta-based Richard North has served as national counsel for a medical device manufacturer in litigation involving vascular devices and urological products. David Dukes is ‘terrific’ and J Mark Jones and James Rogers are also recommended. Sam Outten joined the firm’s Greenville office in 2013 from Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice. Atlanta-based Clarence Davis left to join Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a ‘very good’ team, led by ‘supreme strategist’ John Beisner in Washington DC, who is ‘excellent on strategy’. For Merck & Co, the firm is acting in the NuvaRing litigation, in coordinated proceedings in the Superior Court of New Jersey. It is currently acting for DePuy Orthopaedics as lead counsel in MDL proceedings involving over 500 claims brought against its PINNACLE Acetabular Cup System hip prosthesis, with four bellwether trials scheduled for 2014. Palo Alto-based Allen Ruby represented Intuitive Surgical in litigation concerning its da Vinci Surgical System, with the firm obtaining a defense verdict for the client. Pfizer is also a client. Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo left to join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in 2013.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s practice is headed by New York-based Anand Agneshwar and Washington DC-based Eric Rubel. Recent highlights include serving as national counsel to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi in Plavix litigation in courts across the US; the defendants achieved dismissals in the majority of the cases filed in the District of New Jersey, with the court granting summary judgments in the remaining six cases. The firm is also acting for the same clients in sales and marketing litigation concerning Plavix, and has been instructed as national counsel for Sanofi in Thalidomide litigation, which is at the discovery stage. Hologic is also a key client.

Travis Sales and New York-based Earl Austin co-head the team at Baker Botts L.L.P.. Recent mandates for the group include acting as co-counsel for Merck & Co in a state-wide consumer class action case in Missouri on behalf of Vioxx purchasers, and in a pending federal MDL in Louisiana. The firm also serves as national counsel for AstraZeneca in the Seroquel litigation, where Austin is leading the team in litigation in federal and state courts in eleven states, as well as assisting its Canadian counsel in a number of pending class action matters. Michael Bennett and Dallas-based Aaron Davidson are advising Novartis in Aredia and ZOMETA litigation brought by Texas plaintiffs. Richard Josephson is also recommended. Attorneys are based in Houston except where stated.

The ‘outstanding’ practice at Goodwin Procter LLP is regularly called upon by generic drug manufacturers, medical devices companies and manufacturers of dietary supplements. In New York, practice head Joanne Gray and Glenn Kerner are representing Smith & Nephew in mass tort litigation and have also advised the client on other litigation involving orthopaedic medical devices, latex gloves and metoclopramide. The firm is acting as national counsel for Teva in federal and state courts in litigation involving the client’s generic drugs propofol, metoclopramide, alendronate and pamidronate; it has obtained dismissals on pre-emption grounds in cases that have arisen so far and continues to advise in relation to future litigation. Litigation chair Mark Tully acted alongside Kerner in the aforementioned propofol litigation; he is based in the Boston office, which also includes Richard Oetheimer.

One of Hogan Lovells’ key strengths is preventing litigation from arising, with the firm’s strong focus on regulatory matters a key component of this pre-emption strategy. New client wins in 2013 included a manufacturer of surgical tools and implantable biomaterials and a pharmaceutical company. It is currently serving as national counsel for a medical devices company and has filed motions to dismiss in a number of cases. It is also serving as national counsel for a non-profit organization and a medical devices company. Michael Kidney and Lauren Colton co-head the team from Baltimore. Phoebe Wilkinson joined the New York office in June 2013 from Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s group includes managing partner Theodore Mayer, and is co-chaired by Robb Patryk and Diane Lifton; the latter led advice to Novartis in the firm’s role as New Jersey trial counsel in the hormone therapy litigation. The firm is serving as national co-ordinating counsel and sole national counsel for a pharmaceutical company in a number of ongoing litigation matters, and remains active in assisting clients in nationwide recalls. William Beausoleil, Charles Cohen and James Fitzpatrick are also recommended. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Operating from offices in Chicago, New York and Washington, DC, the ‘outstandingKirkland & Ellis LLP is always ‘in to win’. The firm is acting as nationwide counsel for Abbott/AbbVie in cases filed against the drug HUMIRA; Michael Foradas is leading on this matter, which includes defending the client in a trial in Cook County state court. New York-based Jay Lefkowitz is advising Baxter in Thoburn v Wyeth et al; the firm led a motion to dismiss plaintiff's state-law tort claims on grounds of federal pre-emption. Another victory was for Teva in Guarino v Wyeth et al, in the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Other clients include Ranbaxy, and recent additions Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation and Mutual Pharmaceutical Company. Leslie Smith has a ‘good strategic approach’, ‘demonstrates personal commitment to the company’s cause’ and ‘acquires and deploys the best firm talent appropriately’. Named attorneys are based in Chicago unless stated.

Morrison & Foerster LLP is a ‘valued partner in litigation matters’, owing to its ‘extremely responsive’ nature and ability to understand clients’ businesses and industries. It has recently been advising Fresenius Kabi in proceedings in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Califorina in the Reglan/metoclopramide litigation. The firm is also ideally placed to advise clients on potential risks in order to avoid litigation; San Diego-based practice head Erin Bosman has been advising MicroPort in this regard during its recent acquisition of OrthoRecon. Other clients include, Mylan, Iovate Health Sciences and Aptalis. James Huston, also in San Diego, chairs the trial practice group, and San Francisco-based Arturo González, co-chairs the litigation department. Adam Hoffinger, based in the firm’s Washington, DC office, is also recommended.

Nina Gussack leads the 65-strong team at Pepper Hamilton LLP. The firm is serving as national counsel, trial counsel and settlement counsel for Eli Lilly in several product liability cases; recent examples include consolidated cases in California relating to the drug BYETTA, where Barry Boise and Gusack are playing a key role. Medtronic has retained the group as national counsel and national trial counsel for litigation relating to its Infuse Bone Graft device, with Sean Fahey serving as national coordinating counsel; the firm has so far gained a number of pre-emption rulings. Yvonne McKenzie and Hyung Steele were promoted to the partnership in January 2013. Murray Levin and Washington DC-based George Lehner are also recommended. Attorneys are based in Philadelphia unless stated otherwise.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP bolstered its practice in 2013 with the arrival of Sheila Birnbaum and Mark Cheffo from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, along with a team of associates, to its New York office. Birnbaum ‘brings instant credibility to the firm’ as she has ‘a great reputation in the market’, and Cheffo is ‘very good and has a good team of young lawyers’; both have joined as global co-heads of the product liability and mass torts practice group. Cheffo is defending Pfizer in the LIPITOR litigation, where the firm serves as national counsel. Faith Gay, who also sits in New York and is co-chair of the national trial practice group, is also recommended.

Tucker Ellis LLP has a reputation for handling heavy industry science issues and is often called upon to act as national counsel in litigation for pharmaceutical and medical devices companies. Los Angeles-based Mollie Benedict leads the team, which includes the ‘very good trial lawyer’ and name partner, Robert Tucker, John Lewis, Dustin Rawlin and trial department chair Rita Maimbourg, all of whom are based in Cleveland. Peter Choate, rated for his high level of technical experience, joined the firm’s Los Angeles office from O'Melveny & Myers LLP. Recently promoted partners Clifford Mendelsohn and Sanford Watson in Cleveland, and Su-Lyn Combs in Los Angeles, are also recommended.

Sally Bryan and Paul Strain co-chair the 12-partner team at Venable LLP, which is based in the firm’s Baltimore office. Known for being ‘very strong on strategy and on trial matters’, it has a strong client base that includes Merck & Co, for which it is national counsel in the long-running Fosamax litigation; Stephen Marshall, Strain and David Heubeck have all played key roles in the matter. The firm is also acting for Takeda in the ACTOS litigation, with Bruce Parker and Craig Thompson serving as trial counsel in the second case to go to trial in Baltimore. Parker and Jason Rose are serving as national counsel for Boehringer Ingelheim in MIRAPEX litigation in an MDL in a federal court in Minnesota, with responsibility for the management and strategy of the litigation. Strain ‘can try a case very well and is also very good at strategy’. AbbVie is another key client.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP provides an ‘extremely high level of service’, specialising in risk management issues and utilizing its global presence to advise blue-chip clients such as Proctor & Gamble and Sanofi. Arvin Maskin leads the product liability team from New York, which includes Diane Sullivan, head of the New Jersey office and ‘an extremely smart and savvy trial lawyer who makes complex scientific and medical issues simple for lay juries’. Sullivan is leading the firm’s efforts as lead trial counsel for Ortho-McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, in defending hormone therapy litigation.

Denver firm Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLPdelivers high-quality advise that is on time and insightful’, and thus is ‘highly rated’ by clients. Founder and chairman Michael O’Donnell serves as regional trial counsel for insurance provider CAN, and Habib Nasrullah is leading advice to McKesson Corporation, which has retained the firm as national co-ordinating counsel in the Zoloft, Effexor, Fen-phen and LIPITOR litigation. Advanced Bionics has instructed the firm as national coordinating and trial counsel in the defense of its cochlear implants. O’Donnell and Nasrullah ‘are very knowledgeable’, ‘understand clients’ businesses’ and ‘are very responsive and generous with their time’. James Hooper is valued for his ‘expertise in developing medical causation experts’.

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

Anand Agneshwar and Eric Rubel co-head the team at Arnold & Porter LLP from New York and Washington DC respectively. For longstanding client ARCO, the firm is acting in a number of lead pigment cases, including ongoing case County of Santa Clara, et al v Atlantic Richfield Company, et al, and a case which involves personal injury claims filed by 170 plaintiffs in Wisconsin currently on appeal before the Seventh Circuit, following a ruling for the defendant in 2010. The firm acts for Honeywell in numerous toxic tort cases; for example, Lester Sotsky served as lead counsel in a case concerning exposure to PCBs in a class action relating to groundwater contamination, and the firm is currently advising the client in Smith et al v Honeywell et al, where plaintiffs are seeking to certify a medical monitoring class and a property damage class. BP is also a client. Nancy Milburn is also recommended, alongside Philip Curtis, a ‘leader in this area’ who is ‘very strong on legal strategy’; both are based in New York.

Jones Day provides a ‘stellar’ level of service and is a great firm for ‘bet the company litigation’ as well as being ‘deep in the appellate area’. Pittsburgh-based practice head Paul Pohl is a ‘top-notch courtroom lawyer’: ‘quick on his feet and with a great ability to bring clarity to complex issues’. Recent mandates for the firm include advising Sherwin-Williams against public nuisance claims regarding white lead pigments in paints. It also acts for Union Carbide Corporation in ongoing nationwide asbestos litigation, and served as lead trial counsel in a case in Florida state court, which settled after it won pre-trial motions. In another asbestos case, the ‘very good’ Boston-based Dana Baiocco is acting for the defendant in Wiacek v 3M Company. Pittsburgh-based Charles Moellenberg ‘is a tremendous behind-the-scenes asset’ who ‘has a great analytical mind and is very thoughtful in his decision-making’.

King & Spalding LLP has ‘tremendous expertise’, is ‘very easy to work with’ and provides a ‘top-rate service’. The firm is national counsel for a construction client in the Chinese drywall litigation, where Atlanta-based Kevin Buster, ‘one of the few really expert toxic tort lawyers in the country’, serves on the defense steering committee in MDL proceedings pending in New Orleans. The firm is also active in drinking water contamination litigation: it is representing Chevron in MTBE litigation, and Shell and Dow in litigation concerning TCE and PCE. The ‘hard-working, intelligent and responsiveTracie Renfroe in Atlanta is someone clients ‘would much rather have representing than opposing’ and is acting for Shell. Richard Schneider, also in Atlanta, is ‘very smart’ and a ‘superb litigator’ and Peter Strotz in San Francisco ‘is a solid strategic thinker and a formidable trial attorney’. San Francisco-based Gennaro Filice, Nicholas Kayhan and Charles Correll, and Atlanta-based Robert Meadows, and Jeremiah Anderson, are also recommended.

The ‘very goodKirkland & Ellis LLP is valued for its ‘deep subject expertise’. The firm is representing BASF Catalysts in asbestos-related personal injury cases in California and Massachusetts; it is also advising the client in an asbestos case related to a talc product sold by its predecessor in a case in the California Superior Court, Santa Clara County. The firm continues to advise BP in the long-running Deepwater Horizon litigation. Richard Godfrey is leading advice to BP in the MDL litigation in New Orleans. Michael Foradas, Kevin Van Wart and John Worth advised the defendant in Snizavich v Rohm and Haas, a wrongful death suit allegedly caused by chemical exposure; Van Wort argued the summary judgment motion for the client, which was granted in November 2012. IDEX Corporation and Syngenta are also clients. All named attorneys are based in Chicago.

Goodwin Procter LLP is a ‘“go-to” firm whenever a particularly complex legal problem occurs’, as it ‘excels’ in this area. Washington DC-based Mark Raffman led advice to Lafarge in two separate cases concerning allegations of defective gypsum drywall, securing dismissal with prejudice in both cases. The firm continues to advise Arrowood Indemnity Company (part of Arrowpoint Capital) in a consolidated case pending in the state court in the City of Baltimore, with counsel John Aldock leading on the matter. William Hanlon, who chairs the firm’s Washington DC office, is ‘a top-notch lawyer who excels at solving complex legal matters in a prompt and cost-effective manner’ and is ‘an excellent litigator’ with ‘exceptional people skills’.

David Weinstein leads the 37 fee-earner team at Greenberg Traurig LLP, praised for its ‘pragmatism’ and particular expertise in defending claims related to soil, water and air pollution. Recent mandates include advising clients in the energy sector in long-running MDL concerning MTBE groundwater contamination; Washington DC-based Brent Allen is leading advice to a refinery operator in litigation arising from the MDL. In Denver, Christopher Neumann is ‘thorough, very knowledgeable and super responsive’. A complementary asset is the firm’s environment litigation department, which expanded in 2013 with the arrival of Steven Russo in New York, Craig Richardson and John Voorhees in Denver, and Christopher Bell, who divides his time between the firm’s Houston and Washington, DC offices.

The ‘very responsive’ team at Latham & Watkins LLPmaintains a good level of communication’ with clients and has a ‘strong reputation’ for defending toxic tort claims. Recent highlights include representing Nalco Holding Company in relation to Deepwater Horizin; Chicago-based Thomas Heiden and Mary Rose Alexander secured a full dismissal of personal injury, property damage and putative class action lawsuits and the court granted summary judgment. The firm achieved a dismissal for Chevron and other defendants in claims relating to alleged radioactive, hazardous and toxic substances contamination from a nuclear fuel facility. Alexander is valued for her ‘legal analysis, creativity and ability to think outside the box’ and Heiden is ‘excellent’. In October 2012, Kenneth Parsigian and Gwyn Williams joined the firm’s Boston office from Goodwin Procter LLP.

Chicago-based Michael Pope and Lazar Raynal, and New York-based Peter Sacripanti lead the ‘outstanding’ team at McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Sacripanti and fellow New York attorney James Pardo continue to lead advice to ExxonMobil, where the firm serves as trial counsel, in an MDL related to MTBE and groundwater contamination. Miami-based Anthony Upshaw is leading advice to new client Monsanto in multiple-venue product liability actions relating to the manufacture, sale and distribution of PCBs.

The 'strong' team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP provides an 'excellent service' and obtains 'outstanding' results, handling cases nationwide. Practice co-head James Pagliaro, possesses 'strong legal skills, is an excellent trial lawyer' and is a 'very good strategist'. Highlights for the firm included advising Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Company in litigation concerning toxic exposure from a chrome plating facility that was formerly owned and operated by its subsidiary companies. For Owens-Illinois, the group is acting in asbestos litigation in five states and is also representing the client in litigation in Texas related to benzene, silica and welding rods. Kenneth Komoroski joined in October 2013 with a team of associates from Norton Rose Fulbright and Stephanie Feingold joined the Princeton office from Squire Patton Boggs. Co-head John Lavelle is also recommended. Named attorneys are located in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Morrison & Foerster LLP is viewed as a ‘heavyweight’ firm in this area, and represents clients including Union Pacific Railroad, The Newark Group, Sears Holdings Corporation, and Cytec Industries; for the latter, it is serving as national coordinating counsel in cases alleging personal injury and wrongful death due to exposure to asbestos fibers; San Diego-based Don Rushing, who co-chairs the firm’s litigation team, is leading the advice. Michèle Corash and Michael Steel in San Francisco led advice to Costco in litigation regarding hazardous gases in connection with its gas stations in California. Also in San Francisco is William Tarantino, who ‘masters every file’ and ‘gets the big picture as well as the small details’.

Laurie Strauch Weiss leads the team at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP from New York. The group defended longstanding client The Dow Chemical Company, and Union Carbide Corporation, in James Coleman et al v Union Carbide Company et al, where plaintiffs claimed that property was contaminated and that over 8000 potential class members were exposed to substances allegedly emitted by a metals plant; the court granted the defendants' Daubert motion regarding two of the plaintiffs' proposed experts and denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The firm also serves as national counsel for Union Carbide Corporation in other pieces of asbestos personal injury litigation, many of which are lead trial counsel roles. James Stengel, Siobhan Handley and of counsel Kristen Fournier are other key names to note.

Highlights for the team at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP include advising Occidental Chemical Corporation and its affiliates in litigation seeking a clean-up of the Love Canal area, in litigation led by Sheila Birnbaum following her arrival to the New York office from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in 2013. Washington DC-based Michael Lyle, along with two partners in the firm’s Sydney office, is advising Bovis Lend Lease in litigation surrounding the World Trade Center clean-up; Lyle and Eric Lyttle joined the firm from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in April 2013.

New York-based John Hooper leads the team at Reed Smith LLP, which added Stan Perry, who has particular expertise in benzene litigation, to its Houston office from Haynes and Boone, L.L.P.. The firm is advising Shell as national counsel in aromatics litigation that includes benzene, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and solvents; the mandate involves coordinating the client’s docket strategy, discovery requests and developing trial strategy and plans, amongst other advice. The firm continues to serve as national coordinating counsel to Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) in defending asbestos, CWP and silica litigation in federal and state courts, with Hooper leading the advice. Chicago-based Maryanne Woo is leading advice to Johnson Controls and its subsidiary York International Corporation in asbestos litigation, where the firm serves as national coordinating counsel.

Peers have a ‘high regard’ for Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, which represents clients in litigation following accidents and from long-term exposure (including workplace and residential settings). The firm is experienced in managing litigation involving potential contaminants such as organic compounds, chlorinated solvents, pesticides and herbicides, PCBs, perchlorate and rocket fuel propellants and gasoline additives. Practice head Mark Anstoetter leads the team from its Kansas City base, which includes trial attorney Patrick Fanning, Steven Soden and the ‘excellent’ David Erickson, who chairs the tort team’s environmental practice. Erickson is defending a food and beverage manufacturer against claims by neighbors that historic aspects of the manufacturing process have resulted in groundwater contamination and allegedly caused property damages and personal injuries.

Sidley Austin LLP is experienced in advising on asbestos and greenhouse litigation, and the tort team works in concert with the firm’s environmental team. The firm continues to advise long-standing client GE as national coordinating counsel, as well as serving as a member of its trial counsel team in asbestos litigation; it recently obtained summary judgment for the client in an MDL alleging that it was liable for insulation applied to marine steam turbines sold to the US Navy. David Buente, who is ‘one of the best lawyers in this area’, and Timothy Webster, both located in Washington DC, are leading advice to Coronet Industries in a mass-joinder suit in Florida state court, in claims related to purported exposure to chemicals from historic phosphate mining operations.

Tucker Ellis LLP, which operates from offices in Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco, has particular expertise representing clients in asbestos and silica litigation, having acted as both local and national counsel in these cases. It also recently served as trial counsel in coal mine dust litigation. Chair of the mass tort and product liability practice group Jeffrey Healy leads the 18-partner team from Cleveland, where Jonathan Cooper is also a recommended attorney.

Life sciences co-chair Earl Austin and Tynan Buthod lead the team at Baker Botts L.L.P. in Houston, which advises clients including ExxonMobil and BASF. LyondellBassell Industries is an active client, to which Buthod and K evin Jacobs are currently leading advice. The firm also serves as national asbestos trial counsel for Union Carbide Corporation, and Kevin Jordan is leading the team in trying cases nationwide and coordinating the client’s defense of asbestos and drilling mud litigation. Walter Lynch was promoted to the partnership in January 2013. Stephen Scheve left the firm for Reed Smith LLP.

The ‘very knowledgeable’ team at Dechert LLP provides ‘savvy advice’ and does a ‘tremendous’ job for clients. Philadelphia-based Ben Barnett leads the team, which has particular expertise in advising clients on asbestos litigation. The ‘top-notchWilliam Oxley, based in the firm’s Los Angeles office, is ‘an outstanding trial attorney who digs into cases at a level uncommon for a partner’ and is ‘excellent in front of the jury’ as he ‘adapts quickly to the changes that often occur during a trial’. David Bernick joined the New York office in August 2013 from Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, while Erik Snapp and Nathan Hoffman joined the Chicago office from Winston & Strawn LLP. Austin-based Amy Rudd and Philadelphia-based Donald Le Gower were promoted to the partnership in January 2013.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP’s toxic tort team is headquartered in its New York offices, but represents clients nationwide. Susan Millington Campbell and Michael Tiger led advice to Irving Oil Limited/Highlands Fuel Delivery where the firm served as national counsel in multi-state lawsuits brought by states, public water providers and private well owners alleging groundwater contamination from MTBE. Robb Patryk and Diane Lifton co-chair the team, which includes managing partner and deputy chair Theodore Mayer.

Mayer Brown is experienced in advising on asbestos and silica claims and defends personal and property claims associated with facilities, such as air and water emissions from industrial and chemical facilities, as well as releases associated with gas plant waste products, landfills and other facilities. Chicago-based practice head Michael Olsen recently obtained a defense verdict for Union Carbide Corporation in a jury trial in Los Angles and secured a summary judgment verdict on the eve of trial in a consolidated mass tort action involving approximately 8000 plaintiffs.

Stephen Busch chairs the team at McGuireWoods LLP, which is experienced in public and private nuisance cases. Steven Williams leads advice to longstanding client DuPont, where the firm serves as national and coordinating counsel, in lead paint litigation brought by states, municipalities and individuals. New York-based Philip Goldstein has particular expertise when it comes to asbestos litigation. Robert Redmond, who joined the firm in February 2013 from Williams Mullen, is experienced in advising on silica, MTBE and asbestos litigation. Diane Flannery joined the firm in April 2013 from Jones Day. Attorneys are based in Richmond except where stated.

Joseph Ortego, who divides his time between the New York and Long Island offices, leads the 15-partner team at Nixon Peabody LLP, which has a national practice operating across the firm’s 16 US offices. Key clients include distributors of chemicals and chemical manufacturers. Ortego, Benjamin Dwyer and John Weinholtz, who are in the firm’s Buffalo office, along with counsel Santo Borruso manage all New York-based litigation for Daimler Trucks, and recently acted for the client in an asbestos trial. The firm is also active in Proposition 65 cases in California and serves as national counsel in defending clients in asbestos litigation.

Otway Denny, head of dispute resolution and litigation, is a key contact for this type of work at Norton Rose Fulbright. The Houston-based practice represents clients including ExxonMobil, Sigma-Aldrich and Cooper Tire & Rubber Company. The firm is advising Vulcan Materials Company in a series of groundwater contamination cases involving PCE. The ‘extremely intelligentJan Dodd in Los Angeles is valued as a trial lawyer and legal strategist.

The ‘cost-effective’ group at Steptoe & Johnson LLP is valued for its ‘exceptional skill and service’. Practice head Lawrence Riff, who is based in the firm’s Los Angeles office, is ‘a very skilled and practical trial lawyer’, ‘great with juries’ and valued for his ability in trying complex cases. The firm serves as co-lead counsel in advising the defendant in Smith v Monsanto Co, et al., in allegations that the client’s PCBs caused plaintiffs’ cancer.

Securities: shareholder litigation

Index of tables

  1. Securities: shareholder litigation
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

In New York, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is ‘one of the top firms in this area of law’ with a reputation for ‘innovative solutions in big-ticket cases. The firm is ‘very good in comparison with peers’, with a ‘well-established reputation and strong client relationships’. Its ‘stellar accounting liability practice’ advises clients such as PwC, for which it had all claims dismissed in a multibillion-dollar class action arising from AIG’s stock value drop. ‘Excellent’ litigation head Sandra Goldstein is defending the board of Assisted Living Concepts in a claim for breach of fiduciary duty brought by shareholders following investment firm TPG’s proposed acquisition. Goldstein also counts directors of both Duke Energy and JDA Software Group among her clients. The ‘generalists and trial lawyers who think outside the box’ include the ‘outstandingEvan Chesler, who is defending Merck & Co in a federal securities class action; Richard Clary, who represents outside directors of Citigroup in a shareholder’s derivative action in the Supreme Court of the state of New York; Robert Baron, who is advising Deutsche Bank Securities on matters relating to the failed takeover of Huntsman Corporation; and Daniel Slifkin, who represented JPMorgan Chase in 15 mortgage-backed securities lawsuits.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is ‘a world-class law firm with many very skilled, experienced, top-tier litigators’. Co-chairs James Rouhandeh (‘a terrific lawyer and first-rate thinker’) and Carey Dunne lead a team with a ‘very proactive and strategic approach to defense, that figures out the endgame at the very beginning’. Rouhandeh and Charles Duggan are leading a team defending all 33 underwriters in the Facebook IPO in derivative litigation and a class action brought by shareholders alleging misleading statements in the registration statement and prospectus. Other clients benefitting from a ‘bench strength that sets the firm apart from many competitors’ include Citibank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and E*TRADE. The firm also handles all the mortgage-backed securities litigation for Morgan Stanley, with Duggan and Robert Wise playing key roles. Highly recommended partners include Lawrence Portnoy, who is advising Bank of America in litigation arising from its Merrill Lynch acquisition; Edmund Polubinski, who represents MF Global’s independent directors; and James Windels, whose clients include PwC; all are based in New York.

The exceptional team’ at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, co-chaired by Washington DC-based Charles Davidow, Richard Rosen and the ‘very smart, easy to work with and down to earthDaniel Kramer – with the close involvement of the firm’s chair Brad Karp – has built a reputation as a ‘fantastic firm that knows how to try cases’. Its ‘excellent, wise counsellors combine deep legal knowledge with a practical and business-like view’, and include experienced trial lawyer Bruce Birenboim, defense strategist Susanna Buergel and Martin Flumenbaum, who excels in mortgage-backed securities cases. Kramer and Moses Silverman advised Aeterna Zentaris in a stock drop class action that was dismissed with prejudice. Eric Goldstein, Claudia Hammerman and Audra Soloway are also part of the ‘extremely responsive’ team. The firm has a longstanding relationship with Citigroup, for which recent matters include the defense of numerous SEC investigations into the structuring of collateralized debt obligation (CDO) securities, which were settled for $285m without admission of any allegations. Attorneys are based in New York except where stated.

One of the few firms where securities litigation has long been a central area of expertise’, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is ‘a really good firm with the world’s largest private equity practice’, though it also advises many underwriters and issuers. Bruce Angiolillo, who is ‘at the top of the tree’ for securities litigation, and ‘bright, articulate, talented litigator’ Jonathan Youngwood are defending Twitter in a rights to stock claim following its IPO, and, for Blackstone Group, the duo settled a $2bn class action for $85m. Practice co-chairs Paul Curnin, whose clients include the board of AIG and the former CEO of Porsche, and ‘consummate professional’ Thomas Rice, who advises RBS and Deutsche Bank in mortgage-backed securities matters brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), are ‘highly thought of’’ as litigators. Peter Kazanoff is ‘a great lawyer with outstanding negotiation skills’ in shareholder and derivative actions. Paul Gluckow, who is advising CVC Capital Partners in shareholder actions related to the acquisition of BJ’s Wholesale, is also recommended. The team is principally based in New York, but the West Coast team in Palo Alto and Los Angeles is also highly skilled.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is ‘as good as it getsa big practice with a big presence and very broad coverage’. The team, led from New York by Jay Kasner, is ‘cream of the crop as defense counsel’. Kasner and Scott Musoff are representing Bank of America Merrill Lynch and former officers and directors in affirming the dismissal of derivative lawsuits alleging risky CDO investments. In Los Angeles, Peter Morrison and Thomas Nolan are acting for Questcor in a shareholder’s derivative lawsuit and a class action alleging misrepresentations about one of its flagship products. Boston-based James Carroll, who recently advised CommonWealth REIT, is ‘absolutely terrific’. Houston-based Charles Schwartz and New York-based Susan Saltzstein obtained a dismissal of alleged misstatements for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation relating to its liability for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The firm’s ‘outstanding’ securities enforcement and compliance practice, led by Colleen Mahoney in Washington DC, has defended clients such as American Apparel in investigations by the SEC and DOJ.

One of the “go-to” firms for defense work’, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is a ‘true-blue New York firm that does a ton of really good securities litigation’. The firm has ‘a very good practice with longstanding relationships with financial institutions’. New York-based practice head Robert Giuffra had a class action dismissed for Cablevision, and, along with Suhana Han, successfully defended Porsche in claims brought by international hedge funds over alleged share price manipulation. The firm represents financial institutions including Goldman Sachs in the multibillion-dollar FHFA case concerning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s RMBS investments. Matthew Schwartz played a key role in defending class actions for UBS. The firm is ‘a leader for securities enforcement matters involving banks’, with Barclays among those it has successfully defended. Work for non-US corporates includes shareholder litigation for BP following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where Richard Pepperman played a lead role. Other recommended partners include Sharon Nelles, ‘a star’, who defended Moody’s in mortgage-backed securities class actions; the ‘highly thought of’’ Daryl Libow in Washington DC; and Diane McGimsey in Los Angeles. Attorneys are based in New York except where stated.

The service from Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP is ‘exemplary’. Herbert Washer is ‘at the top of the profession in terms of skills, expertise, client communication and practical sense’; he is advising Credit Suisse on all matters arising from the alleged manipulation of LIBOR. Floyd Abrams, Charles Gilman, Tammy Roy and Adam Zurofsky, all of whom are ‘held in high regard’, played lead roles in a team that successfully dismissed 25 cases against McGraw Hill Financial and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services relating to mortgage-backed securities. Although the firm is smaller than some its peers, around half of its 350 lawyers are litigators, and many of those, including David Januszewski and Thomas Kavaler, are highly regarded for securities matters. The practice has an enviable client base of financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank, and is praised for its ‘great people and great client relationships’. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘litigation and corporate practice groups are of excellent quality’. The talented multi-disciplinary team in New York and Washington DC includes the ‘excellentMitchell Lowenthal, who led a team acting for underwriters including Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley in a class action alleging misleading statements in offering documents for five RBS Preference Shares issues; the case was subsequently dismissed. Thomas Moloney, Evan Davis and David Brodsky stand out for their experience representing banks including HSBC, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Citigroup in disputes arising from the Bernard Madoff fraud. Meredith Kotler, who is representing Bank of America and Merrill Lynch in 19 matters relating to mortgage-backed securities, is one to watch. The firm’s strong track record in regulatory investigations and related litigation is another string to its bow, exemplified by Lewis Liman’s work for Marc Gabelli in the Supreme Court.

The service in enforcement and litigation has been outstanding’, notes a client of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where the broader litigation practice, chaired by John Kiernan, is widely recognized as one the country’s finest. The firm has niche skills in the insurance sector, with Maeve O’Connor and the ‘client-focusedEdwin Schallert advising on class actions and derivative claims for MetLife and Prudential Financial respectively. Kiernan and Gary Kubek, who ‘does a great job’, successfully defended the Federal Reserve Bank of New York against claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty in the bailout of AIG. ‘Amazing lawyerColby Smith in Washington DC and the ‘thoughtful, exceedingly calmBruce Yannett in New York are representing former Hewlett-Packard CEO Léo Apotheker in a federal class action, derivative lawsuits and an SEC investigation arising from the company’s Autonomy acquisition. The firm’s lawyers, including the highly recommended Jeffrey Jacobson and Shannon Selden, provide advice that is ‘strategic, tailored, insightful and not overly conservative’. Attorneys are located in New York except where stated.

One firm widely recognised as ‘growing in strength’ is Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. With its large network of US offices, it is considered ‘among the top practices in the country’. Co-chaired by Thad Davis in San Francisco, who ‘always tries his best for clients’, Meryl Young in Orange County, Jonathan Dickey in Silicon Valley and Robert Serio in New York, the practice ‘brings the A-team at every level’. Among the firm’s recent key wins is the summary judgment victory obtained by Orange County-based Wayne Smith, Silicon Valley-based Paul Collins and, Dallas-based Robert Walters for Intel on claims arising from the acquisition of McAfee. Orange County-based Michael Farhang represented Vivendi in a high-profile matter in the Delaware Supreme Court, which reversed an injunction against an $8.3bn stock repurchase. Another highlight was the dismissal of multiple derivative lawsuits in the Supreme Court obtained by Smith, Washington DC-based Mark Perry and Orange County-based Jeffrey Reeves for Allergan. Lawrence Zweifach and Brian Lutz, based in New York and San Francisco respectively, prevailed for UBS in a mortgage-backed securities matter.

Latham & Watkins LLP does ‘an absolutely amazing job in shareholder matters, displaying impressive subject matter expertise’. Jeff Hammel in New York, who is ‘a cool hand, seasoned and knowledgeable about all aspects of securities law’, co-chairs the practice with William Baker in Washington DC and Patrick Gibbs in Silicon Valley. The firm is ‘a big player in the technology sector for securities matters’, and represents all of the big four accounting firms, as well as major financial institutions, international energy companies and private equity firms. Key clients include PG&E Corporation, Repsol and Deutsche Bank. New York-based James Brandthas seen it all and provides valuable assessments of litigation matters’, and Peter Wald in San Francisco is ‘top-notch, responsive and efficient’. New York partners Miles Ruthberg and Jamie Wine obtained a dismissal for Ernst & Young in a $150m claim brought by the New York Attorney General in regard to the Lehman Brothers collapse. Baker and Washington DC-based Kevin Metz, who is ‘smart, strategic and devoted to clients’, are representing oil services company Weatherford International in class actions and derivative litigation arising from the restatement of its financial results.

Known for its ‘rigorous, intense, trial-ready’ approach to litigation, the ‘very impressiveQuinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLPdoes an outstanding job’ and is ‘top tier on the plaintiff side’, hence its rise in this year’s ranking. Co-chairs Philippe Selendy in New York and Harry Olivar in Los Angeles lead a team of ‘super-smart lawyers at the very busy firm’, which often represents investors and insurance companies. Selendy’s ‘unbelievable results’ include multibillion-dollar settlements for the FHFA on behalf of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in claims against financial institutions including Bank of America and Citigroup. Olivar settled a claim against UBS Real Estate Securities for Assured Guaranty relating to mortgage-backed securities, and represented MassMutual in nine federal lawsuits last year. Recommended partners include, in New York Daniel Brockett and insurance sector specialist Jennifer Barrett, and in Los Angeles Molly Stephens. The firm also handles defense work and New York-based Andrew Rossman obtained the voluntary dismissal of a securities class action for VeriSign.

The ‘service is excellent’ at Shearman & Sterling LLP, where the practice, led from New York by Adam Hakki, provides ‘compelling legal analysis and oral argument’. Hakki led a team advising Countrywide in multiple disputes over mortgage-backed securities. Notable victories for the group included the dismissal of Securities Act claims in the FHLB San Francisco case. Hakki, Daniel Lewis and Stuart Baskin, who is ‘legendary in his ability to manage complicated matters’, often advise leading investment banks in underwriter class actions and have obtained dismissals for ING, MF Global and others. Clients recommend Kirsten Cunha; Brian Polovoy (‘top notch in every respect’); and Jerome Fortinsky, leader of the firm’s market-leading China securities litigation practice, who is ‘highly competent in every respect, with expert litigation skills’. Also worthy of note are Alan Goudiss and Jaculin Aaron, who advised WebMD in a securities fraud class action. Joseph Frank, Matthew Craner and Agnès Dunogué are important new hires from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

New York firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is ‘lawyer-for-lawyer, a truly excellent transactional firm, so top-tier for merger-related matters’; for such cases it is ‘second to none’ due to its ‘spectacular corporate practice and a good global practice in securities’. Jonathan Moses and William Savitt lead a 28-partner team that counts many leading financial institutions and corporates such as Monsanto and Avon Products among its clients. The ‘highly recommendedMarc Wolinsky is representing Hewlett-Packard in the shareholder litigation arising from its $11bn Autonomy acquisition. John Savarese and George Conway are acting for Halliburton in a securities class action in which the granting of certiorari by the Supreme Court could challenge the fraud-on-the-market presumption in such cases. Partners such as Ted Mirvis and Elaine Golin have successfully resolved many mortgage-backed securities claims for Bank of America. The firm is smaller than many rivals, but ‘maintains the highest quality of legal practitioners’, among whom Eric Roth is also highly recommended.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s securities litigation group has ‘a very deep bench’ that consists of some 65 lawyers, led from New York by Joseph Allerhand and John Neuwirth. Allerhand has acted for AIG in numerous pieces of litigation arising from the financial crisis, and obtained a dismissal in one of the largest shareholder class actions ever filed. Neuwirth’s highlights included defending Gentiva Health Services in a securities fraud class action and derivative litigation and associated SEC investigation. Former federal prosecutor Jonathan Polkes, co-chair of the wider litigation practice, defended Archstone and Lehman Brothers at trial in a claim relating to the $22bn LBO of Archstone. The firm, which ‘can deal with any kind of securities litigation and regulatory work’, counts Apple and Kinder Morgan among its other clients. Irwin Warren and Miranda Schiller are recommended for their work on matters including shareholder class actions and derivative litigation for Health Management Associates arising from government investigations into Medicare payment practices.

WilmerHale’s securities litigation group, led by William McLucas and co-chair Harry Weiss from Washington DC, has over 100 lawyers and works in close partnership with the 40 senior regulatory and law enforcement officials in Weiss’ enforcement practice. The firm ‘has a very strong SEC practice and a deep pool of work’. The ‘great cadre of lawyers with regulatory expertise and litigation experience’ includes John Valentine, shareholder class action expert Jeffrey Rudman and new arrival Mark Cahn, who was previously general counsel at the SEC. Andrea Robinson in Boston advises clients such as Bank of America and State Street Bank. Michael Bongiorno and Andrew Goldman in New York defended residential property developer Technical Olympic against claims of breach of fiduciary duty. Lori Martin, also in New York, is defending State Street Corporation in a $500m class action under ERISA legislation. The firm’s client base encompasses banks, accounting firms, hedge funds and broker-dealers, as well as individual officers and directors. Named attorneys are located in Washington DC except where stated otherwise.

The level of service is exemplary’ at New York-based Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, a firm that is ‘all about value’. Gregory Markel is widely seen as one of the market’s most able and experienced lawyers, and is ‘still one of the leading lights’. Working with Jason Halper, who is ‘a fantastic lawyer, good at strategizing and his briefs are thoughtful and coherent’, Markel is defending Bank of America in a suit filed by Wells Fargo to force the buyback of commercial real estate loans underlying a securitization transaction. Clients and peers praise the following attorneys: Jonathan Hoff, who advises MBIA Insurance; Peter Isajiw, who represented the former CEO and chairman of KIT Digital in multiple class actions; ‘excellent litigator’ Hal Shaftel, who ‘never disappoints’; the ‘fantastic’ Lambrina Mathews, who ‘has similarly honed skills’ to Halper; and ‘seasoned trial lawyer’ Louis Solomon, co-head of the practice, whose clients include AriZona Iced Tea and Mead Johnson.

Outstanding firmDechert LLPgets high marks for responsiveness, subject matter expertise and quality of product’ and climbs the ranking this year. David Kistenbroker in Chicago, Benjamin Rosenberg in New York and Michael Kichline in Philadelphia co-chair the nationwide practice. Firm chairman Andrew Levander leads a strong team representing independent directors of Lehman Brothers in multiple regulatory investigations and lawsuits arising from the financial crisis, having successfully settled matters including a securities class action, and had numerous cases dismissed. Hector Gonzalez has advised BNY Mellon in many matters, including litigation arising from the Sentinel Management Group bankruptcy. Matthew Larrabee, Michael Doluisio and David Kotler stand out for shareholder litigation, while Catherine Botticelli in Washington DC and Adam Wasserman in New York both provide ‘experienced, sage counsel’ in defending SEC investigations. Kichline and Steven Feirson are noted for their ‘excellent litigation skills and attention to detail’. Linda Goldstein and Neil Steiner are also prominent members of a team praised for its ‘excellent ability to advise clients and manage litigation’.

Securities litigation is ‘the sweet spot’ for Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. William McGuinness in New York chairs the ‘nimble practice that has synergies with the transaction and enforcement practices’; he and Israel David are representing the board of JPMorgan Chase in a shareholder derivative action related to investigations into LIBOR manipulation. Gregg Weiner, vice-chair of the litigation department, won a significant victory for banks including Morgan Stanley with the dismissal of a class action in the Southern District of New York. David Hennes and McGuinness settled a class action on behalf of Virgin Media; the case stemmed from its $24bn acquisition by Liberty Global. The firm has seen notable departures with Douglas Flaum and Shahzeb Lari joining Paul Hastings LLP, Stephanie Goldstein joining Goldman Sachs, and securities enforcement specialist Dixie Johnson moving to King & Spalding LLP. Nevertheless, the hires of Jerald Howe from aerospace and defense company TASC Inc. and Daniel Mullen, former head of the Division of Investigations Branch of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), to the Washington DC office have redressed the balance of the team. Attorneys are based in New York except where stated.

The securities litigation team centered in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLPcould not be better’, opines one observer. The firm has 50 partners with securities litigation experience, including the ‘intelligent, personableJoshua Rabinovitz; ‘excellent litigatorJohn Hartmann, who is ‘good in the courtroom’; the ‘highly experiencedRobert Kopecky, who represented Ally Financial in seven matters including an FHFA claim relating to mortgage-backed securities; Mark Filip, who ‘has great ability to explain complex legal issues to business people’; and the ‘very responsive, very brightElizabeth Hess. Recommended partners in New York include Andrew Clubok, Peter Doyle and Yosef Riemer. Strategic hires in Washington DC include former SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami, former SEC structured and new products division head Kenneth Lench and William Stuckwisch from the fraud section of the DOJ. An impressive client roster includes Abbott Laboratories, Facebook and UBS.

The New York office of Mayer Brown has many outstanding litigation partners who are ‘strong in this area of law’, including co-chair of the global securities litigation and enforcement group Joseph De Simone, as well as Richard Spehr, Michele Odorizzi and Steven Wolowitz, who all do ‘important cutting-edge work’. The firm’s ‘very strong finance practice puts it in the frame for work relating to securitizations’, such as the defense of many claims for BNY Mellon; Matthew Ingber and Christopher Houpt represented it in the $8.5bn settlement with mortgage lender Countrywide – the largest private litigation settlement in US history. Bank of America, Barclays, UBS and Goldman Sachs are among the firm’s other notable financial services clients, and it is also seeing a steady flow of mandates from Chinese companies listed in the US. The firm is busy across its network of offices with US group co-chair Richard Rosenfeld in Washington DC and Mark Manela in Houston among the experienced practitioners in the 26-partner team.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is ‘the undisputed leader in mutual fund and investment management matters’. Recent work examples include defending Putnam Advisory Company in a $180m claim by an investor in a CDO it managed, in which New York-based practice head James Benedict and Sean Murphy obtained a motion to dismiss. The firm’s strong regulatory practice sees it involved in large securities litigation matters tied to investigations by regulatory bodies. Jerry Marks, who leads the litigation practice in Los Angeles, advised a former executive of Thornberg Mortgage Inc on an SEC action alleging securities fraud and the misleading of auditors. The firm has a strong following among financial institutions and banks, with firm chairman Scott Edelman advising clients such as Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Global Markets. Murphy and David Gelfand successfully defended Rabobank in multibillion-dollar cross-border claims alleging misconduct in regard to LIBOR-based financial instruments. The firm is singled out for being ‘willing to try cases, unlike some larger practices’. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s group ‘consistently acts in an ethical and professional manner’. The 30-partner team of ‘excellent written and oral advocates’ is led by Jordan Eth in San Francisco and Joel Haims in New York, who both represented BlackBerry and its former CEO in securities fraud actions. Eth and Anna Erickson White, who advised Yahoo! in a case arising from its investment in a Chinese e-commerce company, are hailed as ‘without match, the best experts in their field’. Judson Lobdell led a team advising outside directors of Countrywide on mortgage-backed securities matters, in which White also played a key role. Jamie Levitt is known to be a ‘knowledgeable, assertive and ethical securities defense attorney’. The firm is ‘impressive in life sciences matters because of its true substantive expertise’, and Darryl Rains in Palo Alto is a well-regarded litigator in class actions, derivative suits and SEC enforcement proceedings in this industry, as well as in technology and financial services. Erik Olson is vastly experienced in defending challenges by shareholders to public merger transactions, including state and federal claims against Softbank Corporation.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP is known for its ‘true litigation experience and depth of knowledge’. The ‘solid team, with the ability and credibility to litigate’, is split between its East and West Coast offices. In Los Angeles, ‘very able lawyer’ Seth Aronson represented the board of Lockheed Martin in shareholder derivative actions dismissed in Maryland and the Southern District of New York. Jeffrey Kilduff, who worked on the same case, is renowned for representing Fannie Mae in a hard-fought securities class action in the District of Columbia that successfully settled. Defending Bank of America against claims arising from the mortgage-backed securities issued by Countrywide was a key highlight for many New York partners, including Andrew Bednark, Bradley Butwin and Jonathan Rosenberg. Charles Bachman, who advised former directors of DuPont, and Matthew Close, who represented Power-One Inc and its directors, stand out for merger-related matters. The firm defends Chinese companies listed in the US, including China Agritech.

‘The ‘consistently excellentPaul Hastings LLPhas a history of formidable results’ and clients are ‘impressed by the team the firm can field’. ‘Fantastic’ chair Barry Sher, who obtained a dismissal on behalf of Hi-Crush Partners in a claim arising from its IPO, is known for his ‘excellent legal knowledge and practical strategy’. Vice-chair of the practice Peter Stone in Palo Alto, working with global head of litigation William Sullivan, successfully defended a $500m breach of fiduciary duty claim for Morgan Stanley. Douglas Flaum, who recently joined from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, regularly represents Goldman Sachs in securities litigation. Among the practice’s many successes for large corporate clients is the defense by Sher and Kevin Logue of a federal class action for Shuanghui International Holdings arising from the largest ever US acquisition by a Chinese company. Named attorneys are based in New York except where stated.

Sidley Austin LLPprovides timely responses, deep subject matter knowledge and good strategic thinking’. The practice has four co-chairs: Sara Brody in San Francisco; James Ducayet, who ‘grasps details and also the big picture’, and ‘great strategic thinkerDavid Graham, who ‘brings tremendous perspective and always thinks two moves ahead’, in the Chicago office; and Robert Pietrzak in New York. ‘Excellent communicatorAndrew Stern and Isaac Greaney, ‘an excellent litigator with a strong skill set’, stand out in New York’s ‘deep team with great expertise’. Recent highlights include advising SMART Technologies Corporation and its directors in a class action brought by investors in its IPO. New York-based Gary Bendinger leads a specialist team representing accountancy firms, and Hille Sheppard leads on M&A and D&O matters from Chicago. A strong track record defending Chinese companies continues with matters such as the class action against CNOOC Group relating to offshore oil spills. Norman Blears, ‘one of the top securities litigators in Silicon Valley’, joined from Hogan Lovells.

The ‘well-regarded’ practice at Vinson & Elkins LLP is led by Steven Paradise in New York and Texas-based Michael Holmes – ‘the pre-eminent officers and directors litigator in Delaware in the energy space’. As one of the country’s top three energy firms, it has the lion’s share of securities litigation in that space and advises clients such as Breitling Energy. The ‘extremely persuasive’ John Wander in Houston, who is ‘an excellent litigator and investigator’, increasingly focuses on SEC-related matters and is advising PwC on investigations concerning audits of public companies. Clients are ‘very pleased’ with the ‘very responsiveKarl Stern and Jeffrey Johnston, also in Houston. Clifford Thau in New York, who worked with Paradise in defending the owners of brokerage firm Cohmad Securities in an SEC action alleging federal securities fraud, also garners high praise. In San Francisco, Michael Charlson joined from Hogan Lovells as the firm builds up its West Coast practice.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is ‘outstanding in this area’. The team is led from Houston by David Sterling, who is representing Halliburton and its CEO in a class action filed in Texas alleging misrepresentations about matters including the benefits of a merger with Dresser Industries. ‘Excellent securities lawyerSeth Taube in New York is defending former Terex Corporation CFO Joseph Apuzzo in an SEC enforcement action alleging the aiding and abetting of fraud. Bill Jeffress in Washington DC led a team defending Bank of America CFO Joe Price, successfully settling a federal securities class action and ERISA litigation arising from the acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Although predominantly a defense firm, it does handle some significant matters on the claimant side, such as Liberty Media Corporation’s 10b-5 securities fraud claim against Vivendi Universal, in which Michael Calhoon (in Washington DC), senior counsel R. Stan Mortenson (in New York) and partner Macey Stokes (in Houston) secured €944m in damages.

Bingham McCutchen LLP, which has 150 lawyers handling securities and financial institutions litigation, provides ‘excellent service at the highest level’. Co-led by Susan DiCicco in New York and, in Boston, Timothy Burke and Jordan Hershman, the team has ‘stellar securities lawyers, who are phenomenal at defending financial institutions in high-stakes litigation’. Steven Brody and Jeffrey Smith in New York, who defended Credit Suisse in actions brought by institutional investors over losses on asset-backed securities, are also highly recommended. Hershmann and Jason Frank, also in Boston, recently defended an appeal for Freddie Mac against the dismissal of multiple class actions. Dale Barnes in San Francisco is hailed as ‘one of the top securities litigators on the West Coast’; he represented Deloitte in all matters arising from the restatement of financial statements of Diamond Foods, including shareholder’s derivative litigation and SEC and DOJ investigations.

Covington & Burling LLP, which combines strong regulatory with litigation expertise, is ‘really, really good and very active in securities litigation’. New York-based practice chair William Phillips is ‘a real trial lawyer’ who counts Freddie Mac and Johnson & Johnson among his clients. David Bayless and experienced SEC investigation specialist Tammy Albarrán in San Francisco successfully defended the former chief investment office of fixed income at Charles Schwab on multiple matters, including a securities fraud class action and a state shareholder derivative matter arising from its YieldPlus ultra-short bond fund. In New York, Mark Gimbel defended underwriters UBS and Jefferies in a putative class action regarding Sequans Communication’s IPO. Bayless and Bruce Baird, who works from Washington DC, are the ‘“go-to” lawyers’ for SEC enforcement matters.

Perrie Weiner in Los Angeles and Robert Brownlie in San Diego co-chair the securities litigation practice at DLA Piper, which ‘has a reputation for fighting cases’ and can ‘go toe-to-toe with the big players’. The firm has a highly regarded regulatory practice and Nicolas Morgan in Los Angeles, who chairs the West Coast securities enforcement practice, is renowned for defending issuers, directors and officers in SEC and FINRA investigations. Morgan and Weiner represented hedge fund Yorkville Advisors in an SEC action relating to the valuation of illiquid securities. The firm is at the forefront of the market when it comes to acting for Chinese corporates on securities matters; Orient Paper is one example client. Similarly, it also advises US companies with Chinese interests; for example, Shirli Weiss in San Diego is leading the defense for Finisar Corporation in class actions and derivative litigation relating to its operations in China.

Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has a team of ‘adaptable and trial-focused partners’. Chair of the litigation practice William Maguire has two ‘very good’ co-chairs for securities litigation in Kevin Abikoff (Washington DC) and Edward Little (New York). Little is advising various financial institutions on matters concerning the alleged manipulation of LIBOR. Derek Adler won a dismissal of all claims in a securities fraud class action for Lloyds Banking Group that alleged false and misleading statements in its acquisition of HBOS. Sarah Cave has scored victories for accounting firms including PwC in multibillion-dollar securities class actions. Little and Marc Weinstein advised the founder and senior manager of two Bear Stearns hedge funds on SEC enforcement proceedings alleging fraud and failures to disclose. The practice also counts Abbott Laboratories, Alstom and Fortis Bank among its clients.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s Bruce Vanyo, based in Los Angeles and New York, is among the most experienced defense lawyers for securities matters in the US. The bulk of the firm’s ‘very cost-effective’ team, which counts UBS, Edwards Lifesciences and Wells Fargo among its clients, is housed in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Chicago. Other highly rated practitioners at the firm include co-head of securities litigation Eric Kuwana in Washington DC and William Regan in New York; the latter worked with Vanyo to defend a derivatives claim alleging breach of fiduciary duty for Himelsein Mandel Advisors. New arrivals in the New York office included securities class action specialist David Goldberg from UBS; David Crichlow from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; and regulatory enforcement expert Michael Rosensaft from the US Attorney’s Office.

The overall level of service is fantastic’ at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, where ‘advice is spot-on and responses are immediate’. From New York and Silicon Valley, the firm defends a wide variety of matters for underwriters, issuers, lawyers, financial services institutions, and officers and directors. It is known for ‘creativity and has a real focus on cost-efficiency’. In two insider trading cases brought by the SEC, Gary Naftalis is defending the former worldwide managing director of McKinsey and Barry Berke is representing a former portfolio manager at S.A.C Capital Advisors. Arthur Aufses is advising the former president of MF Global Holdings on investigations by Congress, the DOJ, SEC, and the CFTC. Michael Dell defended Deloitte in claims totalling $1bn. Former New York Attorney General and ‘renowned trial lawyer’ John Coffey joined as chair of its complex litigation group, bringing ‘incomparable experience in high-profile disputes’.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP is known for its ‘exemplary legal work’ and is ‘expert in both securities law and shareholder’s derivative litigation’. The ‘responsive and economical’ firm continues to recruit, with new partners joining in New York and Chicago. Philadelphia-based Marc Sonnenfeld is ‘a “go-to” lawyer for shareholder litigation, supremely knowledgeable and always available’; one of his key clients is Hewlett-Packard, for which recent victories include the dismissal of a class action against former CEO Mark Hurd, and another against another former CEO, Léo Apotheker and others, for alleged violations of federal securities law. Kenneth Kliebard in Chicago and Steven Reed in Philadelphia achieved the successful dismissal of a shareholder action for Midas Inc; the action had resulted from a claim relating to its acquisition of TBC Corporation. Christian Mixter in Washington DC and Merri Jo Gillette in Chicago are among the partners with in-house experience at the SEC.

Proskauer Rose LLP is known for its ‘cogent and practical advice’, ‘excellent response times, excellent advice on strategy and good value for money’. In New York, Gregg Mashberg and Jonathan Richman lead the practice, which includes Ralph Ferrara in Washington DC and New York-based Sarah Gold, who inspires ‘the highest level of confidence in her judgment’ in both merger-related matters and regulatory investigations, had a $550m SEC action dismissed for Sun Capital Partners, and is representing Ascena Retail Group in six shareholder lawsuits arising from its acquisition of Charming Shoppes. A key mandate for Ferrara is representing Hewlett-Packard directors in securities fraud cases stemming from its Autonomy acquisition, and alongside Richman, he is advising Vestas in a securities class action filed in Oregon.

Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP has ‘several really superb and highly focused lawyers committed to getting the best possible results’. The firm advises banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and directors and officers on federal and common-law securities fraud actions. In New York, recommended attorneys include Brian Fraser, who represents Morgan Stanley and monoline insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Company; Craig Newman, who had a big win for BDC Finance, a fund run by Black Diamond Capital Management, in a long-running $300m dispute; Daniel Zinman, who defended Bank of America in FHFA mortgage-backed securities claims; and Arthur Greenspan, who successfully defended Wachovia Corporation in a federal class action alleging manipulation in the auction rate securities market. The securities and enforcement litigation teams in both New York and Washington DC are praised by peers and clients alike for work on regulatory investigations, hence the firm’s climb up the ranking.

Financial services boutique Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is praised for the ‘outstanding excellence’ of New York-based Martin Perschetz and Washington DC-based Howard Schiffman, who are recommended for their business acumen and fast responses. The ‘strong, deep team’ is particularly adept at advising hedge funds and prime broker clients. The New York office also includes Harry Davis, who excels in regulatory matters, William Gussman, who specialises in securities fraud and derivate actions, and Gary Stein, also praised for securities regulatory matters. Schiffman and fellow Washington DC attorney Eric Bensky are regularly called upon by Goldman Sachs and are currently representing the client in two pieces of FINRA arbitration. Further highlights for the firm include defending a $400m claim against ABN AMRO. Clients praise the firm’s ‘willingness to try cases’. Mark Mandel moved to Foley & Lardner LLP.

Williams & Connolly LLP earns entry to the ranking for its ‘top-notch team that impresses with its professionalism and expertise’. The broad-ranging practice handles securities disputes, derivative actions and SEC enforcement matters for clients such as Intel and UBS. The ‘incredibly intelligent’ John Villa, who represented Pfizer in two federal securities class actions, the ‘experienced and thoughtful’ Robert Van Kirk, who advised Carlyle Group on investor litigation related to mortgage-backed securities, and Hackney Wiegmann, epitomize the firm’s ‘creative and proactive approach’. Attorneys at the non-partner level are also highly praised. A team led by Brendan Sullivan advised Bank of America on matters relating to $55bn in mortgage-backed securities. Clients also praise the litigation strategy and execution of Kevin Downey. The firm is known for having coverage far beyond the realms of its single office in Washington DC.

Veronica Rendon in New York and Michael Trager in Washington DC co-chair the securities enforcement and litigation practice at Arnold & Porter LLP, which is known for its ‘premier banking regulatory group’. Washington DC-based Scott Schreiber, who leads the securities class action and derivative litigation team, advised The Kroger Company in matters arising from its $2.5bn acquisition of Harris Teeter. Gilbert Serota in San Francisco represented Charles Schwab in a FINRA enforcement case. The firm’s lawyers are ‘known as fighters who will take cases to trial’, and represent many hedge funds and private equity firms, and big accounting firms including Deloitte. American Capital, Wells Fargo and Motorola Solutions are also clients.

Cooley LLP is ‘very busy on the West Coast and has cornered the market for life sciences companies’. John Dwyer in Palo Alto and Koji Fukumura in San Diego co-chair a practice that is ‘one of the dominant players in the Ninth Circuit’. Although centered in the technology hotspot that is the West Coast, the firm also has a growing nationwide presence through partners such as William Schwartz in New York, who advised Credit Suisse on a multi-district securities fraud matter relating to the collapse of NCFE; Lyle Roberts in Washington DC, who successfully defended an SEC action for a client accused of influencing stock prices through insider trading; and Robert Lovett in Boston, who won at trial in Delaware Chancery Court. Dwyer and Palo Alto-based Stephen Neal are acting for Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman in class actions relating to its Autonomy acquisition.

Dentons joins the ranking, in part owing to the ‘excellent service, comprehensive analysis, timely advice and valuable insights’ it provides. The firm excels at defending class actions for financial institutions, especially insurance companies. The ‘creative, tenacious’ Sandra Hauser in New York is praised for her ‘strategic thinking and effective advocacy’; she recently obtained dismissal of a stock class action against GlaxoSmithKline, and with Reid Ashinoff, also in New York, she is defending Genworth Financial in a securities fraud class action alleging misrepresentation of facts in the selection of mutual funds. Ashinoff also advised Swiss private bank EFG on claims exceeding $500m stemming from withdrawals from feeder funds for Bernard Madoff Investment Securities. Stephen Hill Jr successfully defended NIC Inc. CFO Stephen Kovzan in SEC matters, securing a total victory for the defense at trial against the federal agency.

Described as ‘a barrister-type practice with real trial lawyers’, Gibbs & Bruns LLP in Houston is ‘top of its class for complicated mortgage-backed securities matters, for which it is pre-eminent’. Kathy Patrick, who often represents institutional investors as defendants or as plaintiffs filing independent claims, is ‘one of the best in the business, knows the law thoroughly, is practical in her advice and skilled in negotiation’. Patrick, Scott Humphries and Robert Madden are involved in final hearings to confirm the $8.5bn settlement from Bank of America for 22 institutional investor clients including PIMCO and BlackRock in connection with securitization pools and mortgage-backed securities issued by Countrywide. Patrick has also been leading the team that filed an $800m claim on behalf of Fannie Mae against nine major banks for alleged manipulation of LIBOR.

Goodwin Procter LLP’s team is ‘very strong and great value for money’. It is led from Boston by ‘talented and gifted litigator’ Brian Pastuszenski and Stephen Poss; the latter is defending Credit Suisse in a claim over $3bn in mortgage-backed securities. Mark Holland in New York, who is representing Bank of America in a multibillion-dollar claim brought by monoline insurers, provides ‘excellent advice and is well worth the money’. Daniel Tyukody in Los Angeles, who is defending Tetra Tech in a class action, is ‘an excellent lawyer, a sharp business mind and always cool under pressure’. The firm’s client base of public companies, investment banks and financial services institutions includes GE, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Greenberg Traurig LLP has a broad practice spanning the US with ‘highly experienced’ partners such as Bradford Kaufman and Josepth Coates in West Palm Beach; William Briendel, who leads the broker-dealer practice, Karen Bitar and Robert Horowitz in New York; David Coulson in Miami; and Steven Malina in Chicago. It advises investment banks and broker-dealers on numerous FINRA arbitrations. Terry Weiss in Atlanta and George Sullivan in White Plains advised Morgan Keegan & Company on appealing against the vacating of an arbitration award. Experienced trial lawyer Pamela Smith joined the Chicago office from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP is a litigation boutique predominantly focused on financial matters, usually for plaintiffs. New York-based practice heads Sheron Korpus and Marc Kasowitz are supported by partners in Houston, Atlanta and San Francisco, and the group counts HSBC, Hypovereinsbank and Nomura Holdings among their clients. Kasowitz represented the FHFA as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in multibillion-dollar mortgage-backed securities claims against financial institutions, and alongside Korpus, he advised creditors of CDO investor Loreley Financing on similar claims. ‘Highly respected independent investigator’ Joseph Lieberman – a US Senator and former Connecticut Attorney General – joined as senior counsel in New York.

King & Spalding LLP has a reputation as ‘a trial-oriented firm that will take matters to the mat’. Michael Smith in Atlanta and Paul Bessette, who works between New York, Atlanta and San Francisco, lead a practice that advises public company issuers and, increasingly, financial institutions such as Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Canada. It has bulked up its regulatory team by hiring Dixie Johnson, previously Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP’s head of SEC enforcement, in Washington DC. Highlights include Bessette successfully defending a class action in Florida for, and Smith defending Amedisys in a claim regarding Medicare reimbursement practices. In New York, James Capra is noted for defending accounting firms including PwC.

New York-based Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. has ‘breadth and depth across white-collar and securities matters, and brings a lot of experience and expertise to the table’. Respected partners Richard Weinberg and Jonathan Sack embody the ‘exceptional experience in its bench’. Lawrence Iason, who excels in SEC enforcement matters, defended the former CEO of Nortel Networks Corporation against allegations of accounting improprieties. Richard Albert and Elkan Abramowitz are highly skilled in regulatory matters. Robert Anello and Judith Mogul, who advised Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services on a class action alleging false statements in a PIPE transaction, and Edward Spiro, are also highly recommended.

A very good firm that is worthy of recognition’ is Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP; the firm is prominent in California and growing increasingly strong in New York. Practice leader James Kramer in San Francisco oversees a 17-partner team that includes the ‘very responsive, hands-on, knowledgeable and extremely practical’ William Alderman. The firm’s ‘pragmatic approach’ benefits clients such as Oracle, Ernst & Young and KPMG. Other recommended partners in San Francisco include Robert Varian, who advised Chesapeake Energy in a securities class action, as well as Michael Torpey and rising star Kenneth Herzinger. Joseph Frank, Matthew Craner and Agnès Dunogué moved to Shearman and Sterling (NY).

Squire Patton Boggs is ‘the shareholder litigation team of choice in Cleveland’, where Joseph Weinstein is ‘an exceptionally fine litigator with in-depth knowledge of business and law’. Weinstein advised officers of Eaton Corporation in a shareholder’s derivative action arising from a trade secrets lawsuit that was dismissed in a Mississippi state court. San Francisco-based Mark Dosker’s highlights included successfully defending Tongxin International in four putative securities fraud class actions. In Miami, Alvin Davis and insurance expert Lewis Murphy are recommended. ‘The firm’s value initiative and overall client service is commendable’, says one client.

White & Case LLP’s global director of commercial litigation Glenn Kurtz in New York is ‘very good at securities law’. The firm advises many financial institutions, accounting firms, underwriters, Fortune 500 corporations and their officers on shareholder class actions, derivative disputes and regulatory investigations. In the New York office Owen Pell is noted for defending financial institutions against actions brought by the SEC, DOJ and state banking regulators. Pell and Scott Hershman, also in New York, obtained a dismissal for TNK-BP and OAO Tyumen Oil Company in a case alleging misappropriation of an interest in a Russian oil company. Douglas Baumstein is recognized for his trial experience.

Winston & Strawn LLP wins ‘excellent’ reviews owing to an experienced team led by New York chair James Smith, who focuses on securities class actions, derivative matters and merger-related cases. Alongside fellow New York attorneys Richard Reinthaler and Harvey Kurzweil, Smith led the firm’s successful defense of Omnicare in a federal class action alleging misrepresentation of results. Smith also successfully argued for La-Z-Boy in a shareholder dispute alleging material omission from the company’s proxy statement. Other recommended partners include Caryn Jacobs in Chicago and, in Los Angeles, John Schreiber and Neal Marder.

Mark Cohen and Brett Jaffe at ‘young and nimble firmCohen & Gresser LLP lead a team of ‘experienced lawyers who work at a more palatable price than competing firms’. Lawrence Gresser and Daniel Tabak, who succeeded in having dismissed a short swing profits case for Goldman Sachs in the US Court of Appeal, are also recommended. ‘Incredible trial lawyer with big case experience’ C. Evan Stewart joined from Zuckerman Spaeder. All named attorneys are based in New York.

Therese Doherty and Arthur Jakoby co-head the securities litigation practice in the New York office of Herrick, Feinstein LLP, which houses ‘excellent lawyers who are willing to try cases’. Jakoby advised two Madoff feeder funds in numerous class actions and derivative lawsuits. Howard Elisofon successfully defended private equity firm Advanced Equities in FINRA arbitration. The firm is ‘respected by the enforcement divisions of regulatory bodies’.

Jenner & Block LLP’s team is ‘very knowledgeable about the securities industry and related law’. Stephen Ascher in New York is ‘extremely talented, a master tactician who is very effective in front of a jury’. Thomas Newkirk in Washington DC shows ‘an excellent attitude and aptitude for negotiations’. Ascher and Richard Ziegler won a landmark victory for Chesapeake Energy in a bond-related matter brought by BNY Mellon.

Mark Hyland, a co-chair of Seward & Kissel LLP’s litigation group, oversees a relatively small ten-partner team in New York that nevertheless attracts major clients, particularly SEC-registered hedge funds, for which it does ‘an exceptional job’. Bruce Paulsen’s successes include the dismissal of a derivative action against DryShips Inc.

Supreme Court and appellate

Index of tables

  1. Supreme Court
  2. Appellate
  3. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

At Bancroft PLLC, ‘incredible advocate’ Paul Clement has an extraordinary track record before the Court, having conducted over 70 cases, and he ‘always makes the best arguments that can be made’. In 2013, Clement argued for client Carol Anne Bond in Bond v United States; in this instance Bond was prosecuted in a federal court after being accused of violating the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention following a domestic dispute that resulted in a thumb burn; the firm is challenging the scope of the federal government. In another recent highlight, Clement argued Northwest v Ginsberg, a matter involving Northwest Airlines’ termination of Rabbi S Binyomin Ginsberg’s contract, and whether that termination involved a breach of good faith. Another significant figure at this firm is Erin Murphy; in addition to arguing McCutcheon v Federal Election Commission before the Court, Murphy also recently participated as a panelist on the Supreme Court Institute’s 2013 Mid-Term Preview. The firm is also active in appellate courts, usually in high-profile matters; for instance Clement was active in defending the Defense of Marriage Act in appellate courts before it proceeded to the Supreme Court. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP fields a ‘stellar’ 121-attorney team, around half of which are partners in the firm. In 2013, a team including revered advocates Theodore Olson in Washington DC and Theodore Boutrous in Los Angeles, achieved a landmark victory for equal marriage rights before the Supreme Court; on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision, leaving the district court’s broad injunction against the enforcement of Proposition 8 intact. The firm is also noted for reshaping class action law at the Supreme Court level: in Standard Fire Insurance Company v Knowles, Boutrous acted on behalf of Standard Fire, eventually securing a judgment affirming the principle that plaintiffs’ lawyers cannot bind the rights of absent class members before a class is certified; this decision had a significant knock-on effect, leading to a slew of defendants filing renewed removal notice. Also in the antitrust arena, the firm represented Comcast in Comcast v Behrend in which instance ‘highly skilled advocates’ Miguel Estrada, Mark Perry and Scott Martin persuaded the Supreme Court to decertify a large antitrust class action filed against the client. At appellate level, the firm has a truly national practice. It recently secured affirmance in the Second Circuit of an order for NML Capital against the Republic of Argentina, won a victory in the Fifth Circuit on behalf of BP over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and secured an important reversal in the DC Circuit on behalf of Comcast over the FCC’s Tennis Channel decision. Helgi Walker, former co-chair of Wiley Rein LLP, and Caitlin Halligan, former general counsel to the New York District Attorney’s Office, joined the firm recently.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s practice benefits from the excellent reputation of former Solicitor General Gregory Garre. In 2013, Garre argued four cases before the Supreme Court including the constitutionality of ‘affirmative action’ in college admissions case Fisher v University of Texas in which instance the firm achieved a major win on behalf of the University of Texas with its admissions programme upheld. There was also a 5-4 win on behalf of Ball State University in Vance v Ball State University in which the question of who qualifies as a ‘supervisor’ for purposes of triggering vicarious employer liability under the federal employment discrimination laws was decided in favor of the client. In two constitutionality of dog sniffs cases – Florida v Harris and Florida v Jardines – the firm secured victories on behalf of the State of Florida, effectively securing a presumption that trained law enforcement dogs are reliable. This firm also has a deep nationwide appeals bench. Richard Bress – ‘a very strong appeals lawyer’ – recently secured a major appellate victory on behalf of American Beverage Association in a high-profile challenge to New York City’s ‘large-soda ban’. The firm also secured appellate-level victories for a range of other clients including Ford, Monsanto, and Union Pacific Railroad. J Scott Ballenger and Lori Alvino McGill also have superb reputations.

Mayer Brown’s ‘team of superstars’ provides ‘top-level legal analysis and writing, has a deep understanding of the Court, and business understanding is woven into its advocacy’. 11 of the firm’s appellate lawyers have argued 228 cases before the Supreme Court. The firm prevailed on behalf of Georgia-Pacific West in Georgia-Pacific West v Northwest Environmental Defense Center, when the Court reversed an earlier adverse judgment in the Ninth Circuit ordering the clients to pay costly permits. At appellate level, the firm handled several Engle progeny appeals before the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of Philip Morris USA, and also represented Arkema Inc. in the DC Circuit in a case related to the EPA cap-and-trade system, and United Airlines in its $1.1bn price-fixing cartel fight with DPWN Holdings in the Second Circuit. Numerous individual lawyers attract praise: team head Lauren Goldman is a ‘superb relationship partner who drafts excellent briefs and provides great judgment on all legal issues’; Stephen Shapiro is valued for ‘his strategic guidance, theme development, and understanding of how cases are viewed from chambers’; Evan Tager isan outstanding appellate strategist and brief writer, and a highly skilled oralist’; Richard Katskee’s ‘experience of leading constitutional challenges in trial and appellate courts is invaluable’; Donald Falk is ‘focused on class action issues’; Archis Parasharami and Kevin Ranlett are ‘outstanding strategists and brief writers’; Andrew Frey is ‘super-intelligent and most helpful on all complex legal issues including the workings and procedures of the Supreme Court and other appellate courts’; Andrew Pincus has a superb reputation; Dan Himmelfarb and Andrew Tauber are both ‘dedicated “go to” legal partners who bring a unique blend of style, personality and high-octane brain power to deliver superior advocacy’. All in all, this is ‘a team of superstars’.

Sidley Austin LLP provides ‘outstanding service’. An ‘undoubted star’ at the firm is Carter Phillips who has a private practice record of 76 arguments before the Court to date in addition to 25 arguments in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Phillips argued In re: Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation on behalf of Union Pacific Railroad Company, BNSF Railway Company, CSX Transportation, Inc. and Norfolk Southern Railway Company, in which the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated the district court’s class certification order; the decision signaled a premium being placed on the “rigorous analysis” admonition after Comcast Corp. v Behrend. Peter Keisler argued EME Homer City Generation, LP v EPA before the Court on behalf of Luminant Generation Company; this follows on from a favorable decision from the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit concerning a rule issued that would require electrical utilities substantially to reduce certain emissions in order to reduce ‘cross-state’ air pollution. The firm also achieved a range of victories across numerous appellate circuits in a wide variety of issues, chalking up wins in a False Claims Act suit for Quest Diagnostics and Unilab in the Second Circuit, and a victory on behalf of Somers Dublin Limited in a bankruptcy case before the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Joseph Guerrais an excellent adviser and advocate’; Mark Haddad retains a superb reputation for healthcare appeals; Constantine Trela is a name for IP instructions. One client enthuses: ‘The service could not be better in any respect’.

In the elite top tier’, WilmerHale’s 27-partner, 100-lawyer team provides a ‘superior service’. In the Boston office, department chair Seth Waxman is ‘a superstar’ and ‘worth the money’. On May 13, 2013 Waxman secured a favorable unanimous ruling before the Court on behalf of Monsanto in Bowman v Monsanto, a patent infringement suit of potentially huge importance to the client. In another Supreme Court highlight, David Bowker took the lead securing a 6-2 First Amendment victory for the Alliance for Open Society International, Pathfinder International, InterAction, and Global Health Council; the Court held that the government may not condition federal funding on speech restrictions that require recipients of government funds to adopt the government’s viewpoint as their own. The firm also had a superb year at the appellate level. For instance, Danielle Spinelli recently argued Gila River Indian Community v United States, Tohono O’odham Nation v City of Glendale; Arizona v Tohono O’odham Nation before the Ninth Circuit; these related to a complex and high-profile piece of litigation regarding the trust acquisition of a parcel of land in Arizona for potential gaming. The widely esteemed Paul Wolfson represented a major university in cultural property case Rubin v Islamic Republic of Iran before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit securing a favorable ruling. All in all this is a ‘go-to firm for bet-the-company work’.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s Lisa Blatt has a tremendous win ratio before the Court, having won 32 out of the 33 cases she has argued to date. In 2013, Blatt acted on behalf of the adoptive couple in pro bono matter Adoptive Couple v Baby Girl in which the firm acted in the Supreme Courts of both South Carolina and Oklahoma and defeated emergency relief sought in the Supreme Court. On September 23, Baby Girl was reunited with her adoptive parents. In another significant matter Blatt represented Oklahoma state officials in Tarrant Regional Water District v Herrmann in which the firm obtained a unanimous victory for Oklahoma regarding the meaning of the Red River Compact, an interstate water-sharing compact between Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The firm’s appeals practice is nationwide as illustrated by its winning a slew of real estate tax exemption appeals on behalf of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, with appeals currently pending in the First, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, and DC Circuits; in another set of actions for the same client victories were obtained before the Second, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, with the court agreeing the client acted within its powers in not purchasing certain mortgages. Other appellate clients include GlaxoSmithKline and J.P. Morgan Securities. Anthony Franze, who is now senior counsel, is ‘a superb advocate’; Jerome Falk, who is now senior counsel, is also highly recommended. All named attorneys are based in Washington DC.

Hogan Lovells is co-headed by former acting solicitor general Neal Katyal and the very well-regarded Cate Stetson. In 2013, Katyal handled an ERISA case for US Airways in which an employee claimed full reimbursement on his health plan after an accident; the Court ruled unanimously in favor of the client, reversing an earlier Third Circuit decision. At appellate level, the firm secured a major victory for Foundry Networks, Inc. in a patent infringement matter before the Federal Circuit; the company will now be able to develop its technologies unencumbered by the threat of further litigation. Other highlights include a win on behalf of Constitution Project before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; for WellPoint in class action litigation before the Eleventh Circuit; and for Kia Motors America in a franchise dispute before the Sixth Circuit.

Jenner & Block LLP’s attorneys ‘write well, argue brilliantly, handle coalitions of clients with political aplomb and are generally a pleasure to be with’. ‘Superstar’ Paul Smith represented Texas State Senator Wendy Davis and other individuals in Perry v Perez in which the Court rejected Texas’ argument that it should be able to use unprecleared maps; it also remanded for revision of the interim maps, suggesting that they departed too far from the state’s preferences. The firm is also a name for weighty appellate litigation such as the MTBE products litigation in which it represented New York, securing a significant win when the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a $104.7m judgment against ExxonMobil for contaminating City-owned wells. Other clients include Fox – for which it was recently granted cert to argue before the Supreme Court in WNET v Aereo – and Viacom and The Spamhaus Project.

Jones Day’s team is ‘outstanding’ and ‘the overall level of service is nothing less than stellar’; the firm’s lawyers are noted for ‘quick turnaround projects’, ‘industry knowledge’ and for ‘going the extra mile’. In 2013, Chad Readler argued on behalf of Floyd Perkins in pro bono matter McQuiggin v Perkins; on May 28, 2013, the Supreme Court issued a favorable 5-4 opinion affirming that AEDPA’s statute of limitations is not a bar to seeking habeas relief where a petitioner has a credible claim of actual innocence. Gregory Castanias argued on behalf of Myriad Genetics in Association for Molecular Pathology et al v Myriad Genetics et al. in which the Court upheld four cDNA claims which are vital to the tests the client has developed for diagnosing cancer risk. Meanwhile the firm’s ‘deep appellate bench’ has seen an uptick in government regulation work in relation to senate appointments (National Labor Relations Board v Noel Canning) and in the tobacco industry (R.J. Reynolds v FDA), as well as an increasing volume of product liability, patent and bankruptcy litigation. Practice head Glen Nageris an outstanding strategist and can master many areas of the law. He is also terrific at client service’; Mickey Pohl is ‘a top-notch courtroom lawyer, and quick on his feet, with a great ability to bring clarity to complex issues’. Michael Carvin, Michael Fried and Noel Francisco are also esteemed names, with experience in conducting arguments before the highest courts in the land.

Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, P.L.L.C.’s David Frederick is a ‘force of nature’ and is ‘by far the go-to guy on the plaintiff side’; ‘there is no one in his league’. In March 2013, Frederick represented the plaintiff in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co v Karen Bartlett, in which the client was a patient who suffered Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) after suffering a reaction to a generic drug. Another highlight for Frederick was successfully representing the investors in Amgen et al v Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, a securities class action regarding the principle that materiality need not be proven at class certification stage. Name partner Mark Hansen also has a superb reputation.

Clients of Kirkland & Ellis LLPreceive the highest value for money, based upon the firm’s knowledge and ability to produce quality results’. In 2013, the firm achieved three victories in the Court; for instance it won a favorable ruling on behalf of Mutual Pharmaceutical Company in Mutual Pharmaceutical Company v Karen L Bartlett, in which the court held that design-defect tort claims against generic drug manufacturers are pre-empted by federal law. The firm’s appellate practice is also vibrant: in the last year, it has secured 53 appellate victories and appeared in 27 venues across the country for clients as diverse as PwC (Canada), Raytheon, and Teva. All in all, the firm is rated ‘as one of the best firms in the US for appellate work’.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP’s ‘top quality’ group is ‘among the best in the country’. In January 2013, it convinced the Supreme Court to grant a writ of certiorari on behalf of Chadbourne & Parke LLP in a high-profile securities fraud class action arising from the $7bn Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Allen Stanford. The firm is also very active in the filing of amicus briefs; in 2013, it filed significant briefs on behalf of Rio Tinto in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Co and on behalf of a group of family law professors in United States v Windsor. At the appellate level, the firm recently won a victory on behalf of ACE Group in Halmos et al v Insurance Co of North America; for Edison International in large class action litigation against Tibble before the Ninth Circuit; and Mutual of New York Insurance Company against Dennison in ERISA class action. Jonathan Hacker and Walter Dellinger are valued for ‘intellect, judgment and creativity’.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s Kathleen Sullivan recently won a landmark Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum et al in establishing that a defendant cannot be sued in US federal court under the Alien Tort Statute for conduct that occurred outside the US, where Sullivan’s arguments were ‘fabulous’. The firm also has a superb reputation for behemoth litigation in appeals courts: for instance, founding partner John Quinn continues to represent Samsung in its long-running patent litigation against Apple across nine countries, in the so-called smartphone wars. In another highlight, Sullivan was again active in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit securing the reversal of a previous $172.5m award against client Mattel. The firm’s deep bench includes 61 partners and 11 of counsel, and is active nationwide.

Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauberprovides the client with very positive experiences’ and has an impressive track record before the Supreme Court, with 38 wins from 49 arguments. In 2013, associate Daniel Lerman argued American Trucking Associations Inc v City of Los Angeles in the US Supreme Court and the firm also filed certiorari in the same-sex marriage case before the Court. At the appellate level, the firm is active across all circuits and has also appeared in state appellate courts across the country from Alaska to Virginia. Roy Englert is ‘one of the finest advocates in the country’ and Larry Robbins is another highly esteemed name.

Williams & Connolly LLP is an ‘expert in the appellate field’, and Kannon Shanmugam ‘established a star reputation in the Supreme Court very quickly’. On the Supreme Court front, Shanmugam led the firm’s victory on behalf of Chunon Bailey in Bailey v United States, in which the Court reversed a lower-court decision upholding his conviction and remanded the case for further proceedings. The firm has also experienced an increase in appellate work volume; for instance, it successfully represented Pfizer in a series of appeals on the liability of brand-name drug manufacturers to consumers who took generic drugs manufactured by their competitors. In another highlight, Steven Farina represented FBR Capital Markets in a $500m securities class action initiated by shareholders of Thornburg Mortgage. Adam Perlman and Daniel Katz also have superb reputations.

Although Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP saw the departure of Patricia Millett to become a judge at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2013, the firm has a strong track record for Supreme Court matters, having argued four cases before the Court in the last two terms. New team head Pratik Shah joined in September 2013 from his role as assistant to the solicitor general at the US DOJ; Shah has argued 13 cases before the Court and briefed over 25 on the merits. This firm also has a thriving appellate practice, and is a particular name for intricate labor, IP and constitutional matters.

From Washington DC, Covington & Burling LLP fields a 19-partner, 28-lawyer team in which Robert Long, Paul Schmidt and Mark Mosier are all significant figures. In terms of Supreme Court work, Long has particular pedigree, having conducted 17 arguments before the Court to date including high-profile arguments in 2012’s National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius in relation to President Obama’s controversial healthcare legislation. An appellate highlight saw the highly respected Schmidt leading advice to Brian Bush Ferguson in Ferguson v Ballard, in which the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court’s grant of the client’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus based on ineffective assistance of counsel. Other notable clients include Hoffmann-La Roche, BP and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

King & Spalding LLP has gained momentum of late: in 2013-4 it handled five merits cases before the US Supreme Court, namely employment discrimination case University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v Nassar (argued by the ‘very impressive’ Daryl Joseffer); personal jurisdiction matter Walden v Fiore (argued by the ‘sharpJeffrey Bucholtz); and sovereign immunity case Millbrook v United States. The widely esteemed Ashley Parrish represented the plaintiff in PPL Corporation v Comm’r of the IRS, a major piece of tax litigation, and the firm was also co-counsel alongside Paul Clement acting for the plaintiff in the high-profile Bond v United States. At appellate level, the firm won victories across a range of circuits including the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, Eleventh, and Federal Circuits, as well as the Missouri Supreme Court. Appellate clients include Allergan, Chevron, IBM and Google.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s Miller Baker has a strong reputation for handling intricate constitutional matters before the Supreme Court; a recent example was representing the State of Arizona as co-counsel in Arizona v Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, in which the Court accepted Baker’s argument, remanding the case to allow Arizona to pursue an administrative remedy to vindicate its right to set voter qualifications. Other highlights included Bobby Burchfield filing an amicus in support of Senator Mitch McConnell in McCutcheon et al v Federal Election Commission. Significant appellate clients include the Chamber of Commerce – which the firm is representing in a constitutional challenge to the False Claims Act in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in United States ex rel Kurt Bunk v. Gosselin – and Koch Industries and Kroger.

The ‘excellent’ group at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP had a busy year both before the Supreme Court and at the appellate level. The firm represented United Airlines, American Independence Mines & Mineral Company, and Ivy Minerals Company on petitions for certiorari in the Supreme Court. It also successfully petitioned the Court for certiorari with other defendants in litigation arising from the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme. At the appeals level, in addition to conducting multiple appeals arising from Deepwater Horizon, the firm also won a $260m win on behalf of ActiveVideo in a patent dispute with Verizon Communications. It also conducted multibillion-dollar litigation for Deutsche Bank National Trust Company against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and acted for the Chamber of Commerce in high-profile litigation against the National Labor Relations Board. Thomas Peterson is ‘very highly regarded’ and Allyson Ho also has a superb reputation.

Consisting of some 25 lawyers working out of Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Palo Alto, Denver and New York, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s ‘overall appellate practice is very good, particularly in the patent area’. Practice head Deanne Maynard ‘is an exceptionally skilled lawyer and incredibly hardworking’. Maynard – who is also ‘one of the finest advocates in the Supreme Court bar’ – has 13 arguments before the Court to her name to date, most recently 2012’s RadLAX Gateway Hotel LLC v Amalgamated Bank. Appeals-wise, Maynard recently secured a victory for Sandoz and Momenta Pharmaceuticals in litigation against Teva in which several of Teva’s patents were invalidated. Another highlight for Maynard was securing the reversal of a $60m judgment on behalf of NuVasive, Inc in a federal trademark case related to the ‘Neurovision’ mark. Other key clients include JPMorgan Chase, Toshiba, and ResCap. Los Angeles-based Miriam Vogel and Washington DC-based Brian Matsui are also suitable points of contact with standout reputations.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is ‘outstanding’ and ‘particularly good for smartphone IP disputes’. A significant highlight for Joshua Rosenkranz (who has ‘outstanding ability to present high-level issues of law and policy in an uncompromisingly focused manner’) was successful before the Supreme Court on behalf of Supap Kirtsaeng in Kirtsaeng v Wiley; the Court was presented with the question of whether the sale of copyrighted goods manufactured abroad eliminated the copyright interest, thus permitting importation into the US and subsequent resale and decided 6-3 in favor of the firm’s client. On the appellate front, the firm is particularly active on the Federal and Ninth Circuits on behalf of major clients such as Nintendo, Morgan Stanley, Microsoft and Oracle. It also received a series of boosts in 2013 with Eric Shumsky (‘very knowledgeable in this area and practical in his approach’) joining from Sidley Austin LLP and the arrival of former acting deputy director and special appellate counsel of the Civil Division Appellate Staff at the US DOJ Robert Loeb.

Paul Hastings LLPis very responsive to the client’s needs and demands’. Over the past year the team had three successes in the Supreme Court. Arguably the most notable of these was the 5-4 decision in Peugh v United States, in which the Court held that a federal judge’s reliance on tougher guidelines in fashioning. Peugh’s sentence constituted an ex post facto violation; Stephen Kinnaird – whose services ‘compare favorably’ – argued the case. Other significant Supreme Court wins were for GlaxoSmithKline and US Army Sergeant Jeffrey Chafin. At the appeals level, Paul Cane represented California Employment Law Council as amicus curiae in support of the City of Santa Monica, in which instance the Court agreed with Cane’s arguments declaring a pattern jury instruction to be a reversible error.

The 14-partner team at Proskauer Rose LLP provides an ‘excellent overall level of service. The firm is highly responsive, incredibly knowledgeable about the substantive law as well as the procedure in the different courts, and provides value for money. Mark Harris is praised for his ‘knowledgeable Supreme Court practice’. The firm recently represented RBS Citizens, NA before the Court in Ross v RBS Citizens NA, in which the Supreme Court vacated a decision from the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit which had affirmed an order for class certification in a wage-and-hour case brought against the firm’s client. The firm also boasts an impressive roster of appellate clients including The Football Association Premier League, Pershing, and Columbia University. Mark Batten and Elise Bloom are noted for having ‘substantive knowledge of FLSA and knowledge of second, third and seventh Circuits’. Edward Brill also has a splendid reputation.

The ‘excellentVinson & Elkins LLPprovides a strong team of subject matter experts as well as outstanding legal strategy’. The firm’s most prominent figures in this space include Marie Yeates, who has conducted over 100 arguments and has ‘expertise of a very high order’, and Tom Leatherbury, who ‘is excellent at developing overall legal strategy’. One highlight for Yeates saw her act for OxyVinyls in the Supreme Court of Alabama; the client is alleged to have breached a contract to purchase chlorine from SunBelt and the firm is looking to overturn a $70m trial judgment. Leatherbury acted for The Episcopal Leadership in the Diocese of Fort Worth in property disputes amounting to $100m. Washington DC-based John Elwood heads the firm’s Supreme Court practice and ‘compares favorably’; his clients include the Chamber of Commerce and The American Farm Bureau.

Wiley Rein LLP’s recent Supreme Court track record is impressive, and the firm is particularly renowned for litigating complex points of constitutional law before the country’s highest courts. For instance, in 2012, the firm successfully represented Abigail Fisher, a student denied entry to the University of Texas in Fisher v University of Texas; the Supreme Court overturned an earlier appellate decision and effectively decided that the university’s affirmative action admissions policy had been discriminatory; Bert Rein argued the case. On the appellate front, the firm recently conducted flagship work on behalf of Verizon in a ‘net neutrality’ battle before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It also represented The Wireless Association before the US District Court for the Northern District of California in a first amendment and federal preemption challenge to the cell phone ‘right-to-know’ ordinance against the City of San Francisco.

Winston & Strawn LLP purveys ‘an excellent work product and customer service’. Steffen Johnson was recently active as lead counsel for the respondent in federal preemption case Hillman v Marretta; in this instance, the firm was brought in at certiorari stage, and then proceeded to win a 9-0 victory for the client. On the appellate front, Johnson is noted for IP and preemption work; Elizabeth Papez is a name for banking and financial litigation and Linda Coberly handles contentious securities, professional liability, bankruptcy and insolvency; Coberly is ‘a star with deep, sophisticated knowledge of law and exceptional advocacy skills’. Standout appellate clients include the Republic of Ecuador, Philip Morris and Bank of America. All in all, this firm ‘stands out positively’.

Houston firm Bracewell & Giuliani LLP is led by the ‘very intelligent, well-spoken and always preparedWarren Harris. The firm is currently appealing an adverse $81m judgment on behalf of client KBR to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; the case concerns issues of alleged exposure to sodium dichromate by 150+ National Guardsmen at a water-treatment facility in Iraq. Cliff Gunter is a ‘sage lawyer’; Jeff Oldham is ‘top-notch’. Harris’ client base also includes Statoil and Domino’s Pizza.

Although Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP does not have a stand-alone appellate division, the firm is regularly active on complex appeals. For instance, the firm is currently representing Alcoa in a class action lawsuit brought in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of former employees of Alcoa and Reynolds Metals Company. Other representative matters include acting on behalf of American Express in multiple putative class actions in the Southern District of New York, in which plaintiffs allege that American Express has unlawfully tied the acceptance of certain of its cards to the acceptance of certain other of its credit and charge card products by merchants in violation of the Sherman Act. In New York, Evan Chesler, Richard Clary, Robert Baron, Rowan Wilson and Antony Ryan are all significant names. Other clients include Mylan Inc and PwC Ireland.

Eric Brunstad and Steven Feirson are significant figures at Dechert LLP’s Hartford and Philadelphia offices, respectively; both are very experienced in appellate litigation. In 2013, Brunstad acted for The Ad Hoc Group of Vitro Noteholders in contentious multi-jurisdictional insolvency proceedings; in this instance, after litigation against the non-debtor guarantors in the New York Supreme Court, and further proceedings in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the firm succeeded in reaching a very favorable settlement for the client. Meanwhile, Feirson is currently active in representing Irex Corporation in a major post-merger remedy case before the Philadelphia Supreme Court. Other clients include DHL Express (USA), National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh and Coquina Investments LLC.

The team at Greenberg Traurig LLPdoes extraordinary work. The firm’s ability to understand the issues in depth, and present them simply, clearly, and in a compelling fashion results in verdicts for the client that outweigh the costs’. The firm represented Sears, Roebuck & Company in Learmonth v Sears, Roebuck and Company before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in which the Court affirmed the constitutionality of Mississippi’s $1m statutory cap on non-economic damages. Co-chair Elliot Scherkerhas a clear and analytic mind, and an affable personality’, and other co-chairs Mark Solomons, Israel Rubin and new arrival and former Senior Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals Carmen Beauchamp Cipatrick also have superb reputations.

Nixon Peabody LLP is valued by clients for ‘thoroughness’ and for its ‘devoted’ service. David Schraver, co-chair David Tennant, and associate Erik Goergen are currently representing Madison and Oneida counties in a lengthy dispute involving the taxation of tribal-owned properties; in this matter, reservation disestablishment issues remain pending before the Supreme Court and a challenge to the land into trust decision remains pending in the Northern District of New York. Thaddeus Stauber is ‘equipped with all the characteristics and skills that the best attorneys need’, and recently handled art law appeals on behalf of the Republic of Hungary and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation. The firm’s practice ranges across the Ninth Circuit, Fifth Circuit and DC Circuit and also focuses on application of the FSIA and other immunity issues. Co-chair Sarah Erickson André ‘is a perfect mixture of personality and expertise’.

The ‘excellentReed Smith LLP has a team of ‘very responsive, experienced and knowledgeable appellate lawyers’. A significant matter recently was acting on behalf of Delorice Bragg and Freda Hatfield, the widows of two coal miners who died in a 2006 coal mine fire in West Virginia. In June 2013, the Fourth Circuit concluded that the district court’s dismissal of the widows’ suit had been erroneous, vacating and remanding the case for further proceedings. The firm also conducted major work in the last year on behalf of Cirrus Design Corporation, Hugh Caperton, and Energy Transfer Partners. Paul Fogel and Ray Cardozo ‘are very smart’ and ‘good issue-spotters and writers’.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP operates across departmental lines to conduct high-value and complex litigation in appeals courts. For instance, in 2013 the firm secured a dismissal on behalf of clients JP MorganChase and affiliates against claims of alleged collusive withdrawal of support. ‘Revered advocate’ Barry Ostrager succeeded in securing an affirmance of a $28.8m verdict decision by a unanimous panel of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal on behalf of client Mohammad Al-Saleh.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is capable of handling major and complex appeals. The firm is currently representing BP across a range of issues including a stock-drop class action, as well as derivative, ERISA, and a shareholder class action. Other recent highlights include Michael Steinberg representing Enbridge in a derivative suit brought by Peter Brinckerhoff which sought to unwind the critical restructuring of an oil pipeline. The Delaware Court of Chancery granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss, and the Delaware Supreme Court confirmed the dismissal. Brendan Cullen is another suitable port of call.

Steven Reiss and Gregory Silbert’s team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLPdoes consistently excellent work for the client’. The firm is now active in the Supreme Court; for example it submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the European Union in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum. The firm also continues to represent Walt Disney and Marvel Entertainment in a number of high-value copyright disputes; in one such instance, the firm secured a unanimous decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a copyright ownership dispute with the heirs of Jack Kirby affirming a lower court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of Marvel Entertainment. David Lender, Richard Rothman and associate Anish Desai are all highly recommended. One client enthuses: ‘This is an excellent firm and a true business partner’.

Trade secrets

Index of tables

  1. Trade secrets
  2. Leading lawyers

Leading lawyers

  1. 1

Covington & Burling LLP provides a ‘superior service’ and ‘belongs in the elite top tier’. The firm advises on the gamut of trade secrets matters, from IP litigation to cyber security and economic espionage. Recent highlights for the team include Kevin Collins representing Manheim Auctions in trade secrets litigation against BidReady LLC in relation to the online web interface for automobile auctions; George Pappas advising Intercos Group in a complex multi-jurisdictional case in the cosmetics manufacturing industry; and Kurt Calia representing Monsanto in a trade secrets dispute related to herbicide tolerant crops. In 2013, Jon Kyl, the former second most senior Republican in the US Senate, joined the firm, while Michael Markman departed to become a judge in the Superior Court of California. Calia and Michael Plimack head the team, and both are very well-regarded.

With access to a 490-lawyer litigation department and a 235-attorney IP practice, Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s trade secrets practice is deeply resourced. In 2013, the firm was active in numerous major cases, such as acting for Akorn in defense of a $100m claim brought by Fera Pharmaceuticals in respect of alleged misappropriated trade secrets; Chicago-based Nader Boulos and New York-based Jay Lefkowitz led on the matter. Other significant matters included Andrew Clubok and Beth Willliams defending Avison Young in a $1m case brought by BGC Partners claiming tortious interference, conspiracy and theft of trade secrets. Other clients include Boeing, Content Partners and Raytheon.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is ‘rated very highly’ by clients ‘for both large and small, and particularly complex cases’. The team is jointly headed by Silicon Valley-based Neel Chatterjee, who is ‘very highly regarded’, and Washington DC-based Steven Routh. The firm recently acted for Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation in a bet-the-company case regarding the misuse of trade secrets. Michael Weil is a ‘good litigator and general case manager’, Catherine Lui is a ‘very strong associate who manages all the details well’, and Carla Walworth is also recommended. The firm experienced a slew of new hires in 2013, including David Evan Case from White & Case LLP and Nagendra Setty and Anthony Kuhlmann from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP. Other clients include Brocade Communications Systems and NVIDIA.

Paul Hastings LLP has 'an exceptional talent for trade secrets matters’ and is ‘worth the price for an exceptionally important matter’ owing to its ability to ‘provide excellent advice and handle the most difficult litigation’. New York-based litigation chair Victoria Cundiff has experience handling complex and urgent disputes, often across multiple jurisdictions. She is currently representing a major energy company in hotly contested cloud technology litigation, and is advising a household name in the fashion industry on avoiding trade secrets litigation in the context of making a new hire. Bradford Newman chairs the firm's employee mobility and trade secrets practice from the Palo Alto office, and regularly handles eight and nine-figure liability cases. A significant highlight for Newman was representing Zynga in complex litigation on many fronts relating to the impact of cloud-based storage devices on its commercial practices; a favorable settlement was reached on in September 2013. Other clients include Applied Materials Inc and AeroVironment Inc.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP experienced numerous highlights in 2013: for instance, a team led by Andrew Rossman, Michael Carlinsky and Robert Raskopf secured a favorable settlement for clients J Christopher Burch and C Wonder LLC in a high-stakes dispute arising out of Burch’s attempts to sell a portion of his interest in Tory Burch; in this instance a favorable settlement was reached on behalf of the client. The firm also represented Pinterest in a trade secrets misappropriation case filed by an alleged former business partner of Pinterest’s first investor; action is currently pending before the state court. In 2013, Michael Lyle Washington and Eric Lyttle joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, and Los Angeles-based Amar Thakur joined from Foley & Lardner LLP. Joseph Milowic III was also promoted internally in 2013.

Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P.’s team includes the very well-regarded Rachael Meny, who recently represented Google in Amazon v Daniel Powers in which one of the client’s employees was sued by his former employer in a state court for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement and for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets; a favorable ruling on a preliminary injunction was secured. Jeffrey Chanin represented Netflix in Warner Brothers v Netflix and successfully negotiated the hiring of an executive with an unusual employment agreement and trade secrets concerns. Pinterest and The TrueBlood Network are also flagship clients of the team.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP has the capacity to handle the trade secrets aspects of the firm’s major clients’ IP portfolios. For instance, Judy Mohr recently led advice to Quidel Corporation regarding its patent portfolio and its position in trade secrets law. In another highlight, a team including Los Angeles-based trade secrets guru Eric Hagen successfully represented Seagate Technology on a large piece of patent litigation that included trade secrets misappropriation issues. At the beginning of the litigation, 57 trade secrets were asserted and all have now been dismissed. Mark Itri and Sarah Chapin Columbia, who co-chair the firm’s IP offering, are suitable ports of call.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s clients are ‘very satisfied with the overall abilities, knowledge and strengths of everyone in the firm’. The offering is built around the complementary talents of co-chairs Daniel Westman and Bryan Wilson. The firm recently defeated a motion on behalf of Atmel Corporation for a temporary restraining order and a motion for preliminary injunction filed by Maxim Integrated Products regarding an alleged breach of a non-competition and non-solicitation agreement and for unfair competition. Kenneth Kuwayti – who led on the Atmel Corporation matter – ‘has rare abilities’. Kidco Farms Processing Inc was a new client win.

In 2013, O'Melveny & Myers LLP achieved a significant victory on behalf of Extreme Reach when the US District Court for the Central District of California granted the client’s ex parte application for a temporary restraining order enjoining SpotGenie and three former Extreme Reach employees from using Extreme Reach’s confidential information or trade secrets; Eric Amdursky led the team. Amdursky was also instrumental in achieving a favorable settlement on behalf of Process Fab Holdings Inc in a case against Aerospace Engineering Corporation. The widely esteemed Darin Snyder heads the team. Eric Namrow left for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP in 2013.

John Barry and Steven Kayman spearhead the offering at Proskauer Rose LLP which handles the gamut of trade secrets work from bread-and-butter drafting of confidentiality, non-compete and trade secrets, to high-stakes litigation pertaining to the theft of trade secrets. The firm recently represented medical devices maker Sientra in 14 separate lawsuits filed by a rival company, in which instance a successful ruling was secured on behalf of the client, when seven emergent applications were defeated and 11 out of 13 pending lawsuits against the client dropped. Anthony Oncidi, Allan Weitzman and Michael Album all have superb reputations. Other clients include Creative Artists Agency and the Trustees of Columbia University.

Michael Wexler heads the 45-lawyer offering at Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where ‘the service level is excellent, response times are very good and advice is both accurate and practical’. The firm recently represented Stryker Corporation in Stryker Corporation et al. v Bruty et al in which the firm successfully secured a preliminary injunction barring medical device entity Blue Belt Tech and former employee of the client James Bruty from disclosing confidential information. Wexler is ‘very responsive and helpful’, Jason Patrick Stiehl is ‘able to enlist additional assistance when local expertise is required’ and Robert Milligan is also a respected name in the market. Other key clients include Pacific Dental and the Dana Holding Corporation. One client enthuses: ‘This is the best firm I have used in this area’.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s interdisciplinary offering experienced some significant court wins in 2013: the ‘incisiveJeffrey Klein scored a victory on behalf of Alliant Insurance Services Inc in three lawsuits in New York, Illinois, and California, each involving allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information, and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. The firm is also noted for conducting unique work on the transactional side, for which Michael Epstein is the main contact. Recent highlights include advising General Electric on trade secrets issues arising out of the IPO of its consumer finance unit; and advising Health Management Associates on trade secrets issues as part of its merger with Community Health Systems.

As a litigation boutique with a superb reputation, it is unsurprising that Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP is active on various pieces of major trade secrets litigation. The firm was recently successful in defending Broadcom and a group of its employees against claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and improper solicitation brought by LSI Corporation. Sean Gallagher in Chicago, and Denver-based Lindley Brenza both have superb reputations.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is active on high-value trade secrets matters, often with a China element. The firm recently advised INEOS as plaintiff in a trade secret case concerning a process for creating biofuels, which resulted in a favorable settlement for the client. The firm also represented Renaissance Technologies in an action against former employees to protect the mathematical trade secrets underlying the client’s computerized trading strategy, which resulted in a multimillion-dollar payment to the client. The firm was bolstered in 2013 by the arrival of former vice-president and assistant general counsel for IBM David Kappos, and Roger Brooks and Stuart Gold are prominent practitioners with superb reputations. The firm also has ongoing relationships with DuPont and Qualcomm, among other blue-chip clients.

With offices in Palo Alto, Boston and Washington DC, and notable expertise across the gamut of IP matters, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP is well placed to advise a range of clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, on confidential information and industry secrets issues. The team is notably strong in the energy, pharmaceuticals, information technology and manufacturing sectors.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s Perry Viscounty recently represented America Chung Nam in America Chung Nam v Cycle Link, a three-week trade secrets trial which ended in a tremendous result for the client: the jury voted unanimously in favor of ACN, awarding $13.1m plus $5m in punitive damages. Other key matters included Steven Bauer and James Lynch acting for semiconductors manufacturer Marvell, in which the client was cleared of all allegations of trade secrets misappropriation. Jennifer Barry is also a significant figure in the market.

Mayer Brown’s eight-partner team benefits from the reputation of John Mancini, who is ‘a star in the trade secrets field’. Another advantage is the firm’s ability to leverage off its global network to assist clients in the US, Europe, and Asia. In 2013, the firm represented Elekta in a trade secret misappropriation action by Varian Medical Systems in Texas; the case was settled on terms involving no liability finding against Elekta or its employees and no injunctive relief against Elekta or its employees; Theresa Gillis and Vanessa Biondo led the team. A team led by Mancini and Biondo achieved a significant trial victory for Faiveley Transport in a trade secrets case against one of its key competitors, Wabtec Corporation; the client claimed that Wabtec Corporation had improperly used its manufacturing drawings containing information required to make certain of its train brake parts; this resulted in a significant damages award made to the client.

The ‘excellent’ group at Nixon Peabody LLP benefits from the skill of Mark Halligan who has ‘great expertise in trade secrets work’. A recent highlight saw the firm successfully representing Stardock Entertainment in a lawsuit against a former marketing manager for violations of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, breach of fiduciary duty and conversion of confidential and proprietary material for a new software computer game. Robert Weikert, Craig Trachtenberg and Gregg Rubinstein are all suitable contacts with splendid reputations. All in all, this firm is ‘one of the best’.

Schiff Hardin LLP’s offering operates out of Chicago and has a strong track record for major trade secrets litigation. In 2013 the firm was active in Brighton Associates LLC v Toper et al, which saw the team working against difficult time constraints to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) on New Year's Eve, restraining three of the plaintiff's former executives from continuing to operate a competing business they had secretly organized while still employed with the plaintiff; following entry of the TRO, the parties reached settlement. Linda Stevens’ experience includes Experian Marketing Solutions Inc v. Responsys Inc in which the firm represented defendants Jonathan Bondoc and Matthew Limeri and successfully defeated the plaintiffs’ move for a TRO. Roger Pascal is another suitable contact.

Choate, Hall & Stewart’s 16-attorney team is headed by Michael Bunis and Paul Popeo and tries trades secrets cases across the country. For instance, the firm is currently representing New England BioLabs in New England BioLabs v Enzymatics, a case regarding the theft of trade secrets by former employees who founded a new company. EMC, AlCana Technologies and AvePoint are among the firm’s other key clients.

Dorsey & Whitney LLP’s IP litigation expertise forms the basis of its well-regarded trade secrets group. The firm recently represented Cisco in a case where the plaintiff was seeking damages of over $400m for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets concerning computer storage technology; a complete defense verdict was secured for the client. The firm is also known for being ahead of the curve on technology developments: for instance, it obtained the first ever preliminary injunction employing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to enjoin unauthorized entry of a company database through a public website.

Kurt Kappes and Richard McCrea co-head the team at Greenberg Traurig LLP. Highlights included representing Pyro Spectaculars Inc in Pyro Spectaculars Inc, Pyro Spectaculars North Inc, and Pyro Events Inc v Steven Souza in California; the firm’s request to conduct expedited discovery was granted, and the court allowed forensic examination of all of the defendants’ and their wives’ computers. The firm is also representing Michael Holton in an action filed by his former employer and its subsidiary in an action brought to stop him from joining a competitor, following the termination of his employment with Physician Oncology Services and Vantage Oncology.

A significant highlight for Jenner & Block LLP was representing PepsiCo successfully in Joyce v PepsiCo, which saw a Wisconsin appeals court uphold a lower court decision to vacate a $1.26bn default judgment against the client based on a deficiency in the complaint. Edgenet, and CRC Insurance Services Inc are also clients. Debbie Berman, Bradford Lyerla, R Douglas Rees and Daniel Winters are significant figures within the practice.

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP melds expertise in IP litigation and labor and employment to service corporates in high-stakes trade secrets matters. For instance, a team led by Eric Wallach recently represented TransPerfect Document Management, part of TransPerfect Legal Solutions, in a breach of contract suit against its former business development head, accusing him of violating his contract and stealing trade secrets with the assistance of a new employer; the firm helped obtain a temporary restraining order and other preliminary injunctive relief in a New York state court enjoining the former employee and employer from misappropriating client relationships and confidential information.

James Bogan’s sizeable team at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is ‘excellent in all areas’. The firm represented Jackson Therapy Partners in a misappropriation of trade secrets matter and was successful in securing a comprehensive injunction against a former top salesperson requiring him to submit to a range of inspections of his digital data. Daniel Taylor and Susan Boyles ‘focus only on the important points’; they also have ‘the ability to digest a significant amount of information in a short period of time’. The firm is also noted for ‘resourcefulness, professionalism and attention to detail’. Other key clients include and Digital Generation Inc.

Exceptional go-to firmMcKenna Long & Aldridge LLP is ‘very responsive, well-versed in the applicable law, and possesses deep understanding of the business issues’. The firm recently represented a string of defendants including Jaxon Engineering & Maintenance in L-3 Communications et al v Jaxon Engineering & Maintenance; the firm successfully defeated a motion for preliminary injunction brought by L3 Communications. The team is headed by Lora Brzezynski, who is ‘very, very good’, and includes John Vaughn, who ‘quickly assesses the client’s goals and objectives and manages costs well’ and boasts numerous financial services clients; employment guru Daniel Beale, who is ‘smart, thoughtful, responsive, and level-headed’ and Raymond Aghaian, a useful contact for cyber security issues. All in all, this team is ‘an invaluable asset’ for clients.

WilmerHale has ‘a strong reputation for trade secrets’. The firm recently obtained an award of $32.7m in damages on behalf of Fusion Lighting in an action against Northrop Grumman involving misappropriation of trade secrets and patent rights. Donald Steinberg, Jane Love and Joseph Haag are all suitable ports of call.

At Winston & Strawn LLP, the lawyers are ‘dedicated and focused on the issues that matter and work in a collaborative manner with in-house counsel to achieve the best possible outcome’. John Keville – ‘an outstanding lawyer dedicated to representing his clients’ – was recently active in M-I LLC v Argus Green LLC et al, where the firm, having previously secured favorable judgment on behalf of the plaintiff client, uncovered the defendants’ attempts to avoid the judgement; the defendants were ordered to hand over misappropriated meters and assign their interests in patents for the meters. International Game Technology is another significant client of the firm.

White-collar criminal defense

Index of tables

  1. White-collar criminal defense
  2. Leading lawyers

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s ‘first-rate’ white-collar practice remains dominant in the FCPA space, and its increasing workload particularly includes criminal investigations for potential anti-corruption violations, emanating from the firm’s Washington DC office. Although financial institutions continue to form a substantial portion of its client base, non-financial companies also seek out the team specifically for white-collar matters. Recent such examples include BHP Billiton and AstraZeneca, both of which the team represented in separate FCPA investigations. Linda Chatman Thomsen and Raul Yanes, both based in Washington DC, continued to represent the independent directors of MF Global in ongoing investigations following the company’s bankruptcy. Other matters keeping the team busy include insider trading and criminal tax investigations. Litigation chair Carey Dunne receives praise for his ‘unparalleled judgment’, ‘subject matter expertise’ and ‘client sensitivity’. Jennifer Newstead and Scott Muller are also recommended. Former US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil MacBride joined the Washington DC office. All partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Despite the departure of Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresney in 2013, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s established reputation in the white-collar arena means that it continues to attract mandates in high-profile cases. Praised as a ‘great firm’, which is ‘business-savvy but also enforcement-minded’, it works in conjunction with partners from across its global network to handle multi-jurisdictional and multi-agency investigations. As well as having a presence in the financial services sector, advising multinational banks and their executives, hedge funds and private equity firms, the practice’s client base stretches across various other industries including pharmaceutical and manufacturing. The team represented the president of a global IT company in an SEC investigation, plus securities and derivatives lawsuits, and various regulatory inquiries. Practice head Bruce Yannett took the lead role in representing 3M in DOJ and SEC investigations into possible FCPA violations in multiple jurisdictions including Turkey. Yanett is based in the New York office, where many of the practice’s key players also reside, including Sean Hecker and Andrew Levine; they are a part of the team that continues to represent JPMorgan Chase in various civil lawsuits and investigations regarding mortgage acquisition and securitization. In Washington DC, the names to note are Jonathan Tuttle and Paul Berger.

The highly regarded white-collar team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has partners strategically positioned across its New York, Washington DC and California offices, and is recognized for its ‘deep bench’ and ‘strong presence’ in global matters. The team’s expertise encompasses the full breadth of white-collar matters, with recent standout successes including multi-agency settlements for UBS for alleged manipulation of interest rate benchmarks, and representing Wynn Resorts in an SEC investigation that was closed without enforcement action. Like many of its peers, the team is also busy handling FCPA investigations, in which it acts for both companies and individuals. Joseph Warin, the practice’s Washington DC-based co-chair, is ‘first-rate’; he assisted BP’s board of directors in reaching a favorable settlement with the DOJ regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Jim Walden and Debra Wong Yang co-chair the practice from New York and Los Angeles, respectively. Recent additions to the team include ‘highly qualified lawyer’ Reed Brodsky to the New York office, and Scott Hammond, who joins the firm’s Washington DC office following 25 years in the DOJ’s antitrust division.

The well-respected team at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP remained busy throughout 2013, representing a broad range of companies and individual clients across the financial services, pharmaceutical and retail products sectors. The team is also equipped to handle sensitive internal investigations for special committees; Roberto Finzi, Michele Hirshman and Theodore Wells’ review of a university’s response to allegations of sexual abuse is one such example. Other recent highlights for the team include negotiating a favorable resolution for Merck & Co following a multi-year DOJ investigation into the marketing of a painkiller, and representing BNY Mellon in multi-faceted litigation and government enforcement action surrounding foreign exchange transactions. Other key partners include Brad Karp, who acts for major financial institutions such as Citigroup, and Martin Flumenbaum and Michael Gertzman, whose recent instructions have come from US and international clients in wide-ranging FCPA investigations. All named partners are based in New York; other members of the team are located in Washington DC.

With pressure on the financial services sector continuing, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP had a busy 2013, representing key industry players in anti-money laundering, rate fixing and mortgage-related investigations. Highlights for the team included negotiating settlements for HSBC with various agencies, including a deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ, following investigations into the bank’s sanctions and anti-money laundering compliance programs. FCPA matters remained another key area of activity, with the team representing companies from across the energy, automotive and aviation sectors in multi-agency investigations. Individual instructions from high-level executives are also prevalent; Karen Patton Seymour and deputy managing partner Steven Peikin represented a former SAC Capital analyst in civil and criminal insider trading cases, for example. Among the team’s other ‘superstars’ are managing partner Samuel Seymour whose expertise encompasses securities fraud, OFAC sanctions and criminal antitrust, and Rodgin Cohen, who is ‘first rate’ in the financial services space. All named partners are based in New York.

Providing an ‘outstanding service’, particularly in regulatory matters, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP remains a popular choice for major financial institutions, which it continues to represent in investigations connected to the sub-prime mortgage crisis as well as OFAC sanctions and money laundering. The team remains heavily involved in ongoing high-profile matters such as the DOJ’s disclosure program for Swiss banks and the LIBOR investigations. Its client roster also includes individuals; in one recent case, New York-based partner Lewis Liman successfully represented an individual client at the Supreme Court, which led to a dismissal with prejudice by the SEC of its claims surrounding alleged violations of the Investment Advisers Act. Partners across the Washington DC and New York offices have been deployed to advise various clients – both individuals and companies – in FCPA investigations into corruption allegations in African and South American countries. Other key members of the team include David Brodsky and Lev Dassin in New York, and Shawn Chen in Washington DC.

Covington & Burling LLP’s sizeable white-collar defense practice has been significantly strengthened by Lanny Breuer’s return in May 2013; he splits his time between the New York and Washington DC offices. The firm’s traditional strength in the healthcare space ensures a steady flow of instructions from household name pharmaceutical and life sciences clients. A team of Washington DC-based lawyers including Ethan Posner continued to represent Johnson & Johnson in litigation brought by the State of Oregon following the company’s recall in 2009 and 2010 of certain medicines. Other successes for the team include representing Deere & Company in a high-profile FCPA investigation, after which the SEC decided not to pursue enforcement action. As well as having a strong group of partners based in Washington DC, where the highly regarded Steven Fagell sits, the firm has a physical presence in both New York, where practice co-chair Nancy Kestenbaum is based, and San Francisco, which serves as the base for Tammy Albarrán and David Bayless.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s broad list of mandates encompasses the full range of white-collar matters, and the team continues to be involved in high-profile priority cases brought by state and federal agencies as well as global investigative bodies. Cases arising out of the financial crisis continue to generate work for the team; one example is John Carroll representing Bank of America in mortgage-backed securities litigation brought under FIRREA. As well as being a ‘go-to firm for large companies’, the practice also attracts individual clients, particularly within the insider trading area in which the team acts for both witnesses and potential targets. In the Los Angeles office, Richard Marmaro, a ‘very big name’ in the white-collar space, is representing a senior executive who is the alleged source of information in an insider trading scheme. David Zornow worked alongside Steven Glaser and Washington DC-based Colleen Mahoney to negotiate a settlement with the SEC for their client, a digital financial news company, for alleged accounting fraud in which the client paid no penalty and neither admitted nor denied the allegations. Also in the Washington DC office is the ‘terrific’ Michele Roberts. David Meister returned to the firm in January 2014 following his tenure at the CFTC. Named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

At Washington DC firm Williams & Connolly LLP, the ‘well-respected’ criminal defense and government investigations team is recognized not only for its active trial work, but also for its ‘thoughtful’ lawyering. FCPA and antitrust cases have kept the team busy, with recent examples including acting for a Japanese company in the DOJ’s auto-parts cartel investigation, and an international food processing company in a settlement following FCPA violations by a subsidiary. Political corruption cases and congressional investigations are also a prominent feature of the practice. With ‘tremendous breadth and depth’, the sizeable team includes Brendan Sullivan, who has a track record of success in representing senior executives and political figures in high-profile investigations, Tobin Romero, whose expertise spans insider trading, money laundering and insurance fraud, and David Kendall, whose diverse practice sees him representing clients across the country from Maryland to Minnesota. John Villa’s broad experience includes civil and criminal litigation and legal malpractice. David Zinn and Kevin Downey are also recommended.

Dechert LLP remains a popular choice for both companies and individuals, and counts J Ezra Merkin, UBS and Bank of America among its clients. Outside of the financial services space, the team has recently represented clients from the technology and manufacturing sectors. FCPA, market manipulation and insider trading cases kept the team busy in 2013, as did its ongoing representation of Jon Corzine, the former CEO of MF Global, in multi-agency investigations arising from the group’s bankruptcy. Although much of its sizeable team is based in the New York and Washington DC office, key members of the group are also located in Philadelphia and Chicago, and the firm’s network of offices across the globe means it is able to handle investigations with international elements. The ‘very well-known’ New York-based Andrew Levander is ‘a real leader in his field’; alongside him in New York are Benjamin Rosenberg and global litigation chair Robert Jossen, praised for his ‘ability to advise clients, address client needs and manage litigation’. In the Washington DC office, Catherine Botticelli has an active practice handling internal investigations as well as investigations by FINRA and the SEC.

Hogan Lovells’ long tradition of regulatory advisory work translates into litigation and enforcement work from those clients with whom the firm has built long-term relationships, particularly in the healthcare and life sciences sectors. Recent cases include representing Solvay Pharmaceuticals in a case concerning alleged off-label marketing and kickbacks. The firm’s geographic footprint extends across the US, and aside from having ‘excellent lawyers’ in Washington DC, it also has attorneys strategically located in offices across New York, Miami and Denver, who work together with partners in Europe and Asia to assist clients in sensitive, cross-border investigations. A recent case-in-point was when a multi-jurisdictional team was deployed to handle the defense of a client embroiled in a major antitrust investigation; members of the US team included Robert Buehler from the New York office and Megan Dixon in San Francisco. The names to note in Washington DC are Robert Bennett, practice head Peter Spivack, and healthcare fraud specialist Jonathan Diesenhaus.

With a ‘good team of former prosecutors’, a client base that includes household names in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors, and a geographical spread that ensures involvement in major cases across the US and overseas, Kirkland & Ellis LLP has established itself as a ‘huge player’ in the white-collar space. New additions to the team in 2013 included former SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami in the Washington DC office. ‘Very talented’ Chicago-based practice head Mark Filip represented Baxter International in an industry-wide FCPA investigation by the SEC and DOJ. The names to note in the New York office are Henry DePippo, the lead partner representing Pfizer and three subsidiaries in qui tam suits alleging False Claims Act violations, and Michael Garcia, who was appointed to FIFA’s ethics committee to investigate corruption in world football. Laurence Urgenson left the firm in 2014 to join Mayer Brown.

The New York-based attorneys at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP are praised for their ‘thorough industry knowledge’, ‘strategic advice’ and ‘immediate response times’. The team’s litigation expertise extends across the full range of white-collar matters, from insider trading to criminal antitrust. The practice’s well-regarded co-chairs Barry Berke and Gary Naftalis remain active in the white-collar space: Berke is currently representing a former officer of a multinational bank in LIBOR investigations by US agencies; elsewhere, Naftalis and David Frankel are acting for the CFO of a Tennessee-based company in civil cases and investigations into alleged fraud. Other recent instructions for the team came from an investment advisory firm in a DOJ investigation into alleged bid-rigging at tax lien auctions in New Jersey, and Bear Stearns in multiple lawsuits arising from the collapse of two investment funds. Also recommended is Alan Friedman, who has significant experience representing clients in criminal and civil actions for securities fraud.

First-class’ firm Sidley Austin LLP is praised as ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘responsive’, with lawyers who are ‘a pleasure to work with’. The team has been particularly active in the healthcare space, representing Johnson & Johnson in a False Claims Act case in Massachusetts, and a pharmaceutical company in investigations in New York and South Carolina surrounding the off-label promotion of a product. In Washington DC, Mark Hopson and Tom Green are recommended for their ‘deep subject matter knowledge’ and ‘practical’ approach; in a recent case, the pair represented a Swiss banker on charges of conspiracy to defraud the US. Other individual clients include former Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron, who Hopson, Green and Frank Volpe represented in private securities litigation and SEC enforcement action connected to misleading statements on subprime mortgages, and a hedge fund founder who was represented by San Francisco-based Dave Anderson in an appeal against charges of conspiracy and insider trading. Other key partners include Chicago-based Michael Andolina and John Gallo, and, in Washington DC, Paul Kalb and the ‘highly skilledKaren Popp.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz’s ‘small’ but ‘very talented and impressive’ group is based in New York and, as such, acts for a substantial number of major financial institutions, although it also represents companies across the energy, industrial and pharmaceutical sectors. With the ongoing fallout from the 2008 financial crisis, the team maintains a busy practice and is increasingly seeing its financial clients targeted for FCPA investigations. Criminal tax is another area of notable activity: John Savarese and Ralph Levene are currently advising several Swiss banks on their responses to the DOJ’s disclosure program; Lawrence Pedowitz and David Anders represented Ernst & Young in a settlement with the US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York which included a non-prosecution agreement for historical tax shelter schemes. Elsewhere, Jonathan Moses continues to assist a financial services client in responding to investigations from various regulators on mortgage servicing.

WilmerHale is ‘very well regarded’ for securities-related white-collar work, and is also noted for having some ‘leading lawyers’ in the healthcare space. Boston-based investigations and criminal litigation chair Stephen Jonas has been active in the False Claims Act area, defending two leading companies against charges brought under the Act. FCPA enforcement action is another area of activity, and one in which Kimberly Parker is noted as having ‘superior knowledge’; she and William McLucas represented a medical devices company in industry-wide FCPA investigations by the DOJ and SEC. Another highlight for the group was negotiating a settlement with the DOJ for a commercial airline following an investigation into alleged bribery; the matter was led by Jay Holtmeier in New York. Other recommended partners include Howard Shapiro and New York-based Boyd Johnson, who is praised for his ‘excellent strategic advice’ and ‘familiarity with government and internal investigations’. Partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated. Personnel changes in 2013 included three partner promotions, and the departure of former partners Jennifer O’Conner to the IRS and Anne Harkavy to the Department of Justice.

Latham & Watkins LLP is ‘a firm that truly represents the attorney-client relationship at its best’, and its lawyers are ‘smart, efficient and strategic’. The global breadth of the practice enables it to handle multi-jurisdictional investigations, an ability which is demonstrated clearly through its work for former and current bank executives in the ongoing LIBOR investigations. In the anti-corruption arena, a team of ‘exceptional practitioners’ from the Washington DC office, including Alice Fisher, William Baker and Douglas Greenburg, negotiated a settlement for an international pharmaceutical company following a multi-year FCPA investigation into alleged violations in four countries. New York-based Christopher Clark, whose ‘considerable government experience provides gravitas and credibility in white-collar matters’, represented Mark Cuban in a securities fraud case along with outside co-counsel; after a three-week trial in Texas, Cuban was cleared of the charges. Richard Owens, also based in New York, receives plaudits for his ‘insightful application of securities law’; he and Clark acted for a former portfolio manager who pleaded guilty to insider trading and co-operated with the government in its investigation of S.A.C Capital. Cases concerning export control and OFAC sanctions are also becoming prevalent; Maria Barton and Les Carnegie are particularly well-versed in this area, and are considered ‘the epitome of professionalism’. They are based in New York and Washington DC, respectively. Former prosecutor Michael Fee joined the Boston office in early 2014.

Well-known New York firmMorvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello P.C. is a ‘good boutique’, primarily representing high-level executives in complex litigation, although it occasionally receives instructions from institutional clients as well. The ‘sophisticated’ team acts with ‘integrity and rectitude’, and has experience handling the full spread of white-collar cases, such as securities fraud, money laundering, and False Claims Act and FCPA violations. The team includes ‘standout lawyerElkan Abramowitz, criminal tax specialist Jeremy Temkin, and Jonathan Sack, who is currently representing a construction company in a federal investigation into its payroll practices as well as its work on a government-funded project. Other recent cases handled by the team include investigations into alleged misrepresentations of Dewey & LeBoeuf, in which the firm is acting for the firm’s former chairman Steven Davis; an attorney facing criminal charges for his involvement in schemes to defraud investors; and a successful appeal for Ernst & Young’s former tax attorney Richard Shapiro against charges for conspiracy and tax evasion.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP handles the full breadth of white-collar matters, although is arguably best recognized within the FCPA area; for example, Richard Grime recently represented a company in an investigation into payments made to European healthcare providers, and Greta Lichtenbaum provided compliance training for a manufacturing client. Congressional hearings also feature prominently among the team’s mandates; David Leviss, who has experience acting for both companies and individuals in high-profile inquiries, is currently representing a major healthcare provider in Senate and House investigations. Additional expertise within the firm includes advising on economic sanctions and conducting internal investigations for clients across the financial, entertainment and retail sectors. The above-named partners are located in Washington DC, where the ‘fabulous’ Mary Patrice Brown is also based. Other key partners include Los Angeles-based Carolyn Kubota, who is active in the healthcare arena and represents clients under investigation for alleged trade practices and consumer protection violations, and practice chair Daniel Bookin in San Francisco.

Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP’s ‘small’ but ‘very well-regarded’ team is based primarily in New York, with additional strength in Washington DC, and is praised for its ‘high-quality advice’ and ‘commitment to achieving the best possible results’ for its clients. From its financial services-oriented client base, the team has recently received instructions involving FCPA investigations, insider trading and accounting fraud, and is seeing an increasing number of international cases where institutional clients are facing criminal or regulatory investigations in both the US and overseas. For a UK broker, the team negotiated a settlement for its participation in the LIBOR scandal. ‘Hugely experienced’ name partner Lee Richards is recommended for providing ‘sound counsel’, and Shari Brandt ‘works incredibly hard’ to ensure that ‘all bases are covered’. Other names to note are Daniel Stein and Daniel Zinman, who have experience acting for both companies and individuals facing criminal investigations. MaryJeanette Dee left the firm in April 2013 to join Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s ‘pre-eminent white-collar group’ has built up a solid reputation through its involvement in high-profile cases and its team of ‘smart’ and ‘creative’ lawyers. Its place in the market was further cemented by two notable new additions to the team in 2013: Jason Weinstein joined the Washington DC office following his tenure at the DOJ’s criminal division, and former US Attorney for the District of Arizona Paul Charlton joined the Phoenix office. The ‘very thorough’ and ‘dedicated’ team’s recent mandates include acting for Michael Lynch, the former CEO of Autonomy Corporation, in an investigation into alleged accounting irregularities, and negotiating a plea agreement for an individual charged in the DOJ’s criminal antitrust investigation into the auto-parts industry. It also assisted Lebanese Canadian Bank in reaching a settlement with the government over alleged OFAC sanction violations and money laundering. The names to note are ‘rising superstar’ Brian Heberlig, ‘top trial lawyer’ Reid Weingarten, who is a ‘terrific courtroom advocate’ as well as a ‘wise, experienced counsellor’, and New York-based Evan Barr, who receives plaudits for his ‘excellent analytical skills’ and ability to ‘effectively apply the substantive knowledge he has acquired through many years of practice to the practical needs of his clients’. Named partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Offering a ‘very high’ level of service, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP handles high-profile cases for household name clients, often with an international element. The firm remains a popular choice for audit committees in government and internal investigations into potential corruption; it continues to act for the audit committee of a multinational corporation in its global internal investigation as well as high-profile DOJ and SEC investigations into its operations in North America, South America and Asia. In a further example of the team’s expertise in this area, the well-regarded David Kelley represented the audit committee of a transnational drilling company in settlements with the DOJ and SEC for its business dealings with officials in Africa, South America and Asia. The team also acts for a mix of companies and individuals, and has particular expertise in the highly regulated financial services space, representing clients which are facing investigations for potential violations of OFAC sanctions, benchmark interest rates and anti-money laundering issues. Other key contacts in New York are Bart Friedman, Anirudh Bansal and David Januszewski.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP delivers ‘creative solutions to sophisticated legal problems’ and demonstrates an ‘absolute commitment to protecting its clients’ interests’. The relative youth of the practice does not detract from its impressive workload or client roster, which includes well-known national and international companies from various industries such as energy, telecoms and financial services. Particular praise is leveled at Tim Coleman in the Washington DC office, who has ‘exceptional credibility with the US government agencies’; he recently represented two British Vita subsidiaries in a criminal antitrust investigation by the DOJ, as well as parallel multi-district litigation. Adam Siegel is particularly active in the FCPA sphere, and advises multinational companies in anti-corruption investigations into operations in various countries such as China and India. Elsewhere, Benito Romano is advising numerous clients on trade sanctions, and was recently appointed independent monitor for a financial services company pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement for wire fraud and anti-money laundering violations. Practice head Aaron Marcu represents financial institutions and their senior executives in fraud, insider trading and market manipulation investigations. Recently promoted partner Kimberly Zelnick is also recommended. All named partners are based in New York unless otherwise stated.

Although Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has seen some changes to its group make-up in recent years, it remains stable at its core and continues to handle high-profile white-collar matters for household name companies and their executives. Steven Witzel and practice head William Johnson continue to be involved in ongoing LIBOR matters; on the heels of this work, the team has been called upon to defend several entities and individuals in foreign exchange trading investigations. Insider trading and FCPA cases also feature strongly in the practice, with Carmen Lawrence often taking a leading role in these. All above-named partners are based in the New York office, where litigation chair William McGuinness is also located; he acts for clients in securities class action litigation in various states across the country. In the Washington DC office, Douglas Baruch is active in False Claims Act litigation; in one recent case, he represented a Japanese client in investigations by the DOJ and US Customs and Border Protections which sought to use the Act to tackle alleged anti-dumping violations.

From its office in San Francisco, Keker & Van Nest, L.L.P. serves a mixed client base of individual and institutional clients, from major technology giants to former stockbrokers. This ‘very active trial firm’ has ‘some top-notch people’ and, in line with the firm’s stance of growing from within rather than making lateral hires, the team promoted several of its attorneys to partner, including Paven Malhotra in January 2013. Name partner John Keker is considered ‘one of the top white-collar trial lawyers in the US’; he is currently working alongside Brook Dooley and Jan Nielsen Little in representing an individual involved in multi-agency investigations into possible accounting fraud by Autonomy Corporation following its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. The team continues to receive instructions stemming from the financial crisis, and is currently defending Standard & Poor’s against claims surrounding mortgage-related securities. The team is also seeing an increase in the criminalization of trade secret acquisition; an area in which both Elliot Peters and Stuart Gasner are active.

King & Spalding LLP has a ‘very substantial healthcare practice’ and, as such, works for household name clients in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors. In the Washington DC office, Wick Sollers and Mark Jensen have had a string of successes representing clients under investigation for alleged False Claims Act violations; for one client in the pharmaceutical sector, they negotiated a favorable settlement with the DOJ and US Attorneys’ office in Baltimore for alleged inappropriate marketing, as well as a corporate integrity agreement with the US Department of Health and Services. In another case, Jensen worked alongside Brandt Leibe and Christopher Wray to represent Johnson & Johnson in a multi-year, multi-agency False Claims Act case; a landmark settlement was agreed in November 2013. The team’s reach expands into other areas too; FCPA investigations continue to be a major source of work, and it is also handling criminal tax cases. Other major developments in 2013 include the addition of several new partners, including Gary Grindler who re-joined the team following his tenure at the DOJ where he had been the acting deputy attorney general and chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder; he joins the Washington DC office, where Zachary Harmon and ‘great advocate and very sharp lawyer’ Courtney Trombly are also based. The name to note in the New York office is Andrew Hruska, who is ‘very bright, methodical and has excellent credibility with regulators’.

Very good boutiqueLankler Siffert & Wohl LLP is based in New York and enjoys a solid reputation for representing individuals. Its client base is formed primarily of senior executives and board members, though the team also receives instructions from institutional clients as well as other professionals from various industries. The team’s workload includes insider trading, criminal antitrust, criminal tax and commodities and immigration fraud. Among its ‘superstars’ are John Siffert, Frank Wohl and Daniel Gitner, who is particularly praised for his ‘subject matter expertise’ and ‘responsiveness’. Other names to note include Helen Gredd, who acts for clients facing charges of market manipulation, auditor misconduct and environmental law violations, as well as other white-collar matters, and John Wing whose experience extends to bank fraud, FCPA violations and serious felonies.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s attorneys are lauded for providing ‘results-oriented advice’ and ‘consistently superb results’. The firm leverages its offices in the US, Asia and Europe to put into action a comprehensive global response to multi-jurisdictional investigations, particularly within the FCPA area, which continues to be a mainstay of the firm’s practice. Within this space, Fredric Firestone in Washington DC maintains an active practice, advising clients on anti-corruption compliance and conducting internal investigations; he is praised for his ‘expertise in the area of international compliance and his understanding of business needs’. As well as its international capabilities, the team has experience handling trials across the US; demonstrating this is the team’s list of mandates in the False Claims Act space in 2013, which spread across Utah, Illinois, Texas and Arizona. For one client, Boston-based Michael Kendall and David Rosenbloom in Chicago have handled civil antitrust suits, qui tam cases and government investigations. Kendall is ‘unfailingly calm, practical, and very innovative’; Rosenbloom is ‘smart’, ‘strategic’ and ‘extremely knowledgeable’.

Healthcare fraud and FCPA-related litigation continue to form a sizeable portion of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP’s workload, although the team is also handling a large number of internal investigations, many of which have arisen out of whistleblower allegations. The practice primarily receives instructions from institutional firm clients, although it also occasionally represents individuals and audit committees. For a client in the biopharmaceutical industry, the team recently handled a number of False Claims Act suits alleging off-label promotion of two drugs. With a number of partners spread across the Philadelphia, Washington DC and New York offices, the team is ‘able to field deep teams on matters’ as required by the case in hand. The names to note are Philadelphia-based Eric Sitarchuk who is recommended for white-collar and government investigations due to her ‘extensive experience’, George Terwilliger in Washington DC, and San Francisco-based Susan Resley, who is ‘skilled in the specialized issues that arise in SEC enforcement matters’.

With a ‘deep roster of former federal prosecutors’, Morrison & Foerster LLP is ‘very good at managing multi-jurisdictional investigations that involve multiple regulators’. While healthcare and financial services litigation and investigations continue to generate work, the team is also widening its remit to include advice on export control and sanctions. Adam Hoffinger, who co-chairs the practice from Washington DC, is considered an ‘aggressive trial advocate and someone who can effectively represent individuals’. He worked in a team from that office which was instructed by the Chapter 11 trustee of MF Global, Louis Freeh, to conduct an internal investigation which necessitated extensive accounting analyses and interviews of witnesses both in the US and overseas. On the West Coast, ‘excellent communicator’ Paul Friedman, in the San Francisco office, worked alongside Palo Alto-based Eugene Illovsky to represent UPS in a criminal probe into illegal online pharmacies, and Dan Marmalefsky in Los Angeles is acting for a prominent attorney in an appeal against his conviction for federal conspiracy and wiretapping. The key contacts in New York are Carl Loewenson and Lawrence Gerschwer.

West Coast-based Munger, Tolles & Olson’s ‘small’ but ‘very strong’ group has experience defending clients facing investigations by various regulators and state and federal agencies. As well as its expertise in accounting and bank fraud and violations of the FCPA and False Claims Act, the team also handles public corruption, IP and environmental law cases. In its Los Angeles headquarters, the key players include Brad Brian, who has extensive experience conducting internal investigations, and former assistant US attorneys Gregory Weingart, Sean Eskovitz and Bart Williams. Luis Li’s broad practice encompasses securities class action litigation, accounting fraud and conspiracy cases, and environmental violation investigations. Jerome Roth is the key contact in San Francisco.

The broad scope of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s expertise in white-collar issues mirrors its diverse client base, which includes national and international companies and individuals from a variety of industries. For one client in the financial services sphere, a San Francisco-based team led by Walter Brown has handled class action lawsuits, government investigations and litigation, including, on the eve of trial, a settlement with the SEC. Sacramento-based McGregor Scott, whose ‘expertise as a former elected district attorney is invaluable’, successfully defended a healthcare company based in California against felony and misdemeanour criminal charges which could have seen the company barred from Medicare and subsequently out of business. In Los Angeles, Mark Mermelstein and ‘top-notch’ practice head Mark Beck are working alongside teams on the East Coast to represent a Chinese oil and gas company against high-value claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Alien Tort Statute, and Californian tort law. Other key partners include antitrust expert Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey in San Francisco and Sacramento-based Courtney Linn who is practiced in asset forfeiture and seizure issues.

With a ‘significant presence’ on the West Coast already well established, 2013 saw Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP increasing its resources, with four significant hires to its Washington DC office, including Juan Morillo from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Praised for its ‘outstanding responsiveness’ and ‘practical advice’, the firm ‘operates at a very high level’. A number of recent highlights have been in the healthcare fraud space, including representing Novartis in two False Claims Act cases concerning alleged kickbacks to pharmacies; these were led by Faith Gay, who is based in the New York office and recommended for her ‘intelligence’ and ‘persistence’. Ongoing matters for the team include acting for Johnson & Johnson and one of its subsidiaries in both a federal criminal investigation and a qui tam suit for alleged off-label marketing of a drug. The team’s broad expertise in white-collar matters also takes in anti-corruption, securities fraud and criminal environmental cases; for Home Depot, James Asperger and Duane Lyons in Los Angeles recently negotiated a favorable settlement following a two-year investigation into alleged violations of environmental regulations. Washington DC-based William Burck is taking a leading role in representing a group of Swiss banks in the DOJ’s disclosure program, and also has expertise in congressional inquiries.

The ongoing activity in the financial services arena has ensured a steady workload for Shearman & Sterling LLP; the team is currently representing several financial institutions in the sprawling LIBOR and TIBOR investigations and continues to advise the independent directors of J.P. Morgan on issues connected to the ‘London Whale’ losses. FCPA is a mainstay of the practice, and the addition of Claudius Sokenu to the New York office from Arnold & Porter LLP served to strengthen the team’s capabilities in this buoyant area. Other areas in which the team is active are antitrust, where it can draw on resources in Europe – particularly the Brussels office – and accounting fraud and insider trading cases. A team including Stephen Fishbein and John Nathanson in New York are representing a former fund manager in his appeal against conviction for insider trading and conspiracy. San Francisco-based Patrick Robbins acted for an individual charged with money laundering and mail fraud for his involvement in an alleged scheme aimed at defrauding investors; after pleading guilty they were able to obtain a significantly shorter sentence than the guideline range.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP acts for clients facing investigations by the DOJ, SEC, FINRA and the CFTC, covering a broad range of areas from criminal antitrust to insider trading. The practice continues to see a strong flow of market manipulation cases, particularly within the commodities space, an area in which the team is well versed. The client base stretches across the financial services, technology and energy sectors, and includes names such as CBS and CEDC. The firm’s international footprint sees it well-positioned to assist international clients with issues spanning both the US and foreign jurisdictions; for a client in the pharmaceutical sector, the team is currently handling both an internal investigation and government investigations into possible FCPA violations in Eastern Europe. The ‘patient and collaborativeSteven Tyrrell heads the practice from Washington DC; he is a focal point for praise due to his ability to ‘strike a deal which makes sense for the client’. In the New York office, Christopher Garcia and Jonathan Polkes are the key contacts.

Winston & Strawn LLP’s expanding team, which saw growth at both the partner and associate level in 2013, impresses clients with its ‘quality of work’ and ‘overall subject matter expertise’. FCPA-related investigations continue to generate work for the team, and often take on an increasing level of complexity as countries outside of the US start to enact or update their own anti-corruption legislation. The team also saw an uptick in healthcare fraud investigations; for one client, Omnicare, New York-based Suzanne Jaffe Bloom handled parallel civil and criminal investigations as well as qui tam litigation. Among the team’s individual clients are a former congressman charged with misuse of campaign funds, who was defended by Chicago-based Dan Webb, a very well-known figure in the white-collar arena. Alongside him in the Chicago office is Daniel Rubinstein; together they acted for a former senior executive of an insurance company who faced charges for fraud and conspiracy. The practice is led by Robb Adkins in San Francisco, an ‘excellent strategist’ who ‘speaks with a lot of credibility’.

Zuckerman Spaeder is a ‘very nice boutique’; its already sizeable team has continued to ‘grow substantially’ and includes ‘some very well-known people’. With a focus on litigation, the team brings to bear a broad range of expertise across the full range of white-collar matters. Particularly renowned in the public corruption arena, the team is well-versed in congressional hearings; such investigations are mainstays of William Taylor’s work. Within the healthcare space, the team handles criminal investigations, qui tam lawsuits, and provides regulatory advice. Its experience representing individuals charged with violating export sanctions with countries such as Sudan and China is also notable. Key figures include New York-based Paul Shechtman, who has expertise across insider trading, healthcare fraud, insurance fraud and criminal antitrust, and Eric Delinsky, whose experience includes defending clients against securities fraud charges and in multi-jurisdictional FCPA investigations. Graeme Bush’s broad practice includes SEC enforcement action and investigations, and former judge in the Southern District of New York Barbara Jones handles internal investigations and corporate compliance from the New York office. All named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s roots in Washington DC means it often represents government contractors in fraud and conspiracy cases, though it also has significant resources in New York. The firm adopts a multi-disciplinary approach, which sees the white-collar team working in conjunction with partners across the FDA and healthcare, government contracts and financial services groups. Its established reputation in both civil and criminal antitrust means that it continues to attract mandates in highly publicized cases such as the DOJ’s sprawling investigation into the auto-parts industry; within this space, department head John Nassikas and James Cooper are currently acting for various automobile part manufacturers. Individual clients include a physician, who Kirk Ogrosky is representing in a high-profile political scandal being investigated by various agencies including the FBI into alleged healthcare fraud and public integrity issues. Other key partners include criminal immigration enforcement expert Baruch Weiss and, in the New York office, Marcus Asner, who is representing an international company in an investigation by US and foreign authorities into operations in several countries across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Central America.

Baker Botts L.L.P. has an ‘extremely strong white-collar practice’ that is praised for its ‘timely’ service. Despite a number of departures in 2013, the core of the team remains steady, with the majority of its strength emanating from the Washington DC office. The team continues to see aggressive anti-corruption inquiries across various countries, and often takes on mandates from clients facing multi-jurisdictional investigations. A team of energy and white-collar partners including Mary Spearing continue to represent Cobalt International Energy in investigations by the DOJ and SEC into a drilling project off the coast of the Republic of Angola. In another recent highlight, Julia Guttman took the lead role in representing the CFO of a major bank in a securities class action brought by an investor. Other names to note are Mark Miller and Randall Turk, who are heavily involved in the ongoing criminal antitrust investigation by the DOJ investigation into the auto parts industry, and practice chair Michael Barta, who is highly recommended. All named partners are based in Washington DC.

With a focus on criminal and regulatory investigations, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP is able to do an ‘exceptional job on big engagements’. Within its ranks are a number of former federal prosecutors which have an ‘excellent understanding of the internal operations and drivers of the attorneys working in the DOJ and SEC’. As well as its continued involvement in high-profile cases such as the defense of Halliburton in a criminal investigation connected to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the team has also been busy with new mandates including representing a prominent neurologist in an insider trading case. For this client, practice head Marc Mukasey successfully negotiated a cooperation agreement whereby the individual will not be prosecuted. Mukasey receives praise for his ability to ‘quickly focus on the key issues and develop appropriate litigation strategies’. Alongside him in the New York office is Philip Bezanson, who is handling civil litigation and multi-agency investigations for a private investment group in relation to ‘pay to play’ complaints. Also recommended, in the Washington DC office, is Richard Beckler, whose far-reaching expertise takes in antitrust, bid-rigging, FCPA and procurement fraud.

At BuckleySandler LLP, David Krakoff has ‘assembled a great team’, which is particularly well-known for its work within the financial services space; he and James Parkinson receive praise for their ‘practical and business-orientated approach’ and ‘outstanding professional judgment’. Krakoff represented a senior executive from an international bank in the LIBOR investigations by US and UK agencies, and other ongoing cases with an international element include a data privacy case in Italy where Samuel Buffone is acting for executives of a leading technology corporation, and an SEC investigation into accounting practices where Christopher Regan and Thomas Sporkin are representing a British accountant. The group has also been busy handling international cartel and criminal environmental cases, as well as FCPA-related matters; the latter being another area in which the team has ‘deep and relevant experience’. New York-based Andrew Schilling and Benjamin Klubes are leading a team representing several financial institutions in investigations into mortgage lending and foreclosure practices under both FIRREA and the False Claims Act. All named partners are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

Operating primarily from its Washington DC office, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP’s white-collar practice covers a lot of ground not only in terms of the breadth of the practice, but also in its geographical reach. For Velocity Shares, the team handled SEC and FINRA investigations as well as three separate arbitrations in Maryland, Texas and California. Tax investigations are a key area of expertise; Raymond Banoun represented various international banks in disclosures and regulatory matters, Adam Lurie is advising a foreign country’s finance ministry on tax compliance and dealings with the IRS, and Kenneth Wainstein is acting for a Swiss banker charged with tax evasion and conspiracy. Jodi Avergun’s former work as Chief of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section in the DOJ and, later, as the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Chief of Staff, make her well-placed to handle investigations into online pharmacy practices; she is currently representing a major public company in a grand jury investigation into the sale of prescription drugs. FCPA specialist Peter Clark acts for US and foreign companies in both internal and federal investigations.

As would be expected from a firm with a well-established global footprint, Clifford Chance is a popular choice for both US-based and foreign companies facing US enforcement issues, and enjoys particularly strong ties with international financial institutions. Illustrating this is the team’s ongoing work (since 2010) for a major global bank in investigations by multiple agencies into possible OFAC sanction violations; a resolution was agreed with no criminal penalty. Other multi-year cases in which the team is currently involved include a major False Claims Act case against a financial institution which involves novel questions concerning the statute of limitations and employer’s liability for employee’s criminal conduct. Edward O’Callaghan is working alongside partners in the London office to represent an individual in FCA investigations into JPMorgan Chase’s trading losses; and again demonstrating the prevalence of international matters, he and David Raskin are assisting partners in Frankfurt with a criminal tax investigation of a client. Both aforementioned partners are based in New York. Other key partners are based in Washington DC, including practice head David DiBari. Export control regulation expert Wendy Wysong splits her time between Washington DC and Hong Kong.

Despite being relatively small, Cooley LLP has some ‘very, very good people’, who are particularly renowned for representing individuals. With partners spread across the East and West coasts, the team is able to assist clients across the country facing investigations by both state and federal regulators. Major securities fraud cases are a key feature, and the team recently secured an acquittal for a prominent individual charged with insider trading in a highly publicized case heard in Texas. In San Diego, Michael Attanasio has broad expertise which includes criminal antitrust, conspiracy and wire fraud. Also recommended, in the New York office, are Alan Levine, who acts for household name clients in the banking sector, and William Schwartz, whose recent cases include a securities fraud case in Ohio for a multinational financial services client. In Palo Alto, Stephen Neal is the name to note; his experience extends across tax, trade secrets and government contracts.

With critical mass throughout the country, DLA Piper’s ‘knowledgeable, skilled and professional’ lawyers are well-positioned to assist clients in multi-state and multi-agency investigations across a wide spread of white-collar matters. Although some of its most high-profile cases are handled by the New York office, a significant amount of work is coming out of Seattle, where John Wolfe is based. Recent mandates include a multi-state regulatory compliance investigation into a client in the pharmaceutical sector. As would be expected from a global firm, international investigations also feature heavily. For a South African technology company, the team is handling a joint SEC and DOJ investigation into alleged corruption and bribery, while Sacramento-based Matthew Jacobs is representing an Asian company in criminal antitrust investigations by US and European authorities. Recent individual instructions include a former RMBS trader charged with fraud and making false representations by the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. In New York, the key partners are Patrick Smith who is praised for his ‘high-quality technical skills’, and the ‘pragmatic’ and ‘hardworkingJohn Hillebrecht, who understands ‘the dynamics of complex white-collar cases’. Also recommended, in the Washington DC office, are Peter Zeidenberg and Earl Silbert, who is ‘as good as they come’.

Kobre & Kim is held in high regard in the market and is particularly renowned for representing ‘key individuals’; although this ‘very fine firm’ was only formed in 2003, it has ‘grown dramatically’ and ‘has done well in expanding its footprint’. With a line-up studded with ‘several former prosecutors’, the practice handles insider trading, criminal tax, wire fraud, money laundering and asset forfeiture actions. Its international client roster includes two British citizens facing civil enforcement action by the SEC and a Greek citizen residing in Switzerland accused of conspiracy to defraud the US. For a Canadian energy trader charged with attempted market manipulation, a team of partners from across the Miami, New York and Washington DC offices successfully convinced the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that the FERC did not have jurisdiction to bring the enforcement action, which was a milestone in the turf war between the CFTC and FERC. Key members of the ‘very knowledgeable’ and ‘energetic’ team are name partners Steven Kobre and Michael Kim and the ‘terrific’ Eric Bruce, each of whom splits their time between different offices including New York. Also in New York is ‘top-notch’ lawyer Sean Casey who is praised for his ‘creative approach’. In Washington DC, Scott McCulloch is highlighted for his ‘patience’ and ‘responsiveness’.

The ‘exceptional white-collar practice’ at Mayer Brown saw an uptick in FCPA-related work, acting for a number of companies in internal investigations where external regulators are not yet involved. The arrival of a new partner to each of the firm’s Washington DC, Chicago and New York offices bolstered its strength. Two recent cases, which illustrate the diversity of the practice, are negotiating a settlement with the government for a publicly traded company for whistleblower complaints brought under the False Claims Act where the 13 different states and localities’ claims were dismissed without payment; and Chicago-based William Michael represented an individual who was involved in a large Ponzi scheme in which over 12 defendants received custodial sentences; through the individual’s cooperation and testimony, she was sentenced to probation only. Also in the Chicago office is ‘excellent trial lawyerVincent Connelly, who ‘remains cool under pressure’. Praise is also leveled at Washington DC-based Kelly Kramer, who is ‘a tremendous legal mind and tenacious advocate’; he and his team are ‘able to engage in rigorous defense in the courtroom’. Laurence Urgenson joined from Kirland & Ellis.

Washington DC-based Miller & Chevalier Chartered is held in high regard in the FCPA space, where much of its work is centered. Recent cases in point are a cross-border investigation by both US and UK regulators into an energy company which the team represents, and a sprawling multi-jurisdictional FCPA investigation by the DOJ and SEC in which James Bensfield and Andrew Wise are representing a former senior executive. Clients benefit from the broad language skills of many members of the group; for one longstanding client being investigated for attempted extortion and bribery in Turkey and the Middle East, litigation chair Mark Rochon put together a team which included Arabic-speaking FCPA specialist Lamia Matta. Other areas keeping the team busy include criminal antitrust and criminal tax. Thomas Zehnle recently represented an attorney who had been charged with criminal conspiracy and tax obstruction; following a four-week trial in Ohio, the individual was cleared of all charges. Also in the team is Barry Pollack who is often retained by individuals facing complex and politically sensitive investigations surrounding issues such as the disclosure of classified information or public corruption.

At Paul Hastings LLP, ‘each member of the team brings something unique to the table’, ensuring a breadth of expertise in white-collar matters catering to the firm’s broad client roster, which includes household names in the financial services, real estate and aviation sectors. Its work in the FCPA space is well known, where it handles internal and government investigations, and provides global compliance advice; Timothy Dickinson in Washington DC is a notable figure in this area. Securities-related work is also prevalent, particularly within the Los Angeles office, where Thomas Zaccaro is based. He and Thomas O’Brien are acting for the former CEO of a Californian technology company in a major insider trading case currently pending trial. In New York, Kenneth Breen, whose ‘experience as a former prosecutor is invaluable’, successfully persuaded the SEC to close its investigation into a hedge fund adviser without bringing charges. Recent years have seen a steady increase in False Claims Act work, while criminal tax and antitrust investigations have also kept the team busy. Also in the New York office is Maria Douvas, who is praised for her ‘subject matter knowledge’ as well as her ability to provide a ‘healthy dose of realism’.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP continues to play an active role in major white-collar investigations, maintaining an active practice in FCPA, securities fraud and False Claims Act cases, while also taking on an increasing number of mandates in criminal tax and antitrust. In New York, Mark Hellerer has been particularly busy handling securities fraud investigations, with recent instructions coming from a hedge fund manager, a telecoms company and an individual based in Taiwan. Particular praise is leveled at William Sullivan in Washington DC for his ‘strong advocacy skills’ as well as his ‘credibility and experience’, which carry ‘tremendous weight when dealing with government regulators and enforcement attorneys’. He and Derek Andreson are entrusted by individuals and companies targeted in federal investigations where a negative outcome means heavy fines, individual indictment or reputational damage. Also in the Washington DC office is Thomas Hill; lauded as an ‘absolutely first-rate lawyer’, he acts for government contractors, nuclear energy companies and healthcare organizations. The name to note in San Francisco is Marc Axelbaum; his ‘suberb industry knowledge’, ‘diligence’ and ‘intelligence’ earn him particular praise from clients.

Under the leadership of Robert Cleary, Proskauer Rose LLP’s white-collar defense and investigations group handles internal investigations and multi-agency criminal, civil and administrative actions. It has seen a particular increase not only in the prevalence of SEC enforcement but also in the complexity and scale of cases which are being handled, which translates to a heavy workload for the practice. Alongside Cleary in the New York office are deputy practice head Dietrich Snell and appellate specialist Mark Harris. The experience and aptitude for trial work is a key feature of the practice; individual and corporate clients from across the financial services, energy and sports entertainment sectors turn to the firm to avail of its significant trial and appellate experience. As many of the team’s mandates have an international element, the partners often work in conjunction with lawyers across the globe. In one recent matter, the team acted for an individual from a central Asian country in an extradition proceeding in the UK for charges of obstruction of justice and insider trading; the US criminal case has since been dismissed and the extradition request withdrawn. For a Latin American client in a civil forfeiture action, the team achieved a major victory when it secured a voluntary dismissal from the government and the release of all seized funds.

Providing ‘practical and to-the-point advice’, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP’s lawyers have a broad range of expertise in white-collar matters and are a ‘pleasure to work with’. Since joining the firm in January 2013, Lisa Prager and Barry Bohrer have taken on key roles in some of the team’s most sensitive work, often involving multiple agencies and defendants. For Bohrer, recent cases include representing a defendant in a securities class action against Goldman Sachs surrounding two CDO offerings which were allegedly part of a scheme to offload its subprime risk. With a large number of clients in the investment management sector, the team is often called upon for regulatory matters and investigations by FINRA. For one client, Howard Schiffman is handling wide-ranging FINRA investigations into anti-money laundering and supervisory control issues. The team is also seeing an uptick in investigations by the CTFC; the ‘very professional and knowledgeableSung-Hee Suh is currently representing a global company in an investigation by the CFTC and SEC following whistleblower allegations. Other key figures in the team include Martin Perschetz and the ‘tenaciousGary Stein; together they are representing a company in the beverage industry in a multi-year securities class action case. All named partners are based in New York, though Schiffman, Prager and Suh also maintain offices in Washington DC.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s government and internal investigations practice offers ‘exceptional industry knowledge’ and provides ‘excellent results’. Although the team is spread across several offices, it is in the New York office that many of its ‘very strong lawyers’ reside. Among them are Joshua Levine and Mark Stein, who represented the special committee of a technology company in an internal investigation into alleged tax evasion and self-dealing. Also in the New York office is ‘practical and business-minded’ co-chair Paul Curnin; he and Nicholas Goldin were sought by various individual clients for representation in investigations by the DOJ and SEC connected to the financial crisis. Key partners in the Washington DC office include Peter Bresnan and Cheryl Scarboro; the pair recently advised a financial institution on an SEC investigation into possible anti-corruption violations in Asia. James Kreissman is based in the Palo Alto office and handles a significant number of cases involving China, including an internal investigation of a company’s operations in China following allegations of accounting misconduct.

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • The Constitutional Court abolished the Article 16/5 of the Decree Law numbered 556

    The Constitutional Court abolished the Article 16/5 of the Decree Law numbered 556.
  • Assignment of Trademarks and Licensing of Trademarks in Turkey

    I. Introduction
  • Austria: Amendments to Chemicals Act and Biocidal Products Act

    On March 5 2015 Austria's agriculture, forestry, environment and water economics minister presented a draft law to amend the Chemicals Act and the Biocidal Products Act. The proposed amendments are the last steps towards the final standardisation of the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures in accordance with EU Regulation 1272/2008 (the 'CPL Regulation'). The amendments simplify the term 'toxin' and shift the existing toxin purchase permit system to a simplified system of toxin purchase certificates. Read more...
  • Poland: Traders' Obligations under the New Consumers Protection Act

    The new consumers protection act (" Act ") which came into force on 25 December 2014 changed the obligations that traders (entrepreneurs) have with regard to the execution of sales contracts with consumers (relating to both goods and services) and warranty rules relating to the provided goods. read more...
  • Tax Legislation Overhaul Proposed in the Republic of Srpska

    Significant changes to the tax regulations in the Republic of Srpska (“RS”) are expected in the coming months. On March 6, the National Assembly of RS passed amendments to the Law on Fiscal Cash Registries. In addition, Parliament approved the Government’s proposals on amendments to several important tax laws, including corporate income tax, personal income tax, social security contributions and property tax. Proposed changes to the laws governing accounting and financial audits have also been approved. These changes are intended to clarify and strengthen existing tax rules, widen the tax base and introduce more discipline in the payment of tax, but also to reduce the tax burden for businesses in order to stimulate economic growth.
  • Careless limit values threaten the Mining Industry

    By lawyer/partner Pia Pehrson and associates Pelle Stubelius and Ludvig Gustafson, Foyen Advokatfirma
  • Wage moderation - The Act providing the new remuneration margin has been published

    On Thursday 30 April 2015, the Act establishing the maximum margin for the evolution of remuneration costs for 2015 and 2016 was published in the Belgian Official Gazette and entered into force.
  • Installment Sales

    The Regulation About Installment Sales ( "The Regulation" ) entered into force by being published in the Official Gazette on 14 th  January 2015. Although the title is 'installment sales'; the main subject of the Regulation is financial leasing agreements. It is important to be careful not to confuse the installment sales with the prepaid sales. In prepaid sales the buyer have the possession of the sold movable property after completing the payment. However in installment sales the buyer gets the property immediately and then makes the payment. Moreover the sales made by credit cards are not the subject of this Regulation.
  • Protection of Creditors and Employees and Personal Liabilities of Shareholders in Mergers

    Synergies and increase in the assets of the merging companies are aimed at mergers. However, a merger may at the same time result in the increase of the liabilities of the merging companies. Further, in some cases the financial standing of the absorbed company in a merger may not even show positive figures thus such a merger may present a potential risk on the creditors of especially the surviving company. Due to the fact that creditors of the merging entities do not have a veto right against a merger, there arises the need for a specific protection tool for the creditors. A merger may also negatively affect the employees of the merging entities, again especially the ones of the absorbed company. On the other hand, "over-protection" may defeat the purpose of the merger concept so a fairly balanced protection mechanics is essential. This article focuses on the means of protection of creditors and employees, and personal liabilities of shareholders in mergers, as regulated by the Turkish Commercial Code ("TCC").
  • The Gas Pipelines, the Cold War and the Black Sea Region

    Since the end of the Cold War, the Black Sea region has gained even greater political and economic importance and has become the subject of a dominance battle between world powers including the United States of America, Russia and the most influential member states of the European Union. While these world powers battle for dominance, local players such as Turkey and Ukraine have also gained importance and have used their geopolitical position to promote themselves as key international policy players.

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