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Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

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Jonathan Polkes

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Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP


Jonathan Polkes, Co-chair of Weil’s Litigation Department, is recognized as a top securities lawyer in the U.S. He supervises investigations, regulatory and criminal matters, and securities litigation for financial services and other public companies. A former federal prosecutor, he was lead counsel to many companies involved in the financial crisis, including AIG and Lehman Brothers. He currently represents a financial institution in a variety of significant regulatory investigations and litigation, and a major insurance broker in an MDL relating to the Stanford Financial fraud, among other matters.


Haverford College (BA, 1981); New York University School of Law (JD, 1984).

United States: Dispute resolution

M&A litigation: defense

Within: M&A litigation: defense

SuperstarJohn Neuwirth and the team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York ‘consistently produce high-quality work and provide valuable advice; they are responsive, deal oriented and cost conscious, while taking client service very seriously’. Neuwirth and ‘lion of the barJoseph Allerhand lead the M&A litigation practice. Among Neuwirth’s highlights was victory in a landmark trial for Fidelity National Financial in an appraisal case in Delaware in which the deal price for its $4.2bn acquisition of Lender Processing Services was confirmed. Jonathan Polkes secured a significant victory for Archstone in a $4bn class action arising from the $22bn acquisition of Archstone-Smith Trust by affiliates of Lehman Brothers and Tishman Speyer Development Corporation in 2007; after 10 years of litigation the Colorado District Court granted summary judgment and dismissed all counts. Greg Danilow has 40 years’ experience in securities and class action litigation and is acting for Straight Path Communications in a Delaware suit relating to its $3bn acquisition by Verizon Communications.

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Securities litigation: defense

Within: Securities litigation: defense

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York is ‘responsive, business-oriented and highly knowledgeable’ and its ‘handling of complex litigation is superb’. John Neuwirth (who is ‘a tireless advocate who achieves results that speak for themselves’) and Joseph Allerhand (who is ‘a fantastic lawyer with the ability to distil complex details’) lead the practice. Neuwirth and Joshua Amsel won decisive victories for Sanofi in federal class and individual securities actions brought by CVR holders arising from the company’s statements about results of clinical trials for a multiple sclerosis drug and its prospects for FDA approval. Litigation co-chair, former federal prosecutor and ‘extraordinary trial lawyerJonathan Polkeshas an amazing track record and is easy to work with, fun and smart’. With rising star Caroline Zalka, he won a complete victory for Archstone in securities litigation valued at $4bn arising from one of the largest REIT deals in history, the $22bn acquisition of Archstone-Smith Trust by affiliates of Lehman Brothers and Tishman Speyer. Stephen Radin and Stacy Nettleton are also recommended.

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