The Legal 500

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 4

Williams & Connolly LLP

The credibility of Williams & Connolly LLP’s practice is illustrated by its work for names such as Bank of America, Celgene and Intel. It also acts for individual corporate executives. The firm handles a mix of criminal and civil antitrust investigations as well as litigation. Reflective of the breadth of its experience, its team is currently assisting clients with investigations into automotive parts, Libor, forex and ocean shipping services, among other areas. John Schmidtlein, Jonathan Pitt and David Zinn are recommended.

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Civil litigation/class actions: defense
Civil litigation/class actions: defense - ranked: tier 5

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLP’s Nicholas Boyle is ‘an exceptional orator, who is able to reduce complex legal matters to an accessible and persuasive narrative’. Also highly regarded in the Washington DC-based team is ‘very creative litigator’ Bryan Wilson. A team led by Dane Butswinkas and John Schmidtlein is defending Celgene against a lawsuit brought by Mylan - and in a separate putative class action brought by indirect purchasers - over Celgene’s alleged attempts to delay the development of generic versions of Thalomid and Revlimid. Heidi Hubbard and others are acting as lead trial counsel to Endo Pharmaceuticals in proceedings at the Northern District of California over a 2012 patent settlement agreement between Endo and Watson Pharmaceuticals, which is allegedly anti-competitive. Schmidtlein heads the antitrust practice with Jonathan Pitt. Carl Metz is recommended.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate
Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Appellate: supreme courts (states and federal) - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team is ‘always responsive, with extraordinary writing skills and second-to-none strength in advocacy’. The group successfully handled two appeals in the US Supreme Court pertaining to the interpretation of the Fair Debt Practices Act: Henson v Santander, and Midland Funding v Johnson. Former practice head Kannon Shanmugam moved to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in January 2019, but before his departure he argued for the respondent in Henson v Santander and the petitioner in Midland Funding v Johnson, supported by Allison Jones Rushing. In another US Supreme Court highlight, Shanmugam, supported by Amy Mason Saharia, argued for the petitioner in Digital Realty v Somers, concerning applicability of the anti-retaliation provision in the Dodd-Frank Act to individuals who failed to report securities law violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission. John Williams is also noted. The loss of Shanmugam was offset by the return of Lisa Blatt from Arnold & Porter, also in January 2019.

Leading lawyers

Lisa Blatt - Williams & Connolly LLP

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Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to corporates - ranked: tier 3

Williams & Connolly LLP

Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense: advice to individuals - ranked: tier 1

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLP’s Washington DC-based team has earned ‘a lot of credibility as trial lawyers’ through ‘consistently strong’ representations of CEOs, senior politicians, executives and government officials before the DOJ and SEC. The firm also acts for mid-sized corporates and public institutions in a variety of matters involving FCPA, anti-kickback, AML and securities fraud laws. Having successfully represented MoneyGram in an AML investigation leading to a deferred prosecution, David Zinn is now handling the client’s interactions with its Monitor and the DOJ. Enu Mainigi is acting as lead and national counsel for Cardinal Health in investigations, litigation and congressional investigations relating to the company’s distributions of opioid medication. The distinguished Emmet Flood is recommended for individual representations alongside Joseph Petrosinelli, Kevin Downey and Lance Wade. The well-respected Brendan Sullivan is a key practitioner for corporate representations.

Leading lawyers

Brendan Sullivan - Williams & Connolly LLP

Next generation lawyers

Kevin Downey - Williams & Connolly LLP

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Financial services litigation
Financial services litigation - ranked: tier 4

Williams & Connolly LLP

Leveraging its reputation as a litigation powerhouse, Williams & Connolly LLP provides ‘high-quality’ and ‘trial-ready’ representation to an impressive roster of clients that includes Barclays, UBS and Fifth Third Bank across the gamut of private litigation and agency-led enforcement actions. Ryan Scarborough and John Villa have a ‘wealth of litigation experience’ and are representing TCF National Bank in the first litigated CFPB enforcement action to be brought against a bank relating to its alleged violation of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. Beth Stewart has handled numerous matters for Bank of America and, along with Enu Mainigi, has a pivotal role on behalf of its Countrywide subsidiary in defending claims brought by Ambac related to its insurance of Countrywide RMBS. Praised for his ‘unmatched breadth of knowledge and experience’ and ‘excellent ability to address key factors and succinctly identify the pertinent issues’, Brendan Sullivan regularly handles financial services-related litigation as part of his broad ranging commercial litigation offering. ‘Experienced’ trial lawyer Dane Butswinkas is also regularly involved in financial services litigation, while Rachel Rodman has an excellent pedigree for handling consumer finance disputes.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Williams & Connolly LLP

Pre-eminent litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP provides an ‘unparalleled service’ in complex commercial disputes. From its sole office in Washington DC, the partners handle breach of contract, securities, corporate and financial litigation - including disputes with billions of dollars at stake - in numerous jurisdictions throughout the country. The firm is acting as lead counsel to Cardinal Health in the sprawling opioids investigations and litigation; Enu Mainigi is the lead partner. In a significant victory for debt purchasers, Kannon Shanmugam successfully represented Santander before the US Supreme Court in a case which considered whether financial institutions which purchase consumer debt and then attempt to collect that debt are considered ‘debt collectors’ under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Nicholas Boyle is a ‘gifted business lawyer’ and Bryan Wilson is a ‘very creative litigator’. Robert Van Kirk and Dane Butswinkas jointly head the department.

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC ‘provides an unparalleled service that is worth every penny’. The firm ‘has extraordinary litigators’ and defends US and foreign corporations and individuals, foreign governments and government agencies in litigation in the US and abroad. ‘They understand the nuances of international disputes’, said one client, who also remarked that practice co-head Peter Kahn is ‘relentless in finding creative arguments’. Also recommended are practice co-head Ana Reyes, ‘creative litigator’ Bryan Wilson and ‘gifted business lawyer’ Nicholas Boyle, who is ‘always thinking two steps ahead of his adversaries’. Robert Van Kirk advised Carlyle Group in a $2bn action in the Royal Court of Guernsey arising from the collapse of Carlyle Capital Corporation.

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Leading trial lawyers
Leading trial lawyers

Dane Butswinkas - Williams & Connolly LLP

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Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense
Product liability, mass tort and class action: pharmaceuticals and medical devices - defense - ranked: tier 1

Williams & Connolly LLP

The ‘strategic and smart’ team at Washington DC-based Williams & Connolly LLPis at the top of its game and among the best of the best in this practice area’. Co-head Joseph Petrosinelli is ‘particularly good at seeing the big picture’ and co-heads the department with Heidi Hubbard. Paul Boehm stands out as a ‘top-notch trial and strategic litigation talent’. The team regularly acts as lead national counsel, trial and resolution counsel for manufacturers in the pharmaceuticals and medical devices industry. Petrosinelli and the ‘superb’ John Joiner continue to act as national counsel to Pfizer in an MDL involving cases alleging that the client’s Viagra caused plaintiffs to develop melanoma. Led by Stephen Raber, the team continues to represent Bristol-Myers Squibb in MDL cases alleging that diabetes treatments Farxiga and Xigduo cause diabetic ketoacidosis and acute kidney injury, and recently obtained dismissal of six related cases. Merck, Bayer and Medtronic are also clients of the firm. Senior counsel Douglas Marvin is another name to note.

Leading lawyers

Douglas Marvin - Williams & Connolly LLP

Joseph Petrosinelli - Williams & Connolly LLP

Next generation lawyers

Paul Boehm - Williams & Connolly LLP

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Securities litigation: defense
Securities litigation: defense - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC ‘has an excellent SEC enforcement and white-collar practice’, as well as notable strength in securities litigation. Robert Van Kirk and Steven Farina lead the group. Van Kirk and Hackney Wiegmann handled a six-month trial in the Royal Court of Guernsey that led to The Carlyle Group being fully exonerated in a $2bn action arising from the collapse of Carlyle Capital Corporation. Another highlight for Van Kirk was a class action in Texas, In re: Tenet Healthcare Corporation Securities Litigation. Farina’s caseload included West Virginia Pipe Trades Health & Welfare Fund v Medtronic, Inc, a class action relating to Medtronic’s Infuse device for the treatment of degenerative disc disease. Plaintiffs allege that they suffered substantial damages when the stock price declined after third parties published statements that were critical of the device. Kannon Shanmugam continued to advise Nasdaq on In re Facebook IPO Securities and Derivative Litigation. Veteran litigator Brendan Sullivan is also recommended.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 3

Williams & Connolly LLP

As ‘the go-to name for First Amendment advice and defamation work’, Williams & Connolly LLP counts top media companies and high-profile individuals as noteworthy clients; examples include Bloomberg, President Bill Clinton, Senator Elizabeth Warren and American Broadcasting Company. Kevin Baine and Thomas Hentoff jointly lead the Washington DC-based department. Baine’s recent highlights include defending 21st Century Fox in a defamation suit brought by a former police detective who claims he was misquoted in a news report relating to the murder of a Democratic National Committee staffer, and defending HBO and John Oliver in a defamation matter brought by Murray Energy and its CEO regarding alleged false and malicious statements made by Oliver on Last Week Tonight. Hentoff acted for Discovery Communications in a matter alleging copyright infringement, idea theft and breach of contract relating to an idea for a television program. Robert Barnett is the key contact for authors; he recently advised President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on their memoir contracts.

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