The Legal 500

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United States: Antitrust

Cartel
Cartel - ranked: tier 5

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLP’s longstanding experience in the criminal antitrust arena makes it well placed to advise on investigations in the US and internationally, with recent mandates involving financial benchmarking, automotive parts and ocean shipping services, among other areas. John Schmidtlein’s broad practice includes investigations brought by the DOJ, the FTC and state attorneys general. Jonathan Pitt and David Zinn are other names to note.

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

Williams & Connolly LLP

Core pillars of Williams & Connolly LLP’s practice include civil litigation associated with criminal antitrust investigations, class actions, MDLs and individual inter-competitor lawsuits. Recent mandates for the Washington DC-based practice have spanned industries such as food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, and financial services. Dane Butswinkas, John Schmidtlein and others recently acted for AstraZeneca in a First Circuit appeal, In Re Nexium (Esomeprazole Magnesium) Antitrust Litigation. In the automotive arena, Schmidtlein and Samuel Bryant Davidoff are representing occupant safety systems manufacturer Takata Corporation in a price-fixing and bid-rigging MDL in the Eastern District of Michigan. Jonathan Pitt, David Zinn, Steven Kuney and Carl Metz are also recommended.

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United States: Dispute resolution

Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state)
Appellate: Supreme Court (federal and state) - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Appellate: courts of appeals - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLP’s group has a ‘strong practice in the Supreme Court’. ‘Star’ and ‘exceptional oral advocate’ Kannon Shanmugam argued for the petitioner in Dietz v Bouldin at the Supreme Court and Neustar v FCC at the DC Circuit. Elsewhere, Shanmugam represented Jesse Litvak in reversing his conviction for securities fraud and other offenses allegedly committed during his time as a Jefferies & Co trader, and defended Bank of America against the alleged fraudulent sale of loans of a lesser quality than contractually agreed upon to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Shanmugan also secured a victory at the Federal Circuit for AstraZeneca in a case against Mylan Pharmaceuticals regarding the proper jurisdiction for a patent infringement suit. Grant Geyerman persuaded the First Circuit to affirm the ruling in CVS’ favor against allegations of over-billing Medicare and Medicaid for generic drugs. Allison Jones Rushing and Amy Mason Saharia were made partner.

Leading lawyers

Kannon Shanmugam - Williams & Connolly LLP

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Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense
Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLPdoes an excellent job of aggressively defending its clients’. The firm represented Bank of America in a successful appeal against the award of $1.3bn in damages for alleged FIRREA violations prior to the financial crisis. It also acted for bond trader Jesse Litvak in the success appeal against his conviction for securities fraud and other offenses. Other recent highlights include securing a deferred prosecution agreement for MoneyGram following an investigation into its anti-money laundering controls, and securing the dismissal of charges against Kevin Brian Cox, the owner of True Wireless, when he was charged with defrauding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). David Zinn and Joseph Petrosinelli chair the Washington DC-based practice, which also includes Brendan Sullivan, Kannon Shanmugam and Tobin Romero.

Leading lawyers

Brendan Sullivan - Williams & Connolly LLP

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Financial services: litigation
Financial services: litigation - ranked: tier 5

Williams & Connolly LLP

Under the leadership of Dane Butswinkas and John Villa, Washington DC-based litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP regularly acts for banks and large money managers on bet-the-company cases. Enu Mainigi successfully defended Bank of America at trial and on appeal to the Second Circuit in a DOJ action brought against it concerning alleged fraudulent loan origination practices. Praised for his ‘unmatched breadth, knowledge and experience’, trial lawyer par-excellence Brendan Sullivan is regularly engaged in financial services litigation, as is the ‘excellent’ Ryan Scarborough, who has handled nearly a dozen FDIC receivership cases. The firm was also strengthened on the consumer finance front by the return, in October 2016, of counsel Rachel Rodman, following her four-year tenure at the CFPB.

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General commercial disputes
General commercial disputes - ranked: tier 1

Williams & Connolly LLP

From its office in Washington DC, litigation firm Williams & Connolly LLP handles complex disputes in forums across the US. It saw an uptick in international arbitration as a preferred form of dispute resolution in sensitive and high-value cases; in a recent highlight, Kevin Hardy and John Buckley represented Samsung Electronics in an ICC arbitration against Nokia in a case concerning the value of large standard essential patents (SEP) portfolios. Other highlights included Joseph Petrosinelli and John Joiner’s representation of Pfizer in a product liability MDL in the Northern District of California, and the firm’s successful representation of Bank of America at trial and on appeal to the Second Circuit against claims brought by the government that it had defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Enu Mainigi took a lead role. Robert Van Kirk and Dane Butswinkas co-head the practice, which also counts AstraZeneca, UBS and Omnicare among its clients.

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International litigation
International litigation - ranked: tier 2

Williams & Connolly LLP

Washington DC-based litigation boutique Williams & Connolly LLP is ‘outstanding for international disputes’ and defends both US and international corporations, individuals and governments and government agencies in litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings, including FCPA investigations. Robert Van Kirk is leading advice to The Carlyle Group on a range of matters, including a series of securities class actions brought against Carlyle and several of its officers in the US, and in claims that have been filed or threatened in jurisdictions around the world, such as Kuwait, the Netherlands and Guernsey. The ‘highly diligent, focused and responsive’ Ana Reyes co-heads the team alongside the ‘commercially aware’ Peter Kahn. Reyes is leading advice to the former president of Bolivia in a US civil litigation case.

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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

Jointly headed by the ‘thoughtful’ Heidi Hubbard and Joseph Petrosinelli, Williams & Connolly LLP’s ‘first-rate’ department has deep trial strength in addition to its capabilities as national coordinating and resolution counsel. Hubbard successfully obtained summary judgment for Pfizer in Zoloft litigation brought by two plaintiffs alleging birth defects caused by use of the drug. ‘Extraordinary strategist’ Douglas Marvin has been serving as trial counsel to Merck & Co in remaining Vioxx personal injury litigation transferred from the MDL. Other clients include Takeda, Bayer and Daiichi Sankyo.

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 is ‘one of the few firms outside New York that is having a big impact in securities litigation’. It is known for its robust style that stems from its ‘deep expertise and a focus on litigation that means, right from the start, cases are prepared for trial rather than settlement’. Veteran litigator Brendan Sullivan led the defense of Bank of America in a case brought by the US government that alleged that it defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by selling loans that breached contractual warranties. On appeal, a $1.3bn penalty awarded in district court was overturned. Robert Van Kirk acted for The Carlyle Group in connection with the failure of the $22bn MBS vehicle Carlyle Capital Corporation in securities class action and derivatives claims seeking over $1bn in damages. Kannon Shanmugam is advising Nasdaq on In re Facebook IPO Securities and Derivative Litigation. Dane Butswinkas and Steven Farina reduced settlement from $3.7bn to $1.5bn in Lawrence E Jaffe Pension Plan v Household International Inc. Hackney Wiegmann is also recommended.

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United States: Government

Government contracts
Government contracts - ranked: tier 4

Williams & Connolly LLP

A firm focused on dispute resolution, Williams & Connolly LLP handles the gamut of contentious government contracts work, as well as criminal and civil investigations. In a recent qui tam case, the group defended Omnicare against a relator concerning the delayed collection of accounts. Other clients include Booz Allen Hamilton, Pfizer and WW Grainger. Kevin Hodges and Edward Reddington are the names to note.

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United States: Media, technology and telecoms

Media and entertainment
Media and entertainment - ranked: tier 3

Williams & Connolly LLP

The ‘superb’ team of ‘top-notch litigators’ at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington DC ‘responds instantly with efficient and effective advice’ and includes ‘negotiators that are at the top of their game and are tough but always pleasant’. The department ‘shines in First Amendment and libel disputes’, regularly representing newspapers, magazines, publishers, journalists and authors. Recent highlights include acting for ABC and three of its journalists in a defamation and libel case arising from several World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer news reports and representing multiple Washington Post journalists who were subpoenaed to identify confidential sources. The ‘sophisticated’ Thomas Hentoff and ‘stellar thinker’ Kevin Baine lead the group, and Robert Barnett is noted for his work advising authors, journalists and political figures on book deals; his high-profile client list includes President George W Bush, James Patterson and multiple members of Congress. Clients single out ‘one-in-a-generation trial lawyer’ Dane Butswinkas.

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