General commercial disputes in United States
Fielding a deep bench of 'highly qualified, creative attorneys', Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP maintains its reputation as a go-to firm for some of the most complex, high-profile commercial litigation in the country. In recent highlights, Kevin Orsini and Benjamin Gruenstein secured a victory for new client Occidental Petroleum before Delaware Chancery Court against a shareholder following the company's $57bn acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum. In another industry-defining engagement, chairman and star trial attorney Evan Chesler led a team in California federal court representing Qualcomm in its long-running multibillion dollar battle with Apple, ultimately securing a widely publicized global settlement in April 2019. Other leading practitioners include David Marriott and Lauren Moskowitz, who are representing Alcon laboratories in Florida federal court against antitrust class action allegations. Lauren Kennedy, already prominent in talc tort litigation for Colgate-Palmolive, made partner in January 2019. Partners newly elected in January 2020 focusing on general commercial litigation are Michael Addis, Justin Clarke and Lauren Rosenberg.
Other key lawyers:
‘The attorneys at Cravath could work at any firm in the world. They choose to be at Cravath for the quality of the work, the clients, their partners and their associates. They know that they are expected to be the most capable, most creative, most talented and most dedicated team in any situation. They are trained in an apprentice environment, refined in the fire of live commercial situations as soon as is practicable and will always face numerous attorneys on the other side of the table. When it really matters, I want a Cravath lawyer.‘
‘The firm as a whole provides excellent, business-focused advice for managing and resolving commercial disputes. They have an amazing ability to pull the facts together in short order to produce a highly trusted outcome.‘
‘The team is completely dedicated to getting the right result for their clients. They are highly qualified, creative attorneys.’
‘Dave Marriott had total mastery of the facts of the case. Although the central issues were simple, the amount of facts amassed during a lengthy litigation was quite extensive. Dave had even the smallest detail at his fingertips at all times. He was also impressively facile during oral arguments. His argument before the NY Court of Appeals was far superior to his opponent’s performance. Lauren Moskowitz joined the team during the trial preparation phase of the case. She demonstrated an amazing ability to master the facts in a short span of time. She also proved very adept in settlement negotiations.‘
‘The attorneys I have worked with at Cravath are not only at the very high end of the spectrum with respect to creativity, intelligence and talent, but are beyond reproach with respect to personal and professional integrity and transparency with clients. Given my choice of any attorneys in the world, I’d be represented by Faiza Saeed in an M&A deal, Richard Hall in a financing or David Marriott in any complex litigation matter. With any of these individuals, I would have zero hesitation regarding advice, attention or strategy.‘
‘Evan Chesler, Wes Earnhardt and Damien Zoubek are all exceptional.’
Tesla Board of Directors
The Williams Companies
- Acting for PG&E as lead trial and coordinating counsel in over 145 lawsuits brought by property and business owners in California state courts for damages (in excess of $30bn) related to the 2017 and 2018 California wildfires.
- Defending IBM against SCO Group’s allegations of unfair competition and tortious interference in US District Court for the District of Utah.
- Representing Avon Products in lawsuit filed in New York state court alleging products were contaminated with asbestos.
- Securing a unanimous jury verdict in favor of client DRI Capital in a breach of covenant case against GSK before the Delaware Superior Court.
- Representing Tesla and its CEO and Chairman Elon Musk in a stockholder class and derivative action filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery related to Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity Corporation.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP regularly handles highly complex disputes across various industries, demonstrating particular strengths in financial services, utilities and pharmaceuticals. Its expertise in arbitration, both domestic and international, is especially noteworthy. Frances Bivens represents energy giant Con Edison in its commercial and tort matters; ongoing work includes defending the company in a number of consolidated mass tort cases in New York state courts arising from gas explosions and steam ruptures. James Rouhandeh heads the litigation department and other names to note include Benjamin Kaminetzky and Paul Spagnoletti, both of whom have extensive complex commercial litigation experience. In the financial space, Brian Weinstein continues to be active in RMBS breach of contract litigation for Morgan Stanley and is also representing the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (alongside Neil MacBride from the DC office) in multi-district litigation relating to the opioid crisis. Greg Andres rejoined the firm in 2019 from the Mueller Special Counsel office, and a key name in the Northern California office is Neal Potischman.
Other key lawyers:
Antarctica Infrastructure Partners
Drone Racing League
Healthcare Distribution Alliance
HPS Investment Partners
Murphy Oil Corporation
Sete Brasil Participações
- Winning battle for Albemarle Corporation before New York state court to have $1bn dispute moved from court to arbitration.
- Securing victory for Novo Nordisk in consolidated class action lawsuit in District of New Jersey over pricing of insulin products.
- Acting for Clearstream in breach of contract and tort case filed in US District Court for the Southern District of New York in connection with a transaction in convertible bonds.
- Representing Walmart in litigation against Tesla asserting breach of contract and negligence claims.
- Defending Murphy Oil Corporation against breach of contract allegations filed by Valero in New York state court in connection with Murphy’s sale of an oil refinery in Meraux, Louisiana to Valero.
With first-rate expertise in the healthcare and financial sectors, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP frequently handles some of the most hotly contested litigation in the country. The firm is heavily involved in opioid crisis work: team co-head Maura Monaghan represents certain former directors and shareholders of Purdue Pharma in federal multi-district litigation with projected damages in excess of $1bn. In another highlight, private equity specialist Shannon Rose Selden defended Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in a securities class action lawsuit claiming $4.4bn in damages at the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennesse. Elsewhere, team co-head Mark Goodman represented Tribune Media Company in a number of matters in Delaware and Illinois federal courts in connection with its failed merger with Sinclair Broadcasting Group. Key attorneys with expertise in insurance litigation include chair of the firm's insurance group Maeve O’Connor and Susan Reagan Gittes. Both provide excellent continuity in the insurance space following the retirement of securities and insurance expert Edwin Schallert in December 2018. Also of note is counsel Elliot Greenfield, whose practice includes defending securities class actions.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Certain former directors and shareholders of Purdue Pharma
Tribune Media Company
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
The Alavi Foundation
EmblemHealth / Group Health Incorporated
Hospital Corporation of America
Pictet et. Cie
Winged Foot Golf Club and the Board of Directors of the Winged Foot Holding Corporation
Lagoon Investment, Thema International Fund, and Thema Wise Investments
South Carolina Public Service Authority
- Representing The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Prudential Financial, TIAA, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), John Hancock, and AXA Financial, in a qui tam lawsuit alleging over $14.5 billion in damages in New York state court.
- Acting for Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries in the pending chapter 11 proceeding of Georgia-Pacific affiliate Bestwall in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina.
- Winning dismissal of a complaint filed in California Superior Court by the disgraced founder and former CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney, on behalf of Standard General.
- Representing Winged Foot Golf Club in a complex shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York.
- Acting for Christie’s in a contract dispute with the estate of Elizabeth Taylor over the cancelled sale of one of Ms. Taylor’s jewels, the Taj Mahal Diamond, in Christie’s auction of Ms. Taylor’s personal collection of art, fashion and jewelry.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
The elite commercial litigation practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP continues to attract top talent, and routinely leads on the most high-profile and high-stakes matters in the country, displaying expertise across all industries and sub-practice areas. Star litigators include California-based Theodore Boutrous, who led the defense of Swisher up to the US Supreme Court against alleged antitrust violations; Randy Mastro, who represented Chevron in a precedent-setting international arbitration dispute worth $17.9bn; and Orin Snyder, who represented the founders and early employees of Tinder in one of the largest founders cases in the history of the tech industry. In another blockbuster matter, a California-based team including Richard Doren, Daniel Swanson, Jason Lo and Winston Chan represented Taiwanese Apple contract manufacturers as part of the Apple/Qualcomm tech war which settled in April 2019. A class of nine made partners in January 2019, while throughout the year a number of lateral hires strengthened the litigation team across the board. Lawyers are New York-based unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
- Winning a unanimous defense verdict for Ottogi in an antitrust trial in US District Court for the Northern District of California, avoiding damages in excess of $500m.
- Defending Chevron in climate change lawsuits in multiple jurisdictions, including appellate level.
- Representing Facebook in all civil litigation arising out of reports of the alleged misuse of Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica and related parties.
- Acting for Amrock in alleged trade secrets dispute against data analytics start-up HouseCanary.
- Defending UMG Recordings in putative class action lawsuit filed in the Central District of California by recording artists seeking damages from UMG over the loss of master recordings in a June 1, 2008 fire.
Frequently involved in high-value, complex litigation with industry-wide repercussions, Kirkland & Ellis LLP distinguishes itself through its highly respected courtroom advocacy, and the breadth and depth of its practice. The team has particular strength in the pharmaceutical sector, alongside deep expertise in manufacturing and tech. Recently, James Hurst, Diana Watral and New York-based Patricia Carson won a unanimous defense verdict for Bristol-Myers Squibb in a 12-day trade secrets jury trial worth $600m over a cancer drug in Delaware state court. In another major highlight, Craig Primis and Erin Johnston from the DC office are representing Boeing in a trade secrets case claiming $100m in damages in the Northern District of Alabama. A key generalist lawyer working across industries is Andrew Kassof. The firm made a number of significant hires in 2019, among them former Attorney General of Illinois Lisa Madigan, and a team of three leading privacy lawyers from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in the DC and Dallas offices: Olivia Adendorff, Richard Cunningham and Sean Royall. All lawyers are Chicago-based unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Godfrey; James Hurst; Mark Holscher; Mike Brock; Andrew Kassof; Eugene Assaf; Sandra Goldstein; Stefan Atkinson; Craig Primis; Erin Johnston; Aaron Marks; Matthew Solum; Carrie Bodner; Mark Filip; Diana Watral; Patricia Carson; Andrew Bloomer; Atif Khawaja; Kristin Rose; Donna Welch
‘Deep bench in general commercial, securities and IP litigation. Very business minded and eager to understand client’s business objectives and settling lawsuits, if possible. Excellent technical and legal capabilities in all aspects of litigation and dispute resolution.’
‘Gene Assaf is smart, practical and focused on business solutions in the context of dispute resolution. Gregg LoCascio is an excellent intellectual property litigator with keen knowledge of the law balanced by alignment with his client on business goals. There is a strong bench of litigation associates, including many Supreme and Federal Appellate Court clerks with keen sense of the law who are superb writers.’
‘We go to Kirkland when we need aggressive litigators who will be our fierce advocates.’
‘Michael Williams is very tenacious. Peter Farrell is very smart and practical.‘
Barnes & Noble
Johnson & Johnson
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
Robert R. McCormick Foundation
The Cantigny Foundation
U.S. Soccer Federation, Board of Directors
- Securing a defense verdict for Abbott Laboratories in a nationwide class action filed in Minnesota federal court arising out of the recall of certain models of implantable cardiac defibrillators.
- Winning the dismissal of a data privacy consumer class action filed against Barnes and Noble in the Southern District of New York.
- Representing Blackstone Group in multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration between Blackstone and RCS MediaGroup, a major Italian media conglomerate.
- Acting for BP America in ongoing multi-district civil litigation arising out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- Representing GM in one of the largest MDLs in history arising out of the company’s voluntary recalls relating to ignition switches and power steering.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Renowned for its deep bench of highly experienced trial attorneys, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP provides comprehensive commercial litigation expertise to market-leading companies in mission-critical disputes. In a significant development in 2019, a star team including team co-heads Brad Karp and Theodore Wells, Jr capped 15 years of hard-fought litigation arising from the 2003 collapse of Parmalat with a $1bn verdict for client Citigroup. In another high-profile matter in Delaware Chancery Court, Susanna Buergel, Lewis Clayton and Andrew Gordon obtained an unprecedented verdict for healthcare company Fresenius holding that it was justified in terminating a $4.8bn merger. The practice is also well versed in securities, ERISA, antitrust and IP litigation as well as breach of contract. Robert Atkins is representing IBM in a number of significant contractual disputes. High-profile arrivals bolstering the team in 2019 include former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch in New York, regulatory and white-collar expert Jeannie Rhee from Special Counsel Mueller's office, and head of the new appellate team Kannon Shanmugam, who joined the DC office from Williams & Connolly LLP. Named partners are in New York unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrew Gordon is a superstar. Practical with great judgement. Best litigator I’ve ever worked with.‘
Barnes & Noble
MacAndrews & Forbes
National Football League
- Obtaining complete defense verdict for ExxonMobil in New York state court over climate change disclosures.
- Defending Alere in securities class action in the District of Massachusetts.
- Representing Barnes & Noble in a breach of contract and defamation lawsuit filed in New York state court by former CEO Demos Parneros.
- Acting for Becton, Dickinson and Company in an antitrust lawsuit brought by Retractable Technologies, Inc. (RTI), securing a landmark appellate victory reversing and vacating a $340 million jury.
- Defending Altice in Delaware Chancery Court against allegations that it breached a commitment in a merger agreement.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP focuses exclusively on commercial dispute resolution, and has a reputation for trial work of the highest quality. From its head office in Los Angeles, it maintains longstanding relationships with the biggest names in the tech industry, and is notable for its work in the IP space. The firm recently represented Qualcomm in its widely publicized battle with Apple; David Nelson from the Chicago office secured a victory for Qualcomm in the only patent infringement case that proceeded to jury trial in the Southern District of California. The team's expertise extends far beyond tech, however. Alongside work in various industries, it is active in the energy sector: from the Houston office, head of energy practice Karl Stern secured a $700m international arbitration judgment for Vantage Deepwater. In another highlight, Shon Morgan in LA secured a significant victory for Hyundai, successfully petitioning the Ninth Circuit of Appeals to overturn a previous unfavorable ruling arising out of a multi-district class action lawsuit. In New York, Maaren Shah is a top art law attorney. 2018 saw the departure of Faith Gay and Philippe Selendy to form Selendy & Gay. The practice saw 14 parter promotions in 2019, and a number of notable lateral hires strengthened the team across the board.
Other key lawyers:
The Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts
ResCap Liquidating Trust
Vantage Deepwater Company and Vantage Deepwater Drilling
Mountain West Series of Lockton Cos. and Lockton Partners
IBM and its subsidiary TWCProduct & Technology
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative
Washington Nationals Baseball Club
Express Scripts; Express Scripts Holding Co.
Pfizer, Merck, EMD Serono.
TMI Trust Company
International Business Machines Corporation
Phibro Trading, and Phibro Commodities (subsidiaries of Occidental Petroleum Corporation)
Standard Industries and certain of its affiliates
- Obtaining a major copyright victory in the Southern District of New York for The Andy Warhol Foundation in connection with Warhol’s portraits of Prince.
- Representing ResCap Liquidating Trust in bankruptcy litigation worth in excess of $1.1bn asserting breach of contract and indemnification.
- Securing a win in the Ninth Circuit for Mattel in trade secrets litigation against MGA Entertainment lasting more than 14 years.
- Obtaining preliminary injunction for Mountain West Series of Lockton in Delaware Chancery Court against competitor Alliant Insurance Services, in a case alleging tortious interference with contract and trade secret misappropriation.
- Representing IBM in litigation that has important implications for thousands of companies that use geolocation data collected through mobile apps for the purpose of personalized digital advertising.
Recognized for its 'world-class lawyering', Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has a leading litigation practice with wide-ranging capabilities. The firm ranks consistently among the strongest in insurance litigation. Recently, Bryce Friedman defended Travelers in class action lawsuits on behalf of putative Medicare Advantage Organisations seeking to recover conditional payments; cases were filed in Florida federal court and one is on appeal at the Eleventh Circuit. Alongside traditional strengths in financial services, the practice continues to develop in pharmaceuticals, gaming, manufacturing and transportation industries. A significant development in the gaming space is the team's representation of public benefit company Suffolk Regional Offtrack Betting Corp in a trial in the Eastern District of New York. Among the department's standout lawyers are highly regarded litigator Lynn Neuner; team co-heads Paul Curnin and Jonathan Youngwood who regularly handle securities and corporate control matters; and up-and-coming Linton Mann III, who already stands out from his peers for his securities work for Deutsche Bank and his supervision of the firm's AI research.
‘The Simpson Thacher team excels at bringing both world-class lawyering and careful attention to client relationships to all of their work.’
‘Lynn Neuner is an exceptional leader and highly valued business partner. She invests time to understand her clients well, and never fails to bring thoughtful and practical approaches to legal strategy. While many firms provide strong substantive legal services, Lynn stands out through her true partnership with clients and ability to craft her team’s approach to the needs of the client business.‘
‘Simpson Thacher’s lawyers engaged in commercial dispute resolution have a unique combination to their approach that involves tenacity, creativity, with an eye on commercial success of their clients. They don’t make a move in litigation without thinking through the commercial impact on the client and its business. This serves the client much better than single-minded focus on destroying an adversary without consideration of the collateral consequences like some other leading firms in this space do.‘
‘Bryce Friedman’s ability to bring the client along and strategic insights are unmatched. He delivers results while also being fun to work with.‘
Hilton Worldwide Holdings
- Representing Deutsche Bank in the largest remaining RMBS litigation in the country, filed by the FDIC in the Western District of Texas.
- Defending Bayer in an advertising challenge over a nasal allergy spray brought by GlaxoSmithKline.
- Securing significant victories in two contested arbitrations for Genesee & Wyoming.
- Representing certain underwriters at Lloyd’s, London in connection with claims related to a ransomware attack.
- Defending Alibaba in California and federal litigation arising out of the largest IPO in history.
Often at the heart of some of the most complex and challenging litigation for an impressive roster of clients, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is adept at all aspects of commercial disputes and is notable for its deep and experienced bench of trial lawyers. Renowned generalist and co-chair of the global litigation department, David Lender, is representing Nuance in the Southern District of New York in a breach of licence agreement lawsuit against IBM. Elsewhere, notable trial lawyer Diane Sullivan won three consecutive unanimous jury defense verdicts for Johnson & Johnson in its talc mass tort litigation, while in California David Yohai and David Singh secured the dismissal of a product liability class action against client Panasonic. The firm was also instrumental in the resolution of the Sears bankruptcy. Other key lawyers are litigation group co-chairs Gregory Silbert in New York and Edward Soto in Miami. Notably, trial-experienced Susan Shin arrived in June 2019 from Arnold & Porter, and Jessica Falk was promoted to partner.
Other key lawyers:
‘Weil has a very deep bench. Top to bottom, their lawyers are smart, talented, responsive, hardworking, and reliable. Top firm! Weil is a top in class firm that works seamlessly across its network to provide premier legal services. They compare favorably with the other top tier firms in the Bay Area.‘
‘David Singh is smart, practical, client-focused, has excellent judgment, and has become a trusted advisor. He knows class action litigation cold, and is a thought leader in that area. We feel very confident having him at the helm for us during this litigation.‘
Johnson & Johnson
Procter & Gamble
C&S Wholesale Grocers
Rent the Runway
- Defending C&S Wholesale Grocers in an antitrust class action in Minnesota Federal Court, and securing a complete defense verdict.
- Obtaining the dismissal of federal antitrust MDL claims against Farmers Insurance from the Eleventh Circuit.
- Resolving a series of disputes surrounding the bankruptcy of Sears, allowing the sale of the company to go through, saving tens of thousands of jobs.
- Acting for Repsol in litigation claiming in excess of $14bn in environmental damages related to the pollution of the Passaic River.
- Representing A&E Television Networks regarding the termination of contracts with the Weinstein Company.
DC-based Williams & Connolly LLP combines deep expertise in commercial litigation with a strong corresponding regulatory practice. Its elite team has an excellent standing nationwide, attracting complex cases with reputational and industry-wide implications. Its work in opioid litigation is prominent: in Ohio federal court, Enu Mainigi secured a favorable settlement for Cardinal Health on the eve of opening statements. In a major case incorporating work in India and the Philippines, Nicholas Boyle obtained on behalf of CoStar the largest copyright judgment in history for infringement of photographs. Alongside its expertise in more specialized work, the firm also excels in breach of contract disputes, such as Boyle and Robert Van Kirk representing Carlyle in a lawsuit filed in Montana state court totalling over $600m related to a municipal water system. Demonstrating the firm's commitment to training up its younger attorneys, associate Luke McCloud recently presented oral argument before the Fifth Circuit on behalf of Danaher in antitrust litigation against one of its former distributors. Following the departure of Kannon Shanmugam to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Lisa Blatt joined from Arnold & Porter in January 2019 to chair the Supreme Court and appellate practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘The Williams & Connolly team is relentlessly prepared. Each lawyer is knowledgeable about the case and has a pragmatic point of view directed to a satisfactory resolution. They accomplish this while remaining civil and affable.‘
‘Bob Van Kirk is simply the best. He is brilliant but also humble. He is cold-eyed on assessing problems and explores all avenues. When there is war, get Bob.‘
The Carlyle Group
Vapor Technology Association
HSBC Bank USA
Galaxy Entertainment Group
First Federal Bank of Kansas City
Bank of America
- Defending Intel in California federal court against accusations of securities fraud arising out of alleged security vulnerabilities in Intel’s chips.
- Obtaining a favorable settlement for Wilmington Trust in a lawsuit claiming fraudulent loan reporting practices.
- Representing Lockheed Martin in a matter raising questions of first impression, which prevented plaintiffs from initiating litigation in Australia.
- Acting for Lockheed Martin in an alleged fraud and breach of contract case in connection with 30 mortgage-backed securitizations insured by Ambac Assurance Corporation.
- Representing Tenet Heathcare in securities and shareholder derivative litigation worth $600m arising out of its resolution of a False Claims Act investigation.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Displaying almost unrivalled expertise in the banking sector, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton continues to work on some of the most complex and longstanding financial litigation of recent years. Team head Carmine Boccuzzi, Jonathan Blackman and Lawrence Friedman are highly active in Anti-terrorism Act and Alien Tort statute lawsuits; top clients include BNP Paribas, Commerzbank and Credit Lyonnais. Madoff-related cases, antitrust, securities and bankruptcy litigation are also strengths. In the latter segment, the firm represented ESL Investments in its purchase of Sears. Aside from its core work in the financial industry, the practice is defending Robert Bosch in nationwide class action lawsuits, following Volkswagen's widely publicized admission that it employed Bosch engine control units to cheat on government emissions tests. Elsewhere, in a matter with significant repurcussions in the media industry, Victor Hou led a team representing National Amusements and NAI Entertainment Holdings in Delaware Chancery Court against CBS; the ensuing victory brought about the resignation of then-CEO Leslie Moonves. Another lawyer on this case was Rishi Zutshi, who is an expert in disputes relating to complex financial instruments and derivatives. Meredith Kotler departed for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in October 2019.
Other key lawyers:
NAI Entertainment Holdings
Warburg Pincus and one of its former Managing Directors
Bank of America
- Representing Lowe’s Companies in a contractual dispute in the Eastern District of New York.
- Defending Goldman Sachs against requests for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunctive relief brought by Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade.
- Obtaining a settlement for Warburg Pincus in an alleged securities fraud matter brought by three plaintiff hedge funds in the Central District of California.
- Acting for Assured Guaranty against Lehman Brothers, who allege improper calculation of settlement for termination of numerous credit default swaps.
- Representing Medytox in state litigation alleging misappropriation of trade secrets by former employee related to the manufacture and sale of botulinum toxin products produced in South Korea and to be imported into the United States.
Actively involved in prominent disputes for clients from a broad range of industries, Dechert LLP fields a deep bench of attorneys with experience up to appellate and Supreme Court level. The firm's scope is nationwide. In Texas federal court, Andrew Levander, Mauricio Espana and Hector Gonzalez (from the New York office) are representing Spanish manufacturer Ulma Forja in a false advertising and unfair competition case. In another key win, department head Christina Sarchio successfully secured dismissals of two class action cases in New Jersey state court for client Apple. Another success came in the form of a complete defense verdict for Quest in a trade secrets jury trial in federal court in Los Angeles; Christopher Ruhland from the LA office and Jonathan Loeb from Silicon Valley led on this case. Team co-head William Oxley, based in LA, continues to represent Union Carbide in asbestos lawsuits. Among notable arrivals, Robin Nunn joined the DC office from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in February 2019 to chair the consumer financial services practice.
Other key lawyers:
Erie Indemnity Company
Public Financial Management
PPG Industries and its CEO Michael H. McGarry and CFO Vincent J. Morales
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
National Basketball Players Association
Turtle Beach Corporation
Belveron Capital Partners/Park Lake Owners
Fox News Network
Pathfinder Strategic Credit
The Bank of New York Mellon
Strategos Capital Management
- Defending Rent-A-Center in a class action case in California state court, reducing the original claim of $100m to a settlement of $13m.
- Representing Nationwide Mutual Insurance in an insurance bad faith case in Pennsylvania state court.
- Acting for Boiron in multiple class action cases, successfully securing dismissal of a case in the Northern District of Illinois after a substantial win before the 7th Circuit.
- Defending Fox News Network against allegations of espionage and using social media ‘sockpuppet’ accounts, seeking damages of $75m.
- Representing Sierra Income Corporation in litigation challenging a merger in Delaware Chancery Court.
Jones Day draws on a massive bench of litigators, with the capability to match specialist attorneys to cases across the country regardless of the field of law. An area of recent development is pharmaceutical litigation. Team co-head Stephanie Parker (Atlanta office) and Shay Dvoretzky (DC office) secured a unanimous win for Merck, Sharp & Dohme before the Supreme Court in a product liability case involving Merck's prescription medicine Fosamax®. The practice is very strong in product liability cases for a number of high-profile clients in various industries; it has also recently been involved in a high-profile tech dispute for a major player in the industry. In other high-value, mission-critical work, a cross-office team led by Karen Hewitt, team co-head John Majoras and Tina Tabacchi is representing Walmart in MDL opioid litigation. In Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, Leon DeJulius, Jr won a bench trial on behalf of The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in a matter arising from a dispute about healthcare coverage. A noteworthy young lawyer in Chicago is Elizabeth Manning, whose practice includes contract, tax and false claims disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Experian Information Solutions
International Business Machines
Merck & Co
RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holdings
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Standing out for recent trial successes and the high caliber of its litigators, Latham & Watkins LLP is regularly sought out by market leaders in almost every industry for their most complex disputes. Global chair of complex commercial litigation Sean Berkowitz is representing GE Capital in four lawsuits in various federal and one state court arising from the Thomas Petters Fraud. Another key trial lawyer is James Brandt, who (with Eric Leon) recently scored a victory for American Airlines: he was able to secure copyright registration for the airline's new corporate logo, with a novel approach which involved suing the Copyright Office in the Northern District of Texas. The firm also remains abreast of the latest legal challenges in the tech industry; notably, Elizabeth Deeley and Andrew Clubok defended longstanding client Facebook in three trials against allegations which raised important questions about data privacy, consent and contract claims. Laura Washington is highly active in the media and entertainment space. Alongside Marvin Putnam, she has successfully defended Miramax in all Weinstein-related litigation to date.
‘Latham has lawyers with exceptional backgrounds and experience, and brings this experience to bear. Of equal importance are the results that Latham has consistently achieved on their matters, consistent with the advice and counsel they provide throughout the life of the matter.’
‘James Brandt and his junior partner, Jason Hegt, are outstanding, communicating when appropriate on developments and readily accessible whenever there is the need to speak. Of particular note is their strategically thinking about the matter and executing against that strategy.’
Madison Wells Media
Tax Equity Now
Technicolor / Tim Sarnoff
- Defending pharmaceutical company Endo against a shareholder class action alleging false and misleading statements filed in the Southern District of New York.
- Representing Daniel Hamburger, former CEO of DeVry in three lawsuits: a shareholder derivative suit in Delaware Chancery Court, a securities class action in ND Illinois and a shareholder derivative suit in the District of Delaware.
- Acting for LifeLock in a putative class action brought in the District of Arizona alleging that LifeLock’s identity theft service was a fraud and that LifeLock failed to provide the services that it advertised and promised.
- Securing victory for Nevro Corporation in a putative securities class action stemming from a stock drop that allegedly wiped out nearly US$250 million in Nevro’s market cap.
- Defending Steelhouse against allegations including breach of contract, unjust enrichment, in California state court.
Mayer Brown draws on a vast international network, and is well known for being at the forefront of litigation in the financial services sector, especially securities disputes, from its New York office. Its California practice is expanding its reach in the tech space: in a recent highlight, Edward Johnson represented Google in multiple major antitrust, privacy and consumer class actions claiming billions in damages. Another standout matter saw Michael Olsen represent 3M in a major environmental tort brought by the State of Minnesota seeking $5bn in damages for chemicals allegedly released in the East Metro area of Minneapolis. John Conlon in New York and Reginald Goeke in DC are heads of the commercial litigation team. Among core clients in the financial sector, Bank of New York Mellon is particularly noteworthy. Matthew Ingber recently reached a groundbreaking $8.5bn settlement for the bank, bringing years of RMBS litigation to a close. A major team development was the arrival of Nicole Saharsky to the DC office from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in November 2018. She now acts as co-head of the Supreme Court and appellate practice.
Other key lawyers:
Lauren Goldman; Robert Harrell; Britt Miller; John Nadolenco; Archis Parasharami; Bronwyn Pollock; Michael Olsen; Edward Johnson; Andrew Pincus; Nicole Saharsky; Matthew Ingber; Richard Spehr; Christopher Houpt; Steven Wolowitz
ACE American Insurance
Bank of Montreal
Bank of New York Mellon
Frank Russell Company
Illinois National Insurance
Nestlé Purina PetCare
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
The Big Ten Conference
- Defending an arbitration clause for Lamps Plus up to the Supreme Court, obtaining a success.
- Securing a victory for Shelley Lorenzen in the Supreme Court in a case raising the issue whether a bankruptcy court can impose contempt sanctions on a creditor for seeking to collect on a debt when it was unclear if that debt was discharged in bankruptcy.
- Representing Frontier Communications in a major securities matter in the District of Connecticut.
- Acting for Bank fo Montreal as successor to M&I Bank in the aftermath of Tom Petters’ $3 billion Ponzi scheme.
- Acting for Société Générale in putative class actions and investigations related to the alleged manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmarking interest rates.
From its base on the West Coast, O'Melveny & Myers LLP litigates some of the most complex and high-profile disputes across the country. Alongside its cross-sector capabilities, the firm's expertise in the media and entertainment industries is almost unparalleled. In a major victory for long-standing client 20th Century Fox, star litigator Daniel Petrocelli overturned a $128m arbitration award arising out of a dispute surrounding the hit television drama Bones. The department is also involved in high-stakes nationwide opioid litigation for Johnson & Johnson; the team includes Steve Brody in DC and practice co-head Richard Goetz. A recent development is in cross-border work with China, such as Jonathan Rosenberg and William Pao successfully defending cryptocurrency company Xunlei Limited against a shareholder class action filed in New York federal court. In addition to its recognized strength in IP litigation, the team is developing its practice in the field of data privacy and cybersecurity. Randall Oppenheimer jointly heads the practice alongside Goetz. A key team development was the promotion to partner of trial-experienced class action specialist Hannah Chanoine in January 2019.
Other key lawyers:
Advanced Micro Devices
Coachella Valley Water District
Exportadora de Sal
20th Century Fox
21st Century Fox
Johnson & Johnson
- Defending AT&T and Time Warner’s $85.4bn merger against the Department of Justice Antitrust Division; the DC circuit dismissed the government appeal in February 2019.
- Representing the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) and its board in a case brought by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians over water rights claims brought by the tribe.
- Securing victories in multiples courts for American Airlines and Atlas Air in litigation against trade unions.
- Defending musician Kesha against former producer Dr Luke in breach of contract and defamation case, surrounding allegations of his sexual abuse.
- Sucessfully defending Samsung against claims of patent infringement brought by Tessera Technologies.
With strong experience in financial services, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has a track record of securing victories for clients in cases with upwards of $1bn on the line. In a recent victory for Crédit Suisse in New York Appellate Court, Richard Jacobsen and Barry Levin put to bed a decade of RMBS-related litigation alleging billions in damages. Another major institution to benefit recently from the firm's trial advocacy was KBC Bank; in New York Federal Court, Peter Bicks ended a long-running $1.5bn RICO battle against the bank arising from disputes over a defaulted loan and alleged conspiracies. The tech industry also seeks out the firm for some of its biggest, bet-the-company disputes. In Seattle, cybersecurity specialist Aravind Swaminathan is representing DomainTools in litigation brought by New Zealand’s domain name registry, DNCL. Also of note are Elyse Echtman at the New York office, and litigation team co-leader Darren Teshima in San Francisco, who specializes in insurance coverage disputes. A key arrival was former federal prosecutor and regulatory expert Jeffrey Coopersmith, who joined from Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in October 2019.
‘Orrick does a tremendous job, writes tight briefs and really knows my company.’
‘Josh Rosenkranz is a lawyer’s layer. He is erudite, a brilliant writer, and an outstanding oral advocate. Eric Shumsky is also an outstanding writer and oral advocate. Peter Bicks is a first-rate trial lawyer. Elyse Echtman is a fierce advocate and great writer.‘
‘When comparing Orrick to other firms used by us, either currently or historically, it is difficult to near impossible to match the incredible legal skill, unquestionable judgement and overall superior knowledge in the industry in which we operate. In addition to its skill and knowledge, the reputation this firm has is second to none with the courts, opposing council or any other adversaries. They want us to succeed not only in a particular matter but as a company.‘
‘All of the individuals that I work with at Orrick have demonstrated exemplary legal abilities regardless of whether they are a partner or a first year associate. Their professionalism and knowledge have provided a level of comfort that we made the right decision on retaining Orrick. Rich Jacobsen is always available and willing to do what is necessary in any situation. His knowledge of the industry and more importantly where we fit in the industry has paid tremendous dividends from a legal representation perspective. I have not dealt with an attorney from any other firm that had the combination of knowledge, ability, reputation and judgement that Rich has. Rich is the main reason Orrick is the go-to firm for us in any significant legal matter.’
‘Very strong advisors and litigators. They take the time to understand the business and personalities involved and give practical advice.‘
‘Richard Jacobsen: razor sharp intellect, strong advisor and always very responsive.‘
City of Seattle
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani
Washington Bankers Association
American Bankers Association
CLA Estate Services
Former CFO of Och-Ziff
- Defending Goldman Sachs against claims brought by US Bank, which alleges that Goldman Sachs breached representations and warranties made in connection with the issuance of two large RMBS valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
- Acting for Ocwen in a first-of-its-kind ERISA class action brought by six trustees of the UFCW Unions & Employees Midwest Pension Fund in the Southern District of New York.
- Representing Solvay in multiple lawsuits arising from the use of lead pigment in residential paint.
- Acting for DISH Network and Sling TV in a declaratory judgment action pending in the Southern District of New York against Asia TV.
- Securing the dismissal of a putative class action against TD Ameritrade Futures & Forex; the case alleged a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Particularly strong representing Fortune500 companies and major sporting organisations, Proskauer Rose LLP is closely involved in high-profile MDL disputes such as the Johnson & Johnson 'talc tort' and Bayer's Roundup© litigation. In connection with the former, Bart Williams, Susan Gutierrez and Manuel Cachán are representing the pharmaceutical giant in a California trial against claims that the company's talcum powder products cause mesothelioma. Elsewhere, Robert Cleary and Bettina Plevan in New York represented The Metropolitan Opera in a defamation case brought by conductor-emeritus James Levine following claims of sexual harassment. IP litigation is another strength of the firm, especially for the pharmaceutical industry. In April 2019, Fangli Chen and Siegmund Gutman acted for Sanofi Pasteur in a patent dispute against Pfizer related to pneumococcal vaccines. Another key lawyer to note is chair of the litigation department Timothy Mungovan, who is heavily involved in litigation arising from the Puerto Rico bankruptcy. Regulatory specialists Seetha Ramachandran and Hadassa Waxman arrived in 2019 from Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP and the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York respectively. The practice also saw three partner promotions in November 2019.
Other key lawyers:
Bradley Ruskin; Bart Williams; Robert Cleary; Michael Mervis; Michael Firestein; Susan Gutierrez; Brendan O’Rourke; Manuel Cachán; Kevin Perra; Bettina Plevan; Fangli Chen; Siegmund Gutman; Seetha Ramachandran; Hadassa Waxman
Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico
Johnson & Johnson
The Metropolitan Opera
Major League Soccer
The Recording Academy
Sony Music Entertainment
National Football League
- Representing Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, in a California jury trial alleging that the use of Monsanto’s herbicide, RoundUp, caused the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Acting for PAC-12 in an antitrust lawsuit brought by current and former NCAA Division I football and basketball players challenging the limits on compensation and benefits for student-athletes.
- Defending Shire in a breach of contract lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court.
- Representing Target in the defense of a trademark infringement action filed in the Southern District of New York by clothing company Universal Standard, which seeks $400m in damages.
- Representing Daft Punk in a copyright infringement and aiding-and-abetting breach of fiduciary duty case brought by singer Yasmin Mohamed, claiming that The Weeknd and Daft Punk’s 2016 song “Starboy” infringed her 2009 song “Hooyo.” The case was tried in the Central District of California.
Highly regarded for its financial litigation, Shearman & Sterling LLP regularly acts as trial counsel for major corporations and banks in high-value disputes. The firm excels in securities and M&A litigation, while also keeping abreast of the growing market in trade secrets disputes. In this area, the firm secured a $44m jury verdict following a 12-day trial in Chicago for leading fintech software and services company SS&C Technologies in litigation alleging misappropriation of trade secrets against Clearwater Analytics. From the New York office, managing partner of the firm and global head of litigation Adam Hakki represents a number of the biggest names in global banking. Recently, his work has included defending Citigroup against Colombian sugar and ethanol producer Mayagüez, which alleges fraudulent inducement related to a foreign currency transaction; Agnès Dunogué also led on this matter. Global litigation practice group leaders Patrick Robbins in San Francisco and Richard Schwed in New York are also key names. Banking and securities expert Jaculin Aaron retired in December 2018, while securities and antitrust class action specialist Michael Mitchell recently made partner in the DC office.
Other key lawyers:
Wells Fargo Board of Directors
Nikko Asset Management
Bank of America
Bank of Nova Scotia
- Defending Mizuho Bank in MDL fraudulent concealment class action litigation arising from the bankruptcy of a bitcoin exchange.
- Acting for Viacom in a shareholder derivative action in Delaware Chancery Court, arising from Viacom’s merger with CBS.
- Representing certain current and former directors of Wells Fargo & Company in defense against allegations of sales practice msiconduct, filed in the Northern District of California, California state court and Delaware Chancery Court.
- Defending OrbiMed Advisors in Delaware Chancery Court against allegations that the company formed a control group without the approval of the plaintiff’s board of directors.
- Representing the Authorized Participants in litigation arising from ProShares Trust II’s public offering of ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Futures ETF Shares.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is a leading firm for commercial litigation. With offices in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, it has an established reputation for strong trial capabilities and expertise spanning all areas of commercial litigation. From its deep and experienced bench of trial attorneys, Robert Giuffra in New York is a key name, with overall responsibility for the firm's litigation practice.
Susman Godfrey LLP
Susman Godfrey LLP continues to build its reputation as a top-flight litigation boutique able to compete with BigLaw for the top cases. The firm represents the plaintiff as often as the defense, and is widely respected for its expertise on both sides. In a recent notable victory, Max Tribble and Kalpana Srinivasan won the fourth largest jury verdict in the country for HouseCanary, who as plaintiff alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract against Title Source; the Texas state court awarded HouseCanary $740m. The biggest antitrust defense win of the year was in federal court in Miami when Neal Manne and Alexander Kaplan secured the dismissal of a $5bn lawsuit against Vitol. The firm also has a strong appellate practice. In the Fifth Circuit, Geoffrey Harrison and William Merrill secured the affirmation of a $43.2m federal court jury verdict for client Apache Deepwater against W&T Offshore. Also of note is young trial lawyer Glenn Bridgman in LA. A major boost to the team came in January 2019 when distinguished trial lawyer Randy Wilson rejoined the firm after 15 years' service as a judge in the 157th District Court of Texas.
Other key lawyers:
Bill Carmody; Jacob Buchdahl; Marc Seltzer; Kalpana Srinivasan; Geoffrey Harrison; Alexandra White; Max Tribble; Vineet Bhatia; Brian Melton; Rachel Black; Alexander Kaplan; William Merrill; Randy Wilson; Glenn Bridgman
‘The Susman firm brings a team of diverse talent to dispute resolution. This allows the firm’s team to draw on the needed talent for the type of dispute.‘
‘Arun Subramanian and Joseph Grinstein: these gentlemen are committed to understanding the dispute from ground up and are totally dedicated to achieving a positive outcome.‘
Personalized Media Communications
Steve Lamar, Jibe Audio
Universal Cable Productions
KBR Wyle Labs
Flo and Eddie – former leads of 70’s music group, The Turtles
- Securing a $25.25m jury verdict in Los Angeles Superior Court for Jibe Audio in a royalty dispute with Beats Electronics.
- Representing Walmart as plaintiff against the largest companies in the packaged seafood industry for conspiring to fix the prices of canned tuna products in the US during the period 2008 to July 2015.
- Representing plaintiffs in consolidated antitrust proceeding arising out of the LIBOR-rate fixing scandal, with settlement recoveries of more than $590m.
- Acting for plaintiffs in MDL litigation involving price fixing in the market for component parts included in over 20 million automobiles, with settlement recoveries to date of over $1.2bn.
- Obtaining an award of $64m from the federal circuit for Green Mountain Glass, plaintiff in a patent infringement lawsuit against Ardagh Glass.
White & Case LLP counts a number of sovereign states among its major clients on account of its extensive global network and recognized strength in international arbitration. The firm is also known for its thriving litigation practice, which covers all aspects of commercial disputes. Team head Glenn Kurtz is very active for health benefits company Anthem, including representing the client in a breach of contract dispute with Express Scripts, and seeking $15bn in damages. Another highlight involved the successful defense of Viktor Vekselberg in a breach of contract dispute which sought $2bn in connection with the sale of a major Russian oil company; Heather McDevitt and Kim Havlin led on this matter. Consumer class actions also constituted a major source of work. Bryan Merryman led on multiple matters for Nestlé, including a false advertising lawsuit in California which sought $1bn in damages related to alleged microplastics in the company's bottled water products. Rachel Feldman brings significant expertise handling cases for tech and social media companies. The class action defense expertise of the firm was further consolidated in October 2019 with the promotion to partner of Sheldon Philp in the Miami office.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Li and Ace Strength
New York Community Bancorp
The Russian Federation
Al Rajhi Bank
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Republic of the Sudan
Nestlé Purina PetCare
Nestlé Waters North America
U.S. Century Bank and six of its directors
SGG Management (Curaçao)
SGG Management (BVI)
- Representing Anthem in M&A litigation in Delaware Chancery Court related to the company’s failed merger with Cigna; both parties seek billions in damages.
- Representing a former director of Fisker Automotive and his investment vehicle in a securities fraud case in the District of Delaware.
- Assisting New York City Bankcorp with the enforcement of $11m of defaulted debt against international guarantors in the Southern District of New York.
- Defending Al Rajhi Bank in MDL lawsuits arising out of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
- Representing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in a dispute in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against claims of the kingdom’s involvement in the deaths of three American soldiers in connection with a shooting at a Jordanian military base.
Noted for its 'significant trial experience', WilmerHale brings together capabilities across general commercial litigation with expertise in the regulatory space. Its attorneys are regularly faced with significant and pressing matters for clients across industries. A recent highlight was Christopher Casamassima's work for Fidelity Charitable; he defended the company against claims that it improperly liquidated a large donation of publicly traded stock. Elsewhere, John Butts and Lisa Pirozzolo are representing Karyopharm Therapeutics in trade secret litigation brought by Amgen in Massachusetts Superior Court arising from the development of a new cancer drug. Among the department's other leading lawyers are Howard Shapiro, the department chair and a recognized trial lawyer, in the DC office; Hallie Levin, a generalist trial lawyer based in New York; and head of the firm's business trial group, Noah Levine (also in New York), who often defends businesses in consumer class actions. A name to note in LA is Matthew Benedetto, whose practice often includes crisis management for commercial clients. Counsel Stephanie Simon in New York is another name to watch. Andrew Scott Dulberg was promoted to partner in the Boston office in January 2020, lending expertise in securities and financial services litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong experience as litigation generalists, but with a depth of resources to bring in specialists with in-depth knowledge (legal/regulatory, as well as other industry specialists).‘
‘Good people with strong ethical view of the practice of law.‘
‘Interesting. Intelligent. Kind. You don’t always get all three.‘
‘Real, significant trial experience with complementary broad practice area expertise and exceptionally smart lawyers who work well with their clients.‘
‘David Marcus, Chris Casamassima and Andrew Dulberg are the senior members of our team. They are fully invested in our case, take the time to know the facts and the witnesses, and appreciate the close working relationship between in-house counsel and outside counsel that we insist on.‘
‘The team is used for very specific work – appeals related to the enforcement of arbitration provisions and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. They are exceptionally knowledgeable is these areas and generate high quality work.’
Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe
Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians
World Trade Center Properties
Deutsche Telekom AG and T-Mobile US
- Securing a victory for Comcast in Washington state court following a six-week trial; the plaintiff, the State of Washington, alleged the company had engaged in deceptive marketing practices.
- Representing MillerCoors in a trademark dispute with Stone Brewing Co.
- Defending Theranos in a breach of contract action filed by Theranos’ former strategic partner, Walgreens, in Delaware federal court.
- Representing Navient Solutions in the defense of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania alleging unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices in the servicing and collection of student loans.
- Advising Northrop Grumman on class action litigation and an SEC investigation as a result of the company’s Orbital ATK acquisition.
The litigation practice at Winston & Strawn LLP attracts high-profile clients across industries, including some of the largest international financial institutions. Alongside its core strengths in financial services, a key growth area for the firm in 2019 was in consumer class actions related to food labelling. Ronald Rothstein is representing Smucker in class actions consolidated in the Northern District of California, alleging violations of advertising laws in pet food products. Pharmaceutical product liability is another strength; Matthew Campbell, Luke Connelly and Matthew Saxon are representing Otsuka Pharmaceutical in an MDL lawsuit in the Northern District of Florida related to its drug Abilify®. Other standout attorneys include Thomas Melsheimer, managing partner of the Dallas office; co-chair of the global litigation practice, the 'brilliant' Steven D’Amore; and consumer class action specialist Amanda Groves, who practices in Charlotte and San Francisco. An associate to note is Shawn Obi in the LA office. Among key arrivals in 2019, trial lawyer Mark Werbner joined the Dallas office from Sayles Werbner, while the arrival of petrochemicals expert James Nye from Baker & Hostetler LLP strengthened the energy practice in Houston.
Other key lawyers:
‘Substantive strength, client service ethic.’
‘Stephen D’Amore is a brilliant attorney with outstanding people skills that enable him to masterfully navigate around unnecessary conflict.’
The J.M Smucker Company
Archer Daniels Midland
Arthur J. Gallagher
North American Coffee Partnership
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Young Living Essential Oils
- Representing college football and basketball players in a landmark suit challenging the legality of the National College Athletic Association’s (NCAA) restraints on compensation.
- Securing a victory for FM Global and obtaining summary judgment on NYU Medical Center’s claims for more than $1 billion in insurance proceeds arising out of Superstorm Sandy.
- Representing CPB in multiple disputes with Chevron and KBR arising out of a project in Western Australia.
- Acting for Hikma Pharmaceuticals in national opiate litigation, including an MDL proceeding consolidated in Ohio federal court.
- Defending talent agency William Morris Endeavor against Hollywood writers’ unions, whose claims include breach of fiduciary duty.
With a reputation for high-stakes complex commercial disputes, Arnold & Porter is highly adept at defending class action and mass tort lawsuits in trial. The litigation department's product liability defense capabilities are particularly renowned. From the New York office, James Herschlein and Angela Vicari serve as national counsel to Boston Scientific in litigation related to its Greenfield™ Inferior Vena Cava Filters. Another key client is Samsung; Kenneth Chernof and Paul Fishman are defending the company against allegations that its LED televisions have a defect that cause them to overheat and fail to work properly. The DC office is strong at securities and white-collar, while the Texas team has expertise in the energy, transport and healthcare sectors. The firm has also established a reputation as a go-to address for major crisis incidents; a recent case involved Michael Schissel and David Weiner representing GE in litigation arising from the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown. While trial lawyer Susan Shin left for Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in May 2019, commercial litigator John Hagan joined the Chicago office from Reed Smith LLP in February 2019.
American International Group
ASP Frontier Holdings
Atlantic Richfield Company
Barnes & Noble
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Golden State Warriors
Miguel Zaragoza Fuentes
Oakland Raiders and the Estate of Al Davis
Samsung Electronics America
The Charles Schwab Corporation
The Clorox Company
The Rappaport Companies/WC Smith
The Walt Disney Company
- Acting as national counsel for Endo Pharmaceuticals in a product liability MDL relating to testosterone products.
- Representing plaintiff GPB Capital Holdings in complex litigation arising from the attempt to purchase certain auto dealerships; the lawsuit was filed in New York Supreme Court.
- Defending Altria and Philip Morris in class action and individual suits arising from alleged product liability from an evapor product, consolidated in the Northern District of California
- Acting for 7-Eleven before the Ninth Circuit in a franchisee class action alleging that franchisees have been misclassified as independent contractors.
- Representing Frontier in a $130m breach of contract case in the New York Supreme Court.
Chicago and Denver-based litigation boutique Bartlit Beck LLP has built a formidable reputation in handling complex, precedent-setting cases for industry-leading clients. 2019 proved to be a very busy year for the firm, with a number of significant victories and heavy involvement in widely publicized product liability matters. Sean Gallagher is acting for Johnson & Johnson in nationwide pelvic mesh litigation, recently securing a rare defense jury verdict in Philadelphia, while Kaspar Stoffelmayr is representing Walgreens in federal MDL cases related to the opioid crisis. Other strengths of the team include IP and antitrust litigation. In an example, Karma Giulianelli defended Otterbox in the District of Colorado against allegations of antitrust violations, securing a favorable settlement in April 2019. The practice saw five partner promotions in January 2020, each of whom have considerable trial experience, as is typical of the firm's approach to training up its associates.
Other key lawyers:
Rebecca Weinstein Bacon; Philip Beck; Sean Gallagher; Sean Grimsley; Hamilton Hill; Chris Lind; Jameson Jones; Karma Giulianelli; Kaspar Stoffelmayr; Steven Derringer; John Hughes; Christopher Landgraff; Brian Pestes; Adam Mortara; Jeffrey Hall; Glen Summers
‘The depth of talent is second to none because the “all-stars” are committed to and have spent years mentoring and training each lawyer at the firm. As a consequence, every lawyer staffing a case brings sound independent legal judgment to the representation and is a true value-add to the engagement. Lawyers staffing trial teams are truly complementary to one another insofar as staffing decisions capitalize on the strengths of each lawyer, and clearly reflect the value a lawyer’s innate skills bear to the needs required to be successful at trial. The lawyers are master storytellers who truly use technology to simplify the complex.‘
‘Glen Summers is a superior legal strategist and tactician with impeccable judgment and instincts. He inspires client confidence and has a commanding court room presence. A go-to first-chair trial lawyer with the bona fides, instincts, judgment and work ethic to back it up. Hamilton Hill is a disarmingly juror-friendly legal assassin. He is a relatable, empathetic story teller who makes the complex simple. Dan Taylor is an up and coming all-star, who consistently minimizes court room risk by winning on his papers. Kat Hacker marries factual development with impeccable legal judgment. She is wise beyond her years.‘
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
- Acting for Pratt & Whitney in environmental tort cases involving more than $1bn in alleged property damage and personal injury claims arising out of the declaration of a “cancer cluster” by the Florida Department of Health in a neighborhood near Pratt & Whitney’s West Palm Beach facility.
- Defending NL Industries against a lawsuit brought by California municipalities, alleging that lead paint in millions of private homes constitutes a public nuisance.
- Serving as national counsel for ConocoPhillips in litigation across the country related to climate change.
- Representing Meso Scale Diagnostics in a patent infringement case against Roche in the District of Delaware.
- Acting for Monsanto/Bayer in MDL product liability cases, arising from allegations that Roundup herbicides cause cancer.
Boies Schiller Flexner LLP enters this ranking as a litigation firm with a nationwide reach and a client roster including some of the best known companies in the country. It is often found at the heart of high-profile litigation. Among recent victories, the team obtained a complete defense win in Massachusetts federal court for client Uber in an unfair competition suit brought by the largest taxi conglomerate in Boston, which sought more than $750m in damages. Nick Gravante and Damien Marshall in New York are key figures in the team. There have been a number of recent departures: in January 2020 three partners in Miami left to form Heise Suarez Melville and eleven attorneys left the New York and Miami offices to form Roche Cyrulnik Freedman; in February 2020 co-head of the San Francisco office Kathleen Hartnett departed for Cooley LLP and New York-based Lee Wolosky and Dawn Smalls left for Jenner & Block LLP. Following publication in June 2020, William Isaacson and Karen Dunn left for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
‘BSF has a demonstrated ability to step in and successfully handle high-stakes litigation. The firm’s success on behalf of clients is attributed to its partners’ exceptional trial skills but also to their commitment to learning a client’s business so that they can effectively craft compelling and sophisticated arguments. They are invested in obtaining great results for their clients and work extremely diligently in that regard.‘
‘Stacey Grigsby is a skilled advocate, drilling down on nuanced details, and investing the time necessary to truly understand her clients’ needs. Pete Skinner is a skilled witness examiner. Associates Will Weaver and Alex Jumper are extremely bright, hardworking, and valuable members of the team at and leading up to trial.‘
12 underwriters at Lloyd’s of London
Perella Weinberg Partners
Class of Shareholders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Electoral College Litigation
Alden Torch Financial
Oracle International and Oracle America
Rakuten/Ebates and ShopStyle
RD Legal Funding et al.
Florida Power & Light
Extra Space Storage
- Representing 12 underwriters at Lloyd’s of London that issued marine cargo insurance policies, including for a refinery in Morocco where a loss happened.
- Securing victory for fantasy sports company DraftKings when the Seventh Circuit declined to determine whether DraftKings violated Indiana criminal law, putting an end to a proposed class action by college athletes seeking to stop DraftKings and FanDuel from using their names, likenesses and statistics without permission.
- Acting for Perella Weinberg Partners in a dispute with Red Leaf Resources, following Red Leaf’s termination of a joint venture with a subsidiary of Total without Perella Weinberg’s required consent.
- Representing Bozeman Financial in a federal court appeal of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision invalidating two fo the company’s check-processing patents.
- Acting for Toll Brothers in a dispute with SoCalGas, seeking damages following the methane leak in 2017.
Notable for its strength in securities litigation for the financial services industry, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP also has experience representing clients in insurance and media. Among notable victories in 2019, the firm defended Global Power in a putative shareholder class action; Bradley Bondi and Tammy Roy secured a dismissal of the case from the Fifth Circuit of Appeals. In the Southern District of New York, Charles Gilman and Michael Weiss represented UMB Bank in a complex pharmaceuticals trial relating to breach of obligations; the team secured a settlement. Other key lawyers include Joel Kurtzberg, who is currently lead counsel for Crédit Suisse in its LIBOR litigation, and Jonathan Thier, a generalist with considerable trial experience. Major clients include UBS and S&P; Tammy Roy is representing the former in a breach of contract case filed by Bloomberg Finance in New York federal court. Herbert Washer and David Januszewski head the commercial litigation team from the New York office.
Other key lawyers:
ExodusPoint Capital Management
Williams Industrial Services
Hayman Capital Management
- Representing S&P in five related securities actions filed in the Southern District of New York.
- Defended S&P against claims of fraud and negligent misrepresentation in Tennessee state court, including on appeal in the Tennessee Supreme Court.
- Acting for Hayman Capital Management in litigation brought by a real estate investment firm in Texas state court alleging claims of disparagement and tortious interference.
- Securing a dismissal, affirmed on appeal, for UBS in a defamation case filed in New York state court, relating to statements made about the book Lucifer’s Banker.
Operating out of 36 offices across the country, Greenberg Traurig LLP maintains an active litigation practice and its attorneys are often called on to try high-value cases for major companies. A particular strength of the department lies in consumer class action litigation. Recent highlight work ranges across various industries. From the Chicago office, Francis Citera is representing Albertsons Companies in MDL opioid litigation. In the retail space, Gregory Casas from the Austin office and David Sellinger from the New Jersey office defended Whole Foods Market Group in the Southern District of New York against a class action alleging mislabelling and overcharging. On the West Coast, co-chair of the litigation practice Jeff Scott, alongside Vince Chieffo, obtained a $100m victory for NBCUniversal in a copyright and defamation case filed by the former manager of NWA against the film 'Straight Outta Compton'. An associate to watch in the Tampa office is Ryan Hopper. The team was boosted by the arrival of 21 lawyers throughout 2019 across the firm's offices.
Other key lawyers:
Lighting Science Group
Pegasus Capital Advisors
The Hearst Corporation, its affiliates, and three former executives of Hearst’s San Francisco Chronicle
Nomura Credit & Capital
Live Nation Entertainment
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Addison Exploration & Development
The Related Group
Whole Foods Market Group
- Representing The Related Group in a real estate dispute in Tampa worth $100m.
- Defending Twin Hill Acquisition against product liability claims in the Northern District of Illinois.
- Representing Marriott Ownership Resorts in a class action concerning changes to its timeshare model.
- Acting for Great American Chicken Corp in an employment class action up to the Ninth Circuit.
- Representing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a landmark settlement agreement with US states.
The highly experienced trial attorneys at Jenner & Block LLP regularly try complex, high-value commercial cases in courtrooms around the country. Alongside the firm's strong class action practice, a stand-out specialism is in trade secrets. Debbie Berman has over 25 years' experience in the area, and is representing Methode Electronics in a series of cases (including international litigation) concerning the theft of highly confidential information by two former high-ranking employees. The department also maintains the ability to deal with complex commercial disputes of any kind, including arbitration. On behalf of the Redeemer Committee of the Highland Crusader Funds, Terri Mascherin prosecuted an arbitration, which then proceeded to the Delaware Chancery Court for award confirmation. Among numerous arrivals in 2019, patent litigator Amr Aly joined the New York office in September 2019 from Mayer Brown, while the arrival of consumer class action specialist Kate Spelman from an in-house role bolstered the LA office in June 2019. Craig Martin joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in March 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Methode Electronics/Hetronic International
Former Directors and Officers of Appvion
- Representing Northwestern University in a class-action suit challenging administrative and investment management fees charged to Northwestern’s retirement plan and challenging some of the plan’s investment features.
- Acting for Ulta Beauty and its CEO, CFO, and directors in a series of highly publicized putative nationwide consumer class action, securities fraud, and shareholder derivative litigation cases alleging that Ulta Beauty has a policy or practice of reselling used beauty products that have been returned by customers.
- Defending the board of directors for United Continental Holdings against a shareholder derivative lawsuit filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery based on the directors’ handling of bribery accusations.
- Representing Gulfstream as a respondent and counter-claimant in an ICDR-administered arbitration brought by Oceltip Aviation 1 Pty Ltd, the purchaser of a G550 aircraft.
- Obtaining a defense verdict for Haresh Jogani, H.K. Realty and J.K. Properties in a $250m jury trial arising from a long-running partnership dispute, filed in California state court.
Focusing almost exclusively on high-value commercial litigation, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP is prominent in major work for the financial services industry, and maintains an impressive client roster of well-known hedge funds. In a highlight, Uri Itkin represented Astra Asset Management in Minnesota state court in a $150m securities lawsuit, securing a settlement on the eve of trial. Aside from its core financial work, the firm has in a thriving general commercial practice. Founder Marc Kasowitz is currently representing Woodstock 50 in a dispute with the festival's former financing partner Dentsu; the New York Supreme Court ruled that Dentsu did not have the right to pull funding, and the case has proceeded to arbitration. In the hospitality sector, Paul M. 'Tad' O’Connor III, representing InterContinental Hotels Group in New York state court, successfully obtained preliminary injunctions in a case arising from contract disputes with hotel owners. A key younger partner is the 'extremely intelligent' Paul Burgo, who employed his 'strong analytical and advocacy skills' when handling an oral argument in the defense of President Donald Trump in a defamation case brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.
‘The team’s attention to detail is unparalleled. It is exactly what I expect from a law firm, and what I use as a bar when evaluating other firms, within and outside the framework of law. It is especially refreshing to see people identify an issue, and think logistically in pre-planning, as well as during and post-resolution. I came away feeling very confident about the process and ultimately at ease, which is what I had hoped for, but not necessarily expected.’
‘Paul Burgo is the name that stands out most to me. He has advised me through a variety of issues in the realm of finance. In my opinion, he is the best combination of knowledge base, professionalism, and client interest I have come across in the world of hedge funds and private investments. On multiple occasions, Paul has not only delivered on the task at hand, but has gone out of his way to ensure I am thinking two steps ahead on possible issues. To me, this type of behavior is very uncommon in this field. It genuinely requires lawyers to care beyond their immediate bottom lines. Due to this, I see Paul as a lifetime partner when it comes to seeking advice and making tough financial decisions.‘
‘Kasowitz firm has consistently provided the best advocacy of any firm that I have had represent my company or me personally.‘
‘Marc Kasowitz is one of the leading advocates in the legal profession. He is concerned for his clients personally and professionally and has provided the best and most effective legal advice and counsel over the past 20 years. He is a fierce and passionate lawyer whose loyalty to his clients and superior business acumen have resulted for me personally and my company, the most successful outcomes, every time. Paul Burgo is a dedicated, younger partner, who is hands-on and covers thoroughly any and all legal issues, so we were always prepared and got the desired results. He is totally responsive, 24-7 and provides the most thoughtful, honest and intelligent representation.‘
‘They go above and beyond to be thorough, listen to your desires and fight hard for what you want.’
‘Paul Burgo is an incredible lawyer. He’s always available, efficient with his time, is extremely intelligent, has strong analytical and advocacy skills and one of the best abilities to communicate effectively I’ve ever seen in a lawyer. You know that he’s passionate about this because he really fights for the right outcomes for his clients.’
‘Professionalism, responsiveness and creative solutions.‘
Fairfax Financial Holdings
Federal Housing Finance Agency
State of Hawaii
President Donald J. Trump
Mahindra and Mahindra
MF Global Holdings
JDS Development Group
Douglas Elliman Realty
- Securing the dismissal of state and federal RICO claims brought against JDS Development related to an iconic 90-story tower rising on 57th Street, upheld by the Second Circuit.
- Representing Howard Meyers in defense of actions for purported breach of contract, fraud, racketeering, and other alleged misconduct brought by a number of investment funds concerning a €600 million payment in kind loan that later was securitized and sold to investors.
- Acting for FinancialApps in its lawsuit filed in Delaware federal court against Envestnet, alleging theft of valuable proprietary information and trade secrets.
- Representing Erwin Gonzolez in a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court agianst two of his business partners, with multiple allegations including breach of contract.
- Defending MusclePharm, a sports nutrition company, in a state court action brought by White Winston, a hedge fund shareholder of MusclePharm, seeking to prevent MusclePharm’s Chairman and CEO Ryan Drexler from converting his $18 million loan to the company into equity.
Headed by Andrew Bayman in Atlanta, the litigation department at King & Spalding LLP is often involved in high-profile disputes across the country for major clients. A recent area of considerable growth is in cybersecurity litigation. In a major case, David Balser and Phyllis Sumner defended Delta against cybersecurity class actions in California and Georgia federal courts, a matter now pending before the Ninth Circuit. In another highlight matter, a team led by Israel Dahan and Richard Marooney continued to represent Xerox, and successfully secured the dismissal, with prejudice, of FUJIFILM’s $1bn breach of contract suit against Xerox, a major event in the industry. The department's other key attorneys include Bobby Burchfield, an antitrust and class action expert in the firm's DC office; Mike Stenglein, an arbitration specialist in Austin; and Livia Kiser, a recognized trial lawyer specializing in toxic tort class actions and consumer disputes, who splits her time between LA and Chicago.
Bass Pro Outdoor World
British American Tobacco
The Coca-Cola Company
Community Health Systems
Delta Air Lines
Ernst & Young
Exterran Energy Solutions
The Home Depot
Johnson & Johnson
Prudential Capital Group
Roark Capital Group
WellCare Health Plans
- Obtaining a dismissal for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. in a proposed class action arising from a criminal ransomware attack perpetrated by foreign agents.
- Continuing to represent Equifax in litigation arising from the cyber security incident announced on September 7, 2017.
- Successfully representing SunTrust Banks with respect to insurance coverage for approximately 200 claims made against it, securing what is believed to be the largest insurance recovery for a financial institution for losses arising out of the 2008 economic downturn.
- Securing a favorable settlement for Bass Pro in its dispute with Bluegreen Vacations International.
- Obtaining a favorable settlement for Chevron in significant oil and gas lease litigation in California.
Demonstrating deep expertise in the financial sector, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is often sought out by major funds, trusts and private individuals for their most sensitive and high-value litigation. The firm continues its representation of EIG Energy Funds XIV and XV in their lawsuit against Petróleo Brasileiro; Daniel Goldman and Kerri Ann Law secured a denial of certiorari from the Supreme Court, allowing the suit to continue in US federal courts. In another highlight from 2019, Jonathan Wagner defended Oppenhiemer Funds against Black Diamond Capital's breach of agreement allegations in New York State Court. Other key litigators include Sean Coffey, who combines extensive trial experience on both plaintiff and defense sides, and Michael Dell, an expert in business disputes with international experience who is representing regular client Deloitte in cross-border litigation against a Dutch corporation. Claudia Pak, promoted to partner in October 2019, lends trial experience in both state and federal courts.
‘This firm is incredibly customer focused, has internal processes that make them more efficient than others and have a ‘whatever it takes’ attitude. This firm is one of the very best companies I have dealt with.‘
‘The individuals are at the top of competency for law firms. They are professionally the best, with significant customer focus and care and have the highest of integrity.‘
EIG Management Company
EIG Energy Funds XIV and XV
RCS Creditor Trust
Tort Claimants’ Committee in Dow Corning’s mass tort bankruptcy
ETF Managers Group
Sutton 58 Associates
- Representing funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners in a $660 million RICO suit filed in New York federal court against Keppel Offshore & Marine.
- Acting for RCS Creditor Trust in Delaware Chancery Court against Nicholas Schorsch, five other individual defendants, and American Realty Capital, asserting that they breached fiduciary duty and brought RCS Captial Corporation into bankrupcy.
- Securing affirmation in federal appeals court of a decision ordering the Dow Corning Settlement Facility to issue approximately $30 million in “premium” payments to thousands of breast implant recipients who settled their claims against Dow Corning.
- Representing Sutton 58 Associates in litigation against the developer of a supertall residential tower on Sutton Place in Manhattan.
- Acting for Deloitte Italy in the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in defense of a claim for fraud and conspiracy relating to the sale of several utility companies.
Milbank excels in financial services capabilities, counting major banks and insurance companies among its clients. LIBOR-related litigation continues to be prominent; a litigation team represents Rabobank in ongoing class action MDL lawsuits across the country. The firm is also notable for its cross-border capabilities. Team co-head Daniel Perry is acting for Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, in a case filed in New York federal court alleging one of the client's casinos in the Philippines laundered $81m stolen by North Korean hackers in 2016. The department is also active in commercial disputes outside the financial world. In an important music licensing case, chairman of the firm Scott Edelman and Atara Miller are representing BMI in the Southern District of New York; the client is seeking higher licence fees for its songwriters and composers. Among other noted lawyers, David Gelfrand regularly leads on litigation for high-profile international financial institutions including Commerzbank and AXA, and Stacey Rappaport is known for complex financial transaction cases. She is currently defending major insurance companies in class action litigation.
‘Deep expertise in class actions and insurance defense.’
‘Scott Edelman is a superb communicator. David Gelfand has a heart for details and immerses himself in the facts important to the matter.’
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Funds Management Group
- Representing Lincoln National in insurance litigation arising out of adjustments to the cost of certain life insurance policies; the litigation is consolidated in six federal cases, including putative class actions.
- Defending Citigroup in the Southern District of New York against allegations of breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, brought by holders and beneficial owners of American Depository Receipts.
- Securing a victory for Primero Mining before the Ninth Circuit in a putative securities class action.
- Acting for VEREIT in a class action consolidated in the Southern District of New York, related to ongoing government investigations.
- Representing Auven Therapeutics and Stephen Evans-Freke in connection with fraudulent transfer and breach of contract claims brought by Highland Capital.
Regularly engaged in prominent commercial disputes for major clients, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has notable expertise in various industries, including life sciences, financial services, retail, energy and manufacturing. It is closely involved in opioid litigation for a number of high-profile clients; a team is representing major retailer Rite Aid in multidistrict litigation pending in the Northern District of Ohio. A key trial lawyer is Troy Brown, who has a track record of success in M&A disputes, having recently secured victory for client Zimmer Biomet in Florida state court in a contract dispute with the distributor of its pre-merger products. In 2019, the firm continued to be heavily involved in RMBS litigation for a number of multinational banks. Arbitration is another strength: Charles Solomont from the Boston office is acting for Oaktree in a dispute with a contractor, which is proceeding to arbitration, regarding the delays to the construction of a power plant in Salem, Massachusetts. Houston-based trial attorney and associate Jared Wilkerson's practice often crosses into Latin America. Key team members promoted to partner in October 2019 include Dana Becker in the Philadelphia office, a specialist in commercial contract cases.
Other key lawyers:
Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Premium Point Investments
Jackson National Life Insurance Company
Spark Energy Gas
National Gas & Electric
Zimmer Biomet Holdings
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
The Clearing House Association
Navy Federal Credit Union
Gainesville Renewable Energy Center
GT Advanced Technology
Tempur Sealy International,
JD Spine and Byron Rhodes
Oaktree Infrastructure/Footprint Power Salem Harbor Development
- Representing Merck in shareholder litigation arising out of an acquisition, filed in New Jersey state court.
- Defending Jefferies in a class action pending in Delaware Chancery Court.
- Representing Edison Energy/Altenex in a lawsuit brought against them and two other founders by a plaintiff who claims that, with the individual defendant founders, he co-founded the predecessor company to Altenex.
- Securing victory for PepsiCo in a seven-year battle over the funding for product liabilities faced by Pneumo Abex Corp., a former PepsiCo subsidiary.
Continuing to attract high-stakes work for major pharmaceutical and financial services companies, the litigation department at Paul Hastings LLP is regularly seen in courts up to appellate level. In one example, global department chair Barry Sher and Anthony Antonelli defended Barclays in the Southern District of New York against claims it fixed prices on the SSA bond market. A key lawyer is Kurt Hansson, who remains heavily involved in long-running litigation for Plaza Construction against more than 10,000 personal injuries arising from the clean-up effort at the World Trade Center post-9/11. Manufacturing clients are also a source of complex and mission-critical work; a team including Hansson, Sheila Sundvall and James Worthington is representing General Electric in litigation arising from the emergency landing of Southwest Airlines flight 1380 in April 2018 following the failure of a fan blade in the engine. High-profile departures included noted securities expert Douglas Flaum, who left for Goodwin in March 2019, and Shahzeb Lari, who departed for Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP in May 2019.
‘Aside from his quality litigation skills, John Phillips has vast knowledge of the domestic commercial nuclear industry and the science crucial to defending these types of cases.‘
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions
Royal Bank of Canada
Lehman Brothers Holdings
GE Asset Management
Enbridge Energy Partner
862 Second Avenue
Philadelphia Hospitality Partners
- Representing GlaxoSmithKline in litigation brought by former Chinese consultants, alleging RICO violations and fraud, conspiracy, and other torts relating to allegations of Chinese market misconduct by GSK.
- Acting for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in disputes including litigation concernign the validity of the COFINA structure.
- Representing Lehman Brothers Holdings in multiple proceedings in connection with the Lehman Bankruptcy.
- Acting as plaintiff counsel for Kratos Defense & Security Solutions in the Delaware Court of Chancery against Securitas Electronic Security; the lawsuit concerns M&A transaction issues.
- Defending Lippo China in the Delaware Chancery Court against allegations of breach of contract, fraud and other claims in connection with the purchase of assets associated with a subsidiary mining company out of bankruptcy.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP operates from 18 offices across the country, providing strategic guidance and trial advocacy to clients from a wide range of industries. The global commercial disputes practice, co-chaired by Janet Kwuon in LA, works closely with the firm's specialized industry groups, drawing on their deep expertise. International litigation is a strength of the department. The Miami office, where Edward Mullins and Cristina Cárdenas and Ana Barton are notable lawyers, is particularly strong in litigation related to Cuba. Other significant sources of work recently have been the pharmaceutical industry, and the firm has also carved out a niche in the managed care industry. Other key lawyers (all based in Chicago) include Martin Bishop, an expert in managed care; Peter Ellis, chair of the litigation department; and Michael O’Neil, who concentrates on the defense of class actions.
Other key lawyers:
Martin Bishop; Michael O’Neil; Bryan Webster; Edward Mullins; Cristina Cárdenas; Kenneth Broughton; Julie Hardin; Chris Watt; Brian Mitchell; Mark Johansen; Lorenzo Gasparetti; Jesse Miller; Terry Bates; Daniel Booker; John McIntyre; Jason Hazlewood; Ana Barton
‘Excellent firm. The partners are extremely engaged on winning cases and capable.‘
‘Edward Mullins is a high level attorney, with outstanding results in international litigation.‘
‘John McIntyre leads a team that makes us feel like we are his only client.‘
‘Brian Mitchell is a very good trial lawyer that has a reputation as an honest and ethical lawyer. If I was conflicted out of a case, I would think about referring it to Brian.’
‘The Reed Smith team provided legal services for a unique project. They very quickly learned the topic and contributed valuable insight and concrete deliverables. The team worked in an organized and time-sensitive manner.‘
‘The individuals who I have worked with from Reed Smith are very responsive. They normally reply within the same day. John McIntyre, in particular, has been attentive to our needs and typically thinks several steps ahead in the matters for which we have engaged him and his team. He follows through and stays in contact.‘
Sidley Austin LLP
Sidley Austin LLP maintains its reputation as a key firm for transactions and litigation. Headquartered in Chicago, the firm's litigation practice spans the country, and often works for high-profile clients. Key names are Mark Hopson in DC and Yvette Ostolaza in Dallas/Houston, who lead the department. Another noteworthy attorney is Thomas Rein in Chicago, who heads the firm's specialized IP litigation department.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Often serving as lead counsel on complex commercial litigation matters for major clients, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP stands out for the depth and breadth of its practice. The litigation department's expertise in the financial sector is widely recognized. In a recent bench trial in New Jersey federal court, Scott Musoff and Julie Cohen, who was promoted to partner in April 2019, successfully defended subsidiaries of Blackrock against claims of excessive fee claims; the damages sought were $1.55bn. Elsewhere, in a major appellate trial in the pharmaceutical space, a team led by Musoff, Robert Fumerton and Patrick Rideout secured the dismissal of all antitrust and breach of contract claims against client Express Scripts. Other key names in the department include George Zimmerman, a trusted counsel for a number of financial institutions in securities and bankruptcy litigation; Lauren Aguiar, whose broad experience spans from contractual and IP litigation to false advertising disputes; and Alexander Drylewski, who brings deep experience of securities class actions.
Other key lawyers:
- Defending UBS Real Estate Securities before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in the first residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) breach of contract action brought by a trustee to go to trial; the trusts sought in excess of $2bn.
- Defeating a motion for a preliminary injunction filed in New Jersey federal court that sought expedited relief in connection with client Johnson & Johnson’s upcoming shareholder meeting.
- Representing Capital One in an action arising out of a loan and security agreement in New York state appellate court.
- Acting for ride-hail company Juno USA in connection with litigation and regulatory issues relating to the New York City ride-hail industry, including challenging a New York City regulation that set forth a formula to calculate a minimum wage for app-based drivers.
- Skadden represented leading international plastics supplier A. Schulman at trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery in a $270 million breach of contract and fraud litigation brought against plastics company Citadel Plastics Holdings.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Known for its expertise handling complex, cross-border disputes involving multinational companies and foreign states, Steptoe & Johnson LLP is regularly involved in significant cases at trial and in arbitration, especially for companies in the energy sector. In a major development for long-standing client ExxonMobil, Steven Davidson is representing the oil company in a complaint against two Cuban state-owned entities, asserting claims for unlawful trafficking in expropriated property dating back to the Cuban Revolution. The firm's litigation practice continues to be active across the country. Laurie Edelstein in the San Francisco office is representing PG&E in a number of high-profile cases in California federal court, while in another notable matter, Michael Dockterman in the Chicago office is defending several former executives of the Tribune Company before the Second Circuit in bankruptcy litigation with damages sought in excess of $14bn. Other key lawyers are the 'outstanding' and 'super sharp' Shannen Coffin and recognized commercial litigator Leah Quadrino in DC. Among team developments in 2019, Robyn Crowther's arrival at the LA office from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP added depth to the office's litigation capabilities, while seasoned trial attorney Nathaniel Kritzer joined the New York office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Their appellate experience is second to none. They have government and agency expertise, clerking background with appellate courts, and hire only very bright people who have the background to handle almost any issue.‘
‘Chuck Cole and Shannen Coffin are outstanding. They are both extremely smart. They don’t just think outside the box, they think outside the building. They listen well and are good teammates on complex projects. A joy to work with.’
‘I worked with the NYC office of Steptoe. They were extremely good at mobilizing competent resources and approaching the case in a holistic manner. One of the very best firms I worked with.‘
‘Michael Miller is an outstanding professional. He has a strategic mind, is very process focused and very structured. He exercises excellent judgment, and his advice is invaluable; he is an excellent communicator and a great team leader, who knows how to get the best out of his team. And he is a great human being, who very much cares about his clients.‘
‘Steptoe’s litigators and regulatory lawyers worked seamlessly as a team, combining their knowledge and expertise to provide insightful analysis and advice and an excellent work product. It was obvious that they liked and respected one another. The Steptoe team also worked superbly with counsel from other firms on the matter, with diplomacy and collegiality. A valuable and rare combination of talent and collegiality.’
‘We worked most closely with Shannen Coffin. Shannen is super-sharp, experienced, and an excellent writer. But, beyond all of that, what really stood out was his intensity and level of commitment to the clients and the quality of the work. Shannon is driven, and puts in the time and active thought needed to do it right.‘
‘Charles Michael is an incredible team lead and strategist. His team members are knowledgeable and diligent. He is laser-focused on the tasks that add value and able to cut through distractions and dead ends.‘
Adtalem Global Education
Pebble Limited Partnership
Credit Suisse Group
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Southern California Edison
Georgia Power Co.
Sears and Transform Holdco (New Sears)
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock
- Defending Adtalem Global Education against lawsuits and arbitrations alleging misrepresentation and fraud regarding graduate career outcomes and placement statistics.
- Representing Crédit Suisse in New York Supreme Court in civil litigation brought by a prominent hedge fund related to second-home development financing transactions.
- Successfully defending Eversource against a pair of antitrust and consumer protection class actions brought by class of electric utility customers and producers, alleging market manipulation of New England utility markets.
- Securing a 7-2 victory in the US Supreme Court for BNSF Railway Co. in a case dealing with the railroad retirement system.
- Representing Charles Schwab in FINRA arbitration and litigation arising out of Schwab’s Registered Investment Advisory business.
Recently involved in a string of high-profile matters with industry-wide repercussions, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP has a bench of experienced and well-respected litigators who between them cover all aspects of commercial disputes. Among the litigation highlights of the year was the widely publicized Fujifilm/Xerox merger dispute: department chair and M&A litigation expert Tariq Mundiya represented Xerox in the $2.3bn breach of contract action brought by Fujifilm in the Southern District of New York. A key development for the team was Michael Gottlieb's arrival from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP in November 2018; having brought his client CITGO to the firm, he acted for the oil company in Delaware Chancery Court in a case concerning the legitimacy of the appointments of Directors by the Guaidó government in Venezuela. In other significant news, the firm launched an office in San Francisco in September 2019, and brought in experienced litigators Benedict Hur and Simona Agnolucci from Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP as managing partners. Another highly regarded lawyer is Mary Eaton in the New York office, who specializes in shareholder litigation. Star litigator Craig Martin joined the team from Jenner & Block LLP in March 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good advice from start to finish; they kept us appraised of the issues/challenges/direction and what to expect throughout the process.‘
‘Very responsive. Any queries we had were addressed rapidly and with clarity. I’d be happy to work with Mary Eaton on any future case.‘
Navy Federal Credit Union
GoldenTree Asset Management
GreenSky, Inc. Underwriters Group
School of American Ballet
South China Morning Post Publishers
JP Morgan Securities
Aaron Rich (brother of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich)
- Representing South China Morning Post in a defamation case arising from the failure of Global Merchant Funding.
- Acting for Larry A. Lawson in a $50m breach of contract suit against former employer, Spirit Aerosystems.
- Representing Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley in a securities lawsuit arising from the $1bn IPO of GreenSky, filed in New York Supreme Court and the Southern District of New York.
- Acting for Liberty Tax in securities and derivative litigation arising from alleged conduct of Liberty’s founder and controlling stockholder, John Hewitt.
- Defending CenturyLink in multiple federal securities class actions related to the CenturyLink/Level 3 merger.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP continues to be involved in high-end, complex litigation which often proceeds to appellate level. Stephen Baldini heads the litigation team from the firm's New York office; his areas of expertise include complex bankruptcy litigation and investor disputes. In recent highlights, Pratik Shah from the DC office scored a 7-1 Supreme Court victory for Allina Health Services in a Medicare Act rule challenge worth billions of dollars in hospital payments. In other major engagements, Mike Warnecke led a large Dallas-based team, which obtained a Supreme Court ruling in favor of Trinity Industries in a long-running FCA suit worth $682m, while Susan Leader in LA is representing Evans Hotels in RICO and antitrust litigation brought by labor unions in California federal court. Other leading attorneys include corporate and securities expert Mitchell Hurley in New York and Neal Ross Marder in LA. 2019 saw the retirement of commercial litigation veteran Robert Johnson.
Other key lawyers:
Allina Health Services
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Nine West Holdings
Civitas Capital Management
Civitas West Village Fund
Crunch San Diego
Fast Retailing USA
- Representing Alcresta Therapeutics before the DC Circuit Court in ‘bet-the-company’ litigation concerning billing coding for client’s product RELiZORB.
- Defending McDonalds on appeal before the 9th Circuit in class action litigation concerning franchisor liability.
- Acting for Fluence before US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in its defense against breach of contract allegations.
- Advising the General Partner and Manager of Civitas West Village Fund in connection with a derivative partnership action pending in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- Defending Mangrove Capital and winning a motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit, alleging damages in excess of $240m, filed in New York State Court.
Texas-based, with an international reach, Baker Botts L.L.P. routinely appears in trial courts around the country representing leading companies in significant commercial disputes. The firm's particular strengths include its work for the energy, and food and drinks industries, as well as its experience at appellate level. In one of the most prominent cases of the year for the energy sector, a team including Bill Kroger, James Barkley and Thomas Phillips successfully dismissed a motion which tried to stop the construction of the $2bn Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline. Elsewhere, Evan Young and Gavin Villareal secured a US Supreme Court victory for the Food Marketing Institute, in a landmark Freedom of Information Act decision. An associate to watch is Stephanie Cagniart, who has argued cases before the Fifth and Sixth Circuits. The arrival of leading technology trial lawyer Jonathan Patchen from Taylor & Patchen LLP in October 2019 significantly bolstered the capabilities of the firm's San Francisco office. In other major team news, Van Beckwith departed the firm to become Senior Vice-President and General Counsel at Halliburton in January 2020. Bridget Moore, known for her work in SEC enforcement matters, and securities specialist Danny David now act as co-heads of the litigation department.
Other key lawyers:
‘I’ve been a client of Jonathan Patchen in several major lawsuits. Every time I’ve come away feeling very lucky to have Jonathan on my team. He has a great legal mind, he’s a great strategist, he’s an excellent writer, and is able to form compelling and easy to understand arguments. Jonathan is also very personable, easy to work with, and a solid collaborator. Daniel Martin is also great to work with. He is a great legal writer and very personable.’
Food Marketing Institute
Ford Motor Credit Company
Keurig Dr Pepper
Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline
RGT Capital Management
Union Square Hospitality
- Successfully defending PepsiCo at the federal trial and appellate levels against trade secret allegations involving aroma release technology (seeking over $120 million in damages).
- Representing Sand Canyon Corporation in two RMBS cases in the Southern District of New York.
- Acting for Union Square Hospitality Group in an antitrust class action alleging New York and Chicago restaurants conspired to implement “no tipping” policies.
- Securing a $57.3 million federal jury verdict for Ford Motor Credit Company in a contract case that arose out of one of the nation’s largest auto-dealer frauds.
- Representing Oxbow Calcining in litigation brought by Port Arthur Steam Energy.
In addition to its reputation as a leading firm in Silicon Valley, Cooley LLP has a commercial disputes department which is active across the country and highly regarded for its technology and life sciences practices. In a matter demonstrating development of the firm's East Coast antitrust litigation, Philip Bowman is representing pharmaceutical company Retrophin in an antitrust case filed by Spring Pharmaceuticals and pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The department also has wide-ranging expertise in IP and trade secrets litigation. On the East Coast, Joseph Drayton is defending Bloomberg against patent infringement and theft of trade secrets claims in the Southern District of New York. In the Central District of California, Michael Attanasio and Alan Levine are representing plaintiff ChromaDex in a trade secrets and breach of contract dispute against Elysium Health. Among significant team developments, Travis LeBlanc joined the DC office in January 2019 from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP to become vice-chair of the firm's cyber/data/privacy practice.
Other key lawyers:
Douglas Chertok/Vast Ventures
Phoenix Navigation Components
The family and estate of Junior Seau
Two Jinn d/b/a Aladdin Bail Bonds
- Acting as lead counsel to Google in a lawsuit alleging breach of a trademark coexistence and settlement agreements that Google entered into in 2008.
- Representing Sony Electronics in a putative nationwide consumer class action in the District of New York.
- Securing victory for Sotera after an eight-day bench trial in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California; also representing the client on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
- Successfully representing Mott in two trade secret misappropriation cases brought against a competitor and several former employees in federal court in Connecticut.
- Acting for plaintiff Phoenix against EMCORE concerning misuse of Phoenix’s trade secrets and breach of contract.
The litigation department at Dentons benefits from the firm's vast international network, which provides breadth of experience, a diverse client base and cross-border expertise. Key lawyers to note are Tami Azorsky, who is acting for Unisys in Lousiana in an $80m case related to Medicare overpayments, and Sandra Hauser, who is representing Computershare in a case regarding the ownership and distribution rights of State of Israel bonds. In another highlight which has engaged help from the firm's St Kitts and Nevis and Hong Kong offices, Leah Bruno and associate Frank Paolini are representing Alpine Group in a lawsuit centred around a Ferrari 1964 prototype; the car was bought at auction, but the seller then changed his mind and absconded with the vehicle. A key arrival in January 2019 was Douglas Henkin from Baker Botts L.L.P., who brings a wealth of experience in securities and complex commercial litigation. A group of four partners from Steptoe & Johnson LLP joined the Phoenix office in April 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘What struck me about Denton’s General commercial disputes practice was the small firm attention we received from a big law firm. Although I have worked with several big firms, the Dentons General Commercial disputes practice was always on point and never dropped the ball. They kept on a tight schedule while being cost conscious. Fantastic team!‘
‘Michael Duvall especially was very personable and engaging. There was never a time when he was too busy to take a call. The team made us feel like a priority even though I know they had bigger cases on hand. Every response to our problems felt well thought out whether the matter was small or complex. Michael helped our company navigate being the target of acquisition while we were defending a class action at the same time.‘
Genworth Life Insurance Company and Genworth Financial
Alpine Group USVI
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
Builders Insurance Group
Matsuo Electric Company
- Defending Genworth before Delaware Chancery Court against claims of misleading and inadequate disclosures regarding premium increases for long-term care insurance policies.
- Representing InkSoft against Webby Central in a trade secrets trial in federal court.
- Securing dismissal of putative consumer privacy class action against Dow Jones in in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, filed under the Michigan Video Rental Privacy Act.
- Acting for Atkins Nutritionals in multiple class actions filed in California, New York and Missouri challenging carbohydrate-related labeling on its packaged food products.
- Obtaining a $0 defense verdict for Builders in a $3m lawsuit with allegations including breach of contract and fraud.
Based in Houston, boutique litigation firm Gibbs & Bruns LLP specializes in handling high-stakes business disputes in the energy and financial services sectors. An area of recent development for the firm has been in the tech space, especially in data privacy; Aundrea Gulley and Brian Ross are defending Reynolds & Reynolds in federal antitrust MDL litigation consolidated in the Northern District of Illinois arising from its computing platform. Elsewhere, among its core financial litigation, Kathy Patrick continues to handle follow-on disputes in the wake of a $2.4bn settlement with Lehman Brothers Holdings on behalf of 14 institutional investors, while Scott Humphries, Ashley Kleber and Colin Pogge are representing Trustmark National Bank in three lawsuits related to the collapse of the Stanford Financial Group (alleged damages total $5bn). In a highly significant matter in energy sector, Mark Giugliano and Anthony Kaim resolved a seven-year dispute for Chevron regarding the transfer of its responsibility for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Other key lawyers include the firm's founder Robin Gibbs, a standout generalist trial attorney, and Barrett Reasoner, known for his exceptional work in the energy sector
Other key lawyers:
Reynolds & Reynolds
Trustmark National Bank
Sanchez Oil & Gas
Natural Resource Partners
Pacific Investment Management Company
Pioneer Natural Resources
- Securing a $4.5bn settlement with JPMorgan on behalf of 21 institutional investors.
- Representing Occidental Chemical in a complex CERCLA contribution action related to the clean-up of pollution in the lower 8 miles of the Passaic River.
- Acting for plaintiff Enterprise Products Operating in an engineering/construction lawsuit involving $850m in cost overruns.
- Representing Fannie Mae in a $800m LIBOR suit agianst nine banks.
- Defending Waste Management in an environmental mass tort action brought by Harris County, Texas, alleging over 40 years of discharges into the San Jacinto River.
With 15 offices across the country, Hogan Lovells US LLP maintains a deep bench of attorneys able to deal with all aspects of commercial litigation. Key names are Desmond Hogan (in DC), a specialist in class actions and cyber litigation, and Dennis Tracey (in New York), an experienced trial lawyer who counts GE and Ford among his clients. Both men head the litigation practice for the Americas.
New to the ranking this year, Hueston Hennigan LLP has established itself since its founding in 2015 as one of the litigation boutiques to watch. It counts among its clients leading companies across a broad range of industries. The standout trial lawyer at the firm is co-founding partner John Hueston. He recently obtained a unanimous opinion at the US Supreme Court in favor of client Nutraceutical in a case that has significant implications for class action practice. In another highlight, Hueston and Douglas Dixon are lead counsel to Edison International and Southern California Edison in lawsuits arising from multiple California wildfires, which allege $7bn to $9bn in damages. Another key attorney is Moez Kaba, who defeated a $100m trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract suit against Bausch Health Companies in the Central District of California. In major team developments, experienced trial lawyer Alex Romain left for Irell & Manella LLP in January 2019.
‘The attorneys at Hueston Hennigan have a breadth and depth of experience, including at large law firms. They are excellent trial attorneys and strategists and can handle a variety of subject areas. Yet because it is a smaller firm you have the benefit of working more closely with their team and you have a sense that they understand you as a client. Because of the nature of the firm and the strength of its attorneys it can be nimble yet challenge the biggest law firms in the industry.‘
‘Personal attention, thoughtful strategy, complete commitment to your case and an effort to learn how the client functions. John Hueston, Moez Kaba, and Joseph Reiter are excellent attorneys with whom we have worked.‘
‘Each of the team members is extraordinarily talented, and they are better than the “sum of the parts” because they listen carefully to the client, are dedicated to aligning to the client’s goals, are diverse (only the best, no matter the gender, race, religion…), and enjoy prioritizing the team’s success and the contributions of team members (rather than glorifying the team’s leaders).‘
‘John Hueston is an extraordinary lawyer and leader who loves what he does. He brings a joyful spirit of service to his work – a gratefulness, respect for others, and commitments to excellence and the truth.‘
Southern California Edison and Edison International
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
The Navajo Nation
Bausch Health Companies
Universal City Studios
Monster Energy Corporation
- Secured a complete victory for Caltech in a whistleblower trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.
- Representing the Navajo Nation in all aspects of its claims arising out of an acid mine wastewater spill from the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.
- Securing affirmation from the Second Circuit that client Grindr and its owners cannot be held liable for the acts of its users.
- Obtaining a preliminary injunction for Amgen in a case impacting the California pharmaceutical industry.
- Representing Sorrento Therapeutics in litigation seeking to hold billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong accountable for an alleged “catch and kill” scheme.
Drawing on an extensive network of 23 offices nationwide, K&L Gates provides comprehensive capability in commercial disputes, and deals with clients from a wide variety of industries. The department has recently seen an increase in data breach-related class actions and supply chain disputes. In an example of the latter, Pallavi Mehta Wahi in Seattle represented Quest Software in a breach of contract dispute with an independent vendor relating to obligations under a master services agreement. A trial lawyer to watch is Thomas Birsic in the Pittsburgh office, who is leading the defense of Arkema in multiple civil lawsuits arising from fires at one of the chemical company's factories in the wake of Hurricane Harvey; the cases are filed in the Southern District of Texas and Texas state courts. The department's integration into the firm's global network well places it to handle cross-border disputes and international arbitrations. The arrival of Jonathan Hersey from CKR Law in September 2019 to the Orange County office brought expertise in IP litigation.
Other key lawyers:
Carnegie Mellon University
World Wrestling Entertainment
- Acting as insurance coverage counsel for Hexcel in New Jersey state court in connection with unpaid insurance claims (in excess of $60m) related to environmental liabilities alleged to arise out of its former manufacturing facility.
- Representing plaintiff Carnegie Mellon University in a patent infringement dispute with LSi Corp and Avago Technologies.
- Acting for T-Mobile on a breach of contract and a trademark infringement claim.
- Representing a joint venture of Shimmick Construction and Obayashi Corporation as plaintiff in a contract dispute over construction of the San Vicente Dam Raise project.
- Acting for Vibram in an insurance coverage lawsuit arising out of a quite interesting case involving the misappropriation of the name of a deceased Olympic champion; the case was tried in Massachusetts state court.
The extensive litigation practice at McDermott Will & Emery LLP spans the entire country, and handles cases from across the spectrum of commercial disputes. The department is involved in a number of prominent product liability cases. In a significant matter in this area, Terrence Dee is representing Motorola in DC Superior Court in a case claiming damages in excess of $2.5bn related to brain tumours allegedly caused by the company's phones. Healthcare litigation is another recognized strength of the firm. In a notable victory in this sector, Christopher Murphy secured the complete dismissal of a class action against healthcare client Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, in a matter challenging the reorganization of the company into a for-profit stock insurance company. In California, the department has built a reputation as a go-to IP litigation practice, offering robust patent and trademark protection to a number of high-profile clients. Former head of the San Francisco and Silicon Valley litigation group Marisa Chun left for Crowell & Moring LLP in April 2019, and former head of the Los Angeles litigation group Charles Weir departed for Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP in September 2019.
Other key lawyers:
National Football League
James Hardie Building Products
Southern Illinois Healthcare
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
DaVita HealthCare Partners
Universal Health Services
HIG Growth Partners and HIG Capital
Roche Health Solutions
St. Joseph’s Health
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
- Defending IKO Industries in an MDL consolidated class action alleging that the defendant’s organic asphalt roofing shingles are defective in that they fail prematurely (damages sought in excess of $100m).
- Representing accounting firm BDO in business tort matter brought by a high net-worth family in connection with five tax shelters BDO’s Tax Solutions group helped the family execute.
- Acting for Ascensia Diabetes Care and Bayer in a nationwide class action worth $100m concerning the pricing and marketing of diabetes testing strips.
- Representing Walgreens, Target and CVS in a class action in Florida state court alleging that a tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products is unconstitutional.
- Defending PG&E against multiple shareholder derivative suits and securities fraud class actions arising from wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties.
Norton Rose Fulbright's large international network gives it an advantage in cross-border disputes, but its US litigation department is also highly active in impressive cases for domestic clients at both state and federal trial level. A significant area of growth has been in antitrust litigation. Layne Kruse from the Houston office is representing Phillips 66 in an antitrust class action pending in California federal court which alleges the fixing of gasoline prices. Elsewhere, Stephen Dillard is defending Vulcan Materials Company against 25 separate lawsuits brought by water companies and municipalities in the State of New York for alleged groundwater contamination. Other key lawyers include co-heads of the commercial litigation team Thomas McCormack and Scott Incerto, who are involved in prominent litigation. Noted trial lawyer McCormack, acting as counsel to client Africard, attached a $35m townhouse in Manhattan owned by Niger in order to enforce a $46m judgment against the sovereign state, while Incerto is representing Farmers Group in an insurance class action in Texas.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have worked with the NRF team for quite a number of years on a number of different mandates and they have never failed to provide timely, understandable and focused advice. they are our go-to team in NY and our start point for any dispute in the US.‘
‘Tom Hall for his approachability and availability and his willingness to give advice on a tiered basis; high-level experience based first, followed by thought-through researched opinion pieces. Robert Schwinger has helped on some assignments too and is highly knowledgeable and user friendly.‘
Willis-Knighton Health System
Robert Bosch Tools
Farmers New World Life Insurance Company
- Representing Willis-Knighton Health system, a Louisiana hospital system, in Louisiana federal court, in a case brought by a competing hospital and an insurance provider for alleged antitrust violations.
- Obtaining summary judgment for Robert Bosch in a $450m antitrust case in the Northern District of Virginia and the Fourth Circuit.
- Acting for Flotek and its officers and directors in a Rule 10b-5 class action and two shareholder derivative actions arising from a short-seller attack relating to data errors in a Flotek software program.
- Representing Apollo Endosurgery in a case alleging false advertising, counterfeiting and trademark infringement in the Southern District of Florida.
- Acting for Rockwell Collins in a 15-day trial in the Southern District of New York; allegations include breaches of an asset purchase agreement in connection with the company’s acquisition of International Communications Group.
The wide-ranging litigation practice at Ropes & Gray LLP attracts complex and high-value commercial disputes work, especially from clients in the pharmaceutical and private equity spaces. In addition to standout matters in Massachusetts out of the firm's head office in Boston, the department is also particularly active in business disputes in Delaware. In a recent high-profile victory in Delaware Supreme Court, a team led by David Hennes on behalf of William Koch overturned a Delaware Chancery Court decision to permit minority investors in Oxbow to force a contractual 'exit sale' of the company, a decision worth $1.5bn. Securities class actions and bankruptcy litigation, as well as arbitration, are other strengths of the department. Co-chairs of the commercial litigation practice John Bueker and Jeffrey Bushofsky are standout litigators, both possessing impressive trial track records for private equity and pharmaceutical clients. November 2019 saw two partner promotions: Adam Harris in New York lends expertise in securities class actions and Timothy Farrell in Chicago focuses on M&A and corporate governance litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘Lisa Bebchick has great judgment and years of experience with resolving disputes and, when necessary, pursuing litigation efficiently and effectively. I value her sage advice, her attention to detail, and the vigorous advocacy she provides in any given matter.‘
William Koch, Oxbow Carbon & Minerals Holdings
Oxbow Carbon Investment Company
The Baupost Group
Behrman Brothers Management Company
Masterworks Development Corporation
Morgan Stanley Senior Funding
Boston Children’s Hospital
Park Hotels & Resorts
Coca-Cola Florida Beverage Holdings
- Securing victory for Elliott Management Corp in a long-running bankruptcy dispute in the US bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
- Obtaining dismissal of a lawsuit alleging client Overton had violated the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in connection with certain rights it had purchased from a creditor in the long-running Lehman bankruptcy.
- Securing victory for client Behrman Brothers Management Company in Alabama state court in a breach of contract case arising from the client’s bankruptcy.
- Obtaining dismissal of a complaint filed in North Carolina state and federal court against private equity client Sterling Partners and two of its funds.
- Representing a Florida Coke bottler in an ownership dispute in Delaware Chancery Court, as well as in related Florida litigation.
From a single office in New York, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz regularly garners praise for its expertise in litigation relating to mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and restructuring. Key lawyers at the firm are department co-chairs and widely respected trial attorneys William Savitt, who specializes in M&A and corporate governance disputes, and Jonathan Moses, whose practice includes securities litigation and international arbitration.
Cross-border litigation is a particular strength at Allen & Overy LLP, and the firm counts a number of major multinational companies among its clients. A number of its clients are major international banks, including BNP Paribas and Citibank. The department's standout trial lawyer is Jacob Pultman. In New York Supreme Court, he recently defended Deutsche Bank in litigation brought by Galopy Corporation International, a Curacao-based holding company; Andrew Rhys Davies, who focuses on cross-border matters, also led on this matter. In a domestic case, Pultman represented Argo Infrastructure Partners in federal litigation and arbitration relating to the client's 50-year lease of the water and sewer assets of the Borough of Middletown, Pennsylvania. Elsewhere, senior associate Bradley Pensyl represented International Car Wash Group in the Northern District of Alabama in an asset purchase agreement dispute. Julian Moore, who joined the firm in October 2019 from an in-house role, combines experience in civil litigation, white-collar defense and government investigations.
Other key lawyers:
- Acting for BNP Paribas in multi-district litigation against a former client of the bank.
- Representing Citibank in New York Supreme Court relating to instructions by a majority of senior secured noteholders to consummate a sale of shares of Norske Skog AS.
- Defending Samsung in MDL class action alleging price-fixing by manufacturers of cathode ray tubes.
- Securing victory in arbitration for Howard Juster against the managing member of a real estate joint venture under the parties’ operating agreement.
- Defending Samsung SDI in lithium-ion batteries MDL litigation; plaintiffs allege a conspiracy to fix the prices of lithium-ion batteries affecting sales to customers all around the world.
A major force in the energy sector, Bracewell LLP is based in Texas, but its geographical reach spans the country. The litigation team is also known for strengths in the tech and financial industries. In major work, 'exceptional' practice head Stephen Crain represented Apache Corporation in a $1.1bn case arising from purchase and sale agreements filed in Texas state court; he obtained a dismissal of the entire case on the eve of trial. In another highlight, a team led by Bryan Dumesnil and Bradley Benoit acted for Southern Copper Corporation in a shareholder derivative action filed in Delaware Chancery Court arising out of transactions related to two power plants. Another key litigator is the 'masterful strategist' Sean Gorman in Houston; he is representing Southwestern Energy as plaintiff against Sapient in Texas state court in case alleging that Sapient failed to meet expectations that it would implement cutting-edge energy trading and risk management software.
‘The team functions better as a team than just about any other team I have known in my career. It has integrated seamlessly across the client, the experts and the legal staff. The team demonstrates complete commitment, but also if blindingly realistic in its assessment of our strengths and weaknesses. They listen well and are patient explaining what different issues mean.‘
‘We are dealing with multiple firms in addition to Bracewell. Bracewell is clearly above the other firms. They have a much firmer and a more granular level of understanding of the facts than the other firms. They are more patient in describing the alternatives and providing an understandable assessment of them. They communicate openly and balance competing interest to our benefit. Stephen Crain is the lead partner. He is exceptional in all aspects. Having worked with many attorneys over my career, I find him the best all-round. He leads his team very well and gives people leeway to act. A true leader. His co-counsel is Brad Benoit, and he and Crain have the perfect balance in their relationship. I was very impressed and continue to be with Dianne Crabtree, an exceptional attorney with the greatest precise understanding of the history of our issues of any of the team. I felt the entire Bracewell Team was “Lake Wobegon”, where everyone was above average.‘
‘Bracewell is an effective group of litigators. They are able to focus on the overall outcome of a case while handling important minute details. I was totally confident in their collective advice, as they assessed all aspects of the case and quickly strategized a resolution. Bracewell has the ability to instil total confidence that the client is in capable hands.‘
‘Sean Gorman is a brilliant lawyer, masterful strategist and effective negotiator. He is a tireless worker who constantly explores the potential need for mid-course corrections that must be considered during the course of a complex case. Sean never loses sight of the big-picture objective as he manages the various moving parts in a lawsuit to make a comfortable and predictable experience for his client. In my opinion, Sean is an extremely effective lawyer who stands out as one of the very best in Houston.‘
Battery Park City Authority
The City of Houston, Texas
The Medicines Company
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Vopak North America
- Representing plaintiff Vopak Americas in claims against ITC for property and economic damage caused by a fire at one of the defendant’s petrochemical plants.
- Defending AEP Texas against a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Radio Tower Networks in the Southern District of Texas.
- Acting for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in a dispute over control of the Hermann Eye Fund, a case worth $35m.
- Continuing to represent Venoco in bankruptcy litigation pending in California federal court.
- Handling an appeal argued before the New York Court of Appeals on behalf of Battery Park City Authority relating to World Trade Center litigation.
The 'highly talented' litigation team at Cohen & Gresser LLP regularly handles complex commercial disputes up to appellate level for clients from a variety of industries. Among its key litigators, Mark Cohen, praised as 'the complete package', is a decorated trial lawyer, the 'whip-smart' Lawrence Gresser brings expertise in class action disputes, and Nathaniel Read is highly experienced in business disputes. In work for a market-leading client, Gresser is defending Goldman Sachs in a case alleging a group boycott among major investment banks. Elsewhere, Gale Dick is representing Bridgewood Capital in a trademark dispute with cross-border elements in Latin America. Melissa Maxman in the DC office won a significant antitrust victory; on behalf of Höegh Autoliners she obtained dismissal of all price fixing and bid rigging allegations.
‘Highly talented team focused singularly on dispute resolution and litigation. A go-to firm for managing complex disputes.‘
‘Melissa Maxman is a superb counselor to businesses, provides practical, business-oriented advice on resolving disputes, strategizing through complex situations, and with a special focus on antitrust counseling. Brilliant thinker and lawyer.’
‘Mark Spatz is a very insightful and diligent lawyer.’
‘C&G provides very hands-on advice and is well-connected and can provide not only legal advice but also more strategic advice, which is very useful. The firm also promotes women, which is a selling point in itself.‘
‘Melissa Maxman and Danielle Morello are both well-equipped to handle large disputes with international dimensions in a personable and efficient manner.‘
‘We have partnered with Cohen & Gresser for more than 10 years. They understand our business needs in-depth, they are highly responsive, the quality of the work is always excellent, and our business relies heavily on their counsel. They have been very successful for us in litigation matters.‘
‘We work closely with Nate Read. Not only a pleasure to work with, Nate is intelligent, astute and delivers stellar work in litigation, counseling, and negotiation. Nate is not only the attorney who we rely upon the most, he is truly a trusted advisor and a tremendous asset to the business. Nate’s work has been instrumental in key litigation matters, enabling our products to have an unparalleled record of success in the courts.‘
‘Very experienced and talented litigators who really know their way around a courtroom. Their capability to be trial-ready and go to trial is a great asset. They also have done a great job in recruiting very senior and prominent women partners, especially for their regulatory work.‘
‘Nate Read is a standout partner whose talents range from investigations to litigation especially in the areas of structured finance and complex contract disputes. He is a great advocate with a gift for simplifying complex matters and driving successful outcomes over the finish line.‘
‘Lean teams of competent and hardworking attorneys who provide solid work and advice.‘
‘Strong comprehension of the legal issues and precedents with a common sense approach around the specific situation.‘
‘Cohen & Gresser has a deep and experienced bench – unlike many of its peers it has lots of people with real experience trying and arbitrating cases to final award. They are also cost-efficient.‘
‘Mark Cohen is the complete package. He is highly intelligent and strategic, great on his feet, has outstanding judgment and instincts, a calming and reassuring presence as a counselor, and is appropriately aggressive and tough when and as needed. Larry Gresser is also whip smart and an old school renaissance lawyer who can do it all; he’s a true consigliere and the person you’d want in your fox hole in any kind of fight. Nate Read also deserves mention as a well-rounded litigator and steady presence.‘
‘Able to handle matters in a cost-effective manner, they are smart, sophisticated and commercially-savvy lawyers capable of effectively litigating complex matters.‘
‘I have worked closely with Dan Tabak. He is incredibly smart and has a unique ability to quickly get up to speed on a complicated set of legal and factual issues. He is a tenacious advocate for his clients but always litigates within the bounds of professionalism.‘
Fidelity Brokerage Services
MidOcean US Advisor
Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan)
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- Representing MidOcean US Advisor in a dispute with a buy-side advisor regarding the advisor’s claim for finders fee following MidOcean’s acquisition of a portfolio company.
- Acting for HRG Group in a lawsuit in the District of Maryland relating to compensation paid to insurance agents and producers who sell life insurance on behalf of the carriers.
Based in Michigan, Dickinson Wright PLLC has wide-ranging disputes capabilities, with a strong reach over the Midwest, as well as Nevada and Arizona. Key lawyer and director of the litigation division Thomas McNeill has extensive experience representing high-profile clients, defending class actions, and continues to represent American Furukawa in a $350m cross-border case stemming from a mass product recall. In the Reno office, John Desmond is defending Allied Nevada Gold Corp in securities litigation brought by the company's shareholders before the Ninth Circuit. Also of note is Daniel Quick, who focuses on IP disputes and recently defended healthcare company Graminex in a trademark infringement case brought by competitor AB Cernelle in the Eastern District of Michigan. In 2019, there were a number of arrivals to the firm's Phoenix office from Steptoe & Johnson LLP: generalist litigator Bruce Converse, Timothy Overton, who has expertise in complex insurance coverage disputes, and Bennett Cooper, an expert on appellate practice, especially on the Ninth Circuit.
Other key lawyers:
Green Thumb Industries
Allied Nevada Gold
National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh
- Representing GTI Nevada and its parent company as the defendants in a dispute with minority shareholders of the Nevada entity after the parent company was acquired by a Canadian public company.
- On behalf of the National Union Fire Insurnace Co. of Pittsburgh, defending, on appeal before the Ninth Circuit and the Arizona Supreme Court, the federal district court’s grant of summary judgment to defendant National Union in an action for insurance coverage and bad faith brought by Apollo, the parent company of the University of Phoenix.
- Acting for automotive manufacturing company Usui in antitrust MDL class actions filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, arising out of a DOJ investigation into price-fixing.
Part of a global network, Eversheds Sutherland often handles cross-border disputes, while also being prominent in litigation in the Georgia area. It has strong capabilities in the education, insurance and media sectors, as well as expertise dealing with disputes for clients in the energy and natural resources sector. Accountants liability representation is also an area of particular strength; the firm has acted as lead counsel for all members of the Big Four. Among the firm's top litigators are Thomas Curvin in Atlanta, a highly active trial lawyer; co-head of the global litigation team Ronald Zdrojeski in New York, who is highly experienced defending businesses in complex commercial disputes; and accounting and financial litigation expert Amelia Toy Rudolph in Atlanta.
The State of Florida
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
The commercial litigation department at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is fully integrated into the firm's international practice, and able to draw on cross-border expertise for complex business disputes involving high-profile, multinational clients. A major team development in October 2019 was the arrival of securities and M&A litigation expert Meredith Kotler from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Already highly active for major clients, she is representing 3M in MDL securities class action and shareholder derivative litigation which alleges failure to disclose reserves for environmental liabilities. Other leading practitioners include Linda Martin, co-head of the global financial institutions disputes group. In 2019, she led the team which successfully defended Abdul Latif Jameel Transportation against FedEx before the Sixth Circuit. Also a leading commercial litigator, Timothy Harkness is the co-head of the global commercial disputes group, and regularly advises international financial services and accounting firms. Among recent highlights, he represented a leading US tech company in a dispute with an early investor, including executing a cross-border litigation strategy to seek injunctive relief.
Sinclair Broadcasting Group
AMBAC Financial Group
Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP
A Chicago-headquartered trial and litigation boutique, with offices in Dallas and Santa Monica, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP is regularly sought after for its expertise in product liability, mass tort, class action, IP and antitrust litigation. A particular strength of the firm is in the pharmaceutical industry. Co-founder Tarek Ismail and Jennifer Greenblatt are defending Merck & Co. against over a dozen putative antitrust class actions arising out of the company's settlement of a Zetia Hatch-Waxman patent case in 2010. The firm is also active in the sports space (Major League Baseball is a key client), as well as the retail and manufacturing sectors. In the latter area, a cross-office team is serving as co-national defense counsel for 3M on a number of nationwide actions relating to the manufacture of perfluorinated compounds. Another key litigator is Alan Littmann, a specialist in complex litigation involving scientific and technical subject matters; he also counts MLB and HBO among his clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Goldman Ismail’s team is responsive and its ‘all fixed fee’ approach removes billing surprises. The team is especially good at keeping us informed about deadlines and decision points and drafts are always provided in plenty of time for review.‘
‘Tarek Ismail and Jennifer Greenblatt have the right balance of ‘tough’ and ‘friendly’. They won’t back down, but they don’t break dishes just to stand out.‘
Merck & Co.
Johnson & Johnson
Major League Baseball
- Representing AbbVie in eight consolidated cases in Illinois state court; plaintiffs are hedge funds that invested in Shire Pharmaceuticals after AbbVie announced its intention to acquire Shire in 2014.
- Acting as lead counsel defending a Fortune 10 consumer electronics company in a series of patent infringement cases; the plaintiffs’ demand has been over $1bn.
- Defending Lafarge North America against an opt-out antitrust matter brought by Home Depot alleging that Lafarge violated the Sherman Act by participating in a nationwide conspiracy to fix prices in the drywall industry.
- Acting as lead counsel for MLB Advanced Media in a lawsuit involving allegations of paten infringement trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract relating to the tracking and display of pitches during Major League Baseball games; the case was filed in the Southern District of New York.
- Serving as co-lead counsel for UCB in opioid-related litigation filed in the Northern District of Ohio; a motion to dismiss was obtained for an action filed in Arkansas state court.
Focusing in particular on the financial services and real estate industries, Katten is frequently active in state and federal courts across the country. Another area of particular strength is in insurance and healthcare fraud. In a highlight matter, a team led by Barrett Howell and Brandon McCarthy from the Dallas office is representing Brian Swiencinski, a former pharmacy owner charged in the largest-ever healthcare fraud enforcement action, in excess of $400m. Elsewhere, in the real estate space, William Moore recently filed a complaint in the Middle District of Florida on behalf of Club Exploria against a law firm which attempts to convince customers stop making payments on their timeshares. In a long-running financial services litigation case, Sheldon Zenner in Chicago continues to defend Wells Fargo against allegations of discriminatory lending practices and damages of $300m. Other key lawyers include national co-chair of the litigation and dispute resolution department Gil Soffer, who specializes in white-collar and civil fraud, and fellow co-chair Stacey McKee Knight in LA, an employment law expert. Chad Doellinger departed for Greenberg Traurig LLP in November 2018.
Other key lawyers:
Brian Sweinchinski/Omni Pharmacy/Omni Plus
United Development Funding
Infinium Capital Holdings
Affirmative Insurance Company
- Securing dismissal from the Seventh Circuit of a lawsuit against client Infinium Capital Holdings brought by three dozen former employees who claim the company misled employees about the firm’s financial health and duped them into investing into an employee capital pool; alleged damages were $4m.
- Defending six former directors and officers of Affirmative Insurance Company, a formerly publicly traded insurance company, against demands concerning the failure and bankruptcy of the company.
- Acting for UBS, one of the repo lenders in defense of fraudulent transfer (and related counts) litigation relating to the bankruptcy of Thornburg Mortgage (n/k/a TMST).
- Representing global financial institutions, hedge funds and individual defendants who have been sued by Irving Picard, the trustee for Madoff Securities, in numerous matters commenced in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and abroad; alleged damages exceed $2bn in aggregate for all suits.
- Representing UMB Bank in its role as indenture trustee for $6.3 billion in notes issued by Caesars Entertainment Operating Company (a debtor in Chapter 11) in UMB’s lawsuit against Caesars’ parent, Caesars Entertainment Corporation (CEC), for breach of its guarantee of payment under the trust indenture.
Cross-border work, especially for banks and multinational corporate institutions, is the recognized strength at Linklaters LLP. The firm's commercial disputes team is well-versed in securities, class action and antitrust litigation, as well as having respected capabilities in arbitration. Head of the dispute resolution practice Adam Lurie is a recognized trial lawyer; alongside James Warnot, he led the firm's defense of Sibanye-Stillwater in Delaware Chancery Court in a case filed by a small group of shareholders following the merger of Stillwater and Thor Mergco. Recent work in the financial field includes Warnot's defense of Société Générale and SG Americas Securities in multiple lawsuits over the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange benchmark rates; the cases were filed in the Southern District of New York. In an example of cross-border work, Lurie led a team acting for Holtec in a series of cross-border defamation and tortious interference actions filed by Italy-based plaintiff Tecnimont; he won a motion for the lawsuit to stay in the District of New Jersey, in favor of related arbitration in the UK.
‘The team is very attuned to the needs of the bank. Some matters call for background advice and guidance, and not the full panoply of counsel and documents; other matters required full-on involvement. In each instance, they were prepared to be involved as needed, the advice was well-reasoned, and the time/effort in line with the bank’s tolerance – good outcomes in each matter.‘
‘The primary engagement partner is Adam Lurie, who provided excellent support in several matters, listened to our concerns (e.g., balancing need for advice with perennial cost concerns), and helped to resolve matters expeditiously and without drama. We know that when/if the situations arise, we can count on him and his team.’
ICBC Standard Bank
Government of Gabon
L’Agence Nationale des Grands Travaux
- Defending Sibanye Gold in a securities class action in the Eastern District of New York, following two safety accidents in its South African mines in 2018.
- Acting as lead counsel to leading multinational banks and funds in an ISDA-related arbitration concerning derivative products related to Sears Roebuck loans.
- Representing North Sails Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of sailing equipment and apparel, in its breach-of-contract suit against an Austrian licensee and its German private-equity parent company.
- Acting for Metro Bank in a purported securities class action lawsuit filed in California federal court.
- Defending Gabon and its public works instrumentality, L’Agence Nationale des Grands Travaux, in litigation in federal court in Washington, D.C.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP
The litigation team at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has an impressive reach across the country, and is highly active in California, the Mid-West and the North-East. The practice continues to grow: following the expansion of the Chicago office, the new Boston office opened in April 2019, focusing on data privacy and general commercial litigation. Although the firm has strong breadth over multiple major industries, especially noteworthy expertise is in healthcare, entertainment, media and financial services. A key trial lawyer is Ronald Turovsky, who heads the firm's civil trial and appellate group from LA. 2019 was a busy year for the firm. One of the highlights was Nigel Wilkinson securing a second appellate victory on the Fourth Circuit for plaintiff L-3 Communications against Serco in a civil RICO case. Elsewhere, a team led by Andrew Morrison secured a victory for LCI Helicopters in bankruptcy proceedings in the Southern District of New York.
‘Manatt has an absolutely stellar litigation practice. They objectively and thoughtfully assess the strengths and weaknesses of each case, creatively pursue ways to position their clients for the best resolution, and seek early resolution where appropriate. They are exceptionally good at crafting and then telling their client’s “story” in a compelling way to judges, juries, and mediators. Also, notably, in my experience with Manatt, their lawyers’ interests are fully aligned with those of their clients; that is, they never look to maximize their billable hours, but rather focus exclusively on furthering their client’s legitimate interests in the most efficient way. Finally, I’ve never been more impressed with a firm’s integrity. While they are zealous advocates, they never compromise ethics, and the lawyers with whom I’ve worked have a high standard of what is right and wrong, and adhere to that. That well-earned reputation gives them tremendous credibility with Courts and counter-parties, and has a clear derivative benefit for their clients.’
‘Craig Derecat: one of the top three trial lawyers I’ve seen in 30 years. Remarkable skills at assessing a case, and developing and executing on the theme of that case. He is highly respected by almost everyone with whom he deals – judges, opposing counsel, witnesses, and clients.‘
‘Creative, out-of-the-box thinking while also focused on the details. My go-to firm.’
‘Having used dozens of Big Law firms over the years – and myself a former partner in one – Manatt’s work was as good as any. They approached the case with creativity and strategic acumen, worked extraordinarily well as a team, and displayed excellent trial skills. John Libby is a top-notch trial attorney, who knows how to hit the precise note with courts and with adversaries. He and Emil Petrossian run terrific, collegial teams. Andrew Case and Ana Guardado, despite being at associate level, displayed partner-level skills.‘
Blue Shield of California
Sea Port Group Securities
- Acting as lead counsel on more than 30 lawsuits filed by substance abuse treatment providers alleging Health Net’s failure to pay for services rendered by out-of-network providers to Helath Net’s insured.
- Representing West Publishing Corporation as plaintiff in the District of Minnesota in a civil commercial dispute worth $10m against LegalEase Solutions.
- Securing a win on the Second Circuit for Sea Port Group Securities, putting an end to a former executive’s attmept to vacate an arbitration aware obtained by the client.
- Representing CBS Broadcasting in a lawsuit filed by Chuck Norris’ production company, Top Kick Productions, concerning contract claims regarding the distribution of the television series Walker, Texas Ranger; the value of the case is $30m.
- Acting for EMI April Music in the Southern District of New York in a highly publicised contract lawsuit filed by Kanye West.
From its main offices in Virginia, McGuireWoods LLP is particularly strong in the South, but its litigation practice reaches across the country and is comfortable handling cases up to appellate level. The team has been active recently in a number of multi-district class actions. It continues to represent Ford in a series of significant asbestos lawsuits, having secured successes in New York and Maryland state appellate courts in 2018. In another signifiant commercial dispute, Ava Lias-Booker defended Telos Corp in Maryland State Court against claims brought by shareholders and hedge funds that it fail to pay more than $100m in dividends. A key lawyer is Jonathan Blank in Charlottesville, chair of the business and securities litigation department and a well-known trial lawyer who focuses on energy law. Among key hires in 2019 were Stephen Foresta to the New York office from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who has a track record in mass tort and product liability actions, and Tanya Greene, a respected business litigator with experience advising Fortune 100 clients, to the LA office from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Litigation boutique MoloLamken LLP attracts an international client base, and tries cases in courtrooms around the country at all judicial levels up to the US Supreme Court. It is known in particular for its plaintiff work, especially in RMBS litigation. Other areas of strength include trade secrets, breach of contract, transactional disputes and international arbitration. The firm's key lawyer is founding partner Steven Molo. In April 2019, he secured a favorable settlement for Petsmart in the Southern District of New York, ending a dispute over the payment of a $900m dividend. Another leading practitioner is Robert Kry in the DC office, who recently achieved a $250m settlement for Christine Asia, the plaintiff in a securities fraud class action arising out of the 2014 IPO of Alibaba. Lucas Walker rejoined the DC office in January 2019 following a year as judicial clerk to Justice Neil Gorsuch; his practice focuses on appellate litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent, dedicated attorneys. The perfect marriage of knowledge and intelligence.‘
‘Steve Molo has a gut instinct for what is the right thing to say at the right moment and Justin Ellis has an unsurpassed encyclopedic knowledge of the law and all of its intricacies.‘
‘MoloLamken is a top quality boutique commercial litigation firm. Steve Molo is a great lawyer and he surrounds himself with very bright, motivated lawyers. They are creative and proactive and very involved in the cases where I have worked with them. I think one thing you get with this firm versus many others is assurance on quality control. There are no ‘B’ lawyers at the firm.‘
‘Steve Molo has a great reputation and terrific knowledge of the courts and the law. He works well in teams representing multiple parties and is creative and proactive.‘
‘Excellent in substance and presentation.‘
Directors of PetSmart and Argos Holdings
Indeck Energy Services
Andron Medical Associates
Hub International Midwest
Transit Funding Associates
Tilden Park Capital
HPS Investment Partners
- Representing Indeck Energy Services in a breach of contract and trade secrets action against a Minnesota Private Equity firm in New York state court.
- Acting for Carpatsky Petroleum Corp in a dispute filed in the Southern District of Texas with its former joint venture partner Ukrnafta concerning efforts to develop oil and gas fields in Ukraine.
- Handling an antitrust complaint filed in the Southern District of Illinois on behalf of Marion Healthcare, Marion Diagnostic and Andron Medical Associates against Becton, Dickinson & Co; the plaintiffs allege damages in excess of $300m.
- Representing insurance broker Hub International against claims by a South Carolina school district, stemming from the school district’s CFO having pled guilty to state and federal crimes over the past several years; the appeal was argued before the Fourth Circuit.
- Acting for Transit Funding Associates in a business tort action against Capital One, the bank that formerly funded its credit facility, in a case filed in New York state court.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP enters the ranking following a strong year of commercial litigation. Alongside general capabilities in commercial disputes, the firm is known for its insurance recovery practice, especially in the area in which construction infrastructure and insurance overlap. In a recent success, Miami-based Jennifer Altman secured a $370m judgment for Laserscopic Spinal Centers of America in a long-running dispute arising from the misappropriation of the client's business. Elsewhere, David Keyko and Eric Fishman wrapped up a decade-long antitrust case, securing a dismissal from the Second Circuit of a $1.4bn claim against clients American Media and Distribution Services. Key among the firm's trial lawyers is head of the litigation department Deborah Baum in Washington DC, who recently defended UIP in two actions, one in the Delaware Chancery Court, and a breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy case in DC federal court. Important new arrivals include Ari Berman, a securities specialist, from Vinson & Elkins LLP to the New York office in February 2019, and Richard Giller, an insurance recovery expert, from Reed Smith LLP to the LA office in October 2019.
Joe Samuel Bailey and Laserscopic Spinal Centers of America
American Media and Distribution Services
Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund and ERP Compliant Fuels
Western States Petroleum Association
Black and Veatch
Zhongzhi Enterprise Group (ZEG)
Lyft/Bay Area Motivate
Zero-Gravity Holdings (successor to Space Adventures)
- Defeating claims on behalf of Western States Petroleum Association against activists and farmers seeking to overturn an ordinance streamlining the permitting of oil production in Kern Country, California.
- Successfully representing IQVIA in New York Supreme Court and securing the court’s affirmation that IQVIA is an indemnified witness, not a defendant.
- Securing a victory on the Tenth Circuit for Black and Vetch in a case involving alleged design and construction issues across multiple power plant projects.
- Securing an appellate court victory for Zhongzhi Enterprise Group in a case centring on Jet Midwest’s failure to repay an aircraft financing loan.
- Obtaining a preliminary injunction that preserved the right of client Lyft/Bay Area Motivate to be exclusive operator of bike-share programs in San Francisco.
Kibbe & Orbe LLP
Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP has a particularly strong reputation in complex commercial litigation related to the financial services industry, where its acts for clients including commercial and investment banks, hedge funds, investment advisors, broker dealers and insurance companies. The firm saw a number of departures at the end of 2020. David Daniels, Matthew Riccardi, Shari Brandt, Rowan Gaither, Margaret Meyers and Jamie Schafer left the firm for Perkins Coie LLP.
‘Fantastic firm. Smart, responsive, commercial, and they care.‘
‘The team has shown great commitment and proactivity on an international cross-border litigation matter in which they assisted our company. They have liaised with external counsel in several jurisdictions always aiming at finding effective solutions for the client. Great communication skills and availability.‘
‘Arthur Greenspan is an experienced litigator and has consistently provided outstanding advice in a complex cross-border litigation matter, also involving criminal investigations abroad. Jacob Taber is a valuable and proactive member of the team and always renders outstanding and timely advice.‘
ICAP Capital Markets
Black Diamond Capital Management
Black Diamond Capital Management
BD IAP Holdings
GSC Partners CDO Fund IV
Numerous Current and Former Executives and Employees Of RBS Securities
Torneos y Competencias
Former and Current Senior Executives of NEX
Special Committee of RMG Networks Holding
OPEC Fund for International Development
Black Diamond Commercial Finance
Versa Capital Management
- Representing Black Diamond Capital Management in an action against Barclays Bank, filed in New York Supreme Court, in connection with the termination of a $1.2bn total return swap.
- Acting for current and former senior executives and employees of RBS Securities in the defense of underwriter and control person claims brought pursuant to state and federal securities laws.
- Acting as counsel for twelve inter-dealer broker defendants in an action alleging antitrust and RICO claims arising out of the alleged violation of the Swiss franc LIBOR.
- Representing the special committee of a public company, defendant in a shareholder class action field in Delaware Chancery Court, alleging breach of fiduciary duties in connection with two corporate transactions.
- Defending Mayer Brown in a derivative lawsuit filed in New York state court seeking rescission of two stock purchase agreements worth $1.2bn on the grounds that they were allegedly induced by fraud.
From its offices in New York and Washington DC, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP excels in litigation related to investment management. It also has expertise in broker-dealer disputes, shareholder activism and proxy contests. In a highlight matter, co-chair Michael Swartz recently won a series of victories for hedge fund venBio Select Advisor and is continuing to advise the company relating to its proxy contest at Immunomedics. Elsewhere, William Gussman is representing TPG Specialty Lending in securing repayment of credit from IHeartMedia, after the latter went into bankruptcy. Other key lawyers to note are co-chair of litigation group Peter White (in DC); Taleah Jennings, who focuses on fiduciary-related issues; Gary Stein, who has deep experience at appellate level; and Robert Ward, who specializes in commercial and securities litigation.
Marlin Equity Partners
Trian Fund Management
Avoro Capital Advisors
- Representing Marlin Equity Partners in securities litigation in Delaware.
- Advising a hedge fund on a joint venture dispute before the American Arbitration Association.
- Representing GEMS Americas in a dispute with Second Development in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court.
Entering the ranking for the first time, Selendy & Gay is a litigation boutique formed in February 2018 by a team of veteran commercial litigators from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Since its inception, the has attracted a diverse and impressive range of clients, and it is currently active on a number of complex high-value cases, enforcing a firm-wide 50/50 split between defense and plaintiff work. Philippe Selendy and Sean Baldwin are representing Cerberus Capital Management as plaintiff in a $950m breach of contract action against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. Elsewhere, Faith Gay, Maria Ginzburg and Lena Konanova are representing a class of public servants in a federal class action suit against student loan servicer Navient; the alleged damages for the case exceed $1bn. Other key lawyers include managing partners David Elsberg and Jennifer Selendy. In a major team development, leading appellate lawyer Caitlin Halligan joined from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in March 2019.
Other key lawyers:
American Federation of Teachers
Trilantic Capital Partners
Cerberus Capital Management
Christofferson Robb & Co.
Financial Guaranty Insurance Company (FGIC)
Altaba (f/k/a Yahoo)
The Ambac Financial Group
AMERRA Capital Management
- Representing Trilantic Capital Partners in two declaratory judgment actions challenging five pension funds’ assertions of ERISA withdrawal liability; the matters, valued between $70m and $100m, were filed in the Northern District of Illinois and the Southern District of New York.
- Acting for Christofferson Robb & Co. in a credit default swap dispute with Deutsche Bank.
- Representing Financial Guaranty Insurance Company in its fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation action against the Putnam Advisory Company.
- Acting for Ambac Financial Group as plaintiff in an action seeking recovery of more than US$2 billion in damages from Countrywide Financial (and its parent, Bank of America) for misconduct that played a substantial role in causing the global financial crisis of 2008.
- Defending AMERRA Capital Management against accusations that it aided and abetted fraud committed by Transmar.
Sullivan & Worcester LLP has wide-ranging capabilities across a number of key areas in commercial disputes, and is particularly strong in cross-border disputes. Recent work in this field includes the firm's handling of a case for the Export Import Bank of the Republic of China filed in the Southern District of New York against five sovereign nations for collection of $500m in debt to China; Paul Summit led on this matter. Nicholas O’Donnell has also carved out an impressive niche in Art Law, especially related to the German-speaking world. In a widely publicized case, he is representing the descendants of Jewish art dealers seeking the return of the Nazi-looted Guelph Treasure, a matter now appealed by Germany to the US Supreme Court. Other key lawyers include litigation department head Gerry Silver, nationwide chair of the bankruptcy and restructuring group Jeffrey Gleit and Laura Steinberg, whose practice focuses on complex regulatory and fiduciary issues.
‘The advice provided is more practical and commercially focused than most other firms with which I’ve dealt. Instead of providing innumerable theoretical scenarios, the advice hones in on the realistic decision points and provides clear direction on the pros and cons of these specific issues. I also very much appreciate the firm’s willingness to put itself on the line by providing its own recommendation on how to proceed.‘
‘Gerry Silver has always provided immediate, personalized attention. He has an in-depth knowledge of our business and many of the business contacts, enabling him to bring a level of advice typically only found with in-house counsel.‘
Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China
Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (“GLAD”)
United Parcel Service
Stanley Black & Decker and Subsidiaries
GLAS Trust Company
Karen L. Pritzker Fund
- Representing 21st Century Oncology Holdings in post-effective date bankruptcy work involving the resolution of over $800m in claims filed against the estate; the case was filed in the Middle District of Florida.
- Winning victories in Pennsylvania and Georgia supreme courts for Comcast in False Claims Act cases.
- Acting for Diversified Communications and DBC Pri-Med in defense of a lawsuit alleging breach of LLC agreement among other claims.
- Acting as lead counsel in a trademark dispute on behalf of Vice Media relating to whether plainitff Vice Token should be prohibited from using the Vice name and trademark.
- Representing Kawhi Leonard in a trademark dispute with Nike.
A recognized leader in energy litigation, Vinson & Elkins LLP is active in its home state of Texas as well as across the country in high-value commercial disputes. In a significant case in the Delaware Chancery Court, Michael Holmes, John Wander and Craig Zieminski defended Regency GP against unitholders challenging the 2015 stock-for-stock merger of Regency and Energy Transfer Partners and seeking over $2bn in damages. The firm is also active outside the energy space. In January 2019, Harry Reasoner and Jason Powers secured dismissal of a case brought in Texas state court against supermarket retailer HEB by a class of 1.2m pharmacy customers, who alleged that more than 7m purchases of generic drugs had been mispriced. Other key trial lawyers include Patrick Mizell, who is representing Apache in climate change litigation in California federal court; Jim Thompson, an expert in both complex commercial disputes and regulatory issues for energy clients; and John Wander, who focuses on litigation in the accounting, manufacturing and insurance industries.
Energy Transfer Equity
Plains All-American Pipeline
Marathon Oil Corporation
Software AG USA
HEB Grocery Company
Episcopalians of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
Harvey Gulf International Marine
Angelo, Gordon & Co.
The University of Texas MD Anderson
DaVitaHitachi Automotive Systems Americas
Maxell Corporation of America
Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Co.
Wanhua Chemical (America) Co.
- Defending numerous royalty litigation cases, including numerous class actions, in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and Pennsylvania.
- Securing a victory for Antero Resources against South Jersey Gas Company in a significant pricing dispute involving the companies’ long-term gas purchase agreements; the Tenth Circuit affirmed a $60m jury verdict awarded to Antero.
- Representing EZCORP in two consolidated securities class action lawsuits filed in the Western District of Texas by a purported class of stockholders.
- Obtaining dismissal of class action securities litigation brought against Plains by investors who sought nearly $1.5bn in damages for stock losses allegedly incurred in the aftermath of a highly publicised pipeline leak in California; the decision was issued by the Fifth Circuit.
- Representing shippers from the steel, power generation, chemicals and agriculture industries in MDL antitrust lawsuits alleging that the four largest railroads in the United States conspired to fix prices by establishing rate based fuel surcharges.