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The sizeable team at Arnold & Porter has vast experience handling toxic tort claims arising from groundwater contamination, air pollution and toxic chemicals, among others. The class action practice is jointly headed by Kenneth Chernof in Washington DC and James Herschlein in New York. Los Angeles-based Pamela Yates and Anand Agneshwar in New York co-head the product liability litigation department and Brian Israel leads the environmental practice group in Washington DC, which was bolstered with the March 2017 hire of former EPA Deputy General Counsel Ethan Shenkman. New York-based senior counsel Philip Curtis and Peggy Otum in San Francisco are also recommended.

The key contacts at Jones Day’s toxic tort litigation practice are Los Angeles-based David DiMeglio, Houston-based Nancy MacKimm and Sharyl Reisman in New York. The team handles both high-profile mass actions and single-plaintiff suits and has extensive trial experience. In one recent highlight, Reisman successfully defended GlobalFoundries against personal injury claims arising from alleged exposure to chemicals in the workplace. In Houston, Scott Cowan and Laurens Wilkes continue to defend Jacobs Engineering in a wrongful death case, related to the deaths of four workers at DuPont’s insecticide plant. Atlanta-based Stephanie Parker heads the wider business and tort department and Paul Pohl in Pittsburgh is another name to note.

The toxic tort litigation department at Kirkland & Ellis LLP covers the full array of sector-related work, such as class actions, MDLs, appeals and environmental matters. In Washington DC, Eugene Assaf and Michael Williams continue to act as national counsel and lead trial counsel for BASF Catalysts in several asbestos-related product liability lawsuits. In other work, the team continues to represent Dow Chemical Group in a number of class actions related to groundwater and environmental contamination. Chicago-based Kevin Van Wart led advice to DuPont in a recently settled MDL, in which plaintiffs had alleged that drinking water was contaminated by a chemical used as a processing aid by the client, and led to cancer and other diseases. The firm’s client roster also includes Axiall, BP America and Chesapeake Appalachia. Jay Lefkowitz and Kimberly Branscome are the key contacts in New York and Los Angeles, respectively.

The products, pharma, medical and mass tort department at Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP is led by Steven Jansma in San Antonio. The team regularly represents companies from the energy, mining, manufacturing and transportation industries in claims arising from natural disasters, industrial accidents and environmental contamination. Led by Stephen Dillard and Jessica Farley, the team recently obtained partial summary judgment for Chevron Phillips Chemical in an MDL involving claims that groundwater was contaminated by underground storage tanks, which allegedly leaked gasoline containing methyl tertiary-butyl-ether (MTBE). In other work, Mark Baker continues to represent Vicanay Cadenas against claims brought by Petrobras, a Brazilian energy corporation, alleging that a tether chain manufactured by Vicanay broke and caused $350m in damages to a production site in the Gulf of Mexico. Brett Young is another key figure; all named partners are based in Houston, unless otherwise noted.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s ‘excellent’ mass tort practice is co-headed by ‘top-notch litigator’ Richard Jacobsen, San Francisco-based Darren Teshima and Kristen Fournier, ‘a very gifted attorney in multiple aspects of litigation, who has a knack for developing creative solutions to very difficult problems’. Led by Fournier, John Ewald and the highly recommended Morton Dubin, the team recently obtained two settlements for longstanding client Dow Chemical, concerning claims alleging that exposure to chemicals at the workplace led two plaintiffs to develop cancer and bronchiolitis obliterans, respectively. The group recently added Johnson & Johnson to its client base, which also includes Union Carbide, China National Building Material and Teck Metals. All named partners are based in New York, unless otherwise noted.

Ty Buthod heads the Houston-based product liability, mass tort and toxic tort litigation practice at Baker Botts L.L.P., which is particularly active in the energy and environmental tort areas. Led by Buthod, the team successfully represented longstanding client Exxon Mobil in a wrongful death case, in which the plaintiff alleges that the exposure to products, such as benzene and hydrogen sulphide caused the stillbirth of her child. Buthod also continues to defend BASF in various lawsuits across Texas, involving product liability and inadequate warning claims. The client roster also includes Shell, Merck and LyondellBasell. Amy Hefley and Macey Stokes are other key figures in the department. In April 2017, Kevin Jordan left to found litigation boutique Jordan, Lynch & Cancienne PLLC.

The department at Greenberg Traurig LLP represents manufacturers in product liability, class action and mass tort litigation in the chemical products and environmental tort areas. In Tampa, practice head David Weinstein and Christopher Torres continue to defend Mosaic Fertilizer in several environmental lawsuits, including a putative class action arising from a 65m gallon release of process water during hurricane Frances. Chicago-based Francis Citera leads the defense of Lockheed Martin against personal injury and property damage claims, allegedly resulting from the contamination of the residential well water in Wedron, Illinois. David Mandelbaum in Philadelphia co-chairs the firm’s environmental practice with New York-based Steven Russo. Glatfelter and Tri-Realty are also clients of the firm.

King & Spalding LLP regularly represents manufacturers in high-profile toxic tort litigation in the automotive, chemical products and pharmaceuticals industries. In Los Angeles, Alex Calfo and Julia Romano continue to defend Johnson & Johnson in talc litigation and recently obtained defense verdicts in two lawsuits involving claims that talcum powder products, including J&J’s Baby Powder, caused the plaintiffs to develop mesothelioma. Led by Houston-based Tracie Renfroe, the team acts as lead trial counsel for Shell in products liability, negligence, nuisance and trespass claims alleging that agricultural chemicals contaminated drinking water wells. The practice is headed by Atlanta-based Kevin Buster; Carol Wood leads the overall tort and environmental department in the Houston office, where the recommended Robert Meadows and Elizabeth Taber are also based.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s sizeable product liability, mass tort and consumer class actions practice is jointly headed by Thomas Heiden in Chicago and Gwyn Williams in Boston. Recent work includes representing Chevron in tort litigation involving a C-137 release contamination case, arising from a broken generator at the University of Tulsa, where the client has a research & development program. In other work, the team continues to advise Southern California Gas Company on regulatory agency matters involving the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility. The firm’s client base also includes Campbell, Monsanto and Nalco. Kelly Richardson and Robert Howard are the key contacts in San Diego and Chicago-based Mary Rose Alexander is another name to note. Andrew Clubok joined the Washington DC office in December 2017 from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

The department at McDermott Will & Emery LLP is co-headed by New York-based Ellen Tenenbaum and ‘brilliant strategistTerrence Dee in Chicago, who ‘has the diplomatic skill and stature to lead a national joint defense organization’. The team regularly represents manufacturers in products litigation and is particularly active in the energy, asbestos, environment and health care industries. In one recent landmark decision, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals adopted the Daubert standard in favor of the firm’s client Motorola, which the team continues to represent in claims alleging that wireless telephones led the plaintiffs to develop brain tumors. Exxon Mobil and Monsanto are also part of the firm’s client roster. New York-based James Pardo specializes in environmental claims and Peter Sacripanti primarily handles oil and gas-related matters.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s product liability, tort and insurance practice spans a multitude of sectors, including energy, environmental and asbestos litigation. In one recent highlight, the team successfully defended Anadarko subsidiary Kerr-McGee against tort claims, alleging injuries arising from the operation of a former creosote plant in Pennsylvania. In other work, the practice continues to act as national counsel for ITT and affiliate Goulds Pumps in asbestos product liability suits. The practice is headed by Paul Zevnik in Washington DC; Los Angeles-based Yardena Zwang-Weissman and David Luttinger in New York are also part of the core team. In July 2017, the Pittsburgh office was strengthened with the hire of Wendy Feinstein from Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC.

Headed by San Diego-based Erin Bosman, the department at Morrison & Foerster LLP is particularly active in toxic tort and Proposition 65 litigation. In San Francisco, James Schurz continues to represent several coffee companies, including Starbucks and Nestlé, against claims alleging that under Proposition 65, due to the presence of the chemical acrylamide, manufacturers and retailers are required to provide cancer warnings on coffee. Led by Los Angeles-based Peter Hsiao, the team continues to defend the Dairy Industry Environmental Coalition against claims challenging the reuse of manure as a soil amendment. Other clients include Amazing Grass, Unilever and BASF. Michèle Corash in San Francisco is also recommended.

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Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s products liability and mass torts group represents manufacturers in environmental, chemical and asbestos-related litigation. In one recent highlight, Washington DC-based Michael Lyle and Eric Lyttle obtained the complete dismissal of a high-profile environmental lawsuit brought against oil and gas companies, including the firm’s client Koch, in relation to claims alleging that the defendants’ activities destroyed Louisiana’s coastline and natural buffer zone. The team acts as co-national counsel to Pfizer in personal injury actions alleging exposure to asbestos products manufactured by the client’s former subsidiary Quigley. Faith Gay departed in January 2018 to found a new firm and, in May 2018, the trio of Sheila Birnbaum, Mark Cheffo and Douglas Fleming moved to Dechert LLP.

The toxic tort and exposure practice at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP is jointly led by Kansas City-based Mark Anstoetter and David Erickson and advises on medical, environmental and asbestos-related cases. The team represents manufacturers in class actions and mass torts and is recommended for its trial expertise. Well-known litigator Michael Healy joined the San Francisco office in January 2018 from Sedgwick LLP.

Steptoe & Johnson LLP’s environmental, products and mass tort practice has extensive trial expertise and advises on sector-related regulatory matters. The team continues to represent Beazer East in an environmental site case and recently obtained denial of class certification and exclusion of several of the plaintiffs’ experts. In other ongoing work, Los Angeles-based Jason Levin continues to act as lead counsel for Shell in the defense against claims brought by Costa Rican and Panamanian agricultural workers, alleging personal injuries caused by the exposure to agricultural pesticide DBCP. The firm’s client roster also includes Lonza, Osmose and Honeywell. Robert Shuftan heads the department in Chicago. Daniel Blakey left the Los Angeles office in August 2017.

Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP has significant trial expertise in mass torts and class actions, arising from claims related to environmental contamination and chemical products. Led by Denver-based Andre Pauka and Jameson Jones, the team continues to represent NLL Industries against claims alleging that lead paint in private homes constitutes a public nuisance. In Chicago, Sean Gallagher continues to defend longstanding client United Technologies against several claims of environmental contamination. Chicago-based Rebecca Bacon is also recommended.

Jointly headed by Raymond Williams in Philadelphia and Christopher Young in San Diego, the product liability and mass torts practice at DLA Piper LLP (US) is primarily active in asbestos litigation. Led by Boston-based Matthew Holian and John Wellschlager in Baltimore, the team continues to act as national counsel for BASF Catalyst in asbestos litigation related to its predecessor Engelhard and recently won a summary judgment in favor of the client in Fields v Ford Motor Company. Porsche, Exxon Mobil and NJOY are also clients of the firm.

Dechert LLP’s product liability and mass torts practice is particularly active in asbestos litigation. Led by Los Angeles-based practice head William Oxley, the team recently obtained two complete defense verdicts for Union Carbide in lawsuits involving claims alleging that exposure to products manufactured by the client causes mesothelioma. In other work, Chicago-based Nathan Hoffman and Erik Snapp continue to represent Pfizer in asbestos litigation. The firm’s client roster also includes Takata and AbbVie. Philadelphia-based Ben Barnett and Hope Freiwald are other names to note. In May 2018, Sheila Birnbaum, Mark Cheffo and Douglas Fleming joined the New York office from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Dentons’ toxic tort practice handles product liability and mass tort trials, and is primarily focused on personal injury claims in asbestos-related matters. San Francisco-based counsel Frank Berfield recently obtained a complete defense verdict for CertainTeed in a case involving claims alleging that asbestos in products manufactured by the client caused the plaintiff to develop mesothelioma. Exxon Mobil, Metalclad Insulation and ArvinMeritor are also clients of the firm. The practice is headed by Dara Mann in Atlanta.

The product liability team at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is particularly active in the automotive and energy sectors. In one recent highlight, Los Angeles-based Theodore Boutrous successfully defended Exxon Mobil in an asbestos exposure case. In other work, Washington DC-based Raymond Ludwiszewski represents World Fuel Services in mass tort claims arising from a train derailment and subsequent crude oil spill and fire in Quebec. The client roster also includes International Paper, Philip Morris and BNSF Railway. In March 2017, the former general counsel to the EPA, Avi Garbow, joined the Washington DC office as co-head of the firm’s environmental practice.

Goodwin’s product liability and mass torts practice is headed by Joanne Gray in New York and distinguishes itself through vast experience in asbestos-related cases. Led by Washington DC-based William Hanlon, the team continues to represent Dana Companies in personal injury and wrongful death claims related to asbestos, and recently obtained dismissal of hundreds of cases due to lack of personal jurisdiction. In Boston, Mark Tully continues to defend longstanding client Gulf Oil and Cumberland Farms in MBTE litigation, in which plaintiffs allege that the gasoline additive potentially contaminates drinking water. The firm’s client base also includes CNA, Center For Claims Resolution and Teva. Boston-based Richard Oetheimer and Mark Tully are other key figures in the department.

Led by Thomas Taylor in Houston, the mass tort practice at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP represents manufacturers in asbestos and energy litigation. In one recent highlight, Houston-based Alexis Gomez successfully defended Process Water Systems in an asbestos-related case, in which the plaintiff alleged that exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured by PWS caused him to develop mesothelioma. The team regularly acts for BP and its affiliates in toxic tort litigation. Joseph Blizzard in Dallas is another key figure in the department.

The department at Mayer Brown regularly handles product liability lawsuits, class actions and mass torts arising from claims in the environmental and chemical products areas. The practice is jointly headed by Henninger Bullock in New York, and Michael Olsen and Daniel Ring in Chicago. Washington DC-based Michael Lackey continues to represent Veolia and its US subsidiary in a putative class action and individual cases related to its alleged contribution in the high-profile Flint Water Crisis. Cargill, Lockheed and Union Carbide are other clients of the firm.

McGuireWoods LLP’s sizeable toxic tort team handles mass tort actions arising from catastrophes, chemical products and environmental contamination. Led by Richmond-based Stephen Busch, the team defended longstanding client Carpenter against claims of exposure to isocyanates brought by 99 plaintiffs, and recently obtained the dismissal of all claims. Murray Energy and Dominion are also clients of the firm. Diane Flannery heads the wider products, environmental and mass tort litigation department in Richmond; John Henderson joined the Dallas office in July 2017 from Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP products liability department handles toxic tort litigation related to asbestos, talc and environmental contamination. Charleston-based Mark Phillips and Holly Hempel in Atlanta continued to defend Honeywell in a series of lawsuits brought by plaintiffs alleging that the client’s products cause serious diseases, such as mesothelioma. Other key figures are Charleston-based Robert Brunson and James Irvin in Columbia, where David Dukes heads the wider products department. With the February 2018 hire of litigator Michael Brown0 the firm opened its new Baltimore office.

Led by practice co-head Joseph Ortego in New York, the products group at Nixon Peabody LLP represents manufacturers in a multitude of industries, including aviation, energy and petrochemicals. Together with Chicago-based Michael Philippi and Thomas Mealiffe in Long Island, Ortega defends industrial filters manufacturer Pall in a wrongful death case, in which the plaintiff alleges that he was exposed to legionella while receiving care at a hospital equipped with Pall’s filters. Vivian Quinn co-heads the department in Buffalo and San Francisco-based counsel Lauren Michals advises on matters related to Proposition 65.

Reed Smith LLP’s product liability department represents manufacturers, sellers and service companies in class actions and mass torts and has significant trial expertise. The team is particularly active in the oil and gas, chemicals and environmental sectors. Houston-based Ricky Raven primarily handles matters related to asbestos and aviation and jointly heads the team with Belynda Reck in Los Angeles. In July 2017, the New York office suffered the departure of John Hooper, Eric Gladbach, Kelly D’Auria and Jacqueline Seidel to King & Spalding LLP. Russell Gaudreau left the firm in June 2017 to join Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Led by Jeffrey Healy in Cleveland, the mass tort and product liability department at Tucker Ellis LLP handles toxic tort litigation related to asbestos, coal dust, silica and benzene. The team regularly acts as national coordinating counsel or trial counsel in product liability and mass tort dockets; Rita Maimbourg, also based in Cleveland, heads the trial team. The firm’s client roster includes Pfizer, American Optical and Johnson & Johnson.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s product liability and mass tort practice is headed by Arvin Maskin in New York and represents manufacturers in high-profile toxic tort litigation, often with cross-border elements. Led by Diane Sullivan and David Lender in New York, the team continues to act as lead trial counsel for Exxon Mobil in litigation related to the use of MTBE as an additive in gasoline. New York-based Theodore Tsekerides and Edward Soto in Miami are other key figures.

Michael O’Donnell heads the Denver-based department at Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP that is particularly active in asbestos litigation. Led by Erik Nadolink, the team recently won two federal appeals for Foster Wheeler in asbestos-related lawsuits. In other work, the practice continues to act as monitoring counsel for Axis in concussion and traumatic brain injury litigation involving insured parties, such as the National Hockey League and the US Soccer Federation. Michele Choe and Kenneth Stalzer were invited to partnership in January 2017 and Cedric Logan made partner in January 2018.

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