Rachel Passaretti-Wu > Dechert LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Dechert LLP
Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue of the Americas
NEW YORK, NY 10036-6797
United States

Work Department

Product Liability and Mass Torts




Rachel B. Passaretti-Wu is a partner in Dechert’s product liability and mass torts practice and focuses on complex product liability and mass torts litigation. She serves critical roles on numerous national counsel teams and has held leadership positions in MDLs and science teams in some of the most complex tort cases in the United States. Her practice also includes years of experience defending environmental toxic torts and class actions. Ms. Passaretti-Wu also draws on her knowledge and expertise in connection with relevant transactional work, regularly advising clients through various aspects of pre-investment and assisting on corporate deals.

Ms. Passaretti-Wu has taken part in several high-profile pharmaceutical and environmental toxic tort litigations, managing all stages of a dispute from pre-trial proceedings to appeals, as well as complex mass tort and class action settlements. She regularly helps clients navigate appropriate crisis management related responses.

She is integral in the formulation of nationwide strategies and coordinates the defense of complex litigations. Ms. Passaretti-Wu manages the day-to-day defense and strategy of numerous putative class actions, as well as thousands of cases through various stages of litigation. She coordinates these litigations to ensure consistency at a national level, but more importantly to structure global strategic planning to maximize beneficial results for her clients.


  • State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A., 1998, summa cum laude
  • New York University School of Law, J.D., 2001

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices

With a strong East Coast presence and also continuing to strengthen its offering from California, the ‘engaging and responsive‘ team at Dechert LLP has the resources to handle a tremendous range and volume of major product liability disputes facing pharmaceutical/devices clients, irrespective of location. Much of the work the practice handles, however, is in the context of national counsel in large aggregated matters, where it adds real value, not only by dint of its strategic aptitude but also being ‘totally abreast of the underlying subject matter’. As well as their aptitude at trying cases, the attorneys are also very adept at securing excellent results for clients utilizing dispositive motions – including in the context of Daubert challenges. New York-based co-heads Mark S. Cheffo  and Sheila L. Birnbaum have amassed a huge amount of experience and success in the area, often in the role as national co-ordinating counsel and trial counsel. Managing partner of the Los Angeles office Kimberly Branscome also handles life sciences-related matters as part of her broad-based product liability skillset. ‘Calm and knowledgeable’ New York-based Rachel Passaretti-Wu is also recommended andgets great resultsfor clients.

United States > Dispute resolution > Product liability, mass tort and class action - defense: toxic tort

Dechert LLP has strong market presence in the product liability and mass torts space from its East coast stronghold, as well as more recently from a burgeoning California-based offering – a corollary of which includes a significant amount of toxic tort work for consumer goods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing companies. The well-known practice c0-head, Sheila L. Birnbaum is well-versed in the relevant science, the substantive law and litigation strategies relating to a range of product liability/mass tort matters and has, throughout her career, achieved many notable victories at both a trial and appellate level. ‘Calm and knowledgeable‘ in her approach, Rachel Passaretti-Wu ‘gets results‘ for clients in toxic tort and product liability matters; she recently played key role for Saint-Gobain in toxic tort-related matters regarding its use of materials containing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office, Kimberly Branscome has been pivotal to the firm’s growth on the West Coast. Mark S. Cheffo co-heads the team alongside Birnbaum. All named practitioners are based in New York, unless otherwise noted.