THE FIRM The Gibson Dunn team is firmly established as one of the leading contentious practices in California. With a deep bench comprising 71 partners across five California offices, the group is capable of handling an impressively broad range of litigation matters. The firm is particularly recognized for its expertise in handling class action and representative claims on behalf of consumers. High-profile disputes between business competitors and actions brought by governmental units are amongst its other areas of expertise. The firm recently successfully defended Parsons Corporation against a multimillion-dollar breach of contract claim concerning the purchase of water tanks.
Sources say: "They are impeccable. They communicate well and leave me with complete peace of mind."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Dean Kitchens' practice focuses on complex business and commercial litigation with an emphasis on securities litigation and auditor liability matters. He is currently involved in the defense of class actions arising from the financial crisis, including representing several underwriters of traditional and mortgage-backed securities. Wayne Smith is cochair of the firm's securities litigation group and is considered to be a "superb lawyer." He is experienced in handling securities fraud, common law fraud, contracts, federal tax laws, RICO, and constitutional law matters before both federal and state courts. He is currently representing Intel in a securities class action challenging its merger with McAfee.
THE FIRM This group of trial-seasoned lawyers is capable of handling a broad range of litigation matters. The team has significant experience of representing clients before federal, state agencies and other non-judicial forums. The team is currently acting for Wells Fargo and Bank of America in separate RMBS-related cases. It is also representing Philip Morris USA as it prepares to go to trial in 2011 on false advertising claims.
Sources say: "They are a cut above. Outstanding, high-quality individuals."
KEY INDIVIDUALS "First-rate" litigation partner Brad Brian specializes in complex civil and criminal litigation. His areas of expertise include securities matters, toxic torts, trade secret misappropriations and patent infringements. Clients include Boeing, AXA Financial and Warner Bros. Sources say: "He's smart, hardworking, and has great judgment and great credibility." John Spiegel’s practice focuses on complex business litigation in the state and federal courts. Clients commend his ability to forge a rapport with juries. Name partner Ronald Olson is a seasoned litigator with a tremendous reputation amongst clients and peers. He counsels individual executives and boards of directors in a range of matters, including transactional and corporate governance issues. Daniel Collins receives high praise from clients who value his "brilliant legal mind, terrific writing and impressive analytical ability." He is noted for his expertise in constitutional law.
THE FIRM Quinn Emanuel's litigation group is widely respected for its ability to handle complex business disputes. The group specializes in intellectual property and financial services litigation. Clients compliment the team on its combative approach and peers agree that Quinn is amongst their most difficult opponents. The firm has recently handled a number of high-profile cases, including acting for Mattel in a $100 million trade secrets case against MGT.
Sources say: "They are excellent lawyers. They are highly collaborative and have the depth of experience to take on any case."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly accomplished John Quinn is recognized for his expertise in all aspects of business litigation. He was lead trial lawyer in the Mattel v MGT case. William Urquhart specializes in complex business litigation with recent cases ranging from high-stakes IP litigation to class actions. He has recently acted as lead counsel for MBIA in a range of high-value lawsuits. Robert Feldman recently litigated and resolved 17 patent lawsuits involving two large semiconductor companies. Bill Price is commended for his experience and knowledge of all aspects of commercial litigation. He is currently defending the Zurich Group against allegations that it engaged in a fraudulent transfer in connection with its recapitalization of Home Insurance Company.
THE FIRM Keker & Van Nest's litigation team is known for handling high-stakes commercial disputes. Its areas of expertise include legal malpractice defense cases, and consumer and class-action defense. M&H Realty Partners V LP has recently instructed the team in a multimillion-dollar breach of indemnification agreement and tort claim arising from environmental contamination.
Sources say: "They are great strategists, and achieve some phenomenal results. They engage with us and understand what we need; they set realistic expectations, and meet them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Seasoned litigator John Keker has a terrific reputation throughout the state and beyond. One source commented: "Keker is without question one of the finest trail lawyers in the US. He is a very courageous guy who knows his way around a courtroom - he's the complete package." Partner Robert Van Nest is also highly accomplished in this field. He is currently representing Southern Wine and Spirits of America in a claim alleging the violation of a non-compete agreement by a former employee.
THE FIRM This international firm's LA office provides expertise in a range of areas including antitrust, commercial, employment, intellectual property, and product liability litigation, as well as mass torts. The firm also has a substantial environmental practice.
Sources say: "Very experienced trial lawyers both in an arbitration and courtroom context."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Miles Ruthberg specializes in securities law and class actions, with a particular emphasis on accounting issues. Peter Wald has extensive trial and appellate experience in complex commercial cases. His areas of expertise include securities, professional liability, antitrust and unfair competition, civil RICO, patent, copyright and trade secrets matters.
THE FIRM This firm's LA headquarters houses one of California's most highly regarded litigation teams. It is particularly well known for its expertise in white-collar defense, media and entertainment, antitrust and bankruptcy issues. Current active clients include ExxonMobil, Ford Motor Company, Hertz and Johnson & Johnson.
Sources say: "Partners have a high level of expertise, the reputations to match, and they think very strategically."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Seth Aronson is a general commercial litigator with a focus on securities class action and derivatives litigation generally. Aronson is recognized for his expertise in SEC enforcement proceedings, securities class actions and shareholder derivatives actions. Daniel Petrocelli has a practice encompassing entertainment, intellectual property, unfair competition, business torts, securities, employment law, and criminal defense.
THE FIRM This international powerhouse specializes in representing clients in high-stakes, high-profile international, national and local litigation. Its attorneys are experienced at representing clients at both federal and state level in a range of courtroom, tribunal and arbitration proceedings. Current active clients include Allianz Life Insurance of North America, Wells Fargo, and American Apparel.
Sources say: "They have some terrific lawyers at this firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Raoul Kennedy is experienced at handling civil litigation at both trial and appellate levels. Kennedy is currently representing Intel in a case concerning the benchmark testing of laptop computer battery life. Thomas Nolan is cochair of the firm's West Coast litigation practice. He is currently representing Allianz Life Insurance of North America in a pending nationwide class action. Allen Ruby is recognized for his experience in a range of commercial, intellectual property and white-collar criminal matters. Eric Waxman represents an impressive range of clients in both federal and state courts. He is currently representing Tremont Holdings in a claim arising from the Madoff scandal. James Lyons is an expert in securities and corporate issues. In addition to his thriving commercial litigation practice, he is also recognized for his experience in the field of international arbitration.
THE FIRM This firm is valued by clients for its depth of experience and international capabilities. Bingham handles high-stakes litigation in an impressive range of legal fields. Areas of expertise include copyright and patent law, employment, white-collar defense and antitrust matters. The team has recently represented a range of clients as national coordinating counsel in matters arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Sources say: "Very seasoned attorneys with strong expertise in complex litigations."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Marshall Grossman is a highly prominent litigator with over 40 years' experience of handling major commercial disputes. David Balabanian is also hailed as "one of the most seasoned litigators around." Clients value his depth of experience and the gravitas he brings to cases. Donn Pickett is renowned for his expertise in a range of commercial, intellectual property, antitrust and securities matters. One client commented: "He is a very senior lawyer who is still very hands on."
THE FIRM This national firm represents companies and financial institutions across all industry sectors and has an equally broad range of expertise. It regularly handles class actions, intellectual property, securities, tax and white-collar disputes. Clients include Facebook, eBay, Charlotte Russe and Qualcomm. The firm is currently defending Google in a number of class actions concerning false advertising claims connected to the AdWords program.
Sources say: "They have a great reputation and are a real force in the marketplace."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stephen Neal has a sterling reputation amongst peers and clients. One client reflected: "He immediately got to the crux of the situation. He is very thoughtful and strategic." The highly accomplished John Dwyer receives particular praise for his securities work. He is also experienced in officer and director liability matters, antitrust, white-collar litigation and unfair competition claims.
THE FIRM This California-based firm represents national and international clients in a diverse range of complex litigation matters. The team's areas of expertise include IP disputes, securities class actions and white-collar criminal defense. It recently achieved a complete defense verdict on behalf of Novellus. This concluded a nine year battle in which Novellus had faced numerous allegations, including a $200 million damages claim after Linear Technology alleged that Novellus had not informed them that equipment it had purchased could prompt patent infringement action.
Sources say: "They have some great lawyers and they are very well regarded."
KEY INDIVIDUALS David Siegel receives high praise for his knowledge of securities law and his client-centered approach. One client commented: "He is one of the greatest strategic thinkers at the defense Bar. He has outstanding judgment and good practical sense."
THE FIRM This global law firm has a solid presence in California. The team has recently represented First American Title in an investigation into allegations of anti-competitive practices and price-fixing. The team has also been instructed by KFC Corporation to defend a class action employee dispute.
Sources say: "They have some highly capable lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Rick McKnight has recently acted as lead trial counsel for Yamaha Motor Corporation in defending allegations concerning roll-overs of its Rhino vehicle. Robert Mittelstaedt is noted for his expertise in antitrust, unfair business practice and employment law disputes.
THE FIRM Morrison & Foerster has a substantial presence in California, with six offices across the state. The team is adept at handling a broad range of litigation matters, including commercial, class action, employment, and product liability issues.
Sources say: "They are responsive and practical. They work well with the courts and their adversaries, and they communicate very well together."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jordan Eth specializes in securities disputes and white-collar crime defense. Sources enthuse that he is "highly experienced and a true professional." Arturo González is regularly called upon to handle high-stakes cases and recently won a $10.8 million victory for Technology Integration Group.
THE FIRM This international law firm is highly capable of handling a broad range of litigation matters including antitrust, white-collar crime and class actions. The group is currently representing the City of Vallejo in long-running disputes with various unions arising from its Chapter 9 Bankruptcy filing.
Sources say: "The firm has some very good lawyers and provides a high-quality service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Michael Torpey is highly regarded by clients. He has extensive experience in securities disputes and cases involving breaches of fiduciary duty.
THE FIRM This team is particularly strong in the class action and pharmaceutical area, and is also known for its representation of financial institutions. Recent clients have included Bayer, Credit Suisse AG, AstraZeneca and Amgen.
Sources say: "They are highly capable and I appreciate their deep bench and ability to draw on national and international support."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sara Brody "combines intellectual rigor with a warm manner," according to sources. She recently represented Autodesk in derivatives litigation concerning the issuance of stock options.
THE FIRM This California-based firm has come a long way in recent times, building on its Silicon Valley base to become a national player. The California litigation team's areas of expertise include securities litigation, transactional and corporate disputes.
Sources say: "They are incredibly responsive, hardworking and commercially minded. They understand the law and they understand our business. I couldn't have more confidence in them."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly experienced Boris Feldman specializes in securities litigation and counseling. He has represented companies and their officers in more than 140 shareholder class actions and derivative suits throughout the US. Keith Eggleton focuses his practice on securities litigation and counseling, SEC and government investigations, corporate governance matters, and consumer fraud and false advertising litigation. Clients praise his "strategic and practical business-savvy approach to handling matters." Nina Locker is also widely recognized for her expertise in securities litigation.
THE FIRM Farella Braun + Martel is headquartered in San Francisco. The group handles a range of complex commercial litigation and appellate work. Farella counts Dell amongst its leading clients and has recently represented the corporation in a range of commercial disputes.
Sources say: "Very bright and engaged lawyers who provide good value for money."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Douglas Young is considered to be a "terrific litigator" by market observers. In addition to representing Dell, he has also been instructed by Toyota to defend allegations of product liability and sales malpractice.
THE FIRM This firm's three California offices provide clients with a range of litigation expertise. Whilst the team is known principally for its antitrust and media and entertainment work, it is also adept at handling a range of other litigation matters including class actions and securities. Active clients include News Corporation.
Sources say: "They are very accessible. I can count on reaching any one of them and know that I will get similar, sensible advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Norman Blears is a senior securities expert. One source commented: "He is very calm in a difficult situation. He is particularly masterful at guiding people through, getting them to work together and bringing cases successfully to conclusion." Douglas Schwab is "an expert litigator, with an encycopledic knowledge in the area of damages." Five current and former employees of Cadence Design Systems have instructed the pair to defend them in shareholder derivative cases.
THE FIRM This national firm's California office receives particular praise for its contentious transactional work. The firm recently successfully represented the actor and producer Don Johnson in a case relating to the copyright ownership and related profits from the television series 'Nash Bridges'.
Sources say: "They are extremely well managed, very service-oriented, and they're experts in the field."
KEY INDIVIDUALS James Basile is a recognized name in the field and typically represents major corporations. Sources say he "thinks two steps ahead and always has a complete command of his cases." Jeffrey Davidson is an accomplished trial lawyer, who has forged a reputation for handling high-profile commercial disputes. Peers regard him as "an extremely accomplished lawyer."
THE FIRM Paul Hastings’ California litigation team is best known for its representation of clients in the financial services and technology sectors. The group is currently representing UBS in connection with a number of mortgage-backed securities and auction rate securities claims.
Sources say: "They have some fabulous lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS William Sullivan is a highly respected securities expert and heads the firm's national securities litigation and enforcement practice. "In terms of pure legal skills he's top of the bill," say sources. John Reding has a broad-based commercial litigation practice, regularly representing high-profile corporate clients.
THE FIRM This team continues to impress observers with its expertise in securities litigation, transactional disputes, antitrust and class-action cases. The team is representing JPMorgan Chase in connection with issues arising from the failure of Washington Mutual Bank. The matter is notable for the breadth and scale of the issues in dispute, with the cases totaling approximately $14 billion in value.
Sources say: "They have some terrific lawyers."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Robert Sacks is managing partner of the firm's LA office. He is particularly well known for his strength in the securities and corporate/M&A areas.
THE FIRM The firm is known for handling large-scale national disputes, with strengths in complex business litigation and class action defense. The team recently represented L.A. Fitness International in defending a class action filed by its customers, in which it was alleged that an early termination provision in personal trainer contracts constituted an unlawful penalty. The team successfully argued the provision was in fact an alternative performance clause.
Sources say: "The whole team is very professional."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Daniel Woods specializes in complex business litigation, employment litigation and international labor and employment Law. Bryan Merryman specializes in complex business litigation and class action defense. Clients praise his "common-sense approach and business sense."
Since publication, Daniel Woods has joined Musick Peeler & Garrett
THE FIRM Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy is known for taking on complex high-profile cases. The team is currently acting for the plaintiffs in a claim against the Toyota Motor Corporation relating to alleged acceleration defects.
Sources say: "They are formidable opponents."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Joseph Cotchett is widely recognized as a fine lawyer and a challenging adversary. Sources note his "unique presence in the courtroom." He is particularly well known for his securities and antitrust work.
THE FIRM Robbins Geller is known for its ability to successfully handle complex, high-stakes cases. The firm is currently the court-appointed lead counsel for the lead plaintiff in the SEC's investigation into allegations concerning Goldman Sachs' structuring and marketing of CDOs tied to subprime mortgages.
Sources say: "They are a very strong plaintiffs firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Founding partner Darren Robbins is recognized for his expertise in transactional disputes and securities class actions. He also receives praise for his negotiating skills. The "outstanding" Patrick Coughlin maintains his reputation as one of the premier plaintiffs experts around. He has considerable trial experience and is particularly known for his expertise in securities matters.
is the founding partner of Hennigan Dorman LLP and heads the firm's litigation practice. Sources say he is a "super advocate and a top-notch trial lawyer." Larry Feldman
of Kaye Scholer LLP is best known for his expertise in business, real estate, personal injury and insurance disputes. He recently represented ExxonMobil in a consumer class action. Highly regarded plaintiffs lawyer Joseph Tabacco
is the managing partner of Berman DeValerio’s San Francisco office. He is best known for his securities and antitrust expertise. Bruce Vanyo
of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is a highly experienced securities expert. He represents clients in a range of industries nationally and internationally. Shirli Fabbri Weiss
of DLA Piper LLP (US) is "a knowledgeable and highly effective securities litigator."
She has recently represented Bayer HealthCare in a nationwide class action concerning challenges to its advertising. Patricia Glaser
is chair of Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro, LLP's litigation department. She represents an impressive range of high-profile commercial clients. Jonathan Shapiro
of WilmerHale focuses on the defense of securities litigation and government enforcement actions. Sources commented: "He is smart, careful and very involved." Forrest Hainline
of Goodwin Procter LLP is considered to be a "terrific trial lawyer."
He is recognized for his grasp of complex financial and scientific issues. The "outstanding" Sonya Winner
of Covington & Burling LLP is hailed for her work representing financial institutions. She recently achieved a significant win for Bank of America in a nationwide antitrust class action concerning ATM fees. Blecher & Collins' founding partner Maxwell Blecher
is highly experienced at representing clients in state and federal courts. He specializes in antitrust law. The "terrific" Kevin Muck
of Fenwick & West LLP receives high praise from the market. One source commented: "He is tremendous to work with, extremely bright, and manages his internal team with great efficiency."
Muck specializes in securities and derivatives disputes.