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Dickstein Shapiro LLP

Washington, DC

Dickstein Shapiro LLP - Washington, DC
  • 1825 Eye Street NW
  • Washington, DC
  • District of Columbia
  • USA
  • 20006-5403
  • Chairman: James D Kelly
  • Managing Partners: Richard J Leveridge, Washington, DC; Deborah A Skakel, New York; James H Turken, California
  • Number of partners: 100
  • Number of attorneys: 250

Firm Overview:
Dickstein Shapiro LLP, a market-leading specialty law firm founded in 1953, is internationally recognized for its work with clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Dickstein Shapiro provides strategic counsel and develops multidisciplinary legal solutions by leveraging its core strengths—litigation, regulatory, transactions, and advocacy—to successfully advance clients’ business interests.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Complex Dispute Resolution: Dickstein Shapiro’s Complex Dispute Resolution (CDR) Practice provides comprehensive solutions to avoid, limit, and resolve complex litigation and liability problems. The firm’s CDR attorneys succeed at helping clients maximize recoveries and minimize exposure through creative, cost-effective dispute resolution alternatives and strategies.

Corporate & Finance: The Corporate & Finance Practice focuses on middlemarket transactions—those with values in the range of $10-$500 million. The practice’s attorneys provide a full range of corporate, finance, tax, and transactional services to clients and pair these capabilities with an industry-focused approach.

Government Law & Strategy: Dickstein Shapiro seeks to advance clients’ interests before the legislative and executive branches of government—a practice unique to Washington, DC. Attorneys and advisors provide support in a number of areas, including public policy, government contracts, State Attorneys General, global security, political law, energy, and congressional investigations.

Insurance Coverage: Dickstein Shapiro’s premier Insurance Coverage Group—one of the nation’s largest—represents policyholders across the country in disputes with their insurers. Many of the firm’s insurance coverage attorneys are nationally recognized as leaders in insurance recovery, and our attorneys have briefed and argued many of the most important and bestknown decisions favorable to policyholders in federal and state appellate courts. The firm has helped clients recover more than $5 billion in the last five years alone from insurers and insurance brokers under a wide range of policies.

Intellectual Property: Combining decades of litigation experience with a robust procurement and asset management practice, Dickstein Shapiro’s Intellectual Property attorneys devise strategies to help clients protect IP assets while maximizing their value. The firm has handled litigations on both the plaintiff side and defense side involving claims from a few million to hundreds of millions of dollars. The practice also develops comprehensive IP programs and strategies encompassing all aspects of clients’ intellectual property needs, including asset management, patent and trademark procurement, licensing, and counseling.

Litigation: With more than 170 litigators in offices nationwide, Dickstein Shapiro’s attorneys provide the highest level of integrated representation in numerous inter-related areas, and excel in litigating and settling complex, high-stakes business disputes. Whether through trial verdicts, arbitrations, settlements, or other litigation alternatives, Dickstein Shapiro’s litigators seek the best outcome possible for their clients’ goals and their bottom line.

Areas of Practice

  • Antitrust & Financial Services
  • Business Litigation
  • Complex Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate & Finance
  • Employment
  • Energy
  • Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy
  • Government Contracts
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation
  • Public Policy & Law
  • State Attorneys General
  • White Collar Criminal Defense & Investigations


  • 2049 Century Park East,
  • Suite 700,
  • Los Angeles,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 90067-3109
  • Tel +1 310 772 8300
  • Fax +1 310 772 8301
  • Email : info@dicksteinshapiro.com.
  • Two Park Plaza,
  • Suite 900,
  • Irvine,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 92614-3519
  • Tel 949 623 7880
  • Fax 949 623 7881
  • 1841 Page Mill Road,
  • Suite 150,
  • Palo Alto,
  • California
  • USA
  • CA 94304-1254
  • Tel 650 690 9500
  • Fax 650 690 9501
  • One Stamford Plaza,
  • 263 Tresser Boulevard,
  • Suite 1400,
  • Stamford,
  • Connecticut
  • USA
  • CT 06901-3271
  • Tel 203 905 4500
  • Fax 203 905 4501
  • Email : info@dicksteinshapiro.com.

Insurance - California

What the team is known for Handles a range of coverage disputes for high-profile companies. Expertise in claims regarding first party property, insurance broker liability, and entertainment and sports. Additional specialties in political risk and cyber security risk insurance.

Work highlights Represented Northrop Grumman in litigation against its excess insurer, Factory Mutual Insurance, regarding coverage for damage caused to its shipyards by Hurricane Katrina.

Acted for San Diego Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy in significant insurance coverage matters resulting from litigation surrounding property losses from the 2007 San Diego wildfire.

Notable practitioners  

"Superstar" Kirk Pasich is one of the most recognizable insurance lawyers in the state, and he also enjoys a national reputation. According to sources, he is "very bright, very creative and fun to work with," and an attorney who is "exceptional in the courtroom." His diverse list of clients includes Ticketmaster, Northrop Grumman and Sempra.

Significant clients H&R Block, Live Nation Entertainment, Fox Entertainment Group.

Corporate/M&A - Connecticut

What the team is known for A highly regarded corporate and M&A team with a focus on midmarket matters. Expertise spans from M&A and joint ventures to tax, trusts and estates.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their outstanding traits are their accessibility and responsiveness. I have never had a problem connecting with them." 

"They do a great job of managing the client, understanding that it's a big team, and they are helpful in moving the process along." 

What's new? New clients include Hubbell and MasterCard.

Work highlights Represented Brynwood Partners in the $78 million sale of the Balance Bar Company to a public company owned by The Carlyle Group.

Acted for Hubbell in connection with its purchase of all of the membership units of Carmen Matthews LLC.

Notable practitioners  

"Exceptional" lawyer Chris Cerrito has a wide and varied corporate and M&A practice, with a specialty in technology and consumer product transactions. A source explains: "Chris impresses me because of his knowledge, real-world legal experience and tireless work ethic. He is willing to work around the clock to get a deal done."

Thomas Freed is known for his work on M&A, finance and private equity. Clients applaud his combination of knowledge and "knowing how to handle relationships."

Martin Clarke advises established public and private companies in a range of transactions, as well as representing and counseling emerging companies. Clients are impressed with his ability to "take a complex problem and boil it down to an easy situation."

John Flaherty has expertise in a variety of investment and financing transactions, as well as a focus on M&A. He has experience representing and counseling all types of clients in a variety of transactions and general corporate matters.

Associate to watch Seth Milligan inspires "complete confidence" in his clients, who commend his "terrific judgment." His work spans an array of business, corporate and investment transactions.

Significant clients Hertz, Omnicare, Purdue Pharma, Thomson Reuters, MasterCard.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - District of Columbia

What the team is known for Full-service practice, particularly noted for its work on behalf of individual creditors and creditors' committees across the country. Also renowned for its representation of debtors and acquirers of distressed assets in large-scale restructuring matters.

Work highlights Represented Capital Management Select Fund and its $110 million claim in the Refco bankruptcy cases. The firm was a major negotiating party in the Chapter 11 plan and settlement process and was a member of the post-confirmation trust board managing liquidation proceedings and third-party litigations.

Acts for the official liquidating trustee of a British Virgin Islands entity. The firm is working to recover assets and prosecute fraudulent conveyance claims.

Notable practitioners

Paul Bran works for creditors, debtors and also government entities such as FDIC. He recently took the lead representing Capital Management Select Fund and its $110 million security claim in the Refco bankruptcy.

Significant clients Capital Management Select Fund, Florida Pritikin Center, Kin Properties.

Insurance - District of Columbia

What the team is known for Accomplished team representing major policyholders in both local and national matters. Particular skill in claims involving asbestos coverage, cyber security risk, political risk and insurance bad faith. Notable expertise on insurance issues related to the sports and entertainment industries. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've been fantastic. Their coverage advice and background are invaluable." 

"They're a great coverage practice. They have some very good lawyers there."

Work highlights Represented NRG Energy and its subsidiary Louisiana Generating in coverage litigation against Illinois Union Insurance following a suit filed by the EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality under the CAA.

Acted for The Regence Group in a significant case against TIG Specialty Insurance regarding E&O insurance purchased by the company.

Notable practitioners  

The widely respected John Heintz leads the firm's insurance coverage group, and is admired for his deep expertise in the field. According to commentators, "he is incredibly intelligent and creative in the way he attacks legal issues, and has an unparalleled breadth of knowledge and experience."

James Murray recently acted successfully for Primary Health in a bad faith case heard in Idaho state court. Clients say: "He has the ability to be a consummate professional but speaks in layman's terms to the jury. He's a very personable, straightforward individual who has the ability to cut to the chase."

Significant clients Northrop Grumman, Estée Lauder, Nooter, Beebe Medical Center, Caterpillar.

Intellectual Property - District of Columbia

What the team is known for A full-service IP offering particularly well known for its patent prosecution and litigation work. The firm has an impressive following among consumer electronics, chemical and mechanical engineering companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"These are the guys I always want to go to."

"They've done a terrific job." 

Work highlights Obtained a number of patents for arthroscopic implants, instruments and surgical techniques for Arthrex, a medical device specialist, a number of which were issued following appeals to the USPTO.

Represented SAP America in a patent infringement action mounted by TecSec with regard to enterprise resource planning software.

Notable practitioners

Jeffrey Sherwood is a key contact.

Significant clients Toshiba, Chrysler Group, DuPont, LG Electronics, Samsung.

Labor & Employment - District of Columbia

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Litigation - District of Columbia

What the team is known for Far-reaching experience in a variety of practice areas, including white-collar, government contracts and congressional investigations. Also represents a fine choice of counsel for securities, FCPA and healthcare disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Their service has been impeccable. They're responsive, easy to talk with and knowledgeable, and they fight for the rights of their clients.”

“They get to the essence of issues very quickly. I like that they try to match the talents and personalities of their lawyers with the client.”

Work highlights Acted for David Sokol, formerly a senior executive at Berkshire Hathaway, on all matters concerning Sokol's purchase of $10 million of stock in Lubrizol, successfully averting charges of violation of insider trading rules.

Acting for Robert McFarlane, previously the National Security Advisor to President Reagan, during the inquiry into McFarlane's alleged infringement of government sanctions against Sudan.

Notable practitioners  

The "methodical and patient" Barry Levine is white-collar practice co-leader and "excels at oral advocacy," according to commentators, who add that he is "unbelievably well prepared" and "very, very effective." He is further lauded for his total commitment to the case, and to "getting the very best for his client."

Barbara Van Gelder is head of the congressional investigations practice and co-leader of the white-collar criminal defense and investigations team. Sources particularly praise her "total attention to detail" and "tremendous tenacity."

Significant clients Neal Kemkar, Shelly Singhal, Nova Datacom/Min Cho, Protection Strategies Incorporated (PSI).

Government - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Washington, DC.

What the team is known for A well-established and highly regarded state attorneys general practice group. Offers extensive experience and expertise in helping clients navigate the waters of an attorney general inquiry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are exceptional lawyers. They understand our business and are able to educate the State Attorney General and staff about what we do. They have the ability to be persuasive because of their connections."

"Their billing is something I value. There is much-needed very high responsiveness and delivery of service and results."

Work highlights Represented DuPont in creating an attorney general strategy to combat anticompetitive practices by Monsanto. DuPont was successful in reaching a $1.75 billion settlement.

Continues to represent Pfizer, which has faced a number of litigations and investigations brought by attorneys general, with a value in excess of $1 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Bernard Nash is referred to by a client as "the godfather" of the attorney general practice. He is recognized for his excellent relationships with attorneys general and has the distinction of being able to walk both sides of the political fence, representing both Republicans and Democrats.

Clients observe that Lori Kalani is "highly regarded within the attorney general community." She is recognized for her strong litigation skills and strategic thinking, as well as her connections, with one source enthusiastically remarking: "She would qualify as an attorney general whisperer."

Significant clients US Chamber of Commerce, McAfee, MasterCard, Facebook, AT&T. 

Insurance - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include Los Angeles, DC and New York.

What the team is known for Deep bench of skilled policyholder lawyers operating on a national platform. Areas of strength include claims relating to energy, bankruptcy, political risk and cyber security risks.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They've been absolutely wonderful. The people we've dealt with have all been receptive, they follow up on everything and are very easy to deal with."

"The insurance practice is superb." 

Work highlights Represented real estate company El-Ad in property damage coverage matters worth $20 million arising from Superstorm Sandy. 

Represented Northrop Grumman in litigation against Factory Mutual, regarding coverage for damage caused to its shipyards by Hurricane Katrina. 

Notable practitioners  

Kirk Pasich is one of the country's best-known and respected policyholder lawyers. According to one client, "when it comes to knowing the law in the insurance area in the US and maybe beyond, he is remarkable. He knows case after case after case - it's pretty amazing."

John Heintz attracts universal acclaim from the market for his practice, which includes expertise in claims relating to asbestos, political risk, environmental contamination and professional liability. Sources describe him as a "total gentleman" and "one of the great lawyers," who "knows how to get to a resolution in a case in a complex fight, but saves money too."

Significant clients Sempra Energy, Nooter, The Regence Group, Dana Companies, Caterpillar.

Insurance - New York

What the team is known for Represents policyholders from a range of industries in complex and high-value coverage litigation. Areas of expertise include property and business interruption, D&O, E&O and insurance broker liability.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are knowledgeable, experienced, responsive and care about the client relationship."

"Dickstein Shapiro’s strength lies in its ability to fully staff and mount a strong defense with excellent, experienced and decisive lawyers in complex coverage litigation, while at the same time counseling on opportunities for compromise."

Work highlights Represented 3G Capital Partners in D&O coverage litigation regarding losses arising from a series of shareholder derivative suits filed after acquiring HJ Heinz.

Recently advised El-Ad, owner of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, in a $20 million coverage dispute against Zurich American Insurance Company regarding damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Notable practitioners  

Client favorite Jared Zola has an extensive insurance practice which focuses in particular on claims related to business interruption and property damage. Clients appreciate that he is "very creative in the way he approaches problems with insurers."

Significant clients CT Investment Management, Dayton Towers, WebMD Health, NL Industries, SGL Carbon.