40 & Under List - Northeast

Review

Dispute resolution
40 and Under Northeast

 

Connecticut

 

Wiggin & Dana 

Robyn Gallagher of Wiggin & Dana manages a diverse litigation practice. Her expertise spans a number of practice areas, including commercial litigation, education disputes, product liability matters, and insurance actions. She is a member of the team representing the United Illuminating Company in an approximately $20 million ongoing suit against the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company for numerous and serious construction defects arising out of the construction of United Illuminating’s corporate campus and operations center. The claims concern defects involving complex portions of the electrical systems for the building and pervasive paving and drainage issues throughout the campus. Appellate litigator David Roth has built a reputable practice representing clients before the US Supreme Court, federal courts of appeal, and numerous state courts. He is a member of the sole lead counsel team for the government of Germany and its Berlin museums in an ongoing suit brought by plaintiffs descended from the members of a consortium of German Jewish art dealers who sold a large collection of medieval German art, sometimes referred to as the Guelph Treasure, to the German state of Prussia in 1935. The case set an important precedent under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act regarding the ability of plaintiffs to sue foreign governments or their instrumentalities for alleged human rights abuses committed by the foreign sovereigns against their own nationals. 

 

 

District of Columbia

 
Kaplan Hecker & Fink 

Kaplan Hecker & Fink’s DC office features a new partner on the 40 & Under List. Ray Tolentino is a civil and appellate litigator with vast experience in handling an array of issues, including administrative, constitutional, employment, and civil rights law. Tolentino recently represented a group of plaintiffs that sued the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who organized racial- and religious-based violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. The team secured a number of victories throughout the proceeding, and in November of last year jurors found that more than a dozen groups were liable for injuries to counter-protesters and ordered them to pay the clients more than $25 million in damages. In an employment matter, he represented Goldman Sachs, its General Counsel and its Global Head of Litigation in a lawsuit filed by a former in-house attorney who claimed retaliation following a complaint regarding alleged misconduct by the Global Head of Litigation. The case was resolved following the team’s successful motion to compel arbitration. 

 

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel 

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel’s DC office is home to commercial and bankruptcy litigation rising star William Trunk, who routinely represents individuals, corporations, and their boards in sophisticated proceedings in courts across the country. Trunk was a member of the Robbins Russell Englert Orseck & Untereiner team that joined Kramer Levin’s DC office in April 2022 to help bolster the firm’s renowned litigation capabilities. His growing expertise includes trying securities and derivative suits, breach of contract actions, claims under the Bankruptcy Code, and other business disputes. 

 

Hunton Andrews Kurth 

The DC office of Hunton Andrews Kurth has several partners featured on this year’s 40 & Under List. Kerry McGrath focuses on natural resources litigation and is frequently engaged in handling cases involving the Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). She recently obtained a critical and rare federally issued CWA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System discharge permit for the Four Corners Power Plant on Navajo lands in New Mexico. McGrath defended the permit before the EPA Environmental Appeals Board and is continuing to lead the defense in the Ninth Circuit appeal. Leslie Kostyshak handles litigation and government investigations, with a focus on antitrust issues. She is on the team representing Linet Americas, a global supplier of hospital beds, in its lawsuit against Hillcrom alleging that the company engaged in anticompetitive practices. The case is ongoing before Judge Martha Pacold. Carter Simpson’s civil litigation practice is diverse, with experience in antitrust, consumer, and class action matters. His expertise is in representing clients in the food and beverage, retail, and hospitality industries. Simpson is involved in representing Ahold Delhaize and Aldi, two of the nation’s largest chicken purchasers, as direction action plaintiffs alleging that the largest chicken manufacturers engaged in price-fixing in the high-profile Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation. 

 

Wilkinson Stekloff 

Wilkinson Stekloff’s DC office features two of the firm’s widely recognized litigators on the 40 & Under List. Rakesh Kilaru has a diverse practice that involves antitrust, sports, product liability, commercial, class action, and appellate litigation. Among his current matters, Kilaru is involved in high-profile antitrust cases for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Football League (NFL). Both cases are in discovery and awaiting class certification proceedings later this year. Kieran Gostin focuses on complex civil and commercial litigation. Gostin was a member of the team that obtained the first jury verdict on behalf of Monsanto in the Roundup mass tort litigation. The matter was the fourth case to go to trial over claims that the herbicide causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, and the first involving a child plaintiff. 

 

Williams & Connolly 

At Williams & Connolly’s DC office, newly named 40 & Under partner Katherine Trefz represents clients in government and internal investigations, as well as in criminal defense matters. She is part of the counsel team defending Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of Theranos, as she faces mail and wire fraud indictments brought by the Northern District of California’s US Attorney. Trefz serves as co-lead trial counsel to Endo Pharmaceuticals in an antitrust class action regarding settlement payments between Endo and Impax which are alleged to be in violation of antitrust statutes. The matter is currently slated for trial. Also new to the list this year is complex commercial and patent litigator Luke McCloud. Currently, he is involved in defending Samsung in two consolidated patent infringement cases pending in the Eastern District of Texas. The team is amid claim construction proceedings. Thomas Fletcher is also a patent litigator who has a specialty in handling licensing disputes for an array of life sciences clients. He served as co-lead counsel representing Arbutus Biopharma in two appeals before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The client retained the team to handle the oral argument before the Federal Circuit after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) rejected Moderna’s challenge. The appeals court upheld the PTAB ruling and dismissed one of Moderna’s appeals. Sarah Harris is recognized for her high-stakes appeals practice. She serves a wide variety of industries and is routinely handling matters in state and federal appellate courts, as well as the US Supreme Court, where she has argued before three times – and prevailed in all three cases. Her most recent trip to the US Supreme Court garnered a 9-0 decision regarding a First Amendment claim and a 6-3 decision as to a Fourth Amendment claim. 

 

New York

 

Cohen Ziffer Frenchman & McKenna 

Cohen Ziffer Frenchman & McKenna has several new additions to the 40 & Under List this year, including insurance and commercial litigator Meredith Elkins. Her experience includes both trial and appellate cases. She has been representing Verizon in a D&O coverage matter with more than $120 million in defense and settlement costs. Elkins has recently obtained several wins on behalf of the client, including partial summary judgment in 2020 that granted its right to recover defense costs. Additionally, in 2021, the team won a ruling at the Delaware Superior Court which found that the client was entitled to recover roughly $24 million in defense costs in full and was entitled to seek insurance coverage for the $95 million settlement. One issue remains to be litigated and the parties have filed competing summary judgment motions. Cynthia “Cindy” Jordano focuses her practice on handling insurance recovery disputes, with experience in commercial and securities litigation as well. Jordano is currently representing commercial landlord Thor Equities in an insurance matter that concerns whether property insurers must cover the “business interruption” losses of policyholders arising out of the pandemic. Jordano has prevailed against FM Global so far, after the court declined to dismiss the case and rejected the defendant’s request for ruling on the pleadings. Jillian Raines recently served as corporate insurance attorney for Apple and now uses her experience to assist clients in private practice. She has recently been involved in representing JGB Vegas Retail Lessee in its lawsuit filed in Nevada state court against Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company. The client filed for coverage of property and business interruption losses also stemming from the pandemic. Raines also prevailed against a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment on one of the issues. Alexander Sugzda regularly assists policyholders in insurance recovery matters. He was involved in the representation of Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the PES Liquidating Trust in a matter related to the series of explosions and catastrophic fire at the PES oil refinery in 2019. The proceeding filed in the District of Delaware against more than two dozen of the client’s property insurers was largely won in a summary judgment victory on all three issues presented to the court ahead of trial. In 2022, the matter was favorably settled during the trial of the two remaining claims. 

 

Cravath Swaine & Moore 

New York’s Cravath Swaine & Moore features a host of 40 & Under partners with several new additions to this year’s list. General commercial litigators Brittany Sukiennik and David Korn continue to lead the firm’s teams representing PG&E Corporation and its subsidiary, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, in litigation arising from the 2019 Kincade fire, the 2020 Zogg fire, and other high-exposure California wildfires. After successfully handling previous litigation and bankruptcy matters, the team is handling a 40-complaint lawsuit filed in California state courts. Joining the list alongside Korn and Sukiennik is antitrust practitioner Helam Gebremariam. Currently, Gebremariam serves on the team as lead trial counsel defending Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the company’s board of directors in both a derivative action and a shareholder class action that arose in relation to the Tesla board’s approval of a performance-based compensation package for Musk with an alleged maximum potential value of $55.8 billion. The matter is to be tried in October of this year. Vanessa Lavely is a trial lawyer with a diverse practice that includes vast experience handling a wide variety of commercial, antitrust, intellectual property, and environmental-related litigation. She is currently working with Margaret Segall in representing Epic Games in two separate antitrust matters against Google and Apple. Epic alleges that the companies are engaged in anticompetitive behavior related to their software applications and in-app purchases. Last September Lavely and Segall obtained a post-trial decision in the Apple matter. The court found in part that Apple engages in anticompetitive behavior under California competition laws. The team obtained a permanent injunction against the anti-steering policies, and Apple is enjoined from prohibiting the inclusion of links to alternative payment methods within developers’ applications. The team filed an appeal on the remaining claims, and Apple has also filed an appeal against the court’s decision. The case against Google is set for trial in April 2023. Antitrust litigator Segall also dedicates her practice to matters of inter alia, government investigations, regulatory approval, and transactions. In the past year alone, she has handled antitrust issues on behalf of AerCap Holdings N.V. in its $30 billion acquisition from General Electric of GE Capital Aviation Services, as well as on behalf of Afterpay in the client’s $29 billion acquisition of mobile credit card payment company Square. 40 & Under partner Michael Addis has developed his practice around the litigation of complex civil matters, representing clients in general commercial, antitrust, and securities, among other disputes. Addis currently acts as lead counsel to 260 Twelfth Avenue Holdings as the client contests Amtrak’s valuation for land seized by power of eminent domain in relation to the Hudson Tunnel Project. The dispute raises novel constitutional questions as to what constitutes “just compensation” during a global health crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Another new addition to this year’s list is Lauren Rosenberg, whose practice includes commercial, antitrust and securities litigation. She has recently been engaged to represent Morgan Stanley in two antitrust-related cases, as well as a bankruptcy matter related to the restructuring of Moby, an Italian shipping company, that is taking place in Italy. Following several motions to transfer, Morgan Stanley’s motion to dismiss is pending in New York State Court. In one of the antitrust matters, Rosenberg obtained a complete dismissal for Morgan Stanley against SL-x IP, the parent company of an electronic stock-loan trading platform. SL-x has appealed the dismissals to the Second Circuit. Sharonmoyee Goswami is a highly regarded IP litigator who maintains her spot on the 40 & Under List, representing a variety of clients in high-stakes patent infringement and antitrust matters. Goswami handled antitrust issues on behalf of Illumina following its $8 billion acquisition of GRAIL and is currently handling a related administrative challenge brought by the FTC. The matter was tried late last year, and a decision is pending. Lauren Kennedy is experienced in assisting a wide range of clients in complex antitrust and commercial litigation. Kennedy has been representing the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association along with several member plans in an MDL antitrust class action matter that is one of the largest in the country. Last March, the team was retained to represent the entire association. A settlement resolving the subscriber claims was preliminarily approved in 2020, but the matter filed by the healthcare provider plaintiffs are ongoing. Justin Clarke’s practice focuses on antitrust, securities and commercial litigation. He was involved in the aforementioned Epic Games suit and is representing Starz Entertainment in its copyright infringement and breach of contract action against MGM. Clarke and team defeated the defendant’s motion to dismiss last January, which MGM has since appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The district court’s ruling in this matter conflicts with the Sohm decision from the Second Circuit. 

 

Glenn Agre Bergman & Fuentes 

Stepping into her first year as a 40 & Under partner, Glenn Agre Bergman & Fuentes co-founder and complex commercial litigator Marissa Miller of the firm’s New York office makes available to clients specialized expertise in real estate disputes, complex contract matters, and business torts, as well as significant background knowledge of bankruptcy proceedings. Testament to her prowess, Miller is recognized for her recent involvement in the firm’s team that represented Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH in a dispute brought by the client to the Supreme Court of New York County arising from defendant Lexington Avenue Hotel's defaulting on a $136 million loan. Honoring a guarantee, the client was subrogated to the loan’s original lender, soon after filing suit against the defendant. Pursuing summary judgement, the team proved successful, securing on behalf of the client an award exceeding $150 million.    

 

Herrick Feinstein 

At the New York based full-service law shop of Herrick Feinstein, newly named 40 & Under partner Christopher Carty of the firm’s restructuring and financial litigation group has developed his practice in the representation of corporate clients in complex litigation including matters of the capital market, valuation disputes, mergers and acquisitions, lender/creditor disputes, and capital structuring matters. Carty is currently involved as a member of Herrick’s special litigation counsel team representing the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Sears Chapter 11 cases which have garnered widespread attention from mainstream and industry publications alike. Also newly recognized as a 40 & Under star, Shivani Poddar boasts a sweeping array of specialties, litigating complex commercial, general commercial, real estate, and employment matters alike, as well as offering mediation and arbitration services. Poddar is recognized for her critical involvement on the firm’s team that secured victory as defense counsel to luxury residential developer JMH Development in a notably contentious dispute in which the client’s joint venture partner PSB Indian Creek brought erroneous allegations of breach of contract and fiduciary duty. Following a three-day bench trial, Poddar and the Herrick team were successful in securing favorable rulings for the client on all claims.   

 

Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney 

Damian Cavaleri of Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney is active in business and employment litigation. He is a member of the counsel team representing technology firm Redapt Attuniz in an ongoing claim for theft of trade secrets and interference with its contractual relations. Cavaleri is also recognized for his lead counsel advocacy on behalf of XPO in a multiparty litigation arising out of design defects related to XPO’s headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut. XPO initiated this action with a claim against the architect that designed its headquarters. The architect counterclaimed against XPO and filed third-party claims against various subcontractors and the general contractor. There are several cross-claims among the parties, which are currently engaged in mediation. Fellow employment litigation authority, with additional strengths in commercial litigation, is partner Helene Hechtkopf. Her first-chair trial experience includes representing the Metropolitan Transit Authority in a class action lawsuit alleging violations of constitutional rights relating to the collection of Transit Adjudication Bureau judgments. Hechtkopf is also active in numerous civil rights actions in defense of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and several MTA police officers and sergeants, including in notable claims brought by two protesters who were arrested in January 2020 at a protest inside Grand Central Station, who claim their rights were violated during the arrest. 

 

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg 

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg gains a new name on the 40 & Under List this year with the addition of Gregory Dubinsky – a complex commercial litigator with experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of cases, including government and regulatory matters, contract disputes, antitrust cases, and First Amendment issues. Dubinsky is involved in an international arbitration representing Aenergy in several matters regarding the termination of 13 $1.1 billion contracts the company held with Angola entities. The team has filed proceedings against General Electric in Angola and under the LCIA arbitration rules in London, and an action in the Southern District of New York against Angola for breach of contract and expropriation. Brendon DeMay is well known for adeptly handling putback cases related to residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) lawsuits and appeals. DeMay continues to represent HSCBC after previously obtaining a significant win on appeal, reversing a lower court’s decision on behalf of the client. He continues to represent the client in the cases that have yet to settle, with a summary judgment briefing under way in the Nomura cases. Scott Danner is a litigator with experience across a variety of practices, including complex commercial, antitrust, shareholder, and securities litigation. Danner has represented both companies and individuals in a number of criminal and regulatory proceedings. Among his current matters, Danner settled a multimillion-dollar antitrust lawsuit bought by client Valassis against News Corporation involving the advertising market. Litigator Benjamin Heidlage worked alongside Danner on that case, as well as in a matter defending Federal Insurance Company, an affiliate of Chubb, in a $60 million insurance coverage dispute against plaintiff Raymond James. The case involves issues related to the applicability of fidelity bond coverage. Heidlage is also recognized for representing clients in a variety of commercial, antitrust, and securities matters. Jayme Jonat seamlessly represents both plaintiffs and defendants with a particular focus on assisting clients in the financial services industry with securities and antitrust class actions. Jonat is currently part of the team serving as lead counsel defending Visa in a multibillion-dollar antitrust case against major retailers including Target, Amazon, and Home Depot. Objectors are currently fighting the settlement that received final approval in 2019. The appeal was briefed in 2020 and the parties are preparing for oral argument. Jonat is also lead counsel in a pro bono case in which she represents female pilots and flight attendants of Frontier Airlines in two workplace discrimination cases. The matters involve the airline’s policies towards breast-feeding and pregnant employees. In 2021, the District of Colorado denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss both the attendants’ and pilots’ cases. As a result, the flight attendants are permitted to pump during flights with the use of a wearable breast pump. Blair Kaminsky specializes in complex commercial litigation, with an additional focus on securities and antitrust disputes. Kaminsky works alongside Jonat on the previously mentioned Visa case. She is also involved in handling opioid-related matters for global insurer Chubb. In April, Kaminsky, along with 40 & Under star Daniel Sullivan, won a summary judgment ruling in one of the matters in California federal court. Sullivan is a commercial and appellate litigator and often works with fellow 40 & Under partners on cases. In addition to being involved in the Chubb case, he works with DeMay on the HSBC case. Sullivan also represents a host of clients in complex commercial disputes. He is currently handling two separate appeals on behalf of TIG Insurance against ExxonMobil over a $25 million arbitration award for coverage of the company’s groundwater contamination lawsuits. 

 

Kaplan Hecker & Fink 

Joshua Matz of Kaplan Hecker’s New York office is well versed in handling complex commercial disputes, appellate litigation, and matters involving constitutional and civil rights issues. Matz also represents the Pennsylvania Governor and Acting Secretary of State, challenging the congressional map issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Matz filed a 40-page opposition brief three days after the plaintiffs in the case and filed an emergency application with Justice Alito for an injunction requiring the state to conduct congressional elections. The Supreme Court rejected the application, and the case is proceeding before a three-judge district court. John Quinn represents clients in high-profile civil matters as well as spearheading a number of the firm’s public-interest causes. He represents Mary Trump against former president Donald Trump and his siblings, alleging fraud and civil conspiracy. In addition, Quinn defends Natixis in a residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) “repurchase” case. Shawn Crowley is a former federal prosecutor deeply experienced in handling high-profile criminal and commercial matters, as well as internal and government investigations. She represented Stefan He Qin, the 24-year-old founder of Virgil Capital, which ran two cryptocurrency hedge funds managing almost $90 million. Qin received a sentence that was half the 15 years guidelines, following the team’s arguments for leniency. Crowley is also representing Qin in a parallel SEC enforcement action. 

 

Kasowitz Benson Torres 

Kasowitz Benson Torres maintains a strong and accomplished group of lawyers featured on the 40 & Under List, with several new additions appearing in this year’s edition. Nefertiti Alexander’s practice is focused on complex commercial litigation and white-collar crime investigations involving business tort, breach of contract, antitrust, securities fraud, and other matters in federal and state courts and arbitration. She is involved in representing Teva Pharmaceuticals against an indictment brought by the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, which alleges that the client participated in three conspiracies to suppress and eliminate competition. Alexander and team will serve as lead counsel for Teva during the trial. Brian Choi is also focused on complex commercial litigation and white-collar crime investigations. He represents companies, boards of directors, and individuals under investigation by the Department of Justice, the SEC, and other regulatory enforcement agencies. Choi is on the team representing TerraForm Power and one of its affiliates in a $300 million malpractice action against two prominent law firms that had represented the client in its acquisition of a clean energy developer. The matter is currently in discovery into the client’s claims after the New York State Supreme Court denied the defendant’s motions to dismiss. Joshua Fulop is an employment litigator representing employers and senior executives in disputes. Fulop’s practice spans beyond his New York base, as he is currently engaged in representing YRC Worldwide, a Fortune 100 logistics company, in three California class actions alleging wage and hour claims. Two of the cases were won on summary judgment and are now on appeal, and the team obtained a dismissal on the pleadings in the third case. In New York, Fulop secured another victory for Saw Mill Capital in December 2021 by defeating the appeal filed by former employee John Shaia after a 2017 decision denying the plaintiff’s breach of contract claims against the client. Jennifer McDougall is a real estate and commercial litigator. She is representing Parkmerced Investors, a real estate investment and development firm, in its $150 million breach of contract lawsuit against WeWork. Ryan Montefusco’s practice concentrates on complex commercial and white-collar defense matters, handling litigation for clients in financial services, real estate, media and other industries. Montefusco is one of the lawyers representing former senior executives and employees who were victims of Nikko Asset Management’s scheme to extinguish their stock acquisition rights. In March, the Southern District of New York rejected the defendant’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss the clients’ claims. The case is now proceeding towards jury trial. Andrew Schwartz is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on securities litigation. He is engaged in defending the former CFO of Eros Int’l, Prem Parameswaran, in a putative securities class action. Last April, the court granted in part and denied in part the team’s motion to dismiss. The team moved to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint filed by the plaintiffs earlier this year. Sarah Leivick continues to be recognized for her practice focusing on securities, antitrust and complex commercial litigation. Leivick is involved in an antitrust action on behalf of leading automaker Ford Motor Company in prosecuting antitrust claims, including price-fixing, bid-rigging, and customer and market allocation, against over 90 different automotive parts suppliers. The case is described as one of the largest criminal antitrust investigations, with more than $2 billion in criminal fines. 

 
 

Patterson Belknap 

Muhammad Faridi is co-leading several complex commercial disputes for clients in a variety of industries. He continues to represent Ambac Assurance Corporation in its ongoing $2 billion litigation against Countrywide Home Loans and Bank of America, which bought Countrywide in 2008. The lawsuit alleges pervasive fraud and breaches of representations and warranties made by defendant Countrywide in relation to the mortgage loans underlying residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). In 2020, the court dismissed the fraud claim. Trial on the contract claim is scheduled for September. Faridi co-leads the case with Jason Vitullo, a new addition to the 40 & Under List. Vitullo and fellow new addition Stephanie Teplin represent Ambac Assurance in a trust instruction proceeding in Minnesota state court relating to a proposed settlement of the aforementioned RMBS put back action against Countrywide and Back of America in New York state court. US Bank acts as a Trustee that asks the court to approve its $94 million settlement to resolve the matter. Ambac filed a lawsuit against US Bank, alleging the settlement is undervaluing the Trust claims and arguing that the bank failed to meet its prudent person obligations. The trial was recently held in May. Joshua Kipnees is a commercial litigator who specializes in matters pertaining to false advertising as well as pharmaceuticals. Kipnees currently represents Gilead in its lawsuit against over 50 healthcare providers and pharmacies in Florida who gave homeless and indigent individuals repackaged and misbranded PrEP, after recruiting them to attend Gilead-affiliated clinics and enroll in the charitable program that provides free HIV prevention medication. Kipnees and team have secured several wins thus far, including a preliminary injunction against all defendants. The team also prevailed against 12 separate motions to dismiss. The trial is scheduled for December. Jane Metcalf is a false advertising litigator with a list of noteworthy clients. Metcalf has represented Coca-Cola in a multi-district litigation alleging its labels falsely stated that the product contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. The team petitioned the Ninth Circuit to review the lower court’s decision to certify a class in order to seek an injunction forcing the company to change its labels. The Ninth Circuit granted the request, and reversed the district court’s decision, and in turn, the plaintiffs dismissed the claims with prejudice. Lauren Schorr Potter is a white-collar crime and investigations litigator. Recently, she has been involved in several fraud-related actions, including one for Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon in a multibillion-dollar litigation stemming from the client’s acquisition of Auris Health, a robotics-assisted surgical device manufacturer. The acquisition included an additional $2.35 billion contingency payment if the device hit predetermined milestones. After determining the milestones would not be met, plaintiff Fortis Advisors filed claims against the client. Most recently, Schorr Potter and the team’s motion to dismiss was granted in part. Trial is scheduled for February 2023. Rachel Sherman focuses on false advertising, products liability, and complex commercial litigation. As lead counsel, she recently secured a win for Siemens in a false advertising dispute. She is also handling product liability suits on behalf of several multinational companies in the pharmaceuticals industry. 

 

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison 

The firm’s New York office is home to multiple 40 & Under partners, including Brette Tannenbaum who has recently been especially active in the spheres of antitrust and securities. Following her landmark victory in 2020 before the Kentucky Supreme Court on behalf of the Blackstone Group – establishing as precedent that beneficiaries of state pension funds lack the standing to bring forth claims on behalf of the fund or state – Tannenbaum is again active in the role of lead counsel to Blackstone in a stockholder derivative suit against nominal defendant and medical device company Zimmer Biomet Holdings. The most recent in a slate of widely spectated matters arising in the wake of a 2016 FDA audit, this dispute is being tried before the Delaware Supreme Court and regards allegations that certain private equity defendants, including Blackstone, sold company stock as a reaction to material, confidential information pertaining to the audit. Alexia Korberg of the New York office is gaining increasing recognition for their work in complex civil litigation matters. Routinely active in commercial disputes that span a range of industries, Korberg – whose career was originally in the private equity space – is also developing a reputable practice in constitutional litigation, including most recently in the impactful Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Korberg was also a member of the counsel team for the special committee of the Credit Suisse AG board of directors that ultimately found no evidence of fraud or illegal conduct by individuals or the bank. Fellow partner Jeffrey Recher is recognized for his complex commercial and bankruptcy litigation work. He is active in both trials and arbitrations, having recently been a member of the lead counsel team that favorably resolved, following a jury trial, long-running antitrust competitor suits brought against News Corporation and News America Marketing by Valassis Communications. 

 

Pomerantz 

Michael Grunfeld returns to the 40 & Under List, where he is recognized for his invaluable work in numerous securities, class action, complex commercial, and white-collar matters. Grunfeld is currently leading the charge as an intervenor in a case on behalf of the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement System in the Doris Behr 2012 Irrevocable Trust v. Johnson & Johnson matter. The district court handed down a victory for shareholders in June 2021 when it granted the defendant and the intervenor’s motion to dismiss in a case that involved an activist investor’s attempt to have Johnson & Johnson shareholders vote on a proxy proposal that would activate a corporate bylaw requiring all securities fraud claims against the company to be pursued through mandatory arbitration, and that would waive shareholders’ rights to bring forth securities class actions in the future. 

 

Proskauer 

Based out of the firm’s New York office, Lee Popkin is a newly minted 40 & Under partner and focuses her practice on commercial, product liability, and intellectual property disputes – representing clients from a multitude of industry sectors. In addition to her role on the team that served as lead trial counsel for Bayer/Monsanto in the high-exposure Roundup herbicide liability litigation and achieved a landmark victory on the client’s behalf, Popkin served as lead trial counsel to luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. in a trademark dispute brought against Costco Wholesale Corp.    

 

Selendy Gay

New York-based boutique Selendy Gay founding partner and 40 & Under List star Yelena “Lena” Konanova litigates within a variety of practice areas, including securities, antitrust, insurance, and trademark at the trial and appellate levels. Konanova recently represented members of the American Federation of Teachers union as plaintiffs in a federal suit against the US Department of Education and its Secretary in relation to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which ostensibly provides student debt relief in exchange for time spent engaging in public service. Following the unexplained denial of over 99% of applications filed by public servants under former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, eight plaintiffs filed suit, retaining Selendy as counsel with Konanova at the helm. She and the Selendy team achieved great success on the clients’ behalf, reaching a favorable settlement which both eliminated the plaintiffs’ remaining loan balances and promised a radical overhaul of the administration of the PSLF under current Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.  A new addition to the 40 & Under List, Oscar Shine has developed a practice which focuses on complex commercial matters, internal investigations, and government enforcement. Shine currently serves as counsel for all Kingate feeder funds that saw economic losses in the wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal. The litigation – filed by Deutsche Bank – pursues the transfer of Kingate assets under the terms of an expired contract dating back to 2011. At present, the case remains in discovery.   

 

Shearman & Sterling 

This year’s 40 & Under List recognizes New York-based Sara Raisner, who is a leading lawyer in the firm’s SPAC regulatory and litigation practice. She recently completed a secondment to a large financial institution, working closely with the senior team on SPACs. In addition to her expertise in SPAC litigation, she is also playing leading roles in FINRA-related matters. She was a key player in successfully arguing a motion to compel arbitration of claims against a major financial institution in state court. In addition to her litigation work, Raisner is also experienced in high-stakes internal investigations. She recently represented a major global financial institution involving potential conflicts of interest within a Latin American affiliate. Her experience and Spanish language skills were key to her successful resolution of the investigations. She has also handled months-long investigations by FINRA’s Department of Enforcement, the SEC and the NY Attorney General Investor Protection Bureau on behalf of several broker-dealers, banks and hedge funds. 

 

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett 

The New York office of Simpson Thacher features two 40 & Under List litigators. Linton Mann has expertise in residential mortgage-backed securities actions and complex commercial disputes. Mann continues to represent ViacomCBS (n/k/a Paramount Global) in shareholder litigation related to the 2019 merger of Viacom and CBS. Most recently, the court granted in part and denied in part the team’s motion to dismiss. He also represents Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Bank) in a Stanford-related matter alleging that the client was among the banks that aided and abetted Robert Allen Stanford’s fraud. Mann and the Simpson Thacher team have successfully narrowed the claims in the case through pre-trial motions. Joshua Polster specializes in high-stakes insurance, transaction, and real estate matters. Polster continues to serve as lead counsel representing certain underwriters at Lloyd’s, London in connection to alleged violations of the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (IBPA). The Circuit Court of Cook County – Chancery Division granted the client’s motions. An appeal was filed with the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District. In another matter, Polster also successfully represented underwriters at Lloyd’s, London in litigation related to a 2018 ransomware attack on a healthcare technology company. The firm prevailed in moving the dispute to the New York Supreme Court – Commercial Division and secured a motion to dismiss a counterclaim filed by the plaintiffs. Following the two wins, the matter was resolved. 

 

Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz 

Marking another year with the distinction of being on the 40 & Under List, Ryan McLeod has tailored his practice around the representation of corporations and their directors in matters pertaining to mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, as well as in class and derivative actions. He has represented companies such as Celgene and AOL in various commercial and securities disputes. Joining McLeod on the list as of this year is commercial practitioner Graham Meli, whose practice is largely concerned with bankruptcy, mortgage, and M&A litigation. He represents clients at both the trial and appellate level and has been involved in several high-profile matters. Meli has most recently been engaged in several mortgage-related securities matters. Recipient of the prestigious Maurice Goodman Memorial Award, Cynthia Fernandez-Lumermannis recognized again this year for her successes in high-stakes commercial litigation for a variety of clients. She is experienced in handling matters on appeal, as well as in trial. Fernandez-Lumermann’s expertise is called upon not only in the courtroom, but also as a commentator on corporate governance and securities disputes. Steven Winter debuted on last year’s list as a highly regarded litigator handling complex commercial disputes as well as white-collar investigations. Winter’s practice also involves assisting clients in matters pertaining to shareholder derivative class actions and other securities-related matters. 

 

Weil Gotshal & Manges 

In Weil Gotshal & Manges New York office, partner Jessica Falk has developed her practice to emphasize complex commercial and intellectual property matters. Among her industry specializations are technology, media and entertainment, fashion, investment services, publishing, and others. In her role as counsel to American International Group in a trademark dispute with A.I.G. Agency, Falk achieved total summary judgement victory – protecting the client from a claim for damages amounting to more than $1.15 billion.    

 

Wiggin and Dana 

Wiggin and Dana’s New York office is home to 40 & Under List star Nathan Denning, whose expertise includes extensive work leading securities, antitrust, consumer protection, and bankruptcy proceedings. He serves as co-lead counsel representing Dana Safety Supply (DSS), one of the largest distributors of police emergency equipment and emergency vehicle up fitting in the country, in a case that raises important issues about the rights of a manufacturer to terminate its distributors, issues under state unfair trade practice and franchise protection laws, as well as under the Robinson-Patman Act. The case was filed after the defendant gave DSS notice that it was terminating its distributor relationship with DSS, without cause, on 30 days’ notice, which would leave the plaintiff with more than $15 million of inventory on hand and potentially at risk of not being able to perform on almost $100 million of future contractual commitments to government agencies. 

 

Wilkinson Stekloff 

In the New York office of Wilkinson Stekloff, Moira Penza was a key member of the team that successfully obtained a complete dismissal on behalf of Altria Group in the high-profile antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission follow the client’s $12.8 billion purchase of a 35% interest in JUUL Labs Inc (JLI). Penza led the presentation of scientific evidence and examined Altria’s scientists. Penza is also representing Altria in several other class action antitrust lawsuits, and a separate MDL involving Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and state-law claims by a class of JLI consumers, individual consumers and government entities. The cases are currently in discovery. 

 

 

July 2022