King & Spalding’s Litigation practice is nationally and internationally recognized for its ability to litigate successfully the most difficult, high-stakes cases.For decades, our litigators have helped leading businesses succeed in commercial disputes.The practice has a record of winning trials, arbitrations, and appeals for clients across all industries, including energy, life sciences, healthcare, and financial services sectors. Our cross-firm, multidisciplinary team of attorneys tries high-stakes cases, resolves complex, multiparty disputes, and manages public relations for the most sensitive client matters. Our ranks include former high-ranking DOJ officials; former officials from SEC, EPA, FCC, FDA and FIC; and more than 30 former judicial clerks at the trial or appellate level.
Founded in 2019 by former Big Law attorneys with decades of experience handling thorny, complex matters, DTO handles matters on behalf of a variety of clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Filled with a burning obsession for superior results, DTO lawyers are strategically aggressive in the pursuit of their clients’ goals. Rather than focusing only on the matter in front of them, they focus on their clients’ larger business goals—what matters and what doesn’t—so they can tailor their litigation strategies to their client’s business objectives.
DTO’s mantra is straightforward: great success is not born of half-measures. Rather, success requires unparalleled, unflinching, compulsive commitment to both the mission and the principle of excellence.
The firm’s attorneys have many years of experience handling challenging and complex business litigation in state and federal courts as well as in arbitration. In addition to its deep class action and intellectual property litigation experience, DTO has handled litigation relating to breaches of contracts, partnership and founder disputes, fraud claims, employment disputes, mass torts, and products liability claims. DTO’s extensive mediation experience serves it well in that department: it has handled over 300 mediations, and one of its attorneys is a certified mediator.
DTO also has extensive appellate experience. It has had great success defending clients’ successful trial court victories on appeal, including on issues of first impression. Its team includes two former federal clerks, and its lawyers have bar admissions to the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Companies facing the threat of a class action often turn to DTO to navigate class action defense and secure the best result. DTO’s attorneys have handled nearly 100 threatened or filed class actions and are recognized by their peers as leaders in the field. DTO has had success in all phases of class actions: resolving threatened class actions, obtaining dismissals at the pleading stage, compelling a case to arbitration, defeating class certification, winning motions for summary judgment, and negotiating favorable settlements in tough cases.
Having represented plaintiffs and defendants in the intellectual property arena, DTO is adept at both protecting intellectual property and protecting businesses from accusations of infringement. Its substantive experience includes patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and domain name disputes. DTO has litigated over 100 IP disputes in federal court.
On the deal making side, the firm’s lawyers help clients develop strategic plans compatible with overall business strategy. In its capacity as real estate counsel, DTO has assisted a variety of clients, including investors, property owners, tenants, developers and lenders with the purchase, sale, development and financing of real property transactions.
DTO also has deep experience managing challenging issues in the areas of technology, commercial solutions and sourcing to achieve critical business objectives. The firm’s attorneys work hard to understand business needs and bring their business acumen to guide transactions and offer creative solutions.
The firm has significant experience handling complex business and commercial finance transactions. Trusted by large financial institutions, the attorneys at DTO keep abreast of changing business environments that affect their clients’ needs and tirelessly work to become trusted advisors.
This year, the firm was profiled by leading legal publication Los Angeles and San FranciscoDaily Journal, which also named it one of its “Top Boutique Law Firms” in California.
Awards and Recognition
DTO’s lawyers have been recognized time and again for the results they have achieved on behalf of their clients and their reputation in the legal industry. A sampling of the recognition its attorneys have received over the years includes:
“Litigation Star” (Benchmark Litigation)
“California Star” (Benchmark Litigation)
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
“The Best Lawyers in America” (Best Lawyers)
“Top Latino Lawyer” (Latino Leaders Magazine)
“Labor & Employment Star - West” (Benchmark Litigation)
“Top 20 Defense Verdicts” (The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal)
“Top 5 Appellate Reversals” (The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal)
“Top 20 Lawyer Under 40" (The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal)
“Lawyers on the Fast Track” (The Recorder)
DTO does not pay lip service to diversity. It embodies it.
The firm is 100% owned by women and people of color, and the firm is a member of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). This year, DTO was honored by NAMWOLF as its “Law Firm MVP.” Each year, the award recognizes a law firm member for its outstanding achievement in advancing NAMWOLF’s mission of promoting diversity and inclusion by fostering the relationship between preeminent minority and women owned law firms and corporations and public entities. Additionally, the firm and/or its lawyers are members and/or leaders of various organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in the legal field, such as the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National LGBT Bar Association and Foundation, Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), ChIPs, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA), and the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). One of the founding partners serves as Vice Chair of NAMWOLF, and all of its partners have been LCLD Fellows. Its attorneys also speak regularly on diversity and inclusion-related topics.
Founded in 1982, Berman Tabacco is a national law firm with offices in Massachusetts and California. The firm has devoted its practice to complex litigation, primarily under the securities and antitrust laws, as well as related services requested by and provided to its institutional clients. The firm also has an active whistleblower practice, among others.
Securities Litigation Berman Tabacco has more than 35 years of securities-litigation experience and has represented public pension funds and other institutional investors in that area since 1998. The Firm has prosecuted some of the largest securities cases and has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of investors. Indeed, Berman Tabacco appears as one of the firms with the most settlements on the list of the top 100 largest securities class actions in ISS Securities Class Action Services' published report, Top 100 U.S. Class Action Settlements of All Time (as of 12/31/2018). The firm has successfully prosecuted and recovered billions of dollars for defrauded investors in some of the most significant shareholder lawsuits of the last 20 years, having been appointed as lead or co-lead counsel in more than 100 actions. Recent successes include:
In re BP plc Sec. Litigation, No. 4:10-md-02185 (S.D. Tex.) The firm recovered $175 million on behalf of the class—one of just four mega securities class action settlements in 2017 (settlements of $100 million or more), according to Cornerstone Research in this hard-fought litigation on behalf of shareholders of BP American Depository Shares arising out of BP's Deepwater Horizon explosion, one of the worst oil spills in history. Class members who submitted claims will receive over 100% of their recoverable losses.
California Public Employees' Retirement System v. Moody's Corp., No. CGC-09-490241 (Cal. Super. Ct. San Francisco Cty.) As sole counsel, the firm recovered $255 million from Moody's and Standard and Poor's entities in this landmark individual action on behalf of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, which alleged negligent misrepresentations in connection with rating three structured investment vehicles.
In re Fannie Mae 2008 Sec. Litigation, No. 08-cv-07831 (PAC) (S.D.N.Y.) Representing co-lead plaintiff Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, the firm resolved claims for $170 million alleging that Fannie Mae failed to disclose (i) growing exposure to high-risk mortgages as well as (ii) problems with the company's risk controls, both of which led to federal conservatorship in 2008.
In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Sec. Litigation, No. 1:09-cv-04583 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y.) As lead counsel, the firm recovered $346 million on behalf of the class from investment-bank underwriters and officers—one of the largest mortgage-backed-securities class action settlements to date and the largest paid by underwriter defendants.
Berman Tabacco's dismissal rate for cases brought under the federal securities laws is less than half the overall dismissal rate for such cases (based on the reported dismissal rate by one authoritative study). The firm serves as monitoring, evaluation, and/or litigation counsel to over 100 institutional investors, which includes 17 statewide public employee retirement systems with more than $50 billion in assets.
Antitrust Litigation Berman Tabacco's antitrust practice has a national reputation for prosecuting class actions that involve anticompetitive conduct and conspiracies to fix or maintain prices. Over the years, the firm has played a major role in the prosecution of numerous landmark antitrust cases and has been at the forefront of some of the largest antitrust settlements—recovering over a billion dollars for class members and changing business practices of defendant companies. The following are examples of the antitrust group's recent efforts:
In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, No. 13-md-02420-YGR (N.D. Cal.) Berman Tabacco was co-lead counsel for the class of direct purchasers of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in a class action alleging that defendant manufacturers participated in a conspiracy in violation of federal antitrust laws to fix the prices of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (which are commonly used in devices such as notebook computers, cell phones, and digital cameras). The firm successfully negotiated settlements totaling $139.3 million, which were approved in May 2018.
Laydon v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd., No. 1:12-cv-03419 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y.) & Sonterra Capital Master Fund, Ltd. v. UBS AG, No. 1:15-cv-05844 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y.) Berman Tabacco is counsel for plaintiffs representing two large public pension funds in actions alleging that bank traders and their affiliates colluded in violation of antitrust laws to manipulate the Euroyen TIBOR and Yen LIBOR rates—benchmark rates used to determine interest rates and to price Japanese Yen-based financial instruments. As of September 2019, partial settlements totaling $307 million have been achieved, of which $236 million have been finally approved.
Sullivan v. Barclays PLC, et al., No. 13-cv-02811 (PKC) (S.D.N.Y.) Berman Tabacco represents a public pension fund in a class action that it joined as named plaintiff, which alleges that over a dozen major banks colluded in violation of the antitrust laws to manipulate the EURIBOR, a global reference rate used to benchmark and price over $200 trillion of financial products. As of September 2019, partial settlements total $309 million.
Whistleblower Representation Berman Tabacco's whistleblower practice group assists individuals wishing to expose fraud perpetrated against the federal government, states, and corporations, working to obtain the compensation and protections afforded by the False Claims Act, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Whistleblower Program, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission Whistleblower Program, and the Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Program. Berman Tabacco helps whistleblowers engage appropriate government entities to right wrongs—enforced either by those agencies or through separate litigation.
Alto Litigation is a powerhouse litigation boutique based in San Francisco representing some of Silicon Valley’s most coveted companies and entrepreneurs in high-stakes litigation and regulatory matters, ranging from securities class actions and SEC investigations to trademark disputes.
Alto’s lead attorneys received degrees from the nation’s most elite law schools (Harvard, Yale), and have successfully represented Fortune 500 companies over the last two decades. The firm represents technology companies, entrepreneurs, officers, directors, employees and shareholders in Silicon Valley and beyond in high-stakes litigation.
Alto prides itself on being lean and efficient, with the close team of litigators achieving positive results for top executives and companies. Alto’s size allows them to offer clients alternative rate structures, including flat fee or contingency arrangements when appropriate. The results speak for themselves. On the plaintiffs’ side, the firm has achieved millions in judgments and settlements. On the defense side, the firm has achieved dismissals, arbitration wins, and early settlements.
These results have not gone unnoticed. For 2020, Benchmark Litigation ranked Alto Litigation as a “Tier 1” Firm in San Francisco and a Recommended Firm in California. In 2019, Benchmark Litigation nominated Alto Litigation for both San Francisco Firm of the Year and California – Securities Litigation Firm of the Year. In 2018, the Daily Journal selected Alto Litigation for recognition as a California “Top Boutique” law firm. The Daily Journal selected Alto Litigation as one of only 20 firms statewide to receive the distinction that year, recognizing the firm for its work in complex commercial litigation.