Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a global law firm with approximately 2,500 attorneys representing clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property matters. The Firm has 15 offices around the world: Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.
Litigation Kirkland & Ellis is renowned for its experience in complex litigation and arbitration. The Firm believes that the best litigation results happen when the lawyers and client form a team that assumes it will try the case. Because of this trial-ready philosophy, the Firm is able to offer clients a deep bench of lawyers who have been taking cases to verdict since the early stages of their careers. Whether in the courtroom, at the bargaining table or helping clients avoid risks without litigation, Kirkland has a long and proven track record of generating successful results for clients in their most high-stakes cases.
The Litigation Practice Group comprises approximately 500 attorneys throughout the firm’s worldwide offices. The Firm’s international experience enables effective representation of non-US plaintiffs and defendants in US judicial proceedings. Kirkland represents clients in trial and appellate courts at the federal and state level, before administrative tribunals, and in arbitrations and other dispute resolution proceedings. The Firm also represents clients in connection with proceedings involving government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, US Attorneys General Offices, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the New York Stock Exchange, the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the US Patent and Trademark Office, the US Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.
Lawyers in all of Kirkland’s US offices have tried cases, successfully to verdict or to judgment, in virtually every substantive area and business segment including accountant liability, antitrust and competition, appellate, class action, mass tort and toxic tort, construction, ERISA/benefits, First Amendment and defamation, franchise and distribution, insurance coverage, international arbitration and ADR, product liability, securities and shareholder.
Kirkland has been recognized by clients and the media for its achievements in litigation:
For the eighth time, Kirkland was selected as one of the “Fearsome Foursome” in BTI Consulting’s 2019 Litigation Outlook report. Kirkland was also identified
as a “powerhouse” firm for intellectual property litigation, class actions, complex employment litigation and complex commercial litigation, and as a “standout” firm
for securities and finance litigation.
In 2018, Kirkland ranked #1 in The Lawyer’s “Global Litigation Top 50.”
The American Lawyer has recognized Kirkland as a top firm in every “Litigation Department of the Year” contest since 2002.
Kirkland was awarded “Illinois Firm of the Year” and “Bankruptcy Firm of the Year” at the 2019 Benchmark Litigation US Awards.
The National Law Journal has named the firm to its “Appellate Hot List” every year since 2012.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Kirkland & Ellis’ Intellectual Property Practice Group is one of the oldest such practices in a full-service firm in the country, having been an integral part of Kirkland since 1925. Kirkland has approximately 200 intellectual property lawyers who are experienced in a variety of technical disciplines and registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office. More than 70 percent of the lawyers are engineers and scientists trained with degrees and professional backgrounds in technical areas.
Kirkland has one of the most respected intellectual property litigation practices in the country, with particular experience in large-scale patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret misappropriation and advertising matters. The work of the group frequently extends to antitrust, securities/compliance, products liability and appellate matters.
Kirkland’s experience in venues where IP cases are most often litigated is extensive. The Firm tries cases before juries, judges and arbitrators in venues across the country including state courts, district courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Kirkland has one of the most active trial practices in the country. Our success rate at trial is among the best, with only a few of losses over the last 10 years despite handling some of the most challenging litigation cases in history.
The Intellectual Property Practice Group has been recognized by numerous publications for its achievements:
In Managing Intellectual Property’s 2019 IP Stars, Kirkland was named as a leading firm for Copyright, ITC, Life Sciences and Patent Contentious.
Managing Intellectual Property named Kirkland “U.S. National Appellate Firm of the Year” at its 2019 Americas Awards.
Kirkland was named to World Trademark Review magazine’s 2019 WTR 1000 list of the world’s top trademark law firms nationally and in Illinois, and was recognized
as a Tier 1 firm for enforcement and litigation in New York.
In 2019, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine recognized Kirkland in Tier 1 for Litigation: United States - National in its IAM Patent 1000 guide.
Kirkland was named “Law Firm of the Year” for Litigation - Patent by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers in their 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings.
The New York Law Journal named Kirkland as its 2019 “Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Year.”
Regularly hailed as one of the strongest litigation teams in the industry, the Debevoise litigation practice has been described by The American Lawyer as akin to “the Army Rangers—a small but elite group that works seamlessly and handles the most challenging cases,” consistently delivering outstanding results for its clients. Recent matters include:
Winning a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court victory concerning constitutional limits of state taxation for the Kaestner Family Trust
Securing a historic $6 billion ICSID arbitration win for Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited
Dismissal of a $14.5 billion qui tam lawsuit filed against Prudential, John Hancock, AXA, Guardian, MassMutual, TIAA and others in the New York Supreme Court
Representing the Board of Directors of CBS Corporation in an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against the CEO and senior personnel
Defeating MZ Wallace’s trade dress infringement claim against our client Oliver Thomas in a complete victory at trial
Negotiating the favorable settlement of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Jane Doe, an 11-year old transgender girl, in her suit to use the girls’ restroom at her school
The firm’s litigation practice is led by co-chairs Mary Beth Hogan and Andrew Ceresney (the immediate past Director of Enforcement at the SEC) and features an all-star roster, including former Attorneys General Lord Peter Goldsmith QC and Michael Mukasey and former Chair of the SEC Mary Jo White, who returned to Debevoise in 2017 following her four-year tenure. Ms. White, who previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nine years, is Senior Chair of the firm and leads the Strategic Crisis Response and Solutions Group.
Their team also includes 14 former Assistant U.S. Attorneys or Department of Justice attorneys, including a former federal district court judge, the former Chief of the Criminal Division of the Southern District of New York, the former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Criminal Division, the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security and three former Unit Chiefs of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
The breadth of experience offered by Debevoise in and out of the courtroom sets their litigators apart. They bring personal attention, seasoned judgment, deep industry knowledge, credibility and substantive legal experience to each matter, tailoring advice to clients’ needs and circumstances. They work seamlessly and collaboratively with clients and co-counsel and across practices to achieve the best possible results for our clients.
Based in New York, Washington DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Hong Kong, their broadly skilled team of nearly 300 litigators handle domestic and cross-border disputes of every kind and complex matters in courts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France and elsewhere, as well as before arbitration tribunals, agencies and administrative bodies worldwide. They represent clients as plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of areas, including:
Antitrust & Competition
Arbitration & International Disputes
Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
Insurance Industry Disputes
Labor & Employment Litigation
White Collar & Regulatory Defense
Another notable and distinguishing feature of the Debevoise litigation practice is the success of their women partners. For three consecutive years, Benchmark Litigation has named eight Debevoise women litigation partners among the “Top 250 Women in Litigation”—an exceptional ranking for a firm of its size.
Sullivan & Cromwell’s reputation stems from more than a century representing clients in a broad range of matters, including landmark cases that have shaped the development of U.S. law. The Litigation Group draws upon S&C’s rich expertise in corporate, financial and transactional law, forming seamlessly integrated teams that handle any related or follow-on matters that arise. The Firm manages every stage of the litigation life cycle, before any court, arbitration panel or regulatory agency. Lawyers at S&C are international practitioners who represent a cross-section of prominent U.S. and non-U.S. companies in their critical investigations, regulatory matters, trials and arbitrations.
Antitrust: S&C’s antitrust lawyers are seasoned litigators who bring their insight to antitrust counseling, merger clearances, criminal antitrust investigations and trials, and private, government and class action litigation. This serves clients’ needs efficiently by enabling the same team to handle all aspects of an antitrust problem, even when counseling, merger clearances or preliminary investigations evolve into full scale litigation.
Appellate: With 12 former U.S. Supreme Court law clerks and a large number of other former appellate law clerks, S&C provides the highest quality representation for the Firm’s clients in appellate matters. S&C’s trial and appellate capabilities allow the Firm’s interdisciplinary teams to mold effective legal strategies from the beginning of cases to their successful resolution.
Arbitration: S&C’s international arbitration practice is recognized as one of the leading international dispute resolution practices worldwide. The Firm has more than a century of unparalleled expertise and experience in this area, particularly in international commercial arbitration.
Bankruptcy: S&C’s Bankruptcy Litigation Group represents debtors, creditors, financial institutions, agents and trustees, directors, owners and purchasers in significant disputes. The Firm has prosecuted and defended large contested claims, challenged and defended plans of reorganizations and bankruptcy settlements, defended major avoidance actions, and protected acquirors from challenges to bankruptcy purchases, among other disputes.
Congressional Investigations: S&C’s long history of advising clients on important congressional investigations provides clients with invaluable insights into how to best navigate the unpredictable course congressional investigations often take.
Criminal Defense and Investigations: S&C’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group (CDIG), widely recognized as one of the preeminent white-collar criminal defense practices in the U.S., comprises fourteen former federal and state prosecutors who have collectively handled more than 125 U.S. criminal trials. The Firm represents individuals and institutions around the world in the most significant white-collar criminal defense matters, regulatory enforcement matters and internal investigations. S&C responds to matters handled by virtually every enforcement agency, with particular expertise in handling cross-border investigations for clients worldwide.
EU Competition: European Union (EU) competition law has a major impact on businesses operating in the EU and, for that reason, is one of S&C’s core practice areas. S&C advises clients from around the world on the competition law implications of mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, long term supply agreements and other business arrangements. The Firm also represents the targets of competition law investigations by the European Commission and national authorities.
FCPA & Anti-Corruption: S&C is a leader in advising clients around the world on issues arising under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the U.K. Bribery Act and related international laws. The Firm has been involved with some of the most significant FCPA matters to date, including obtaining the first deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Financial Services Investigations and Litigation: Coordinating efforts with other members of the financial services team, S&C’s litigation and investigations lawyers regularly advise clients in regulatory, legislative and criminal inquiries; investigations and enforcement actions; and related shareholder derivative litigations and securities class actions.
Intellectual Property and Technology Litigation: S&C’s Intellectual Property Group brings together lawyers from across the Firm’s practices to assist clients with the full spectrum of intellectual property and technology issues that confront today’s businesses. S&C IP litigators are not solely “patent counsel” who handle only technical and scientific cases; their wide range of experience enables S&C to communicate effectively with judges and juries regardless of the complexity of the technology involved.
International Trade and Investment/CFIUS: S&C is a leader in matters related to international trade and investment, backed by many years of experience and a record of success. The Firm advises U.S.-based clients making or receiving non-U.S. investment and works closely with U.S. and non-U.S. financial institutions with regard to their international activities.
Labor and Employment: The Firm’s Labor and Employment practice was established over 50 years ago and has an impressive record handling all manner of labor and employment claims, including illegal discrimination, breach of contract, and tort and labor unfair practice charges in a broad variety of industries and geographic areas.
M&A Litigation: S&C has represented clients in every type of litigation arising out of M&A transactions, from hostile takeover litigation to shareholder class and derivative actions, including actions related to disclosure, defensive-measure and going private transactions. S&C has also defended special committees and handled regulatory matters relating to M&A transactions involving antitrust, insider trading and disclosure issues.
Securities Litigation: The Firm’s securities litigation practice is renowned for providing superior legal representation in the highest-profile, most complex cases. The group’s litigators have a proven track record of successfully resolving bet-the-company matters, including playing a leading role in actions arising out of the financial crisis.
Other offices: Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Palo Alto, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, D.C.
Weil is a leader in the marketplace for sophisticated, global legal services. Our pioneering “one-firm” approach, which integrates approximately 1,100 attorneys across three continents and multiple practice areas, allows the Firm to partner with many of the world’s most successful organizations on matters as complex and interconnected as the businesses themselves.
Featuring approximately 350 lawyers in more than a dozen practice areas and areas of specialization, Weil’s Litigation Department is one of the largest, most diversified, and highly respected in the legal industry. Weil provides clients with business oriented solutions to complex, multi-faceted legal challenges, including business disputes, regulatory actions and investigations, financial distress, and other potentially enterprise-changing circumstances.
Our expertise spans a number of substantive areas:
Antitrust: Weil is regularly retained by some of the largest corporations in the world to handle their antitrust litigation matters. Our antitrust litigators advise clients on the inter-relationship between antitrust, intellectual property, trade, and unfair competition laws and regulations, and litigate and try those cutting-edge issues in civil and criminal cases before juries and judges in multiple jurisdictions. Representative clients include Bridgestone, CBS, Farmers Insurance, H&R Block, Hilton Worldwide, Panasonic, and Sanofi.
Appellate: Weil’s Appellate practice focuses on a broad array of substantive areas, including employment, securities, copyright and trademark, patent, tax, bankruptcy, antitrust, civil rights, and constitutional law, among other areas. With 30 practitioners, including numerous former clerks for federal appellate judges and U.S. Supreme Court justices, we regularly handle appeals in state and federal appellate courts across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bankruptcy: Weil is well-known as the leading restructuring firm in the world. We not only invented much of what is standard today, but we have been involved in almost every type of consensual and litigated restructuring transaction in the U.S. since the 1970s. Weil has served as chief debtors’ counsel in five of the six largest U.S. bankruptcy filings in history and has represented clients in numerous complicated international insolvencies. Our experience extends to exchange offers, debt for equity swaps, pre-packaged and pre-arranged chapter 11 cases, as well as conventional chapter 11 reorganizations.
General Commercial: Weil is a one-stop firm for commercial litigation matters, and has achieved significant victories in recent high-profile disputes for CBS, Discovery Communications, ExxonMobil Corporation, Farmers Insurance, First Data, Nuance Communications, and StubHub, among others. We specialize in trying highstakes breach of contract, fraud, tortious interference, unfair competition and otherbusiness tort claims, class actions, and litigations arising under RICO, the False Claims Act, and numerous other statutes.
Intellectual Property: Weil’s IP practices offer market-leading capabilities in IP litigation – including complex patent, trade secrets, copyright, and trademark disputes – and IP counseling. For decades, Weil’s prestigious IP & Media group has been at the forefront of hot-button intellectual property and media issues. The group’s work in the area of digital media has been trailblazing, touching on multiple areas of commercial significance including e-commerce, digital rights management, and digital content licensing. We are also recognized for our expertise in false advertising, music licensing, television/motion picture and other content distribution, and privacy/data protection issues. Representative clients include Alibaba, eBay, Facebook, Harper Collins, Sirius XM Radio, and Twitter. Weil’s Patent Litigation group focuses on high-stakes patent and IP disputes, whether they involve winning a key patent infringement action at trial or on appeal, litigating a complex investigation at the U.S. ITC, or trying contested post-grant proceedings at the PTAB. Our team includes more than 40 attorneys, many of whom have technical degrees, allowing us to identify critical issues, understand the technology at the forefront of a case, and become trusted advisors to our clients, which include CBS, General Electric, HP, Illumina, Intel, Sanofi, T-Mobile, and Tesla Motors.
International Arbitration: Weil’s International Arbitration and Trade practice possesses vast experience, having been involved in more than 200 major international disputes – including scores of arbitrations – dealing with the laws of dozens of nations. Leading multinationals involved in important international disputes repeatedly turn to Weil for its business-oriented approach, understanding of specific cultural issues, extensive government and trade experience, and recognized skill in handling complex investment and commercial arbitrations before all major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, AAA, LCIA, and ICSID.
Product Liability: Weil handles significant product liability and complex mass tort matters, including nationwide class actions, MDL proceedings, and joint state/ federal litigations. Our group has won some of the largest consumer fraud class actions involving alleged product defects in the United States, and has handled one of the single-largest product recalls in European history. Our experience extends to a broad range of areas, including automotive products, industrial chemicals, medical devices, toys, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, heavy equipment, and airlines. Notable clients include Domestic, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Repsol, Sanofi, Toyobo, and Walgreens Boots Alliance..
Securities: Weil’s Securities Litigation group has handled numerous high-stakes, precedent-setting assignments including those relating to the insolvency or restructuring of major financial institutions, high profile SEC enforcement proceedings, white-collar securities prosecutions, proxy contests, busted-deal and other M&A litigation, and class action and derivative litigation. The group continues to tackle complex litigation and investigations for clients such as AIG, BTG Pactual, General Electric, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Sanofi, Signet Jewelers and Walgreens Boots Alliance, and shareholder suits arising out of large, sophisticated M&A transactions.
White Collar Crime: Led by an elite group of highly ranked criminal defense lawyers with extensive government experience, Weil’s White Collar practice conducts complex internal investigations and handles an array of criminal, civil, and regulatory investigations and parallel litigation arising out of accounting and securities issues, allegations of insider trading, market manipulation, and cartelization, and allegations related to U.S. criminal and regulatory laws with international and extra-territorial dimensions, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.