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.
It’s more than what you do: it’s how you do it. At O’Melveny, we measure our success by our ability to help our clients and communities succeed. And as lawyers who prioritize service, we aim to make the experience of working with us as satisfying as the outcomes we achieve. Across sectors and borders, in boardrooms and courtrooms, our team brings dedication, depth, and creativity to every endeavor.
O’Melveny’s reputation as a litigation powerhouse is built on a long record of delivering successful—and often groundbreaking—results in high-impact cases. Exemplifying what Benchmark Litigation calls O’Melveny’s “commanding presence on the world stage,” our lawyers litigate cases in all 50 states, every federal circuit, the US Supreme Court, and major venues across Asia and Europe. And we achieve favorable outcomes at every stage of litigation: positive trial verdicts, case-dispositive legal rulings, landmark appellate victories, and liability-erasing settlements.
A few of our recent achievements and engagements:
• Advanced Micro Devices. Secured dismissal of two related class actions arising from an alleged security vulnerability that affects nearly all computer microprocessors.
• AT&T–Time Warner. Successfully defended the companies’ landmark US$85.4 billion merger against the US Department of Justice in the “antitrust trial of the century.”
• Chevron Corp. Defeated an ERISA class action filed on behalf of current and former participants in Chevron’s 401(k) plan—one of several suits O’Melveny has defended targeting the management of employee retirement plans.
• China Agritech, Inc. Scored an important win for class-action defendants when the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that statutes of limitations cannot be extended to permit follow-on class actions.
• Century Indemnity Co. Persuaded the New York Court of Appeals to adopt a methodology for allocating insurance coverage favoring insurers, a far-reaching victory that limits what costs are recoverable—and who bears responsibility for them—when insurance is “unavailable” in the market.
• Colgate-Palmolive Co. Representing Colgate subsidiary Hill’s Pet Nutrition in more than 21 putative class actions arising from Hill’s voluntary recall of certain pet foods that, due to a supplier error, contained potentially elevated levels of vitamin D—an otherwise essential nutrient.
• Government of Puerto Rico. Guiding the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico through the restructuring of more than US$70 billion in public-sector debt and US$50 billion of pension obligations—the most closely watched and largest restructuring in recent years.
• Harvard University. Achieved a summary judgment victory in a widely covered Title IX case involving allegations of campus sexual assault.
• Johnson & Johnson. Won a complete defense verdict in the first bellwether trial in a California Coordinated Proceeding involving the antipsychotic medication Risperdal and complete dismissal of an opioid lawsuit in Connecticut—one of some 2,000 such cases O’Melveny is defending for J&J in landmark litigation across the country.
• Pacific Gas & Electric. California Governor Gavin Newsom hired O’Melveny to work with his team to develop a comprehensive legal, legislative and regulatory approach to the issues facing California’s electric utilities and to provide strategic advice in connection with the PG&E bankruptcy.
• Samsung. Defeated antitrust claims seeking treble damages of more than US$3 billion in multidistrict litigation alleging the company conspired to fix prices of optical disk drives, a key component for reading and writing data on CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray Discs.
• University of Southern California. Represented the board of trustees in an internal investigation and corporate governance matters related to the university’s knowledge of and response to alleged misconduct by a physician at the student health center.
• United Airlines. Secured two major summary judgment wins for United confirming that California labor-and-employment law does not apply to individuals who work primarily outside the State’s borders.
• Warner Bros. Successfully defended the renowned studio in well-publicized copyright disputes over The Conjuring franchise, including a US$900 million claim by an author who alleged six movies from the franchise infringed his book.
Our capabilities don’t stop there. As we detail on www.omm.com, O’Melveny has the depth and reach to cover specialties as diverse as Automated Vehicles, Fintech, Life Sciences and Water. We also handle:
Antitrust: Keen observers of the regulatory and political environment, whether extricating clients from legal challenges early and efficiently or achieving groundbreaking results in high-exposure cases.
Appellate: A renowned team of US Supreme Court specialists, having briefed the Justices and argued scores of cases over the past two decades.
Consumer Class Actions and Product Liability: Unparalleled experience working with a wide range of businesses facing class actions and other aggregated litigation to advance their goals and protect their interests.
Data Security and Privacy: Proven leaders in the public sector, including former senior officials from DHS, DOJ, US Attorney’s Offices, and the White House, ready to help clients respond to rapidly evolving risks and requirements.
Entertainment, Sports and Media: Recognized as key players in some of largest victories in the industry, spanning film, television, sports, music, production, and distribution.
Financial Services: Essential industry knowledge and experience to help clients navigate the challenges posed in a climate of intense regulatory scrutiny and increasing litigation.
Insurance: Seasoned advocates in the most challenging coverage and reinsurance cases, including mass tort and environmental actions.
Intellectual Property and Technology: Bringing an in-depth understanding of industry niches and specialized technical and scientific backgrounds to help companies enforce and defend their IP rights.
Labor and Employment: Equipped to confront the most critical issues employers encounter, including high-stakes wage-and-hour class actions, discrimination and wrongful discharge claims, and union disputes.
Securities Litigation: A trusted source of innovative solutions for clients navigating securities-related actions, with a decades-long track record of pretrial and trial victories.
White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations: Drawing on a wealth of experience inside key federal and state enforcement agencies to conduct internal investigations and craft effective defense strategies for clients facing government scrutiny.
Gregory Payne, founder and principal of the firm, has been practising law in Hong Kong since 1993, and has established himself as a market-leading, highly successful litigator who regularly represents clients in high-profile cases.
We have established ourselves as leading advocates for victims of large-scale frauds and successfully made recoveries for them. We also have considerable experience identifying, freezing and recovering monies that have been stolen through email fraud, internet fraud, sham investment schemes, ponzi schemes and fake stockbrokers, and employee fraud.
Our lawyers are equally experienced in acting for both major corporations and high-profile individuals in complex civil litigation and criminal defence in the District and High Courts and Court of Appeal. Our ever-growing success and profile in the Hong Kong litigation arena has been recognised by an expanding number of accolades and awards in the past few years. We are an experienced, creative and tenacious litigation force in Hong Kong.
Sidley provides a broad range of legal services to meet the needs of its diverse client base. The strategic establishment of its offices in the key corporate and financial centers of the world has enabled the firm to represent a broad range of clients that include multinational and domestic corporations, banks, funds and financial institutions. With more than 2,000 lawyers in 20 offices around the world, talent and teamwork are central to Sidley’s successful results for clients in all types of legal matters, from complex transactions to “bet the company” litigation to cutting-edge regulatory issues.
Named to the 2019 BTI Client Service 30 as one of only three firms to earn a place on the list for 18 consecutive years
Recognized as “Team of the Year” for International Trade for the second consecutive year at the 2018 Chambers USA awards
Named Insurance and International Arbitration “Practice Group of the Year” by Law360
Named 2019 “Firm of the Year” by Who’s Who Legal in Data – Security, Life Sciences – Regulatory, and Trade & Customs categories
Named to The National Law Journal’s 2018 Appellate Hot List for the eleventh year in a row
Named a 2018 “Appellate Practice Group of the Year” by Law360
Named by The National Law Journal as the 2016 ‘Chicago Litigation “Department of the Year” for White-Collar Defense
Ranked second out of 50 firms honored in the Law360 2016 Litigation Power-house rankings
Named as one of the top 25 national corporate law firms in Corporate Board Member Magazine’s 2016 survey of corporate directors and general counsel
Sidley recently won a high-profile case for Ford Motor Company, in a matter that challenged the U.S. Government’s tariff reclassification of Ford’s Transit Connect vehicles that would have resulted in a 25% tariff, resulting in nearly an additional $1 billion in tariffs. The U.S. Court of International Trade granted Ford summary judgment on its classification.
Sidley represents DirecTV in a federal court action brought by the Federal Trade Commission for alleged violations of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act based on advertising of introductory pricing of DirectTV’s subscription satellite television services. The case may determine what the standard is for proving consumer deception by advertising under the FTC Act where the company offers truthfully advertised legitimate services and where the allegations are only about whether disclosures in the advertising are sufficiently clear and conspicuous; and how consumers provide express consent to deal terms in online transactions.
Sidley represents Honda in the multidistrict litigation related to the Takata-manufactured airbags recall. The litigation involves millions of airbags installed in vehicles across the United States which were recalled as potentially dangerous and involves the largest vehicle recall in history.
Sidley represents Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and its subsidiaries in over 8,200 cases in state and federal courts around the country involving the pharmaceutical Actos.
In one of the first biosimilar cases in the U.S., Sidley prevailed for Amgen against patent infringement claims brought by Sandoz around the blockbuster drug Enbrel®. Sidley also defeated an inter partes review challenge filed by the Coalition for Affordable Drugs on a patent related to the Enbrel.
Sidley represents Johnson & Johnson in consolidated Hatch-Waxman litigations, involving 14 generic drug manufacturers concerning ZYTIGA®, a drug used to treat prostate cancer. This matter has parallel proceedings in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia.
Sidley represents Amazon Inc. in a patent litigation case relating to website search functionality that presents novel issues of claim vitiation and file wrapper history estoppel under a Doctrine of Equivalents analysis.
Sidley represents Citigroup in consolidated multidistrict litigation brought on behalf of all merchants in the United States in the largest private antitrust litigation in U.S. history. The plaintiffs allege that card issuers have colluded with and through Visa and MasterCard for the networks to adopt rules regarding interchange fees. The individual actions include multi-billion dollar claims brought by some of the largest merchants in the US, including Amazon, 7-11 Stores and Costco.
Sidley represents the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) in the investigations of corruption in world football. Sidley previously conducted an internal investigation for the CONCACAF Integrity Committee after the arrest of numerous FIFA officials in Zurich. Sidley completed the investigation and successfully advocated for the DOJ to consider CONCACAF to be a victim organization rather than a culpable. Sidley continues to represent CONCACAF in the DOJ’s ongoing investigation and prosecution of individual football officials and in asserting restitution claims against those individuals in favor of CONCACAF and individual federations in the region.
Pro Bono Service is an important component of daily work life at Sidley, with the firm’s lawyers devoting an average of 100,000 hours to pro bono service each year. Such efforts include Sidley’s role as a founding member of a national program in which the Pro Bono Institute, the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the American Legion have partnered to represent service members with disabilities returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Sidley lawyers also devote thousands of hours to our three other firmwide pro bono projects: Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program, the Political Asylum and Immigrants’ Rights Project and the Capital Litigation Project. Sidley’s Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program was recognized as a “standout” innovator at the Financial Times European Innovative Lawyer Awards for “Innovation in Social Responsibility” in recognition of its work providing free legal support to eligible small- and medium-sized for-profit enterprises and market-focused NGOs and nonprofits that have a clear social impact in developing countries across Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The firm was also honored in June 2016 by Public Counsel, a California nonprofit and the largest public interest law firm in the United States, as its “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year” in recognition of the many years that Sidley has provided pro bono assistance to the organization’s causes.