Top 250 Women in Litigation - Northeast


Focused on medical malpractice and personal injury cases, Kathleen Nastri of Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder has obtained numerous multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements, including the largest medical malpractice verdict in Connecticut history.

Rhonda Tobin of Robinson & Cole specializes in complex commercial litigation, and, more specifically, in insurance-related claims. Having handled high-profile insurance coverage litigation which arose in response to the events of September 11th, 2001, she also has considerable experience in property claims-related litigation. Last year, she represented the Interstate Fire and Casualty Company in an insurance coverage and bad faith case in which the Archdiocese of Hartford sought insurance coverage for settlements paid to victims of childhood sexual abuse by priests of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Tried to the court in April 2016, a decision on this case is pending.


Catherine Dearlove at Richards Layton & Finger boasts extensive experience representing corporations based in her home state of Delaware, and, more specifically, she focuses her practice on securities litigation. In the first creditor derivative case tried in the Court of Chancery since the Delaware Supreme Court concluded that creditor fiduciary duty claims are derivative in nature, Dearlove represented Quadrant Structured Products in a week-long trial culminating in the defendants making a $40 million payment to the company moot the derivative claims asserted by her client. The case is currently on appeal. Labaton Sucharow's Christine Azar serves as Chair of the Firm's Corporate Governance and Shareholder Rights Litigation Practice. She prosecutes complex derivative and transactional litigation, and recently helped secure a $153.75 million settlement for the Boston Retirement System in a recent corporate governance and shareholder rights case. With a practice centered on the defense of companies, directors, and officers in complex litigation matters involving efforts to enjoin mergers and acquisitions, fiduciary duty challenges, derivative claims, shareholder disputes, and government investigations and enforcement actions, Jennifer Voss hails from the Wilmington office of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. Recently, she defended banking clients against mortgage-backed securities fraud claims brought by government sponsored entities, and defended mutual fund clients against market timing and late trading claims brought by the SEC.

District of Columbia

Margaret Zwisler comes highly regarded in the area of antitrust work, and she has contributed more than 35 years of litigation experience to Latham & Watkins. She has represented companies across a range of industries, including automotive, chemical, tobacco, and pharmaceutical, in several class actions. Zwisler previously served as global co-chair of the firm's antitrust and competition practice. Her antitrust acumen was recognized at the 2012 Euromoney Legal Media Group Americas Women in Business Law Awards, where she won in the "Best in Antitrust/Competition" category. Deborah Garza serves as co-chair of Covington & Burling's Antitrust and Competition Law Practice Group. With more than 30 years of experience, she has had a hand in some of the largest antitrust matters of recent decades, including the merger of Exxon and Mobil, the US Government suit against Microsoft, and the many other cases. With almost 30 years of experience in representing clients in bet-the-company, multibillion-dollar cases, Beth Wilkinson is referenced by peers almost without exception as being "one of the most successful and polished trial lawyers in the business today." Wilkinson took the bold leap of decamping from her longtime post at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and launching her own boutique, Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, in February 2016. Within two months of that date, Wilkinson scored the latest in her long series of jury trial victories on behalf of Phillip Morris. Fellow name partner at Wilkinson's firm, Alexandra Walsh, who makes her debut in Top 250 this edition, represents companies and individuals in civil and criminal matters, and is championed for "certainly maintaining the standard of criteria for trial excellence that they would be looking for with that new firm."  

The Managing Partner of the DC office of Kaye Scholer, Claudia Higgins came to Kaye Scholer from the FTC, and occupies a high profile in the firm's considerable life sciences practice, including acting on several pharmaceutical mergers. A peer extols, "Claudia Higgins is great with M&A - she loves being involved with deals, and it shows!" Her Kaye Scholer colleague Laura Shores, a "hard core trial lawyer," specializes in antitrust as well as general commercial and white-collar matters. In 2015, she represented Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in a putative class action against the United Food & Commercial Workers Unions. The plaintiffs in this case alleged that the client engaged in sham litigation to enforce its patent, which, they claim, was procured by fraud on the patent office. She also represented Pfizer in an antitrust case against the State of Louisiana, which accused the client of violating state unfair competition laws when it engaged in sham litigation against generic firms 10 years ago. "We tried a case with Laura," testifies a peer, "and she's terrific. She is aggressive, hard-nosed, likes the fight, and is both whip-smart and relatively young and hip." A new addition to the list of America's top 250 female litigators, Leah Brannon of Cleary Gottlieb's Washington DC office focuses her practice on antitrust matters, and she has managed cases in both federal and state courts. "Leah Brannon has gotten excellent tutelage from [DC-based Cleary antitrust star] George Cary, and she taken that and ran with it quickly," assesses a peer. "She will go far." Chair of Venable's Antitrust Practice Group and Co-Chair of its Regulatory Practice Group, Lisa Jose Fales has more than two decades of experience in civil government antitrust investigations, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust litigation, and antitrust counselling in a wide variety of different industries, including consumer products and services, pharmaceuticals, consumer financial protection, and life sciences.

Alison Barnes from Cleary Gottlieb manages a practice focused on general commercial litigation, government investigation, and securities litigation. She successfully served as lead counsel to Pottstown Hospital Corporation when she won a motion to dismiss for her client, which had been accused of violating the Federal False Claims Act by providing disguised kickbacks to physicians. The case is currently on appeal to the Third Circuit. Having argued 33 cases and prevailing in 32 before the Supreme Court, Lisa Blatt heads Arnold & Porter's Supreme Court practice. Her practice spans an impressive number of areas, including healthcare and pharmaceutical, civil procedure, constitutional, water rights, antitrust, bankruptcy, employment, Indian law, preemption, and national security matters. "Lisa has really got a hot hand in appellate work for life sciences companies," confirms a peer. Co-chair of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice Group of Morrison & Foerster, Deanne Maynard has argued 13 cases before and has filed over 100 briefs in the US Supreme Court. In addition to her work as an appellate attorney, she also boasts an acumen in antitrust and intellectual property matters.

Co-Chair of Wilmer Hale's Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group and member of its Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group, Lisa Pirozzolo has represented clients in patent infringement, licensing, and contract disputes involving a wide variety of technologies, including pharmaceutical products, gene expression, and many others. Another lawyer whose practice blends an practice specialty with a strong appellate slant, Laura Foggan of Wiley Rein leads her firm's Insurance Appellate Group and takes on appellate cases involving complex insurance claims. She served as lead trial and appellate counsel in insurance matters involving environmental and toxic tort, construction defect, personal and advertising injury, employment liability, product liability, mass tort, and bad faith claims. "Laura is probably the best-known appellate lawyer," confirms a peer. "She represents an association of insurers whose job it is to file amicus briefs, and is pretty much filing these in any major appeal. She really has her finger on the pulse as to what's going on in the insurance field."

Also celebrated for her insurance expertise, Margaret Warner of McDermott Will & Emery has 33 years of experience representing clients in complex litigation, mass tort, and insurance matters and has served as lead counsel in trial and appellate courts in 25 states. One client calls her "extremely capable and experienced – with deep resources within the firm." Warner represented WTC Captive Insurance Company, a federally funded captive liability insurer set up in the aftermath of 9/11 to insure the City of New York and its contractors against claims arising out of the rescue, recovery, and debris removal efforts at Ground Zero. On appeal, Warner was able to negotiate a favorable settlement at a value far less than the $50 million that was being initially sought. A partner in the Insurance Recovery practice at her firm, Perkins Coie's Lorelie Masters represented Jonathan Lovvorn and Kimberly Ockene in a dispute over applicability of directors and officers and "employed lawyers" insurance coverage to defense costs and liability when the clients were sued for allegedly malicious prosecution. "Perkins Coie is definitely developing a buzz for its national insurance capabilities, and the fact that they were able to attract a figurehead like Lorelie is further proof of that." Also hailing from Perkins Coie's DC office, Selena Linde, another partner within the firm's Insurance Recovery Practice, has represented corporate policyholders in a wide variety of insurance coverage cases, such as environmental liability, directors and officers' liability, and many additional areas.

Susan Davies has also earned national acclaim for her work in the antitrust arena.  She obtained a victory for Oracle in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Crcuit.  Oracle sued Google and claimed that it infringed its copyright by incorporating Oracle's source code into Google's Android platform.  It was ruled that elements of Oracle's Java application programming interfaces wer uncopyrightable, and Oracle appealed the decision.  The Federal Circuit held that the copied code and organization elements were protected by copyright.  Google petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, but this waas denied, and the case was sent back to the district court.

Co-head of White & Case's International Arbitration Practice in the Americas and head of the firm's public international law practice, Abby Cohen Smutny receives regular accolades from peers and clients for the exceptional quality of her representation. Her clients hail from a wide variety of industries, including banking, financial services, oil and gas, mining, electrical power, real estate development, water supply, retail, pharmaceuticals, construction, tobacco, railroads, telecommunications, and manufacturing. Concentrating on international dispute resolution through international arbitration, litigation, and international trade proceedings, Carolyn Lamm also hails from the Washington DC office of White & Case. She teaches International Investment Arbitration at the University Of Miami School Of Law.Andrea Menaker, also at White & Case, manages a practice focused specifically on investment treaty arbitration. She has extensive experience representing claimant investors and respondent States in arbitration before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the International Chamber of Commerce, and many other arbitral institutions. Individually and in tandem, Lamm and Menaker have logged a substantial level of favorable arbitration awards from the tribunals, most of these being confidential in nature. "White & Case has one of the US's best international disputes teams, and that can largely be credited to Abby, Carolyn and Andrea," affirms a peer. Sidley Austin's Marinn Carlson represents clients in a wide variety of international disputes in a number of sectors, including financial services, energy, and infrastructure development. Outside of the office, she spends her time serving as an adjunct professor at the American University's Washington College of Law and teaching investment treaty arbitration.

Global Co-chair of Latham & Watkin's Product Liability, Mass Tort & consumer Class Actions Practice, Christine Rolph has extensive experience in litigating consumer class actions, toxic torts, product liability and consumer fraud suits, and multi-plaintiff matters. In addition, she represents clients in insurance matters involving comprehensive general liabilities policies, directors and officers policies, and many other types. Williams & Connolly's Heidi Hubbard practices in the fields of general commercial litigation, government investigations, personal injury, and product liability. Hubbard represented Coventry as lead counsel in a matter in which the plaintiff sought more than a billion dollars in damages from her client. After trial, the parties were able to reach a favorable settlement. Hubbard's clients rave that she is "very responsive and efficient." She was also selected in late 2015 as trial counsel against Benicar, which more than one thousand individuals claim caused gastrointestinal harm. The trials are set to begin in the first half of 2017. Enu Mainigi also hails from Williams & Connolly, and has represented corporations and individuals under investigation by the government, and she has defended many health care companies, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, nursing home, banks, financial institutions, accounting firms, and other companies contracting with the government.

Davis Polk & Wardwell's Linda Chatman Thomsen represents clients in SEC enforcement investigations and inquires which have covered a wide range of securities-related subject matters, including insider trading, foreign corrupt practices, financial reporting, manipulation, and regulatory compliance. "Linda does an excellent job of convincing the SEC that their time would be best spent elsewhere," quips a peer.

Mary Patrice Brown of O'Melveny & Myers specializes in white-collar defense and corporate investigations, FCPA investigations & enforcement, and data secrecy and privacy litigation and has more than 20 years of experience. Peers rave, "Mary has one of the best reputations for being an honest, straight shooter. If I wanted to single out someone to walk into the DoJ and have absolute credibility, it would be her." As head of the securities enforcement and compliance practice group at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Colleen Mahoney represents financial services firms and corporations as well as their boards of directors and employees in investigations before the SEC, where Mahoney spent 15 years prior to joining the firm, and other agencies. Also in Skadden's DC office, Jennifer Spaziano specializes in securities and general commercial litigation in addition to government investigations. She represented DENTSPLY International in a matter in which qui tam relators asserted violations of the False Claims Act, and in April 2016, she secured a summary judgment in favor of her client. "I had Jen on a case one time and I was immediately impressed. She is quite good, sharp and very well prepared," enthuses a peer. Carol Elder Bruce of K&L Gates has been in private practice for more than 20 years and has acted as lead counsel in many white-collar criminal investigations, civil and criminal trials, and congressional investigations. A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Litigation Counsel of America, Bruce also has significant experience in complex commercial disputes – including class actions – representing those on both sides of the aisle. Stationed in the District of Columbia office of Cleary Gottlieb, Robin Bergen manages a practice focused primarily on government investigations and regulatory enforcement matters, but also on structured finance. She has substantial experience in representing underwriters and investment managers in collateralized loan obligation and related products transactions. Bergen currently serves as lead counsel to multiple financial institutions, including Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs, in investigations by the DoJ, the SEC, FINRA, state attorney general, and several other regulatory agencies. Sidley Austin's Karen Popp services clients hailing from a wide assortment of industries, defending them from allegations of criminal, civil, and ethical wrongdoing. She has also led many confidential worldwide investigations and defended corporations and individuals in government investigations. Currently, Popp serves as part of a team of attorneys representing a Japanese company, a US company, a joint venture, and four individuals in eight criminal cartel investigations into allegations of price-fixing, bid-rigging, and market allocation by the DoJ in a substantial antitrust investigation. Dixie Johnson serves in King & Spalding's Special Matters and Government Investigations practice group, and co-leads its securities enforcement and regulation practice. With more than 35 years of experience in federal tax litigation and white-collar crime matters, Paula Junghans of Zuckerman Spaeder earns high praise from both peers and clients. She was lead counsel for a commercial aviation leasing company in a jury trial in which the Securities and Exchange Commission sued the company and alleged that it was insolvent and misusing investor funds. The trial concluded with a victory for Junghan's client, whose assets were frozen. Representing corporations, financial institutions, and individuals in regulatory enforcement proceedings, Cheryl Scarboro hails from the DC office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Most recently, she spearheaded a matter for a large Chinese company in an independent review of allegations of fraud and a matter for a global telecommunications company regarding alleged payments to government officials in various countries. Her profile is expanding on the strength of her "huge place in the FCPA world," which is supported by peer acknowledgement of her credentials: "She was the leader of the SEC in the FCPA field and brings a wealth of experience to the table." Karen Dunn of Boies Schiller & Flexner earns a position amongst the nation's top female litigators for her work in the areas of high-profile civil and criminal litigation as well as in strategic counseling and crisis management. Tara Lee, who was lured away from DLA Piper to join Quinn Emanuel, focuses on civil litigation, white-collar and corporate crime, and government contracting. Lee is another litigator making her debut this edition on the strength of rave reviews from peers. Cementing her reputation for trial prowess, Lee recently triumphed on behalf of defense contractor TCI, against highly unfavorable odds, in a whistleblower action concerning marksmanship credentials of some of its guards. Representing corporations and individuals in federal criminal and regulatory matters, Lisa Prager focuses her practice on government investigations and enforcement actions relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, US export controls and economic sanctions laws, and many similar matters. "She represents some very recognizable companies," offers a peer. "She was in charge of commerce and speaks at sanctions conferences for Cuba and Iran." Katherine Turner of Williams & Connolly's Washington DC office practices in the areas of complex and civil litigation and government investigations and has represented clients in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels.


Verrill Dana's Karen Frink Wolf manages a practice which focuses on assisting physicians, hospitals, and healthcare professionals with their legal needs. In 2015, Wolf handled an assortment of medical liability claims, including a number of panel hearings and trials, and has also spent a significant amount of time preparing for a teaching position at the University of Maine. She also served as lead defense counsel in an employment discrimination case brought by a physician to a federally qualified health center, Penobscot Community Healthcare, against whom the plaintiff has brought allegations of age discrimination. Fellow partner Martha Gaythwaite works in the area of product liability, as well as in the areas of catastrophic personal injury and business and commercial litigation. She represented an executor of the estate of James Lindvall in a fraudulent conveyance case which resulted in the jury reaching a unanimous verdict on behalf of her client when it found that a waterfront condominium had been fraudulently conveyed to the defendant and needed to be returned to the estate. The case is currently on appeal.


Natalie McSherry of Kramon &Graham boasts more than 30 years of experience in commercial litigation. In 2015, she represented Frederick Memorial Hospital in a litigation brought on by an individual who sued for negligence with regard to an ankle surgery. She also represents Stanley Rochkind in a pending personal injury matter.


The global head of McDermott Will & Emery's Intellectual Property Practice and a member of the firm's Management Committee and Executive Committee, Sarah Chapin Columbia assists clients with intellectual property matters, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. In early 2015 Columbia helped successfully settle a trademark infringement suit on behalf of Mars, which alleged Hershey used a campaign of deception to edge out Mars' "Maltesers" candy line through ownership of a confusingly similar trademark. Hershey and Mars agreed to voluntarily dismiss with prejudice all claims and counterclaims. Benchmark recognized the case at the 2013 US Annual Awards.

Having tried one hundred jury trials and a myriad of bench trials and arbitrations, Joan Lukey specializes in complex business and employment litigation. Lukey stands as the first woman to ever hold the position of President of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and peers consistently and highly praise her legal prowess: "Joan Lukey is fabulous, and anyone – man or woman – will tell you that."

Joan McPhee of Ropes & Gray, with over two decades of experience, manages a general commercial, white-collar crime, and professional liability litigation practice. She served as lead counsel to Kurt Mix in a two-count felony obstruction of justice case related to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. One of these counts was ultimately acquitted, and though the client was initially found guilty of the other charge, the Department of Justice dismissed the obstruction of justice charges and found him instead guilty of a minor misdemeanor violation.

Plaintiff class-action employment heavyweight Shannon Liss-Riordan of Boston boutique Lichten & Liss-Riordan is, according to peers, "a superstar or super-villain, depending on how you view her." Liss-Riordan secured a significant victory in April 2016 in a two-pronged case launched against Uber in California and Massachusetts that challenged the ride-sharing company's policy of treating drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, scoring a settlement from Uber totaling almost $100 million. "Shannon is a pain," bemoans a former opponent, conceding, "but that's her job. If she's against you, prepare to say 'uncle!'"New Hampshire

Martha Van Oot, who hails from the Portsmouth office of Jackson Lewis, specializes in employment and commercial litigation. Outside of the court room, she spends her time serving as a panelist on employment, trial practice, and ethics for continuing legal education programs and as a mediator for the federal district court and the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights. Operating from Bernstein Shur's Manchester location, Emily Gray Rice is a highly acclaimed member of the firm's labor and employment practice group, business law practice group, and litigation group. Among her areas of expertise is media law, as she serves as counsel to WMUR, the only network television station in the state. "[She] is one of the most prominent players," a competitor notes.

New Jersey

Chair of Gibbons' Product Liability Department and Co-Administrator in charge of the firm's New York office, Kim Catullo is also a member of her firm's Executive Committee. She assists clients in the areas with regards to general products, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and products liability matters. Beth Rose at Sills Cummis & Gross also receives regular accolades for her work in the area of product liability and especially regarding medical devices. She serves as lead counsel in several highly confidential cases regarding women's health products as well as the manufacture and distribution of the generic version of a particular drug.

New York

Chair of Cravath Swaine & Moore's antitrust practice, Christine Varney focuses on formulating global antitrust strategy for clients in connection with joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, and other business transactions. Her clients hail from a wide array of different industries, including cable, financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, retail, transportation, technology, and telecommunications. "Christine is a former assistant AG and a former FTC commissioner," enthuses a peer. "She's got a resume that is stellar and has been in roles that have been political appointments. She was in the White House for a while." One of Varney's multiple appointments includes representing AGL Resources on an antitrust issue in connection with its pending $12 billion sale to the Southern Company, announced in August 2015. Varney also acts on behalf of Delhaize Group on antitrust issues in connection with its pending $29 billion of equals with Royal Ahold, a representation that also involves fellow Cravath colleague Julie North. Historically managing a practice centered on securities and general commercial litigation, in addition to mergers and acquisitions work, within the past year, North has largely pivoted to Varney's specialty of antitrust and merger clearance work.

With a practice centered on transactional, counseling, and litigation aspects of antitrust law, and especially on mergers and acquisitions, Helene Jaffe of Brown Rudnick represents clients under scrutiny or challenged by the Antitrust Division, Federal Trade Commission, and other state and federal regulatory agencies. In Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz's New York office Ilene Knable Gotts focuses primarily on matters relating to clearance of mergers and acquisitions, an area for which her firm has earned an unquestioned reputation as a preeminent player. Some of the recent transactions in which she took part include Charter/Time Warner, Cable/Bright House, Aetna/Coventry, and many others. One of the two partners who coordinate Sullivan & Cromwell's antitrust group, Yvonne Quinn offers her expertise in merger analysis and review, and counseling work to clients such as commercial banks, equity funds, investment banks, insurance companies, and many other types of organizations. Helen Maher of Boies Schiller & Flexner focuses her practice on antitrust work as well as on appellate and general commercial matters. She represented the co-founder of AriZona Iced Tea when he sought a dissolution of the company so that he could be compensated for the interests he and his family held in the companies. "This is a milestone, the kind of trial many litigators, male or female, don't see often, let alone win, especially for someone of her relatively young years," testifies a peer. Maher also represents the Commonwealth of Kentucky in an antitrust action against Marathon Oil, in which it is alleged that the gas prices in the Commonwealth are improperly excessive. With extensive antitrust experience, Hollis Salzman in the New York office of national firm Robins Kaplan specializes specifically in prosecuting antitrust violations involving international cartels.

In the appeals capacity, Kathleen Sullivan, chair of Quinn Emanuel's national appellate practice, earns the near-unanimous endorsement of peers and regularly appears at the forefront of some of the most hotly contested and headline-grabbing matters. One male contemporary enthuses, "She is so poised, so articulate, and just a total star. When I watch her in action, I think to myself, 'God damnit, that's what I want to be when I grow up!'" Her areas of specialization include appellate work, energy sector disputes, media and entertainment litigation, insurance and reinsurance litigation, intellectual property litigation, and trade secret litigation. In a matter in which she served as lead counsel to Samsung Electronics, her representation led to a complete elimination of a $120 million judgement that Apple had obtained against the client in the Northern District of California. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher's Caitlin Halligan serves as Co-Chair of her firm's Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group. Halligan is former general counsel for the Manhattan district attorney's office was a nominee to the DC Circuit US Court of Appeals under President Obama.

Specializing in the trial of complex commercial litigation, class action, and mass tort cases, Weil Gotshal & Manges's Diane Sullivan deals primarily in the energy, health care and life sciences, and retail and consumer products sectors. In 2014, Sullivan served as lead trial counsel for a major power company, for whom she secured a complete defense win in a commercial suit involving over $1 billion in damages claims. More recently, in February of 2016, Sullivan triumphed as first chair at a trial on behalf of Philip Morris USA, when a Massachusetts federal jury rejected a demand for medical monitoring by smokers in the state. The class action was brought on behalf of Massachusetts smokers aged 50 or older who have smoked a pack or more of Marlboros every day for 20 years, but don't have lung cancer. Heading Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe's Mass Torts and Product Liability Practice, Laurie Strauch Weiss serves clients in large, complex, and multi-party class-action litigation, and boasts particular experience in the chemical, tobacco, and medical device industries. With more than 20 years of experience, Phoebe Wilkinson in the New York office of global conglomerate Hogan Lovells serves a wide variety of clients from many different sectors, including consumer products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, retail, energy, and financial institutions. "I've seen Phoebe hauled in as counsel at the 11th hour on a particular case, and I thought she didn't have a prayer. Her negotiation skills managed to pivot that scenario so quickly I got whiplash from the turn of events." Based in White & Case's New York office, Heather McDevitt is head of her firm's Global Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Group and also specializes in antitrust and appellate matters as well as general commercial and government investigative litigation. She represented Sandoz in a class action against her client and other generic pharmaceutical manufacturers alleging unfair pricing and conspiracy. A peer in the life sciences capacity confirms, "White & Case is really ramping up its life sciences capacity, and Heather, along with the firm's IP group, seems to be at the forefront of this." Debevoise & Plimpton's Maura Monaghan handles complex commercial litigation including products liability and mass tort litigation, environmental, health care, regulatory and criminal investigations, and arbitration. She represented client American Airlines in a remand from the Second Circuit which addresses the questions of what is the amount of the fair market value of the World Trade Center Complex after 9/11. A peer cheers, "She is really terrific, and again, another one of Debevoise's very capable litigators, equally at home in trial, fielding investigations, or in negotiation of settlements." Sheila Birnbaum, Co-Chair of Quinn Emanuel's Global Product Liability and Mass Tort Practice, and represents corporations in complex mass tort and insurance litigation. Though her skillful representation, she has successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for her clients, who include Pharmacia and Pfizer. Peers remain staunch supporters, one of whom sums up Birnbaum's standing by offering, "At an age when frankly many would expect her to retire or at least slow down, Sheila is defying all expectations and wowing everybody by staying in the game and still kicking butt!" Prosecuting complex litigation for both domestic and international institutional investors, Martis Alex of Labaton Sucharow has amassed vast experience in litigating mass tort and class action cases in the areas of consumer fraud, products liability, and securities fraud. In a consumer class action against auto manufacturers over keyless carbon monoxide deaths, Alex currently leads the firm's litigation team. "Get to know Martis!" advises a peer. "She has an impressive record, even internationally, and is a tireless worker who keeps her composure even in some of the most thorny and risky cases. This is a woman who will work the holidays and the weekends uncomplainingly."

Cravath Swaine & Moore's Sandra Goldstein focuses her practice on securities, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial disputes, which find her a regular presence in the Delaware Court of Chancery. She serves as lead counsel to 3G Capital and H.J. Heinz Holding Corporation in litigation relating to Heinz's $60 billion merger with Kraft Foods Group, which created the third-largest food and beverage company in North America. Goldstein successfully settled this matter, was approved by the court in March 2016. "I'm sure you are familiar with Sandra, her reputation is immense," extols a peer, "and for good reason. She is a dynamo, with a tireless energy and a fearless, unflinching stance." Penny Windle, who serves on Cahill Gordon & Reindel's Development Committee, represents global corporations, leading banks, boards of directors, special committees, and directors and officers in high-stakes commercial litigation and government investigations. Her clients have included such household names as Deutsche Bank, The New York Times Company, and AIG. Also at Cahill (and serving on the firm's Women's Initiatives and Legal Recruiting Committee), Landis Best's practice encompasses a broad spectrum of specialties. She routinely appears in matters touching on securities, antitrust, government investigations, regulatory guidance, First Amendment and media litigation, and appellate work. Her clients include ABC, The New Yorker, and The Motion Picture Association of America, and she also acts, along with other members of Cahill's antitrust team on behalf of Credit Suisse in defending it against ISDAFix claims. Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz's Rachelle Silverberg represents companies and directors in litigation involving mergers and acquisitions and other contests for corporate control, practices in She also serves corporations, boards of directors, and audit committees in internal SEC investigations. "I'm glad to see Rachelle represented," exclaims a peer, "She represents all that is great about Wachtell's market dominance in M&A litigation." Another confirms, "Rachelle LIVES in the Delaware Chancery Court." Also at Wachtell, Elaine Golin, in a litigation brought by ResCap Liquidating Trust against over 60 mortgage originators, not only serves as lead trial for PNC Bank, but also as one of the leaders of the Joint Defense Group responsible for coordinating an overall defense strategy. "Do NOT mess with Elaine Golin," warns a peer. "She does not suffer fools! Bring a weak argument to the table when you're against her and she will knock them down like dominoes. She is not arrogant or offputting, she is just confident and knows her [stuff.]" Penny Shane of Sullivan & Cromwell also specializes in litigation involving financial institutions. In 2015, she represented Goldman Sachs in a securities and antitrust consolidated class action against primary dealers and others arising out of trading in US Treasury securities. She also managed a corporate governance case for the co-founder, co-CEO, and stockholder of Shawe, a privately held Delaware company in dispute with a fellow stockholder. Focusing on complex securities and commercial matters, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison's Susanna Buergel has an impressive record of legal representation. "Susanna has a keen strategic mind and a deep understanding of the importance of developing the facts that will help her client succeed," offers one such client. "She is thoughtful, careful, and always has an eye out for ways in which the decision she makes today might yield even greater fruit for her client months or years down the road." Maeve O'Connor of Debevoise & Plimpton defends securities litigation and represents life insurance companies. O'Connor is tipped as "one of the several people they have there, and notably several of them women, who can pivot between several areas with ease. She is known primarily for securities but is equally capable in the insurance, commercial and regulatory arenas as well." Shannon Selden, also at Debevoise, focuses her practice on complex securities as well as commercial litigation. Selden makes the leap from future star to state litigation star in the forthcoming edition of Benchmark, and this year marks her debut in Top 250. "It's Shannon's time now, she's arrived," confirms a peer. She will be someone you'll be hearing a lot more about at [Debevoise.]" While many of New York's female litigation stars defend securities claims,Hannah Ross of the flagship New York office of "preeminent" plaintiff shop Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann pursues claims focusing on securities fraud, shareholder rights, and other complex commercial matters. Ross has served as a member of the trial teams in numerous securities litigations, which have, in total, recovered in excess of $2 billion for investors.

In the white-collar crime and investigations/enforcement capacity, Davis Polk & Wardwell's New York bench is well stocked with some of the leading female names in the field. Angela Burgess counsels clients in matters involving allegations of fraud, violations of anti-bribery laws, insider trading, money laundering, criminal tax fraud, antitrust, and other financial crimes. Jennifer Newstead represents multinational corporations, financial institutions, boards of directors, and board committees in criminal, regulatory, and internal investigations. Newstead has a particular focus on pharmaceutical, life sciences, and consumer products issues in China, Southeast Asia, and Russia and Eastern Europe. Martine Beamon has handled cases regarding allegations of insider trading, commodities fraud, foreign corrupt practices, and pharmaceutical marketing violations. Michele Hirshman at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison focuses on white-collar defense and regulatory enforcement matters and internal investigations. Her clients include entities such as marketing companies, political organizations, and public and private company executives, such as with Merck, Bank of New York Mellon, and Columbia University. A partner in King & Spalding's Special Matters and Government Investigations practice group and co-leader of the firm's securities enforcement and regulation practice, Carmen Lawrencerepresents individuals and companies in investigations and litigations conducted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, US Department of Justice, and other regulatory organizations. Karen Patton Seymour, a member of Sullivan & Cromwell's Management Committee, specializes in commercial litigation in addition to white-collar criminal defense and internal investigations. Unanimously championed by peers, Seymour draws represents individuals, corporations, and financial institutions involving allegations of securities fraud and insider trading, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering violations, OFA sanctions, and criminal antitrust violations. One of Seymour's most high-level appointments, and arguably her most her most newsworthy of recent vintage, involves her representation of BNP Paribas in negotiating a settlement dealing with claims that it violated US economic sanctions. While the bank paid nearly $9 billion in fines, it was allowed to continue as a going concern and avoided harsher penalties, such as jail time for executives. Also at Sullivan & Cromwell, Sharon Nelles attends to a diverse practice that focuses on a number of different areas, including antitrust, appellate, criminal defense, and many others. She serves as lead counsel to Volkswagen in a mass class action, governmental investigation matter in which they were able to reach agreement in principle to resolve the issues being investigated with respect to 500,000 cars. Nelles also acts for Standard Chartered Bank in a securities matter in which more than sixty different cases stemming from the Madoff matters were coordinated in the Southern District of New York. "Sharon has really become Sullivan & Cromwell's Swiss Army Knife," testifies a peer. "She has gone from 'unsung hero' to front and center. Everyone in this area of litigation is going to be talking about Sharon right now. Her star is really on the up and up." Quinn Emanuel's Faith Gay serves as Co-Chair of her firm's National Trial Practice and as Co-Chair of the New York White-Collar Practice. Her experience in the courtroom is viewed as "exceptional," as she has more than 30 trials and 35 appellate arguments to her credit. Gay's practice also encompasses product liability, an area for which she earns plaudits as "single-handedly building up at Quinn Emanuel. She successfully lured [renowned product liability star] Sheila Birnbaum to the firm!" Helen Gredd is a partner at Lankler Siffert & Wohl who practices not only in the area of white collar crime, for which she has earned much recognition, but also in the areas of general commercial and securities litigation. Having become a partner in 1993, she has defended clients in investigations brought by a number of federal and state authorities, including the Department of Justice, the Securitas and Exchange Commission, and many others. With respect to the latter, all cases but one abandoned their actions. Richards Kibbe & Orbe's Shari Brandt focuses her practice on environmental, securities, and white-collar litigation and government investigations. In Laydon v. Mizuho Bank, She successfully defended ICAP PLC and ICAP Europe Limited regarding its alleged role in Yen Libor and EuroYen Tibor rate manipulation. She and her legal team have filed motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and will file a new motion for ICAP Europe Limited. Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Debevoise & Plimpton, Mary Beth Hogan offers her clients her expertise in general commercial, government investigations, and labor and employment as well as in white-collar crime litigation matters. Last year, she, as lead counsel, defended a major law firm in a matter regarding a dispute over a real estate development in Las Vegas. The client was sued for fraud and for violating Judiciary Law 487, but the court ultimately granted it a motion to dismiss. Laura Grossfield Birger, resident of Cooley's New York office, deals with white-collar criminal matters and internal investigations as well as complex commercial litigation and appellate matters. This edition of Top 250 Women in Litigation marks her first appearance in the publication.

Mary Beth Forshaw at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is a member of her firm's executive committee, and, while noted in this publication for her work in the field of insurance litigation, she runs a practice that focuses also on bankruptcy and general commercial litigation in addition to international arbitration. In 2015, she represented Travelers in a breach of contract action involving Northrop Grumman's request for coverage for multiple pollution sites. The court ruled in Travelers' favor with a summary judgement. One peer testifies, "Mary Beth knows the insurers, they know her, and she has the intimate idiosyncrasies of practice on lockdown. Beyond that, she knows how to try a case, and she will often get brought in by a separate counsel when a case looks like it could go all the way." Lynn Neuner, also located in the New York office of Simpson Thacher, specializes in litigation involving securities, mergers, insurance coverage, and false advertising disputes. Recently, she represented Pfizer, Wyeth, and Pharmacia in securities cases asserting misrepresentations of side effects for drugs meant for arthritis, pain, and depression. More recently, in May 2016, Neuner scored a 10b-5 securities win for Weight Watchers. "Lynn is one of the best, just one of my favorite people," confirms a peer. "She also is in her prime as a lawyer, having seasoned talent while still being of a younger vintage." Eileen McCabe of Mendes & Mount has represented insurers in litigation, alternative dispute resolution proceedings, and mediation for over two decades. In addition to this, McCabe also involves herself with direct defense of clients in product liability cases and provides analysis and opinion on coverage, allocation, and other insurance-related issues. "She's very commercial, very good on her feet, a 'litigator's litigator,' and she is the standout at that firm," enthuses a peer. "She's my first call because I think she's got a really nice way in court and judges listen to her." Another peer testifies, "Eileen is now getting a ton of work from Berkshire Hathaway regarding reinsurance claims. This is a relatively recent development, and it's been fascinating to watch this happen!" Jane Byrne of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan specializes in insurance and product liability and mass tort litigation matters as well as in general commercial matters. She currently offers her legal services to client Infrassure in a matter against First Mutual Assurance in which New York's Metropolitan Transportation Association claims several hundred million dollars' worth of damages to its train yards after Superstorm Sandy. Infrassure disputes this claim, and the court granted Infrassure its relief and dismissed all counterclaims against it. The decision is currently on appeal. "I was delighted to see her on the list. She is fabulous," exclaims a peer. Head of McKool Smith's insurance recovery practice, Robin Cohen, who the firm lured away from Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman within the past year, comes equipped with more than 25 years of experience in representing insurers in complex insurance coverage matters. Cohen served as lead counsel to Cushman when homeowners, developers, and lenders alleged that the client engaged in a conspiracy with Credit Suisse to misrepresent the value of certain properties by conducting improper appraisals and alleged damages exceeding $10 billion, and she was able to successfully negotiate an interim. "Robin is someone who blossoms in front of a jury and clearly loves trials, but has a personality that never gets anyone's nose out of joint." Another Kasowitz alumni joining McKool Smith's insurance group is Elizabeth Sherwin.

Elise Bloom of Proskauer Rose, co-head of her firm's Class & Collective Actions Group, practices in the areas of appellate and labor and employment litigation. She represented Coca-Cola in an employment and discrimination case in which the Second Circuit affirmed the district court's decision which granted summary judgement in full and dismissed the complaint that was initially filed by 16 current and formed production operators in two of Coca-Cola's bottling facilities. There were allegations of racial discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation. Bettina Plevan, a partner in Proskauer's Labor & Employment Law Department, practices labor and employment litigation and advises clients in employment matters. Her clients fail from a variety of different industries, including banking and finance, health care, entertainment, publishing, and education. Karen Wagner of Davis Polk's New York office has served such companies as Sterling Equities, Citibank, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase, and the Bank for International Settlements. Also at Davis Polk, Amelia Starr is well equipped with considerable experience in handling commercial litigation matters and regulatory enforcement proceedings in addition to bankruptcy-related litigation. She recently represented JPMorgan Securities in a Florida State securities law litigation and Pinnacle Airlines and Patriot Coal in connection with litigation issues during their Chapter 11 proceedings. Marcia Goldstein, a partner in Weil Gotshal & Manges's Business Finance & Restructuring Department and a member of the Firm's Management Committee, has practiced with her firm for more than 35 years. Her specialty lies within the area of domestic and international debt restructuring and crisis management. Lisa Beckerman is based in Akin Gump's Strauss Hauer & Feld's New York office, where she focuses on corporate restructuring and creditors' rights in the areas of manufacturing, airlines, media, energy, and real estate. Some of Beckerman's recent clients have included the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Chassix Holdings, the debtor in Metro Affiliates, and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Nortel Networks. Partner and Co-Chair of Outten & Golden's Class & Collective Action Practice Group, Rachel Bien has represented employees across many industries, including restraint workers, skilled service technicians and repair people, healthcare marketing representatives, and many more. Her practice focuses on complex multi-plaintiff litigation. "I had her on the other side of me in a case," testifies a former opponent, "and I found her to be excellent. She brought very worthy arguments." Gayle Klein of McKool Smith, who joins the Top 250 for the first time in this edition, manages a practice centered on business litigation matters, including disputes over complex financial transactions, breaches of fiduciary duty, theft of trade secrets, and violations of non-competition agreements. The list of her clients includes multiple hedge funds and institutional investors, KB Home, Lennar, Meritage Homes, Pulte Homes, Highland Capital, and many others. Littler Mendelson's Lauren Schwartzreich is an eDiscovery counsel who assists clients on all aspects of electronic discovery, including initial preservation obligations; developing strategies for efficient and effective data harvesting, review.

A resident of Cooley's New York office, Celia Goldwag Barenholtz manages a practice focused on complex commercial, media, and intellectual property litigation and arbitration. At Kirkland & Ellis Leora Ben-Ami has long earned peer and client plaudits for her deft handling cases in all areas of technology, including biotechnology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and chemistry, mechanical devices, and electronics. Fellow Kirkland litigator Dale Cendali's intellectual property litigation practice encompasses copyright, trademark, false advertising, patent, internet, and trade secrets law, as well as defamation, the right of publicity, privacy, complex contract disputes, and similar areas, and she heads her firm's Copyright, Trademark, Internet and Advertising practice group. Cendali spearheaded Accenture's legal efforts in changing its branding worldwide after it broke ties with Tiger Woods and currently oversees the company's international trademark portfolio, including overseeing trademark applications, office action responses, and trademark opposition proceedings worldwide. With more than 15 years of experience representing life science companies in complex patent litigation, Bindu Donovan at Sidley Austin boasts a list of clients including such household names as Gilead Sciences and Noven Pharmaceuticals. For another client, Johnson & Johnson, she served as lead counsel in a Hatch-Waxman litigation case against 12 generic drug manufacturers concerning a drug used to treat metastatic prostate cancer that, in 2015, generated $1.1 billion in sales.

At Debevoise & Plimpton, Natalie Reid focuses on a hybrid practice that blends the firm's famed international arbitration capacities, public international law, and complex commercial litigation matters. and she serves as counsel in arbitrations arising under the rules of the major arbitral institutions.


Leslie John serves as the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Antitrust Group and concentrates on antitrust and complex litigation. Currently, John represents a provider of pharmaceutical data and analytics in a monopolization complaint against IMS Health: it is alleged that the organization has engaged in unlawful scheme to eliminate its only formidable competitor left standing.

Nancy Winkelman, a Schnader Attorneys at Law litigator with more than 25 years of experience, concentrates on state and federal appellate litigation. In addition to her work in arguing appeals, she also counsels clients at the pre-trial and trial states of litigation.

Chair of Pepper Hamilton's Media and Communications and First Amendment Practice, Amy Ginensky manages a practice focused on First Amendment, defamation, and other media-related areas. She represents newspaper, radio, and television broadcasters and internet publishers and defends the rights of reporters and editors in libel and privacy cases. Hailing from Pepper Hamilton's Philadelphia office,Barbara Mather has considerable experience in professional responsibility and malpractice, antitrust, securities and corporate governance, and other commercial matters, as well as in college and university, law.

Concentrating her practice on corporate litigation, and specifically, on insurance coverage and insolvency, complex business disputes, corporate liability, securities, shareholder disputes, banking and financial institution litigation, and bankruptcy-related litigation, Ann Laupheimer is located in the Philadelphia office of Blank Rome. She represented one of the largest managed care organizations in a suit against 11 primary and excess professional liability insurers. Stephanie Resnick of Fox Rothschild handles high-stakes, complex business disputes in federal and state courts. Her practice focuses on a range of different types of legal matters, including general commercial, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, and professional liability litigation matters. Managing Partner of White and Williams and Chair of the firm's Executive Committee, Patricia Santelle has under her belt more than 25 years of experience in representing insurance company clients in matters involving asbestos, environmental, toxic tort, and long-tail claims. She focuses her practice on the prosecution and defense of insurers in coverage actions in state and federal courts.

Fellow Pepper Hamilton attorney Nina Gussack represents pharmaceutical manufacturers, consultants, and academic institutions in civil and criminal actions involving healthcare fraud and abuse. She is national trial counsel for litigation involving antipsychotic medication, lead trial counsel in state Attorney General actions alleging consumer fraud and unfair trade practices, and national trial counsel for litigation involving diabetes medication.

Michele Hangley of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin &Schiller focuses her practice on contract disputes, business torts, environmental, intellectual property, real estate, and legal malpractice defense, and much of her practice is focused on attorneys' professional responsibility issues. Recently, she successfully defended several law firms against legal malpractice suits and represented a specialty pharmaceutical company in a $200 million contract dispute.

Rhode Island

With 30 years of experience litigating complex business issues, Karen Pelczarski has assisted clients in a wide variety of areas, including corporate contracts, non-competition agreements, employment agreements, shareholder disputes, business valuations, stock options, and disputes involving trusts and estates. Patricia Rocha serves as Chair of Adler Pollock & Sheehan's Litigation Group. Having tried and defended cases in the areas of commercial litigation, product liability and toxic tort, employment discrimination and redistrict litigation, bribery, wire fraud, honest services, and conspiracy Rocha has established herself as a capable and much sought after litigator.