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Most innovative US law firms: Litigation law 2012

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Firm
Rank
Innovation
Originality
Rationale
Impact
Total
Description
Gibbs & BrunsStandoutResolving RMBS claims88925The firm's work on claims relating to residential mortgage-backed securities was a critical contribution to resolving the fallout from the 2008 credit crisis. Achieved a legal settlement of $8.5bn, the second largest in US history.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & HamiltonStandoutSetting the strategy in Madoff-related cases88824Strategy of challenging early on the over reaching nature of claims proved effective in defending financial institutions against the fallout from the Bernard Madoff fraud.
Debevoise & PlimptonStandoutProviding certainty for the housing market78823Led negotiations between federal and state attorneys and five large banks over a number of foreclosure errors. The firm's leadership and collaboration helped bring about a settlement in 49 states that was considered a success for the government and the banks.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & FlomStandoutCreating the strategy to defeat the AT&T/T-Mobile merger87823Bringing a private challenge on behalf of client Sprint to stop the $39bn telecoms merger, resulting in a reshaping of the industry.
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & KatzStandoutUsing a contract to avoid a hostile takeover bid78823This was the first time a contract had been used to stop a hostile bid under US law, for Vulcan Materials, the US construction company.
Kirkland & EllisHighly commendedVictory for generic drug manufacturers67821Represented generic drug manufacturers in an important test of their liability. The Supreme Court's decision effectively dismisses many product liability cases and is expected to save the generic drug industry millions.
Mayer BrownHighly commendedExtending the boundaries of the Freedom of Information Act77721In pro bono work for the National Day Laborer Organising Network, secured an order that will set a precedent for the manner in which the government must produce documents under the Freedom of Information Act.
Cravath, Swaine & MooreHighly commendedAdvanced the "tranche-level standing" argument in mortgage-backed securities class actions67720Acting for JP Morgan, the firm furthered and successfully implemented a strategy that restricts the size and number of claims plaintiffs can bring in residential mortgage-backed securities litigation.
Crowell & MoringHighly commendedPricing model innovation77620Adopted a unique system that marries attorneys' judgments with data and analytics tools to provide partners with a pricing model that can cope with complex litigation matters and meet clients' business needs.
Paul HastingsHighly commendedProtecting industries that use outside sales representatives66820Successfully defended client GlaxoSmithKline in an action over overtime pay. The decision had profound implications for the pharmaceutical industry, and at the same time redefined a key aspect of administrative law.
Paul HastingsHighly commendedProtecting its clients in the Homestore.com in federal securities class action case67720Success in a securities class action established new standards for how a jury should assess individual liability, loss causation and damages under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & GarrisonHighly commendedWinning against Judge Rakoff for Citigroup66820Successfully defended Citigroup's settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission against a challenge from the court of Judge Jed Rakoff.
Ropes & GrayHighly commendedDefended a card payment processor in the largest ever date security breach77620Defended client Heartland Payment Systems against legal claims arising from a criminal attack on its systems – reportedly the largest data breach in history.
Seyfarth ShawHighly commendedMitigating risk in employment cases77620Developed specialised tools for United Technologies that capture and analyse data on employment law, helping to mitigate risk, avoid litigation and cut costs.
White & CaseHighly commendedPursuing litigation against conventional wisdom in antitrust case76720Used a "reverse whipsaw" strategy to defy conventional wisdom in antitrust litigation against client Toshiba. It addresses some of the uncertainty about how far US law applies to overseas conduct.
Cravath, Swaine & MooreCommendedVictory for client in significant environmental lawsuit67619An effective theory to relieve the client of more than $100m of liability in a case concerning river pollution. Will have implications for other cases
Edwards Wildman PalmerCommendedSaving client from jail in white-collar criminal prosecution67619Successfully defended Mark Philip, former president of Stryker Biotech, against Federal Drug Administration charges that included wire fraud.
Gibson, Dunn & CrutcherCommendedAdvising on securities fraud claims in more than 65 civil actions76619In what has been hailed as a landmark ruling for securities law, the firm successfully argued that its client could not be held responsible for the contents of its mutual funds' prospectuses.
Holland & KnightCommendedCollaboration with Deutsche Bank to re-engineer legal process and transfer it to a new location77519Working with in-house lawyers from client Deutsche Bank, the firm used a project management approach to re-engineer the process of dealing with third-party subpoena responses, making it more efficient and cutting costs.
Jones DayCommendedSuccessful defence under the False Claims Act66719Successfully defended a client charged with falsely claiming payments from the US government. The decision that the size of the proposed penalty was unconstitutional could change the way similar cases are handled.
Latham & WatkinsCommendedBioMed Realty Trust "say-on-pay" litigation76619Achieved a notable victory in say-on-pay litigation, obtaining a dismissal of claims against client BioMed Realty Trust despite previous court decisions upholding complaints against other companies.
McDermott Will & EmeryCommendedWorld Trade Center disaster site litigation67619In one of the largest mass torts in US history, the firm settled insurance claims relating to those injured cleaning up the aftermath of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York.
Ropes & GrayCommendedAdopting a unique defence approach in mergers and acquisitions shareholder litigation67619Successfully defended TPG Capital against litigation arising from the company's $3bn acquisition of retailer J. Crew, one of the most contentious mergers and acquisition cases of 2011.
Seyfarth ShawCommendedOne of the first cases to defeat a class action ruling using Dukes v Wal-Mart in federal wage-hour case77519Acting for Farmers Insurance, the third-largest US insurer, in a wage-and-hour case, the firm was the first to successfully apply a new Supreme Court ruling under the Fair Labour Standards Act.
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