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The American Lawyer Names Latham Litigation Department of the Year Finalist

November 28, 2023
The American Lawyer
Described by Am Law editors as the most competitive cycle they’ve seen for submissions yet, the biannual contest honors litigation teams achieving extraordinary results for their clients.

The American Lawyer selected Latham & Watkins as among their 2023 Litigation Department of the Year Finalists, celebrated at the publication’s annual Industry Awards held in New York City on November 15. The biannual accolade honors premier law firms who achieve impactful, consistent results for clients in their most complex, high-profile matters.

Earning Finalist for the highly coveted and fiercely competitive Litigation Department of the Year award is a testament to Latham’s unmatched record of success in complex matters and high-profile victories for clients across industries, geographies, practice areas, and specialties. Representative results from the two-year contest cycle included:

  • A historic win for GRAIL and acquirer Illumina that marked the first time an FTC administrative law judge ruled against the FTC in a merger case
  • A headline-making complete acquittal in a high-profile federal criminal jury trial over an alleged false statement to the FBI during the 2016 presidential election
  • The defense of Oracle Chairman, CTO, and cofounder Larry Ellison and CEO Safra Catz against claims that they breached fiduciary duties by causing Oracle to overpay for NetSuite, a company that Mr. Ellison co-founded, by US$3+ billion in one of the largest acquisitions to face a stockholder challenge
  • The successful representation of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in a cross-border chapter 11 restructuring at the intersection of mass tort, antitrust, and bankruptcy law
  • A historic victory in the Supreme Court on behalf of accountant Michelle Cochran, which held that federal district courts have jurisdiction to hear constitutional claims challenging the structure of SEC and FTC administrative proceedings, without having to wait for the conclusion of those proceedings
  • A win for then-US Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr in DOJ and SEC investigations
  • Several important litigation victories that served as the backbone for the historic collective bargaining agreements announced by U.S. Soccer, the U.S. Senior Women's National Team (WNT), and the U.S. Senior Men's National Team
  • Successes at the forefront of cutting-edge data privacy litigation, effectively writing the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) defense playbook with wins on behalf of Otonomo and others
  • A series of impactful victories in business-critical disputes for Peloton in courts across the US and around the world, seamlessly becoming, as New York Law Journal put it, “Peloton’s outside counsel of choice in a range of litigation”
  • A significant pro bono victory on behalf of our client who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in Alabama by a jury, ensuring he has the opportunity to receive effective representation of counsel, as the US constitution requires.

In Am Law’s profile, Global Chair of Latham’s Litigation & Trial Department Michele Johnson shared the firm’s strategic approach to growing its world-class team: “We want to be unmatched in each of the jurisdictions, each of the practice areas, each of the geographies, each of the industries that we practice in. It was a mindful decision.” Illustrating the firm’s breadth, Johnson pointed to a high-profile dispute counseled by a Latham team of securities, trial, entertainment, insurance, investigations, crypto, and bankruptcy lawyers. “No one else in the world could do that matter and have it be the top people in the world. And that’s why we’re handling this case.”

Discussing the increase in law firms handling matters on a contingency basis and Latham’s own litigation investment committee, Mike Morin, Global Vice Chair of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department, commented, “Now we’re viewing it as a first approach… ‘How about we throw some skin in the game with you all?’ It’s been a very positive outcome for us, in terms of being able to help our clients manage their budgets and then share in the results that we get them.”

Latham earned several additional Am Law Industry Award honors, winning both Best Provider Collaboration with Andreessen Horowitz and Best Diversity Initiative, as well as Finalist for Best Business Team and the Corporate Purpose Award.