August 25, 2016
In Law360’s inaugural “Litigation Powerhouse” ranking of the top 50 litigation firms nationwide, Weil earned recognition among the leading 20 firms that played major roles in “the biggest legal battles of the past year.”
Weil’s Litigation Department was profiled in an article focusing on its “outstanding victories” and “deep legal talent.” The profile highlights the Firm’s successes in a number of cases, from a big win in a rare jury trial for Morgan Stanley to the complete dismissal of a $24 billion class action against Credit Suisse.
Working on behalf of Morgan Stanley, Weil prevailed before a federal jury in New York City, winning a verdict of no liability in a case involving private insider trading claims, related to the stock of an auto parts maker during the 2008 financial crisis. Jonathan Polkes, co-chair of Weil’s Litigation Department, commented that the case was unique in that it was brought by a private party, as opposed to the federal government. “As a result, a lot of interesting law was getting made at every step of the way,” he said. The trial team also consisted of about 10 attorneys, and Polkes noted the diversity across the group saying, “we presented a very complete face of Weil Gotshal, and it’s something we’re particularly proud of.”
Weil’s efforts on behalf of another financial institution, Credit Suisse, defeated a complex case involving more than $24 billion in alleged damages. The plaintiffs, resort property owners, ultimately lost their last remaining claims in a suit accusing Credit Suisse and another defendant of providing loans to resort developers that impeded the developers’ ability to comply with alleged contract provisions to build and maintain amenities at these resorts. In August 2016, Idaho U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush granted summary judgment in favor of Credit Suisse and the other defendant, ruling the plaintiffs hadn’t shown that the bank’s allegedly inflated loans to developers undermined development. David Lender, co-chair of Weil’s Litigation Department, commented on the victory, noting that Weil’s experience handling high-pressure, high-stakes matters is what clients have come to rely on. “It’s like trench warfare. You want to go to battle with people that you trust and want to spend 16 hour days with … and who you really feel are going to help you put your best foot forward,” he said.
Other significant wins over the last year that were highlighted in the profile included a victory for UnitedHealth Group and Ingenix in multi-district litigation that defeated all of plaintiffs’ alleged conspiracy claims, and a complete defense win for General Electric Co. in an arbitration proceeding commenced by Duke Energy regarding the sale and construction of a “clean coal” energy plant in Indiana.
In developing its rankings, Law360 considered a variety of factors, including bench strength, nature of victories at trial, on appeal, or in the pre-trial phase, as well as noteworthy new matters, and arrived at a list of firms “that consistently leveraged a deep bench into outstanding wins.”