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Katherine Forrest, Nationally Preeminent Litigator and Former Federal District Judge, Joins Paul, Weiss

January 17, 2023 Read the press release

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP announced today that Katherine B. Forrest—a nationally preeminent litigator, former federal district judge for the Southern District of New York and former deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division—has joined as a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department. Ms. Forrest, who will be resident in New York, will handle major investigations, complex litigation and trials, and significant criminal and regulatory enforcement defense matters.

“Katherine is a transcendent talent, with deep experience and expertise as a former federal district court judge, a senior governmental official and a renowned private practitioner,” said firm Chairman Brad S. Karp. “She is one of our nation’s leading trial lawyers, antitrust litigators and corporate advisers and someone who is at the forefront of the increasingly important intersection of law and technology. Katherine is one of a select number of lawyers who clients have on speed dial for ‘bet-the-company’ investigations and trials, adding to the depth of our market-leading Litigation Department.”

Ms. Forrest’s career has been extraordinary; she has a far-reaching record in private practice, and has served on the federal bench and in a senior leadership role in the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2010, she was named deputy assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, where she led criminal and civil antitrust enforcement. In 2011, Ms. Forrest was nominated to the bench by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, serving for seven years as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York. Ms. Forrest presided over several thousand cases, including more than 100 complex and high-profile trials; wrote more than 1,000 opinions; and sat by designation on the Second Circuit on more than three dozen appeals. In the course of her seven years on the bench, she issued numerous landmark rulings across multiple substantive areas of law, including antitrust, digital technology, employment, ERISA, intellectual property, mass torts, patent and securities.

A deeply experienced litigator and trial lawyer in the years before and after her government and judicial service, Ms. Forrest has led complex litigation across a wide range of industries and substantive areas, including antitrust, pharmaceutical, financial services, toxic torts, intellectual property and significant employment matters, as well as criminal matters and investigations. She has also led major investigations on high-profile issues in the media industry and represented numerous clients in connection with parallel civil and criminal investigations. Additionally, Ms. Forrest has unrivaled experience representing clients in high-stakes antitrust disputes, including, among others, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Biosense Webster in a significant antitrust action pending in the Northern District of California; the Boston Red Sox in a sign-stealing investigation and related litigation; crop protection supplier Corteva in a consolidated antitrust lawsuit in which groups of farmers allege that Corteva and Syngenta excluded competitors from selling crop protection products; and United Airlines in its 2010 merger with Continental Airlines, helping defeat a lawsuit filed to block the deal.

“Katherine’s numerous achievements in private practice, on the bench and in the Antitrust Division will make her an enormous asset for our clients and for the firm, and we look forward to working alongside her,” said Jessica S. Carey, co-chair of the Litigation Department.

Ms. Forrest has consistently been recognized as one of the nation’s leading lawyers by numerous industry publications, including Chambers USA, where she is ranked as an Eminent Practitioner, as well as The American Lawyer, Benchmark Litigation, Global Competition Review, IP Law & Business, Law360, Lawdragon and The Legal 500 US. She was named New York City “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America for Antitrust Law in 2022 and was listed as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” in 2023 by Benchmark Litigation, among many other accolades.

“I am thrilled to start the next chapter of my career at Paul, Weiss, home to many of the most renowned litigators and transactional lawyers in the country, several of whom I already know well and deeply respect,” Ms. Forrest said. “Paul, Weiss is a destination for top talent and sophisticated clients, and I look forward to representing many of the most significant clients in the world on their most challenging and consequential matters.”

Ms. Forrest is a frequent lecturer and published author in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property and investigations. She is the author of the book When Machines Can be Judge, Jury and Executioner; a chapter on emerging issues in copyright law and artificial intelligence in The Law of Artificial Intelligence and Smart Machines; and the forthcoming book Is Justice Real When “Reality” is Not?: The Construction of Ethical Systems in Virtual Worlds. Ms. Forrest is also a frequent lecturer on artificial intelligence, including in the area of algorithmic bias. She has spoken numerous times on behalf of the National Judicial College, given keynote speeches on these issues before all of the New York State judges and has trained judges on these issues internationally. She currently serves on the board of advisors of the Center on Civil Justice at New York University School of Law; and on the board of trustees of Choate Rosemary Hall, a boarding school. She earned a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University, and a J.D. from NYU School of Law.

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