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The Paul, Weiss Litigation Department is led by a team of the country’s most accomplished trial lawyers. Our litigators in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. handle the most complex and demanding lawsuits, class actions, government investigations, criminal prosecutions and restructurings. Our clients include Fortune 50 corporations and other prominent companies in the financial services, investment, medical device, pharmaceutical, sports, technology, energy, media and insurance industries. Every day, we are called on by chief executives, board chairs, general counsel, investors and entrepreneurs for our unmatched trial skills, sophisticated business judgment and renowned strategic advice.
The Paul, Weiss Litigation Department continues to be involved in cases that shape financial markets and corporate boardrooms, representing many of the world's leading corporations in their most sensitive and complex matters. Client matters have included:
- Exxon Mobil Corporation in climate change-related investigations and suits brought by regulators, including state attorneys general deploying untested liability theories. These matters include representing ExxonMobil in an SEC investigation concerning climate change-related disclosures that was closed with a no-action determination. The firm also won a complete defense verdict in a landmark securities fraud action brought by the New York Attorney General seeking $1.6 billion in damages—the first climate change-related lawsuit to be tried to verdict nationally. Paul, Weiss is also advising ExxonMobil on government tort, shareholder securities and other climate change-related matters arising in various proceedings worldwide.
- The National Football League in the defense and landmark settlement, upheld on appeal, of hundreds of lawsuits filed by thousands of former NFL players seeking to hold the League liable for allegedly concealing the risks associated with concussions sustained while playing professional football. We continue to serve as counsel for the NFL in the implementation of the 65-years settlement.
- Citigroup in several major litigation and regulatory enforcement matters, including:
- a complete defense win in an arbitral panel ruling, subsequently upheld by a federal district and an appellate court, in a $7.5 billion ICDR arbitration brought by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA);
- a multi-year federal grand jury investigation of its compliance with BSA/AML requirements that resulted in a non-prosecution agreement and a significantly reduced penalty;
- a complete defense win in a $30 billion claim against Citigroup brought by Parmalat, and a $364.2 million jury verdict, upheld on appeal, on Citigroup’s counterclaims against Parmalat, culminating in a judgment by Italy’s Supreme Court finding our verdict, by then tripled in value, final and enforceable in Italy; and
- in securing the dismissal of a qui tam action brought in Florida state court under the Florida False Claims Act in connection with two synthetic fixed-rate transactions with a notional value of $1 billion entered into by the Central Florida Expressway Authority with Citibank and several other banks. The relator alleged that the defendant banks fraudulently induced the Authority to enter into the at-issue swap agreements and claimed that all payments made to the defendant banks constituted “false claims.”
- A Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse in an internal review of Credit Suisse’s relationship with hedge fund Archegos Capital and the events leading to losses incurred by the bank as a result of Archegos’s default, culminating in the release of a 165-page report detailing observations and recommendations for remedial measures.
- News Corp and News America Marketing (NAM) in several antitrust matters, including most recently the defense of a
$700 million monopolization claim brought by competitor Valassis Communications, which Paul, Weiss successfully tried to a jury in a three-week trial in 2021 in the Southern District of New York; securing the dismissal of another antitrust claim by Valassis alleging that NAM violated a consent order resolving an earlier dispute through unlawful bundling and tying; and the favorable settlement of a significant antitrust class action brought by customers of NAM’s in-store marketing products, including consumer products companies Dial, Heinz and Smithfield Foods, claiming that NAM illegally monopolized an alleged market for in-store promotional services by engaging in a variety of alleged exclusionary practices.
- IBM in:
- winning an injunction at trial, affirmed on appeal by the Second Circuit, in a high-profile trade secrets case that prohibited a former senior executive from accepting a competing leadership position at a competing technology company. Paul, Weiss has represented IBM in several previous high-profile litigations and settlements regarding the enforcement of employee restrictive covenants, non-competition agreements and equity clawback contracts; and
- an ongoing lawsuit seeking at least $2.5 billion in damages brought against its semiconductor chip supplier, GlobalFoundries, asserting claims for fraud and breach of technology, development, manufacturing and supply agreements related to a long-term alliance IBM entered into with GlobalFoundries through which the parties committed to co-develop cutting-edge technology for complex semiconductor chips.
- Mastercard in three of the largest antitrust litigations pending nationally, including litigation challenges, and a subsequent settlement, of payment card “interchange” fees and certain rules governing merchants’ acceptance of payment cards; antitrust and consumer protection class actions on behalf of independent ATM operators and consumer groups challenging Mastercard’s ATM access fee non-discrimination rule; and an antitrust and consumer protection class action on behalf of merchants who incurred “chargebacks” for payment card fraud.
- Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM) in securing a landmark appellate win in the Kentucky Supreme Court concerning a $50 billion derivative claim brought by beneficiaries of Kentucky's public pension fund. The ruling brought the long-running case to a close, with the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously holding that defined-benefit beneficiaries of the state's pension plans lacked statutory and constitutional standing to bring their claims on behalf of the fund of the Commonwealth. With a number of states contending with underfunded pension plans, the lawsuit has been viewed as a critical test case for whether beneficiaries of underfunded public pension plans may assert claims against third-party asset managers on behalf of those plans, and this decision has significant implications for the future of such claims.
- Goldman Sachs Group in securing a 8-1 victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in connection with a $13 billion private securities action in which plaintiffs alleged that Goldman Sachs violated securities laws by making a series of generic and aspirational statements, such as “our clients’ interests come first,” which impacted Goldman Sachs’s stock price. The decision may have significant implications for plaintiffs’ ability to achieve class certification in putative securities class actions.
- Amazon in securing the dismissal of a major antitrust lawsuit filed by the D.C. Attorney General challenging Amazon’s pricing policies nationwide. Paul, Weiss won a further victory when the D.C. Superior Court denied the District’s motion for reconsideration and denied the District’s motion to further amend its complaint. The lawsuit is the first brought by a government entity in the United States challenging Amazon’s pricing policies and business model.
- Bloomberg L.P. in securing a resounding trial victory ending a high-stakes international broadcast licensing dispute with a Nigerian broadcasting company. Following a nine-day bench trial in the Southern District of New York, the court rejected all claims brought against Bloomberg and ruled for Bloomberg on its counterclaims, awarding damages, costs and attorney's fees.
- Oak Hill Capital Partners and individual directors of Oversee.net in securing the dismissal of all claims at trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery regarding Oak Hill's redemption of preferred equity in its portfolio company. The court found that defendants proved at trial that their conduct was entirely fair under Delaware’s most exacting standard of review—an exceedingly rare outcome.
- Pfizer in multiple complex litigation matters, including the favorable settlement of a high-stakes class action filed by direct purchasers of pain management drug Celebrex who alleged that Pfizer obtained a reissue patent for Celebrex through fraud on the PTO, delaying generic competition and allowing the company to maintain an illegal monopoly.
- Tesla’s independent directors in the favorable settlement of an SEC investigation into Elon Musk’s proposal to take Tesla private and Musk’s public statements and tweets.
- Morgan Stanley in securing the dismissal of multiple high-stakes class actions, including:
- a class action alleging that several financial institutions that participate in the auction and trading of securities issued by the U.S. Treasury had conspired to reduce competition in the secondary market for Treasury securities, and colluded to block the emergence of new trading platforms through which better prices could ostensibly have been obtained for Treasury securities; and
- a putative antitrust class action brought by traders of odd-lot bonds—groups of bonds that are worth less than $1 million—alleging that 10 financial institution defendants were engaged in a conspiracy to increase prices on odd-lot bond trades by group boycotting certain odd-lot e-trading platforms.
- The Bank of New York Mellon in securing the dismissal of a high-stakes investor class action filed in the wake of a pyramid scheme involving purported cryptocurrency OneCoin. The investors alleged that the bank aided and abetted the OneCoin fraud and engaged in commercial bad faith by providing correspondent banking services to the perpetrators of the alleged scheme. The Court adopted virtually all of Paul, Weiss’s arguments, finding that the investors failed to allege with particularity that BNY Mellon had actual knowledge of the scheme or provided substantial assistance to the scheme.
- Fresenius, a German healthcare company, in a landmark ruling, affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court, that Fresenius was justified in terminating a $4.8 billion merger agreement with Akorn due to Akorn’s post-signing decline and blatant breaches of FDA data integrity requirements, both constituting Material Adverse Events (MAE) under Delaware law.
- SAP, a German multinational enterprise software company, in a longstanding dispute brought by business analytics provider Teradata, seeking more than $1 billion in damages in an action involving high-stakes antitrust and trade secret claims concerning SAP’s flagship product HANA. The dispute also includes counterclaims by SAP alleging Teradata’s infringement of several SAP patents, as well as follow-on patent litigation in the Northern District of California and in Germany. Following extensive discovery, SAP defeated Teradata’s antitrust and trade secret claims on summary judgment. Teradata is appealing the ruling while staying or dismissing without prejudice the remaining claims.
- Farelogix, an information technology company that connects travel agencies directly with airlines and travel services, as lead antitrust counsel in connection with the DOJ’s investigation and subsequent civil antitrust lawsuit seeking to block its proposed acquisition by Sabre, a leading global travel distribution intermediary between ticket agents and airlines and travel services, alleging that the merger would eliminate competition for booking services in the online and traditional travel agency markets. Following a two-week bench trial in federal court, the court issued an opinion in favor of Farelogix, ruling that the DOJ did not establish harm to competition on both sides of the two-sided market.
- Glencore International in securing the dismissal, affirmed on appeal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, of a multibillion-dollar antitrust, fraud and corruption lawsuit brought against international oil trading companies by a U.S. litigation trust allegedly established by Venezuela’s national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), alleging that the oil trading companies conspired to obtain inside information about tenders for the sale and purchase of oil and oil products.
- Uber Technologies in securing the dismissal by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and affirmance on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit of a $750 million unfair competition lawsuit brought by the largest taxi conglomerate in Boston. The district court previously held that Uber did not compete unfairly in the Boston market when it operated without a license in violation of long-standing taxi rules, and the First Circuit held that Uber was not liable for violating the Massachusetts unfair competition statute or the common law for unfair competition.
- Twitter in the successful defense of litigation brought by BlackBerry alleging infringement of seven patents related to various aspects of mobile advertisements and messaging interfaces. After filing IPR petitions at the PTAB challenging the validity of two of the seven patents asserted by Blackberry and securing dismissal at the district court as to four of the seven patents asserted, the parties reached a court-approved settlement.
- A subsidiary of CNA Financial Corporation in a significant appellate victory in a dispute over whether business-interruption provisions in commercial property insurance policies should be drastically expanded to cover income lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. The win is the second appellate victory on behalf of CNA and its subsidiaries, following an earlier victory in the Ninth Circuit.
- FIFA in its successful application for remission from the DOJ as compensation for losses the organization suffered as a victim of decades of corruption schemes by former football officials. Under a plan negotiated by Paul, Weiss on FIFA’s behalf, the DOJ awarded $201 million seized from the bank accounts of former football officials prosecuted for criminal activities.
- Genentech in a successful dismissal of patent litigation brought by Baxalta (now a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceuticals) concerning Genentech’s breakthrough hemophilia treatment, HEMLIBRA®.
- Becton Dickinson (BD) in securing the dismissal, with prejudice, of a class action brought by a putative class of all U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers alleging that BD conspired with distributors of its products to inflate the prices of syringes and IV catheters by excluding competitors from the market. Paul, Weiss previously secured trial and appellate victories on behalf of BD in a lawsuit involving similar allegations brought by a competitor.
- Simon Property Group in securing the dismissal of all claims at the trial level and on appeal before the New York Appellate Division, First Department of a judgment enforcement proceeding brought by Gronich, a commercial real estate broker, regarding an alleged unpaid commission arising out of an agreement between Longstreet LP, the then-owner of the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue, and Gronich. Gronich alleged that Simon was responsible for the judgment because it fraudulently transferred assets from Longstreet to its parent in connection with Simon’s merger with the parent and was subsequently liable for the judgment.
- Wafra, an international investment firm, in securing the dismissal by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and affirmance on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, of a multimillion-dollar age discrimination and retaliation suit brought by a former executive. The Second Circuit’s opinion was the first to apply the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Comcast Corp National Association of African American-Owned Media, which held that the “but for” causation standard applies to Title VII claims throughout the litigation, and to a federal age discrimination suit at the pleading stage.
- Oracle as trial counsel in its long-running dispute with Rimini Street Inc., a third-party provider of software support services, over whether Rimini’s third-party software support violates Oracle’s copyrights. Following a seven-day bench trial in 2021, the Court held Rimini in contempt for several violations of a 2018 permanent injunction blocking Rimini from reproducing, preparing derivative works from or distributing certain Oracle copyright software, and ordered compensatory sanctions to be paid to Oracle. Rimini previously filed a declaratory judgment action alleging that it had changed its software support practices. In 2020, Paul, Weiss secured favorable rulings on all seven summary judgment motions filed in connection with the declaratory judgment action, leaving Rimini with no remaining claims for damages against Oracle. All of Oracle’s claims against Rimini survived Rimini’s motion for summary judgment and trial in Rimini II is scheduled for late fall 2022.
- Ocwen Financial, one of the nation’s largest mortgage servicing companies, in securing the decertification of a nationwide class in a significant federal consumer class action asserting civil RICO and California state law violations related to Ocwen’s property valuation services.
See additional work highlights across a multitude of practice areas, such as: