ProfessionalsCraig A. Benson
A partner in the Litigation Department, Craig Benson focuses his practice on trial work in the areas of product liability, antitrust, intellectual property and major commercial disputes. Craig’s experience has involved representing clients before federal and state courts, regulatory agencies, and arbitrators, in industries including financial services, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, electronics, automotive, chemicals, oil and gas, tobacco, and hospitality. Craig is also Co-Chair of the Firm’s Professional Development and Training Committee and a hiring partner for the Firm's Washington office.
Craig's trials and major cases have included representing:
- A major pharmaceutical company in a two-week bellwether jury trial in state court alleging that the company’s testosterone replacement therapy product contributed to cardiovascular risk and that its marketing and labeling was negligent and inadequate. The jury returned a complete defense verdict after one hour of deliberations. The case was selected by Lexis Litigation as their case of the week.
- Genentech Inc. in a two-and-a-half week federal jury trial, against allegations of fraud, unfair trade practices and unjust enrichment and a damages claim of some $1.16 billion, in which the jury returned a complete defense verdict.
- Philip Morris USA, an Altria company, in the company's first "Lights" class action to reach a jury. The plaintiffs claimed they were entitled to billions of dollars of damages for purchasing and smoking Marlboro Lights. A mistrial resulted in no liability for Philip Morris USA.
- Mastercard in connection with multiple federal antitrust claims regarding bank issuance of credit cards, establishment of interchange rates, and issues surrounding the roll-out of chip technology to prevent fraudulent card transactions.
- Bumble Bee Seafoods in putative class actions of direct and indirect purchasers, and opt-out cases by large retailers, alleging an antitrust conspiracy to fix prices for packaged tuna in the United States.
- Sharp Corporation in four federal lawsuits relating to allegations of price-fixing. Craig's team obtained summary judgment on behalf of Sharp dismissing a $3 billion damage claim brought by Motorola for alleged price fixing of LCDs.
- Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi International Corporation, in connection with a lawsuit alleging that a joint venture co-owned by Mitsubishi Corporation and the Mexican government violated federal and state antitrust laws by conspiring to monopolize a market for solar sea salt in the United States. Paul, Weiss succeeded in getting the case dismissed with prejudice on a preliminary motion.
- Several financial institutions in substantial commercial and international arbitration matters, including successfully defending Citigroup against a multi-billion dollar claim brought by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Citibank and Zurich Alternative Asset Management in a major arbitration over real estate valuation and a financial services company in an employment arbitration with its former CEO.
- Major biotechnology and chemical companies in critical patent litigations, including disputes concerning Genentech's intellectual property covering innovative treatments for cancer and eye disease, and lawsuits relating to infringement of BASF's patents for a leading insecticide.
- LodgeNet before the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division in connection with its acquisition of On-Command.
- Time Warner Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc. before the Federal Trade Commission in connection with their acquisition of assets of Adelphia Communications Corp.
- American Skiing Company in connection with a contract dispute and motion for preliminary injunction in state court.
- Silver Point Capital, provider of debtor-in-possession financing in a contested bankruptcy proceeding relating to collective bargaining agreements.
- ExxonMobil in connection with international tort claims in federal litigation.
Craig was recognized in the 2019 and 2018 editions of The Legal 500 US as a Recommended Lawyer in the Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Action: Defense category. Craig was also named a Rising Star by Washington DC Super Lawyers in 2013.
Craig’s extensive pro bono practice has spanned the areas of political asylum and immigration, disability benefits, civil rights for members of the LGBT community and those living with HIV, post-conviction relief, and tenant rights. He was also part of the Paul, Weiss team that represented Edie Windsor in the historic litigation that resulted in the Supreme Court declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
Craig was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as articles editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. He co-authored Custodial Interrogation, Twenty-Eighth Annual Review of Criminal Procedure, 87 Geo. L.J. 1683 (1999). Craig also has served as a member of the editorial board of the Antitrust Practitioner, a publication of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Civil Practice and Procedure Committee.
Craig is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Levine Music, one of the nation's leading community music schools. He is also a Trustee of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the District’s largest civil legal services organization. He serves on the DC Leadership Committee of Lambda Legal, a national civil rights organization serving the LGBT population and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.