Since its genesis in 2015, Los Angeles litigation boutique Hueston Hennigan has seen as ascent that can only be described as astonishing. Formed by a group of commercial litigators who peeled off of California institution Irell & Manella to launch this venture, Hueston Hennigan has forged itself a coveted position as a local litigation shop that has achieved statewide and even national prominence. The firm is noted for its mission of putting a premium on trial work, a mission that has been fulfilled with rapid momentum on several high-level appointments. “They have just been massively successful,” sums up one East Coast litigator, stating a consensus shared by many. The firm’s client base is remarkably diverse, ranging from individuals to a variety of entities encompassing tech giants, Native American tribes, the Boy Scouts and the California State Bar (to name but a few), with very little repeat business and virtually no “routine” cases. “Hueston Hennigan doesn’t do the ‘cookie-cutter.’ They do really cool, cutting-edge work,” declares a peer, who goes on to confide, “I admit it makes me jealous, and I’m sure I’m not alone!”
The firm’s figurehead is John Hueston, a trial trailblazer who has carved himself an enviable position even among others in the elite trial lawyer circuit. “I’ve seen trial lawyers rise and fade but John is young and vibrant enough to be in this for the long haul,” opines one peer. Hueston’s proven activity as lead counsel on a number of high-level appointments more than supports this near-unanimous acclaim. Hueston is not alone in his trial prowess and activity, however. Moez Kaba has staked himself a position as another of the firm’s lead trial counsel, acting in tandem with Hueston or on his own on some of the firm’s most high-stakes disputes, and he has accomplished this still well before his fortieth birthday. Kaba makes his debut as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the US in this edition of Benchmark, a coveted status made all the more impressive by the fact that he is the youngest appointee to this prestigious list by some distance. Indeed, over the past year alone, Kaba has earned his stripes on multiple occasions. Continuing a multi-year streak of trial wins, Hueston and Kaba secured a victory – on all claims – for Amazon in a case in which eBay attempted to publicly accuse the online retailer client of poaching eBay employees via the eBay messaging system. The Hueston pair moved to compel arbitration and, after succeeding in this capacity, in November 2020, Amazon triumphed before an arbitrator panel on every last claim for which eBay sued. Hueston and Kaba also prevailed for PwC in a federal bench trial in a whistleblower case concerning a former auditor who confidentially approached the SEC, accusing the company promoting the opportunities to bring in corrupt business at the behest of management as well as take a more lenient approach to audits in order to keep clients happy. The auditor was terminated shortly thereafter and thus also claimed that his actions led to him unjustly being removed. The Hueston team succeeded at trial in July 2021. “These cases are just ‘WOW!’ factor all the way,” enthuses one peer. “Even by [Hueston Hennigan’s] usual standards of trial breeding, this is exceptional, and even though John appears to be the dominant force publicly, Moez’s contribution is not to be underestimated.” It is also worth noting that the cases referenced are just two examples of Hueston’s and Kaba’s remarkably sizable catalogue of wins.
Beyond Hueston and Kaba, others at the firm are starting to emerge as stars in the own right. Douglas Dixon makes the leap from future star in this year’s edition. “He’s a spectacular lawyer,” insists a peer. “He leads the firm’s efforts on the fire cases that they do for Edison, where the client has been exuberant. That is a tough case! Doug has also been involved in some really cutting-edge tech issues for clients such as the entity that owns Match.com.” Enthusiasm is also strong for new future star appointees Allison Libeu and Vicki Chou. “They both have really positioned themselves as key counsel on a number of issues,” confirms a peer. Libeu acted with Hueston and Kaba on the aforementioned case for Amazon. Chou, a white-collar-focused practitioner, is said to have “put more than 10 trials under her belt while she was at the US Attorney’s office [in the Central District of California, in both the Criminal and National Security Divisions.]”