Cohen Ziffer Frenchman & McKenna LLP, which opened its doors in New York in January 2021, is built on the reputations and experience of nationally recognized lawyers who have worked together and represented policyholders as a unified team for more than 20 years, recovering billions of dollars for their clients and securing landmark judicial rulings. The group has earned a national reputation as fierce advocates for policyholders in high-profile, high-dollar disputes against insurance companies and for obtaining precedent-setting decisions. The team represents a client base of Fortune 500 companies, hedge funds, and private equity firms.
Clients rely on Cohen Ziffer’s adept, formidable advocacy team to maximize their insurance coverage, reduce their risk, and guide them safely through their liability disputes and bet-the-company challenges.
Among other victories, the team has:
Won a landmark decision from the New York Court of Appeals and a trial worth more than $500 million in coverage for Warren Pumps LLC that changed the law on the critical question of how loss may be allocated among primary and excess insurers.
Earned a first-of-its-kind decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court on flood limit clauses that allowed the New Jersey Transit Corporation to access up to $400 million in coverage after Superstorm Sandy.
Won a precedent-setting ruling in Delaware Superior Court on “Securities Claim” coverage for a fraudulent conveyance lawsuit that allows Verizon Communications to collect $24 million in defense costs and to pursue coverage for an additional $95 million paid in settlement.
Secured a precedent-setting ruling for TIAA that a settlement of a civil claim for disgorgement is an insurable loss under New York law.
In one of the first federal decisions involving coverage for email “spoofing,” secured a summary judgment ruling from the Southern District of New York allowing Medidata Solutions Inc. to access coverage under a commercial crime insurance policy for a loss suffered as a result of computer fraud.
Won the first decisions from the New York Appellate Division and the Delaware Superior Court that the costs of responding to government subpoenas and civil investigatory demands are covered by management liability policies.
Won, on behalf of Thor Equities, the owner of retail sites in Manhattan, the first ruling in New York (and perhaps the country) holding that the contamination exclusion in the insurance policy at issue did not bar coverage for COVID-related losses. The case has already been cited in jurisdictions outside New York.
With decades of insurance recovery and advisory experience, Cohen Ziffer also assists clients with their insurance counseling needs, guiding organizations through complex insurance issues and advising on the insurance coverage that is right for them. The firm’s attorneys work with clients and their insurance brokers to identify the most likely liability risks and to review their insurance policies and advise on whether they are likely to cover those risks. When incidents do occur, they also guide their clients through the insurance claims process.
The firm’s commercial litigators are first-rate trial lawyers who also have experience tackling a host of complex commercial insurance disputes on behalf of organizations across the country, and have handled a spectrum of very large, complex, high-stakes, and cutting-edge cases. The team litigates these high-stakes coverage suits in a variety of state and federal courts and tribunals and jurisdictions around the world, and represents organizations in a diverse array of economic sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, professional services, and real estate.
Throughout 2020 and beyond, Cohen Ziffer’s work has expanded to handle a wave of COVID-related business interruption claims from policyholders around the country. The team has advised more than 100 clients on pandemic-related insurance matters to date. In one notable business interruption case, the firm secured a ruling for construction management company JDS Construction Group LLC, which found that the coronavirus’ presence was enough to allege “physical loss or damage” to property.
Boies Schiller Flexner is a firm of internationally recognized trial lawyers, crisis managers, and strategic advisers known for our creative, aggressive, and efficient pursuit of successful outcomes for our clients. Our attorneys have an established track record of taking on and winning complex, groundbreaking, and cross-border matters in diverse circumstances and industries. From the thorniest, most high-stakes matters to straightforward business disputes, we have a knack for identifying the strongest arguments, understanding the benefits of each, and determining when and how to deploy them in a case.
We use the law as a tool to drive value and mitigate risk. We treat every case from its inception as though it is headed to trial, relentlessly and methodically developing the factual record in a way that positions us for success in or out of the courtroom.
We build deep relationships with clients, allowing us to advise them in any matter and any forum, and we regularly represent them as both plaintiffs and defendants. Everything we do for our clients is intended to advance their interests while helping them evaluate the costs, benefits, and risks of litigation.
Clients benefit from our experience on more than 450 trials before juries and judges in federal and state courts throughout the United States, courts throughout England, and more than 200 international arbitration proceedings around the world.
With offices located throughout the United States and in London, we operate as one firm with a seamless approach to building the most skillful and cost-effective team possible for every matter.
Antitrust and Competition
Asset Recovery and Judgment Enforcement
Class Actions, Opt-Outs, and Multidistrict Litigation
Creditor Rights, Bankruptcy and Restructuring
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
Elections and Political Disputes
Sports and Gaming
False Claims Act/Qui Tam
Financial Institutions and Private Equity
First Amendment and Mass Media
Global Investigations and White Collar Defense
Intellectual Property Litigation
Matrimonial and Family Law
Partnership and Employment Disputes
Real Estate Disputes
Securities and Financial Products Litigation
Additional Office Locations: Albany • Armonk • Fort Lauderdale • Hollywood, Fla. • Las Vegas • London • Los Angeles • Miami • San Francisco • Washington D.C.
Weil is a leader in the marketplace for sophisticated, global legal services. Our pioneering “one-firm” approach, which integrates approximately 1,100 attorneys across three continents and multiple practice areas, allows the Firm to partner with many of the world’s most successful organizations on matters as complex and interconnected as the businesses themselves.
Featuring approximately 350 lawyers in more than a dozen practice areas and areas of specialization, Weil’s Litigation Department is one of the largest, most diversified, and highly respected in the legal industry. We provide clients with business-oriented solutions to complex, multi-faceted legal challenges, including business disputes, regulatory actions and investigations, financial distress, and other potentially enterprise-changing circumstances.
Our expertise spans a number of substantive areas:
Antitrust: Weil is regularly retained by some of the largest corporations in the world to handle their antitrust litigation matters. Our Antitrust practice advises clients on the inter-relationship between antitrust, intellectual property, trade, and unfair competition laws and regulations, and litigates and tries those cutting-edge issues in civil and criminal cases before juries and judges in jurisdictions across the United States. Representative clients include Bridgestone, C&S Wholesale Grocers, CBS, Farmers Insurance, H&R Block, Hilton Worldwide, Panasonic, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Simon & Schuster.
Appellate: Weil’s Appellate practice covers all of the Firm’s substantive areas of expertise, including employment, securities, copyright and trademark, patent, tax, bankruptcy, antitrust, civil rights, and constitutional law, among others. With 30 practitioners located across the United States, including former clerks to U.S. Supreme Court justices, over a dozen former clerks to federal appellate judges, a former Assistant Solicitor General for the State of New York, and a former Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States, we regularly prosecute and defend appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, all 13 federal circuit courts, and a range of state intermediate and supreme courts.
Bankruptcy: Weil is well-known as the leading restructuring firm in the world. We not only invented much of what is standard today, but we also have been involved in almost every type of consensual and litigated restructuring transaction in the U.S. since the 1970s. Weil has served as chief debtors’ counsel in the largest U.S. bankruptcy filings in history and has represented clients in numerous complicated international insolvencies. Our experience extends to exchange offers, debt for equity swaps, pre-packaged and prearranged chapter 11 cases, as well as conventional chapter 11 reorganizations.
General Commercial: Weil is a one-stop firm for commercial litigation matters, and has achieved significant victories in high-profile disputes for Carlyle Group, CBS, Discovery Communications, eBay, ExxonMobil Corporation, Farmers Insurance, and Nuance Communications, among others. We specialize in trying high-stakes breach of contract, fraud, tortious interference, unfair competition and other business tort claims, class actions, and litigations arising under RICO, the False Claims Act, and numerous other statutes.
Intellectual Property:Weil offers market-leading capabilities in IP litigation – including complex patent, trade secrets, copyright, and trademark disputes – and counseling. For decades, Weil’s prestigious IP/Media group has been at the forefront of hot-button intellectual property and media issues. The group’s work in the area of digital media has been trailblazing, touching on multiple areas of commercial significance including e-commerce, digital rights management, and digital content licensing. We are also recognized for our expertise in false advertising, music licensing, television/motion picture and other content distribution, and privacy/data protection issues. Representative clients include Alibaba, eBay, Facebook, Getty Images, Pandora Media, Sirius XM Radio, and Twitter. Weil’s Patent Litigation group focuses on high-stakes patent and IP disputes, whether they involve winning a key patent infringement action at trial or on appeal before the Federal Circuit, litigating a complex investigation at the U.S. ITC, or trying contested post-grant proceedings at the PTAB. Our team includes more than 40 attorneys, many of whom have technical degrees, allowing us to identify critical issues, understand the technology at the forefront of a case, and become trusted advisors to our clients, which include Bio-Rad, CBS, General Electric, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Illumina, and Sanofi.
International Arbitration: Weil’s International Arbitration practice possesses vast experience, having been involved in more than 200 major international disputes – including scores of arbitrations – dealing with the laws of dozens of nations. Leading multinationals involved in important international disputes repeatedly turn to Weil for its business-oriented approach, understanding of specific cultural issues, extensive government and trade experience, and recognized skill in handling complex investment and commercial arbitrations before all major arbitral institutions, including the ICC, AAA, LCIA, and ICSID.
Product Liability: Weil’s Product Liability practice handles significant product liability and complex mass tort matters, including nationwide class actions, MDL proceedings, and joint state/federal litigations, and has won some of the largest consumer fraud class actions involving alleged product defects in the United States. Our experience extends to a broad range of areas, including automotive products, industrial chemicals, medical devices, toys, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, heavy equipment, and airlines. Notable clients include Core-Mark, Dometic, ExxonMobil Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Repsol, and Sanofi.
Securities: Weil’s Securities Litigation group has handled numerous high-stakes, precedent-setting assignments including those relating to the insolvency or restructuring of major financial institutions, high profile SEC enforcement proceedings, white-collar securities prosecutions, proxy contests, busted-deal and other M&A litigation, and class action and derivative litigation. The group continues to tackle complex litigation and investigations for clients such as AIG, BTG Pactual, General Electric, Morgan Stanley, Sanofi, Signet Jewelers, and Willis Towers Watson, as well as shareholder suits arising out of large, sophisticated M&A and SPAC transactions.
White Collar Crime: Led by an elite group of highly ranked criminal defense lawyers with extensive government experience, Weil’s White Collar Defense, Regulatory & Investigations practice conducts complex internal investigations and handles an array of criminal, civil, and regulatory investigations and parallel litigation arising out of accounting and securities issues, allegations of insider trading, money laundering, fraud, market manipulation, and cartelization, and allegations related to U.S. criminal and regulatory laws with international and extra-territorial dimensions, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
A National and International Litigation Practice: We have represented clients in some of the world’s largest and most complex disputes, including domestic and cross-border deal litigation, corporate governance disputes, white collar and regulatory defense, commercial litigation, securities litigation, bankruptcy litigation, complex settlements, appeals, and arbitration. Our litigators have a long history of handling cutting-edge merger litigation, including many of the most significant takeover defense battles in history. We are called upon to play a central role in high stakes and high profile matters generally, including litigation related to the tragic events of 9/11, the recent financial crisis, and other litigations with fundamental consequences for our clients. We also assist our clients with sensitive internal and law enforcement investigations. In addition, our litigators engage in significant pro bono activity at both the trial and appellate court levels, write and speak in areas of expertise, and teach at the nation’s top law schools.
Our Approach to Litigation: A tight-knit group of approximately 75 lawyers, we approach each matter with intensity, thoroughness and creativity and build teams appropriate to the circumstances. We approach our clients’ legal issues within the larger framework of their strategic, business, and financial goals. We specialize in matters that require careful attention, tested experience, and a high degree of expertise. We handle litigation at all stages, from pre-suit counseling and investigations through trials and appeals. Engagements undertaken by the Firm are at all times afforded the direct personal attention of partners possessing relevant expertise. Our approach is to achieve the best result for the client as quickly as possible. We regularly take cases to trial and win before judges, arbitrators and juries. But we also know when it makes sense to settle, and we have structured some of the largest and most complex litigation settlements to date.
Takeover and Merger Litigation: We are known for trendsetting takeover, transactional, and corporate governance litigation. We litigated the Revlon, Household, and other cases in the 1980s that set the doctrinal framework for all subsequent deal litigation. And the Firm continues to lead in the area — year after year, Wachtell Lipton handles the most important corporate governance and takeover cases in the nation, from the seminal case Corwin v. KKR Financial, which recognized the merger ratification defense to the successful Airgas trial (in which the court reaffirmed the “poison pill” takeover defense against a generation of attack) to the successful Vulcan trial (in which the Firm secured an unprecedented order enjoining a hostile takeover bid) to the successful Sotheby’s defense of the company’s shareholder rights plan against an activist investor attack; to Allergan’s closely watched takeover battle with Valeant and Pershing Square, resulting in a groundbreaking preliminary injunction that set new federal precedent against unfair tactics in takeover bids. Other leading merger cases the firm has litigated include: Paramount Communications, Inc. v. Time, Inc.; Paramount Communications, Inc. v. QVC Network, Inc.; and IBP, Inc. v. Tyson Foods. In recent years, our litigators also have led the charge against appraisal arbitrage litigation, securing post-trial victories in the appraisals of Ancestry.com, SWS Group, PetSmart, and AOL. And we have been the thought leaders behind innovative corporate litigation developments in books-and-records suits and stockholder forum-selection bylaws.
Complex Commercial and Securities Litigation: Our approach to complex commercial and securities litigation also exemplifies our focus on fresh thinking and creative solutions and the fact that we are called upon to handle some of the nation’s biggest and most complex cases. We represented National Australia Bank in the landmark Morrison case, in which the United States Supreme Court held that Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 apply only to purchases and sales of securities in the United States. The decision overturned 40 years of lower-court precedent and eradicated a burgeoning species of securities litigation (so-called “foreign-cubed” and “foreign-squared” class actions) along with billions of dollars in potential liability for foreign securities issuers. We successfully defended Goldman Sachs in Baker v. Goldman Sachs, a five-week jury trial in federal court in which co-founders and major shareholders of a speech-recognition software company, Dragon Systems, were challenging Goldman’s investment banking advice and seeking over half a billion dollars in damages. We helped Bank of America contain its mortgage exposures arising from the financial crisis, including by negotiating Bank of America’s landmark $8.5 billion settlement of claims involving more than 500 trusts for mortgage-backed securities issued by Countrywide and in resolving multibillion dollar claims arising from the foreclosure crisis with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general. Following the tragic events of 9/11, we were called upon to represent the leaseholder of the World Trade Center in two jury trials with its property insurers that ultimately helped it secure enough money to rebuild the site. And we continue to represent Philip Morris USA in arbitrations and litigation that have arisen under the landmark 1998 settlement between the major tobacco companies and 52 states and territories. Wachtell Lipton previously had the lead role structuring and negotiating this more than $200 billion settlement.
Bankruptcy and Restructuring Litigation: We have a long and successful record representing major parties in litigation relating to bankruptcy cases and other debt-related issues. We have represented major companies in the successful defense of actions brought by bankruptcy trustees and creditors. We represented JPMorgan Chase in: (1) the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, where the Firm obtained summary judgment dismissing $8.6 billion of estate claims; (2) the Bernard Madoff liquidation, where the Firm obtained dismissal of claims by the trustee seeking $18 billion in damages; and (3) the General Motors bankruptcy, where we successfully defended the bank at trial from fraudulent transfer claims seeking $1.5 billion. We represented Campbell Soup at trial and on appeal in defeating a fraudulent transfer challenge to the spin-off of Vlasic Pickles. On behalf of Education Management, the Firm defeated an attempt to enjoin the company’s $1.5 billion restructuring and won a precedent-setting appeal from a judgment under the Trust Indenture Act. We have represented private equity firms, hedge funds, and other clients in significant contested matters arising in chapter 11 cases, including Toys “R” Us and Energy Future Holdings. We also represent companies in defending litigation and default claims by activist debtholders.
White-Collar and Regulatory Enforcement: We have a leading white-collar criminal and regulatory practice. We have represented major financial institutions and multinational corporations, as well as their boards of directors and senior executives, in a broad range of the most complex and typically high-profile white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters, both nationally and internationally. In the past few years alone, our litigators have handled both U.S. and foreign governmental investigations focusing on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, criminal tax evasion, criminal transfer pricing, the False Claims Act, insider trading, securities fraud, accounting fraud, criminal antitrust, and export control violations. In addition, we regularly represent boards, audit committees, and special committees charged with conducting special investigations in response to whistleblowers or governmental inquiries.
Pro Bono: We have an active pro bono litigation practice.Our lawyers are encouraged to take on pro bono matters with the full support of the Firm and many take advantage of this opportunity. We have represented abused women seeking protection, indigent criminal defendants in the state and federal courts, immigrants seeking asylum, and non-profit organizations challenging government action. We file amicus briefs on significant legal issues on behalf of business groups and others. On behalf of the Chief Judge of the State of New York, we represented the state’s judiciary in historic and successful litigation over the state’s failure to increase the pay of its judges since 1999. We took on one of the earliest cases challenging the military’s policies discriminating against gay service members.