Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a global law firm with approximately 2,500 attorneys representing clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property matters. The Firm has 15 offices around the world: Beijing, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.
Litigation Kirkland & Ellis is renowned for its experience in complex litigation and arbitration. The Firm believes that the best litigation results happen when the lawyers and client form a team that assumes it will try the case. Because of this trial-ready philosophy, the Firm is able to offer clients a deep bench of lawyers who have been taking cases to verdict since the early stages of their careers. Whether in the courtroom, at the bargaining table or helping clients avoid risks without litigation, Kirkland has a long and proven track record of generating successful results for clients in their most high-stakes cases.
The Litigation Practice Group comprises approximately 500 attorneys throughout the firm’s worldwide offices. The Firm’s international experience enables effective representation of non-US plaintiffs and defendants in US judicial proceedings. Kirkland represents clients in trial and appellate courts at the federal and state level, before administrative tribunals, and in arbitrations and other dispute resolution proceedings. The Firm also represents clients in connection with proceedings involving government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, US Attorneys General Offices, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the New York Stock Exchange, the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the US Patent and Trademark Office, the US Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service.
Lawyers in all of Kirkland’s US offices have tried cases, successfully to verdict or to judgment, in virtually every substantive area and business segment including accountant liability, antitrust and competition, appellate, class action, mass tort and toxic tort, construction, ERISA/benefits, First Amendment and defamation, franchise and distribution, insurance coverage, international arbitration and ADR, product liability, securities and shareholder.
Kirkland has been recognized by clients and the media for its achievements in litigation:
For the eighth time, Kirkland was selected as one of the “Fearsome Foursome” in BTI Consulting’s 2019 Litigation Outlook report. Kirkland was also identified
as a “powerhouse” firm for intellectual property litigation, class actions, complex employment litigation and complex commercial litigation, and as a “standout” firm
for securities and finance litigation.
In 2018, Kirkland ranked #1 in The Lawyer’s “Global Litigation Top 50.”
The American Lawyer has recognized Kirkland as a top firm in every “Litigation Department of the Year” contest since 2002.
Kirkland was awarded “Illinois Firm of the Year” and “Bankruptcy Firm of the Year” at the 2019 Benchmark Litigation US Awards.
The National Law Journal has named the firm to its “Appellate Hot List” every year since 2012.
Intellectual Property Litigation
Kirkland & Ellis’ Intellectual Property Practice Group is one of the oldest such practices in a full-service firm in the country, having been an integral part of Kirkland since 1925. Kirkland has approximately 200 intellectual property lawyers who are experienced in a variety of technical disciplines and registered to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office. More than 70 percent of the lawyers are engineers and scientists trained with degrees and professional backgrounds in technical areas.
Kirkland has one of the most respected intellectual property litigation practices in the country, with particular experience in large-scale patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret misappropriation and advertising matters. The work of the group frequently extends to antitrust, securities/compliance, products liability and appellate matters.
Kirkland’s experience in venues where IP cases are most often litigated is extensive. The Firm tries cases before juries, judges and arbitrators in venues across the country including state courts, district courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Kirkland has one of the most active trial practices in the country. Our success rate at trial is among the best, with only a few of losses over the last 10 years despite handling some of the most challenging litigation cases in history.
The Intellectual Property Practice Group has been recognized by numerous publications for its achievements:
In Managing Intellectual Property’s 2019 IP Stars, Kirkland was named as a leading firm for Copyright, ITC, Life Sciences and Patent Contentious.
Managing Intellectual Property named Kirkland “U.S. National Appellate Firm of the Year” at its 2019 Americas Awards.
Kirkland was named to World Trademark Review magazine’s 2019 WTR 1000 list of the world’s top trademark law firms nationally and in Illinois, and was recognized
as a Tier 1 firm for enforcement and litigation in New York.
In 2019, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine recognized Kirkland in Tier 1 for Litigation: United States - National in its IAM Patent 1000 guide.
Kirkland was named “Law Firm of the Year” for Litigation - Patent by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers in their 2019 “Best Law Firms” rankings.
The New York Law Journal named Kirkland as its 2019 “Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Year.”
Regularly hailed as one of the strongest litigation teams in the industry, the Debevoise litigation practice has been described by The American Lawyer as akin to “the Army Rangers—a small but elite group that works seamlessly and handles the most challenging cases,” consistently delivering outstanding results for its clients. Recent matters include:
Winning a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court victory concerning constitutional limits of state taxation for the Kaestner Family Trust
Securing a historic $6 billion ICSID arbitration win for Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited
Dismissal of a $14.5 billion qui tam lawsuit filed against Prudential, John Hancock, AXA, Guardian, MassMutual, TIAA and others in the New York Supreme Court
Representing the Board of Directors of CBS Corporation in an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against the CEO and senior personnel
Defeating MZ Wallace’s trade dress infringement claim against our client Oliver Thomas in a complete victory at trial
Negotiating the favorable settlement of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Jane Doe, an 11-year old transgender girl, in her suit to use the girls’ restroom at her school
The firm’s litigation practice is led by co-chairs Mary Beth Hogan and Andrew Ceresney (the immediate past Director of Enforcement at the SEC) and features an all-star roster, including former Attorneys General Lord Peter Goldsmith QC and Michael Mukasey and former Chair of the SEC Mary Jo White, who returned to Debevoise in 2017 following her four-year tenure. Ms. White, who previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nine years, is Senior Chair of the firm and leads the Strategic Crisis Response and Solutions Group.
Their team also includes 14 former Assistant U.S. Attorneys or Department of Justice attorneys, including a former federal district court judge, the former Chief of the Criminal Division of the Southern District of New York, the former Acting Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ Criminal Division, the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for National Security and three former Unit Chiefs of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
The breadth of experience offered by Debevoise in and out of the courtroom sets their litigators apart. They bring personal attention, seasoned judgment, deep industry knowledge, credibility and substantive legal experience to each matter, tailoring advice to clients’ needs and circumstances. They work seamlessly and collaboratively with clients and co-counsel and across practices to achieve the best possible results for our clients.
Based in New York, Washington DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Hong Kong, their broadly skilled team of nearly 300 litigators handle domestic and cross-border disputes of every kind and complex matters in courts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, France and elsewhere, as well as before arbitration tribunals, agencies and administrative bodies worldwide. They represent clients as plaintiffs and defendants in a wide range of areas, including:
Antitrust & Competition
Arbitration & International Disputes
Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
Insurance Industry Disputes
Labor & Employment Litigation
White Collar & Regulatory Defense
Another notable and distinguishing feature of the Debevoise litigation practice is the success of their women partners. For three consecutive years, Benchmark Litigation has named eight Debevoise women litigation partners among the “Top 250 Women in Litigation”—an exceptional ranking for a firm of its size.