With over 100 lawyers in six offices, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC has been recognized as a ‘class-action powerhouse’ (Forbes); ‘the most effective law firm in the United States for lawsuits with a strong social and political component’ (Inside Counsel Magazine); and one of ‘America’s 25 most influential law firms’ (The Trial Lawyer).
For over 45 years, Cohen Milstein has fought corporate abuse, pursuing litigation on behalf of individuals, whistleblowers, public entities and other institutions in cases that have raised challenging, significant and often novel issues. The firm specializes in holding corporate malefactors accountable for their actions, despite the fact that they often have considerably more resources at their disposal than those injured by their misconduct. Cohen Milstein has earned its reputation by winning complex cases that other law firms typically choose to avoid. The firm has litigated numerous groundbreaking cases, resulting in landmark decisions on previously untried issues involving price fixing, securities, consumer rights, civil rights and other far-reaching matters.
The breadth of the firm’s expertise differentiates it from other plaintiffs’ firms. Working together, Cohen Milstein attorneys benefit from their collective knowledge and experience, which often allows the firm to take a more creative approach to the issue at hand. Cohen Milstein litigates across a wide range of practice areas, including the following:
Civil Rights & Employment
Complex Tort Litigation
Ethics & Fiduciary Counseling
Securities Litigation & Investor Protection
Whistleblower/False Claims Act
The firm is based in Washington, DC, with additional offices in Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Palm Beach Gardens, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Raleigh, NC.
Gibbs & Bruns LLP is a litigation boutique engaged exclusively in high-stakes business and commercial litigation. The firm is acclaimed for its high-value and precedent-setting work across the banking, energy, technology, and financial services sectors, among others. Gibbs & Bruns is renowned for its signature lean trial teams and representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in complex matters. Representation of clients on both sides of the docket gives our trial lawyers unique insights into what motivates opponents in court and during settlement negotiations.
As top-flight as it gets. A boutique staffed with outstanding lawyers.
An excellent high-stakes litigation firm – top-notch across the board.
Founded by Robin Gibbs, named “Father of the Litigation Boutique in Texas” by The Texas Lawbook, the firm sustains a forward-thinking culture of creativity and a personal approach to managing its client matters. Reciprocity is at the core of all of the firm’s client engagements. Risk sharing with clients and innovative fee arrangements are a hallmark of Gibbs & Bruns' practice. The firm’s track record of successes for clients since 1983 attests to the talents, creativity, and dedication of the firm’s trial lawyers.
Named to Forbes “America’s Top Corporate Law Firms 2019”
Named Benchmark Litigation’s “Texas Firm of the Year 2020”
Noted a “go-to firm for high-stakes litigation” by Legal 500, 2019
Recent results demonstrate the significance of our firm’s impact on the nationwide litigation scene:
$4.5 Billion Settlement with JPMorgan on Behalf of 21 Institutional Investors (2013)
$2.4 Billion Settlement with Lehman Brothers on Behalf of 14 Institutional Investors (2017)
$1.7 Billion Net Settlement Package for Huntsman; including $1.1 billion in financing and $632 million in cash, the largest cash settlement payment ever recovered with respect to a busted LBO (2009)
$1.13 Billion Settlement with Citigroup on Behalf of 18 Institutional Investors (2014)
$1 Billion in Total Recoveries for Clients, Including $400 Million Settlement with Credit Suisse - National Century Enterprises (NCFE) Securities Litigation (2013)
Major Defense Win in Multi-Billion Dollar Environmental Trial for Waste Management; settlement was less than one percent of the government’s demand (2014)
$196 Million Judgment Win for Plaintiff Client D. Bobbitt Noel Jr. against Devon Energy (2011)
$100 Million Value Arbitration Award for Venoco against Denbury Onshore (2014)
$56 Million Take-Nothing Success for Natural Resource Partners (2019)
$37.2 Million Recovery for Client Against the Port of Houston (Verdict 2010, Finalized 2017)
$35 Million in Settlements for ERG re: Contract Dispute in the Republic of Columbia (2017)
$5.65 Million in Damages Awarded in Trial Win for U.S. Pipeline (2018, Affirmed by Nebraska Supreme Court 2019)
$4.58 Million Jury Verdict for Plaintiff Client SourceGas in Dispute against Noble Energy (2011)
Successful resolution of seven-year dispute for Chevron re the transfer of its responsibility for massive future dismantling and restoration costs of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline; the firm succeeded on each aspect of the legal disputes involved in this matter (2019)
Sophisticated clients worldwide entrust us with their formidable disputes for a single reason–our remarkable track record. Clients seek our advice on high-stakes litigation, cross-border disputes, as well as government and internal investigations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Antitrust and Trade Regulation: Clients turn to us for our record of success in handling high-stakes antitrust disputes, investigations, and achieving regulatory clearance for the largest and most complicated transactions. We advise clients on internal investigations, enforcement matters, and regulatory issues in connection with the OFAC, the Department of State, and the SEC.
Bankruptcy: Our comprehensive practice covers all aspects of bankruptcy-related litigation–from disputes over plan confirmation to tender liability and equitable subordination claims to issues arising out of insurance disputes and mass tort-related bankruptcies.
ERISA Litigation: Clients benefit from our coordinated advice in closely aligned areas, including securities, bankruptcy, and government investigations, and our ability to present arguments and evidence in the manner best suited to advance business interests and resolve conflicts with minimal disruption to their operations.
False Advertising Litigation: Companies in a broad range of fields, including pharmaceuticals, financial services, consumer products and food and beverage, turn to us for our significant experience in false advertising litigation, including disputes between competitors and consumer class actions.
Funds Compliance, Regulatory and Investigations: Our team includes attorneys with decades of experience in the funds industry, former senior government officials from the SEC, former U.S. federal prosecutors, and a former PE Chief Compliance Officer, who draw upon their deep experience and institutional knowledge to provide sophisticated advice to clients on a broad spectrum of critical regulatory and compliance issues.
Government and Internal Investigations: Government and internal investigations can be a highly sensitive, time-consuming ordeal for any company. Large and small companies and their boards, audit and special committees, officers and directors, and other individuals regularly turn to us for advice on a wide range of criminal, regulatory, congressional and other sensitive government inquiries and internal investigations.
Insurance and Reinsurance: Clients benefit from our experience as the leading firm representing the interests of both ceding companies and reinsurers in litigations and arbitrations throughout the United States, the United Kingdom and Bermuda. Major insurance groups, including Travelers, AIG, Berkshire Hathaway, Swiss Re, Lloyd’s of London and CNA have trusted us on their most significant matters.
Intellectual Property: Understanding and protecting IP is crucial to the long-term success of many businesses. Clients seek our advice in high-stakes, “make it or break it”disputes and rely on our broad array of substantive experience in both litigation and transactional matters to help them protect their interests.
International Arbitration: Multinational corporations across the globe rely on our International Arbitration Practice for high-stakes matters when their business reputation or commercial relationships are at risk. We have a track record of success in taking cases through trial and final awards in major international arbitration venues such as Paris, London, Geneva, The Hague, Singapore, New York and Washington, D.C.
International Regulatory and Compliance: With increased activism and cross-border cooperation between enforcement and regulatory agencies, we represent the interests of clients operating in multiple jurisdictions and have advised on issues in China, India, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. The clients we represent are involved in numerous sectors, including financial services and asset management, telecommunications, energy, mining, manufacturing, technology and healthcare.
Law Firm Practice: For several decades, the nation’s top law firms and attorneys have turned to us for their most sensitive matters—when there is risk of reputational damage as a result of claims against the firm or the financial risks are significant. Clients rely on us to obtain favorable results and know us as the “lawyers’ lawyers.”
Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation: Clients seek our market-leading advice in all aspects of M&A litigation—where we excel at defending challenges to the largest and most complex mergers and acquisitions. They appreciate our extensive experience defeating efforts to enjoin transactions prior to closing; resolving claims through reasonable settlements pre-closing; and litigating claims for damages post-closing.
Privacy and Cybersecurity: Our multidisciplinary Privacy and Cybersecurity team advises global companies facing heightened regulatory, contractual and consumer obligations surrounding the management of data.
Product Liability and Mass Tort: Since the 1970s, clients have relied on our advice as a leader in the development of product liability and mass tort law in the United States. We have taken countless product liability and mass tort cases to jury trial in state and federal courts over the years, amassing invaluable courtroom experience.
Securities: For decades, clients have relied on our securities litigators in the most complex, high-profile, high-stakes securities matters of the day. The country’s most respected Fortune 500 corporations and financial institutions turn to us to help defend against headline-making allegations.
Whistleblower and False Claims Act: Companies and their boards have relied on us to respond to allegations by whistleblowers and to help them devise and implement corporate whistleblower policies. Clients seek our counsel on whistleblower matters in a broad range of sectors—including defense, healthcare, technology and financial services.
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.
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.