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Practice area:

Banking and financial services
Commercial and transactions
Intellectual property
Premises liability

Vanessa A. Lavely is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. She has handled a wide variety of litigation cases, including antitrust, intellectual property, environmental, general commercial and securities matters. Ms. Lavely has significant trial experience in federal and state court. 

Ms. Lavely represented Qualcomm in several matters relating to the company’s patent licensing and chipset businesses, including an action filed by Apple in California federal court. Following opening statements at trial, the parties reached a global settlement that includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm; the companies also reached a sixyear license agreement and a multi-year chipset supply agreement. 

Among other significant matters, Ms. Lavely represented ColgatePalmolive in product liability lawsuits filed around the country concerning the company’s talcum powder products. She has tried three cases for Colgate; one resulted in a unanimous verdict in Colgate’s favor after a threemonth jury trial, and the other two reached favorable settlements during trial. 

She also represented NCR in several Superfund environmental actions relating to the remediation of Wisconsin’s Fox River and Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. She tried three cases for NCR in federal court in Wisconsin and Michigan and represented NCR in an appeal to the Seventh Circuit that resulted in a reversal of the district court’s summary judgment decision. 

Ms. Lavely also devotes substantial time to pro bono service. She works extensively with Her Justice, a group that helps disadvantaged women find pro bono legal representation for a variety of family law matters, including child support and domestic violence cases. 

Ms. Lavely received an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 2004. She received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2008, where she served as the EditorinChief of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduation, she served as a law clerk to Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Lavely joined Cravath in 2010 and was elected a partner in 2017. 


Updated July 2021