At McDermott, we help clients reduce the uncertainties associated with dispute resolution. We ensure that clients understand the strategies available to them, the potential costs of pursing those strategies, and the key distinction between short-term victory and long-term success.
Our practice includes many recognized trial lawyers and specialized litigators in the United States, Europe and China (through our strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices). We advise clients from most industries and have earned a particularly strong reputation for helping major, multinational clients win big-ticket cases. The strength of our lawyers is based on the fundamental principle that excellence in client service mandates deep substantive knowledge in a broad range of industries and areas of the law, and―when required―incomparable ability and success in the courtroom.
Our lawyers possess superior trial skills, deep substantive knowledge and the flexibility to draw from the Firm’s deep bench to assemble strong, lean teams. Frequently, our trial lawyers team with in-house resources, such as our premier health care, life sciences, employee benefits or product liability lawyers, to provide truly best-in-class advocacy. This synthesis of skill and experience, along with a record of success in high-stakes controversies, is why we are a go-to-firm for large-scale, complex litigation.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
McDermott lawyers represent businesses, investors and states in a broad range of settlement negotiations, mediations and arbitrations under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and several other arbitral bodies. The group also regularly prosecutes and defends against litigations related to domestic and international arbitration, including actions to compel arbitration, actions to enforce arbitral awards and actions for injunctive relief in aid of international arbitration. Our ADR team lawyers are located across three continents, and a number have served as arbitrators in AAA and international arbitrations.
Our nationally recognized Appellate Practice Group comprises highly experienced lawyers in our US offices who have successfully handled hundreds of appeals. Our group includes partners who have argued appeals in the US Supreme Court, the 13 circuits of the US courts of appeals, and numerous state appellate courts. Members of our group have served as judicial law clerks at all levels of the federal judiciary. We are frequently retained to file friend-of-court briefs in cases of national importance in the US Supreme Court and various other appellate courts.
Through our affiliation with MWE China Law Offices, we help clients pursue and defend disputes in Chinese and international courts and administrative agencies. MWE China lawyers also regularly appear on behalf of Firm clients in Chinese arbitration proceedings as well as in front of major international arbitration institutions, including the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). MWE China has represented many leading, global corporations and financial institutions.
Our litigators represent banks and other financial institutions in a variety of complex litigation matters, including consumer and securities class actions, securities fraud and derivative litigation. We also represent institutions and individual executives in disputes involving director and officer liability, lender liability, loan workouts and regulatory issues. We regularly conduct internal investigations on behalf of clients and provide vigorous representation in investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), stock exchanges and other self-regulatory organizations, as well as various state securities enforcement agencies.
Our dedicated hospitality team includes litigators with experience in all aspects of our clients’ businesses, including acquisitions, development and financing; labor, immigration, employment and employee benefits; construction and real estate; data privacy; operations, management and service contracts; portfolio management; and tax. We have advised many of the world’s leading hospitality brands and developers, in the United States and globally.
As professional service providers ourselves, we understand the costs associated with allegations of professional misconduct or malpractice. We represent lawyers, accountants and others on the full range of professional responsibility matters, including defense of malpractice claims, securities class actions, regulatory and ethics investigations, partnership disputes, insurance coverage issues, RICO claims, audit and tax controversies, white-collar criminal defense and other litigation. Drawing on our in-depth understanding of professional ethics and our strong courtroom skills, we have successfully represented some of the largest global professional services firms in sensitive and high-stakes cases, and in proceedings before the SEC, PCAOB and other regulatory bodies.
Celanese Corporation, a leading producer of chemicals and fibers, with securing a complete defense verdict from a Texas jury. After several weeks of trial, Celanese prevailed on multiple claims for breach of contract and fraud allegations seeking approximately $4 billion in damages. This victory also secured Celanese’s rights under a critical long-term supply agreement for its most important chemical feedstock.
Diageo North America, Inc., a global leader in beverage alcohol with iconic brands in spirits, beer and wine, in a distributor dispute that was one of the largest cases of its kind. Plaintiff, Major Brands, Inc., alleged that Diageo had wrongfully terminated Major Brands as Diageo’s distributor in Missouri. After successfully defeating Major Brands’ motion for preliminary injunction, the case was then set for trial on the merits of multiple claims, including novel issues implicated in laws unique to the alcohol industry, with Major Brands seeking in excess of $200 million in damages. The case settled during a lengthy jury trial.
Bionol Clearfield LLC, an ethanol plant developer, with obtaining a $230 million arbitration award in its attempt to seek damages from Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. for failure to make payments under an ethanol “off take” agreement. The panel issued a lengthy written opinion adopting all of McDermott’s legal theories on liability and damages under the Uniform Commercial Code.
Intelsat, a communications satellite services provider, as its commercial litigation counsel in New York and as ongoing counsel for counseling and representation on myriad, additional commercial issues. The company operates a fleet more than 50 communications satellites, one of the world’s largest fleets of commercial satellites.
The National Football League (NFL) as Illinois counsel in the Concussion cases. We represent the NFL in all of the concussion cases filed in Illinois courts. We work closely with NFL national counsel at Paul Weiss on these cases. We handled all aspects of the cases from the time they were filed until the time McDermott successfully removed them to federal court and then moved them to the MDL proceedings.
Orbitz Worldwide as lead national trial counsel in high-stakes tax litigation in more than 140 jurisdictions. At issue are cases of first impression that implicate not only local tax ordinances and statutes, but also important US constitutional issues. The cases also involve cutting-edge issues regarding discrimination against Internet service providers.
An oil company in connection with a highly publicized train derailment in Canada. The derailment resulted in numerous deaths and extensive property and environmental damage. McDermott negotiated a global resolution, which, if approved by courts in Canada and the United States, will end all civil litigation relating to this issue against our client on both sides of the border.
Armando Christian Perez p/k/a Pitbull and other musicians in their successful First Amendment defense securing the dismissal of a right of publicity action brought by actress Lindsay Lohan under New York law for the mention of her name in the international hit song “Give Me Everything,” which rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Specialty Foods Group, Inc. (SFG), the exclusive manufacturer and marketer of hot dogs sold in stores under the iconic brand “Nathan’s Famous,” under a 20-year license agreement, with securing a complete defense verdict. Nathan’s sought to terminate the contract on the grounds that a refinancing transaction constituted a violation of the change of ownership and control provisions in the license agreement. McDermott secured a verdict that SFG did not breach the agreement and that Nathan’s was not entitled to prematurely terminate the agreement. An adverse verdict would have resulted in substantial lost profits and put some 300 people out of work.