The National Law Journal has named WilmerHale the 2017 Washington DC Litigation Department of the Year in the General Litigation category. The award highlights firm's strength and success across several practices, including Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation, Government and Regulatory Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Securities Litigation and Enforcement.
“In 2016, [WilmerHale] dominated the litigation landscape like an armored vehicle, on offense and defense, in cutting-edge and traditional cases and across a wide swath of law,” The National Law Journal noted.
The National Law Journal cited WilmerHale's multiple Supreme Court victories as a major reason for the honor. These wins include a significant death penalty case, Hurst v. Florida, led by Partners Seth Waxman and Catherine Carroll; a win on behalf of service-disabled veterans and veterans who own small businesses in Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, led by Partner Thomas Saunders; and a significant ERISA law case, Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., led by Waxman and Partner Paul Wolfson.
"One thing that makes us stand out is the breadth of our practice," Amy Wigmore, vice-chair of WilmerHale's Litigation/Controversy Department, told The National Law Journal. "We have great appellate strength and our government regulatory group has always been outstanding. We have expertise in areas involving class actions and really a huge IP litigation practice which has had great success as well. But I think we achieved greater heights this past year."
Wigmore and Carroll also discussed the firm's standout year on a podcast with The National Law Journal. They noted the firm's success is built on teamwork, adaptability and tenacity—with a constant goal to perform the very best possible work.
The firm also achieved major victories in federal district court in 2016. Partners Matthew Martens and Jaclyn Moyer convinced a federal judge in the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss all civil securities fraud charges, with prejudice, against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Partners David Ogden and Alan Schoenfeld also won a dismissal for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in the Middle District of Florida when the court threw out two class actions related to the client's use of third-party IT vendors who employed workers on H-1B visas.
The firm also had significant success in the appeals courts in 2016. In the Second Circuit, Ogden and Partner Noah Levine secured a dismissal for Morgan Stanley on a financial crisis-related case in which plaintiffs sought to gain class certification status. In the Third Circuit, Waxman, Carroll, and Partners Leon Greenfield and Danielle Spinelli won a reversal for Avaya Inc. on a $62 million judgement related to antitrust claims.
Additionally, before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, Partner Carl Nichols won a pricing dispute case for Boeing Company and United Launch Alliance related to satellites provided to the US Air Force. In the three-week, 24-witness trial, the board held that the Air Force was liable for price adjustments, and a damages trial is forthcoming to determine the ultimate adjustment.