Clients across a range of industries turn to WilmerHale for sophisticated representation in high-stakes class action litigation.


WilmerHale has deep and wide-ranging experience and success defending clients in their most complex, sensitive and high-profile class actions, frequently in multi-defendant, industry-wide matters with significant overlapping regulatory or investigative dimensions. In the last decade, we have defended more than 300 class actions in state and federal trial and appellate courts. We are also experienced in handling the defense of class action arbitrations in a range of venues. Our nationally recognized lawyers combine vast class litigation experience with deep industry and subject-matter knowledge. We understand the serious financial and reputational risks our clients often face in these cases, and provide creative, aggressive and efficient representation to minimize or neutralize those risk.

Contacts

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Levine, Noah A.

Noah A. Levine

Vice Chair, Litigation/Controversy Department

Chair, Business Trial Group

+1 212 230 8800 (t)

noah.levine@wilmerhale.com

Robinson, Andrea J.

Andrea J. Robinson

Vice Chair, Securities Department

+1 617 526 6360 (t)

andrea.robinson@wilmerhale.com

Experience

Trial-Court Litigation. Regardless of the subject matter, adversary or jurisdiction, our success in obtaining dismissals at the pleading stage, defeating class certification and winning on summary judgment or at trial reflects our forceful and sophisticated approach to class action litigation. Our sound judgment and reputation for credibility are crucial assets in pre-trial proceedings. We frequently handle cases that address cutting-edge certification issues and have defeated class certification motions or limited class exposure in precedent-setting cases. If a class proceeds, our deep trial experience positions us to win both jury and bench trials—as we did in winning a high-stakes insurance class action trial in 2015. Plaintiffs know we can, and will, take cases to trial. And WilmerHale's dedicated in-house discovery solutions group works with our litigation teams to minimize cost and meet the growing challenges clients face in connection with discovery in the digital age.

Multi-District Litigation. When companies are hit with class actions in multiple jurisdictions, it is critical to retain a law firm with capabilities that are national in scope. Our lawyers bring decades of experience handling complex class action cases and multi-district litigation (MDL) across the United States. We understand how to address the key issues that commonly arise in such cases, including how to navigate alternative venues for litigation, achieve early dismissals, minimize the burden of discovery, coordinate multi-jurisdictional class actions, manage MDL proceedings, defeat class certification, manage parallel regulatory proceedings, settle cases economically and neutralize challenges to their resolution, take cases to trial when necessary, and combat adverse publicity.

Appellate Litigation. Our seasoned appellate lawyers regularly handle matters in federal and state appellate courts throughout the United States, and have argued more than 130 cases before the US Supreme Court. Our appellate practice has been honored every year since 2005 by Chambers USA, which calls our team a “bench of talent that is 'impressive beyond belief.'” Class certification issues often present the first opportunity for appellate review in a federal class action, and combining our trial and appellate strengths allows us to shape class action litigation strategy from the outset to maximize the likelihood of ultimate success.

Parallel Regulatory and Investigative Proceedings. We frequently handle class action cases that proceed in parallel with federal and state criminal investigations, agency enforcement proceedings, and related congressional proceedings. We understand the complex interplay between civil litigation and such parallel proceedings, and we have deep experience navigating those complexities. Our regulatory and legislative experience allows us to advise clients regarding the development of a coordinated strategy for achieving litigation, regulatory and business objectives in even the most complicated matters.

International Scope. We have handled numerous leading class action cases that raise difficult international law issues and require that the litigation strategy mesh with political and diplomatic realities. We have experience working with the State Department, foreign governments and international tribunals to resolve cases that have global dimensions.

Crisis Management. The filing of a major class action or multiple class actions often generates the need to respond to the media, Wall Street analysts and shareholders. We have extensive experience addressing these challenges sensitively and effectively. We are committed to working with clients to ensure that our litigation strategy meets their business needs.

Representative Matters

We are recognized nationally for our defense of major class actions and successful track record in virtually every state and federal court at every level. The team regularly handles class actions that span a range of industries.

Our experience includes:

  • obtaining a defense verdict as lead trial counsel in a federal class action jury trial in the Central District of California in a case brought against a financial services company seeking $180 million in damages on behalf of 46,000 class members;
  • representing a Japanese auto parts manufacturer and its US subsidiary in the largest Department of Justice antitrust investigation in US history and in more than 50 different class actions (each involving different products and sets of plaintiffs) in one of the most complex multi-district litigations in the United States;
  • representing a Japanese electronic components manufacturer and its US subsidiary in civil class action litigation, following an international price fixing investigation;
  • obtaining the dismissal by the US District Court for the District of Minnesota of a derivative suit against members of a medical device company's board of directors, which had alleged that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties by failing to properly oversee the company with regard to the voluntary recall of one of its products;
  • obtaining a landmark ruling in the US Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of a European shipping and tank terminal company and other parcel tanker owners, overturning decisions by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and an arbitration panel that class arbitration could be imposed on the basis of standard marine charter-parties between the carriers and shippers of marine cargo, even though those contracts were silent on the question of class arbitration;
  • representing a large UK financial institution in multi-district proceedings in the Southern District of New York and other related putative class action litigation in various federal courts alleging antitrust, RICO, CEA and other claims arising out of alleged manipulation of LIBOR;
  • representing a private nonprofit educational testing organization in more than 20 class actions that were consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana through the multi-district litigation process arising out of a scoring anomaly on a certification exam that resulted in thousands of prospective teachers being incorrectly told that they failed the exam;
  • achieving a victory for a life sciences company when the federal court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed with prejudice all claims in a shareholder class action lawsuit alleging violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and
  • obtaining dismissals with prejudice of a purported derivative and securities fraud class action against a pharmaceutical company, its management and board of directors related to the clinical trials and FDA approval prospects of its cancer treatment drug.