Publications & News

WilmerHale 2016 in Review

February 13, 2017

Dear Clients and Friends,

As we look back on 2016, we thank you for another successful year in which we were privileged to represent an extraordinary lineup of innovators, institutions and industry leaders.

Throughout the year, our cross-practice teams converged around our clients' most pressing challenges to provide the kind of sophisticated, multifaceted legal and strategic advice that has come to define our unique position in the market. Across a wide range of industries, clients depended upon us to see around corners, respond to fast-moving crises and address some of the year's most complex and sensitive legal matters.

Palo Alto-based health technology and lab services firm Theranos turned to us for risk management and strategic advice and representation in various federal law enforcement and regulatory investigations, parallel Department of Justice and SEC investigations, and shareholder and putative class action litigation in the wake of a series of Wall Street Journal articles about the company. Among our many international matters, our US and European offices are assisting Baker Hughes with the worldwide antitrust review of its proposed merger with GE Oil & Gas to create an oilfield services business with more than $32 billion in annual revenue.

A number of large, ongoing matters culminated in victories or reached significant milestones in 2016. We persuaded an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit to reinstate a $120 million jury verdict for Apple relating to Samsung's infringement of our client's slide-to-unlock, autocorrect and "quick link" patents—one more victory in our longstanding representation of the Cupertino-based technology leader. Our lawyers also secured four US Supreme Court victories in the term ending in June, including an important win for Kingdomware Technologies that established a mandatory preference for veteran-owned small businesses competing for Veterans Administration contracts. We represented digital commerce leader Demandware in its $2.8 billion acquisition by Salesforce, the successful sale representing the culmination of a client relationship that began with Demandware's incorporation a decade ago and has involved every stage of the corporate life cycle.

These are just a handful of examples of the challenging and engaging work we handled during a busy year in which we continued to uphold our long tradition of pro bono and community service, securing life-changing outcomes for our clients, including a Fifth Circuit civil rights victory striking down Texas's highly restrictive voter photo identification law and three pro bono victories at the US Supreme Court.

The arrival of a stellar group of senior laterals from government and private practice bolstered our investigations, securities litigation and enforcement, strategic response, cybersecurity, financial institutions and capital markets capabilities. And we were honored that a wide slate of our practices, as well as the firm as a whole, received top professional and industry honors during the year, including a place in The American Lawyer's A-List top ten.

2016 was a year in which we implemented a range of leading-edge technology tools to enhance budgetary discipline and provide clients with greater insight into the economic progress of their matters. We now offer custom budget templates that help define the economic scope of an engagement from the outset, real time tracking and reporting, and a secure collaborative platform that enables us to share information—from substantive legal content to budget updates—seamlessly with our clients. Each of these matter management innovations demonstrates our commitment to enhancing cost-effectiveness and delivering value along with the exceptional legal services for which the firm is known.

As always, it was an honor to work with you over the last twelve months. We look forward to another great year in 2017. 

Susan W. Murley
Co-Managing Partner

Robert T. Novick
Co-Managing Partner