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Chambers USA Awards 2023

About this webinar

We are delighted to present the Chambers USA Awards 2023. The awards recognise a law firm’s preeminence in key jurisdictions in the region. They also reflect achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.

Event Details:
Event date
Thursday, 15 June 2023
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
BST
Event location
Online
Photograph of James Haggerty Head of USA Research | Chambers and Partners
James Haggerty, Head of USA Research
Zahra Damji, Research Manager
Alek Tomasevic, Research Manager
Matthew Court, Principal Research Specialist
Evie Bispham author
Evie Bispham Staite, Research Manager
Kypriana Savva | Chambers USA Principal Research Specialist
Kypriana Savva, Principal Research Specialist
Eleanor Dobson author
Eleanor Dobson, Principal Research Specialist
Shane Boothbly standing in front of grey wall | Chambers USA
Shane Boothby, Principal Research Specialist
Chambers USA Awards 2023 - Shortlist and Winners

Lifetime Achievement
Keith Martin

The "legendary" Keith Martin has recently celebrated his 40th year at Norton Rose Fulbright. Over his impressive career, Keith has represented key players in the renewable energy industry since before its emergence as the significant sector we know today. He is described as "an off-the-charts renewable energy tax lawyer." Keith has maintained an exceptional market reputation in the renewable energy tax equity financing space and has been recognized as a Star Individual in the USA Guide since 2010. The only Star Individual in our prestigious Projects listings.  

He has always been on top of the latest trends in the sector and is a prolific speaker and writer on the industry's pressing issues, most recently the Inflation Reduction Act. One source aptly says: "The market relies on him for where the winds are blowing at any given time."  

Outstanding Contribution Winner
Debra Wong Yang 

Debra Wong Yang is the epitome of an elite white-collar practitioner and a go-to thought leader in the industry. Drawing on her former experience as US Attorney, Debra successfully masters complex investigations and litigation. This year alone saw her obtain dismissal in the high-profile case of Dr. Sepehr. She continues to inspire with her perfect mix of intellect, talent and commitment to clients. Debra receives a huge amount of positive feedback from all corners of the market and is regularly described to Chambers as “obviously the best.”  

Antitrust Law Firm of the Year
Arnold & Porter 
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP 
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 
Latham & Watkins LLP  
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates 

Winner: Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins has had an incredible year and earns acclaim for its outstanding victory in the US Sugar case. Such success is a testament to its deep bench of talent who consistently deliver quality for clients facing complex litigious and transactional mandates in the antitrust space. Market commentators note that the firm is a “preeminent player” and is “excellent in antitrust.” 

Banking Law Firm of the Year
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP  
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 
Kirkland & Ellis 
Latham & Watkins LLP 
Paul Hastings LLP 

Winner: Davis Polk LLP

The team is renowned in the market for its incredibly strong bench and ability to handle high profile and complex matters. The group has been involved in a number of notable deals this year, including Vista Equity Partners and Elliott Investment Management’s acquisition of Citrix, as well as the financing for Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Davis Polk’s practitioners receive high praise, with commentators noting "Davis Polk & Wardwell is the representation of choice to handle complex structures or unique situations, especially if multiple jurisdictions are involved." 

Bankruptcy Law Firm of the Year
Akin 
Kirkland & Ellis 
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Sidley Austin LLP 
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 

Winner: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has long practiced at the top echelon of bankruptcy law in the United States. Its track record acting in some of the market’s most sophisticated Chapter 11 filings has continued this past year with roles advising on the respective proceedings of Revlon, Mallinckrodt, Talen Energy and Intelsat. The firm is home to a broad team of dedicated specialists who are able to advise on the full suite of issues in the space. For restructuring, one client simply says: “Paul Weiss is always my first phone call.”

Corporate M&A Law Firm of the Year
Cooley LLP 
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP 
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates
Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz 

Winner: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates

The stellar corporate team at Skadden is the first port of call to a great many household name clients for advice on transformational, multijurisdictional deals. The breadth of expertise across the firm makes it a premier option in transactions across innumerable industries. Examples of recent work include its role advising Activision Blizzard in its $75 billion acquisition by Microsoft, as well its representation of Xilinx in its $49 billion acquisition by Advanced Micro Devices. Our researchers were told a great deal about the firm’s top-flight client service, with one saying: "Skadden takes the work out of your hands as a general counsel. They're really proactive, extremely innovative and, because of the volume of transactions they're doing, they know what is market." 

Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the Year
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 
Kirkland & Ellis 
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP 
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP 
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates 

Winner: Kirkland & Ellis 

Kirkland & Ellis wins the Commercial Litigation award following another year of substantial success in a raft of cases on behalf of global corporates, major product manufacturers and private equity firms. Its deep bench of accomplished litigators makes it a prime choice for complex disputes across a wide range of areas including intellectual property, securities and bankruptcy as well as its continued central role in major multidistrict litigation in the products space on behalf of 3M, Syngenta and others. Sources continue to praise the firm’s national reach, its strong track record of advocacy and its capacity to handle complex disputes including one noting: ‘they are a go-to firm for my most complex, difficult litigation. Based on their size and geographic footprint, I can find a subject matter expert in any area.’ 

Criminal Litigation Law Firm of the Year
Covington & Burling LLP 
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 
Kirkland & Ellis 
Latham & Watkins LLP 
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP 
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP 
Williams & Connolly LLP 

Winner: Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly is a preeminent white-collar practice in DC. The firm leverages its high calibre of talent to represent household corporates and high-profile individuals in complex trials and investigations. The team continues to earn its reputation as top in the market through a superb track record of success, evidenced this year by their successful lead on the Elizabeth Holmes saga. 

Energy & Projects Law Firm of the Year
Bracewell LLP 
Kirkland & Ellis 
Latham & Watkins LLP 
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 
Sidley Austin LLP 
Vinson & Elkins LLP 

Winner: Vinson & Elkins LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP is a powerhouse across the various energy sectors. From its deep roots in the oil and gas industry to more recent strength in renewable energy, the firm is truly a market leader. One impressed client says: "Vinson & Elkins is one of the best, if not the best, firm in the space for complex energy matters." It is one of the firms at the forefront of the energy transition movement, helping major companies with their reshuffle of project portfolios, as well as the development of new technology to support the industry with this shift to low and zero carbon sources. The firm receives high praise from its clients, one of whom says, "it is the most forward-thinking firm I've worked with." Another remarks: "V&E provide outstanding insight and depth of knowledge." 

Environment Law Firm of the Year
Baker Botts L.L.P. 
Bracewell LLP 
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP 
King & Spalding LLP 
Perkins Coie LLP

Winner: Perkins Coie LLP

Perkins Coie fields a universally well-regarded environment practice, which is described by clients as "among the very best in the business." With strength spanning from Washington, D.C. to Washington state, the firm offers vast national coverage as well as expertise across the full range of transactional, regulatory and litigious issues. "They seem to have an expert on every topic ready to provide guidance," appreciates one client, while another similarly notes: "What really stands out about Perkins Coie is how deep its bench of expertise is." The firm has a strong track record in appellate proceedings, with notable recent success in securing approvals for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, as well as large-scale infrastructure projects such as the California High-Speed Rail Project and the Searsville Watershed Restoration Project. 

Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP 
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton 
Kirkland & Ellis 
Morrison Foerster 
WilmerHale 

Winner: Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster's Intellectual Property group continues to go from strength to strength. Already a national powerhouse with significant depth from coast to coast, the firm's recent combination with elite IP boutique Durie Tangri has further added to an outstanding bench of leading practitioners. The group is routinely called upon by a laundry list of household name high-technology and life sciences clients for representation in their most cutting-edge IP disputes, with recent high-profile successes including a $775 million settlement secured on behalf of Chugai Pharmaceutical in a major patent dispute with Alexion. 

Labor & Employment Law Firm of the Year
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC 
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 
Perkins Coie LLP 
Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP 

Winner: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP remains a premier destination for labor and employment advice for employers of all sizes, and is summed up by one client as "the gold standard for US-based firms." It's evident that clients turn to "Morgan Lewis for the toughest, hardest and most significant matters."  

The firm's track record speaks for itself and spans every employment-related issue, from sizable M&A deals such as Take-Two Interactive's $13 billion acquisition of Zynga, to high-stakes litigation such as the defense of Franklin Templeton in a closely watched defamation and discrimination case arising out of a viral video of a former employee. The team continues to do especially ground breaking work in the labor relations space, including recently defending a fellow law firm in a novel case in which it was accused of unlawful coercion during witness questioning in a number of NLRB proceedings. Clients commend the firm's "excellent advice on a wide swathe of matters with subject matter experts in virtually every area of employment law."  

In recent years, the firm has been at the forefront of every significant issue, from advising employers on the enforcement of vaccine mandates to assisting them in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. "Morgan Lewis demonstrates a mastery of complex legal and factual information to navigate unchartered legal territory," reports one client. Another simply notes: "I continue to be amazed at the unique specialties that Morgan Lewis brings to bear." 

Privacy & Data Security Law Firm of the Year
BakerHostetler LLP 
Covington & Burling LLP 
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP 
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati 
ZwillGen PLLC 

Winner: Covington & Burling LLP

Covington’s team is held in high regard throughout the privacy market. The group receives continuous praise for its "breadth of knowledge and confidence", as well as for going "above and beyond" for clients. The firm’s practitioners routinely advise significant clients, including Meta, Microsoft and TikTok. Recently, the team represented the State of Qatar in litigation arising out of an alleged cyber-attack.  

Chambers D&I Awards: USA 2023 – Shortlist and Winners

Individual Awards (Private Practice) 
 
Diversity & Inclusion: Future Leader 
Ari Andrews - WilmerHale  
David Freeburg - DLA Piper 
Harmony Gbe - Hogan Lovells 
John H. Haney - Holland & Knight 
JT Schuweiler - Fox Rothschild LLP 
Lena Gonzalez - Bush Seyferth PLLC 
Lissette Duran - Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP  
Nicole Rivers - Mintz 
Samuel Light - Fried Frank 
Taimur Case - Fenwick & West 

Winner: 
JT Schuweiler - Fox Rothschild LLP 

JT Schuweiler is recognized for his outstanding work supporting diverse and underrepresented start-up founders through Lunar Startups, a non-profit organization. Through his work, JT has provided pro bono services that have had a significant ripple effect on revenue, fundraising and job creation for minority-owned businesses.  

Pro Bono: Lawyer of the Year 
Andrew DeVoogd - Mintz 
Chong S. Park - Ropes & Gray LLP 
Corrine Irish - Squire Patton Boggs 
Jennifer Selendy - Selendy Gay Elsberg 
Jeremy Burnette - Akerman LLP 
Kimberly Parker - WilmerHale 
Luke Liss - Wilson Sonsini 
Martin D. Pollack - Weil 
Sara Barli Herald - Bilzin Sumberg 
Wesley Powell - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP  

Highly Commended: Wesley Powell - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP  

Winner: Jennifer Selendy - Selendy Gay Elsberg

Jennifer Selendy is awarded for her pro bono work as cofounder of the 30 Birds Foundation, which coordinated the evacuation and safeguarding of 500 Afghan refugees. Jennifer led a network of experts to provide legal support, raise $4m in funds to cover the cost of visa sponsorship and organize the logistics of the evacuation.  

Diversity & Inclusion: Outstanding Contribution 
Adam Banks - Weil 
Anthony Pacheco - Vedder Price  
Cynthia Shoss - Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP  
Esther H. Lim - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP  
Grasford Smith - Akerman LLP  
Julie Fink - Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP  
Kim Walker - Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP  
Michael A. Brown - Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP  
Patricia Brown Holmes - Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP  
Paul Ayoub - Nutter 

Winner: Patricia Brown Holmes - Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP  

One of the firms founders, Patricia Brown Holmes has been instrumental in developing an inclusive culture and advancing diversity at Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP. Highlights include implementing a more equitable performance review process, creating the Path to Partnership program for diverse associates and ensuring diversity is considered in the staffing of all work through an intake form.   

Winner of Diversity & Inclusion: Lifetime Achievement - Deborah E. Barnard and Janis Boyarsky Schiff - Holland & Knight

20 years ago, Deborah E. Barnard and Janis Boyarsky Schiff launched the Rising Stars program at Holland & Knight to provide a pathway to partnership and leadership roles for junior women associates. Over the years, their dedication has seen all graduates of the program that applied for partnership achieving that position, with 37% of graduates making Equity Partner. For this career-long work to advance diversity, Chambers is delighted to award them both the Lifetime Achievement award. 

Firm Awards (Private Practice) 

Pro Bono: Outstanding Firm 
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP 
Fenwick & West 
Holland & Knight 
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP  
Kostelanetz LLP 
McGuireWoods LLP 
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP 
Selendy Gay Elsberg 
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP 
WilmerHale 

Winner: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP 

The pro bono program at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP covers a range of issues, staffed by a large contingent of their attorneys dedicating countless hours. Highlights from 2022 include efforts to protect democracy and reproductive rights and to hold gun manufacturers financially accountable for gun violence.

Environment & Sustainability: Outstanding Firm 
McGuireWoods LLP 
Nixon Peabody LLP 
Shearman & Sterling LLP 
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP 
WR Immigration 

Winner: Nixon Peabody LLP

Nixon Peabody are recognized for renewed dedication to sustainability, taking a holistic approach that includes pro bono, philanthropy, internal initiatives, community efforts and client work. In the last year they pledged the highest amount to the Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy initiative, created reporting standards for ESG and continued their community solar project, originally launched by two equity partners. 

Diversity and Inclusion: Outstanding Firm 
Baker McKenzie 
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney  
Dechert LLP 
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP 
Greenspoon Marder LLP 
Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP 
Morrison Foerster 
Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP  
Ropes & Gray LLP  
Weil 

Winner: Morrison Foerster

With a comprehensive, holistic DEI strategy covering a range of issues, Morrison Foerster are rewarded for their success advancing underrepresented attorneys. This progress accelerated in the last 12 months with their current Board of Directors currently comprising 67% diverse attorneys and 57% women. They also made significant advances in disability inclusion, including a key role in a new Disability Inclusion Advisory Group.  

Individual Awards (In-House) 

Diversity & Inclusion: Outstanding Contribution 
Ann Miller - NIKE  
Claire W. Desmond - Under Armour 
Eric Greenberg - CMG Media Corporation d/b/a Cox Media Group (CMG) 
Kamla Alexander - Dentsu International 
Lisa LeCointe-Cephas - Merck & Co., Inc. 
Luciana (Lucy) Fato - American International Group, Inc. 
Micheal Binns - Meta Platforms, Inc. 
Michelle Jackson - Human Services Council 
Tony West - Uber Technologies, Inc. 
Trâm Phi - Databricks, Inc. 

Winner: Micheal Binns - Meta Platforms, Inc.

Micheal Binns is awarded for his contribution to DEI across a range of initiatives. Highlights include co-Chairing the Black@Legal affinity group at Meta, founding ADAPT (Advancing Diversity Across Patent Teams), a DEI collective addressing systemic inequality in the patent industry, and providing training and support for underrepresented minorities through the Patent Pipeline Program.  

Company Awards (In-House) 

Diversity and Inclusion: Company of the Year 
AbbVie 
Alteryx, Inc. 
CBRE 
Cox Media Group 
Meta Platforms, Inc. 
Sempra 
Uber US 
UBS AG 
U.S. Bancorp 
Verily Life Sciences 

Highly Commended: Sempra 

Winner: Alteryx, Inc. 

Since launching their DEI program in 2021, Alteryx have made huge strides. They published guidelines for outside counsel to ensure diverse attorneys staff their work in August 2022, with comprehensive data tracking to measure pgoress, set ambitious targets on recruitment and promotion, and drive change through company’s Employee Resource Groups.  

Sponsors
Buchanan Ingersoll
Cravath
Morrison Foerster
RSHC
Selendy Gay
US Bank
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Thursday, 15 Jun 2023 • 05:00 pm BST
Chambers USA Awards 2023