This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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Paul Hastings has a strong focus on innovation. By anticipating the evolving needs of clients and adapting its services to address them, the firm attracts some of the world’s largest and highest-profile clients, and is able to work on cutting-edge matters.
|Competition||1||Labour and Employment||9|
|Environment||3||Sports & Entertainment||2|
|Franchise||2||Trade & Customs||1|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||2|
Examples of the firm’s recent innovative work includes representing China’s largest pork producer, Shuanghui International Holdings in a $7.1 billion deal to acquire the largest US publicly traded pork processor and hog producer, Smithfield Foods. The transaction represents the largest acquisition ever of a US company by a Chinese firm. The firm also helped American Airlines negotiate with the unsecured creditors committee, the president and other leadership of US Airways and labour leaders from unions at the two companies to achieve an unprecedented memorandum of understanding pre-merger.
|Total Listings in WWL||36||Established||1951|
|Home jurisdiction||US||Total size of firm||900|
|Number of partners||284||Number of offices||20|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Paul Hastings boasts a “superb” labour and employment practice. Its recent successes include winning a critical victory for GlaxoSmithKline and the entire pharmaceutical industry in a legal battle that went to the US Supreme Court in Christopher v SmithKline Beecham Corporate, d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline. The plaintiffs challenged the exempt status of GSK’s workforce of several thousand current and former pharmaceutical sales representatives in a putative nationwide collective action. Paul Hastings prevailed before the ninth circuit court of appeals and before the Supreme Court. Nancy Abell is the global chair of the firm’s employment law department. She is a “sensational” trial lawyer representing employers in discrimination, wage and hour class actions, unfair labour practice charges, labour negotiations, and disability access cases among others. Paul Grossman represents major private employers in all areas of employment law including sexual harassment, whistle-blower cases, class action and wrongful discharge. Barbara Brown specialises in contentious matters including discrimination cases, and defending sexual harassment and whistle-blower retaliation suits. She also advises on compliance diagnostics and diversity programmes. Geoff Weirich defends employers in employment claims with a particular emphasis on class actions. He is a “great strategist” and “very responsive”. Paul Cane Jr focuses his practice on major motions and appeals. He recently won a unanimous decision in the US Supreme Court for Sprint Nextel Corporation.
The real estate practice brings together 150 lawyers who work exclusively in the field. The firm’s capabilities include acquisitions and dispositions, development, property management, fund formation, equity investments and joint ventures, workouts, REITs and real estate restructuring. Martin Edelman in New York is a longstanding member of the real estate bar who has significant experience in complex transactions and has worked on deals in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the Middle East, Latin America and the US. Robert Wertheimer focuses on commercial real estate purchase and sale transactions, joint ventures, development and finance matters. He represents entrepreneurial investors, prominent real estate individuals and families as well as institutional and investment fund clients.
In the burgeoning field of internal investigations, Paul Hastings has established itself as a “go-to” firm. Timothy Dickinson has over 30 years’ experience in the field of anti-corruption law and assists clients with the establishment and implementation of compliance programmes, special investigations and defence before regulators in the US and abroad. Kirby Behre is a former federal prosecutor and accomplished trial lawyer. His experience includes convincing the US Department of Justice that its investigation of global freight forwarder UTi Worldwide for alleged cartel activities, involving more than a dozen freight forwarders, should be closed. Bruno Cova is co-chair of the Milan office and is noted for his “sophisticated handling” of internal investigations. Corinne Lammers has conducted internal investigations regarding alleged violations of law or corporate policy, and has worked alongside independent accounting firms in reviewing clients’ systems of internal controls and internal audit for purposes of anti-corruption compliance.
In 2012, 98 per cent of its US lawyers contributed 20 or more hours to pro bono matters. This level of dedication has seen the firm awarded several awards including the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s 2013 Beacon of Justice award for providing significant pro bono representation to secure the mandate of Gideon v Wainwright, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that state courts are required under the 14th amendment to provide counsel in criminal cases to defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys.
Paul Hastings believes that its lawyers’ broad range of experiences and perspectives enables it to meet the challenges of today’s global clients. As such, the firm aims to recruit the best talent and works with student organisations to achieve its diversity goals. A further key element is promoting the advancement of women in business. Women comprise nearly 30 per cent of firm management positions and 40 per cent of the firm’s department chairs globally.
Paul Hastings was one of the first US law firms to establish a presence in Asia and most recently opened an office in Seoul to service its Korea-based clients on the ground. Expanding its global footprint in important markets is a key strategy of the firm and the firm hopes to continue working on groundbreaking matters in the years to come.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.