A Leader in Every Sense
Gibson Dunn is a full-service international law firm that advises on some of the most complex and significant matters around the world. Consistently achieving top rankings in industry surveys and major publications, we are distinctively positioned in today’s global marketplace with more than 1,250 lawyers and 20 offices. Our locations are in major cities throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Law360 named Gibson Dunn to its 2016 Global 20, a list featuring “the 20 law firms that have the biggest global presence and handled the largest, most groundbreaking international and cross-border matters over the past year.” The Lawyer named Gibson Dunn the 2016 winner in the International Law Firm of the Year category at its annual awards.
We are known for excellence in the practice of law and are committed to providing the very highest level of legal services. We hire the best and the brightest and provide the mentoring and opportunities our associates need to succeed. We offer customized teams of lawyers and unparalleled, innovative thinking for clients with the most challenging needs. We aspire to handle all matters as partners with, and not merely as service providers to, our clients.
We represent the majority of the Fortune 100 and more than half of the Fortune 500 companies. Our clients, found in all major industries, range from some of the world’s largest multinationals to start-up ventures and emerging growth companies. We additionally represent private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds, commercial and investment banks, other financial institutions, government entities, partnerships and individuals.
Ours is a collegial workplace based on teamwork, mutual respect, and a balance of ideas across the political spectrum. These and our other core values of quality and integrity combine to sustain our success in providing superlative representation. In recognition of our achievements The American Lawyer named Gibson Dunn to its 2016 A-List, its most prestigious survey, an annual listing of “20 firms that excel in four vital areas: financial success, pro bono commitment, diversity and associate satisfaction.” This was Gibson Dunn’s 11th consecutive year on the A-List.
Gibson Dunn continues to be one of the most stable law firms. We have posted 20 consecutive years of increasing profitability, and since 2010 have exceeded $1 billion in annual gross revenue each year. We owe our stability to prudent fiscal management and a diverse range of practices, clients, industries and geographies. We are proud of our institutionalized client relationships.
A Disputes Resolution Powerhouse
We are renowned for our litigation, international arbitration and appellate practices. Our global practice includes as well the complete range of regulatory and internal investigations and related proceedings and matters. The American Lawyer named Gibson Dunn its 2016 Litigation Department of the Year, our unprecedented third win in this biennial competition since 2010. This followed our also-unprecedented back-to-back wins as 2010 and 2012 Litigation Department of the Year, and 2014 Finalist honors.
In its 2016 Litigation Department of the Year competition The American Lawyer also named our firm the winner in the White Collar/Regulatory category, and called our appellate work in these areas “exceptional” and “involving areas where there was little law on the books.”
Benchmark Litigation recognized Gibson Dunn as both the Appellate Firm of the Year and the White Collar/Enforcement/Investigations Firm of the Year at its 2017 U.S. Awards dinner. Law360 named Gibson Dunn a 2016 Practice Group of the Year in the Trials and Appellate categories.
Our appellate lawyers are superb, and we have an exceptionally strong and high-profile presence and record of success before the U.S. Supreme Court. Chambers USA 2017 ranked Gibson Dunn in Tier 1 for Appellate Law, and The US Legal 500 2017 awarded the firm first-tier rankings in the Dispute Resolution categories of Appellate – Supreme Court (federal and state) and Appellate – Courts of Appeals (federal and state). The National Law Journal named us to its 2016 Appellate Hot List, which recognized 20 firms that “delivered – winning big in federal and state appeals courts across the country” and “represented some of the most well-known companies in the land.”
Our representations and wins span the courts and the issues in leading-edge and precedent-setting matters.
We secured a major U.S. Supreme Court victory for BNSF Railway Company in its fight against frequent forum shopping in Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) litigation. Two former BNSF employees who alleged they were injured on the job sued in Montana state court, known for its liberal construction of FELA (the basis of their claims) rather than in the actual states where they were injured. On appeal before the Montana Supreme Court, BNSF argued that it was not subject to general jurisdiction in Montana under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 Daimler v. Bauman decision, also a key Gibson Dunn jurisdictional win. That court disagreed but the U.S. Supreme Court agreed. In BNSF Railway Co. v. Tyrrell, the Court held that FELA does not confer personal jurisdiction on state courts, and that the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause prevents out-of-state defendants from being sued in state courts unless those defendants are “at home” in the forum under the Daimler standard.
For Hewlett-Packard we won a unanimous jury verdict after a five-week trial in the California Superior Court, awarding HP more than $3 billion against Oracle Corporation – one of the largest single-plaintiff jury verdicts in U.S. history. This was the culmination of five years of litigation – and Gibson Dunn’s second trial victory for HP – following Oracle’s 2011 decision to cease offering new versions of its software products to customers running HP’s high-end Itanium servers.
On behalf of Depomed Inc. we obtained a critical bench trial victory against three generic companies when the District of New Jersey found that all three of Depomed’s patents concerning the opioid painkiller drug NUCYNTA® were valid and enforceable, that all three defendants infringed the two primary patents and that one defendant infringed the third. The court then enjoined the defendants from any sales of generic versions of the drug until the respective patents expire. As a result, there will be no competition for the NUCYNTA® brand products until at least December 2025, translating into billions of dollars of added revenue for the company. Chambers and Partners named Gibson Dunn the winner in the Intellectual Property category at its 2017 USA Excellence Awards.
We secured a U.S. Supreme Court victory for BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC when the Court affirmed the First Circuit in holding that the federal Bankruptcy Code preempts the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act, a statute that purported to create a binding bankruptcy-like debt-restructuring regime for Puerto Rico’s highly indebted public entities, including electric utility PREPA. Gibson Dunn filed the closely watched suit on behalf of PREPA bondholder BlueMountain shortly after the Commonwealth’s legislature enacted the law in 2014.
We resolved groundbreaking, multibillion-dollar litigation by NML Capital, Ltd. against the Republic of Argentina when Argentina paid NML more than $2.4 billion to satisfy NML’s claims on the country’s defaulted bonds. This settlement marked the conclusion of what the Financial Times called the “sovereign debt trial of the century” and ended 13 years of litigation following Argentina’s default in 2001 on more than $80 billion in external debt. While most of Argentina’s creditors accepted new exchange bonds, worth much less, NML chose to fight – and the tide turned with two decisive U.S. Supreme Court victories won for NML by Gibson Dunn. The Republic’s new president ultimately initiated negotiations with creditors and the settlement agreement was reached. The American Lawyer named the litigation settlement the 2016 Global Dispute of the Year: Grand Prize winner at its 2016 Global Legal Awards, recognizing Gibson Dunn for its representation of NML.
For more than 1,300 victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorist attacks, we achieved a major victory in Bank Markazi v. Peterson when the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 complies with the separation of powers. Plaintiffs had been awarded billions of dollars in judgments against Iran and sought to satisfy those judgments by executing on almost $2 billion in which Bank Markazi, Iran’s central bank, had a beneficial interest. The district court ruled that the Act, which set forth the standard for executing on the assets at issue in this particular case, permitted the plaintiffs to satisfy their judgments on the assets in question. The Second Circuit affirmed and plaintiffs turned to Gibson Dunn when Bank Markazi sought Supreme Court review.
For MetLife, Inc. we achieved a precedent-setting outcome when the District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that MetLife’s designation as a non-bank “systemically important financial institution” (SIFI) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) was arbitrary and capricious and must be rescinded. This was the first legal challenge to a designation by FSOC, which was established by the U.S. Congress in the Dodd-Frank Act to identify and designate as SIFIs financial companies that are “too big to fail” – and thus whose material financial distress could cause instability in the U.S. economy.
We are representing Uber Technologies, Inc. and its subsidiaries in connection with a series of closely watched class and putative class actions in which drivers who use the Uber software application allege that Uber has misclassified them as independent contractors, and on issues including the enforceability of the arbitration agreement between Uber and drivers.
Landmark cases have included securing the historic 2013 Supreme Court Hollingsworth v. Perry marriage equality decision, whichleft intact the district court’s broad injunction against the enforcement of California’s Proposition 8, an amendment to the California Constitution restricting marriage in the state to between one man and one woman. The next year we won again when the Fourth Circuit, in Bostic v. Schaefer, affirmed summary judgment from the Eastern District of Virginia striking down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of review allowed this ruling to take effect in Virginia and same-sex marriages to begin.
Comprehensive Transactional Excellence
Gibson Dunn is acclaimed for its multi-faceted corporate work and plays a major role in a wide variety of U.S. and global matters. Recognitions include rankings among The Elite for Corporate/M&A nationwide and in New York by Chambers USA 2017. Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2017recognized Gibson Dunn and its lawyers globally and in the Europe, Latin America and Middle East regions, with additional recognitions in Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. The 2017 edition of IFLR1000, a guide to the world’s leading financial law firms, recognized Gibson Dunn in multiple U.S. categories and regionally in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Western Europe.
Notable recent representations include the following.
Gibson Dunn represented Verizon Communications Inc. as special intellectual property and technology counsel in its recently completed $4.8 billion acquisition of the operating business of Yahoo! Inc. Verizon combined these assets with its existing AOL business to create a new subsidiary, Oath, a diverse house of more than 50 media and technology brands that engages more than a billion people around the world.
We advised St. Jude Medical, Inc., an industry-leading medical device manufacturer with worldwide operations and diverse portfolios of disease-management solutions, in its $30.7 billion purchase by Abbott, a global health care company.
Gibson Dunn served as antitrust counsel to professional networking site LinkedIn Corporation, securing global antitrust clearance for its $26.2 billion acquisition by Microsoft Corporation. The deal was one of the largest acquisitions worldwide in 2016.
We represented professional services group Towers Watson in its $18 billion merger of equals with Willis Group Holdings, a global risk advisory, reinsurance broking and human capital and benefits firm. Willis Towers Watson, the combined company, is based in Ireland with approximately 39,000 employees in more than 120 countries. International Tax Review named the merger its European M&A Tax Deal of the Year at its 2016 awards dinner.
We advised Marriott International, Inc. in its industry-transforming, $13.6 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., a global high-end hotel company. The transaction created the world’s largest hotel company, which will operate or franchise more than 5,700 properties and 1.1 million rooms, representing 30 leading brands in over 110 countries.
We represented Colorado-based Vail Resorts, Inc., the world’s premier mountain resort company, in its $1 billion acquisition of the Whistler Blackcomb four-season resort in British Columbia. The iconic ski area, the largest in Canada, hosted events for the 2010 Winter Olympic games.
We were counsel to The Ryland Group, Inc. in its transformational $5.4 billion merger of equals with Standard Pacific Corporation. This combination of two of the premier U.S. homebuilders created the fourth largest homebuilding company in the United States that, upon closing of the deal, had an enterprise value of approximately $8.4 billion.
Our Beijing office represented an investment consortium of Hua Capital Management Co., Ltd., CITIC Capital Holdings Limited and Goldstone Investment Co., Ltd., in the $1.9 billion purchase of California-based OmniVision Technologies, a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions. China Business Law Journal named the acquisition as one of its Deals of the Year 2016.
In the financing arena our Hong Kong office represented AP Renewables Inc. in the issuance of the first climate bond in Asia and the Pacific, valued at $225 million. The bonds were certified by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) under the Climate Bond Standards for the Tiwi-MakBan geothermal power project in the Philippines, with credit enhancement from the Asian Development Bank (supported by Credit Guarantee Investment Facility). This landmark transaction was also the first climate bond for a single project in an emerging market, the first project bond issued in local currency in the Philippine power sector, and the first credit-enhanced project bond in Southeast Asia (other than Malaysia) since the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. This deal has been named 2016 Asia-Pacific Bond Deal of the Year by Project Finance International, 2016 Asia Pacific Project Bond Deal of the Year by IJGlobal, 2016 Debt Market Deal of the Year by Asian Legal Business, at its 2016 Philippines Law Awards, and 2016 Deal of the Year by Asia Business Law Journal.
A Vibrant Real Estate Practice
Gibson Dunn’s real estate lawyers handle some of the most sophisticated matters worldwide. The breadth of work covered for a wide array of clients includes acquisitions and sales; joint ventures; financing; land use and development; and construction. Gibson Dunn also has one of the leading hotel and hospitality practices globally. Law360 has named the firm a Real Estate Practice Group of the Year for 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. In awarding the honor for 2016, the publication noted that our real estate work “included counseling clients through financings and other deals connected to transformative development projects on both sides of the country.” Commercial Property Executive ranked us 5th on its 2016 Leading Real Estate Law Firms list, noting that Gibson Dunn “participated in the largest volume of deal flow among respondents.” Chambers and Partners named Gibson Dunn Real Estate Team of the Year at its 2015 Chambers USA Awards dinner, awards that recognize law firms’ “preeminence,” and Who’s Who Legal named us a Top Five firm in Construction & Real Estate in the Who’s Who Legal 100 2015.
Our group advised Next Century Partners LLC on $1 billion in financing for the development of the Century Plaza mixed-use project in Los Angeles, anticipated to be a $2.5 billion project that is planned to include two residential towers with approximately 290 residences, restaurants and retail shops, and the renovated Century Plaza Hotel. The package combined a senior loan, mezzanine financing, and EB-5 capital.
We represented Wells Fargo Bank, as leader of a lenders’ consortium, in providing $1.5 billion in financing for the construction of One Vanderbilt Avenue, a planned 1,401-foot office tower near Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.
The team guided RXR Realty LLC in its $1.65 billion acquisition of the UBS Building, also in midtown Manhattan at 1285 Avenue of the Americas. The transaction, one of 2016’s largest and most high-profile in New York City, included a multi-tier joint venture structure with both local and foreign investors, $1.2 billion of acquisition financing, and modification and extension of the leases of the building’s largest tenants, UBS and the law firm Paul Weiss.
We represented a joint venture of The Related Companies and Oxford Properties in closing on a multibillion-dollar equity and debt financing for the new flagship office building they are developing at Hudson Yards, a 28-acre project on Manhattan’s West Side. To be built on a platform over a working commuter rail yard, Hudson Yards is set to include office buildings, a one-million-square-foot retail mall, hotel and cultural facilities and residential buildings. In December 2015, Time Warner, KKR, and Wells Fargo closed on deals to relocate to the new two-million-square-foot office tower, and Related and Oxford simultaneously closed on the construction financing for the tower. Gibson Dunn also handled the closing on construction loans for 15 Hudson Yards, an approximately 740,000-square-foot luxury residential condominium project with an affordable housing component.
In the development arena, Gibson Dunn serves as lead counsel for the Kroenke Group in its plan to develop 298 acres in Inglewood, California, including a much-anticipated multibillion-dollar NFL stadium, a 6,000-seat performance venue, and a mixed-use development of more than four million square feet of hotel, office, retail and residential space. Our team accomplished the formation of the venture and entitlement of the property in record time, and then the Kroenke Group, owner of the St. Louis Rams football franchise, secured NFL approval for the Rams to move to Inglewood, returning to the Los Angeles area after 20 years.
We are also serving as lead counsel to NBA champion basketball team the Golden State Warriors in connection with the development of a new mixed-use office, retail and event center project in the Mission Bay area of San Francisco. The event center will serve as the Warriors’ new home basketball court. Gibson Dunn’s land use team successfully entitled the project, assisted in obtaining a certification for it by the Governor of California designating the project an Environmental Leadership Project, and successfully defended the entitlements in court under expedited judicial review.
Real Estate Finance & Investment named Gibson Dunn the 2017 Law Firm of the Year for Innovation, for the firm’s work on the Golden State Warriors’ new arena and the NFL stadium in Inglewood, California. The REFI awards are given to “recognize and reward those real estate finance professionals that have demonstrated exceptional performance and innovation over the past 12 months.”
We advised Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. in its $3.5 billion acquisition of a Northern California portfolio of 26 high-quality office assets and two development parcels from Blackstone Real Estate Partners V and VI. The transaction made Hudson Pacific the largest publicly traded office owner in Silicon Valley, with a combined portfolio totaling 53 properties or 17.3 million square feet across Northern and Southern California and the Pacific Northwest.
In a transaction valued at over $3 billion, we represented Lion Gables Apartment Fund L.P. in connection with its sale of Lion Gables Residential Trust, a privately held real estate investment trust that owns, manages and develops multi-family residential properties.
Gibson Dunn takes the professional development of its attorneys seriously. We provide comprehensive orientation, mentoring and training to ensure they receive the skills and support needed to excel in a fast-paced law practice environment.
Shortly after their arrival, new lawyers attend our annual New Lawyer Academy, a three-day intensive training and orientation program focused on firm philosophies, policies, management and resources. We do not require associates to commit to a practice area for the first two years they are with us, allowing them to gain real-world experience in several practice areas before deciding upon their chosen career path. Our attorneys also receive personalized mentoring designed to ensure that each is developing a proper career track and gaining the right type of experience.
Our firmwide Professional Development Department manages all of the mentoring, training and professional development activities around our system. We have also developed a Midlevel Associate Academy that focuses on the skills, including marketing and business development, that are most critical to associates as they progress in their careers and move toward consideration for partnership.
We recognize that we will deliver the highest quality legal services by fostering a culturally fluent, inclusive and open environment that welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds and with different perspectives. Enhancing our diversity is one of management’s top priorities. In addition to the continued stewardship of our managing partner, the firm has a Management Committee member who directly oversees the global diversity efforts alongside our Chief Diversity Officer. Our Global Diversity Committee guides the firm’s global diversity strategies and ensures that there is continued progress in this area. Local diversity committees in every U.S. location develop diversity programs that fit the unique needs of each office. We actively encourage all associates to participate on these local committees.
We are also committed to joining the legal community in efforts to improve diversity in the profession and advance our diverse communities. Our lawyers participate in a wide range of matters that benefit diverse communities, and we annually donate thousands of attorney hours and dollars to diversity organizations and causes around the world.
Gibson Dunn has a long tradition of service to the community and provides much-needed pro bono legal services on a wide variety of matters. We signed the Pro Bono Challenge in 2005, committing to use our best efforts to dedicate at least 60 hours per lawyer to pro bono matters annually. Every year since then we have exceeded that target. In 2016 we averaged approximately 131 pro bono hours per attorney worldwide, with 18 of our offices participating in a pro bono project.
The firm annually honors an individual lawyer and a team by awarding its own Frank Wheat Memorial Award. The recipients receive a $2,500 prize that is donated to the pro bono organization or organizations they designate.
The 2016 team won a Colorado Supreme Court victory for Open Door Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit that seeks to provide hope and practical help to people in urban Denver who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless. A loss would have meant more than a dozen men likely forced back onto the street or into a shelter, depriving them of stable housing when they were particularly in need of support. Open Door had secured a permit from the City of Denver for a property to operate a boarding home for men in need, and then, relying on the permit, purchased the property. But a neighbor challenged the permit’s validity, hoping to force Open Door to operate its ministry elsewhere. Open Door intervened and asserted claims against the City and County of Denver to allow it to continue operating the property under the permit’s terms. Just months before trial on those claims – and after the trial court had decided that the City and County inappropriately issued the permit – Open Door came to Gibson Dunn. The litigation team secured summary judgment on Open Door’s claims from the trial court, which, despite its earlier ruling, enjoined the City and County from revoking the permit. The neighbor appealed, argued for the first time that the courts did not have jurisdiction to hear Open Door’s claims, and the Colorado Court of Appeals agreed. Then the team persuaded the Colorado Supreme Court to grant review and, in a unanimous ruling, the Court reversed.
Our individual 2016 winner was honored for his efforts in developing an informal pro bono appellate program with the Seventh Circuit, where he clerked and witnessed firsthand the importance of high-quality appellate advocacy as well as the need for skilled advocates to accept pro bono appointments in service of both the courts and those litigants who otherwise could not afford representation. On his return to the firm following his clerkship, he began accepting pro bono appellate appointments through the Circuit. He devoted hundreds of hours to litigating these cases, developed a pipeline for other Gibson Dunn associates to do the same, and played an invaluable role in cultivating the firm’s relationship with the Circuit. Overall, the Seventh Circuit Pro Bono Program has secured a series of favorable opinions for our pro bono clients, a five-figure settlement for one of them, and several important statements on constitutional rights, including the right to self-representation and the protection against excessive forfeiture penalties.
We are gratified that our pro bono achievements have been recognized outside the firm. Law360 recognized Gibson Dunn as one of its Pro Bono Firms of 2016, featuring 20 law firms that “demonstrated their steadfast interest in the public interest” and took on “some of the most consequential legal topics of our time without pay.” This was our fifth consecutive year on the list. Law360 also named Gibson Dunn to its 2015 list of Pro Bono All Stars, featuring 17 law firms that had “demonstrated exceptionally stalwart commitment to pro bono work year after year.”
The Legal Aid Society presented its Pro Bono Publico Award 2016 to the firm for outstanding service to the Society and its clients. Asian Legal Business named Gibson Dunn to its 2016 CSR List, which recognizes the corporate social responsibility initiatives of 25 law firms in Asia “that clearly have their hearts in the right place when it comes to giving back to their communities.” Kids in Need of Defense presented its Allegiance Award 2016 to the firm in recognition of Gibson Dunn’s impressive commitment to pro bono work and long-standing relationship with the organization. And the Animal Legal Defense Fund presented us with its Advancement in Animal Law Pro Bono Achievement Award 2016, recognizing the firm’s outstanding dedication of pro bono hours to help the Fund achieve its mission of protecting the lives, and advancing the interests, of animals through the legal system.
For more information about hiring and associate life, please see the Careers portion of our website. For additional information about Gibson Dunn, please visit our website at www.gibsondunn.com.