A Leader in Every Sense
Gibson Dunn is a full-service international law firm that advises on some of the most significant transactions and complex litigation 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 1,200 lawyers and 18 offices. Evenly split between U.S. and non-U.S., our locations are in major cities throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America.
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 has named Gibson Dunn to its A-List for the past nine years, ranking us third in 2014. The A-List features 20 law firms considered the “most well-rounded of their Am Law 100 peers … they not only delivered strong financial performance but also sustained a top-notch firm culture. In short, the total package.” Firms are ranked based on four factors: revenue per lawyer, pro bono commitment, diversity among lawyers and associate satisfaction.
Gibson Dunn continues to be one of the most stable law firms. We have posted 17 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.
However, our culture has played an equally large role in the way we weather economic downturns. We had no associate layoffs in the “Great Recession” and have continued to run full summer programs, welcoming 131 in the 2014 summer class. The firm also continues to grow through the addition of lateral partners, with 16 joining in 2013.
A Litigation Powerhouse
We are renowned for our litigation practice, and in 2014 received Litigation Department of the Year Finalist honors from The American Lawyer, an award that followed our unprecedented back-to-back wins as the 2010 and 2012 Litigation Department of the Year. In making the 2014 award the publication noted our “cascade of litigation triumphs” and our wins of “seemingly unwinnable defense verdicts.” The magazine further commented: “Not content with just winning a case, Gibson Dunn likes to annihilate its opponents – and change the law along the way.” When naming us the 2010 Litigation Department of the Year, the publication dubbed our litigators “The Game Changers.” In awarding us the same honor in 2012, The American Lawyer, noting that the back-to-back victories were “a first for our magazine’s decade-old competition,” declared that Gibson Dunn possesses “The Complete Game.”
In granting the 2012 award the publication also took particular note of our “revered Supreme Court practice” and “superb” appellate lawyers. Gibson Dunn has an exceptionally strong and high-profile presence and record of success before the U.S. Supreme Court. Chambers USA 2014 ranked Gibson Dunn in Tier 1 for Appellate Law, Legal500 US 2014 awarded us first-tier rankings in the categories of Litigation: Appellate and Litigation: Supreme Court, and The National Law Journal named the firm to its 2013 Appellate Hot List, which recognized 20 firms “doing killer appellate work” in the country’s appellate courts.
The American Lawyer also named Gibson Dunn a 2014 Finalist in Antitrust Litigation, noting a “steady stream of wins in multijurisdictional price-fixing cases” that “burnishes” our reputation.
Our representations and wins span the courts and practice areas and often make the news as well as the law.
In National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning et al. we persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to unanimously affirm, in June 2014, a landmark separation-of-powers decision from the D.C. Circuit that held unconstitutional three 2012 “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board made by President Obama. Gibson Dunn filed an amicus brief at the certiorari and merits stages on behalf of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and 44 other U.S. Senators, and presented oral argument on their behalf by special leave of the Court.
Also in June we secured two major Supreme Court victories – on the same day - for hedge fund NML Capital, Ltd. in its long-running effort to collect on $1.8 billion in judgments it holds against the Republic of Argentina. The Court ruled that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act imposes no obstacle to the use of post-judgment discovery to enforce judgments against sovereign judgment debtors, and rejected Argentina’s request for review of an injunction that required it to repay NML and other holders of defaulted bonds whenever it makes regular payments to certain other creditors.
Earlier in 2014 we won a unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court for multinational Daimler AG that limits the ability of plaintiffs to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for acts that allegedly occurred overseas.
In the intellectual property arena we won a decisive victory for CLS Bank in long-running patent litigation when the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the en banc Federal Circuit, holding claims patent-ineligible because the patents were drawn to an abstract idea. The National Law Journal ranked Gibson Dunn one of the top intellectual property practices in the United States in its 2014 Intellectual Property Hot List.
In 2013 we won a historic marriage equality victory before the Supreme Court, whose Hollingsworth v. Perry decisionleft 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. And in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, one of the most important 2011 cases, the Court unanimously reversed class certification of the biggest employment discrimination class action in history, with Gibson Dunn representing the retailer.
We secured another marriage equality victory in July 2014 when the Fourth Circuit affirmed summary judgment from the Eastern District of Virginia striking down that state’s constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage. The district court had held that the marriage bans “unconstitutionally deny Virginia’s gay and lesbian citizens the fundamental freedom to choose to marry” because the bans “fail to display a rational relationship to a legitimate purpose.” In Bostic v. Schaefer the Fourth Circuit held the marriage bans unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for denying same-sex couples the freedom to make the “intensely personal decision” to marry one another, thereby “prohibit[ing] them from participating fully in our society.”
We won a headline-grabbing 2014 trial victory for Chevron Corp. in connection with a multi-pronged defense against collection of a fraudulent $9.2 billion judgment against the company in Ecuador. After uncovering extensive evidence of fraud and misconduct on the part of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs’ lawyers and consultants, we took claims to trial in the Southern District of New York under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act against New York attorney Steven Donziger and his Ecuadorian clients and co-conspirators. Following a seven-week bench trial, the court issued a 485-page opinion holding that Donziger had masterminded a scheme to procure a judgment in Ecuador “by corrupt means,” engaging in “egregious fraud” and violating U.S. federal laws prohibiting attempted extortion, wire fraud, money laundering, witness tampering and obstruction of justice, as well as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
We won a historic decision on behalf of nine California schoolchildren when, after a two-month trial, the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles, on June 10, 2014, struck down five provisions of the California Education Code as unconstitutional and enjoined their further enforcement. The five laws govern teacher tenure, dismissal and layoffs and, according to the court in Vergara v. California, impose substantial harm on California’s students and “disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students” in violation of their constitutional right to educational equality.
For Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg we defeated a breach of contract case filed by Paul Ceglia, who claimed he owned at least half of Facebook based on a purported 2003 contract. We uncovered evidence of fraud and a forgery scheme that resulted in Ceglia’s arrest on federal felony charges and then secured dismissal with prejudice of his contract action.
On the Transactional Side
Gibson Dunn is acclaimed for its corporate work and plays a major role in headline-making deals. The firm was ranked among The Elite for Corporate/M&A nationwide and in New York by Chambers USA 2014. Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2014 recognized Gibson Dunn with 32 firm practice group rankings and 87 individual rankings.
Recent representations have included that of Vivendi S.A. in the $8.2 billion sale of its 85% interest in Activision Blizzard, a video game developer, back to Activision Blizzard and a consortium of executives and investors. After a shareholder suit was filed and a lower court issued an injunction blocking the deal, we won a rare expedited bench ruling from the Delaware Chancery Court that allowed the transaction to proceed.
We represented Tenet Healthcare Corporation in its $4.3 billion acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems, an operator of acute care and specialty hospitals. The transaction made Tenet the No. 1 or No. 2 hospital system in 19 key markets.
Gibson Dunn remains a leader in arranging financings on a global scale, helping clients raise capital needed for acquisitions and expansion. We represented MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. in a $3.5 billion private offering of senior unsecured notes in connection with the company’s acquisition by T-Mobile, and in an $11.2 billion private offering by T-Mobile USA, Inc. of senior unsecured notes, also in connection with the acquisition. We advised Mondelēz International, Inc. in its offering of €2.4 billion ($3.3 billion) aggregate principal amount of floating and fixed-rate notes, its first SEC-registered euro-denominated offering, and in the concurrent offer to purchase $3.4 billion of the company’s outstanding notes.
We were counsel to Red de Carreteras de Occidente, S de R.L., one of Mexico’s largest private highway concessionaires, in its MXN 7.5 billion euro-peso project bond, a transaction that LatinFinance named its 2013 Structured Financing Deal of the Year.
Notable real estate representations have included Rockpoint Group in the acquisition and financing of a 49.5% interest in two Manhattan office tower properties as part of a transaction with an overall aggregate asset value in excess of $2 billion; Shapell Industries, Inc. in the $1.6 billion sale of its homebuilding business to Toll Brothers, Inc., a residential real estate developer; Related Companiesin the $1.3 billion acquisition of Time Warner’s Manhattan headquarters, a transaction completed with joint venture partners; and Jamestown, in its acquisition of San Francisco’s historic Ghirardelli Square and in financing the acquisition.
Significant transactions in the energy space have included advising MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company (now known as Berkshire Hathaway Energy) in its $10.5 billion acquisition of publicly traded NV Energy, Inc., and we acted as issuer’s counsel for the company in its Rule 144A offering and sale of $2 billion of its unsecured senior notes. We represented the company and its wholly owned subsidiary Solar Star Funding, LLC in Solar Star’s $1 billion Rule 144A offering of senior secured notes, a transaction that Project Finance International named its 2013 Power Deal of the Year – Americas. We additionally advised Power One in its $1 billion sale to ABB Ltd.; Energy Future Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries in their exchanges of approximately $1.3 billion aggregate principal amount of debt securities; and Williams Partners L.P. in connection with offerings of over $1.8 billion of equity securities and a $635 million underwritten public offering.
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.
Diversity is a top management priority at Gibson Dunn and we have developed initiatives to increase the retention and promotion of diverse lawyers. In addition, we are pursuing strategic collaborations with clients and organizations and increasing the involvement of the entire Gibson Dunn community in the firm’s diversity efforts.
Gibson Dunn has a two-tiered approach to its diversity efforts, including the Global Diversity Committee, which oversees the firm’s strategic efforts, and local diversity committees, which oversee efforts for each office. Our Chief Diversity Officer is one of the firm's top administrative positions with a direct reporting relationship to senior management. A Management Committee member oversees the global efforts to ensure that diversity remains one our highest priorities.
We actively encourage all our associates to participate on our local diversity committees to allow them to contribute meaningfully to the future of the firm.
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. We have exceeded that target every year. In 2013, lawyers in our U.S. offices worked an aggregate of 116,082 hours on pro bono activities, averaging nearly 112 hours per person.
The firm honors the pro bono work of lawyers and staff by awarding its own annual Frank Wheat Memorial Award to one team and one individual. The recipients of the award receive a $2,500 prize that is donated to the pro bono organizations they designate.
The 2013 winners of the team award litigated a class action against the Social Security Administration alleging systematic bias on the part of five administrative law judges against claimants for disability benefits. The relief provided by the settlement that was secured included new social security disability hearings for more than 4,000 indigent and disabled New Yorkers. Our individual 2013 winner was honored for her work with the Legal Outreach Program, which prepares urban youth from underserved communities to compete at high academic levels, and on a case to stop the closure of the Long Island College Hospital, of great importance to its community.
We are gratified that our pro bono achievements have also been recognized outside the firm. Immigration Equality, which works with gay, lesbian, bisexual and HIV-positive asylum seekers throughout the United States, presented Gibson Dunn with its Safe Haven Award 2014, which recognizes the law firm that has excelled in its legal representation of its pro bono clients over the past year. The Corporate Counsel Middle East Group Achievement Award 2014 was presented to Gibson Dunn for its pro bono work in helping to set up and support the Holy Trinity Advice Clinic in Dubai, recognized as being the first clinic in the UAE to offer free help to anyone in need.
The Legal Aid Society presented its 2013 Pro Bono Publico Award to members of Gibson Dunn’s “D-SNAP Team” in recognition of its work, in conjunction with the Society, to help disabled New Yorkers obtain disaster food stamp benefits (so-called “D-SNAP” benefits) that they were unable to apply for in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. And Law360 named Gibson Dunn among its 20 Pro Bono Firms for both 2013 and 2012.
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.