From its core litigation practice, Hughes Hubbard has spun off a
number of niches and industry-specific practices. Now boasting a
respected Capitol Hill presence and international offices, among
other additions, the firm has diversified its practice scope and
stretched its geographic reach since its founding more than 130
Rising from the Ashes
Hughes Hubbard owes its existence to a disaster of grand scale: the
Great Fire of Chicago in 1871. Firm founder Walter Carter made
megabucks in insurance company litigation related to the fire,
generating so much business that he relocated his practice to New
York City, where he eventually took on a partner in former New York
governor and U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans
Under Hughes' influence, the firm keyed in on litigation work,
eschewing the conventional Wall Street focus on transactional
works. In a case that put it on the map, the firm defended the
Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) in a 1930s antitrust suit
brought by the United States government. The suit, which dragged on
through the postwar years, became one of the most famous antitrust
cases ever tried in American courts.
Mixing Art and Business
The vision that shaped its early days laid the foundation for the
firm's current excellence in an array of litigation niche
practices, from product liability to art law: Hughes Hubbard
advises some of the world's most prominent institutions and
contemporary artists in the latter practice, backing artists in
such important matters as the successful First Amendment challenge
of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.
On the corporate side of things, the firm's litigators have also
provided counsel to the likes of drug maker Merck, card-maker
Hallmark, broadcaster CBS and burger broiler Wendy's International,
Inc. And in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the FDIC hired
Hughes Hubbard for advice in connection with lawsuits stemming from
its seizure of Washington Mutual and IndyMac.
Lean, but Diverse
Under the reign of chairwoman Candace Beinecke, who took over in
1999, Hughes Hubbard has remained relatively streamlined in an era
where aggressive global expansion was, until recently, en vogue.
For the majority of Beinecke's first decade at the helm, the firm's
profits per partner rose steadily without the aid of a merger so
ravenously pursued by so many of its BigLaw peers.
Beinecke's achievements haven't been lost on the pundits: The
National Law Journal named her one of the 50 most influential
female lawyers in America, while Crain's New York Business deemed
her one of the 100 most influential businesswomen in New York City.
Fittingly, Hughes Hubbard's efforts to diversify have flourished
under the first female chair of a major New York law firm: the firm
has topped a number of diversity rankings for its hiring of women
IN THE NEWS
Not Just Lumbering Along
Hughes Hubbard again obtained a complete victory for Canada in the
latest battle of the ongoing dispute with the United States over
alleged subsidies to Canadian softwood lumber exports. The ruling
represented the second consecutive arbitration for Canada in which
the firm achieved an absolute victory. The Economist has
referred to the softwood lumber dispute as "the biggest trade
battle on the planet."
A Successful Sale
Hughes Hubbard represented long-time client Chindex International
in its merger agreement for the sale to a buyer consortium
consisting of an affiliate of TPG, an affiliate of Shanghai Fosun
Pharmaceutical (Group) and the CEO of Chindex. Under the agreement,
Chindex will become a private company. The agreement was
entered into after a bidding contest between the buyer consortium
and another financial bidder.
Accomplishing the Impossible
While advising on the $40 billion multifaceted and cross-border
liquidation of MF Global Inc., the largest commodities broker
liquidation ever, Hughes Hubbard's lawyers achieved a number of
milestones on behalf of partner and MFGI Trustee, James W. Giddens.
A U.S. Bankruptcy Judge approved a plan to repay the failed
brokerage's former commodity customers in full. This marked the
final hurdle toward achieving a 100 percent recovery for former
customers of MF Global, an accomplishment the judge acknowledged
was not thought possible at the start of the case. The firm was
awarded The American Lawyer's first ever Inaugural Global
Finance Deal of the Year: Private Restructuring award for
representation of the trustee in the liquation.
You can take that to the Bank
Hughes Hubbard secured a significant victory for client Lloyds
Banking Group, the largest retail bank in the United Kingdom. The
Second Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court's dismissal
of all claims in a securities fraud class action against the bank
and two of its former executives stemming from an acquisition
during the height of the global financial crisis.
Taking Pride in Pro Bono
Hughes Hubbard was ranked No. 1 by The American Lawyer for
pro bono on the list A-List in July, and in October, seven Hughes
Hubbard attorneys received the Pro Bono Publico Award for
outstanding services to the Legal Aid Society and its clients.
Hughes Hubbard won dismissal of all antitrust and RICO claims
concerning alleged LIBOR manipulation for Portigon AG (formerly
WestLB) and limited the scope of the plaintiffs' remaining
Commodity Exchange Act claims. As a result of the court's ruling,
two of the three pending class actions were dismissed in their
entirety, along with all pending individual actions.