Since its inception nearly 40 years ago,
Susman Godfrey has quickly established itself as one of the
country's premiere litigation firms. Its nationwide trial practice
is diverse, but many of the firm's largest clients come from the
energy and technology sectors.
In 1980, Steve Susman formed a Houston firm
following his success in the Corrugate Containers case,
the largest verdict in antitrust history at the time. Susman was
soon joined by Lee Godfrey in 1982. The two had a vision of trying
commercial cases on contingency, a practice then largely confined
to personal injury cases.
The firm has reaped the benefits of this
high-risk/high-return model by carefully selecting its cases and
winning some of the largest jury verdicts in the country. In the
1990s, the firm's contingency fee model transformed into an entire
spectrum of alternative fees, from reverse contingent fees on the
defense side, to flat fees and hybrids with both fixed and
contingent components. Susman Godfrey's roster of recent contingent
fee successes includes: the Toyota Economic Loss Class Action
Regarding Unintended Acceleration; the Vitamin C Antitrust Class
Action; Sky v. Microsoft; Assured Guaranty v.
Flagstar; TMST v. Barclays; The Lincoln Life and
Annuity Company of New York v. Jonathan S. Berck, as trustee, et
al.; and LyondellBasell/Allianz.
There is no costly pyramid structure at Susman
Godfrey. The litigation star has 102 partners and associates in
four offices-its Houston headquarters and rapidly growing offices
in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. With its legal firepower,
the firm handles truly megawatt cases across the country.
Theater of Law
In recruiting attorneys, the firm focuses on
hiring the best students coming out of the country's best law
schools: a majority of its attorneys were members of their schools'
law reviews and nearly all clerked for federal judges (including
nine for justices of the U.S. Supreme Court). If you make partner
at the firm, you'll be fitted for a pair of genuine Texas cowboy
boots, per firm tradition.
The Los Angeles Daily Journal has named Los Angeles
M. Seltzer and Steven
G. Sklaver among the 30 "Top Plaintiffs Lawyers in California."
In recognizing Seltzer, the Daily Journal noted his work,
with his co-lead counsel, in securing initial settlements totaling
nearly $225,000,000 in a landmark national class action case
involving price-fixing by manufacturers of auto parts. The
Daily Journal highlighted Sklaver's representation of a
class of policyholders against Phoenix Life Insurance Company over
allegations the insurer inappropriately raised its rates.
Show Me the Money
Susman Godfrey L.L.P. raised salaries for all existing
partnership-track associates and new hires, effective July 1.
Salaries will now range from $190,000 to $300,000, in addition to
the firm's generous year-end bonuses that far exceed industry
standards. "We pay our associates top salaries and bonuses because
we expect-and receive-the best from them," said Stephen D. Susman,
Susman Godfrey Managing Partner.
See Me in My Chambers
Chambers and Partners named 10 attorneys from Susman Godfrey as
"Leaders in their Field" and prominently ranked several of the
firm's practices in its annual guide to U.S. law firms. Susman
Godfrey added to its rankings year-over-year, with two more
attorneys and one more office recognized than in 2015. Two Susman
Godfrey partners received recognition from Chambers as "Up and
Coming" attorneys: Brooke A. M. Taylor for Intellectual Property
(Nationwide) and Arun Subramanian for Litigation: General
Commercial (New York). Four of Susman Godfrey's offices were named
as "Leading Locations," with Los Angeles joining the rankings this
Hot Hot Hot!
Susman Godfrey LLP is named to The National Law Journal's 2016
Midsize Hot List. The NLJ also profiled Bill Carmody for the
ranking, and quoted him saying about the firm "We do the biggest
cases in America regardless of the side of the docket".
Susman Godfrey gave exceptional bonuses in 2015. "In 2015 we had
one of the best years in the history of the firm, and we wanted our
bonuses to reflect that success," said managing partner Stephen Susman. "Two-thirds of our associates
received a bonus of more than $100,000. Our smallest bonuses were
$55,000, for the most junior associates who were here all year.
That's more than double what the big firms paid their 2013
Susman Godfrey LLP, and 18 of its attorneys, were honored by
Benchmark Litigation in its 2016 awards. The firm received "Highly
Recommended" status for its Texas office and "Recommended" status
for its New York office. Overall, the firm was ranked in Tier 2 for
General Commercial Litigation. Eighteen attorneys received either
"Local Litigation Star" or "Future Star" honors. Firm founder
Stephen Susman and New York partners Bill Carmody and Jacob
Buchdahl were awarded the highest level of recognition for an
individual attorney as Litigation Stars in the United States. Only
100 attorneys in the United States received this award.