2019 Vault Rankings
- Pro Bono#7
“Hands-on litigation experience from day one”
“The culture is wonderful”
“Lower pay and bonuses than other large law firms”
Robins Kaplan LLP is a national law firm known for its trial litigation practice, particularly in the intellectual property, complex business litigation, and mass tort arenas. The firm's attorneys are no strangers to high-profile, high-stakes trial work and multimillion-dollar verdicts.
Minneapolis Midsized Hotshot
Robins Kaplan was founded in 1938 as Robins & Davis in Minneapolis, where about half of the firm's attorneys are still based. Since then, the firm has built strong litigation practices in Minnesota, New York, California, Massachusetts, and Florida.
The firm has well-reputed intellectual property, antitrust, and business litigation practices. It is also known for its work in mass torts, complex personal injury, and medical malpractice, with Benchmark Litigation naming the firm a “Top Ten Plaintiffs Firm.” The firm’s attorneys and practices have received a variety of accolades across legal industry ratings and rankings. Its antitrust practice has been recognized by both Chambers USA and the Legal 500, while Benchmark Litigation deemed the firm a nationally recommended intellectual property firm and a highly recommended litigation firm in Minnesota. In 2016, the firm was named to Law360’s inaugural list of Litigation Powerhouses. Multiple firm attorneys have been recognized as leading lawyers by Chambers USA, and in 2018, 43 attorneys were named The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 with three designated as “Lawyers of the Year.”
With several high-profile litigation cases over the last half century, Robins Kaplan attorneys have been advocating on behalf of clients for 80 years. In the past decade, the firm has proven its litigation prowess again and again.
In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Litigation, the firm reached a $7.25 billion antitrust settlement on behalf of a class of approximately seven million U.S. merchants who accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards and debit cards for the purchase of goods or services. The settlement, which resolved the lawsuit, is believed to be the largest settlement of a private antitrust case in the 120-year history of the Sherman Act and also includes important reforms of the payment card industry. The settlement was granted final approval in the District Court on December 13, 2013 over the objections of several class members. Some of those objectors appealed from the final approval order, and on June 30, 2016, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and vacated the District Court’s order and remanded the case to the District Court “for further proceedings not inconsistent with” the Court of Appeals’ opinion.
Also recently, the firm represented Kraft Foods in a four-week arbitration against Starbucks involving the complex valuation of a perpetual business agreement that had been terminated, resulting in a $2.7 billion award for Kraft in Kraft Foods Global, Inc./Mondelez International, Inc. v. Starbucks.
The firm’s attorneys represented the Special Committee of the Fiesta Bowl's Board of Directors in conducting an extensive five-month internal investigation of the Fiesta Bowl to look into allegations that the Fiesta Bowl had reimbursed employees for campaign contributions, that a prior investigation had covered-up criminal conduct, and that the Fiesta Bowl had made numerous other improper expenditures. The Final Report was covered by dozens of media outlets and received widespread praise.
Perhaps the firm’s most famous case in the past decade was when Robins Kaplan secured a $7 billion dollar settlement—including $500 million in fees—from Big Tobacco to pay Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the state of Minnesota in a mass tort action lawsuit in 1998, a payout which resulted in very high profits per partner that year.
Coming Through in Crisis
When downtown Minneapolis’ I-35W Bridge collapsed in 2007, Robins Kaplan offered pro bono assistance to those affected by the catastrophe. The firm led a group of 17 law firms in providing free legal services to more than 100 people who either suffered injuries from the bridge collapse or lost loved ones. The firm helped recover more than $77 million for its clients, including a legislatively created $37 million compensation fund.
The firm’s dedication to pro bono has remained strong. It has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Pro Bono Hot List,” and The American Lawyer has ranked the firm among the top 20 firms in the nation for pro bono work.
800 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 349-8500
Employer Type: Private
Chairman of the Executive Board: Martin R. Lueck
Hiring Partners: Mark S. LaConte (Boston), Amy Churan (LA), Denise Rahne (Minneapolis), Lawrence A. Farese (Naples), Hollis Salzman (NY)
Total No. Attorneys 2018: 250
1st year: $150,000
Summer associate: $2,653/week Los Angeles
1st year: $160,000
Summer associate: $2,653/week Minneapolis
1st year: $ 140,000
Summer associate: $2,653/week Mountain View
1st Year: $160,000 New York
1st year: $160,000
8 out of 9 (2018)
Minneapolis, MN (HQ)
Los Angeles, CA
Mountain View, CA
New York, NY
American Indian Law and Policy
Antitrust & Trade Regulation
Appellate Advocacy and Guidance
Arbitration and International Arbitration
Class Action Litigation
Commercial/Project Finance & Real Estate
Corporate Compliance and Ethics
Corporate Finance & Securities
Corporate Governance & Special Situations
Entertainment & Media Litigation
Estate and Trust
Financial Markets Litigation
Food and Beverage
Franchise and Dealership
Global Business and Technology Sourcing
Government & Internal Investigations
Health Care Litigation
Insurance and Catastrophic Loss
Intellectual Property Litigation
International Trade Commission
Life Sciences & Hatch-Waxman Intellectual Property Litigation
Mergers & Acquisitions
Patent Office Trials
Privacy and Cyber Security Litigation
Private Equity/Venture Capital
Real Estate Litigation
Restructuring and Business Bankruptcy
Strategic IP Monetization
Trademark, Advertising and Brand Litigation