Jenner & Block

Litigation

Litigators in the New York office handle almost every type of litigation or arbitration, including Complex Commercial litigation, Entertainment and New Media matters, Intellectual Property disputes, Internal Investigations and Compliance, International Arbitration, Securities Litigation, and White Collar Criminal Defense.

We routinely represent Fortune 500 companies in matters in New York and other jurisdictions, regularly appearing in the federal courts in Manhattan and Brooklyn and in the New York state trial court, including its Commercial Division.  Our client matters in the past few years have taken many of us not only throughout the United States but also to England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, India, Thailand, China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.  We have represented such blue-chip clients as General Electric, General Motors, General Dynamics, Dow Chemical, United Technologies, Viacom, Universal Music Group, and 3M Company.

Jenner & Block’s “Corporate America” clients differentiate it from many New York-based firms, as does the absence from our client list of many commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies.  The result is that our firm is able – in contrast to almost every other leading New York litigation firm – to take on matters that are adverse to much of Wall Street and the insurance industry.  The New York office has developed a track record of success in pursuing very substantial claims against those financial institutions, including claims involving the most sophisticated financial products.

Recent high-profile New York office litigation matters include:

  • Winning a record US$431 million FINRA arbitration award in a cutting-edge auction-rate securities claim representing STMicroelectronics against Credit Suisse, which chose to contest the award in the courts; we prevailed twice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and won on appeal in the Second Circuit.
  • Winning the dismissal of a trademark infringement suit by Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A., against Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.  The luxury handbag manufacturer sued Warner Bros. over  a scene in the movie The Hangover Part II. We won a landmark ruling from the federal court, which dismissed the trademark action on First Amendment grounds.
  • Representing one of Canada’s largest companies in a declaratory judgment action against AIG in the federal court in Manhattan, involving a US$1.5 billion dispute over whether AIG’s financial collapse in 2008 constituted an event of default under a 25-year derivative transaction that the parties entered into in 1990.
  • Conducting an extensive internal investigation for an industrial client involving trade and import practices in many jurisdictions around the world.
  • Defending clients in high-profile copyright and entertainment law disputes involving prominent recording companies, film studios, music publishers, and artists.  The New York office won important victories for Universal Music in a case brought against it in the federal court in Manhattan by the heirs of legendary Jamaican reggae artist Bob Marley who claimed that they owned the renewal term copyrights in all of Marley’s recordings, and for EMI North America in obtaining summary judgment against the website MP3tunes for copyright infringement.
  • Successfully representing the Estate of Elaine Steinbeck, the widow of John Steinbeck, in putting to rest a decades-long legal battle over the rights to many of the acclaimed author’s best-known works, including winning in two appeals to the Second Circuit and defeating two petitions for certiorari to the Supreme Court by the opposing parties.
  • Representing 3M Company and other public and private pension plan investors in litigation arising from a money manager’s 10-year fraudulent scheme that deprived numerous institutional investors of more than US$500 million.
  • Representing clients in international arbitrations involving commercial disputes with Brazilian, Thai, Jordanian and Israeli entities.
  • Defending white collar criminal matters in federal and state courts in New York and elsewhere, including a hedge fund manager against federal insider-trading charges, an oil industry executive against charges involving the United Nations’ “oil for food” program, and corporate entities in Justice Department investigations of possible fraud and antitrust charges.
  • Conducting an assessment of a major international company’s global compliance program.

Corporate Matters

Our corporate partners have been at the center of many high-profile matters stemming from the economic crisis of the past several years.  We played a key role in the historic turnaround of General Motors, acting as lead outside counsel to GM in its US$23.1 billion Initial Public Offering – one of the largest IPO in history – and in the “Section 363” sale of substantially all of its assets in connection with its Chapter 11 reorganization.  Corporate lawyers in New York were also members of the team that launched GM’s global exchange offer for approximately US$27.2 billion of its outstanding debt and convertible debt securities.

Other significant corporate matters in which our New York-based corporate partners have been involved include:

  • Representing a major environmental services company its sale to an acquirer seeking exposure to the shale oil boom in North Dakota.
  • Representing Swiss-based Lonza Group Ltd. in its agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Arch Chemicals, Inc., for approximately US$1.2 billion.
  • Representing General Dynamics in multiple public offerings of debt securities in the amounts of US$2.4 billion, US$2 billion, US$1.5 billion, US$1.1 billion, US$1.0 billion and US$750 million
  • Advising General Motors Asset Management, Performance Equity Management and Guggenheim Investment Management in connection with a variety of private fund and direct investment transactions.
  • Advising GE Capital in connection with SEC-registered offerings of debt securities.
  • Advising Obagi Medical Products, Inc. in an SEC-registered stock offering and simultaneous purchase of shares from principal stockholders.
  • Advising Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. on the implementation of a US$200 million stock repurchase program and the sale of a US$100 million interest in future product royalties .
  • Representing EMCORE Corporation in a variety of public offerings and private placements of equity securities and its exchange offer of new equity and convertible debt securities for outstanding debt.

Bankruptcy Matters

The New York bankruptcy lawyers have represented parties in multiple proceedings arising from the credit crisis, particularly with respect to structured finance products, taking advantage of the firm’s ability to be adverse to much of Wall Street and the insurance industry.  New York bankruptcy lawyers were key members of the firm’s team that represented then-Chairman of Jenner & Block Tony Valukas in his role as the court-appointed Examiner of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the largest bankruptcy in US history.  That work resulted in a 2,200-page examination report that won uncommon and universal acclaim.

Other recent important bankruptcy matters include:

  • Representing Fir Tree Capital Opportunity Master Fund, LP and Fir Tree Value Master Fund, LP in litigation in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York against Anglo Irish Bank, formerly Ireland’s second-largest bank, which was nationalized by the Irish Government in 2009.
  • Representing five hedge funds that hold collectively more than US$1 billion in face amount of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) in the insurance rehabilitation proceedings for Ambac, one of the largest financial guaranty insurers in the United States.
  • Representing the Official Committee of Shareholders in the Meruelo Maddux Properties Chapter 11 case, which resulted in the confirmation of a plan of reorganization negotiated and supported by our client, which was approved over the objection of the debtor’s majority shareholder.
  • Representing a Honeywell subsidiary in its purchase of W.R. Grace’s membranes business in a Section 363 sale.
  • Representing, as special conflicts counsel, the Ad Hoc Group of Unsecured Bank Lenders in the Capmark Financial Group Chapter 11 case.

New York

919 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022-3908
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Phone: 212 891-1600
Fax: 212 891-1699