Insights from our award-winning Litigation practice: A conversation with partner Rebecca Mandel

In this Q&A, partner Rebecca Mandel shares valuable insights about our Washington, D.C. Litigation practice, which recently won the prestigious Litigation Department of the Year – General Litigation award from the National Law Journal. Rebecca discusses the performance of our practice across various issues, including the significant impact of precedent-setting cases with national implications, as well as the team's client-centric approach.

What sets our Litigation practice apart and what can clients expect when working with the team?

We are so successful because we create an effective comprehensive strategy that confronts complexity and risk directly. We see each moment in a case as an opportunity. We vigorously pursue early success for our clients, while also always looking ahead to trial (and potential) appeal and lacing in trial and appeals strategy from the very start of a case. Clients can expect a proactive and tenacious approach that is both innovative and practical.

In what ways has the practice excelled in addressing pressing and controversial issues, such as in the antitrust, financial markets, and privacy contexts?

We don’t shy away from complexity or controversy – it’s our sweet spot. This year, we won consequential cases across a variety of issues. In the antitrust setting, we successfully defended Swedish access solutions company Assa Abloy's US$4.3 billion acquisition of Spectrum Brands' hardware and home improvement business, its largest-ever U.S. transaction, from a challenge by the U.S. Department of Justice. In financial markets, we scored a high-profile win for Citibank in the Second Circuit involving $500 million that was mistakenly wired to creditors, and brought the first crypto case before the U.S. Supreme Court. And, as to privacy, our litigators are deftly guiding clients through the onslaught of “pixel” technology litigation plaguing tech, entertainment, and online retail clients.

Pro bono work is an important aspect of our firm’s commitment. Can you highlight some of the impactful victories the team achieved in this area?

Our commitment to pro bono is a core value. This year, we prevailed in major voting rights and access to justice cases that made headline news and set precedent in constitutional law. In Allen v. Milligan, we persuaded a three-judge panel to unanimously enjoin Alabama’s 2021 congressional redistricting plan as violating the Voting Rights Act. The decision was upheld in a widely covered 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision. In Moore v. Harper, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court described by Judge J. Michael Luttig as “the most significant case in the history of our nation for American democracy,” we defeated the independent state legislature theory. And eight of our attorneys worked relentlessly for the State of Minnesota as special prosecutors in the George Floyd murder, with co-head of our Appellate practice, Neal Katyal, successfully arguing against Derek Chauvin’s appeal earlier this year (and continuing to represent the State in the U.S. Supreme Court).

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