Lauren J. Elliot is a litigation partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and a member of Gibson Dunn's Product Liability, Class Actions, Intellectual Property, Commercial Litigation and Life Sciences Practice Groups.
Ms. Elliot represents clients in a wide range of industries and has extensive experience litigating complex, multi-party and multi-jurisdictional, high profile mass torts, patent infringement and commercial cases in trial and appellate courts around the country. Throughout her career, she has advised and defended pharmaceutical and biotech companies in cases involving a broad spectrum of products such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, asbestos, benzene, contraceptives, lead pigment, medical devices, NSAIDs, pesticides, and vaccines. In its Expert Guides, Legal Media Group named Ms. Elliot to its 2014 Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law for Product Liability.
Ms. Elliot graduated from Brown University in 1989 with honors (International Relations) and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School in 1993. She is a member of the Committee on Drugs and Medical Devices for the Defense Research Institute, and served two terms as a member of the Product Liability Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Ms. Elliot is admitted to practice in New York.
Mass Torts and Product Liability Litigation
Ms. Elliot served as national trial and appellate counsel to Wyeth (now Pfizer) in its defense of close to 400 product liability actions concerning neurological injuries (such as autism spectrum disorders) allegedly associated with the use of the preservative thimerosal in childhood vaccines. Ms. Elliot ran the day-to-day operation of the litigation, argued motions in courts around the country for Wyeth and presented and cross-examined expert witnesses in a two-week Frye hearing in which Wyeth successfully attacked plaintiffs' causation theories and the qualifications of plaintiffs' proffered expert witnesses. The court's Frye ruling led to the dismissal of the claims of the approximately 300 plaintiffs in cases then-pending against vaccine manufacturers in Maryland. Outside the courtroom, Ms. Elliot was responsible for responding to the relentless and well-coordinated attacks by advocacy groups through the Internet and in the media.*
Wage and Hour Class Action Litigation
Ms. Elliot has directed all discovery and pretrial efforts for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC") in multiple, separate wage-and-hour class action lawsuits in California and New York. Commisso v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Index No. 650273/2013 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2013) (secured voluntary dismissal of case involving putative class of 3,800 unlicensed accountants in PwC's Assurance line of service asserting misclassification claim under New York labor law). Campbell v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 2:06-cv-02376-TLN-AC (E.D. Ca. 2006) (secured very favorable resolution of case shortly before commencement of trial involving class of close to 2000 unlicensed accountants in PwC's Assurance line of service in California asserting misclassification claim under California labor law); Kress v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 2:08-cv-00965-TLN-AC (E.D. Cal. 2008) (secured very favorable resolution of misclassification claims under Fair Labor Standards Act of nationwide classes of Associates in PwC's Assurance, Tax and Advisory lines of service); Adamov. v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 2:13-cv-01222-TLN-AC (E.D. Ca. 2013).
Ms. Elliot was lead trial counsel in a three-week Bankruptcy Court trial in which she successfully defended her client against fraudulent conveyance and preference payment claims. She secured for her client his prior recovery (from a NY Surrogate's Court proceeding litigated by Ms. Elliot) of a multi-million dollar advance he made in connection with a prospective joint venture. No appeal was taken from the judgment of the Bankruptcy Court, which found in favor of Ms. Elliot's client on all issues.*
Ms. Elliot currently represents PwC against highly publicized fraud and breach of contract claims seeking hundreds of millions of dollars brought by the City of Los Angeles (acting by and through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) in connection with the implementation of LADWP's new customer information system.
Intellectual Property, Licensing and Joint Venture Disputes
Ms. Elliot has litigated, tried and advised on patent infringement, trade secret and inventorship disputes for pharmaceutical, biotech and internet clients.
She has substantial experience representing and advising pharmaceutical companies in connection with disputes arising out of co-development, manufacturing and marketing agreements.
She has represented clothing distributors in licensing disputes in state court and arbitration and has successfully defeated attempts to restrain the conduct of her client's business in the United States.*
Publications, Speech Engagements & Programs
- Lead author, "Food Litigation: The New Frontier," New York Law Journal (GC Edition, July 8, 2010)
- Lead author, "No Small Matter: Indemnifying Prescribing Physicians and the Issues that Must be Considered," DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar (May 2005)
- Guest Lecturer, Ethics: Discovery and Litigation, University of Chicago Law School (2008-2010)
- Speaker, "No Small Matter: Indemnifying Prescribing Physicians and the Issues that Must be Considered," DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar (May 2005)
* Representations occurred prior to attorney's association with Gibson Dunn