When our clients face significant non-U.S. and cross-border litigation, especially if it involves plaintiffs from jurisdictions lending themselves to fundamentally unfair, abusive or corrupt claims, our lawyers work with them to respond to these often massive and multifaceted assaults. Our approach involves not just a series of defensive tactics, but rather an affirmative strategy to ultimately end the litigation. Among other things, the practice group leverages Gibson Dunn’s expertise in global litigation strategy, non-U.S. judgment defense and enforcement, multijurisdictional tort and contract disputes, global media management, and international arbitration. Our multidisciplinary approach also draws on Gibson Dunn’s extensive worldwide capabilities and contacts.
The American Lawyer recognized Gibson Dunn in its 2014 Global Legal Awards, honoring law offices “that played a substantial role in the most distinguished cross-border work performed between January 1, 2013, and April 14, 2014.” The firm was recognized in the categories of Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Human Rights Litigation for Chevron v. Donziger, and Global Dispute of the Year: U.S. Financial Litigation for NML v. Argentina.
In addition to advising on dozens of confidential transnational matters, recent representations include:
- Chevron Ecuador –multifaceted global litigation. Representing Chevron Corporation in its successful RICO suit against the purveyors of what the Wall Street Journal called the legal “fraud of the century,” Chevron Corp. v. Donziger et al., Case No. 11-cv-0691 (S.D.N.Y.). Gibson Dunn was lead counsel in Chevron’s RICO and fraud suit against the U.S. lawyer and associates who masterminded an extortion scheme against Chevron that included fraudulently procuring a $9.2 billion Ecuadorian judgment against the company and carrying out an extortionate pressure campaign in the United States. Gibson Dunn obtained a trial verdict in favor of Chevron, in which the district court held that the scheme constituted racketeering in violation of RICO and federal laws prohibiting attempted extortion, wire fraud, money laundering, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In its 485-page opinion, the court described the case as “extraordinary” and “includ[ing] things that normally come only out of Hollywood,” including “coded emails,” “payments out of a secret account,” videotaped evidence of crimes in progress, and blockbuster evidence that the defendants “wrote the [Ecuadorian] court’s Judgment themselves and promised $500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign their judgment.” The RICO verdict follows on the heels of dozens of discovery proceedings filed by Gibson Dunn in district courts around the country. Gibson Dunn’s efforts led eight courts to apply the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege and order production of evidence related to the racketeering scheme. As Chevron requested, the court imposed equitable relief preventing the conspirators from enforcing the judgment in the United States and ensuring that they “not be allowed to benefit from [the Ecuadorian judgment] in any way.” The New York Times described the result as a “major victory,” and The Washington Post called it “resounding.” Gibson Dunn continues to advise Chevron on a range of issues flowing from this high-stakes, complex matter.
- NML Capital—transnational litigation and judgment collection against sovereign state. Representing NML Capital, Ltd. in its long-running effort to collect on $1.8 billion in judgments that it holds against the Republic of Argentina, including winning two major U.S. Supreme Court victories. The Court first upheld subpoenas served by NML in 2010 to locate property of Argentina to satisfy NML’s judgments, holding that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act imposes no obstacle to the use of post-judgment discovery to enforce judgments against sovereign judgment debtors. Immediately before handing down this opinion the Court denied Argentina’s request for review of an injunction requiring it to repay what it owes to NML and other holders of defaulted bonds whenever it makes regular payments to other creditors on their exchange bonds.
- Dole Nicaragua—toxic tort and transnational fraud. Transforming a high-risk toxic tort litigation against Dole Food Company, Inc. into a headline-making victory when Gibson Dunn took over the defense of a series of cases filed against Dole alleging that its use of the pesticide DBCP in Nicaragua in the 1970s caused sterility in former farm workers. Gibson Dunn uncovered a fraudulent scheme by plaintiffs’ lawyers to recruit and train fraudulent plaintiffs in a toxic tort suit which the court dismissed as a sanction, finding pervasive fraud. Prior to Gibson Dunn’s representation, a Los Angeles jury had awarded $2.3 million in damages in another DBCP case, a verdict that the court threw out, finding it was tainted by fraud.
- Daimler AG—jurisdiction in transnational cases. Successfully representing DaimlerAG before the U.S. Supreme Court in a transnational case arguing that it violates due process for a U.S. court to exercise general personal jurisdiction over a non-U.S. corporation based on the fact that an indirect corporate subsidiary performs services on behalf of the defendant in the forum state.
- Yukos-expropriation and global judgment litigation. Representing Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. as part of a complex, decade-long, global battle arising out of the Russian government’s expropriation of the multibillion-dollar Yukos Oil Company. Gibson Dunn’s victories on behalf of Yukos Capital, a subsidiary that survived the expropriation, include securing entry of a $185,907,785.41 judgment in its favor in the Southern District of New York.
- Altria—U.S- filed litigation regarding alleged overseas torts. Representing Altria and PM USA in six different multi-plaintiff lawsuits filed in the United States on behalf of hundreds of Argentine citizens, alleging toxic torts that occurred in Argentina over a 40-year time period. Gibson Dunn has already had Altria dismissed from five of the six lawsuits.
- GE—overseas environmental litigation and recognition and enforcement counseling. Working with GE’s local counsel to represent it in overseas environmental litigation and advising on its broader global recognition and enforcement defense strategy.
- Dole Colombia—multinational tort suit arising out of paramilitary activity. Representing Dole against U.S.-filed claims arising out of Colombia. Plaintiffs, whose family members were allegedly murdered by the AUC between 1997 and 2006 during the course of the well-documented civil conflict between leftist guerillas and paramilitaries in Colombia, have alleged direct and vicarious liability claims against Dole for wrongful death, assault, battery, negligence, negligent hiring and supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Gibson Dunn has already had more than half of the plaintiffs dismissed.
- Anti-arbitration injunction. Obtaining an arbitration award for the Injazat Technology Fund, followed by successful prosecutions of enforcement actions in Dubai and California. Gibson Dunn also obtained an anti-arbitration injunction against the respondent in England when he purported to recommence arbitration.
- UK Bribery Act liability arising out of Nigerian activity. Advising a transnational client regarding potential liability under the UK Bribery Act relating to employee conduct in Nigeria, which also involved potential misconduct by Nigerian public officials.
- Nigerian injunctive proceeding and related parallel proceedings. Representing an African telecommunications company in connection with injunctive proceedings in the High Court in Lagos, and parallel proceedings in the Netherlands.
PRACTICE GROUP LEADERS