Gibson Dunn Named “Litigation Department of the Year” by The American Lawyer Magazine: Gibson Dunn Also Wins Labor and Employment Category; Theodore B. Olson Honored

January 3, 2012

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that The American Lawyer has once again named Gibson Dunn the winner of its biennial “Litigation Department of the Year” competition.  The magazine also named Gibson Dunn as the winner in the Labor and Employment category and named Theodore B. Olson as one of the five finalists for “Litigator of the Year.”

The “Litigation Department of the Year” title represents a back-to-back win for Gibson Dunn and marks the first time a law firm has won the competition twice.  The winners were announced in the magazine’s January 2012 issue.

In selecting Gibson Dunn as the “Litigation Department of the Year,” The American Lawyer recognized the firm’s “stack of victories in some of the country’s thorniest cases” and noted the “brains, bench strength, and bravado” of its litigators.

The magazine noted the firm “racked up another astounding record of high-stakes victories – across disciplines and venues, and at every stage of litigation,” including Gibson Dunn’s Supreme Court win in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, overturning the largest employment class action in history; its success in the historic gay marriage case in federal court in California;  and its exposing of fraud by plaintiffs’ lawyers in the multi-billion lawsuit against Chevron, among others.  The magazine further observed: 

  • “In 2010 we named Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Litigation Department of the Year for the firm’s dramatic victories and nail-biting turnarounds . . . Repeating a record like that didn’t seem possible.  That was until we looked at Gibson, Dunn’s most recent submission.”
  • The firm’s “astounding record of high-stakes victories” earns “Gibson, Dunn the precedent-setting honor of being named Litigation Department of the Year for a second consecutive term, a first for our magazine’s decade-old competition.”
  • “Gibson, Dunn’s ‘affirmative approach’ to litigation . . . has really juiced the firm’s game. That means taking a detective’s approach to examining the facts of a case, and sometimes using a team of outside private investigators to dig up more.  It means waging battles inside and outside of the courtrooms.  It’s a strategy of action, not reaction.”
  • “Gibson, Dunn partners strongly believe that public perception can shape the outcome of a case. So its litigators aren’t shy when it comes to engaging the media . . . Gibson lawyers are just as adept at shaping the public dialogue in cases that are more technical and abstract . . . to Gibson, Dunn clients, the firm’s media savvy is just one way these litigators distinguish themselves.”
  • “Gibson’s appellate practice isn’t a ‘one-man show’ . . . That long-term focus on recruiting and grooming the next generation has meant that a range of Gibson Dunn partners have argued the firm’s biggest recent appeals.”
  • “And increasingly, it’s Gibson, Dunn’s deep bench that wins the firm its glitziest assignments . . . But the firm’s most significant growth may be overseas.”

In naming Gibson Dunn the winner in the Labor and Employment category, the magazine referred to the firm’s impact in this area of law, highlighting its bet-the-company class actions alleging violations of wage and hour, meal-and-rest period, and ERISA laws, and employment discrimination.  The firm was also recognized for using “a winning combination of smarts, creativity, and pluck, clients say, to turn each case into an opportunity to not only win on the facts – often after a case has already faced legal setbacks under previous counsel – but to reshape the legal landscape.”

In recognizing Olson as a finalist for “Litigator of the Year,” The American Lawyer noted, “When it comes to litigating cases that have an outsize impact on the public sphere, Ted Olson is in a class by himself. The Gibson, Dunn partner has won 75 percent of the 58 cases he has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“We would like to thank The American Lawyer for this unprecedented distinction as repeat winners of the Litigation Department of the Year competition,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn.  “This is a tremendous honor in a very competitive environment based on an exacting evaluation by leading journalists covering the legal profession.”

“We in our litigation group pride ourselves on setting precedents and finding ways to win, no matter how difficult the challenge,” said Randy Mastro, Co-Chair of the Litigation Practice Group.  “As precedents go, though, we are particularly proud of this one – being the first firm ever to repeat as The American Lawyer’s coveted ‘Litigation Department of the Year.’”

“We could not be more pleased to win the labor and employment competition,” said Eugene Scalia, Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.  “We have an outstanding team who are grateful to have handled some of the most significant, cutting-edge matters of the past year.”