Crisis Management



The Crisis Management Practice Group is renowned for taking immediate action to manage any situation, executing a strategic communication plan and guiding clients through difficult events.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Crisis Management group’s experience extends to all manner of issues that can arise in a corporate crisis situation, including:

  • Criminal law and complex civil litigation
  • Securities and corporate governance
  • Antitrust
  • Environmental regulation
  • Banking, currency and accounting
  • International trade
  • Employment disputes
  • Energy
  • U.S. homeland security, immigration and border issues
  • U.S. election law and ballot measures

Top industry publication The American Lawyer praised the crisis management team, saying that our litigators “aren’t shy when it comes to engaging the media … the firm’s media savvy is just one way these litigators distinguish themselves.” The American Lawyer named Gibson Dunn a Finalist in its 2022 Litigation Department of the Year competition, noting that “when news breaks and the pressure rises, clients call Gibson Dunn’s litigators to regain control.”  This award follows our unprecedented four wins in this biennial competition.

The Crisis Management group’s team of media-savvy lawyers will quickly craft a communication plan to effectively manage any situation — a whistleblower’s surprise allegation, a significant and unexpected accounting problem, a product recall, a government investigation.  Our team is experienced in developing and implementing prompt and effective crisis communication strategies to address any situation.  Our lawyers frequently counsel executives and boards of directors in preparing a crisis plan as the first step in avoiding crisis situations before they arise.

Gibson Dunn’s Crisis Management team includes former prosecutors, judges and government officials with demonstrated effectiveness in dealing with all three branches of the U.S. federal government, state law enforcement and regulatory officials, and international regulators.

The group’s crisis management capabilities extend to U.S. congressional investigations, with a bipartisan team, including former members of Congress and former federal and high-ranking state officials, experienced in providing advice to the business community.  We are ready to handle suits wherever they are filed — if necessary, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Gibson Dunn’s Crisis Management group takes immediate action to handle any situation threatening your business, or craft a plan to avoid any situation in the future.

Recent representations include:

  • 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 U.S.  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 U.S. 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.
  • Won a historic marriage equality victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, whose decision left intact the district court’s broad injunction against the enforcement of California’s Proposition 8, an amendment to the California Constitution restricting marriage in the state to between one man and one woman.  Gibson Dunn filed the complaint challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 in 2009.  After trial in 2010 the Northern District of California declared it unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, explaining that Proposition 8 “does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples,” and directed that enforcement of Proposition 8 be enjoined.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed, and the proponents of Proposition 8 appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • Persuaded the Los Angeles Superior Court that the $34 million punitive damages award entered against affiliates of The Common Fund for Nonprofit Organizations (Commonfund Group) was unconstitutionally excessive.  In remitting the award to $16.4 million, the court adopted Gibson Dunn’s argument that “due process requires that the amount of punitive damages be limited to a 1:1 ratio” with the substantial compensatory damages award.  The jury had entered a $50.4 million verdict against the Commonfund Group following a three-week trial.  Gibson Dunn was then retained by The Common Fund for Nonprofit Organizations to handle the post-trial motions and appeal of the verdict entered against its affiliates.
  • Transformed 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 farmworkers.  Gibson Dunn uncovered a 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.
  • Represented Goldman Sachs in widely covered congressional investigations and hearings relating to the financial crisis and the related suit by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as representing several other clients in connection with the work of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
  • Obtained a landmark victory for the world’s largest retailer when the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed class certification of the biggest employment discrimination class in history.  Rejecting a 6-5 decision by the en banc Ninth Circuit, the Court held that a class plaintiff must come forward with “significant proof” that an employer operated under a “general policy of discrimination.”  In a case where such proof “is entirely absent” and plaintiffs’ evidence is “worlds away” from the required significant proof, the case lacks commonality and cannot proceed as a class action.
  • Represented Facebook in an investigation by the New York attorney general into online safety of underage visitors to the site.  Gibson Dunn lawyers moved quickly to craft a settlement under which Facebook agreed to issue sterner warnings to minors and revise its method for handling complaints.  At a press conference televised across the United States, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Facebook’s chief privacy officer stood together to announce the settlement, which created a new model for the industry.


Gibson Dunn Recognized in the 2024 Chambers Crisis & Risk Management Guide

-June 25, 2024

Theane Evangelis and Debra Wong Yang Among 2024 Top Women Lawyers in California

-June 19, 2024

Former White House Counsel Stuart Delery Rejoins Gibson Dunn in Washington, D.C.

-February 5, 2024

Gibson Dunn Named 2023 Crisis Management and Government Oversight Winner

-October 27, 2023

Gibson Dunn Recognized in the 2023 Chambers Crisis & Risk Management Guide

-June 28, 2023

Daily Journal Names Theane Evangelis and Debra Wong Yang Among 2023 Top Women Lawyers in California

-June 21, 2023

Chambers Honors Debra Wong Yang with its Outstanding Contribution Award

-June 16, 2023

Ari Lanin and Debra Wong Yang Named Among Los Angeles’ 2023 Most Influential People

-June 6, 2023

Debra Wong Yang Named Among Top 100 Lawyers in Los Angeles

-June 6, 2023

Child and Forced Labor Risks Global Task Force

-May 17, 2023

How I Owned My Power As An Asian American Woman In Law

-August 22, 2022

Ari Lanin and Debra Wong Yang Named Among Los Angeles’ 2022 Most Influential People

-July 13, 2022

Daily Journal Names Theane Evangelis and Debra Wong Yang Among 2022 Top Women Lawyers in California

-May 18, 2022

Debra Wong Yang Named Among Los Angeles’ 2022 Most Influential Women Attorneys

-April 21, 2022

Debra Wong Yang Named Among Los Angeles’ 2022 Leaders of Influence: Minority Attorneys

-January 24, 2022

Theodore Boutrous, Theane Evangelis and Debra Wong Yang Named Among California’s Top 100 Lawyers

-September 15, 2021

Webcast: National Security Enforcement: Developments and Trends

-September 14, 2021

Debra Wong Yang Named a Crisis Leadership Trailblazer

-September 2, 2021

Daily Journal Names Theane Evangelis and Debra Wong Yang Among 2021 Top Women Lawyers in California

-May 19, 2021

Debra Wong Yang Named Among Los Angeles’ Most Influential Women Attorneys

-April 29, 2021

Robert Hur, Former U.S. Attorney for District of Maryland, Joins Gibson Dunn’s D.C. Office

-April 6, 2021

Webcast: Crisis Management and Mental Health in the Age of COVID-19

-January 21, 2021

Theodore Boutrous, Marcellus McRae and Debra Wong Yang Named Among California’s Top 100 Lawyers

-September 17, 2020

Gibson Dunn Adds Former SDNY Prosecutor Karin Portlock as Of Counsel in New York

-August 13, 2020

Ari Lanin and Debra Wong Yang Named Among Los Angeles’ 2020 Most Influential People

-May 26, 2020

Colorado and Georgia Plan to Relax COVID-19 Restrictions and Allow Some Businesses to Reopen

-April 22, 2020

California’s COVID-19 Executive Orders Create a Layered Patchwork of Rules That Are Sometimes Conflicting and Always Changing

-April 20, 2020

New York Governor v. New York City Mayor: Who Has the Last Word on New York City’s Business Shutdown?

-April 18, 2020

When Whistleblowers Call: Planning Today for Employee Complaints During and After the COVID-19 Crisis

-April 6, 2020

Small Business Administration and Department of Treasury Publish Paycheck Protection Program Loan Application Form and Instructions to Help Businesses Keep Workforce Employed

-April 1, 2020

SBA “Paycheck Protection” Loan Program under the CARES Act

-March 27, 2020

Senate Advances the CARES Act, the Largest Stimulus Package in History, to Stabilize the Economic Sector During the Coronavirus Pandemic

-March 26, 2020

Crisis Management & COVID-19 Response: Plan Now to Mitigate Against the Ripple Effects of COVID-19 Crisis

-March 23, 2020

COVID-19: The German Infectious Diseases Protection Act – What Makes You Stay at Home

-March 20, 2020

Debra Wong Yang Named Among Top Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles

-January 29, 2020

Analysis of March 6, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration

-March 7, 2017

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Opinion Upholding Nationwide TRO of January 27 Immigration-Related Executive Order

-February 10, 2017

Recent Developments Regarding Executive Order on Immigration

-February 1, 2017

President Trump Issues Executive Order on Immigration

-January 30, 2017

A Practical Guide to the Use of the Commissioned Public Report as an Effective Crisis-Management Tool

-June 12, 2015

2014 Year-End Transnational Litigation Update

-February 27, 2015

2014 Year-End Sanctions Update

-January 15, 2015

Webcast – World Bank Sanctions and Enforcement: Why You Need to Be Prepared

-May 27, 2014

European Parliament Adopts Broad New Compliance and Sustainability Reporting Requirements

-April 29, 2014

Webcast – Game Changers: Chevron v. Steven Donziger, et. al

-March 26, 2014

Court of Appeal Affirms Order Vacating Multi-Million Dollar Judgment Against Dole Food Company and Dismissing Case Due to Plaintiffs’ Attorney-Driven Fraud

-March 10, 2014

Chevron Wins Major Civil RICO Trial Victory Against Purveyors of Corrupt $9.2 Billion Ecuadorian Judgment

-March 5, 2014

2013 Year-End Sanctions Update

-February 6, 2014

Webcast – Congressional Investigations 2014

-February 5, 2014

10th Annual Webcast Briefing on Challenges in Compliance and Corporate Governance

-January 29, 2014

China’s AIC: A Familiar Face Now on the Global Anti-Corruption Map

-January 17, 2014

Public Companies: Back in the SEC Hot Seat?

-September 30, 2013

Clash of the Sanctions

-September 23, 2013

World War Z: Why Life Sciences Companies May be in the Path of the “New” Securities Enforcement & Litigation Onslaught, & How to Avoid Trouble

-August 1, 2013

In-House Search Warrant Checklist

-March 4, 2013

Is This an Inspection or an Investigation? The Blurring Line Between Examinations of and Enforcement Actions Against Private Fund Managers

-March 29, 2012

Handling Internal Investigations in the Executive Compensation Area

-November 7, 2011

7th Annual Webcast Briefing on Challenges in Compliance and Corporate Governance

-January 25, 2011

6th Annual Webcast Briefing on Challenges in Compliance and Corporate Governance

-January 20, 2010

Law Enforcement Response to the Financial Crisis

-April 1, 2009

5th Annual Webcast Briefing on Challenges in Compliance and Corporate Governance

-February 3, 2009

FCPA Investigations: Working Through A Media Crisis

-December 1, 2007