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Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is this week’s top legal lion after securing major wins for Johnson & Johnson and Ranbaxy, while Dallas-based Allen Law Group ended up as a legal lamb after a jury ordered its trucking company client to pay $260 million in a wrongful death suit.

Legal Lions
Kirkland attorneys secured a favorable verdict Wednesday when a California federal jury found that although client Johnson & Johnson's baby powder contained asbestos and a manufacturing defect, it was not a substantial factor in causing a woman's malignant mesothelioma. Johnson & Johnson is represented by Kimberly Branscome, Chad Morriss and Jay Bhimani of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
In a second showing on this week’s legal lions list, Kirkland, alongside Saiber LLC, obtained a decision from a New Jersey federal judge Wednesday denying class certification in a suit claiming client Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. distributed pills that might have contained glass. The judge said there was not enough data to identify who got pills from the potentially affected batches. Ranbaxy is represented by Jay P. Lefkowitz, Devora W. Allon and Dmitriy Tishyevich of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and by Arnold B. Calmann of Saiber LLC.
Johnson Controls, advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, said Tuesday that it will sell its power solutions business for $13.2 billion to Brookfield Business Partners LP and other investors. The Simpson Thacher team advising Johnson Controls includes Alan Klein, Elizabeth Cooper, Jakob Rendtorff, Michael Chao, Jay Bishop-Boros, Tuca Bihari, Sara Park, Nina Bakhtina, Deul Lim, Brian Steinhardt, Ken Wallach, Ben Heriaud, Greg Grogan, Ashlie Lawton, Patricia Adams, Andrew Mandelbaum, Lori Lesser, Alysha Sekhon, Robert Holo, Andrew Purcell, C.J. Murray, Abigail Hopper, Adeeb Fadil, Sara Razi, Ellen Frye, John Goheen and Benjamin Sunshine.
Next up on the legal lions list is Jones Day. On Tuesday, the law firm announced that it had hired 11 former U.S. Supreme Court clerks as associates in its appellate practice group, the largest class of high court clerks in the firm’s history. The new hires will join 36 former Supreme Court clerks currently working for the issues and appeals group, the firm said.
Two plaintiffs firms round out this week’s pride of legal lions. A New York federal judge on Nov. 8 awarded more than $300 million in attorneys' fees to the firms representing an investor class that secured $2.3 billion in settlements over claims that 15 banks colluded to rig benchmark exchange rates in the foreign exchange markets. U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield issued an order awarding Scott & Scott Attorneys at Law LLP and Hausfeld LLP a total of $300.3 million in fees for their work, which amounts to about 13 percent of the settlement.
Legal Lambs
This week’s legal lambs section is full of verdicts that didn't go the law firms' way. The first involves a $260 million Texas jury award that Allen Law Group client Jefferson Trucking LLC was ordered to pay in a suit over an accident in which a man was killed when his van ran into the side of a tractor-trailer positioned across all four lanes of a highway. Jefferson Trucking, Eric Wayne Jefferson and Timothy Wayne Jefferson are represented by Paige Pace Allen and Robert Allen of Allen Law Group.
Next up on the lambs list are Richard Layton & Finger PA and Tensegrity Law Group LLP. A Delaware federal judge on Wednesday ordered client 10X Genomics Inc. to pay nearly $24 million to Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. and the University of Chicago after a jury found that 10X infringed a droplet-based method of manipulating DNA. 10X is represented by Frederick L. Cottrell III, Jason J. Rawnsley and Alexandra M. Ewing of Richards Layton & Finger PA and by Matthew Powers, Robert Gerrity and Azra Hadzimehmedovic of Tensegrity Law Group LLP.
Another $24 million verdict landed Ashby & Geddes and Morrison & Foerster LLP on the list this week. A Delaware jury awarded Power Integrations Inc. more than $24 million in damages Nov. 9 after finding that competitor Fairchild Semiconductor International, represented by the law firms, willfully infringed Power Integrations patents for frequency jitter technology and induced third parties to infringe the patents as well. Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc. is represented by John G. Day and Andrew C. Mayo of Ashby & Geddes and by Erik J. Olson, Colette Reiner Mayer, Pieter S. de Ganon, Stephen Liu, Scott F. Llewellyn, Esther Kim Chang and Thomas J. Pardini of Morrison & Foerster LLP.
Cooley LLP ended up among this week’s legal lambs after a New York state judge on Tuesday awarded family members behind the famous Palm steakhouse — who say they were cheated out of intellectual property licensing by the cousins who built a single trendy outpost into an empire — at least $73 million in royalties and lost rent. The defendants are represented by Alan Levine and Ian Shapiro of Cooley LLP.
A Georgia jury on Thursday found that the negligence of Atlanta's transit system — represented by Mabry & McClelland LLP — was responsible for a fall by a disabled passenger who was getting off a bus that left her in a permanent vegetative state and awarded her $18.75 million. Metropolitan Atlanta Regional Transit Authority is represented by James Scarbrough, Dawn Pettigrew and Rachel Reed of Mabry & McClelland LLP.