Clients hire Steptoe when they are in need of trial lawyers. We handle virtually every kind of complex business dispute in courts and arbitrations throughout the United States and abroad. Our commercial litigation practice is ranked Tier 1 nationally in US News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" rankings. In addition, many of our first-chair trial lawyers have been recognized as "MVPs" and "Trial Aces" by Law360, and our litigators have garnered accolades from Chambers USA, The Legal 500, The Lawyer, and Global Arbitration Review.
Our skilled litigators tackle a host of complex commercial disputes, and we have represented clients in almost every imaginable industry, with emphasis in energy, manufacturing, telecommunication, retail and consumer articles, financial services and natural resources. We are particularly well-suited to handle complex, cross-border disputes that require a multidisciplinary approach to dispute resolution. We collaborate with subject-matter professionals within the firm as well as a well-tested network of international lawyers to obtain results for our clients. We regularly handle matters involving breach of contract, fraud, civil RICO, fiduciary duties, and other matters integral to business operations. We also have substantial experience in asset recovery and judgment enforcement, toxic and mass tort, product liability, consumer class actions and alleged deceptive trade practices, and trade secrets. In addition, we regularly represent secured, unsecured and subordinated creditors, equity security holders, sureties and insurers of financially troubled enterprises in connection with failed or failing real estate and construction projects, mass-tort cases, and ERISA-related matters.
We understand that not every matter goes to trial. Our trial experience and capability gives clients the necessary perspective to map strategy even before litigation is filed and to obtain successful results when that litigation goes the distance and is resolved in the courtroom. Our lawyers are complex problem solvers with a track record of helping our clients reach outcomes that meet business goals. Our practice often teams with other renowned practices at Steptoe including our international arbitration, white collar criminal defense, as well as our global regulatory practice to achieve results.
- Chambers Global, Disputes: International & Cross-Border US (2021)
- Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial: Highly Regarded, District of Columbia (2021)
- The Lawyer, Global Litigation 50 (2016-2017)
- Legal 500 US, Dispute Resolution: General Commercial Disputes (2015-2021)
- Legal 500 US, Dispute Resolution: International Litigation (2017-2021)
- Legal 500 UK, Dispute Resolution: Commercial Litigation (2010-2021)
- BTI's Litigation Honor Roll (2017)
- Law360, Top 50 Firms For Litigation (2016)
- Representing Credit Suisse in New York Supreme Court in civil litigation against a prominent hedge fund in a case related to second-home development financing transactions involving five different nine-figure transactions all across the country, totaling more than $500 million.
- Successfully obtained dismissal for Pearson of two proposed nationwide class actions arising from an alleged a data breach that purportedly resulted in unauthorized access to student and administrator data from 13,000 school and university accounts.
- Successfully obtained dismissal for Pearson of a series of antitrust class actions alleging it conspired with other publishers and on-campus bookstore operators to fix prices and eliminate competition in the market for college course materials.
- Representing ExxonMobil in a complaint against two Cuban state-owned entities, asserting claims for unlawful trafficking in expropriated property in violation of the Helms-Burton Act.
- Representing King Ranch of Texas, one of the largest cattle ranches in the world, in a Helms-Burton Act claim against the Cuban government for recompense for the expropriation of King Ranch’s Cuban operations in 1960.
- Represented Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. in a securities fraud class action following a "short and distort" attack on NDM's stock by reputed short-seller Kerrisdale Capital Management in a case that was dismissed in district court and upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Achieved a significant victory on behalf of two former officers of Performance Sports Group Ltd. (PSG), the former parent company for the Easton Baseball and Bauer Hockey brands, in which the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware dismissed all claims against them by a bankruptcy trustee who was asserting over $100 million in damages.
- Represented the issuer of the world’s largest virtual currency "stablecoin," Tether, along with an affiliated virtual currency exchange, Bitfinex, in litigation with the New York Attorney General alleging fraud under the Martin Act.
- Serving as lead coverage counsel for The Hartford for purposes of business interruption claims arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including multiple national putative class actions.
- Representing a prominent Russian businessman in a long-running dispute seeking to enforce his contractual rights to receive $2 billion of the $55 billion in proceeds from sale of TNK-BP to Rosneft in 2013.
- Represented National Bank Trust in a nine-week trial that resulted in a $900 judgment for our client against its former owners, which the court found had run the bank corruptly for many years and had covered up the bank’s problems to deceive depositors and regulators.
- Represented the former CFO of American Realty Capital Properties in parallel proceedings brought by federal prosecutors and the SEC, and in numerous class action, derivative and opt-out litigations.
- Representing Great Lakes Dredge & Dock in litigation in Delaware arising from the sale of two businesses and related litigation involving the use of bonds, close-out of government contracts and resolution of lien claims.
- Representing Eddystone Rail Company LLC, a division of Enbridge, in connection with a $140 million commercial dispute after its business partners allegedly fraudulently transferred all of the assets of the counterparty to a contract over a newly constructed facility to transfer shipments of crude oil from trains onto barges.
- Represented US Airways, Inc. in its efforts to recover corporate cash funds that its brokers Lehman Brothers, Inc. (LBI) and Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. invested in Auction Rate Securities (ARS), fixed-income products that failed in August 2007 and were unsuitable for US Airways’ investment goals and risk profile, winning a $30 million award from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) panel. This stands as one of the largest ARS awards for damages to date.
- Steptoe represents BNSF in an ad hoc arbitration brought by the Port of Vancouver, Washington. The Port alleges that BNSF has breached its contractual obligations under a development agreement and seeks to terminate the contract, claiming that it has an indefinite term. The arbitration could have significant trackage rights implications for BNSF. BNSF is considering several counterclaims.
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