Representative Experience

Secured $71.7 million jury award for oil refinery company client, achieving full recovery against 14 insurers on a contingent business interruption claim resulting from a pipeline rupture.

Structured unprecedented settlements between Swiss financial institutions and U.S. prosecutors, enabling clients to avoid potentially billions of dollars in exposure under U.S. tax laws and avoid criminal prosecution.

Concluding more than five years of litigation, resolved $1.4 billion in claims related to civil and criminal cartel price-fixing allegations against our magazine publisher client.

View More

  • Financial Services
    • Bankruptcy – Achieved precedent-setting win for Wells Fargo regarding permissibility of imposing freezes on bankruptcy debtor bank accounts when Ninth Circuit held that such freezes were permissible to preserve bankruptcy estate assets.
    • Class Actions – Defeated gift cardholders’ class action against Wells Fargo that claimed violations of consumer protection and unfair competition laws. Case set important precedent regarding use of arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts.
    • Won dismissal of $80 million investor class action against Wells Fargo by establishing that Dodd-Frank was a “capital treatment event,” entitling the bank to redeem trust-preferred securities under its contract terms.
    • Contracts – Achieved summary judgment in client fund administrator’s favor, dismantling hedge fund and investor claims to millions in losses based on a claimed quasi-fiduciary duty when only a contractual relationship existed.
  • Environmental Litigation
    • Energy – Won denial of plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction request seeking shutdown of thousands of California’s oil wells based on contamination risk. This win preserved California’s energy supply and avoided billions in costs.
    • Real Estate – Achieved victory for environmental underdog with a damages award of 3.5 times court-determined restoration costs plus $300,000 in attorneys’ fees, sending a strong warning to would-be conservation easement violators.
  • Class Actions
    • Won rejection of class certification and dismissal with prejudice of anti-GMO plaintiffs’ false advertising claims against our client Medora Holdings, the developer, manufacturer and distributor of PopCorners.
  • Antitrust & Unfair Competition
    • Defeated three separate fuel company lawsuits alleging that Safeway’s redemption of grocery-based fuel promotions resulted in below-cost and loss-leader sales, violating California’s Unfair Practices Act and Unfair Competition Law.
  • General Commercial
    • Government Contracts – Accomplished stellar win for NASA info-tech service provider by persuading court to deny all preliminary injunctive relief sought after our client chose not to exercise option to continue plaintiff as subcontractor.
    • Real Estate – Achieved invalidation of already-executed lease and overturned long-held precedents through U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruling that GSA violated bidding rules in awarding new TSA headquarters lease to our client’s rival. 
  • Health Care
    • Securities – Won dismissal with prejudice of investors’ lawsuit alleging that our drug company client engaged in securities fraud by making false or misleading statements and failing to disclose drug’s higher-than-expected discontinuation rate.
    • White Collar – Obtained total relief for nonprofit health care system client in precedent-setting case finding fraud allegations do not justify or permit retention of client’s property. Case helped clarify “self-help discovery” parameters and permissibility. 
  • Insurance Recovery
    • Construction – Won more than $23 million in damages, plus costs, interest and attorneys’ fees for construction company client seeking insurer’s indemnification for damages and losses caused by subcontractors’ mistakes.
    • Manufacturing – Secured $71.7 million and $55.3 million jury verdicts against insurers for manufacturing clients regarding denials of business interruption and product liability defense coverage.
    • Petrochemical – Negotiated a nine-figure recovery that included hotly contested business interruption losses for a global petrochemical company forced into a five-month shutdown following a fire.
    • Residential & Mixed Use Communities – Secured $39-million-plus appraisal award in client’s ongoing insurance coverage dispute involving defective construction of a 400-unit apartment complex, substantially strengthening client’s case in pending jury trial. 
  • Intellectual Property
    • Copyright Litigation – Reached a favorable settlement with client toy producer’s competitor that will keep copycat version of client’s popular flying doll from ever being sold in the U.S.
    • Patent Litigation – Won pretrial rulings that led to freedom-to-operate settlement in defense of patent claims relating to generic testing.
    • Trademark Litigation – Defeated on summary judgment motion trademark infringement claim against Facebook’s Oculus VR seeking a share of the $2 billion price Facebook paid to acquire Oculus.
  • International Arbitration
    • Recovered $20 million international arbitration award for pioneering Chinese manufacturer/seller of photovoltaic models when a product purchaser unable to qualify for energy tax incentives reneged on its purchase agreement.
  • Tax Controversies
    • Commercial Banking – Garnering $104 million tax refund for large U.S. bank by convincing the Franchise Tax Board to include bank’s non-California broker-dealer subsidiary’s gross receipts in the tax apportionment formula.
    • Entertainment – Achieved major win for multinational entertainment company in contentious income tax dispute before the SBE by convincing the Franchise Tax Board to allow R&D credit worth more than $4 million.
    • State & Local Tax – Saved two multinational corporations $80 million in taxes and interest in a complex tax dispute before California’s Franchise Tax Board.
    • Won unanimous decision by California’s State Board of Equalization completely abating proposed $10 million assessment against husband and wife clients in a case involving complex residency and source-of-income issues.
  • Technology and Telecommunications
    • Contracts, Global Sourcing – Defeated a large vendor’s $7 million contract termination claim in arbitration and secured a damages award of more than $1.5 million in a counterclaim for our telecommunications services company client.
    • Insurance Recovery – Overcame insurer’s coverage objections for an adverse antitrust litigation judgment, enabling client to avert entirely potentially huge outlay, with insurance proceeds completely covering claims resolution.
    • Intellectual Property – Won trial court dismissal, later upheld by ITC, of high-stakes patent infringement suit brought by a nonpracticing entity claiming our client’s made-in-China mobile phone headsets infringed its patents.
    • Won Federal Circuit reversal of district court denial of our tech company client’s patent infringement claims against a competitor and thus protected our client’s IP by preventing the patent-infringer’s use.
    • Trade Secrets – Secured permanent injunction for Tech-leader client, preventing former employee and his new employer from using misappropriating trade secrets and got their agreement to destroy all trade secret information. 
  • Transportation & Industrial
    • Contracts – After establishing that whistleblower failed to meet False Claims Act requirements, won dismissal with prejudice of the lawsuit against our client, a global producer of mechanical pipe joining solutions.
    • Environmental – Defeated a novel attempt by environmental organizations to expand scope of federal environmental laws to claim locomotive diesel emissions at client-operated rail yard violated RCRA, a solid waste statute.

Practice Area Highlights

Clients describe Pillsbury’s Litigation practice, nationally ranked in the 2015 edition of The Legal 500 U.S., as “excellent in every way.”

U.S. News & World Report/Best Lawyers recognized Pillsbury as "Law Firm of the Year" for Construction Law and Law360 named our Insurance Recovery & Advisory practice “Insurance Group of the Year.” 

Corporate Counsel "Go-To Firm"
An in-house counsel survey of Fortune 500 companies named Pillsbury a "go-to firm" in the area of Intellectual Property Litigation.