Sometimes maintaining your game is just as impressive as improving it. In 2010 we named Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Litigation Department of the Year for the firm’s dramatic victories and nail-biting turnarounds. The firm had saved Dole Food Company, Inc., from a costly litigation war with a class of Nicaraguan plaintiffs, uncovering evidence of fraud along the way; it had successfully challenged a massive employment discrimination class action for United Parcel Service, Inc.; it won a U.S. Supreme Court victory for a West Virginia mine owner in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. , a precedent-setting judicial bias case. Repeating a record like that didn’t seem possible.

That was until we looked at Gibson, Dunn’s most recent submission. Over the past two years, the firm has racked up another astounding record of high-stakes victories—across disciplines and venues, and at every stage of litigation. The firm convinced the Supreme Court to reverse class certification of the largest employment discrimination class action in history for client Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (which is one reason that Gibson, Dunn also earned the top award in our Labor and Employment contest, page 94). The firm won a historic federal district court ruling that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry. It persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to drop investigations of Joseph Cassano, a former American International Group, Inc., executive widely demonized as one of the creators of the financial crisis. Gibson, Dunn also defeated the first rule adopted by the SEC under the Dodd-Frank Act. And in a multibillion-dollar toxic tort suit against client Chevron Corporation, the firm uncovered what it claims is evidence of fraud that put the plaintiffs on the defensive. These victories, and others, earn 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.

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