(Rick Kopstein)

Welcome to The National Law Journal’s third annual Elite Trial Lawyers report, in which we highlight 35 law firms that did some of the most creative and significant work on the plaintiffs side over the past three to five years. And in our Top 50 recoveries list, we recognize 50 firms that achieved the highest-dollar recoveries (including a few on both our lists) between July 1, 2015-July 1, 2016.

Honorees were selected after thorough research, analysis and nomination vetting by editors and reporters at NLJ and Law.com, and by our colleagues at ALM’s VerdictSearch.

First, we highlight the 35 Elite Trial Lawyers finalists and winners in nine categories: antitrust; class actions; employment; financial institutions; medical devices; pharmaceuticals; products liability; securities; and special litigation.

For a selection of those honorees, we closely reviewed submitted nominations and reported on accuracy and performance. Since teamwork contributes to successful trial work, we recognized the work of firms as a whole.

The plaintiffs firms went up against some of the nation’s largest corporations and their Who’s Who list of defense firms. They obtained trial wins and settlements for clients in cases that made (and continue to make) headlines — those regarding defective hip implants manufactured by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary DePuy Orthopedics; an infamous “defeat device” to cheat automobile emissions tests in hundreds of thousands of Volkswagen vehicles; continued fallout from the 2008 housing market collapse; a yoga guru’s alleged sexual harassment of female employees; and the resolution, after a quarter-century, of litigation by property owners near the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.

The 35 Elite Trial Lawyer firms are based in cities from New York to Miami to Seattle, and range in size from the hundreds to a dozen lawyers. Along with brief introductions to their most significant cases, we present Q&As (edited for length) with each firm.

Meanwhile, the Top 50 firms’ recoveries totaled $11.2 billion (see page S32.)

Special thanks goes to the following editors and reporters who worked on the report: Lisa Helem, Erin Harrison, Greg Mitchell, Vanessa Blum, David Bario, Amanda Bronstad, John Council, Scott Flaherty, Miriam Rozen, Richard Binder, Roberto Jimenez, Diego Radzinschi, Peter Dolack, Angela Turturro and Kristie Rearick.

We hope you enjoy reading about the Elite Trial Lawyers and their work.

– Beth Frerking, editor in chief

Click the categories below for slideshows and Q&As with the finalists and winners:

ANTITRUST
CLASS ACTION
EMPLOYMENT
FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
MEDICAL DEVICES
PHARMACEUTICALS
PRODUCTS LIABILITY
SECURITIES
SPECIAL LITIGATION

ALSO:
CHART: TOP 50 RECOVERIES