Latham Again Honored as a Top Legal Innovator

Financial Times

December 13, 2018

Latham & Watkins has again earned a range of recognitions in the Financial Times’ 2018 North America Innovative Lawyers report, which annually ranks and analyzes creative legal work by law firms and in-house legal teams.

Latham placed as a top-five law firm overall in the 2018 North America Innovative Lawyers index — based on the originality, leadership, and impact of notable deals and cases — and the firm also scored among the top five firms in the Legal Expertise category.

The Financial Times ranked Latham as:

  • Standout for advising craigslist, Inc. on a creative copyright litigation strategy used in cases against rogue websites that pilfer classified listings without the permission of craigslist or its users. The Financial Times noted that Latham’s strategy “assigned rights to craigslist, the classified site, for its content in order to deter large-scale extraction of data — data scraping — from its users’ adverts.” The innovation directly led to stipulated permanent injunctions and significant monetary judgments, netting craigslist millions in damages while deterring the practice of web scraping.
  • Highly Commended for structuring and executing Spotify’s direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The Financial Times reported that Latham “guided Spotify through its unconventional direct listing,” which involved “forgoing the typical initial public offering route to becoming public.” Spotify’s in-house legal team also received a Standout ranking for its groundbreaking direct listing under the leadership of Horacio Gutierrez, General Counsel and Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs — who was named the winner in the Most Innovative General Counsel category.
  • Highly Commended for advising on the Newhall Ranch housing development project in Los Angeles County, one of the largest master-planned communities ever proposed in California. The firm helped to develop a unique strategy to gain regulatory approvals built around the project’s net-zero impact on climate change, and also resolved “more than 17 years of ongoing environmental litigation that had prevented developer FivePoint from commencing construction.” The Financial Times highlighted Latham’s work with FivePoint on the groundbreaking project now under construction in a feature article.
  • Commended for a successful lawsuit brought with the International Refugee Assistance Project that “successfully challenged the Trump administration’s denial of refugee applications from nearly 90 members of religious minorities under the Lautenberg Amendment.” The Latham team worked pro bono on the lawsuit, which argued the administration’s decisions violated the Accardi doctrine that requires the government to disclose its reasoning behind federal decisions.
  • Commended for launching LathamDrive, an inventive microsite that provides emerging company founders and entrepreneurs “with information and documents to launch and expand companies.” A tangible example of Latham’s dedication to helping lthe development of new businesses across transformative industries, LathamDrive has generated 41,691 unique page views and 23,029 sessions to date.
  • Commended for pioneering a comprehensive recruitment and training program that exposes young professionals to a variety of job functions before placing them in permanent roles. The publication noted that participants in the firm’s Business Services Trainee Program “can opt for a legal career or can stay within the business services functions of the firm,” helping “grow the firm’s talent pool.”


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