Latham Named D.C. General Litigation Department of the Year Finalist

June 3, 2019
National Law Journal
Honored for a hot year marked by a series of wins for clients in cases where policy met the law.

The National Law Journal (NLJ) named Latham & Watkins a D.C. General Litigation Department of the Year Finalist, recognizing the firm for a “hot year in 2018 [with] a series of wins for clients in cases where policy met the law.” The publication also highlighted that, “the results, though impressive, were hardly surprising for a firm that boasts a deep bench of former government attorneys and prides itself on team spirit and working across geographic lines.” Doug Greenburg, Co-Chair of Latham’s Washington, D.C. Litigation & Trial Department, said that the work recognized by the NLJ showcases the firm’s “commitment to vigorous advocacy” in any forum and “illustrates the type of team we can put together for the right case.”

In the published profile, the NLJ praised Latham’s victory for Eagle Pharmaceuticals in a case against the FDA seeking to compel the agency to grant a 7-year period of orphan drug exclusivity to the drug maker. Orphan drugs are those used to treat patient populations with rare diseases and Congress grants a period of marketing exclusivity to incentivize the development of these drugs. Latham successfully argued that when the FDA refused to recognize the exclusivity of Eagle’s drug, it violated the plain text of the statute. Lead partner Phil Perry noted that the case ended up “putting the FDA on a different course” and highlighted Latham lawyers’ ability to come in with a plan but also “instantly switch and understand what the government is doing and what their options are.”

The NLJ also featured Latham’s win in National Association of Wheat Growers et al. v. Zeise et al., in which a large coalition of agricultural farming interests challenged the state of California’s listing of glyphosate as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer. Latham argued that the warning is a violation of the First Amendment because, in light of the limited actual state of the science, the compelled warning is factually controversial and misleading. The US District Court for the Eastern District of California agreed with Latham’s argument and preliminarily enjoined enforcement of the warning requirement. This is the first time a federal court has enjoined a Proposition 65 warning requirement on First Amendment grounds.

In addition, the NLJ profile featured three keys to success from Intellectual Property Litigation partner Tara D. Elliott:

  • Our goal is the client’s goal. Success can take many forms, depending on the client’s needs, and Latham is highly attuned to those needs.
  • By bringing together different minds rather than just one partner’s natural instinct, clients benefit from a deeper pool of critical expertise, more forensic and accurate situational analysis, quicker decisions, and nuanced strategies.
  • Being trial-ready, quick on our feet and flexible, and adjusting quickly and effectively when responding to fast-changing circumstances.

This is the second year in a row that Latham has been recognized by the National Law Journal in their D.C. General Litigation Department of the Year award program.