New York, Jan. 4, 2012 —Hughes Hubbard & Reed opened an office in Kansas City, Missouri this week to enhance the firm’s U.S. litigation practice with additional experienced advocates, including trial counsel, and a significant presence in the Midwest. The new office opens with a full litigation capacity – five partners as well as 35 counsel, associates and analysts.
William L. Allinder, who is managing partner of the office, joins Hughes Hubbard from his own law firm after having previously been a partner at Kansas City-based Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Three of the partners – Jamie M. Clark, Gay L. Tedder and David M. Woods – join Hughes Hubbard directly from Shook Hardy.
The office will initially focus on the litigation needs of tobacco manufacturer Lorillard Tobacco Company. Hughes Hubbard, which has been handling tobacco cases for Lorillard since 2010, was recently named national counsel in the company’s tobacco litigation, and the firm’s work has expanded substantially.
“Lorillard is consolidating its legal work in Kansas City with Hughes Hubbard & Reed and is in fact expanding its ongoing relationship with the firm,” Lorillard spokesman Gregg Perry said in a statement. “HHR is widely recognized for its product liability defense work, and Lorillard believes having access to the expanded legal expertise HHR will bring to Kansas City fits well with our long-term strategy of defending every lawsuit. We expect no change in our defense strategy with HHR as our national counsel. Lorillard anticipates this transition will go smoothly and will be completed by mid-2012.”
Lorillard first engaged Hughes Hubbard in 2010 to join the team defending thousands of suits brought in Florida.
Allinder is a nationally known product liability defense lawyer who has long served as senior litigation adviser to Lorillard in tobacco litigation and has substantial other complex product litigation experience.
Clark is also a long-time adviser to Lorillard and has experience in litigation particularly complex scientific issues in products liability litigation. She also has experience in transactions and corporate finance issues.
Tedder is a trial attorney with over 20 years of experience, including products liability litigation. A former assistant U.S. attorney, she has served as national trial counsel for Fortune 500 companies in complex products liability litigation, including litigation brought by the state attorneys general against tobacco manufacturers.
Woods is a trial attorney with experience in all aspects of large-scale, multi-defendant products liability litigation. He has represented clients in high-profile state and federal litigation throughout the country.
Hughes Hubbard has long had ties to the Kansas City area. For years, the firm represented Hallmark Cards Inc., the largest corporation in Kansas City, as well as certain Hall family interests and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The office also includes Hughes Hubbard partner John F. Wood, a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri in Kansas City, where he led the largest corporate fraud investigation and prosecution in the history of the district. Wood is former chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, deputy associate U. S. attorney general, White House staffer, U.S. Supreme Court clerk and staffer for U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth. Wood, who focuses on litigation, internal corporate investigations and corporate compliance, will also continue to practice out of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.
“Servicing Lorillard is our main priority,” said Ted Mayer, the managing partner of Hughes Hubbard. “But we also are expanding our trial capacity across the board. In fact, we recently added lateral litigation partners in our L.A. and Paris offices, and we are adding litigators in Miami as well.”
Hughes Hubbard made a similar move in 2003, opening an office in Jersey City, N.J. to be closer to its pharmaceutical clients.
Hughes Hubbard has one of the most renowned products liability practices in the U.S. The firm handled the groundbreaking $5 billion settlement of the Vioxx case, in which the firm was national coordinating counsel and continues to have a prominent role in defending Merck both in the U.S. and worldwide. The firm was also lead counsel in the Ford Pinto litigation case in the 1970s and has served as national counsel in the following areas: asbestos, blood products, chemicals, gas products, dietary supplements, DES and other pharmaceuticals and treated wood.
About Hughes Hubbard
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is an international law firm ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in 2011 on The American Lawyer’s A-List of what the magazine calls “the top firms among the nation’s legal elite” – the firm’s seventh year on the list. Hughes Hubbard’s litigation group handles numerous major cases, most recently a $4.8 billion trial victory in the liquidation of Lehman Brothers Inc. The firm was founded in 1888 by the renowned jurist and statesman Charles Evans Hughes.