Gibson Dunn

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Gibson Dunn
Gibson Dunn
HeadquartersWells Fargo Tower
Los Angeles, California
No. of offices20
No. of attorneysApproximately 1,400
Major practice areasGeneral practice
Key peopleBarbara L. Becker, Managing Partner[1]
RevenueIncrease US$2.0 billion (2019)[2]
Date founded1890
Company typeLaw firm

Gibson Dunn is a global law firm founded in Los Angeles in 1890. The firm includes approximately 1,400 attorneys and 1,000 staff located in 20 offices around the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The firm is known for its litigation practice, and in particular its strength in appellate law.[3][4]


The firm was founded in May 1890 by Republican corporate attorney John Bicknel and Democratic litigator Walter Trask. In 1897, Judge James Gibson joined the firm. Six years later, the firm merged with another law firm, belonging to former Los Angeles city attorney William Ellsworth Dunn and assistant city attorney Albert Crutcher. The merger gave the firm its name, which it still uses today.[5]

In 2007, the Montana Supreme Court found that Gibson Dunn "acted with actual malice"[6]: 88  in suing an art expert Steve Seltzer, who said that a painting signed by Charles Marion Russell was actually created by his grandfather Olaf Carl Seltzer, thus reducing its value. The Supreme Court said "GDC's use of the judicial system amounts to legal thuggery"[6]: 92  and found that Gibson Dunn "blatantly and maliciously tried to intimidate Seltzer with the apparent power, prestige, and resources of a large, nationally prominent law firm coupled with an ominous lawsuit that they knew threatened to ruin and devastate him professionally, personally, and financially".[6]: 85–86 [7]

Notable cases[edit]

The firm is best known for its litigation practice, which has been named the top "Litigation Department of the Year" in the United States by The American Lawyer in several biannual rankings, most recently in 2020.[8] The firm is also known for its land use and real estate practices.[9] The firm's attorneys have argued more than 100 cases before the United States Supreme Court.[10] Some of the firm's notable cases include:

  • The firm is representing Chevron in its long-running, $27 billion environmental dispute in Ecuador.[11][12] According to The Intercept, Gibson Dunn has hired private investigators to track Steven Donziger and created "a team of hundreds of lawyers to fight him".[13] This resulted in a boycott launched in April 2021 by the student group Law Students for Climate Accountability.[13][14]
  • The firm represented Apple, Inc. in its patent infringement suit against Samsung (Apple v. Samsung) relating to the Galaxy Nexus smartphone, and won an injunction in June 2012 blocking the sale of the Galaxy Nexus phone in the United States.[15] The injunction was vacated in October 2012 based on the results of the trial.[16][17] It also represented Apple in Epic Games v. Apple, a lawsuit related to Apple's practices in the App Store and the removal of Fortnite from the App Store.[18]
  • The firm is representing Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, in a $17 billion contract dispute with purported seed money financier Paul Ceglia.[19]
  • The firm is defending Intel against several multibillion-dollar antitrust lawsuits filed by AMD and the European Union.[20]
  • The firm is representing CNN in its lawsuit against President Trump and many of his staff on the basis of Jim Acosta's right to a "hard pass", a clearance to enter the White House.[21]
  • The firm is representing the Dole Food Company in a multibillion-dollar toxic tort suit in Nicaragua involving allegations of farmworker sterility stemming from Dole's use of certain pesticides. After the firm uncovered substantial evidence of fraud and a conspiracy between the plaintiffs and Nicaraguan judges to extort Dole out of billions with manufactured claims, courts in the United States dismissed multiple related suits against Dole and refused to enforce several Nicaraguan judgments.[22]
  • In 2009, the firm represented NBC Universal in its contract dispute with Conan O'Brien.[23]
  • The firm represented Viacom in its billion-dollar copyright infringement lawsuit against Google and YouTube in Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc..[24] After multiple rulings at the District Court and Appellate Court, the case was settled in 2014.[25]
  • Governor Chris Christie hired Gibson Dunn attorney Randy Mastro to conduct an internal investigation of the circumstances surrounding the Fort Lee lane closure scandal and representing the Governor in a later federal investigation.[26] The firm was later criticized by U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton for its methods of record keeping, and accused the firm of "opacity and gamesmanship."[27]

Notable transactions[edit]

Political contributions[edit]

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Gibson Dunn was one of the top law firms contributing to federal candidates during the 2012 election cycle, donating $1.45 million, 55% to Democrats.[32] Since 1990, Gibson Dunn contributed $6.15 million to federal campaigns.[33]


In an article published by the Amazon Defense Coalition FDA, on August 15, 2018, on the digital media platform Corporate Social Responsibility wire it stated:

"The law firm engaged in practices based on the Gibson Dunn marketing playbook which involves what the firm calls the “kill step” to defeat the enforcement in the U.S. of civil money judgements obtained from foreign courts.The article states: The “kill step” usually involves accusing opposing counsel of “fraud” and other misconduct to try to intimidate them into withdrawing, thereby leaving the corporation's victims defenseless and unable to continue with their cases."[34]

Notable attorneys and staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barbara L. Becker's firm profile
  2. ^[bare URL]
  3. ^ "Best Law Firms for Appellate Litigation". Vault. Retrieved 2021-09-15.
  4. ^ "Appellate Group of the Year: Gibson Dunn". Law360. Retrieved 2021-09-15.
  5. ^ "Our Story". Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  6. ^ a b c W. Steve Seltzer v. Steve Morton, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP, and Dennis A. Gladwell
  7. ^ Paul (March 13, 2007). "Gibson Dunn Used 'Legal Thuggery,' Say Montana Supremes". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on February 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "Challenge Accepted: Gibson Dunn, Litigation Department of the Year Winner ", The American Lawyer via, December 29, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  9. ^ "Real Estate Group Of The Year: Gibson Dunn", The American Lawyer via, January 17, 2014. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  10. ^ ""Gibson Dunn Attorneys Argue Their 100th Case Before The U.S. Supreme Court",". Archived from the original on 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  11. ^ Litigation Department of the Year: Gibson Dunn -
  12. ^ Chevron accuses Ecuadorean plaintiffs of extortion
  13. ^ a b Lerner, Sharon (April 7, 2021). "Law Students Denounce Chevron's Law Firm Over Steven Donziger case". The Intercept. Archived from the original on April 22, 2021.
  14. ^ Sloan, Karen (April 7, 2021). "Law Student Climate Change Activists Target Gibson Dunn". American Lawyer Media.
  15. ^ "Judge Blocks Sales of Samsung Phone That Apple Says Infringes Patents". 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2014-09-28.
  16. ^ Samsung to appeal US Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction after tablet ruled innocent [Update: Request filed],, August 27, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  17. ^ Diane Bartz (Oct 11, 2012). "U.S. court clears Samsung phone, setback for Apple". Reuters. Retrieved Oct 11, 2012.
  18. ^ "Apple enlists Gibson Dunn to fight Epic Games suit, law firm previously retained in Samsung battle". AppleInsider. Retrieved 2021-05-07.
  19. ^ Gibson Dunn Goes Medieval on Facebook Plaintiff « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law School, Law Suits, Judges and Cou...
  20. ^ "A.M.D. and Its War With Intel". New York Times. 21 June 2008.
  21. ^ "CNN sues President Trump and top White House aides for barring Jim Acosta". CNN. 13 November 2018.
  22. ^ Litigation Department of the Year: Gibson Dunn -
  23. ^ ‘Bye, everybody, bye!’: An End in Sight for the Conan-Leno-NBC Debacle? « Above the Law: A Legal Web Site – News, Commentary, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law School, L...
  24. ^ Viacom Taps Ted Olson for YouTube Appeal
  25. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (March 18, 2014). "Google, Viacom settle landmark YouTube lawsuit". Reuters.
  26. ^ "Hiring by Christie Suggests He May Be on the Defensive". New York Times. 16 January 2014.
  27. ^ Porter, David (8 August 2016). "GWB Closure Defendants Want to Put Christie Lawyers on Stand". NBC 4 NY. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
  28. ^ October 16, Zach Lowe |; AM, 2008 at 12:00. "Tobacco litigation means work for Gibson Dunn, Jones Day, others". National Law Journal. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  29. ^ "H-P Plans to Spin Off PC Business - WSJ".
  30. ^ Dealmakers of the Week:
    Barbara Becker of Gibson Dunn and Sarah Jones of Clifford Chance -
  31. ^ Cleary, Gibson Dunn Slake M&A Thirst With $7.6 Billion Beer Deal
  32. ^ "Lawyers & Lobbyists: Top Contributors to Federal Candidates, Parties, and Outside Groups". Center for Responsive Politics.
  33. ^ "Organizations: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  34. ^ "Report Shows Chevron Lawyers at Gibson Dunn Falsified Evidence to Target Steven Donziger in Ecuador Pollution Case – Press Releases on". Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  35. ^ Wiessner, Caroline Spiezio, Daniel (2021-03-31). "Former U.S. labor secretary Scalia returns to Gibson Dunn". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-04-13.

External links[edit]