Kelley Drye



Throughout the firm's history of more than 170 years, Kelley Drye litigators have guided clients through the thicket of business litigation. Known for effectively resolving challenging cases, Kelley Drye's litigation practice has long been highly-regarded by leading companies around the world. Kelley Drye is listed among 24 “Highly Recommended” firms for litigation in BTI Consulting’s 2010 survey of Fortune 500 corporate counsel. This recognition is the result of exceptional client service as well as adherence to three significant principles at the core of our litigation practice:

We Are Trial Lawyers.  Our litigators are experienced trial lawyers. Our partners have tried significant and challenging cases in federal and state courts, arbitration tribunals and administrative bodies around the country. It is our strongly held view that to obtain the best results in a litigation at the lowest possible cost and with efficient use of resources, the strategy and the key tasks need to be handled by experienced trial lawyers who can develop a compelling narrative around the client's position. Too many firms leave depositions, brief writing, discovery and even strategy to litigators who are not trial tested.  As a result, there is often wasted discovery with costly wheel spinning and lost opportunities to develop the key evidence that will have a powerful effect in promoting a resolution or winning a trial. Our litigation partners lead cases with hands-on involvement and in the process train associates to properly develop the best evidence to promote settlements or win trials.

We Are Business Lawyers.  All of our litigators understand that in business litigation, cases must be handled in a way that advances the broader business interests of our clients. Early in their careers, we instill in our litigators this value so that litigation does not become sport for the lawyers but rather a tool to advance the client's business objectives. In this regard, all our litigators understand the difference between forceful and effective advocacy that has the desired impact on courts and adversaries leading to satisfactory resolution, versus tactics that create conflicts and drive up litigation costs without advancing the client's interests. On numerous occasions clients have commented that Kelley Drye litigation teams get along with each other and have productive relationships with co-counsel and adversaries while still forcefully advocating the client's position.

We Are Mindful of the Costs of Litigation.  Many  litigators have resisted pricing principles and budgeting that are common in other businesses, relying on the argument that those could not effectively be applied to the unpredictable world of litigation.  At Kelley Drye, we are sensitive to our clients' needs to implement budgets, properly price litigation and increase efficiency in handling litigation.  Our work is designed, discussed and approved to stay within a realistic budget, in order to avoid unpleasant billing surprises. We are committed to developing mutually beneficial fee arrangements based on our clients' needs--including straight hourly billing, task-based billing and budgeting, blended rates, discounted hourly billing based on volume and monthly or annual budgets with caps,  as well as flat fees and full or partial contingency arrangements.

Areas of Focus

The firm's clients do business across all the major sectors of the economy, and include some of the world's largest financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, technology and consumer products companies. We have represented in significant litigations JPMorgan Chase, Raymond James Financial, Shinhan Bank, Mylan, Inc., Merck KGaA, Avon, Polo Ralph Lauren, Reader's Digest, BP Products North America, Dow Chemical, Millennium Holdings and many other major corporations. Since many industries face legal issues rooted in one or more specific areas of law, we have woven a number of specialized areas of practice throughout our industry groups, so that clients receive the insights of lawyers who are experienced and focused on their issues.

Financial Services

Kelley Drye represents leading financial institutions across an array of legal issues.Our attorneys have represented banks, lenders, investment managers and other financial institutions in the U.S. and abroad. We handle complex and sophisticated matters covering the spectrum of claims present in today's legal landscape, including fraud, false claims, derivative shareholder suits, bankruptcy litigation, class actions, breach of contract disputes, and claims arising from current issues such as stock options backdating, secondary liability, predatory lending, truth in lending, securities fraud and mortgage-backed securities. We regularly handle matters involving federal and state enforcement agencies on behalf of our financial services clients.


Pharmaceutical companies face a wide range of litigation and regulatory matters including false claims act and regulatory litigation, product liability, pricing, fraud, consumer protection, class actions, federal and state investigations, antitrust, intellectual property and general commercial litigation. Our lawyers understand the unique regulatory and complex jurisdictional and cross-border issues that arise for our pharmaceutical clients.

Consumer Products

Protecting a brand name in the highly competitive environment of retail and consumer products and dealing with advertising issues, antitrust, unfair competition and intellectual property claims requires the guidance of skilled professionals who understand how to protect and preserve a brand and its intellectual property. We have handled all types of litigation centered on brands and related intellectual property and have tried significant cases to protect both patents and trademarks.

Industrial and Manufacturing

Large, international manufacturers and industrial companies must deal with expensive products liability actions, environmental litigation and class action cases, as well as trademark and competition issues. Kelley Drye has represented automotive, chemical, energy and other heavy manufacturing companies in these and other types of litigation matters. We have teams of lawyers who have tackled the challenge of defending some of the largest targets of product liability and toxic tort litigation. Kelley Drye lawyers have been integrally involved in litigation involving Agent Orange, asbestos and the industrial accident at Bhopal, and currently we represent a defendant oil company in cases alleging more than $1 billion in property damage and personal injuries arising out of a large oil spill.

Technology and Communications

Through close coordination with members of our Government Relations and Communications practices, Kelley Drye's litigators stay well informed of legislation and precedent-setting cases that affect our communications clients' industry and operations. Our experience includes representation of technology companies in litigation involving class actions, contract and pricing disputes, intellectual property, theft of trade secrets, government contracting and regulatory issues. We also regularly litigate cases involving laws governing the use of specific technologies such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, as well as laws governing data privacy.

Representing Foreign Companies in U.S. Litigation

Kelley Drye has guided numerous international corporations through litigation in the U.S.  Our attorneys understand and anticipate the unique challenges that foreign-based companies face in defending litigation in the U.S. Our publication, "Understanding Litigation in the United States: A Guide for Foreign Executives and Attorneys," explains to foreign executives the complex U.S. litigation process, with advice about the issues they need to consider. We have significant experience handling litigation for clients headquartered in numerous countries, including Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Argentina, Colombia and Spain.

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