Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (“Freshfields”) announced today that leading litigation attorney Mary Eaton has joined the New York office as a partner to co-head the firm’s Securities and Shareholder Litigation Practice with Meredith Kotler. She joins from Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, where she was Chair of the firm’s Business and Corporate Litigation Practice Group. The move comes on the heels of the firm launching a Silicon Valley office with seven partners.
“Mary is one of the country’s top litigation lawyers, having handled numerous high-profile and complex cases involving board processes, M&A, securities law and commercial disputes,” said Edward Braham, Chair of Freshfields. “She is an invaluable addition to our litigation and transactional work in New York, Washington D.C. and across the firm. Having the high energy and expertise of both Meredith Kotler and Mary Eaton at the head of this practice is critical to serving our clients.”
Ms. Eaton has represented numerous clients in shareholder disputes, including CBS Corporation, Tower Insurance, and Facebook in securities litigation and the independent directors of Citigroup and Merck & Co. in derivative suits, as well as numerous public and private companies and financial sponsors in transaction-related and commercial disputes.
The move unites Ms. Eaton with Meredith Kotler, a highly regarded, senior litigator specializing in securities and shareholder litigation, who joined Freshfields in October 2019. Ms. Kotler represents companies, financial institutions, and their management and boards in high-stakes litigation, including securities, M&A, corporate governance, and other shareholder-related disputes, in federal and state courts around the country.
The addition of Ms. Eaton gives Freshfields, in short order, two accomplished senior women leading the firm’s cutting-edge Securities and Shareholder Litigation Practice. This move is indicative of Freshfields’ overall strategy and commitment to the firm’s US capabilities and delivery of a robust offering that provides clients with strategic support in both the boardroom and the courtroom for the most complex and difficult challenges and risks they face.
“We are delighted to have Mary join us. Having Mary co-head the securities and shareholder litigation practice with me is excellent news for our clients that are navigating a terrain characterized by frequent securities and shareholder suits and aggressive disputes between merger parties. She is at the top of our field,” said Ms. Kotler. “With Mary, our clients gain a top tier litigator who is well known and respected for precisely the kind of high-level work we are doing and for which our clients need us,” Ms. Kotler added.
“Mary and Meredith are a powerhouse duo whose experience and expertise in communicating with directors and executives about serious litigation risks and in handling corporate litigations successfully are exactly what our clients are demanding,” said Ethan Klingsberg, partner and Head of US Corporate and M&A at Freshfields.
“Our securities and shareholder litigation team works seamlessly with our award-winning white collar, arbitration, antitrust litigation and M&A practices, uniquely positioning us to advise clients on the full spectrum of high-stakes legal matters,” noted Eric Bruce, a partner and head of the firm’s US litigation department.
“Freshfields has an unparalleled global platform, and a demonstrated track-record of excellence in courtrooms around the world,” said Ms. Eaton. “The growth of the firm’s US transactional practice and sophisticated deal flow in the US, taken together with the new strength of our Securities and Shareholder Litigation Practice, provide an amazing opportunity for partnering between litigators and corporate lawyers to benefit clients. I hope to enhance the Firm’s reputation for excellence and work to ensure our clients receive the litigation advice and representation they deserve on transactions, governance and other significant issues facing corporations and their boards of directors.”