Practice Area


Patterson Belknap brings a unique combination of bench strength, trial experience, and commercial business acumen to represent its clients in a variety of highly sophisticated litigation matters. More than half of the Firm’s attorneys are devoted to litigation. Our partners have tried hundreds of cases, including many of the most complex and notable cases in their fields. Over 75 percent of the Firm’s litigators have held judicial clerkships, including at the Court of Appeals, Supreme Court, and federal District Court level, as well as at various state courts. Many of our litigators have held prior government roles, including as Attorney General of the State of New Jersey, acting head of the Southern District’s Major Crimes Unit, and several of our lawyers have served as federal prosecutors.

We are not afraid to go to trial, and our clients—and our adversaries—know it. One client has described us as "courtroom artisans." We are accustomed to trying cases and we are commercially-minded towards delivering the best results for each client. In situations when settlement may be the best option, our reputation and track record enhance our clients' chances for favorable resolution. 

Patterson Belknap was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as the 2021 "New York Firm of the Year." Our litigation practice was praised in Benchmark’s 2021 guide, "[t]hey should be referenced more often as one of the very best. They are very hard workers, and yet all pleasant, very ethical, just some really smart people who are also tough litigators." In previous editions of Benchmark, clients were not short on praise either - one client in particular confirmed, "The criteria we used include, in no particular order, legal skills, responsiveness, cost, business understanding, ability to interact well with business people, ability to work well with in-house lawyers and good sensitivity to decisions that warrant discussion with in-house counsel. Patterson Belknap gets high marks in all of the above, and they have the advantage of being smaller and more economical than many major NYC firms." Our leadership in litigation is also consistently recognized in Chambers USA. The guide praises Patterson Belknap noting that "[t]hey are very good at assembling a team of people who can quickly understand complex facts and demonstrate that the government does not need to pursue what they are pursuing." Prior editions of Chambers USA maintain that "[t]his team 'consistently delivers high-caliber work' which attracts long-standing clients. The team consists of 'smart and aggressive litigators who deliver excellent results time and time again'."

Our Practice

Patterson Belknap litigators handle matters in all dispute resolution fora. Together, our litigators have tried cases in federal court in every judicial circuit in the country. They are equally skilled in trying cases in New York state courts. At the same time, high-stakes disputes are increasingly being resolved outside the courtroom due to growing demands for efficient and timely solutions. Our lawyers have a reputation as leaders and innovators in the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) field.

The breadth of our litigation practice covers several areas of commercial litigation, including antitrust matters; commercial disputes; complex financial litigation; class actions; intellectual property, including patent, copyright, false advertising, and trademark disputes; securities and commodities cases; structured finance litigation; employment litigation; real estate workouts and litigation; and disputes among corporate shareholders, among other complex litigation matters. Our representations also often include civil litigations that arise out of internal investigations and government scrutiny.

Our litigators are skilled in ADR advocacy and have handled hundreds of arbitrations and mediations in various areas of the law. Our clients call upon us for counsel in formulating arbitration and mediation clauses in contracts, in structuring proceedings to resolve commercial and employment disputes and in selecting ADR neutrals. Many of our attorneys are practicing arbitrators and mediators who have sat in several roles and know the rules and intricacies of resolving a dispute through ADR proceedings.

Our Clients

Our clients include Fortune 500 corporations, such as multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers, media conglomerates, and financial services institutions. In addition, we represent foreign governments, state-owned enterprises, major banks, brokerage firms, pension funds, insurance companies, individual officers and directors of large companies, major investors, entrepreneurs, and privately-held corporations. We have in-depth experience in a number of industries, including pharmaceuticals; medical devices; consumer products; food and beverage; media and entertainment; financial services and investment management; manufacturing; technology and communications; commercial real estate; and others.

Our Technology

Patterson Belknap utilizes technology as an integral element of providing efficient, effective, and successful trial work and legal services. The Firm continually evaluates new technologies and adopts those which it believes are most useful to delivering better client service. The Firm's dedicated Practice Support Department provides database, trial support and technical skills needed to facilitate best the work of our lawyers and legal assistants. Trained analysts are responsible for front-line support, management of the case data and liaising with any outside vendors.