Law360 MVP Awards: Five Sullivan & Cromwell Partners Named 2021 MVPs

September 1, 2021

Sullivan & Cromwell partners across a range of practices have been recognized by the Law360 MVP Awards this year, reflecting the Firm’s strength across multiple disciplines. Lawyers selected as MVPs “have distinguished themselves from their peers by securing hard-earned successes in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters and record-breaking deals,” and were selected from more than 900 submissions. During the past 10 years, S&C lawyers have won 65 MVP awards.

Mitch Eitel in Banking

The Managing Partner of our Financial Services Group, Mitch is playing a key role in efforts to strengthen minority-owned financial institutions, including advising the U.S. Treasury on its $9 billion Emergency Capital Investment Program, and Wells Fargo on 12 investments in minority depository institutions, which all closed in 2021, as part of its pledge to invest up to $50 million in Black-owned banks. Mitch also advised Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria in the sale of its U.S. subsidiary to PNC for $11.5 billion, the largest announced U.S. bank deal of 2020. This marks Mitch’s third Law360 MVP award for Banking.

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Robert Giuffra in Transportation

A nine-time Law360 MVP, Bob has led some of the most significant transportation-focused product liability matters in history, negotiating landmark settlements for Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and extinguishing billions of dollars of potential claims in the process. His work has propelled S&C’s product liability practice to become one of the most formidable in the auto industry. This is Bob’s first win in the Transportation category and follows S&C’s recognition as a Law360 2020 Product Liability Practice Group of the Year. Bob’s recent victories for clients in the transportation industry include a series of dismissals of RICO and other claims by FCA owners in Michigan and Volkswagen salespersons in California; and a Ninth Circuit victory for Volkswagen that provides important guidance on the application of the Supreme Court’s Affiliated Ute presumption of reliance in securities class actions. In a win that earned him his seventh recognition as The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week,” Bob also obtained the dismissal of all claims against Volkswagen and Audi brought on behalf of nearly 150,000 consumers who had both purchased and sold their vehicles prior to the use of “defeat devices” becoming public. Read the Law360 profile of Bob here.

Bob has now won more Law360 MVP awards (nine) than any other lawyer since Law360 started naming MVPs.

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David Rein in Securities

David played a key role in the most closely watched case in securities litigation this year—Goldman Sachs Group v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System—helping Goldman Sachs obtain a favorable U.S. Supreme Court decision. The Court’s 8-1 ruling has become the leading case on interpreting the “price impact” defense to class certification. He also achieved victories in shareholder litigations this year for companies including Diebold Nixdorf, the world’s largest ATM maker, and Grupo México, the largest mining company in Mexico. Read the Law360 profile of David here.

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Melissa Sawyer in M&A

M&A partner Melissa Sawyer represented Tiffany & Co. in its $16 billion acquisition by French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the largest luxury retail deal ever, which  required keen strategizing to stay on track during the pandemic. She also represented Diageo in its acquisition of Aviation Gin LLC and Davos Brands LLC for $610 million, following her 2017 representation of Diageo in its $1 billion acquisition of Casamigos. Melissa is the co-head of S&C’s Corporate Governance & Activism Practice and Consumer & Retail Group. Read the Law360 profile of Melissa here.

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Rebecca Simmons in FinTech

As the co-chair of Sullivan & Cromwell’s FinTech practice and the head of its payments practice, Rebecca Simmons helps both traditional banks and new players develop technologies to enable faster, more convenient payment systems. This year, she advised the leading blockchain software company, ConsenSys, in its acquisition of J.P. Morgan’s enterprise-level, open source Ethereum-based blockchain platform, Quorum. She also helped the Interim Government of Venezuela under Juan Guaidó free and disburse $80 million in previously frozen funds to roughly 62,000 “health heroes”—doctors, nurses and others treating COVID-19 patients—using an innovative fintech mechanism. Read the Law360 profile of Rebecca here.

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