Julie A. North is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. Her broad litigation practice encompasses general commercial, securities, and mergers and acquisitions litigation, among other areas. She also has experience in advising and defending clients in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In the past several years, Ms. North has represented various financial institutions in connection with litigation over several high profile leveraged finance transactions including URI, Clear Channel and Huntsman. Ms. North has also advised outside directors of financial institutions in connection with the recent credit crisis. She is currently defending Credit Suisse in actions around the country relating to residential mortgage‑backed securities and American Express in a series of antitrust litigations in New York Federal courts, including litigation brought by the Department of Justice.
Ms. North also represents the former outside directors of Massey Energy Company in shareholder derivative litigations filed in West Virginia and Delaware state courts and represents the former outside directors and the company in a consolidated securities class action filed in West Virginia Federal court, all in connection with the explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia in April 2010. She is also defending the Board of Directors of Alcoa Inc. in various derivative actions alleging that Alcoa paid bribes to secure business with Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C., an aluminum smelting company principally owned by Bahrain.
Ms. North’s recent representations include:
- Successfully defended Credit Suisse in a multibillion‑dollar Federal class action litigation commenced by Enron shareholders in the wake of Enron’s bankruptcy.
- Successfully represented Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in litigation regarding the Hexion/Huntsman merger in Delaware, Texas and New York.
- Obtained the dismissal of all claims against Credit Suisse in securities class actions relating to Dynegy Inc., El Paso Corporation and Anchor Glass Corporation.
- Represented the outside directors of Merrill Lynch in securities, derivative and ERISA actions filed in New York State Supreme Court, the Delaware Chancery Court and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York arising from the merger between Merrill and Bank of America. Claims against the directors in these actions were dropped.
- Represented Merrill outside directors in a class action filed by former Merrill employees in the Southern District of California for violation of ERISA, breach of duties, and other state law claims relating to Merrill’s policies and procedures regarding the vesting and forfeiture of awards under its employee pension benefit plans. All but one of the claims against the directors were dismissed. The plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss the remaining claim without prejudice.
- Represented Dutch telecommunications company Royal KPN N.V. in litigation brought by international long distance telephone carrier iBasis Inc. in Delaware Chancery Court and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to enjoin KPN’s tender offer for all shares of common stock of iBasis not already owned by KPN. KPN and iBasis entered into a settlement agreement pursuant to which KPN made a final increase of its offer for the outstanding shares in iBasis not otherwise held by KPN. The transaction closed on December 21, 2009.
- Represented Darlene Investments LLC in various litigation and arbitration proceedings against The DIRECTV Group, Inc. (“DIRECTV”) relating to DIRECTV Latin America, LLC (“DTVLA”), a satellite television business in which DIRECTV was the majority owner and Darlene the minority owner. In January 2007, the parties entered into a settlement agreement whereby DIRECTV agreed to acquire Darlene’s interest in DTVLA and resolved all outstanding disputes between the parties for $325 million.
Ms. North’s pro bono efforts have been focused on working with the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”) and other national organizations to reform the manner in which states provide legal services to indigent citizens. Having succeeded in bringing about reform in the State of Montana, she is currently working with the ACLU (and others) to reform the indigent defense system in the State of Michigan. Her work in Michigan involves being a member of the board of directors of Campaign for Justice, a not‑for‑profit organization focused on indigent defense reform in Michigan.
Ms. North was named a “National Star” in securities litigation by Benchmark Litigation from 2010 through 2013 and has also been recognized by that publication as a “Local Litigation Star” in the New York area for securities and general commercial litigation. She was also featured in Benchmark’s inaugural edition of the Top 250 Women in Litigation in 2012. In 2010, Ms. North spoke at “Securities Litigation & Enforcement Institute 2010,” a conference in New York City presented by the Practising Law Institute. She also spoke on a panel, entitled “Today’s Securities Litigation Frontier – Plaintiff and Defense Perspectives,” which discussed the global financial crisis, recent Supreme Court cases and the changing landscape of securities litigation.
Ms. North has served on the Board of Trustees at Hamilton College and the Board of Visitors at Syracuse University College of Law. She is currently on the board of Central City Chorus, an organization with which she has been singing for about 20 years. She is a new member of Human Rights First’s Board of Advocates, as well as a member of the Board of Legal Advisors for Legal Momentum.
Ms. North was born in Canberra, Australia. She received a B.A. cum laude from Hamilton College in 1984 and a J.D. magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 1989, where she was Notes and Comments Editor of the Law Review and a member of the National Appellate Team. Ms. North joined Cravath in 1989 and became a partner in 1997.
Ms. North may be reached by phone at 212‑474‑1752 or by email at email@example.com.