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. Ms. North advises clients on antitrust regulatory clearance issues in connection with mergers and acquisitions. 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 high profile leveraged finance transactions, including URI, Clear Channel and Huntsman. She has also advised outside directors of financial institutions in connection with the 2008 credit crisis and defended Credit Suisse in actions around the country relating to residential mortgage‑backed securities.
Ms. North currently 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. Ms. North defended the board of directors of Alcoa Inc. in various derivative actions alleging that Alcoa paid bribes to secure business with Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C., an aluminum smelting company principally owned by Bahrain. Ms. North also represented Alcoa in a civil lawsuit relating to those allegations as well as in DOJ and SEC investigations into alleged FCPA violations, all of which settled.
Ms. North’s recent representations include:
- Advising Weyerhaeuser Company on antitrust issues in connection with the pending $2.2 billion sale of its Cellulose Fibers pulp mills to International Paper Company.
- Advising Delhaize Group on antitrust issues in connection with its pending $29 billion merger of equals with Royal Ahold N.V.
- Advised Grupo Villar Mir on antitrust issues in connection with its merger with Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. with an enterprise value of approximately $3.1 billion.
- Advised Weyerhaeuser Company on antitrust issues in connection with its $23 billion merger with Plum Creek Timber Company.
- Advised MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. on antitrust issues in connection with its $21 billion merger with MPLX LP.
- Advised Pinnacle Foods Inc. on antitrust issues in connection with its $975 million acquisition of Boulder Brands, Inc.
- Advised UTi Worldwide Inc. on antitrust issues in connection with its $1.35 billion sale to DSV A/S.
Securities, M&A and Other Commercial Litigation
- Representing the former independent directors of Massey Energy Company in various derivative and other actions filed in the aftermath of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion.
- 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 Lynch 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 is committed to pro bono service. Working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other national organizations, she has helped reform the manner in which the states of Montana and Michigan provide legal services to indigent citizens. Ms. North is currently representing a group of foster care children in New York City as plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the State of New York, the City of New York and relevant agencies and officials alleging systemic deficiencies in the New York City foster care system. The State defendants have agreed to a settlement committing them to more robust oversight of the City child welfare agency.
In 2016, Ms. North was recognized for her antitrust work by The Legal 500 United States. Ms. North was named a “National Star” in securities litigation by Benchmark Litigation from 2010 through 2016 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 featured in Benchmark’s Top 250 Women in Litigation from 2012 through 2015. Ms. North was also ranked by Super Lawyers for her work in general litigation. Ms. North has spoken on a number of securities law topics for the Practising Law Institute, including class action defense, the limits of U.S. jurisdictional reach, Delaware law and ethics rules, and current trends in securities litigation.
Ms. North has served on the Board of Trustees at Hamilton College and the Board of Advisors 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 over 20 years. Ms. North is also President of the Board of Directors of Read Ahead, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Trudeau Institute and a member of the Board of Legal Advisors of Legal Momentum. Ms. North is a member of the Commercial Division Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and the Antitrust Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. She is also a member of the International Bar Association.
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 +1‑212‑474‑1752 or by email at email@example.com.