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Kevin J. Orsini

Partner, Litigation

Kevin J. Orsini regularly plays a central role in major corporate battles that redefine the law. Named Benchmark Litigation’s 2020 “Antitrust Attorney of the Year” and shortlisted for “General Commercial Attorney of the Year,” he has extensive experience representing companies and individuals in all stages of litigation, from pre‑complaint investigation through appeal. In the past five years he has tried seven matters, including trying two suits for American Express and Time Warner in business‑critical litigation against the DOJ.

Mr. Orsini’s practice focuses on complex antitrust litigation, mergers and acquisitions litigation, securities litigation and other commercial disputes. His additional clients have included Alcoa, Black Entertainment Television, Barnes & Noble, Crown Castle, CSC Sugar, FleetCor Technologies, Goldman Sachs, HCA, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Mylan, Occidental Petroleum, Palantir Technologies, PG&E, Sabre, Viacom, The Williams Companies and Xerox.

Trial Experience

Mr. Orsini has substantial first‑chair litigation and trial experience. Recent representations include:

  • Obtained a major victory for American Express before the U.S. Supreme Court in an antitrust lawsuit originally brought by the DOJ and 17 state attorneys general challenging certain provisions in AmEx’s merchant agreements. Mr. Orsini represented AmEx in the seven‑week bench trial against the DOJ and subsequent appeal to the Second Circuit. The Supreme Court’s decision, which affirmed the Second Circuit’s judgment in favor of AmEx, defines how antitrust law will be applied to two‑sided markets.
  • Secured a victory for Time Warner after a six‑week trial in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the DOJ seeking to block Time Warner’s $109 billion acquisition by AT&T, the government’s first challenge to a vertical merger in decades.
  • Representing PG&E as lead trial counsel in hundreds of lawsuits, including numerous putative class actions, filed against the company arising out of the unprecedented 2017 and 2018 California wildfires—one of the largest and most complex sets of mass tort litigation in recent years. Plaintiffs collectively seek more than $50 billion in damages on behalf of more than 75,000 claimants alleging strict liability, negligence and public nuisance. Mr. Orsini also represents PG&E in its Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings—the largest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history—leading the company’s efforts to resolve all pending wildfire claims.
  • Representing Turner Network Sales as lead trial counsel in a breach of contract dispute against DISH Network concerning the licensing and distribution of television channel CNN.  A jury trial is scheduled for April 2020.
  • Won the dismissal of lawsuits against DHT Holdings filed by Frontline, one of DHT’s largest shareholders, in New York state court and the Marshall Islands related to Frontline’s rejected offer to acquire the company. Mr. Orsini served as lead trial counsel and successfully argued against Frontline’s TRO and preliminary injunction motions in both actions.
  • Represented Palantir Technologies as lead trial counsel in litigation concerning a shareholder’s books and records demand, which was tried in the Delaware Court of Chancery in June 2017. Mr. Orsini continues to represent Palantir in related litigation in Delaware Superior Court alleging intentional interference with a proposed deal to sell $60 million worth of Palantir stock.
  • Represented The Williams Companies as plaintiff in M&A litigation culminating in an expedited two‑day trial before the Delaware Court of Chancery seeking to enjoin Energy Transfer Equity from terminating a planned $37.7 billion merger.
  • Represented FleetCor Technologies, a payment service provider, and its subsidiary as trial counsel in a breach of contract dispute filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery by TA Operating, an operator of nationwide travel centers. The matter was tried in April 2017.
  • Representing The Williams Companies as co‑lead trial counsel in litigation seeking, among other things, a $410 million reimbursement under the merger agreement as a result of Energy Transfer Equity’s termination of the deal.
  • Representing Palantir Technologies as lead trial counsel in litigation filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery by a shareholder seeking inspection of the company’s books and records purportedly for valuation purposes.
  • Won a landmark decision for Barnes & Noble after a four‑day expedited trial in an action brought in the Delaware Court of Chancery by various funds managed by Ronald Burkle challenging the company’s poison pill.  The decision was affirmed by the Delaware Supreme Court in March 2011.

Select Additional Antitrust Litigation Experience

  • Representing American Express in several antitrust lawsuits and arbitrations challenging as anticompetitive certain provisions of its merchant agreements. Mr. Orsini won dismissal of a related shareholder derivative lawsuit. He also represented AmEx in a putative antitrust class action lawsuit alleging unlawful tying, which was dismissed.
  • Represented Sabre, a travel technology company, in its successful appeal to the Second Circuit of an adverse jury verdict in an antitrust lawsuit brought by US Airways concerning Sabre’s contract terms.
  • Represented Viacom International and Black Entertainment Television in an antitrust lawsuit brought by Cablevision concerning cable programming bundling, which settled.

Select Additional M&A Litigation Experience

  • Representing The Williams Companies, related entities and members of Williams’ board in lawsuits in Delaware and Oklahoma relating to the company’s now‑terminated $37.7 billion merger with Energy Transfer Equity.
  • Represented the Special Committee of Delphi Financial Group in a consolidated shareholder class action lawsuit challenging Delphi’s $2.7 billion buyout by Tokio Marine Holdings.
  • Defeated a preliminary injunction motion for Mylan in a lawsuit filed by Perrigo challenging certain disclosure statements that Mylan made in connection with its $27 billion proposal to acquire Perrigo.

Securities and Other Commercial Litigation Experience

  • Representing J.P. Morgan Securities, individually and as successor in interest to Bear Stearns, in litigation filed by First Community Bank concerning collateral debt obligations.
  • Representing Mylan and certain of the company’s directors and officers in a consolidated putative securities class action lawsuit filed by shareholders concerning certain disclosures about its EpiPen product.
  • Representing SciPlay, a leading developer of digital games for mobile and web platforms, and certain of its officers and directors as lead counsel in putative class action securities litigation in New York and Nevada state courts alleging that offering documents issued in connection with SciPlay’s May 2019 initial public offering omitted material information regarding the company’s business prospects and financial health.
  • Representing Scientific Games (“SciGames”) and its subsidiary, Bally Gaming, as well as certain members of the SciGames board of directors, as lead counsel in a suit filed by Sylebra in the Delaware Court of Chancery alleging defendants engaged in a plan to harm Sylebra’s investment in SciGames.  Mr. Orsini is also lead counsel for SciGames and Bally Gaming as plaintiffs in a related suit against Sylebra in Nevada federal court.
  • Defeated a preliminary injunction motion and won a motion to compel arbitration for Barnes & Noble Booksellers in a purported consumer class action lawsuit filed in New York federal court concerning consumer digital privacy.
  • Won the dismissal of a shareholder derivative action for Barnes & Noble concerning the company’s financial reporting and internal controls. Mr. Orsini also represented the company in a related consolidated securities class action lawsuit, which plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed following dismissal of the derivative suit.
  • Won the dismissal of a putative shareholder class action against Barnes & Noble alleging breaches of fiduciary duties related to the company’s acquisition of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and violations of Section 14(a) of the 1934 Act based on certain disclosure statements.
  • Represented Goldman Sachs against multibillion‑dollar claims asserted in the Lyondell bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Won the dismissal of a securities fraud lawsuit against JPMorgan concerning collateralized debt obligations.

Among his other distinctions, Chambers USA has recognized Mr. Orsini for his general commercial litigation work and The Legal 500 US has recommended Mr. Orsini for his work in antitrust, general commercial, M&A and securities litigation. Lawdragon has also named him one of “500 Leading Lawyers in America.” He was named Benchmark Litigation’s 2020 “Antitrust Attorney of the Year” and has also been recognized by that publication as both a “National Star” in general commercial litigation and a “Local Litigation Star” in antitrust, general commercial, M&A and securities litigation. 

Mr. Orsini was born in Livingston, New Jersey. He received a B.A. summa cum laude from George Washington University in 2000, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2003.

Mr. Orsini joined Cravath in 2003 and was elected a partner in 2010. He serves as Co‑Chair of the Firm’s Business Development Group. 

Mr. Orsini is admitted only in New York and New Jersey.

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