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Vanessa A. Lavely

Partner, Litigation

Vanessa Lavely handles a wide variety of litigation cases, including antitrust, intellectual property, environmental, general commercial and securities matters. Her clients have included Atlas Air, Colgate‑Palmolive, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, NCR and Qualcomm. Ms. Lavely has significant trial experience in federal and state court.

Ms. Lavely’s notable matters include:

  • Represented Qualcomm in several matters relating to the company’s patent licensing and chipset businesses, including an action filed by Apple in California federal court. Following opening statements at trial, the parties reached a global settlement that includes a payment from Apple to Qualcomm; the companies also reached a six‑year license agreement and a multi-year chipset supply agreement.
  • Represented Colgate‑Palmolive in product liability lawsuits filed around the country concerning the company’s talcum powder products. Ms. Lavely has tried three cases for Colgate; one resulted in a unanimous verdict in Colgate’s favor after a three‑month jury trial, and the other two reached favorable settlements during trial.
  • Represented NCR in several Superfund environmental actions relating to the remediation of Wisconsin’s Fox River and Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. Ms. Lavely has tried three cases for NCR in federal court in Wisconsin and Michigan. She also represented NCR in an appeal to the Seventh Circuit that resulted in a reversal of the district court’s summary judgment decision.
  • Represented Minerals Technologies in an action brought by the bankruptcy estate of Novinda Corporation, alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.  A three-week arbitration hearing was held in October 2019.
  • Represented Morgan Stanley in a consolidated antitrust class action lawsuit alleging a conspiracy to restrain competition in connection with the trading of credit default swaps.
  • Represented JPMorgan Chase and related entities (including Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual) in numerous residential mortgage‑backed securities actions filed across the country asserting claims for, among other things, alleged violations of federal and state securities laws, common law fraud and negligent misrepresentations.
  • Represented Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings in connection with a dispute arising out of a purchase agreement for certain Boeing aircraft, securing a settlement on terms favorable to Atlas Air.

Ms. Lavely also devotes substantial time to pro bono service. She works extensively with Her Justice (f/k/a inMotion), a group that helps disadvantaged women find pro bono legal representation for a variety of family law matters, including child support and domestic violence cases. 

Ms. Lavely is a member of the Board of Advisors for UCLA School of Law and the Board of Trustees for Deerfield Academy. She is also a member of the women’s network Chief.

Ms. Lavely has been named by Benchmark Litigation as a “Future Star” and included on its “40 & Under Hot List.” She was also recognized by The Legal 500 US for her work in antitrust, general commercial and patent litigation.

Ms. Lavely received an A.B. degree magna cum laude from Harvard College in 2004, where she was captain of the Women’s Lacrosse Team and was awarded Academic All‑Ivy League. She received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2008, where she served as the Editor‑in‑Chief of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduation, she served as a law clerk to Hon. Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Lavely joined Cravath in 2010 and was elected a partner in 2017.

Ms. Lavely is admitted only in New York.

+1 (212) 474-1718
+1 (212) 474-3700