Skadden Adds Class Action Defense Attorney Lisa Gilford in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – August 13, 2013 – Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP announced today that class action and products liability trial attorney Lisa Gilford has joined the firm’s Mass Torts, Insurance and Consumer Litigation Group in Los Angeles. Ms. Gilford most recently served as co-chair of the products liability group in the Los Angeles office of another highly regarded law firm, where she represented companies in the automotive, telecommunications, life science, chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries on every level of significant mass tort litigation in federal and state courts across the nation.

Ms. Gilford has served as lead counsel in the defense of Toyota Motor Corporation against class action and product liability claims related to alleged incidents of “unintended acceleration” since 2009. Her notable successes in that litigation include securing dismissal of the class claims of plaintiffs from more than 14 different countries from multi-district litigation pending in Orange County. She also has represented clients such as DuPont and T-Mobile USA, among others, in connection with consumer class action and products liability claims.

“Lisa is widely regarded as one of the West Coast’s leading products and consumer class action defense and trial attorneys,” said John H. Beisner, who heads Skadden’s Mass Torts, Insurance and Consumer Litigation Group nationally. “Her expertise will bolster our capabilities in servicing companies facing complex mass tort and consumer litigation nationwide, as well as those subject to class actions brought under California consumer and unfair competition laws.”

West Coast Litigation Practice Leader Thomas J. Nolan added, “Lisa’s tenacity as a litigator and her reputation for understanding clients’ business needs make her an ideal complement to our existing bench of talented litigators and trial lawyers in California and across our national platform. Her dedication to client service and intense focus on their interests and goals perfectly align with our firm’s core values.”

“Skadden’s global reach and the breadth and scope of the firm’s practice capabilities are unparalleled,” said Ms. Gilford. “I have had the opportunity to work closely with the firm and its lawyers in representing Toyota, and I am excited about joining such an impressive group of attorneys.”

Ms. Gilford has been named by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California” (2011) and among the “Top Women Litigators” (2010-2012). She also has been nominated for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Women Making a Difference” award the past two years.

Ms. Gilford received the J. Michael Brown Award from DuPont in 2008 for her personal commitment to diversity, recruiting and mentoring in the legal profession. She is the former president of the National Association of Women Lawyers (2008-2009) and is actively involved in the Black Women Lawyers Association, Langston Bar Association and Women Lawyers of Los Angeles. Ms. Gilford was profiled in two recent books on women in the legal profession, Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500, and Women on Top: The Woman’s Guide to Leadership and Power in Law Firms.

A graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Ms. Gilford received her B.A. from Furman University and an LL.M. from Georgetown University. She taught at The Georgetown University Law Center and was a Graduate Fellow and public service lawyer with Georgetown’s Institute for Public Representation from 1993-1995; she frequently lectures on topics such as California tort, consumer protection and unfair competition claims; class actions; best practices for outside counsel; and professional development for women lawyers and other diversity issues.

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