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Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Grows Litigation Team

 |  November 8, 2021

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati announced today that a prominent group of first-chair trial and appellate lawyers from Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP have joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as partners in the firm’s growing national litigation practice. Luis Li, Matthew Macdonald, Fred Rowley, and Mark Yohalem join Wilson Sonsini today, while Eric Tuttle will be joining the firm later this month.

These lawyers possess a level of talent that will benefit our clients enormously in their most significant legal disputes,” said Doug Clark, managing partner of Wilson Sonsini. “They bring diverse career experiences—from trying cases of all kinds in private practice and as prosecutors to arguing appeals throughout the country— in a cohesive group that has practiced together for years.” 

Joining Wilson Sonsini’s litigation practice as of November 8 are:

·         Luis Li, a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and noted white-collar defense attorney, who has built a career litigating high-profile matters in federal, state, and international courts. He has twice earned California Lawyer “Attorney of the Year” honors and has been recognized among the Daily Journal’s “Top 100 Lawyers,” among other recognitions. His trial representations as lead counsel include the successful defense of Plains All American Pipeline in a criminal matter arising from one of the largest oil spills in California history, and as co-counsel in the successful defense of Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon, in civil litigation arising from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and in representing the NCAA in the name image and likeness litigation related to college student athletes.

·         Matthew Macdonald, who represents clients in high-stakes commercial and crisis litigation. His key representations include PG&E in the lawsuits arising out of the 2017-2018 Northern California wildfires, MGM Resorts in claims related to the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival, and the LA Clippers in litigation over the construction of their new arena in Inglewood, California. He recently obtained a complete defense result in defending creditors against $600 million clawback claims in the GM bankruptcy. Before entering private practice, he served clerkships on both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court.

·         Fred Rowley, who is widely recognized as a leading appellate advocate. A fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, Rowley was recently named one of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Most Influential Minority Lawyers.” He has argued more than 50 appeals, and has served as lead counsel in dozens more. He has presented argument before the U.S. Supreme Court, multiple federal appeals courts, and state supreme courts, and, like Li, brings prosecutorial experience as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California to his practice. In the past year alone, Rowley won a major age discrimination appeal before the California Court of Appeal, which vacated a $30 million compensatory and punitive damages verdict.

·         Mark Yohalem, a former clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy who has argued more than 40 appeals in federal and state courts. Another veteran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, Yohalem served as deputy chief of appeals. In the aftermath of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, he participated in the intensely watched dispute between Apple and the FBI over the unlocking of the iPhone belonging to one of the terrorists responsible for the crime.

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