O’Melveny Worldwide

Partner Daniel Petrocelli Named 2020 “Litigator of the Year” by The American Lawyer

January 15, 2021


CENTURY CITY—January 15, 2021—O’Melveny partner Daniel M. Petrocelli was named “Litigator of the Year” last night at The American Lawyer’s Industry Awards 2020, which recognize outstanding achievements in the legal profession nationwide.

Petrocelli, chair of O’Melveny’s Trial Practice Committee, was lauded for his work in an array of headline-making matters, including:

  • defeating the US Department of Justice’s attempt to block the historic $100-billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner;
  • securing a permanent injunction for Twentieth Century Fox stopping Netflix’s unlawful interference with Fox’s employment contracts;
  • winning reversal for Twentieth Century Fox of a $128.5 million punitive damage award;
  • earning a knock-out victory in the Ninth Circuit for HBO, Top Rank, and boxer Manny Pacquiao in a half-billion dollar class action arising out of Pacquiao’s 2015 “fight of the century;”
  • vacating a jury trial verdict and winning a new trial for NBCUniversal; 
  • serving as lead trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson in state and MDL actions related to the nation’s opioid crisis.

“Year in and year out, Dan achieves results that few litigators can amass during their entire careers, and his most recent results speak volumes about his excellence at trial,” said O’Melveny chair Bradley J. Butwin. “Dan is the best litigator I have ever seen. As chair of our Trial Practice Committee, he helps set the standard of excellence that every O’Melveny litigator is committed to upholding.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this special recognition,” said Petrocelli. “2020 was a year like no other, and as litigators, we faced unprecedented challenges—with quarantines, lockdowns, closed courtrooms, delayed trials, and proceedings via video. I share this recognition with all of my colleagues at O’Melveny who work tirelessly day in and day out in service and devotion to our clients.” Watch his acceptance speech

Petrocelli has a national trial practice representing clients in major litigation in a wide variety of areas, including entertainment, sports, intellectual property, antitrust, unfair competition, business torts, securities, employment law, and criminal defense. 

This is the latest in a string of recognitions that Petrocelli has received from The American Lawyer, which noted that he “is a lawyer clients call in the toughest situations.” In January 2020, he helped lead the O’Melveny Litigation Department to a “runner-up” ranking in The American Lawyer’s national Litigation Department of the Year competition. Petrocelli was previously selected as a “Litigator of the Year” finalist in 2017 and 2018. He has also consistently earned the highest accolades from the nation’s top legal and entertainment publications. 

“Every litigator who has had the privilege of working with Dan—or the misfortune of facing him as an opponent—knows he is a fierce and steadfast advocate for our clients,” said Richard B. Goetz, co-chair of O’Melveny’s Litigation Department. “We’re delighted to celebrate his latest success.”

“We are tremendously proud of Dan. Not only is he a brilliant lawyer and a fearless leader, he is completely devoted to our clients and his colleagues,” added M. Randall Oppenheimer, co-chair of O’Melveny’s Litigation Department. “Dan reflects O’Melveny’s core values of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. He is an icon of our profession.”

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Christopher Rieck
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
+1 212 326 2218