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4 Jul 2013

[opinion] Julian Ku, Hofstra University School of Law & George T. Conway, III, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz in Wall Street Journal

When Corporate Defendants Go on Offense [Subscription required]

In defending against an $18 billion judgment levied by Ecuadorean courts, oil giant Chevron has played more offense than defense. It has sued the plaintiffs' U.S. and Ecuadorean attorneys, and several of the plaintiffs' expert witnesses. Last month, Chevron even filed counterclaims alleging fraud and misconduct by Patton Boggs, a well-respected U.S. law firm involved in the case. While unusual, Chevron's "offensive" defense strategy is beginning to pay off, and it may offer a playbook for future corporate defendants facing foreign lawsuits they view as abusive…Litigation in foreign courts may become more common for American multinationals because the Supreme Court has severely restricted lawsuits in U.S. courts arising out of overseas conduct. Yet as Chevron discovered in Ecuador, corporate defendants may face much more dangerous litigation in foreign jurisdictions. [Also refers to Petroecuador, Texaco (part of Chevron).]

Part of the following timelines

Opinion piece analyses Chevron's strategy in defending against $18 billion judgment in Ecuadorian oil pollution lawsuit

Texaco/Chevron lawsuits (re Ecuador)