Litigation Boutique of the Year, Finalist, The American Lawyer, 2009

In January 2009, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP was named one of the four national finalists for “Litigation Boutique of the Year” by The American Lawyer, a leading national legal magazine. Zuckerman Spaeder is one of only two law firms to be selected as a finalist both times the competition has been held. The firm also received the distinction in 2005, the first year The American Lawyer conducted a rigorous review of national boutique litigation firms.

In addition to its thriving white collar criminal defense practice, Zuckerman Spaeder was selected for its continued success in high-stakes civil litigation. The American Lawyer singled out the firm’s work on behalf of government entities and law firms involved in malpractice and ethics issues. One client, a current state attorney general, was quoted in the article, saying “They provided a high quality of work across the board. ... Their legal strategy and research was first-rate.” The firm also continues to be involved in legal battles that commanded significant attention in practice areas such as bankruptcy, food and drug law, government ethics, securities and real estate.

“We are pleased to be recognized—for the second time in a row—as one of the nation’s best litigation boutiques,” said Zuckerman Spaeder Chairman Graeme Bush. “For Zuckerman Spaeder, we continue to have high-profile success in both civil and criminal matters. We lead high-stakes defense of top business executives and political leaders, we handle important pharmaceutical, bankruptcy and securities litigation, and we are the go-to firm when other law firms and lawyers are the targets of prosecution.”

“The caliber of our firm is not best measured by our size or our flash, but rather by our consistent delivery of positive outcomes in some of the nation’s most important legal battles,” Bush added.

White Collar

More specifically, Zuckerman Spaeder has played a lead role in criminal cases involving high-profile executives and political leaders. The American Lawyer article prominently features the firm’s work on behalf of a very senior former Enron executive who reached a successful resolution of matters related to the collapse of that company. The firm also continues to represent a former president of Refco, Inc.

With its base in the nation’s capital, the firm has also built an active government ethics and political law practice, working on behalf of members of Congress, other elected officials and Washington insiders.

Civil Litigation

Zuckerman Spaeder continues to represent clients in civil litigation, including in a precedent-setting victory in a case that tested the generic exclusivity forfeiture provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which would have limited competition in the generic pharmaceutical marketplace. Zuckerman Spaeder client Roxane Laboratories won the ability, crucial to the generic drug maker and to patients with Type II diabetes, to market its just-approved generic version of the drug Acarbose, used to treat Type II diabetes.

The Law Firm for Lawyers

The American Lawyer also recognized Zuckerman Spaeder’s representation of other law firms and lawyers in both ethics and malpractice issues, highlighting the firm’s representation of a Washington, D.C., law firm in a legal malpractice claim brought by a well-known defense contractor. Zuckerman Spaeder was also called upon in one of the most high-profile law firm cases of the decade, which settled on favorable terms that allowed the client firm to stay in business. As the legal profession becomes more regulated, lawyers and law firms continue to turn to Zuckerman Spaeder for advice and assistance in negotiating an increasingly complex environment.

Pro Bono Leadership

Zuckerman Spaeder is profoundly committed to pro bono work. As Mr. Bush explained, “Our significant pro bono contributions are an important part of the culture and success of the firm. Whether it’s working on behalf of day laborers, death row inmates or victims of employment discrimination, Zuckerman Spaeder has set a high standard for assisting those with limited resources.”

As part of its pro bono work in the past year, Zuckerman Spaeder won one of the first legal tests related to the rights of undocumented workers, recovering damages for workers who were not paid for Hurricane Katrina clean-up work. The firm also represents a 75-year-old woman on death row in North Carolina, secured the first ever court ruling that Title VII protects individuals working in volunteer positions that may not be paid employment and was honored with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Beacon of Justice Award.

To read about The American Lawyer’s selection of Zuckerman Spaeder as a finalist for “Litigation Boutique of the Year,” please visit