Kathleen Sullivan is a partner in the firm’s New York office and the chair of its national appellate practice. Widely recognized as one of the nation’s preeminent appellate advocates, she was elected in 2014 to the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. In other recognition, she was named once again in 2013 to The National Law Journal’s occasional list of The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America, which noted her “awesome mastery of the case’s facts and the nuances of the law” in her recent winning Supreme Court arguments in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. She has also been recognized by Benchmark Litigation/Euromoney as one of the Top 10 Women Litigators in the nation, ten consecutive times by the Daily Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in California, twice by The American Lawyer Litigation Daily as Litigator of the Week, and by California Lawyer as Appellate Lawyer of the Year. A National Law Journal article called her a Supreme Court “superstar” and a New York Times editorial called her “a formidable advocate” in describing her winning Supreme Court argument in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth. Chambers USA (2012) describes her as a “truly terrific” appellate lawyer who wins clients’ approval as “tremendously agile and a fabulous advocate.” In Chambers USA (2014), clients praised her as “‘a consummate practitioner before any appeal court. She is a powerhouse in terms of her ability to succeed at the appellate level. She’s terrific – a brilliant appellate lawyer.”’ In 2014, Super Lawyers once again named Sullivan one of the top 50 women lawyers in the New York Metro area and profiled her in a feature entitled, “Kathleen Sullivan and the Appeal of Appellate Law”. In 2015, The National Law Journal named Sullivan one of the top 75 "Outstanding Women Lawyers" in the United States.
The former Dean of Stanford Law School, Sullivan joined the firm in 2005 after a long and storied career as professor of law at Harvard and Stanford Law Schools, where she taught constitutional law to several generations of law students. She represents a wide range of clients, including Samsung, Shell Oil, Entergy, Google, Cisco, Coca-Cola, AIG, and CNA. She has argued nine times before the United States Supreme Court; numerous cases in the US Courts of Appeals, including the First, Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth and Federal Circuits; and various cases in state high courts including the New York Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court. In addition to her appeals practice, she plays an active role in the firm’s trial practice, including by arguing numerous significant pre-trial, trial and post-trial motions in the federal district courts.