Paul Weiss secures Dechert’s mass tort co-head in Los Angeles

Kimberly Branscome joins having counselled GSK, 3M and Johnson & Johnson in high-profile litigation

Kimberly Branscome Image courtesy of Paul Weiss

Paul Weiss has added senior defence lawyer Kimberly Branscome from Dechert, in a move that sees it make its first litigation hire in Los Angeles. 

Branscome has joined the 1,000-lawyer firm's litigation department after nearly four years at Dechert, where she co-led the product liability and mass tort practice.  

Her trial practice focuses on complex product liability, environmental and toxic torts, professional liability and securities matters. 

Branscome has defended clients at trial across sectors including pharma, consumer products, energy and automotive, and has acted as lead trial counsel to major corporates including GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. She is also lead counsel for 3M in ongoing product liability litigation related to earplugs sold to the military – the largest mass tort in US history.  

“Kim, a top trial lawyer, has delivered exceptional results for her clients in some of the toughest, highest-profile products matters in the country,” said Karen Dunn, co-chair of Paul Weiss’s litigation Department. “We’re thrilled to welcome her to the firm.” 

Noted by Chambers as a well-regarded trial lawyer, Branscome was a partner for nearly six years at Kirkland & Ellis before joining Dechert and earlier in her career practised at Covington & Burling. 

She joins Paul Weiss as the third partner in its LA office, which also houses private equity partners Caroline Epstein and Ben Steadman and a team of seven associates.  

Most of the firm’s wider litigation team of around 400 lawyers is based in its New York headquarters. The team is recognised for its first-class expertise across civil and criminal disputes and has counselled clients including Pfizer and AbbVie in product liability cases. It also boasts strengths in IP, antitrust and securities litigation.  

“It is an honor to join Paul Weiss and its preeminent litigation department, which I have long admired,” Branscome said. “I look forward to collaborating with my new partners in helping our clients navigate their most difficult litigation challenges.”  

A Dechert spokesperson commented: “We appreciate the contributions that Kim made to the firm and wish her well.” 

Arnold & Porter also strengthened its product liability offering recently, hiring a five-partner team from Shook Hardy & Bacon last September across Washington DC and Houston. 

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