Paul Weiss secures veteran litigation partner duo from Winston & Strawn in New York

Arrival of Robert Sperling and Staci Yablon set to deepen firm's relationship with key client Goldman Sachs

Robert Sperling and Staci Yablon

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison has made a twin partner hire from Winston & Strawn in New York to expand its litigation department in a move that promises to deepen its relationship with longstanding client Goldman Sachs.

Robert Sperling and Staci Yablon join as partners, bringing across more than three decades of experience between them across a range of disputes and investigations. Sperling is a veteran trial lawyer, advising some of the world’s largest financial institutions and companies on high-stakes securities, antitrust and commercial-related litigation. Yablon also advises financial institutions and global corporations on commercial disputes, white collar and regulatory matters and government investigations. 

The duo have represented key Paul Weiss client Goldman Sachs in a number of major lawsuits during their tenure at Winston, including the investment bank’s involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad corruption scandal.

Paul Weiss regularly advises Goldman Sachs across a range of disciplines, including disputes. Last August, it secured a victory in the Delaware Court of Chancery for the investment bank when a claim relating to its role as financial adviser to Genomic Health for its $2.8bn acquisition by Exact Sciences was dismissed.

Brad Karp, chairman of Paul Weiss, said: “They are both incredibly impressive lawyers who have successfully defended global financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies in some of their most significant, complex litigations and they will be invaluable assets to our clients and our firm.”

Sperling spent more than 20 years at his former firm, having previously been a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman. Yablon was at Winston for just over 10 years, where she co-chaired its financial services litigation practice, having previously been an associate at Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Jessica Carey, Paul Weiss’s litigation department co-chair, added: “Bob and Staci are versatile and talented litigators who are trusted to handle their clients’ most sensitive, business-critical matters,” noting the pair’s ‘remarkable’ track records of success.

Other US firms have also been making marquee hires for their litigation teams this year. In June, WilmerHale hired former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara in its New York office. At the time the firm said Bharara would focus his practice on internal investigations, government matters, congressional investigations, compliance and risk assessments, crisis management and pro bono cases.

Also in June, Brown Rudnick promoted litigation lawyer Camille Vasquez to partner after she helped land a $15m jury verdict for actor Johnny Depp in his defamation claim against ex-wife Amber Heard.

And back in March, Debevoise & Plimpton hired veteran trial lawyer John Neukom from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom to bolster its IP litigation group in San Francisco. Neukom was previously Skadden’s IP litigation practice co-chair. In the same month, Goodwin Procter hired Baker Botts’ California litigation head Jonathan Shapiro to expand its West Coast disputes practice.


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