• In asbestos and pollution claims litigation with more twists than a Gordian Knot, Mendes helps insurers untangle the legal mess.

    In asbestos and pollution claims litigation with more twists than a Gordian Knot, Mendes helps insurers untangle the legal mess.

    BOSTON, MA/ Starting in the mid-1980’s, in courthouses across the U.S., W.R. Grace has had insurers tied up in asbestos and pollution claims litigation. The chemical and construction materials conglomerate—whose pollution problems have been well publicized in the book and movie “A Civil Action”—has spent hundreds of millions of dollars defending and settling these claims.

  • The aviation industry trusts Mendes to successfully pilot its defense in precedent-setting cases.

    The aviation industry trusts Mendes to successfully pilot its defense in precedent-setting cases.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. & SAN FRANCISCO, CA/ In addition to defending many high profile aerospace cases, the Mendes Aviation Department was at the forefront in establishing two of the most notable, and widely cited, defenses used in aerospace defense practice today.

  • It was a nightmare scenario: the most expensive piece of art in the world damaged on the eve of its sale.

    It was a nightmare scenario: the most expensive piece of art in the world damaged on the eve of its sale.

    LAS VEGAS, NV/ “Le Rêve” is Pablo Picasso’s 1932 portrait of his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. Owned by billionaire casino magnate Steve Wynn, it was in the process of being sold for $139 million to hedge-fund mogul and avid art collector Steven Cohen. Days before the sale was to be finalized, Wynn was showing “Le Rêve” to a group of friends and celebrities. Standing next to the painting, he was describing its provenance and gesturing with his arm when he accidently put his elbow through it, creating a silver-dollar-size hole in the canvas.

  • Discovery of under-the-table negotiations leads to a high- water mark ruling in asbestos coverage action.

    Discovery of under-the-table negotiations leads to a high- water mark ruling in asbestos coverage action.

    NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ/  When it came time for domestic floor tile manufacturer Congoleum Corporation to pay its fair share of asbestos liabilities under New Jersey law, the company turned away from its insurers. Instead of working with its insurers, it secretly negotiated a pre-packaged 524(g) bankruptcy with counsel for the asbestos claimants, whereby it agreed to assign its insurance assets to an asbestos trust in exchange for the claimants’ supporting votes in the bankruptcy.