Prominent Defense Lawyer Kimberly Branscome Joins Paul Weiss’ Litigation Department in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Paul Weiss, a prominent law firm with 1,000 attorneys, has added a senior defense lawyer to its litigation department in Los Angeles. Kimberly Branscome, previously with Dechert, brings nearly four years of experience co-leading the product liability and mass tort practice at her former firm.

Branscome’s trial practice focuses on complex cases involving product liability, environmental and toxic torts, professional liability, and securities matters. She has successfully defended clients across various industries, including pharmaceuticals, consumer products, energy, and automotive. Notably, she has served as lead trial counsel for major corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. In one of her current cases, Branscome acts as lead counsel for 3M in a product liability lawsuit related to earplugs sold to the military. This case, considered the largest mass tort in U.S. history, remains ongoing.

Recognized as a well-regarded trial lawyer by Chambers, Branscome previously worked for nearly six years at Kirkland & Ellis before joining Dechert. She also has experience at Covington & Burling earlier in her career. Upon joining Paul Weiss, Branscome becomes the third partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office, joining private equity partners Caroline Epstein and Ben Steadman.

With a larger litigation team of approximately 400 lawyers, mostly based in its New York headquarters, Paul Weiss is known for its top-notch expertise in both civil and criminal disputes. The firm has provided counsel to clients such as Pfizer and AbbVie in product liability cases and is highly regarded for its strengths in intellectual property, antitrust, and securities litigation.

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

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

Dechert acknowledged Branscome’s departure, with a spokesperson stating, “We appreciate the contributions that Kim made to the firm and wish her well.”

The addition of Branscome to Paul Weiss’s litigation department follows a similar move by Arnold & Porter, which recently hired a five-partner team from Shook Hardy & Bacon to strengthen its product liability practice in Washington DC and Houston.