privately held healthcare firm in a $30 million merger with a Fortune 500 corporation. He is the first African American elected to the post of chairman of the business law section of the American Bar Association.
O’Melveny & Myers
New York, NY
Career Highlights: This Columbia Law scholar has 13 years of legal wrangling under his belt. He specializes in venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, forming private investment clubs, and recapitalizing financially distressed companies.
Power Play: Isom represented a firm in the creation of a $1 billion private equity fund focused on the Asian markets.
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
Los Angeles, CA
Career Highlights: Johnson represents public and private companies in a variety of industries, ranging from film and television production and distribution to investment banking. The Harvard Law graduate counsels clients on various deals, including joint ventures, publishing agreements, and artists’ recording contracts.
Power Play: Johnson’s client roster incudes TLC, Stevie Wonder, and SFX Entertainment. Johnson was counsel in the $30 million acquisition of the Great Western Forum for Foreign Enterprises.
Issac J. Vaughn
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Palo Alto, CA
Career Highlights: Vaughn, a partner at the leading law firm representing technology companies, specializes in working with startup and emerging growth technology, Internet, life sciences, and education companies, including introductions to angel investors and corporate partners. The Michigan Law School graduate has represented such clients as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs & Co.
Power Play: Vaughn represented issuers and underwriters in IPOs for E-Loan, Bamboo.com, Liquid Audio and Blaze Software. He was named one of the top 20 lawyers under the age of 40 by California Law Business.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
New York, NY
Career Highlights: Williams is the “go-to” man for major corporations under securities investigation or faced with class action suits. The Stanford Law School graduate also has represented such companies as Rite Aid, Pullman Inc., and Revlon in merger and acquisition-related litigation.
Power Play: Williams is representing Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance in a series of national class actions and represented American Express in its acquisition of Lifeco Services Corporation.
PERSONAL INJURY/PRODUCT LIABILITY
JOHNNIE L. COCHRAN JR.
The Cochran Firm
The name Johnnie Cochran generates fear in the hearts of corporate giants and opposing attorneys alike. With so many high-profile wins under his belt, it’s easy to understand why. Among Cochran’s successes are wrangling an alleged multimillion-dollar settlement that persuaded a boy’s parents to drop criminal charges against Michael Jackson and the “trial of the century” in which he successfully defended O.J. Simpson against murder charges.
These days, Cochran is looking beyond famous names. To the dismay of major corporations, he has shifted his practice’s focus to personal injury. “I’d been schooled in criminal law and it had been exciting and fast-paced and all that, but all along I felt I could probably do more good in helping people who are injured, helping people who really needed me,” says Cochran.
In virtually every state Cochran practices, he holds the record for most money paid out in a personal injury case. The Cochran Firm recently won