Bird Marella has been awarded the Top Defense Verdict of 2022 by the Daily Journal for the firm’s victory in Strategic Partners, Inc. v. FIGS, Inc., recognizing the largest and most significant legal outcomes in California. Serving as lead trial counsel for healthcare and lifestyle brand FIGS, principal Ekwan Rhow led his team at Bird Marella, which included principals Julia Cherlow, Fanxi Wang, counsel Kate Shin, associate Miri Gold, and co-counsel Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, to a complete defense verdict in a nine-figure false advertising jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
The matter emerged when dominant industry giant Strategic Partners, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Bird Marella’s client FIGS. The suit alleged false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, violations of California’s False Advertising Law, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations against FIGS and its co-founders, with claimed damages of over $200 million. Bird Marella persuaded the jury that Strategic Partners had made “functionally the same” claims for which it was suing FIGS, and that any harm it was claiming was due, in fact, to its own failure to build out its direct-to-consumer capabilities. After Mr. Rhow delivered FIGS’ closing argument, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in FIGS’ favor after less than a full day of deliberations.
“I was honored to have led the defense for FIGS in this trial. It was truly a team effort, and we appreciate the recognition from the Daily Journal‘s Top Verdicts and Settlements list,” said principal Ekwan Rhow.
Click here to hear from the chief legal officer of FIGS, Todd A. Maron, in a Daily Journal article on the victory.