Anne E. Cohen
Lecturer in Law
Anne Cohen retired in July 2013 from her position as a senior litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, to which she is now Of Counsel. For almost 28 years, her wide-ranging practice focused on complex tort litigation and internal investigations.
As part of the firm's preeminent internal investigations practice, Ms. Cohen was a senior member of the Debevoise team working on behalf of the Compliance Committee of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG. The Firm's intense two-year effort was described by U.S. prosecutors and regulators as key to the swift and ground-breaking resolution reached in December 2008 on FCPA claims against the German engineering company. Among other investigative projects, Ms. Cohen led an inquiry initiated by the audit committee of Telewest Global into a subsidiary's business practices in UK cable ad sales.
Ms. Cohen was active in the mass tort area her entire career, representing defendants in firearms, Agent Orange, smoking and health, toxic shock syndrome, pharmaceutical, and asbestos matters. A former member of the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) Board of Directors and longtime member of its Case Selection Committee, Ms. Cohen has in-depth experience in the litigation of class actions and other aggregated claims. Ms. Cohen represented the Remington Arms Company for two decades and served as its primary strategic counsel in a variety of products liability matters, ranging from individual personal injury suits to class actions to municipal suits brought against the firearms industry.
Ms. Cohen led a Debevoise team representing Hooker Chemical Company in the successful defense of a putative class action brought under the Alien Tort Statute by Vietnamese nationals in the Eastern District of New York against a number of chemical manufacturers, alleging that the use of chemical herbicides during the Vietnam Conflict was a violation of the law of war.
An adjunct member of the Columbia Law School faulty, Ms. Cohen teaches a seminar on Internal Investigations that addresses theoretical, strategic and logistical issues in this important area of practice. Ms. Cohen has published and spoken on complex and mass tort litigation and on the intersection of product liability and compliance issues, most recently on the implications for defense counsel of the GM ignition switch investigation.
She is a member of the American Law Institute, the Economic Club of New York, and the Dean's Council of the Columbia Law School.
Ms. Cohen started at Debevoise in 1986 and became a partner in 1993. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Cohen was a reporter for the Cincinnati Post. She received her A.B. from Smith in 1976 and an M.S.L. from Yale Law School in 1982, where she studied for a year as a Ford Foundation fellow while on leave from the Post. In 1985, she received her J.D. from Columbia, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an Articles Editor of the Columbia Law Review. Before joining Debevoise, Ms. Cohen was a Law Clerk for the Honorable Richard S. Arnold, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
A longtime member of the Board of Citymeals-on-Wheels, Ms. Cohen served as the organization's co-president from 2009 to 2015. She is a director of the American Council on Germany and a member of its Financial Oversight and Audit Committee. In 2005, she was a participant in the 69th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, run by the Department of Defense. She and her Bichon/Cavalier Ralph are certified as a pet therapy team by the Good Dog Foundation and volunteer weekly at Mount Sinai Hospital.