Anne E. Cohen
Lecturer in Law
Anne Cohen is a senior litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton whose wide-ranging practice focuses on complex tort litigation and internal investigations, as well as general commercial litigation.
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 a key to the swift and ground-breaking resolution reached in December 2008 on FCPA claims against the German engineering company. Ms. Cohen also led an inquiry initiated by the audit committee of Telewest Global into a subsidiary’s business practices in UK cable ad sales.
Ms. Cohen has been active in the mass tort area the past 25 years, 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 has represented the Remington Arms Company for 18 years and has 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. Her representations for Remington include the defense of economic loss class actions brought under Rule 23(b)(3) and state law analogs in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Carolina.
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. Another ATS case, brought in the Southern District of New York against The Coca-Cola Company, was dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds, a decision affirmed by the Second Circuit.
Ms. Cohen frequently publishes and speaks on complex and mass tort litigation and on the intersection of product liability and compliance issues. Most recently, in March 2011, she addressed the issue of “International Corruption: The Exporting of American Corruption Law and Lessons From Abroad,” at the Third Annual Conference and Spring Symposium of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Justice and the NYU Annual Survey of American Law, “Policing, Regulating and Prosecuting Corruption.” She is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, American Law Institute, American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, and the Federal Bar Council. She serves on the Dean’s Council of the Columbia Law School and the President’s Council of Smith College. A longtime member of the Board of Citymeals-on-Wheels, Ms. Cohen has served as the organization’s co-president since July 2009. In May 2011, she joined the Board of the New York Region of the Anti-Defamation League.
Ms. Cohen started at Debevoise in 1986 and became a partner in 1993; she currently serves as the training partner for the Litigation Department. 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.