The Daily Journal recognized Kirkland & Ellis in its annual list of the "Top Defense Verdicts" in California. The Firm was recognized for its victory on behalf of Johnson & Johnson in a case brought forth by a plaintiff alleging they developed pleural mesothelioma from exposure to Johnson & Johnson's baby powder allegedly containing asbestos. In December 2019, after a 10-week jury trial, the jury denied the plaintiff's request for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages and returned a verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson. The jury found that the company was not negligent and that its baby powder did not need additional warnings and was not flawed in design. Kirkland partner Kim Branscome served as First Chair trial lawyer for the defense team.
The annual "Top Defense Verdicts" series covers a wide range of cases in California, from high-profile intellectual property matters to personal injury cases.