Katherine B. Forrest, former U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, rejoined Cravath as a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Department in September 2018. During her tenure on the bench, Ms. Forrest presided over a diverse range of matters. She has significant experience in complex litigation (including in the areas of antitrust, pharmaceutical, financial services, toxic tort, cryptocurrency, intellectual property and significant employment matters), as well as criminal matters and investigations. Over the course of her 28-year career, she has been regarded as a leader in legal issues relating to technology, including the digital environment, high-speed trading and content distribution (from both the content provider and distributor sides). She has recently given speeches on emerging issues relating to artificial intelligence, the changing digital environment and big data.
In 2011, Ms. Forrest was nominated by President Obama to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York. In her seven years on the bench, Ms. Forrest presided over several thousand criminal and civil cases, including over 100 trials. She also authored more than 1,000 opinions and she sat by designation on the Second Circuit for over dozens of appeals. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated over 30 lawsuits filed nationwide concerning aluminum price-fixing allegations before Ms. Forrest. As one of the members of the Judicial Patent Task Force for the Southern District of New York, she presided over several dozen patent cases and conducted numerous Markman hearings. Before stepping down from the bench, Ms. Forrest also served on the Grievance Committee for the Southern District since 2011 and as Chair of the Committee from 2016 until August 2018.
In 2010, Ms. Forrest was named Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, where she oversaw operations for criminal and civil enforcement and worked on merger review and numerous civil and criminal (cartel and price-fixing) antitrust investigations.
Prior to her eight years in government service, Ms. Forrest spent 20 years as a litigator at Cravath, where she advised on and litigated antitrust, intellectual property, employment and contract issues for a wide range of clients in the media, airline, banking, healthcare, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries. Her clients have included Time Warner and a number of its divisions, including Home Box Office, Warner Brothers Studios, Turner Broadcasting Systems and Time Warner Cable, as well as Warner Music Group, Schneider Electric, First Solar and United Airlines. While at Cravath, Ms. Forrest was appointed to and served on the New York Appellate Division First Department’s Disciplinary Committee from 2008 to 2010.
Ms. Forrest is a frequent lecturer and published author on topics in the areas of antitrust and intellectual property. In May 2018, Ms. Forrest delivered the New York City Bar’s Milton Handler Lecture on “Big Data, Exclusionary Behavior and Economic Efficiency” in which she addressed a number of important antitrust implications raised by big data. In November 2018, she gave the Brace Memorial Lecture on Copyright Issues and Artificial Intelligence, sponsored by the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., at Fordham Law School.
Ms. Forrest received a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University in 1986, and a J.D. from NYU School of Law in 1990, where she is now an Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU Law School co-teaching a course on Quantitative Methods and the Law. Ms. Forrest first joined Cravath as a summer associate in 1989, became an associate in 1990 and a partner in 1998.