Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: The Best Lawyers Honorees Behind the Litigation

Best Lawyers takes a look at the recognized legal talent representing Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in their ongoing defamation trial.

Lawyers for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Gregory Sirico

May 27, 2022 09:30 AM

Now approaching its fifth week in Virginia's Fairfax County Court, the ongoing defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is nearing its end. Originally scheduled to conclude on May 19, the trial is now expected to end on May 27, following the inclusion and examination of a significant amount of new evidence. Depp, who initially filed claims against Heard in March of 2019, is currently suing his ex-wife for $50 million over an op-ed article she wrote for the Washington Post a year prior.

Not only is this a high-profile celebrity trial, the counsel involved in the trial is also highly regarded. In this article, Best Lawyers takes a closer look at the lead attorneys selected for the case.

Camille Vasquez

Representing Depp in trial is Camille Vasquez, an attorney working at Brown Rudnick LLP, an international law firm based in Irvine, California. Vasquez, who received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and her J.D. from Southwestern Law School in 2010, has been recognized in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America since 2021 for Commercial Litigation. During her time as a litigator, she has focused her attention primarily on commercial litigation cases, while also devoting time to plaintiff-side defamation suits, litigating contract disputes, business-related torts and employment-related claims.

According to her firm, Vazquez’s experience in regard to defamation suits such as this is in “parallel reputation management and crisis communications issues arising from these engagements.” During her time as lead council in this case, Vasquez has garnered the attention of those following the trial via social media, with the public highlighting her tough line of questioning during cross-examinations.

Benjamin G. “Ben” Chew

Recognized The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation since 2017, Benjamin Chew accounts for another portion of Depp’s sizeable legal team. Based out of Washington D.C., Chew is currently a partner at Brown Rudnick LLP and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the country’s most prestigious, invitation-only societies for trial lawyers with significant courtroom experience. A Princeton graduate, Chew eventually went on to graduate with his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1988. In addition to having over 25 years of trial experience, Chew is also bar certified in the District of Columbia, Virginia and the Republic of Kosovo.

Described by his peers as a multifaceted litigator, Chew represents clients in a variety of legal issues such as defamation suits, shareholder derivative suits, products liability claims, insurance law, fraud and RICO-based litigation. Outside the courtroom, Chew dedicates time to counseling and advising businesses, trade associations and foreign governments facing intellectual property roadblocks.

Rebecca MacDowell Lecaroz

Newly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for 2022 in Commercial Litigation, Rebecca MacDowell Lecaroz is a business litigator and trial attorney with a wide array of legal experience handling claims including intellectual property rights, defamation, trade secrets misappropriation, commercial contracts, real estate and employment. A onetime Dillard Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Law, Lecaroz is currently a partner at Brown Rudnick LLP and has prior experience as a clerk under Judge Robert P. Frank of the Virginia Court of Appeals. During her legal clerkship, Lecaroz attained legal experience by assisting in criminal, domestic and worker’s compensation cases.

Depp’s team also consists of Stephanie Calnan, Andrew Crawford, Yarelyn Mena, Jessica Meyers and Samuel Moniz.

Elaine Bredehoft

Representing Heard in trial is Elaine Bredehoft, an attorney and litigator who has been successfully practicing law in both state and federal courts in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland since 1984. A Minnesota native, Bredehoft is a co-founder and partner of the Virginia-based law firm Charlson Bredehoft Cohen Brown & Nadelhaft P.C., primarily focusing her time on employment law cases. Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1997 for Employment Law - Individuals, Bredehoft is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an honor reserved for only the top 1% of attorneys in each state.

In addition to Ms. Bredehoft, Heard’s team also consists of Adam Nadelhaft and Ben Rottenborn.

With legal powerhouses who have decades of experience representing both Depp and Heard, the arguments and cases being made for each are strong and riveting. And while it’s true that we likely wouldn’t be so focused on this trial if the accused were not celebrities, these capable lawyers are accessible and ready to represent all clients. Their talent, aptitude and experience have landed them on our lists, which honor only the top 5% of practicing attorneys nationwide, and we are proud to honor their careers and professionalism.

Related Articles

What If Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Had a Premarital Agreement?

by John M. Goralka

Oh, the gritty details we’re learning from the latest court battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. This unfortunate airing of dirty laundry may have been avoided with a prenup. Should you think about getting one yourself?

What If Johnny Depp & Amber Heard Had Prenup?

The Real Camille: An Interview with Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Camille Vasquez

by Rebecca Blackwell

Camille Vasquez, a young lawyer at Brown Rudnick, sat down with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer to talk about her distinguished career, recently being named partner and what comes next for her.

Camille Vasquez in office


Protecting Patients, Families and the Public

by Justin Smulison

Thousands of patients experience unfathomable pain while being treated. Some turn to Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder PC for justice, empathic counsel and results.

Group of lawyers gathering for a firm photo

Press and Publicity: How Television and Social Media Impact Legal Careers

by Justin Smulison

In recent years, with social media giving minute by minute reporting, many lawyers are finding themselves thrust into a spotlight they never planned for. How are lawyers grappling with unexpected stardom, media coverage and merciless influencers?

Close up of camera at news station

Michael Baughman, Pennsylvania’s 2018 Lawyer of the Year in Media Law

by Abigail Rowe

An interview with Michael Baughman, who was recognized with the 2018 "Lawyer of the Year" award in media law.

Michael Baughman, Pennsylvania’s 2018 Lawyer

Richard Leder of Corrs Advises Rebel Wilson on High Profile Defamation Win against Bauer Media

by Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Australia’s leading independent law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has represented well-known comedian and actress, Rebel Wilson, in her successful defamation proceedings against Bauer Media, the German-based global media giant.

Rebel Wilson

Trending Articles

Presenting The Best Lawyers in Australia™ 2025

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is proud to present The Best Lawyers in Australia for 2025, marking the 17th consecutive year of Best Lawyers awards in Australia.

Australia flag over outline of country

Legal Distinction on Display: 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in France™

by Best Lawyers

The industry’s best lawyers and firms working in France are revealed in the newly released, comprehensive the 15th Edition of The Best Lawyers in France™.

French flag in front of country's outline

How To Find A Pro Bono Lawyer

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers dives into the vital role pro bono lawyers play in ensuring access to justice for all and the transformative impact they have on communities.

Hands joined around a table with phone, paper, pen and glasses

How Palworld Is Testing the Limits of Nintendo’s Legal Power

by Gregory Sirico

Many are calling the new game Palworld “Pokémon GO with guns,” noting the games striking similarities. Experts speculate how Nintendo could take legal action.

Animated figures with guns stand on top of creatures

Announcing The Best Lawyers in New Zealand™ 2025 Awards

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is announcing the 16th edition of The Best Lawyers in New Zealand for 2025, including individual Best Lawyers and "Lawyer of the Year" awards.

New Zealand flag over image of country outline

Announcing the 13th Edition of Best Lawyers Rankings in the United Kingdom

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers is proud to announce the newest edition of legal rankings in the United Kingdom, marking the 13th consecutive edition of awards in the country.

British flag in front of country's outline

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Japan™ 2025

by Best Lawyers

For a milestone 15th edition, Best Lawyers is proud to announce The Best Lawyers in Japan.

Japan flag over outline of country

The Best Lawyers in Singapore™ 2025 Edition

by Best Lawyers

For 2025, Best Lawyers presents the most esteemed awards for lawyers and law firms in Singapore.

Singapore flag over outline of country

Announcing the 16th Edition of the Best Lawyers in Germany Rankings

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers announces the 16th edition of The Best Lawyers in Germany™, featuring a unique set of rankings that highlights Germany's top legal talent.

German flag in front of country's outline

How Much Is a Lawyer Consultation Fee?

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers breaks down the key differences between consultation and retainer fees when hiring an attorney, a crucial first step in the legal process.

Client consulting with lawyer wearing a suit

Celebrating Excellence in Law: 11th Edition of Best Lawyers in Italy™

by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers announces the 11th edition of The Best Lawyers in Italy™, which features an elite list of awards showcasing Italy's current legal talent.

Italian flag in front of country's outline

Presenting the 2024 Best Lawyers Employment and Workers’ Compensation Legal Guide

by Best Lawyers

The 2024 Best Lawyers Employment and Workers' Compensation Legal Guide provides exclusive access to all Best Lawyers awards in related practice areas. Read below and explore the legal guide.

Illustration of several men and women in shades of orange and teal

Things to Do Before a Car Accident Happens to You

by Ellie Shaffer

In a car accident, certain things are beyond the point of no return, while some are well within an individual's control. Here's how to stay legally prepared.

Car dashcam recording street ahead

Combating Nuclear Verdicts: Empirically Supported Strategies to Deflate the Effects of Anchoring Bias

by Sloan L. Abernathy

Sometimes a verdict can be the difference between amicability and nuclear level developments. But what is anchoring bias and how can strategy combat this?

Lawyer speaking in courtroom with crowd and judge in the foreground

The Push and Pitfalls of New York’s Attempt to Expand Wrongful Death Recovery

by Elizabeth M. Midgley and V. Christopher Potenza

The New York State Legislature recently went about updating certain wrongful death provisions and how they can be carried out in the future. Here's the latest.

Red tape blocking off a section of street

Attacked From All Sides: What Is Happening in the World of Restrictive Covenants?

by Christine Bestor Townsend

One employment lawyer explains how companies can navigate challenges of federal and state governmental scrutiny on restrictive covenant agreements.

Illustration of two men pulling on string with blue door between them