Robert Becher has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes business litigation and arbitration matters for over twenty years. He is also the Chair of Quinn Emanuel’s Cannabis Litigation Practice Group.
He has successfully litigated all types of business disputes, including shareholder litigation, directors and officers litigation, merger and acquisition litigation, private equity disputes, and trade secret litigation. Clients frequently bring him in to lead their “bet-the-company” cases. Over the course of his career, he has obtained recoveries in excess of one billion dollars.
Rob has also served as lead counsel during multiple arbitrations. He has represented clients in international and domestic arbitrations administered by JAMS, the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, the International Center for Dispute Resolution, the International Chamber of Commerce and other arbitral bodies.
In the past several years, Rob has been recognized as a leader in cannabis litigation, representing clients involved in retail, cultivation, and private equity as well as CEOs and corporate directors. Legal 500 described Rob as a “brilliant lawyer and go-to strategist for high-stakes business disputes and complex cannabis litigation.”
- Mr. Becher has represented numerous private equity and financial services firms, including Raymond James Financial, The Gores Group, Peterson Partners, and Platinum Equity, LLC.
- He has represented Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Micron Technology, Inc. in patent litigation.
- Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order which sought to prevent stockholders from selling more than $125 million of stock in a publicly-traded cannabis grower and retailer.
- Represented a cannabis retailer in a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court that sought to unwind a complex business transaction involving cannabis dispensaries.
- Represented a financially distressed cannabis company in connection with foreclosure proceedings instituted by a creditor.
- Represented an investor in a vertically integrated multi-state cannabis company who alleged the company failed to honor its contractual obligations.
- Represented the founders and directors of a publicly-traded cannabis grower and retailer in two lawsuits in California state court and a related arbitration in which investors alleged that the directors breached their fiduciary duties.
- Represented a publicly-traded cannabis company in a federal court lawsuit and an international arbitration in which our client alleged it had been fraudulently induced to enter into a consulting and patent-licensing agreement.
- Represented two German nationals who were the driving force behind the creation and development of AOL Europe, a joint venture between media giant Bertelsmann AG and AOL, in an action against Bertelsmann and its former CEO. When Bertelsmann sold its interest in AOL Europe for $6.75 billion, it refused to compensate plaintiffs. The jury awarded $295 million in damages and the case settled for $192 million. It was the seventh largest jury verdict in the nation that year and received worldwide media attention.
- Obtained a pre-litigation settlement in excess of $40 million on behalf of a client.
- Obtained summary judgment in federal court on behalf of a major aerospace company faced with a $133 million claim for negligence, negligent misrepresentation and fraud related to the alleged manufacture of defective solar arrays for nine commercial satellites. Another defendant in this case paid over $20 million dollars to settle. Subsequently obtained a complete affirmance of this decision before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Representing the ResCap Liquidating Trust in actions against correspondent lenders relating to the origination and sale of billions of dollars of defective residential mortgages. Total recoveries exceed $1.2 billion.
- Won a verdict in favor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after a bench trial on claims for inducing breach of contract and inducing trespass. Successfully defended the verdict on appeal to the California Court of Appeal.
- Obtained a sweeping temporary restraining order on behalf of a financial services company on the grounds that a departing employee had misappropriated trade secrets and violated the non-solicitation provision in his contract. The defendant subsequently agreed to the entry of a stipulated injunction.
- Obtained a favorable resolution on behalf of defendants in a shareholder's derivative lawsuit brought by the holder of one of the first direct broadcast satellite permits.
- Obtained complete dismissal of all claims in a False Claims Act case related to a satellite project for the U.S. government.
Patent and Antitrust Litigation
- Obtained a ruling from the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, following a one week bench trial, that Rambus Inc. could not enforce twelve patents related to computer memory against Micron Technology, Inc. because it engaged in bad-faith spoliation of evidence.
- Obtained an exclusion order against Apple in an ITC Investigation brought by Samsung.
- Successfully defended MediaTek, Broadcom, NVIDIA and others in an ITC investigation brought by Rambus involving six patents covering memory controller and chip-to-chip interface technologies.
- Successfully defended Micron Technology, Inc. against a $4 billion antitrust action.
- Represented an aerospace company in a trade secret case related to a proprietary rocket engine technology and defended against a related antitrust lawsuit in which the plaintiff alleged that the aerospace company monopolized the market for launch vehicles for space.
Domestic and International Arbitration
- Won a defense arbitration award after a week-long AAA arbitration involving the alleged breach of a contract to purchase application specific integrated circuits.
- Represented DIRECTV and obtained a complete defense decision in a two-week arbitration brought by a television production company alleging over $14 million in damages for shows it contended were cancelled or not produced in violation of the parties' agreements.
- Represented the largest holder of educational broadband spectrum in a dispute with a consultant claiming entitlement to over $18 million in commissions.
- Defended a private equity fund against claims that it improperly diluted the claimant’s interests in a special purpose acquisition company.
- Counsel to XM Satellite Radio in a major international arbitration proceeding involving the question of insurance coverage for XM’s two primary broadcast satellites.
- Represented an engineering company in an arbitration involving claims for the defective design and manufacture of a semiconductor facility located in the south of France.
- Defended a registered investment advisor in a series of AAA arbitrations involving allegations of fraud and negligence in connection with investment decisions.
- Represented a construction contractor in connection with a $61 million UNCITRAL arbitration.
- Counsel in a $300 million ICSID arbitration relating to a failed independent power project in Cambodia.
- Represented a leading vodka company in an arbitration against a French distiller.
- University of California, Los Angeles
- UCLA Law Review:
- Editor, 1995-1997
- Editor, 1995-1997
- UCLA Law Review:
- Cornell University
(B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1993)
- The State Bar of California
- United States Court of Appeals:
- Ninth Circuit
- Federal Circuit
- United States District Court:
- Central District of California
- Northern District of California
- Extern to the Hon. J. Spencer Letts:
- United States District Court, Central District of California, 1995
- Ranked by Chambers USA 2022 in Cannabis Law
- Selected as a Global Top 200 Cannabis Lawyer in the 2021-2022 Directory
- Selected as a Cannabis Law Trailblazer in The National Law Journal, 2020
- Firm Memorandum: Navigating CBD Labeling Litigation Risk Under California and Federal Law (January 2022).
- Firm Memorandum: Protecting Cannabis Trademarks in Anticipation of Federal Legalization (December 2021).
- Speaker, INCBA Seminar Business Law - Finance 301: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Litigation When Your Client’s Cannabis Business Investment Goes Up In Smoke (October 2021).
- Firm Memorandum: New Frontiers in the Law of Psychedelics (July 2021).
- Firm Memorandum: Developments in CBD Class Actions / California AG’s Position on Provisional Cannabis Licenses (March 2021).
- Firm Memorandum: Challenging State and Local Cannabis License Denials: Current Trends and Issues, An Update (October 2020).
- Firm Memorandum: Ninth Circuit Clarifies Restrictions On Prosecutions Related To Medical Marijuana (July 2020).
- Firm Memorandum: An Overview of Recent Motions to Dismiss or Stay CBD Content Class Actions (February 2020).
- Firm Memorandum: Another Federal Court Abstains From Hearing A Cannabis Dispute (December 2019).
- Firm Memorandum: Recent Stock Drop Securities Actions in the Cannabis Industry (December 2019).
- Firm Memorandum: Federal Court Rejects Challenge To Arbitrability Of Cannabis Disputes (October 2019).
- Speaker, Liability Risks Associated with the Cannabis Industry at the Third Annual Global Property and Casualty Insurance Think Tank Conference (October 2019).
- “Challenging State and Local Cannabis License Denials: Current Trends and Issues,” New Cannabis Ventures (August 2019).
- “The Risk of RICO Claims Against Cannabis Businesses, and Potential Defenses,” New Cannabis Ventures (August 2019).
- Speaker, International Arbitration Clauses: The Good, the Bad and How to Deal with the Ugly. Seminar organized by the ICC International Court of Arbitration® (May 2019).
- Firm Memorandum: Federal Court in the District of Colorado Rules Liquid Cannabinoid Formulations Are Patent Eligible (May 2019).
- Firm Memorandum: Recent Trends in Cannabis Patent Litigation (April 2019).
- Firm Memorandum: Insurance Recovery—Obtaining “Releaf” for the Cannabis Industry (April 2019).
- Member, The American Bar Association
- Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Member, International Cannabis Bar Association