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O'Gorman, Debra

Debra D. O'Gorman

Of Counsel
Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7220, Direct Fax: +1 212-849-7100
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

Debra D. O’Gorman Of Counsel in Quinn Emanuel’s New York Office.

Ms. O'Gorman has extensive experience in sovereign, creditors' rights, insolvency and bondholder litigation, handling complex and contentious multinational litigation. Ms. O'Gorman was an integral member of the team “highly commended” by the Financial Times in 2014 for its representation of Argentina's largest creditor - with claims for over US$3 billion–in multinational litigation and judgment enforcement proceedings. The team's representation was subsequently awarded the Grand Prize for Global Dispute of the Year (2016) by The American Lawyer for the Argentina debt default litigation and settlement. The team obtained the first ruling from a U.S. court that a central bank is the alter ego of its parent state, the first attachment of assets at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel Switzerland, the arrest of the Argentine Naval frigate ARA Libertad in Ghana, an injunction prohibiting Argentina from making payments on its restricted bonds without making ratable payments to holders of its defaulted bonds, and an order piercing the corporate veil between the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca (of Panama Papers fame) and its Nevada affiliate.

Ms. O’Gorman was also a member of the legal team recognized by the Financial Times as one of the Top U.S. Innovative Law Firms in 2013 for its “standout” work for creditors in the cross-border insolvency of Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. Often called “the case that saved the emerging markets,” this precedent-setting dispute marked the first time the U.S. courts refused to enforce a foreign plan of reorganization.

Ms. O'Gorman has played an active role on numerous trial teams. She presented the sole witness in a trial that resulted in an US$105 million judgment on behalf of creditors of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a lawsuit to recover on defaulted sovereign debt and in the fall of 2014 she served as the primary trial attorney for a creditor/objector in the City of Detroit bankruptcy proceeding.

Ms. O'Gorman also has experience in product liability and mass tort litigation, particularly in product liability actions involving prescription and over the counter drugs. She is experienced in leading all aspects of major disputes, including managing fact and expert discovery, taking and defending depositions, briefing a wide-range of motions, coordinating with co-defendant counsel, appearing and arguing in courts around the country and advising clients on litigation strategy. Most recently, she represented an opioid manufacturer in multidistrict and related state court litigation, including serving as lead counsel for the client in numerous actions brought by state attorneys general. Ms. O'Gorman served as discovery counsel in Multidistrict Litigation and state court cases involving testosterone replacement therapy, conducting dozens of fact and expert depositions, including several experts who were successfully excluded following Daubert challenges. Ms. O'Gorman was a key member of several trial teams in cases around the country alleging injury from Tylenol use.

Ms. O'Gorman is also actively committed to pro bono and charitable endeavors and has received pro bono awards from several organizations.

  • Lead counsel to an ad hoc group of Argentina bondholders.
  • Member of the team representing an ad hoc group of creditors of Mexican glass manufacturer Vitro S.A.B. de C.V. and its global subsidiaries in litigation and related bankruptcy proceedings in the United States, Mexico and elsewhere.
  • Member of the team representing a creditor for the Indonesian wood pulp and paper producers PT Lontar and PT Indah Kiat in judgment enforcement, insolvency and scheme of arrangement proceedings in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore and Ontario.
  • Co-trial counsel for creditors of the Democratic Republic of Congo in an US$105 million lawsuit to recover on defaulted sovereign debt.
  • Trial counsel for Macomb County Public Works Commission in an objection to the City of Detroit’s Plan of Reorganization.
  • Lead attorney for Purdue Pharma in numerous actions brought by state attorneys general related to opioids.
  • Discovery counsel for a manufacturer of testosterone replacement therapy in MDL and state court cases.
  • Member of the trial team in cases around the country alleging injury from Tylenol.
  • Member of the international team representing Argentina’s largest creditor, NML Capital, Ltd., in litigation and judgment enforcement proceedings spanning 11 countries on four continents.
  • Fordham University School of Law
    (J.D., 1990)
  • University t Albany, State University of New York
    (B.S., Business Administration, cum laude, 1987)
  • The State Bar of New York
  • The State Bar of Connecticut
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • Second Circuit
  • United States District Court:
    • District of New Jersey
    • Eastern District of New York
    • Southern District of New York
  • Dechert LLP:
    • Counsel, Litigation Department, 2005-Present
    • Associate, Litigation Department, 1993-2005 Counsel
  • Sills Cummis Zuckerman Radin Tischman Epstein & Gross, Newark, N.J.
    • Litigation Associate, 1991-1993
  • Olwine, Connelly, Chase, O'donnell & Weyher, New York, New York
    • Litigation Associate, 1990-1991
  • Lawdragon 500: Leading Global Litigators, 2023
  • Legal 500 USA Dispute Resolution: International Litigation “Recommended Lawyer”, 2023

Speaking Engagements

  • SCOTUS Review: The Impact of Recent Decisions on Jurisdiction and Venue, Lawline Course, December 2017.
  • Panelist, New Global Foreign Sovereign Immunity Norms and Pressures, 2017 American Bar Association, Section of International Law Spring Meeting, Washington, DC (April 28, 2017).
  • Cross-Border Bond Enforcement Litigation, Lawline Course, March 2017

Recent Publications

  • Supreme Court Rejects Absolute Deference to Foreign Government’s Interpretation of Own Laws, Dechert On Point, June 15, 2018
  • SCOTUS Holds Alien Tort Statute Cannot Be Used to Sue Foreign Corporations, Dechert On Point, April 27, 2018:
  • SCOTUS Tackles Venue and Jurisdiction Issues in Trio of Decisions, New York Law Journal, June 29, 2017
  • Bondholder Litigation: Covenant-Light Indentures and Affiliate Transactions, New York Law Journal, December 20, 2016:
  • US Supreme Court Curbs Extraterritorial Reach of the Alien Tort Statute, Dechert On Point, April 25, 2013
  • The Impact of US Lawsuits Against Non-US Banks, Law 360, December 2012 New Global Foreign Sovereign Immunity Norms and Pressures — 2017 Section of International Law Spring Meeting, Washington, DC