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Werder, Jr., Richard I.

Richard I. Werder, Jr.

Senior Counsel
Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7231, Direct Tel: +1 (914) 588- 5660

For more than thirty-five years, Rick Werder has handled clients’ most complicated litigation matters in jurisdictions across the country.  His trial skills and overall approach to the practice of law have been widely recognized and honored.  He is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers—two invitation-only groups of elite trial lawyers representing both sides of the bar.  He has been profiled in the Chambers USA directory of America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and Lawdragon 500Benchmark Litigation, which employs an extensive peer review process to identify top trial lawyers, has named him a New York litigation star and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer nationally.

Rick has tried scores of bench and jury trials and handled dozens of arbitral hearings involving a wide array of subject matters.  His significant trial wins include defeating a fraudulent transfer and preference action in which a post-bankruptcy litigation trust sought more than $3 billion and was awarded a mere $12 million (about .4%) on one of its multiple claims; a complete defense verdict in a bet-the-company case seeking more than $1 billion relating to buildings damaged in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake; an RMBS case in which he and a large Quinn Emanuel team obtained an $806 million judgment for FHFA that was affirmed on appeal; and multiple eight-figure verdicts in cases involving a wide array of subject matters.  Notable settlements that Rick and his teams have achieved include the successful enforcement through specific performance of a $2 billion bankruptcy exit facility that the lenders declined to fund during the Great Recession and a unique “limited fund” settlement that resolved thousands of product liability claims against an innovative medical company that revolutionized spine surgery by developing pedicle screws.

Rick is a generalist in the classic sense of the word and his work has covered virtually all types of cases of interest to Corporate America and significant investors.    

  • Access Industries
  • Aon
  • IBM
  • The Refco Litigation Trusts
  • Represented Solutia Inc. in an action for specific performance of a $2 billion bankruptcy exit financing facility, which the banks had refused to fund based on a market MAC provision; case settled favorably before closing arguments.
  • Represented IBM in a multi-year patent and antitrust litigation involving allegations of monopolization of an alleged market for so-called “mainframe” computers and infringement of IBM’s patents and trade secrets.
  • Representing Access Industries in an action by a post-bankruptcy Litigation Trustee seeking more than $3 billion in damages under fraudulent transfer, preference, and breach of fiduciary duty theories following bankruptcy of company formed through leveraged merger.  After a three-week trial, obtained defense verdict on over $3 billion of claims.
  • Represented International Paper in a case about a contract to develop a cogeneration facility at an IP paper mill.  Received a $47 million jury verdict in favor of IP in federal court in Chicago.
  • Represented Lincoln Electric against products liability and fraud claims involving welding electrodes; among other successes, obtained jury verdict in 3-month trial in state court in Los Angeles in case involving claim for $800 million in damages.
  • Represented Depuy AcroMed Corporation, coordinating the defense of thousands of product liability cases, including more than 20 putative class actions, and bringing matters to a successful negotiated resolution after multiple successes in motion practice and at trials in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Represented the Refco Litigation Trust, as successor to the bankruptcy estate of Refco Inc. and its subsidiaries, and Refco Private Actions Trust, as assignee of private causes of action held by customers of the defunct broker-dealer.  We served as lead litigation counsel in actions against several banks, as well as Refco’s officers, directors, and professional advisors, seeking damages in excess of $2 billion for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting, and professional malpractice arising from accounting fraud and achieved very significant settlements.
  • Represented a consortium of hedge funds who were initial and secondary market lenders and purchasers of notes of bankrupt beverage manufacturer Le Nature’s, in litigation against initial purchaser bank and accounting firm alleging fraud in connection with losses incurred in the syndication of bank loans and market maker activity.  We obtained very significant settlements.
  • Represented AT&T Broadband, Inc., serving as national counsel for a series of more than twenty state-court class actions alleging that late fees for cable service constitute an unenforceable penalty and violated consumer fraud statutes.  Matters were brought to a successful conclusion after a defense verdict was obtained in a certified state-wide class action in Illinois in which more than $50 million in damages was sought.Represented LTV Steel Company, Inc., as lead counsel in a wide array of bankruptcy court litigation relating to the chapter 11 reorganization of LTV and its affiliated companies—one of the largest U.S. producers of integrated steel and steel tubing and the world’s largest producer of bimetallic wire products.
  • Represented Maxus Energy Corporation against Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc. and recovered $165 million in settlement with investment banker and $14 million from Ivan F. Boesky after one week of a jury trial for damages caused by insider trading in stock of takeover target. .
  • Representing the trusts formed pursuant to the bankruptcy plan of reorganization in massive ongoing recovery actions against former insiders and professionals.
  • Defeated efforts by Nextel Partners, an affiliate of Nextel, to enjoin changes to Nextel’s brand following the merger of Nextel and Sprint, and to block Sprint Nextel’s multimillion dollar rollout of the combined company’s new brand.
  • Represented Symbol Technologies in a breach of contract case relating to the development of new computer-based technology.  Obtained reversal of a $218 million trial verdict and order for a new trial.
  • Appellate Practice
  • Antitrust & Competition
  • Bankruptcy & Restructuring
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Product Liability & Mass Torts Litigation
  • Securities Litigation
  • University of Michigan Law School 
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 1982)
    • Henry M. Bates and Class of 1908 Scholarships:
      • Recipient
    • University of Michigan Law Review:
      • Editor-in-Chief, 1982
    • Order of the Coif
  • Canisius College
    (B.A., magna cum laude, 1979)
  • The State Bar of New York
  • Jones Day, New York:
    • Partner, 1990-2006
    • Associate, 1984-1989
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Byron R. White:
    • United States Supreme Court, 1983
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Harry T. Edwards:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1982
  • Ranked "Lawyer of the Year 2023“ by The Best Lawyers in America: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Commercial Litigation
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, The American Bar Association:
    • Business Law Section
    • Litigation Section
  • Member, Product Liability Advisory Council, 2000-2012