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Werder, Jr., Richard I.

Richard I. Werder, Jr.

Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7231
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

Rick Werder is the managing partner of the firm’s New York office and has extensive experience in all kinds of complex litigation, including cases involving the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law, bankruptcy, and related recovery actions based on financial fraud and malfeasance, shareholder class and derivative litigation, corporate control contests, consumer class actions, product liability, and virtually every type of business and commercial dispute.  He has served as lead trial counsel in a number of significant bench and jury trials, including a first-of-a-kind action for specific performance of a $2 billion bankruptcy exit financing facility, a fraudulent transfer and breach of fiduciary duty action in New York in which plaintiffs sought more than $3 billion and were awarded $7 million (about 0.2%), a class action in Illinois in which plaintiffs sought more than $50 million and were awarded zero, an RMBS case in which he and a large Quinn Emanuel team obtained an $806 million judgment that was affirmed on appeal, a case involving breach of an investment management agreement in which he obtained a $63 million verdict for his client, and a breach of contract action in which he obtained a $47 million judgment on a jury verdict for his client. He has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the country, playing national coordinating counsel roles in a number of multidistrict product liability, mass tort, securities, and consumer fraud matters involving class actions and individual claims. Rick is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has been profiled in the Chambers USA directory of America’s Leading Business Lawyers and is listed as a New York litigation star and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by Benchmark Litigation.

  • Access Industries
  • Aon
  • Cablevision
  • Johnson & Johnson's DePuy AcroMed business unit
  • General Motors
  • IBM
  • Lincoln Electric
  • Morgan Stanley
  • 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.
  • Representing a significant private equity fund in adversary proceeding by bankruptcy trustee relating to failed merger of major chemical companies; the plaintiff was awarded $7 million on one claim.
  • 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 AcroMedCorporation, 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 a major public gaming company that was the target of an LBO transaction in a dispute with a buyout firm and banks over their obligation to consummate the LBO transaction.
  • Represented a major investment bank that sought its own counsel in connection with litigation concerning commitment letters provided by a large bank group (the bank group was represented by separate counsel) for the LBO of Clear Channel.
  • Represented Boscov’s, a department store chain, in a dispute with its lenders under a DIP financing agreement concerning the availability provisions of the DIP agreement; the matter settled favorably following our motion to compel the banks to comply with the DIP agreement.
  • 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 the finance arm of a major industrial conglomerate in a dispute over the validity of its alleged funding commitment, made pursuant to the lead banks’ syndication efforts, for a substantial LBO transaction.
  • 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 a major investment bank in a series of disputes concerning its obligations under debt and equity commitment letters for multiple LBO transactions.
  • Represented a group of LBO sponsors in a dispute concerning the financing for, and the obligation to close, the LBO of a major phone company.
  • Represented a major broker-dealer in an emergency dispute with its commercial bank over the commercial bank’s obligation to provide interim funding to the broker-dealer during consideration of an acquisition transaction.
  • Represented a major industrial conglomerate with respect to credit facilities entered into to consummate a multi-billion-dollar acquisition; disputes began after the acquisition was closed and related to the lenders’ attempts to exercise flex rights and to issue a securities demand that would have provided for the conversion of a revolver facility to notes.
  • Represented the real estate investment arm of major investment bank in a dispute with its lender over the lender’s obligation to provide financing pursuant to a credit agreement entered into in connection with the purchase of a REIT.  
  • 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 Dow Corning and certain of its directors and officers in securities fraud class actions arising from alleged nondisclosure of risks and potential financial repercussions relating to breast implant products liability litigation.
  • Represented General Electric in a putative national class action involving halogen light bulbs.  No class was certified and we obtained dismissal of all counts of the complaint.
  • Represented Gillette in shareholder class actions charging misleading statements in connection with a proxy contest.  The actions were filed following a sudden price movement after an adverse court decision in the proxy contest.
  • 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.
  • Represented the founder and former director and officer of McLeodUSA in an action by the New York Attorney General seeking damages based on the executive’s receipt and alleged nondisclosure of IPO allocations.
  • 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.
  • Represented Textron’s Lycoming aircraft engine manufacturing division in arbitration brought by aircraft manufacturer alleging breach of warranty and other claims for delivery of allegedly defective engines and seeking $100 million in damages.
  • Represented TRW, Inc., in coordinating nationwide defense of product liability cases arising from recall of steering gears. 
  • Represented Williams Natural Gas Company and obtained summary judgment in a declaratory judgment action involving the continued validity and enforceability of a 40-year-old natural gas purchase contract. Upheld an interpretation of the contract under which the pipeline client had complete control over the rate and timing of gas purchases and is not obligated to purchase any set quantity of gas on a current basis.
  • 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
  • Listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights, Insolvency and Reorganization Law, and Commerical Litigation (2021)
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Member, The American Bar Association:
    •      Business Law Section
    •      Litigation Section
  • Member, Product Liability Advisory Council, 2000-2012