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Richard W. Clary is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department, and until recently, the Firm’s Head of Litigation. His cases have included securities defense for numerous financial institutions and for IBM; antitrust defense for Lucent and IBM; biotech patent litigation (on both the plaintiff and defense sides) for Schering AG and Berlex; telephony and semiconductor patent litigation (on both the plaintiff and defense sides) for Lucent; patent and antitrust litigation (at both the trial and appellate levels) for Paragon Trade Brands; bankruptcy litigation for Chase and Credit Suisse; trade secret, trademark and patent litigation for IBM; and appellate litigation for Qualcomm and INEOS. Mr. Clary has also handled antitrust and trade secret litigation for INEOS.
Mr. Clary has extensive district court and appellate experience; he has also handled both international and domestic arbitrations.
Mr. Clary was lead counsel for Credit Suisse in all its Enron-related civil litigation in Federal, state and bankruptcy courts. He argued on behalf of Credit Suisse the successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, reversing class certification in the $40 billion Enron Federal class action litigation. The Fifth Circuit ruled that Credit Suisse and other banks had no fiduciary obligation to Enron’s shareholders, had no duty of disclosure, had made no misrepresentations to Enron’s shareholders, and had not committed any conduct that rose to the level of a primary violation of the securities laws. The District Court subsequently granted summary judgment for Credit Suisse. Mr. Clary also successfully defended various financial institutions in securities litigation relating to Dynegy, El Paso and Anchor Glass. He currently represents the outside directors of Citigroup in connection with subprime-related litigation. He represented Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in litigation regarding the Hexion/Huntsman merger in Delaware, Texas and New York. Mr. Clary recently successfully defended Credit Suisse in a securities class action relating to collateralized debt obligations, and he is currently lead counsel for Credit Suisse in defense of actions relating to residential mortgage-backed securities.
After a clerkship with Hon. Walter R. Mansfield of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and a clerkship with Hon. Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Clary joined Cravath in 1980 and became a partner in 1985. Mr. Clary served as the Firm’s Litigation Managing Partner from February 1997 to November 2005, and as Head of Litigation from November 2005 to September 2010.
Mr. Clary was cited as being one of the country’s leading practitioners in securities litigation by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2007 through 2011. He was also recognized by that publication as a leading trial lawyer in 2010 and 2011, and by Chambers Global in 2011 and 2012. From 2009 through 2012, The Best Lawyers in America named Mr. Clary a leader in commercial litigation and “Bet-the-Company” litigation and in 2011 and 2012, also named him a leader in banking and finance litigation and securities litigation. In addition, he was named to Lawdragon’s list of “100 Lawyers You Need to Know in Securities Litigation” in 2008, and has been recognized by Lawdragon as one of 500 leading lawyers in America from 2006 through 2011. Mr. Clary was recognized by Benchmark Litigation from 2009 through 2012 as one of the “Local Litigation Stars” for the New York area. From 2010 through 2012, he was recognized by the same publication as a “National Star” for his work in securities litigation, and in 2011 and 2012, he also was recognized as a “National Star” for his work in general commercial litigation. Since 2008, Mr. Clary has been named a leader in securities litigation by the U.S. edition of The Legal 500. He was also named by the publication as a Leading Trial Lawyer in 2011, after having been recognized the year before as “One to Watch” in that category. Mr. Clary was also noted for his appellate work by The Legal 500 in 2011. Mr. Clary was a finalist for The Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2008 “Litigation: Business Trial Lawyers” award. In 2010, Mr. Clary was named by Law360 as one of the “10 Most Admired Securities Attorneys” based on nominations from Law360 readers and practice group heads at the 100 largest U.S. law firms.
Mr. Clary is a Lecturer of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches a course on Complex Litigation.
Mr. Clary is a member of the Litigation and the Intellectual Property Sections of the American Bar Association, has served on both the Antitrust Committee and the Patent Committee of the Association of the Bar of The City of New York and is on the Lawyers Committee for the National Center for State Courts. He is also Vice President of the Association of the Bar of The City of New York. Mr. Clary recently completed nine years on the Board of the Legal Aid Society, where he was a Vice Chair of the Board and on its Executive and Strategic Planning Committees, and now serves on the Board of Advisors. Mr. Clary also serves on the Board of Trustees of Mystic Seaport and just ended six years on the Board of Trustees of the Rye Country Day School (2005-2011). Mr. Clary has twice received the Distinguished Service Award from Amherst College, and has received five Outstanding Pro Bono Service Awards from Legal Aid.
Mr. Clary chairs the Practising Law Institute’s annual “Managing Complex Litigation” conference, which he created in 2006. As part of that conference, Mr. Clary has led panel discussions on “Creative Tools for Streamlining the Litigation Process,” “Creative Tools for Managing Complex Litigation,” “Issues Concerning Resolving Complex Litigation,” “Controlling Opt-Outs and Coordinated Cases” and “Crafting a Settlement Agreement,” and he has written on those topics for PLI.
In June 2008, Mr. Clary spoke at “The Role of Courts in Defining the Social Contract: A Case Study of Socio-Economic Rights,” a program sponsored by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society in association with the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. Mr. Clary’s policy brief, “A Discussion of the ‘Homeless Families with Children’ Litigation as a Case Study of the Issues That Arise When a Court Defines and Enforces the Right to Shelter,” was published by the Foundation in the fall of 2008.
Mr. Clary received a B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College in 1975, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1978, where he was Developments Officer of the Law Review and awarded the Sears Prize.