David Hennes > Ropes & Gray LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Ropes & Gray LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10036
United States

Work Department

Corporate & Securities Litigation




David, co-chair of both the firm’s corporate and securities litigation practice and investment banking industry group, is a partner resident in Ropes & Gray’s New York office. David has over 20 years of experience litigating a broad array of corporate disputes, with an emphasis on complex corporate litigation, securities cases, corporate-control disputes, and enforcement litigation. He regularly represents buyers, sellers, and financial advisors in all forms of litigation arising out of transactional matters, including breach of duty litigation, breach of contract and business tort cases, and post-closing disputes. He frequently handles complicated federal securities class actions and state law derivative actions, and advises Boards and Board Committees (including Special Litigation Committees) on their responses to these litigations. David has represented corporate and individual clients in all aspects of these matters at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts throughout the United States, as well as in non-public SEC, FINRA and state securities investigations.

David has been consistently recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading individual in General Commercial Litigation. The Legal 500 has named David as a ‘Leading Lawyer’ for M&A Litigation: Defense. In its 2019 edition, Chambers described David as “an outstanding lawyer who has excellent judgment, is responsive 24/7 and gives excellent, thoughtful and practical business-oriented advice.” He is also described as “smart and savvy,” and is praised for his “practical and commercial approach” to cases. Chambers noted David’s “ability to handle a wide range of corporate and white-collar criminal litigation,” with a “great ability to argue and convince regulators of his position.” Sources commend David for his “great balance between aggressive advocacy and the ability to close on a compromise” and fellow practitioners offer praise for his “judgment and strategic thinking.” Legal 500 calls him a “first-rate litigator” and “solution-oriented.” David has also been recognized by Benchmark: Litigation as a New York Litigation Star.


  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association


  • JD, cum laude, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1995; senior editor, Law Review; co-chairman, Moot Court Board
  • BA, with high distinction, University of Michigan, 1991

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense

Ropes & Gray LLP has a large and experienced civil litigation team, which has deep experience in securities litigation. It is known for providing ‘very practical and actionable advice‘ to private equity funds, hedge funds, credit funds and other alternative asset management firms. Although mutual funds remain its key area of focus for securities litigation, the firm also acts for both public and private companies in the life sciences sector in shareholder, transaction and derivative litigation. David Hennes in New York is handling a major fiduciary case for Deutsche Bank alleging that it failed to properly supervise the bank and its employees over the last decade. Peter Welsh in Boston, who leads the corporate and securities litigation practice with Hennes, is ‘responsive, smart, practical and will go the extra step‘. Anne Johnson Palmer in San Francisco is an emerging talent in complex litigation.

United States > Dispute resolution > M&A litigation: defense

(Leading lawyers)

David HennesRopes & Gray LLP

Acting for buyers, sellers, companies, officers, directors and special committees, the litigators at Ropes & Gray LLP work closely with the firm’s transactional M&A lawyers to minimize the risk of disputes. When litigation does arise, the practice led by David Hennes in New York (‘a good lawyer to have on your side‘) and Peter Welsh in Boston, is experienced in every stage from preliminary injunctions through to trial, whether in the Delaware Court of Chancery or in federal courts across the US. Welsh successfully represented Advent International in one of the first cases to test how material adverse effect clauses in merger agreements can be applied to the events of the in the Covid-19 pandemic. Hennes has been involved in many cases in the life sciences sector; acting for Shire Pharmaceuticals and Novartis, he secured the dismissal of a $425m claim for milestone payments under a merger agreement.

United States > Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes

Ropes & Gray LLP runs a large and experienced team, including former SEC lawyers and federal prosecutors from the DOJ and numerous US Attorney’s offices. Its range of expertise covers breach of contract disputes, class actions and various white-collar crime matters, with a particular focus on the healthcare and financial services sectors. In a recent highlight, David Hennes, based in New York, successfully defended Shire Pharmaceuticals and Novartis Pharmaceuticals in a $425m claim brought by Fortis Advisors under a merger agreement. Jeffrey Bushofsky, based in Chicago, is noted for his diverse trial practice, which includes consumer fraud cases and MDL in the healthcare industry. Boston-based John Bueker also has a strong reputation in healthcare litigation.