Paul C. Saunders is Of Counsel in Cravath’s Litigation Department. He retired from the Firm on August 27, 2010, and was named Of Counsel in the same year. Mr. Saunders’s practice includes jury trials and international arbitration, primarily in the areas of antitrust, securities, intellectual property, and public and private international law.
Mr. Saunders speaks frequently on those and other subjects. Recently, he chaired the symposium “Raising the Bar—What Being a True Professional in the Practice of Law Means,” presented by the President of the New York State Bar Association.
Mr. Saunders was part of the team that successfully defended IBM in its major antitrust litigation in the 1970s and Time Inc. in its successful defense of the libel case brought by Ariel Sharon in 1984. He is a principal litigator for Vivendi, S.A. His other clients have included Lucent Technologies (now Alcatel‑Lucent), WorldCom, IBM, Thomson CSF (now Thales), Hertz, CBS Inc., Time Warner, Wells Fargo Bank, Fiat, Bristol‑Myers Squibb, Campbell Soup, Covenant House, the Republic of Suriname, J&W Seligman, the Afro‑American Police Association of Buffalo, New York, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Annette de la Renta and Dr. Henry Kissinger.
His international arbitration practice has included arbitrations under the AAA and ICC rules as well as UNCITRAL and UNCLOS arbitrations. In 2009, Mr. Saunders was co‑lead counsel in a four‑month jury trial in the Southern District of New York, In re Vivendi SA Securities Litigation, and in May‑June 2012, defended the company in a four‑week securities jury trial in that court. In 2013, he won the dismissal, following a two‑day bench trial, of a securities fraud action against Vivendi brought by GAMCO Investors, which is the first public market purchase case in which the presumption of reliance was successfully rebutted at a trial on the merits.
In 1995 and 1996, Mr. Saunders was national Co‑Chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and in 2000, received the Whitney North Seymour Award from that Committee. He was also chair of the Board of Visitors of the Georgetown University Law Center and continues as a member of the Board. He received the John Carroll Award from Georgetown University and in 2006, he received the Paul R. Dean Award from the Georgetown University Law Center. From 1983 to 1989, Mr. Saunders was a member of the Board and Vice President of the Legal Aid Society. In 2000, he was appointed to the New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law and currently serves as its Chair. Mr. Saunders has been a member of the Board of the Office of the Appellate Defender and was a member of the Board of Directors of Volunteers of Legal Service from 1996 to 2007. He is currently Director Emeritus of the Constitution Project, where he had been a member of the Board and previously served as its Chair. In 2011, Mr. Saunders received the Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Oral Advocacy from the Office of the Appellate Defender.
In addition, Mr. Saunders is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, was Chair of its National Moot Court Competition Committee and its Downstate New York Committee, Vice Chair of its Committee on Special Problems in the Administration of Justice and is currently Chair of its Task Force on Discovery and Civil Justice. That Task Force recently proposed sweeping reforms in the civil justice system’s rules of procedure. He is Vice Chair and a member of the Board of Directors of the Commonweal Magazine Foundation and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Fordham University until the end of June 2010, when he became a Trustee Fellow. He was also a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on New York Law in International Matters and is a member of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law’s Bingham Appeal Board. In 2003, Mr. Saunders was appointed Distinguished Visitor from Practice at Georgetown University Law Center, where he is currently on the faculty.
Mr. Saunders was cited as one of the country’s leading practitioners in the litigation arena by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business from 2007 through 2010. Mr. Saunders was also named by The Best Lawyers in America as a leader in alternative dispute resolution/arbitration, “bet‑the‑company” litigation and commercial litigation from 2009 through 2013, and as a leader in securities litigation from 2011 through 2013. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Mr. Saunders was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “Local Litigation Star” in the New York area. In 2010 and 2011, he was additionally highlighted by the publication as a “National Star” for his work in securities litigation. Mr. Saunders was also recognized by Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers for his work in commercial litigation from 2003 through 2012.
Mr. Saunders was born in New York, New York. He received an A.B. egregia cum laude from Fordham College in 1963, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1966, where he was Notes Editor of the Law Journal. Mr. Saunders also attended the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris, France. From 1967 to 1971, he was on active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1971. Mr. Saunders joined Cravath in 1971 and was a partner from 1977 through August 2010.
Mr. Saunders may be reached by phone at 212‑474‑1404 or by email at email@example.com.