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Richard W. Clary

Partner, Litigation

Richard W. Clary is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department and the Firm’s former Head of Litigation.

Mr. Clary’s cases have included securities defense; antitrust (plaintiff and defense sides); patent, trade secret and trademark litigation (plaintiff and defense sides); cable piracy litigation; bankruptcy litigation (debtor and creditor sides); commercial litigation; fraud, FCPA and bribery litigation; Anti‑Terrorism Act litigation; and civil rights and constitutional rights litigation. 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 is still representing Credit Suisse in a 13‑year‑old securities lawsuit filed by four hedge funds, one of the last remaining stand‑alone cases arising from Enron’s collapse.

Currently, Mr. Clary is lead counsel for Credit Suisse in defense of actions relating to residential mortgage‑backed securities nationwide. He is also currently representing Credit Suisse on claims in the Lehman bankruptcy. Mr. Clary is defending Credit Suisse in two lawsuits alleging violations of the Anti‑Terrorism Act and is also defending Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in litigation relating to the Hexion/Huntsman merger. Other clients have included IBM, Westinghouse, Time Warner, Schering AG, Berlex Laboratories, INEOS, JPMorgan Chase and the outside directors of Citigroup.

Mr. Clary is a member of the International Bar Association and the Litigation and Intellectual Property Sections of the American Bar Association. He has served on both the Antitrust and Patent Committees of the New York City Bar Association and as the Association’s Vice President. Mr. Clary 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. He is also on the Lawyers Committee of the National Center for State Courts. Mr. Clary serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Mystic Seaport Museum, and from 2005 through 2011, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Rye Country Day School. 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 has been 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 2017. He was also recognized by that publication as a leading trial lawyer from 2010 through 2016, and by Chambers Global from 2011 through 2017. From 2009 through 2017, The Best Lawyers in America named Mr. Clary a leader in commercial litigation and bet‑the‑company litigation, and from 2011 through 2017, also named him a leader in banking and finance litigation and securities litigation. Lawdragon named him to its list of “100 Lawyers You Need to Know in Securities Litigation” and to its list of “500 Leading Lawyers in America” from 2005 through 2017. The publication also named him a nationwide “Legend” in 2015. Mr. Clary was recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “National Star” for his work in general commercial litigation from 2011 through 2017 and securities litigation from 2010 through 2017, including as a “Top 10 National Star” for securities litigation in 2017. From 2009 through 2017, Benchmark Litigation also named him a “Local Litigation Star” in the New York area. Mr. Clary was recognized as a Leading Trial Lawyer in The Legal 500 United States from 2011 through 2017, and was named to The Legal 500 Hall of Fame in that category in 2017. He was also named by the publication as a Leading Lawyer in securities litigation every year since 2008 and as a Leading Lawyer in financial services litigation every year since 2012. Mr. Clary has also been recommended by Legal 500 from 2011 through 2017 for his appellate work, in 2016 for his mergers and acquisitions litigation work, in 2015 for his corporate restructuring work, and in 2012 for his trade secrets work. 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.

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, on the use of the courts to define and enforce the right to shelter, was published by the Foundation in the fall of 2008. In July 2013, Mr. Clary returned to the Centre for Socio‑Legal Studies to moderate a program on “The Nation State and the International Order: Constitutions, Revolutions, Security and Global Sources of Law.” In July 2015, he moderated a program on “Rethinking States, Nations and Constitutions in the 21st Century.” In February 2017, Mr. Clary participated in “The Putney Debates 2017”, a multi‑day program on constitutions and democracy jointly presented by Oxford University, the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society and The Centre for Socio‑Legal Studies. Mr. Clary’s presentation is on “Thoughts From Across The Pond: The U.S. Constitution and Representative Democracy (1787, 2017).”

Mr. Clary chaired the Practising Law Institute’s annual “Bet the Company Litigation” conference, which he created, from 2006 through 2012, and he has written on numerous topics for PLI.

Mr. Clary is a Lecturer of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches Complex Litigation and Class Actions courses.

Mr. Clary was born in Tarboro, North Carolina. He 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. 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, he 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 may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1227 or by email at rclary@cravath.com.

Contact
+1 (212) 474-1227
+1 (212) 474-3700