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Rachel G. Skaistis

Partner, Litigation

Rachel G. Skaistis focuses her practice on advising boards of directors and management in connection with government and internal investigations, shareholder demands, derivative actions and accounting restatements. Ms. Skaistis represents clients in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, insider trading, accounting and securities fraud and governance issues. She also handles a wide variety of general litigation, arbitration and appellate matters, including employment disputes, securities, bankruptcy and commercial/contract.

Ms. Skaistis is currently representing executives of El Pollo Loco in shareholder derivative litigation alleging, among other things, false and misleading statements about the company’s sales growth. She recently represented Novartis Pharmaceuticals in two qui tam actions in the Southern District of New York alleging False Claims Act violations, both of which settled.

Ms. Skaistis represented Telia Company in connection with FCPA investigations by the SEC, DOJ and Swedish and Dutch authorities, resulting in one of the largest FCPA resolutions ever. The resolution does not require the company to retain a compliance monitor, implement changes to its compliance program, or periodically self‑report on its compliance program to the DOJ or SEC.

Ms. Skaistis recently represented Xerox and certain current and former executives in a shareholder derivative action arising from an SEC investigation into internal controls and accounting practices at Xerox’s subsidiary, Affiliated Computer Services, which was dismissed. She also represented Xerox in that investigation (no charges were brought against either company). Ms. Skaistis also recently represented Time Warner and certain of its executives in an employee discrimination lawsuit in New York federal court, which settled.

Ms. Skaistis has successfully represented executives of Qualcomm in a number of actions, most recently securing the dismissal of a shareholder derivative lawsuit on behalf of former and current directors and officers of the company in the Delaware Court of Chancery concerning purported FCPA violations. In 2016, she won a motion to dismiss a shareholder action in the Delaware Court of Chancery brought derivatively on behalf of Qualcomm against its Board of Directors based on alleged international antitrust violations (affirmed on appeal). Ms. Skaistis also represented members of Qualcomm’s Board of Directors and senior management in a shareholder suit in Delaware federal court alleging direct and derivative claims in connection with purported misrepresentations in the company’s proxy statement. Those claims were dismissed on summary judgment, and the decision was affirmed on appeal.

Ms. Skaistis advised a Special Committee of the Board of Bank of New York Mellon with respect to shareholder demands related to its foreign exchange trading practices and represented Huron Consulting Group in connection with an SEC investigation, and in state and federal securities and derivative actions, related to the company’s restatement of certain of its historical financial statements.

Many of the other matters Ms. Skaistis works on are non‑public government and internal investigations, including FCPA investigations in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East and potential insider trading by an executive. Ms. Skaistis’s other clients have included: Credit Suisse, Deloitte & Touche, INEOS, JPMorgan Chase and members of the boards of General Electric Company, The Hartford, Cognizant Technology Solutions and MetLife.

In March 2015, Ms. Skaistis was selected as one of Global Investigation Review’s “100 Women in Investigations.” She has also been recognized by The Legal 500 US for her work in white‑collar criminal defense (2016‑2020) and securities litigation (2015‑2017, 2019). Ms. Skaistis was recognized for her investigations and litigation work by Benchmark Litigation from 2015 through 2020, including as a “Local Litigation Star” in the New York area and as one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation.” She was also named one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America” from 2013 through 2020. From 2014 through 2018, Chambers USA recognized Ms. Skaistis in the area of securities regulatory enforcement. She was also recognized for her work in regulatory enforcement by The Best Lawyers in America (2019-2020) and in business litigation by Super Lawyers (2018‑2020). Ms. Skaistis and her colleagues earned the Firm a top‑tier ranking for Criminal Defense: White Collar in the U.S. News‑Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” survey in 2018, as well as recognition in the investigations and criminal defense categories of both Chambers USA (2015‑2020) and Legal 500 US (2016‑2020) and the FCPA category of Chambers USA (2018‑2020).

Ms. Skaistis serves on the boards of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and The After‑School Corporation, as well as on the advisory committee of the National Women’s Law Center. She also devotes substantial time to pro bono service. Ms. Skaistis is one of the liaison partners for Cravath’s relationship with Montefiore Children’s Hospital and Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, through which the Firm represents patients who need legal services related to their medical care. She also is the liaison partner for Her Justice, an organization that procures pro bono legal services for low‑income women and children. Ms. Skaistis is also currently representing the Boards of Covenant House International and Covenant House New York in connection with an internal complaint concerning various alleged issues at Covenant House New York.

Ms. Skaistis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. in 1992 from Yale University. After graduating from Yale, Ms. Skaistis worked as a newspaper reporter in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1997, she received a J.D. cum laude from Cornell, where she was Managing Editor of the Cornell Law Review.

Ms. Skaistis joined Cravath in 1997. In 1999, Ms. Skaistis served as a law clerk to Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She rejoined Cravath in 2000 and was elected a partner in 2004. Ms. Skaistis is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Committee.  

Ms. Skaistis is admitted only in New York.

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+1 (212) 474-3700