A versatile and accomplished litigator, Jeff Scott, a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group and co-head of the Firm’s securities litigation practice, has secured significant successes for clients in a wide range of areas, including securities, antitrust, and commercial civil litigation and regulatory and criminal investigations, as well as in other bet-the-company actions during the past twenty years. In 2022, Jeff was named one of the Top 500 Leading Litigators in America by Lawdragon. In 2019, Jeff was recognized as a Litigation Trailblazer and Winning Litigator by The National Law Journal, and has been recognized by Chambers USA, New York Super Lawyers, The Legal 500 and Benchmark Litigation for his work in antitrust, appellate, financial services, securities litigation and other areas. Jeff also has been recognized as a Law360 MVP in securities law and featured multiple times in The American Lawyer’s Litigator-of-the-Week series. He frequently speaks and writes about litigation issues.
Barclays, Banco Popular, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Goldman Sachs and other corporations and financial institutions have turned to Jeff for their most pressing representations. As recently recognized in The American Lawyer’s “Litigator of the Week” feature, Jeff successfully defended Barclays in a trial of a hedge fund’s alleged $1 billion plus contract claim, which involved a derivatives transaction that was terminated during the height of the financial crisis. This trial victory followed on the heels of Jeff’s successful defense of Barclays in a high-profile action by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging violations of FIRREA concerning the bank’s sale of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities before the financial crisis. While other banks had settled earlier, Barclays pursued a different strategy, rejecting an early settlement and litigating with the DOJ. Following a strategy of litigating aggressively but remaining open to negotiation, in March 2018, Barclays resolved the DOJ’s claims in a settlement, which was viewed as highly favorable by Barclays and the market. Legal experts noted to Law360 that the “high-risk legal strategy” had paid off, with one legal expert noting, “This was definitely a real, as well as symbolic, win for Barclays.” This resolution followed what Chambers called “a string of notable victories” for Barclays by Jeff, obtaining the dismissal of two securities class actions inspired by “Flash Boys”, Michael Lewis’ bestseller covering high-frequency trading in dark pools and other trading venues. Chambers noted that Jeff has “taken a lead role in the new wave of high-frequency trading litigation.” Jeff has also taken the lead in the shaping of bet-the-company antitrust and securities benchmark-related litigation and investigations.
As a generalist, Jeff also has represented corporations and financial institutions in a number of prominent SEC and DOJ investigations and regulatory enforcement proceedings involving allegations of securities fraud and money laundering and antitrust, CFTC, OFAC and Bank Secrecy Act violations. Jeff has obtained a number of non-public declinations in regulatory and criminal investigations.
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