Robert Giuffra is Co-Chair of Sullivan & Cromwell and a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Group. He has served on Sullivan & Cromwell’s Management Committee since 2007. Mr. Giuffra joined the Firm in 1989 after serving as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court and to Judge Ralph Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He focuses on “bet-the-company,” securities, white-collar criminal, product liability, commercial, insurance, banking and tax litigation.
A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Mr. Giuffra is recognized as one of the leading litigators in the United States. The American Lawyer has selected him as “Litigator of the Year” (2014), ”Transatlantic Disputes/Regulatory Lawyer of the Year” (2017) and as “Litigator of the Week” eight times since June 2011, most recently in August 2023. The National Law Journal has named him a “Winning Litigator” (2015), an “Energy and Environmental Trailblazer” (2017), a “Litigation Trailblazer” (2015), and a "Crisis Leadership Trailblazer" (2021). He is a ten-time Law360 MVP (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022), the most for any lawyer since Law360 started naming MVPs. Euromoney has named him a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” and “National Star” in Benchmark: America‘s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys and one of the top 30 litigators in the 2019 Best of the Best USA Expert Guide. In 2012, The International Who’s Who Legal listed him as one of its ten “Most Highly Regarded” litigators globally. In 2011, The Financial Times profiled him as one of its ten leading U.S. legal innovators.
For over 25 years Mr. Giuffra has represented prominent corporations and individuals in their most challenging civil and criminal cases, including at jury and bench trials, and on appeal in federal and state courts around the United States, before arbitration panels, and in investigations involving the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC, the EPA, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. and non-U.S. bank regulators, the U.S. Congress, all fifty State Attorney Generals, and the Internal Revenue Service. He regularly advises senior executives and boards of directors in internal governance matters.
Mr. Giuffra is currently National Coordinating Counsel for Volkswagen in its recent diesel-related matters and is lead counsel to Fiat Chrysler in its emissions issues. Mr. Giuffra has participated in litigations and government investigations arising out of the financial crisis, the bankruptcy of Enron, the restructuring of MBIA, the accounting fraud at HealthSouth Corporation, and specialist trading on the New York Stock Exchange. He has represented many of the world’s leading financial institutions, including Allianz, ABN AMRO, Bank of America, The Bank of New York, Barclays, BNP Paribas, CIBC, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ING, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Natixis, RBC, RBS, Société Générale, UBS and Wachovia. His corporate clients have included Biovail, Boeing, Cablevision, Computer Associates, DISH Network, Enbridge, Ericsson, Exxon, Grupo Mexico, Kinross, Kohl’s, McKesson, Oxford Health Plans, Philips Electronics, Porsche, Tenaris, Tudor Investment Corporation, UnitedHealth Group, and Vornado Realty Trust. He has also represented the Republic of Argentina, Société Nautique de Genève, the two-time defender of the America’s Cup sailing trophy, the New York Giants and Jets NFL teams, and a major university. His individual clients have included CEOs, lawyers and senior government officials.
Mr. Giuffra has served in all three branches of the U.S. Government. In addition to his judicial clerkships, he served as Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs 1995-1996 and was a primary drafter of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as well as in the White House. He has also been appointed by governors of both political parties to serve in New York State government, including on the New York State Commission on Public Integrity, New York State Ethics Commission and, while at Sullivan & Cromwell, as a Special Assistant District Attorney, County of New York.
Mr. Giuffra has been a leader of the Bar. In 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed him to serve on the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Courts. He has served as President of The Federal Bar Council, on the New York State-Federal Judicial Council, the New York State Commercial Division Advisory Council, the Magistrate Judge Selection Panel for the SDNY, New York’s Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York’s Courts, the New York Commission on Attorney Discipline, and the Board of Editors of New York Law Journal. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law, Chair of the Board of the Historical Society of the New York Courts, Chairman of the American Swiss Foundation, Vice President of the Supreme Court Historical Society, a member of the advisory board of the RAND Center for Catastrophic Risk Management and Compensation, a member of the advisory board of the Institute of Judicial Administration at NYU School of Law, a member of the advisory council of the James Madison Program at Princeton University, and a Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission.
He frequently speaks on securities class actions, government and internal investigations, and corporate governance, including at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, Harvard Business School, the Wharton School and the University of Chicago Law School. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and participated in many hearings of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
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