Bob Giuffra Discusses with AmLaw Litigation Daily Balancing His Role as S&C’s Co-Chair and His “Crisis” Litigation Practice

October 5, 2022

Bob Giuffra spoke with The American Lawyer's Litigation Daily about his work as Firm Co-Chair and his practice representing the world's leading companies in responding to crises, S&C's culture of training its lawyers as generalists, and whether, in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions crisis, U.S.-style mass litigation will become the norm in other countries.
 
Bob reported that he spends more than 80 percent of his time as a full-time litigator. “We're a firm where the leaders are in the trenches, as opposed to the leaders being in a corner office dictating policy,” he said. “And there's a lot of leading by example.” He noted that the Firm's generalist approach to training its lawyers has helped him learn to juggle his different roles.  “I think sometimes one of the biggest mistakes people make, whether it's litigating a case or running a law firm, is not making decisions.”
 
Stanford University and RAND recently explored the Volkswagen's emissions litigation, in which Bob has served as National Coordinating Counsel for the global automaker, as a case study on whether U.S.-style mass civil litigation should be exported to other countries around the globe.  “I think what was interesting was a lot of the judges and certainly the plaintiff's lawyers and some of the government officials from outside the United States are open to—and almost encourage—the adoption of U.S.-style litigation procedures in their countries.”
 
Bob also pointed to the importance of global resolutions when a company faces government and private litigation on different fronts. “Where you have this multiplicity of actors, the challenge when you're on the defense side is figuring out what's the best structure to resolve the case,” he said. “Being able to bring all the different parts together and not having it linger for a company is very important.”
 
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