Jeffrey T. ScottPartner
A versatile and accomplished litigator, Jeff Scott, a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group and co-lead 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 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.
Professional Activities and Community Involvement
- Served as a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Securities Litigation Committee, Litigation Committee, Professional Responsibility Committee, Professional and Judicial Ethics Committee and Council on Judicial Administration.
- Member of Providence College’s National Board of Overseers
- Benchmark Litigation: New York Litigation Star: Antitrust, Appellate and Securities Litigation (2020, 2021)
- The National Law Journal: Litigation Trailblazer (2019)
- The National Law Journal: Winning Litigator (2019)
- Chambers USA in New York Litigation: Securities (2017, 2018, 2019, 2021)
- New York Super Lawyers (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
- The Legal 500 United States in Securities Litigation - Defense (2016, 2017, 2018)
- The Legal 500 United States in Financial Services Litigation (2016, 2017)
- Law360 MVP in Securities Law (2015)
- The American Lawyer Litigation Daily: Litigator of the Week Feature: Recognizing dismissal of Adient securities class action litigation (2020)
- The American Lawyer Litigation Daily: Litigator of the Week Feature: Recognizing Court of Appeals win in high-stakes repurchase litigation (2019)
- The American Lawyer Litigation Daily: Litigator of the Week Feature: Recognizing BDC trial win (2019)
- The American Lawyer Litigation Daily: Litigator of the Week Feature: Recognizing the Court of Appeals’ reversal of summary judgment in BDC litigation (2015)
- Law360 White Collar Practice Group of the Year: Featuring Jeff’s successful FIRREA representation (2018)
- Barclays Bank plc as lead counsel in litigation in New York state court arising out of the termination of total return swap transactions entered into by Barclays and the hedge fund BDC. After obtaining a unanimous 5-0 decision from the Court of Appeals reversing the First Department’s decision granting summary judgment to the hedge fund, Jeff successfully defeated BDC’s alleged $1 billion plus contract claim after a two-day bench trial.
- Adient plc in obtaining the dismissal of all claims in a putative securities fraud class action in the Southern District of New York.
- Diebold Nixdorf, the world’s largest ATM manufacturer, in a securities class action pending in the Southern District of New York.
- Barclays as lead counsel in all civil litigation and regulatory matters relating to Barclays’ Alternative Trading System, LX. Jeff obtained the complete dismissal of all federal securities law claims brought against Barclays by a putative class consisting of all participants in the U.S. equity markets, and all state law claims brought against Barclays by a putative class of California entities which traded in Barclays LX. Mr. Scott also successfully negotiated Barclays’ resolution of investigations by the SEC and New York Attorney General concerning LX.
- Barclays Bank plc and Barclays Capital Inc. as lead counsel in various RMBS civil litigation and regulatory matters, including in the DOJ’s high-profile and unprecedented FIRREA litigation, which Jeff successfully resolved.
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia in obtaining dismissal of all claims in putative class actions alleging manipulation of benchmark rates.
- Barclays as lead counsel in putative class actions and other coordinated actions in federal court brought by entities which purportedly traded financial instruments tied to LIBOR.
- Barclays as lead counsel in repurchase litigation in which he obtained the dismissal of all claims brought by an RMBS trustee on the ground that NY’s Borrowing Statute barred the claims. Jeff subsequently convinced the Court of Appeals to affirm that dismissal decision.
- HedgeServ Corporation in a breach-of-contract action brought in the Southern District of New York against FIS Systems International Inc. The matter was successfully resolved.
- Barclays Bank plc as lead counsel in putative class actions brought against Barclays and other financial institutions under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
- GCT New York LP, a port terminal operator, in a breach-of-contract action filed in the Southern District of New York against Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company.
- Bank J. Safra (Gibraltar) Limited in an adversary proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arising out of the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. The matter was successfully resolved.
- Lloyds TSB Bank plc in a shareholder derivative action in New York state court relating to Lloyds’ resolution of regulatory and criminal investigations relating to economic sanctions laws.
- UBS in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in the HealthSouth Corporation Securities Litigation.
- Barclays Bank plc in litigation in federal and state courts in matters relating to Enron. Jeff successfully obtained summary judgment in the landmark Enron Corporation Securities Litigation, a case in which the putative class sought damages in excess of $30 billion.
- Financial Institutions in non-public regulatory and criminal investigations.
- Barclays Capital Inc. in litigation in Delaware Chancery Court relating to the Del Monte Foods Company merger.
- The American Bankers Association, The ABA Securities Association, The Clearing House Association L.L.C. and The Financial Services Roundtable as amici curiae in Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, et al., No. 06-43 (S. Ct.), in which the U.S. Supreme Court rejected plaintiffs’ “scheme” theory of liability under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
- National trade organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and The Clearing House Association L.L.C., as amici curiae in an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that addressed the issue of the scope of liability under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
- Directors of the AllianceBernstein Large Cap Growth Fund, Inc. in connection with an appeal in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in which the court affirmed the dismissal of securities laws claims against the directors.
- Barclays Capital Inc. in federal court in connection with its settlement of breach of contract claims asserted by plaintiff based on repo transactions entered into between plaintiff and Barclays.
- Lloyds TSB Bank plc in regulatory and criminal investigations involving economic sanctions laws, including the negotiation of deferred prosecution agreements.
- Goldman Sachs in regulatory investigations relating to alleged conflicts of interest concerning its equity research, resulting in settlements with various federal and state regulators.
- Banco Popular de Puerto Rico in regulatory and DOJ investigations involving Bank Secrecy Act issues, including the negotiation of a deferred prosecution agreement.
- Microsoft in connection with its settlement with the SEC of an investigation relating to the use of accounting accruals and reserves.