New York Law Journal  Names S&C Vice Chair Robert Giuffra Jr. a Distinguished Leader

August 6, 2021

Sullivan & Cromwell Vice Chair Robert Giuffra Jr. has been named a Distinguished Leader by the New York Law Journal. The award recognizes attorneys in leadership roles who achieved impressive results while demonstrating clear leadership skills. Over the past year, Bob has continued his longstanding commitment to public service. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s COVID Recovery Task Force, which was created to facilitate the delivery of pro bono legal services to New Yorkers in need. He was also appointed by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to the Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York’s Courts, which makes recommendations for improving justice services in the wake of COVID-19, and he serves as co-chair of the Trial Working Group. He continues to play a critical role on New York’s Permanent Commission on Access to Justice. He also serves on the Standing Rules Committee of the U.S. Courts.
In early 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic, Bob successfully defended Volkswagen in a high-stakes trial over claims brought by vehicle owners who opted out of the consumer settlement that Bob negotiated over the company’s emissions issues. Later that year, Bob significantly curbed claims brought by the SEC against Volkswagen in an important ruling that clarifies that the Department of Justice can settle civil securities claims on behalf of all U.S. government agencies. This year, in a putative bondholder class action with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, Bob won a Ninth Circuit victory for Volkswagen that limits when plaintiffs can use the Supreme Court’s Affiliated Ute presumption of reliance. Bob’s efforts for Volkswagen, in these matters and others, have allowed the company to move past the diesel issue.
For Goldman Sachs, Bob helped the client secure a Supreme Court grant of certiorari to review a Second Circuit decision affirming class certification. In the most closely watched securities class action ruling in recent years, the Court ruled 8-1 in favor of Goldman Sachs, instructing the lower court to reconsider class certification.
In a closely watched case that Reuters has labeled the “ultimate test of FIRREA’s power,” Bob is defending UBS against a DOJ lawsuit brought under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989. UBS is challenging the government’s efforts to use this law—which was enacted to protect banks — against these institutions.