Richard J. Holwell | Partner
The Hon. Richard J. Holwell served as a federal judge in the Southern District of New York from 2003-12, before stepping down to found Holwell Shuster & Goldberg. During his tenure on the federal bench he presided over two of the most significant securities fraud matters to reach trial in recent decades: the insider trading trial of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, and a securities class action brought against Vivendi that raised several novel points of law regarding the application of U.S. law to alleged securities fraud involving a foreign plaintiff.
Before his confirmation to the federal judiciary by the U.S. Senate, Judge Holwell practiced with Michael Shuster and Daniel Goldberg at White & Case, where he served on the Management Board and as the firm’s Executive Partner for Disputes. In an illustrious career preceding his time on the bench, Judge Holwell represented clients in highly complex commercial litigation matters involving securities, antitrust, and bankruptcy issues; in numerous investigations undertaken by the Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Federal Trade Commission; and in a leading appellate practice.
His numerous appellate arguments include one resulting in a decision, still significant today, establishing important precedent regarding the extraterritorial application of U.S. securities laws and antitrust standing under the Clayton Act. Also at White & Case, Judge Holwell and Mike Shuster litigated over 30 civil and criminal suits in the U.S. and abroad arising from the insolvency of Crédit Lyonnais, including a highly publicized fraud action against Kirk Kerkorian relating to his sale of MGM Film Studios.
In August 2012, Judge Holwell was appointed to the three-member NFL appeals panel, along with retired federal Judge Fern Smith of San Francisco and Georgetown professor James Oldham.
- Columbia-Cambridge Fellowship, Cambridge University Institute of Criminology (Dip. Crim., 1971)
- Columbia University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1970)
- Villanova University (B.A., 1967)
NOTABLE REPRESENTATIONS AND OPINIONS
While in private practice, Rick regularly represented clients in their most important matters, including:
- The representation of Credit Lyonnais S.A. in the acquisition of control of MGM/UA and in securities fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims against MGM/UA’s former owners, Kirk Kerkorian and Giancarlo Parretti.
- The representation of Credit Lyonnais S.A. in criminal cases in the United States, France and Italy and parallel proceedings before the Federal Reserve Board.
- The representation of USX in its acquisition of Marathon Oil and the subsequent trial to verdict of shareholder class action litigation.
- The representation of Newmont Mining in its defense of successive takeover attempts by T. Boone Pickens and the DeBeers family.
- The representation of the former Governor of New York in a test of his constitutional power to supersede a sitting district attorney.
- The representation of the State of New York in land claim litigation initiated by several tribes of the Iroquois Nation.
- The representation of MacMillan Bloedel Ltd. and Holly Sugar Corporation in criminal price fixing cases and related private treble damage actions in, respectively, the paper and sugar industries.
- The representation of a major steel company and a major aluminum company in grand jury price fixing investigations.
While on the bench, Judge Holwell has written over 600 published opinions including notable decisions in the following areas:
- Securities Law: In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litigation, 634 F.Supp. 2d 352 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 21, 2009), and 765 F.Supp. 2d 512 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 17, 2011); In re Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. Securities Litigation, 456 F.Supp. 2d 576 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 17, 2006); In re IAC/Interactive Corp. Securities Litigation, 478 F.Supp. 2d 574 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 21, 2007); Securities and Exchange Commission v. Moises Saba Masri, et al., 523 F.Supp. 2d 361 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 20, 2007)
- White Collar Criminal: United States v. Raj Rajaratnam, et al., 753 F.Supp. 2d 299 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 24, 2010), 802 F.Supp. 2d 491 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 11, 2011), and 2012 WL 362031 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 31, 2012); L. Dennis Kozlowski v. William Hulihan, et al., 2012 WL 383667 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2012)
- Antitrust: Xerox Corporation v. Media Services International, 511 F. Supp. 2d 372 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 14, 2007), and 660 F. Supp. 2d 319 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 10, 2009); Coalition for A Level Playing Field v. Autozone, et al., 737 F.Supp. 2d 194 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 7, 2010), and 2011 WL 4470742 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 28, 2011)
- Financial Crisis Litigation: In re State Street Bank and Trust Co. Fixed Income Funds Litigation, 686 F.Supp. 2d 369 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 25, 2010), and 2012 WL 333774 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 1, 2012); Greenwich Financial Services Distressed Mortgage Fund 3 LLC v. Countrywide Financial Corporation, et al., 654 F.Supp. 2d 192 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 14, 2009); G. Philip Stephenson, as Trustee v. Citco Corp. Group Ltd., et al., 700 F.Supp. 2d 599 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2010) and G. Philip Stephenson, as Trustee v. PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 768 F.Supp. 2d 562 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 06, 2011)
- Tax: Altria Group, Inc. v. United States of America, 694 F.Supp. 2d 259 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 16, 2010).
- Arbitration: Frontera Resources Azerbaijan Corporation v. State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic, 479 F.Supp. 2d 376 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2007); Miodrag Beljakovic v. Melohn Properties, Inc., 542 F.Supp. 2d 238 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 17, 2005); Kristen Schatz , et al. v. Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, 2012 WL 423316 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 31, 2012)
- Copyright/Trademark: Ivy Silberstein, d/b/a Ivy Supersonic v. Fox Entertainment Group, Inc., et al., 424 F.Supp. 2d 616 (S.D.N.Y. July 19, 2004); Nile Rodgers v. Norma Jean Wright et al., 544 F.Supp. 2d 302 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2008)
- Government Regulation: New York State Restaurant Association v. New York City Board of Health, et al., 509 F.Supp. 2d 351 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 11, 2007), and 2008 WL 1752455 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 16, 2008); Arnold Wines, Inc. v. Daniel Boyle, et al., 515 F.Supp. 2d 401 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 5, 2007); Adusemelli v. Steiner 740 F.Supp. 2d 582 (S.D.N.Y. Sep. 30, 2010); Automobile Club of New York, Inc. v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 2012 WL 362010 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2012)
- Complex Commercial an d Financial Markets
- Government Regulations
- International Arbitration
- Tax Litigation
- White Collar Crime and Internal Investigations
- New York Supreme Court, First Department, admitted October 27, 1972
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, admitted October 31, 1974
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, admitted September 5, 1980
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, admitted September 9, 1982
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, admitted November 4, 1983
- Supreme Court of the United States, admitted March 31, 1986
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, admitted April 15, 1996
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, admitted January 8, 1998
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, admitted May 18, 2000
- Register of Foreign Lawyers, admitted January 16, 2002
- NYS Bar Association, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Council
- Ensuring a Cost-Efficient Arbitration – Executive Counsel Magazine (August/September 2012 issue) (co-authored with Dorit Ungar Black).
- Gupta appeal will be 'very difficult,' Holwell says, Thomson Reuters (June 15, 2012) - Read more
- Judge Holwell rejoins Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia to discuss whether Rajat Gupta should take the witness stand in his own defense at his trial for insider trading. To watch the video, click here.
- Judge Holwell joins CNBC at the NYSE to provide his perspective on the insider trading trial of Rajat Gupta. To watch the video, click here.
- Judge Holwell discusses the FBI's recent announcement that it is investigating 120 individuals for insider trading on Bloomberg Law. To watch the video, click here.
- Judge Holwell joins Wall Street Journal Mean Street host Evan Newmark to discuss white-collar crime on Wall Street. To watch the video, click here.