A. Robert Pietrzak

Global Co-Head, Securities & Shareholder Litigation at Sidley Austin LLP

A. Robert Pietrzak

A. Robert Pietrzak

Global Co-Head, Securities & Shareholder Litigation at Sidley Austin LLP

Biography

Robert Pietrzak
Partner
Sidley Austin LLP
ROBERT PIETRZAK is co-head of Litigation in Sidley’s New York office and global co-head of the firm’s Securities Litigation practice. His practice primarily involves the litigation in US courts of civil and governmental disputes for global financial institutions, including the defense of securities class actions and large contract actions. Robert has been counsel in regulatory proceedings and civil actions involving securities industry practices, bonds, public offerings, investment companies and antitrust claims. He has represented defendants in some of the largest litigations in the US and has represented major Chinese corporations and institutions. Recent representative matters include:

In federal and state actions, one of the largest investment banks in putative securities class actions brought by investors in mortgage-backed securities and in individual actions brought by large institutional plaintiffs relating to such securities. He has been counsel for some of the largest investment banks in a series of securities class actions over the years, including in the IPO Securities Litigation and numerous ’33 Act and industry practice cases.
A major mutual fund group in a Section 36(b) action alleging the charging of excessive fees by investment advisers and sub-advisers. He helped successfully defend the seminal case in this area, Gartenberg v. Merrill Lynch, and represented a leading industry group as amicus in the recent Supreme Court case that adopted the Gartenberg holding, Jones v. Harris.
One of China’s largest state owned enterprises in a securities class action pending in US federal court. He led the Sidley defense team that previously obtained dismissal of a securities class action against another major state owned enterprise, China Life, and has successfully represented the People’s Republic itself in actions by holders of Chinese bonds issued before the 1949 revolution.

Robert’s strong advocacy on behalf of his clients has earned him acknowledgement in numerous industry publications. He has consistently been named as a leading New York securities litigator by Chambers USA, which noted his “learned, almost professorial arguments” in court, “his superlative writing skills and polished representation” of institutional clients, and his ability to “organize every aspect of a case without ever losing sight of the end goal.” Sources also told Chambers that Robert is “’extremely smart, strategic and academic,’” and that “he shows particular strength in securities class action litigation as well as securities regulatory proceedings.” Clients told The Legal 500, “Robert Pietrzak is a ‘very experienced and savvy class action defense lawyer’ and has ‘developed particular experience in representing China companies that raise funds in the US.’” He has also been recognized each year since 2006 in The Best Lawyers in America.



Representative securities actions and class actions include:

Sinay v. CNOOC Limited, 12 Civ. 1513 (KBF)(S.D.N.Y.)(representing Chinese corporation that is the world’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas in purported US securities class action alleging inadequate disclosures related to an oil spill off the coast of China).

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Mortgage-Backed Securities Litigations (various federal and state courts)(representing JPMorgan Chase & Co. and various affiliated entities and individuals in putative securities class actions in federal court brought by investors in mortgage-backed certificates and in three individual actions brought by Federal Home Loan Banks that invested in mortgage-backed certificates. The plaintiffs assert that the offering documents for the certificates contained various misrepresentations and omissions in violation of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and state law).

Curran v. Principal Management Corporation, 09-cv-00433-RP-RAW (S.D.Iowa)(representing Principal defendants in 36(b) action alleging excessive fees to advisers and sub-advisers).

Perry v. Duoyuan Printing, Inc., Civ. No. 10 CV 7235 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), (representing Duoyuan Printing, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors in a class action alleging that the Company’s Registration Statement and its various public statements and filings were materially false and/or misleading because they failed to disclose that the authenticity of certain selling expenses could not be verified and that the Company had improper relationships with certain vendors).

Pasquale A. La Pietra v. RREEF America, L.L.C., 09 Civ. 7439 (JGK)(represented a Deutsche Bank related investment adviser and investment manager, as well as two officers of two publicly traded closed-end investment funds (which also are related to Deutsche Bank), in a putative class action alleging that defendants made false and misleading statements concerning the investment strategy and leverage risk of the two real estate funds, including the risks relating to the Funds’ issuance of auction-rate preferred securities; dismissed on motion).

Jones v. Harris Assocs., 559 U.S. , 130 S. Ct. 1418 (20010) (brief for amicus Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association)(standard for excessive fees to investment company).

In re Wachovia Equity Securities, 09 Civ. 4473 (RJS)(SDNY) and In re Wachovia Preferred Securities and Bond/Notes, Master File No. 09 Civ. 6351 (RJS) (representing underwriters with respect to a public offerings of equity and debt securities by Wachovia Corporation in a putative securities class actions, principally for failure to adequately disclose the issuer’s exposure to mortgage risk of various types).

Bauer v. Prudential Financial, Civil Action No. 09-1120-JLL(DNJ)(representing the underwriter defendants in a putative class action that names Prudential, certain of its officers and directors and various underwriters as defendants, and alleges that the offering materials for certain debt securities contained material misrepresentations with respect to the mortgage exposure of Prudential).

In re SemGroup Energy Partners, L.P. Securities Litigation, CASE NO. 08-MD-1989-GKF-FHM (NDOK)( representing 10 investment banks that served as underwriters with respect to two public offerings of partnership units by SemGroup Energy Partners, L.P. in a putative securities class action alleging failure to disclose material facts concerning the purportedly high-risk commodities trading practices of issuer’s corporate parent, which issuer purportedly relied upon for a significant portion of its revenues).

Giant Interactive Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.) (representing the underwriters of the initial public offering of a Chinese on-line gaming company in a class action asserting 1933 Act claims; tentative settlement).

DeBlasio v. Citigroup, 07 CV 318(VM)(SDNY)(represented Citigroup in putative class action alleging improper use of customer free credit balances; dismissed on motion).

Bernstein v. Citibank, 06 CV 15203(DAB)(SDNY)(represented broker-dealer in putative securities class action alleging improper timing of account “sweeps”; dismissed on motion).

Morris v. People’s Republic of China, 05 Civ. 4470(RJH) and Pons v. People’s Republic of China, 06 Civ. 13221(RJH)(SDNY) (represented the People’s Republic of China in actions seeking recovery on bonds issued by a predecessor government in 1913; each dismissed on motion).

Teamsters Local 445 Freight Division Pension Fund v. Bombardier Inc., 05 Civ. 1898(SAS)(S.D.N.Y.)(representing defendants in putative securities class action alleging inadequate disclosures in connection with securitizations; denial of class certification affirmed on appeal).

In Re China Life Insurance Company Limited Securities Litigation, 04 Civ. 2112 (TPG)(S.D.N.Y.)(represented largest insurer in China in a putative securities class action related to its $3.7 billion IPO in 2003.; this was the first action of its type in the US against a primarily “state owned enterprise”; dismissed on motion).

Ray v. Citigroup, (7th Cir. 2007)(represented Citigroup in “mass” plaintiff action alleging securities fraud in connection with the stock of SmartServ Online, Inc.;summary judgment for Citigroup).

In Re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92 SAS)(S.D.N.Y.)(represented Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown in putative class actions alleging securities law and antitrust violations in connection with the allocation to customers of shares in initial public offerings; class certification denied on appeal in securities action; dismissal of antitrust action before U.S. Supreme Court).

In Re Public Offering Fee Antitrust Litig., 2001 WL 128321 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 14, 2001) (represented Bear Stearns in a putative class actions by investors and issuers under Section 1 of the Sherman Act alleging that the defendant investment banks conspired to fix and maintain at supracompetitive levels the “spread”/“fee” for initial public offering shares;dismissal affirmed on appeal).

UST Private Equity Investors Fund, Inc. v. Salomon Smith Barney, 288 A.D.2d 87, 733 N.Y.S.2d 385 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dep't 2001) (represented Salomon Smith Barney in an action by stock purchasers alleging false and misleading representations and omissions in an offering memorandum; dismissal affirmed on appeal).

Rifkin v. Bear Stearns & Co., 248 F.3d 628 (7th Cir. 2001) (represented Bear Stearns in a putative class action challenging alleged “yield burning” practices; dismissed affirmed on appeal; subsequent new action in state court also dismissed).

Press v. Quick & Reilly, Inc., 218 F.3d 121 (2d Cir. 2000) (dismissal of class claims respecting mutual fund payments to broker-dealers)

Brock v. William R. Hough & Co., 99-847-CA (Fla. Cir. Ct. 1999) (represented defendant broker-dealer in a putative class action claiming unjust enrichment, common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with “yield burning”; settled favorably).

Grandon v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 2003 WL 22118979 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 11, 2003)(represented Merrill Lynch in a putative class action where secondary market purchasers of municipal bonds allege that they were charged excessive markups; class certification denied).

Granite Partners, L.P. v. Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., 17 F. Supp. 2d 275 (S.D.N.Y. 1998), 58 F. Supp. 2d 228 (S.D.N.Y. 1999), 130 F. Supp. 2d 450 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (represented Merrill Lynch in action brought by bankrupt hedge funds against broker-dealers based on allegations that the defendants liquidated the funds’ securities at below market prices) (15 of 18 claims dismissed; jury verdict in favor of defendant; nov on one count, settled).

Strougo v. Bear Stearns & Co. and Press v. Quick & Reilly, Inc., 218 F.3d 121 (2d Cir. 2000) (represented broker-dealer defendants in putative class actions claiming that defendants failed, inter alia, to adequately disclose payments by money market funds to broker-dealers; dismissal affirmed on appeal).

Sirna v. Prudential Sec., Inc., 964 F. Supp. 147 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (represented Prudential Securities in class action alleging that firm improperly failed to "sweep" unencumbered cash in customers' accounts into money market funds on a timely basis; dismissal on motion).

Estate of David J. Braunstein v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 657 N.Y.S.2d 12 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dep’t 1997) (represented eleven broker-dealers in a class action claiming that broker-dealer’s use of free credit balances belonging to class members constituted breach of fiduciary duty; dismissal affirmed on appeal on basis of federal preemption).

Rosenfeld v. Bear Stearns & Co., 655 N.Y.S.2d 473 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dept. 1997) (represented sixteen broker-dealers in settlement of a securities class action alleging improper retention of income from stock lending; settled favorably, largely on the basis of our federal pre-emption argument).

Evangelist v. Fidelity Brokerage Servs., 651 N.Y.S.2d 352 (N.Y. 1996) (represented Fidelity Brokerage Services in a class action challenging Fidelity’s practice of receiving “order flow payments” from market makers for placing its orders with them; dismissed on appeal by state’s highest court on basis of federal preemption).

Gartenberg v. Merrill Lynch Asset Mgmt., Inc., 694 F.2d 923, 928 (2d Cir. 1982) (landmark case resulting in dismissal of excessive fee claims under Section 36 of the Investment Company Act of 1940)

Publications

Robert has written articles on litigation, securities and derivatives issues for CNN, Court TV, ALI/ABA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Futures Industry Association, the Futures and Options Association and the American Arbitration Association.
His publications include:
“Loss Causation Experts After Dura“, in Securities Law 360 (May 21, 2009) (with Daniel A. McLaughlin)
“Securities Litigation”, in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts (Robert L. Haig ed. 2005)
“Standard Form Agreements in the Securities Field”, published in The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (December 2000) (with A. Stern)
“Survey of Recent Class Actions Challenging Securities Industry Practices”, published in The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (April 1999) (with Daniel A. McLaughlin)
“CFTC Exemption Procedures for Novel Derivative Transactions”, published in The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (July 1993) (with M. Sackheim), updated in Derivatives Risk and Responsibility (R.A. Klein & J. Lederman ed. 1996)
“Futures Trading Practices Act of 1992”, published in the Futures International Law Letter, (November-December 1992) (with M. Sackheim)
“The Bybee Decision: Futures and Forwards in the Ninth Circuit”, published in the Commodities Law Letter (November 1991)
“CFTC Statutory Interpretation and Proposed Rule for Hybrid Instruments”, published in the Commodities Law Letter (April 1989) (with W. Massey)
“The Elimination of CFTC Rule 180.3 After MacMahon”, published in the Commodities Law Letter (July/August 1987) (with S. Tross)
“Insider Trading in Futures”, published in the Commodities Law Letter (May 1987)
“Private Litigation Involving Insider Trading”, published in The Review of Securities & Commodities Regulation (March 1987) (with R. Ray)

Memberships & Activities

Robert is a member of Sidley’s Executive Committee. His numerous affiliations outside the firm include being on the Editorial Advisory Board of both the Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation and Fordham International Law Journal. Robert is also a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Securities Litigation Committee. He is a former chair and member of the Futures Regulation Committee, and former member of both the Securities Regulation Committee and Retail Financial Services Committee.

Robert’s other posts include being a member of the American Law Institute, The New York Bar Foundation, and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. He was also a member of the Litigation Advisory Committee of the former Bond Market Association.

Robert has lectured extensively and been a contributor to academic and professional programs on representation of major Chinese clients. He is director of The New Amsterdam Singers and has held that post since 2007.

Pro Bono

In 2011, Robert received a Pro Bono Publico Award for his service to the board of the Legal Aid Society at its annual pro bono awards ceremony. He has been director of the Society since 2007. Robert’s other affiliations include: Advisory board, The Common Good, member, 2009—present; National Committee on United States - China Relations; New York University Center for Global Affairs, Advisory Board, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Financial Products Advisory Committee, former member.

News

June 8, 2012
186 Sidley Lawyers Ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2012
June 13, 2011
171 Sidley Lawyers Ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2011
View All »

Achievements

June 22, 2009
151 Sidley Lawyers Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for 2009
June 18, 2008
138 Sidley Lawyers Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for 2008

U.S. Supreme Court, 1985
U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, 1975
U.S. District Court, E.D. of New York, 1975
U.S. District Court, W.D. of New York, 1981
U.S. District Court, S.D. of New York, 1975
New York, 1975

Education

Columbia University School of Law (J.D., 1974)
Fordham University (B.A., 1971), cum laude in cursu honorem


Practices

M&A and D&O Litigation
Securities and Futures Regulatory
Securities Litigation

Areas of Focus

Hedge Funds
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Antitrust and Unfair Competition
Antitrust Litigation
Bank/Financial Services Class Actions
Broker-Dealer
Business Torts
China Competition
Commercial Litigation Appeals
Commodity Pools
Company Stock Litigation
Contract Litigation
D&O Liability/Shareholder Derivative Litigation
Derivatives
Exchanges and Clearing Organizations
Financial Institutions Business Transactions
Financial Institutions Litigation
Financial Reporting and Disclosures
Financial, Securities and Accountants Liability Appeals
General Obligations
Insider Trading
Internal Investigations
International Financial Institutions in the U.S.
Investment Advisers
Investment Advisers and Mutual Funds
Law Firm Representation
M&A Litigation
Multidistrict Litigation
Private Securities Litigation
Revenue Bonds
SEC Disclosure
Securities, Mutual Fund and Commodities Activities
Structured Products
Trading in Securities by Officers and Directors
Trials

Overview
RelSci Relationships

3310

Number of Boards

3

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Managing Partner, West Coast at Sidley Austin LLP

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Partner at Sidley Austin LLP

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Partner at Sidley Austin LLP

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Managing Partner, Asia Pacific Region at Sidley Austin LLP

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Managing Partner at Sidley Austin LLP

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A. Robert Pietrzak
Global Co-Head, Securities & Shareholder Litigation at Sidley Austin LLP
Education
JD
Class of 1974

Columbia Law School is a professional graduate school of Columbia University, a member of the Ivy League. Columbia is regarded as one of the most prestigious law schools in the nation and has always been ranked in the top five by U.S. News and World Report.Founded in 1858, Columbia has produced a large number of distinguished alumni including two Presidents of the United States (Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt); nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States;numerous U.S. Cabinet members and Presidential advisers; U.S. Senators, Representatives, and Governors; and more members of the Forbes 400 than any other law school.

BA in Cursu Honorem, cum laude
Class of 1971

Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university based in New York City, United States. It was founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St. John's College, placed in the care of the Society of Jesus shortly thereafter, and has since become an independent institution under a lay board of trustees, which describes the University as "in the Jesuit tradition." Fordham is composed of ten constituent colleges, four of which are for undergraduates and six of which are for postgraduates. It enrolls approximately 15,000 students across three campuses in New York State: Rose Hill in the Bronx, Lincoln Center in Manhattan, and Westchester in West Harrison. In addition to these campuses, the University maintains a study abroad center in the United Kingdom and field offices in Spain and South Africa. Fordham awards the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, as well as various master's and doctoral degrees.

Memberships
Member
Current

Securities Industry and Financial Management Association SIFMA brings together the shared interests of hundreds of securities firms, banks and asset managers. These companies are engaged in communities across the country to raise capital for businesses, promote job creation and lead economic growth.

Member
Current

The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. ALI drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and Principles of Law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.

Member
Current

The US-China Business Council, Inc. (USCBC) is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of roughly 240 American companies that do business with China. Founded in 1973, USCBC has provided unmatched information, advisory, advocacy, and program services to its membership for more than three decades. Through its offices in Washington, DC; Beijing; and Shanghai, USCBC is uniquely positioned to serve its members' interests in the United States and China. USCBC's mission is to expand the US-China commercial relationship to the benefit of its membership and, more broadly, the US economy. It favors constructive engagement with China to eliminate trade and investment barriers and develop a rules-based commercial environment that is predictable and transparent to all parties. Among USCBC's members are many large and well-known US corporations, but smaller companies and service firms make up a substantial portion of the overall membership. USCBC is governed by a board of directors composed of distinguished corporate leaders; the current chair is Robert McDonald, chief executive officer of the Procter & Gamble Company. John Frisbie has been USCBC's president since 2004. USCBC has long served as a respected host of events featuring senior officials from the US and PRC governments. In recent years, USCBC has been honored to receive PRC President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, and other distinguished guests from central and provincial government entities. Recent American public figures to meet with USCBC members in the United States and China have included Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, US Ambassador to China and former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, key members of Congress, and numerous specialists on US-China affairs from various agencies of the executive branch of government and the think-tank community.

Career History
Global Co-Head, Securities & Shareholder Litigation
Current

Sidley Austin LLP is an American multi-national private company located in New York, NY, that provides legal services.

Boards & Committees
Member, Editorial Advisory Board
Tenure Unconfirmed
Member of the Advisory Board
Current
Member, Editorial Advisory Board
Tenure Unconfirmed
Non-Profit Donations & Grants

Learn how non-profit organizations benefit from RelSci
$5,000 - $10K
2018

Established in the summer of 1950, The New York Bar Foundation is a nonprofit, philanthropic organization that receives charitable contributions from individuals, law firms, corporations or other entities and provides grants to further its goals of promoting and advancing the following: • Service to the public • Improvements in the administration of justice • Legal research and education • High standards of professional ethics • Public understanding of legal heritage The Foundation makes grants to financially support law-related programs of legal services organizations, nonprofits, bar associations and other organizations throughout New York State. The Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors that includes distinguished lawyers from across the State of New York including five officers, 25 directors and 2 ex officio directors (the Chair and Vice Chair of The Fellows of The New York Bar Foundation). The Foundation membership consists of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association.

$5,000 - $10K
2016

Established in the summer of 1950, The New York Bar Foundation is a nonprofit, philanthropic organization that receives charitable contributions from individuals, law firms, corporations or other entities and provides grants to further its goals of promoting and advancing the following: • Service to the public • Improvements in the administration of justice • Legal research and education • High standards of professional ethics • Public understanding of legal heritage The Foundation makes grants to financially support law-related programs of legal services organizations, nonprofits, bar associations and other organizations throughout New York State. The Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors that includes distinguished lawyers from across the State of New York including five officers, 25 directors and 2 ex officio directors (the Chair and Vice Chair of The Fellows of The New York Bar Foundation). The Foundation membership consists of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association.

$5,000 - $20K
2016

Since its founding in 1966, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations has remained at the forefront of the dynamic Sino-American relationship by encouraging constructive dialogue, fostering face-to-face interaction and the forthright exchange of ideas and educating Americans and Chinese about the realities of each other's countries.

Political Donations
$2,500
2012

Senior Provost & Chief Executive Officer, Touro University Western Division at Touro College

$2,500
2011

Senior Provost & Chief Executive Officer, Touro University Western Division at Touro College

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