Lawrence J. Zweifach is a litigation partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's New York office. Mr. Zweifach is a highly experienced trial lawyer with a diverse litigation practice. He has extensive experience handling civil and criminal matters, including securities, antitrust, SEC & PCAOB enforcement investigations and litigation, FCPA matters, corporate governance, internal investigations, white collar criminal defense, and complex commercial litigation. He regularly defends parallel proceedings that include shareholder class actions, derivative lawsuits, regulatory investigations, state attorney general investigations and federal grand jury investigations.
Mr. Zweifach has tried cases involving a wide variety of areas, including securities, accounting, auditing, RICO, mail & wire fraud, tax and bankruptcy, as well as contract, corporate control and partnership disputes. His experience includes numerous, high-profile criminal cases that he tried during his nine years as a federal prosecutor at the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he was Chief of the Criminal Division. He has represented a broad spectrum of clients, including public and private corporations, public accounting firms, investment banks, boards of directors, special committees, audit committees, corporate officers and directors, banks, investment advisors, hedge funds, mutual funds and broker-dealers.
Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2010 ranked Mr. Zweifach among New York's leading Securities Litigators, describing him as "a thoughtful lawyer who is great on strategy" and "a forceful and tenacious advocate." In addition, Mr. Zweifach was named to the Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers for 2010, and to Lawdragon's Top 3000 for 2010. He is also a recent recipient of the New York City Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award for his pro bono defense of capital cases.
The following matters are representative of Mr. Zweifach’s broad litigation practice:
- Represented Visa U.S.A. in a nationwide federal antitrust class action brought on behalf of all retail merchants that accept Visa cards, alleging that Visa illegally tied acceptance of Visa debit cards to acceptance of Visa credit cards. At the time of the litigation, the case was the largest private treble damage action in U.S. history.
- Defended international air carrier in cartel investigation by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice and in related antitrust class action litigation.
- At the request of the Board of Judges of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, successfully represented the Court on a pro bono basis before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, inan action challenging the constitutionality of the Court's disciplinary system.
- Represents Ernst & Young LLP in all class actions and other proceedings related to the so-called “Madoff Scandal and recently achieved dismissal of the so-called “Federal Securities Actions.”
- Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (Canada) in securities class actions brought by shareholders and bondholders of Laidlaw Inc.
- Represents UBS Securities, LLC, UBS Real Estate Securities, Inc., Mortgage Asset Securitization Transactions, Inc. (“MASTR”) and three officers and directors of MASTR in a subprime-related securities class action.
- Achieved dismissal of subprime-related securities class action against the CEO, CFO and former Chief Risk Officer of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ("CIBC"), as well as the former Chairman and CEO of CIBC World Markets, alleging that they and the bank fraudulently misled investors regarding the bank's exposure to sub-prime sectors of the U.S. real estate market.
White Collar and SEC Enforcement Litigation
- Served as Special Counsel to the Independent Committee of The Starr Foundation and assisted the committee in conducting an investigation of the issues raised in a report issued by former New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, in which it was alleged that Maurice R. “Hank” Greenberg and other board members of The Starr Foundation breached their fiduciary duties.
- Represented former CFO of Scientific Atlanta, Inc. in SEC enforcement proceedings arising out of business transactions between Scientific Atlanta and Adelphia Communications Corporation.
Mr. Zweifach is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of George Washington University Law School. He also is Vice President of the Greater New York Regional Board of the American Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a member of the New York Regional Board and New York Lawyers’ Division Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, and a member of the Board of Directors of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.
Over the years, Mr. Zweifach has been actively involved in bar association activities. He is currently a member of the Committee on Securities Litigation and the In-House/Outside Litigation Counsel Group of the New York City Bar Association.
Mr. Zweifach is a former law clerk to the Honorable Harold A. Stevens of the New York State Court of Appeals and to the Honorable Henry Bramwell of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He also was the Chair of the Litigation Department of Heller Ehrman’s New York office. He received his Juris Doctor, cum laude from George Washington University Law School in 1973, where he was the Articles Editor of The Journal of International Law and Economics. He received his Bachelors degree, magna cum laude from Lehigh University in 1969.
Mr. Zweifach regularly lectures and participates in panel discussions before various professional organizations, has written numerous publications, and teaches CLE courses on a wide variety of subjects. He has taught trial advocacy courses for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the American Law Institute-American Bar Association, the U.S. Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, PLI, the New York City Bar, and numerous law schools.
Mr. Zweifach is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Tenth Circuits, the U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York.