FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Robert D. Joffe

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

New York, NY, USA


Robert D. Joffe is a Partner in the Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP Litigation Department. Bob has extensive litigation and counseling experience in the areas of antitrust, securities, corporate governance, and complex contractual arrangements. In recent years he has represented individual directors of companies in SEC and other regulatory investigations, and since December 2004 has advised generally the non-management directors of Fannie Mae. From October 2007 through its acquisition by Bank of America on January 1 of this year, Bob represented the independent directors of Merrill Lynch. He is currently advising the independent directors of General Motors, and Citigroup. He is also representing the Audit Committee of General Electric in connection with a public investigation by the SEC.

Since 1978, Bob has been involved in antitrust, copyright, commercial and securities litigation and counseling for Time Inc., Home Box Office, Time Warner Cable and Time Warner Inc. Bob was principal litigator for Time Inc. in Paramount’s 1989 attempt to take over Time; he argued and won Paramount v. Time in the Delaware Chancery and Supreme Courts. Bob represented Time Warner in its acquisition of Turner Broadcasting Systems,Inc.,in the FTC and the Delaware courts; Time Warner in antitrust litigation with Fox News and First Amendment litigation with the City of New York in which he obtained a TRO against the City, later converted to a preliminary injunction, affirmed by the Second Circuit. He represented Time Warner at the FTC in connection with its merger with AOL. He recently represented Time Warner in connection with the governmental investigations and private litigation relating to AOL’s recognition of advertising revenues relating thereto. Bob advised Time Warner in connection with Carl Icahn’s stock ownership and proxy fight.

Bob represented Sprint in the Nextel transaction at the Antitrust Division. He was cited as being one of the country’s preeminent practitioners in the antitrust arena in Chambers USA 2008 and 2009: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. In 2008, Bob also was named in The Best Lawyers in America 2008 as a leader in antitrust law.

Recently, Bob was one of only fifteen New York State attorneys selected as one of the leading commercial litigators in the International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators 2008 publication. Additionally, he was described in the 2007 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America guide as a “legal luminary (who) stands tall on the biggest issues – improving the judiciary through appointment and greater respect for human rights – while handling the biggest litigation matters for the nation’s leading businesses”. Bob was also recently recognized by Benchmark Litigation 2009 as a “Local Litigation Star” for the New York area.

In 1989, Bob argued Martin v. Wilks (pro bono civil rights case) in the United States Supreme Court, representing black and women fire fighters in Birmingham, Alabama.

Bob is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Vice President, 2003-04; Committee on Honors, 2004; Executive Committee, 1995-99; Chair, Trade Regulation Committee, 1980-83; Nominating Committee, 2001-2002, 2008 (Chair); Chair, Task Force on Judicial Selection, 2003, 2006), the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Chair, Legal Committee; Member, Executive Committee, Compensation Committee and Search Committee for a New Director), the Board of Directors and Vice Chair of Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), the Board of Directors and Chair of The After School Corporation, the Board of Directors of Franklin Resources, Inc. (and Chair of its Governance Committee), Fiduciary Trust Company International, the Harvard Law School Dean’s Advisory Board, 1997-2009; and The Governor’s First Judicial Department Judicial Screening Committee. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Romanian American Enterprise Fund (appointed by President Clinton), 1994-2003. In May 2006, Bob received the Legal Aid Society’s Servant of Justice Award. In May 2005, he received the Fund for Modern Courts’ John J. McCloy award. In June 2004, he received the American Jewish Committee’s Learned Hand Award. And, in 1992 Bob was recognized by The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law for Distinguished Leadership in helping secure passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

Bob was born in New York, New York. He received an A.B. cum laude from Harvard College in 1964, and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1967, where he was Case Note Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Review. From 1967 to 1969, after a few months at Cravath, he served in the Ministry of Justice of the Government of Malawi on an Africa Asia Public Service Fellowship funded by the Ford Foundation.

He rejoined Cravath in 1969 and became a partner in 1975. He was elected Deputy Presiding Partner in November 1997, and elected Presiding Partner as of January 1, 1999. Bob served as Presiding Partner until December 31, 2006, at which point he returned to the full time practice of law.

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