Evan R. Chesler is Cravath’s Chairman. He previously served as the Firm’s Presiding Partner, Deputy Presiding Partner and Head of the Litigation Department. Mr. Chesler handles a wide variety of litigation, including securities, shareholder derivative, intellectual property, general commercial, environmental, ERISA, contractual disputes and antitrust. His practice also includes the representation of clients in government and internal investigations. Mr. Chesler has represented companies and their management in virtually every industry, including technology, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and financial services.
Mr. Chesler is one of the most highly regarded trial attorneys in the nation and a fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has tried nearly 50 cases over his career, more than 10 of which were jury trials. Most recently, he secured trial wins for American Express, Merck, Mylan and Novartis.
Mr. Chesler is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation. He is also the President of the Institute of Judicial Administration. Mr. Chesler is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New York Public Library and Chairman of the Lawyers for the Library Committee. He is also a member of the Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation, a member of the Council of The American Law Institute, a Trustee of the Federal Bar Council and a Trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. Mr. Chesler is an adjunct professor of law at NYU School of Law, where he teaches an Advanced Trial Practice Seminar, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of NYU and NYU School of Law. He is also the Chairman of NYU’s Board of Overseers of the Faculty of Arts and Science and Founder and Chairman of LAMP (the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program), which provides mentoring and curriculum enrichment programs to prelaw students.
Mr. Chesler has been recognized as a leading litigator in several practice areas by numerous professional publications, including Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The American Lawyer, Benchmark Litigation, The Legal 500 United States and Lawdragon. In 2018, Mr. Chesler was honored with New York Law Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award and was featured as one of The National Law Journal’s “Winning Litigators.”
Mr. Chesler received an A.B. degree, with highest honors in History, from New York University, an M.A. in Russian Area Studies at Hunter College and a J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law. Following graduation, Mr. Chesler clerked for Hon. Inzer B. Wyatt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He joined Cravath in 1976 and became a partner in 1982. Mr. Chesler became head of the Litigation Department in 1996. He was elected Deputy Presiding Partner in November 2005, Presiding Partner in January 2007 and Chairman in January 2013, the first person to be given that title in the Firm’s history.