Rick Pepperman is Managing Partner of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group and has been a partner of the Firm since January 1999.
He clerked for Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court (1992-93) and Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1990-91).
Mr. Pepperman has worked on a variety of antitrust, securities, intellectual property, and investigative matters, representing clients in many fields, including the insurance, communications, financial services, manufacturing, oil and gas, and technology industries. He is well known for representing Microsoft in antitrust litigation between 1993 and 2004, including the Department of Justice’s landmark antitrust action against Microsoft.
Professional Activities and Community Involvement
- American Law Institute – Member
- University of Pennsylvania Law School, Board of Overseers – Member
Rankings and Recognitions
- The American Lawyer – selected as one of the “Fab Fifty Young Litigators” - 50 litigators under 45 who are expected to be “leading the field for years to come.” (January 1, 2007)
- New York Super Lawyers – recognized as a leading antitrust litigator (2006-2015)
- Lawdragon 3000: Leading Lawyers in America (2009-2010)
- The Lawdragon 500: Leading Lawyers in America (2007) – recognized as a leading lawyer
- The Lawdragon 500: New Stars, New Worlds – recognized as a leading lawyer in antitrust, commercial, general, securities, insurance coverage, white collar and intellectual property litigation (2006)
- Euromoney’s Benchmark: America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys – cited as a Star in securities litigation (National) (2011-2016) and as a Local Litigation Star (New York) (2009-2016)
- The Legal 500 United States (2013-2015)
Securities and Derivative Litigation
- Represents BP p.l.c. in consolidated securities fraud, shareholder derivative and ERISA litigation arising out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In September 2011, won the dismissal of the consolidated shareholder derivative action on the ground of forum non conveniens.
- Represents JPMorgan Chase in consolidated securities fraud, shareholder derivative and ERISA litigation arising out of the bank’s 2012 so-called “London Whale” trading losses.
- Represented Bank of America Corporation in securities and ERISA class action and derivative litigation arising out of the first quarter 2005 earnings announcement of MBNA Corporation, which Bank of America acquired at the end of 2005.
- Represented BP p.l.c. in derivative and class action litigation arising out of the August 2006 shutdown of the facilities in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Obtained dismissal of three of the lawsuits brought against BP, and in June 2011, on interlocutory review, obtained the reversal by the Ninth Circuit of a District Court order denying in part a motion to dismiss a related securities class action complaint.
- Represented BP p.l.c. in connection with a shareholder demand letter received in 2009 concerning BP’s Texas City refinery. Ultimately obtained dismissal of derivative lawsuit filed by the same shareholder.
- Represents Goldman Sachs in a series of seven litigations brought by various companies alleging that Goldman Sachs and other prime brokerages manipulated the market for those companies’ stocks by intentionally failing to deliver shares sufficient to settle short positions entered into by the defendants’ clients. Recently obtained summary judgment as a matter of law that dismissed such claims brought by Overstock.com against Goldman Sachs in California Superior Court. Of the other six actions, four ended with a dismissal of all claims against Goldman Sachs, and two ended in settlements favorable to the client.
- Lead counsel to The Bank of New York in investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning the bank’s stock transfer division and auction rate securities.
- Represented Cablevision Systems Corporation in successfully persuading, on the basis of a particularly novel approach, plaintiffs to dismiss voluntarily a private class action alleging violations of Section 8 of the Clayton Act.
- Represents Goldman Sachs in a publicly reported investigation by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice into credit derivatives trading.
- Served as a trial lawyer defending Microsoft in the landmark antitrust action brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and 19 states and the District of Columbia from 1997 to 2003. At the conclusion of the government action, also represented Microsoft in numerous related class-action lawsuits brought on behalf of users of Microsoft software, including one that went to trial in Minneapolis in 2004. Also served as counsel to Microsoft in private antitrust actions brought by Microsoft competitors such as Netscape and RealNetworks.
- Represented Willis Group Holdings Inc., a large insurance broker, in a high-profile investigation conducted by the New York attorney general concerning bid-rigging and other misconduct in the insurance industry. This investigation was followed by numerous related inquiries by attorneys general and insurance departments of more than 20 other states. Also successfully represented Willis in related class-action litigation filed by insurance policyholders against various insurance carriers and brokers. Obtained dismissal of this litigation as a matter of law on three separate occasions; following the most recent dismissal, which was affirmed by the Third Circuit in August 2010.
- Represented Fox-Pitt Kelton and J.C. Flowers in shareholder derivative litigation that arose out of Bank of America’s 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch, a transaction on which S&C’s clients provided Bank of America with financial advice. In August 2010, obtained the dismissal of the complaint in its entirety as to S&C’s clients.
- Represented Goldman Sachs in the favorable settlement of a multi-billion dollar breach of fiduciary duty litigation arising from the sale of General American Life Insurance Company to MetLife.
- Represented Morgan Stanley in numerous actions arising out of the merger of America Online, Inc. and Time Warner, Inc. Won the dismissal of all claims against Morgan Stanley in the class action brought on behalf of Time Warner shareholders.
Intellectual Property Litigation
- Represented Dyson in a five-day jury trial in a patent infringement action against Hoover relating to the Hoover “Fusion” vacuum cleaner. The case settled on terms favorable to Dyson at the conclusion of evidence.
Later represented Dyson in another patent infringement action brought by Bissell, which was also settled on terms favorable to Dyson in 2010.
- Lead counsel to Dartmouth College in two separate lawsuits – including in a successful appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court – brought by Dartmouth alumni challenging changes made to the composition of Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees.
Practices and Capabilities
- 1990, University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.
- 1987, Dartmouth College, A.B.
- Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, United States Supreme Court, 1992-1993
- The Honorable Edward R. Becker, United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1990-1991
See Library Tab for articles, publications and presentations by Richard Pepperman