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Vinson & Elkins Welcomes Leading Trial and Litigation Partner Chris Duffy in New York

Chris Duffy, an accomplished trial lawyer with nearly two decades of experience in complex commercial litigation matters, has joined Vinson & Elkins as a partner, further enhancing the firm’s global trial and litigation team and expansion in New York.

“We are thrilled to have Chris as one of our partners. His impressive trial resumé and representation of investment banks matches perfectly with our existing trial and litigation practice,” said Michael Holmes, co-head of V&E’s complex commercial litigation practice. “Our team has tried numerous high-profile, high-stakes cases, and having someone with Chris’ trial experience in New York will add a new dimension to our team.”

Duffy joins V&E from Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. He focuses on securities and shareholder litigation, corporate governance, director and officer representation, commercial disputes and mergers and acquisitions, as well as external investigations by FINRA, the SEC, the New York Attorney General and other government agencies.

“V&E is a powerhouse firm with boundless opportunities to grow my financial services practice, and to do high-stakes trial work across a variety of industries,” said Duffy. “I am excited to join such a dynamic team and look forward to playing a role in its continued growth.”

Some of Duffy’s notable representations include:

  • As co-lead trial counsel for a major international banking firm, delivered the summation to the jury and cross-examined the plaintiff’s CEO, COO and expert witness on damages. After a nine-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in less than three hours, eliminating all of the plaintiff’s claims for more than $100 million in alleged damages and interest
  • As lead counsel for a major U.S. investment bank, prevailed at trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery, and in a subsequent appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court, in a dispute over the meaning of indemnification provisions in corporate by-laws
  • Defended civil litigation brought by the New York Attorney General relating to the operation of a major investment bank’s private trading platform
  • Defended a major investment bank and several of its former employees in litigation and arbitration centering on whether particular transactions qualified as swaps, security-based swaps or security-based agreements, for purposes of determining the application of the Commodities Exchange Act
  • Won a rare appellate reversal of a jury verdict in a multibillion dollar fraud trial arising from a public-to-private M&A deal

“We are pleased to welcome Chris on board as we focus on growing the firm’s presence in New York,” said V&E Chairman Mark Kelly. “He is a talented trial lawyer whose practice complements deep relationships and capabilities we have in the financial services sector across the firm.”

Duffy is the latest of several key hires to join V&E’s New York office in the past year, including white collar litigation partner Palmina Fava; international arbitration partner Camilo Cardozo; project finance partner Eamon Nolan; and a team of 15 real estate lawyers led by partners Wallace Schwartz, Adam Endick and Julia Sanabria.

To facilitate its continuing growth and client needs, the firm relocated its New York office to the iconic Grace Building in February.

Described by Chambers USA (2019) as a group with “great depth of experience in handling litigation across the full gamut of commercial areas” and nationally recognized in Legal 500 U.S. (2019) in General Commercial Disputes, V&E’s global litigation practice has substantial experience in trials and appeals in both state and federal courts and select international courts, as well as in internal investigations, informal inquiries and formal investigations before regulatory authorities such as the DOJ, SEC and FINRA. The firm’s multi-disciplinary team, comprised of trial attorneys, former in-house lawyers, former senior prosecutors and other highly skilled counsel, devises innovative methods to tackle clients’ most challenging disputes, arbitrations and regulatory proceedings. V&E’s litigation team received 44 total individual lawyer rankings in a variety of practice specialties in Chambers USA 2019, Chambers UK 2020, Chambers Latin America 2019 and Chambers Global 2019.

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