Orin Snyder is one of the nation’s leading trial lawyers and litigators. The prestigious Chambers USA named Mr. Snyder one of the nation’s six best trial lawyers in the category of "Litigation: Business Trial Lawyers." Mr. Snyder is a Member of Gibson Dunn’s Executive Committee and a litigation partner in the New York office. He is Co-Chair of the Media, Entertainment and Technology Practice Group and a member of the Crisis Management, White Collar Defense and Investigations, Appellate and Intellectual Property Practice Groups.
Mr. Snyder routinely ranks among the best trial lawyers and litigators in industry surveys. Chambers Global and Chambers USA rank him alongside a select number of lawyers in the category "Nationwide Trial Lawyers," and describes him as "absolutely the best—he’s an aggressive, highly motivated and incredibly effective courtroom litigator," "ultra smart and highly focused," "totally dedicated to winning," with "exemplary trial skills." Mr. Snyder is singled out for being "exceptional in high-stakes commercial litigation." "His performance at trial is masterful." In The Legal 500—US Edition, corporate counsel said, "we always use him as chief litigator," he is "great in court" and has "excellent technical skills." Following his cross-examination in a one high-profile trial, an article described Mr. Snyder as "the deadliest trial lawyer in tech." Mr. Snyder has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Entertainment Law. Benchmark Litigation’s Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys recognizes him as a "Litigation Star" and as one of the top "Trial Lawyers in America." The Hollywood Reporter consistently names him to its prestigious "Power Lawyers" list, and Law360 annually recognizes him as a "Litigation MVP." Mr. Snyder was recognized in Variety’s 2013 Legal Impact Report, an annual feature of the top 50 attorneys who "helped shape the face of entertainment." AmLaw Litigation Daily named Mr. Snyder "Litigator of the Week" in March 2014 for his successful representation of Facebook in a breach of contract case, and in October 2012 for his successful representation of Cablevision in its high-profile trial against DISH Network. Mr. Snyder was profiled in The American Lawyer as one of the 45 leading lawyers in the United States under the age of 45. The American Lawyer also featured Mr. Snyder and his cases in its articles naming Gibson Dunn Litigation Department of the Year in 2010, 2012 and 2016.
A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Snyder has a proven track record of success across a broad range of practice areas and industry sectors in courts throughout the country.
Representative Antitrust Cases, Complex Contract Disputes, Class Actions, Fraud Cases and Employment Litigation
Clients include Atari, Bertelsmann, Cablevision, Capital One, Chobani, Conference USA, CNN, Facebook, Home Box Office, NBC Universal, PayPal, Sony, Square, Starbucks, Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting Systems, Uber, and Warner Music Group.
- Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg: Lead counsel to Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg in a breach of contract action in federal court in Buffalo, New York, seeking a significant ownership interest in Facebook. Obtained expedited discovery that culminated in dismissal of the action as a fraud on the federal courts. Affirmed by the Second Circuit.
- Square, Inc.: Represented Square and its two co-founders, Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, in connection with breach of contract, trade secret and other claims brought by an individual alleging a breach of an alleged oral joint venture agreement to form the innovative company.
- Chobani: Represented Chobani founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, in a $1 billion lawsuit brought by plaintiff seeking ownership of the company.
- Uber Technologies, Inc.: Represented Uber in connection with data-privacy dispute with New York City.
- Louis Bacon: Representing Louis Bacon in several lawsuits against Peter Nygard arising from allegations that Nygard has destroyed the environment by illegally expanding the coastline of his Bahamian mansion and orchestrated a “smear campaign” in which Nygard paid proxies to upload videos, publish articles, and hold rallies defaming Louis Bacon.
- Yik Yak, Inc.: Represented the popular social media application Yik Yak and its two co-founders, Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, in a lawsuit pending in Georgia State Court brought by a former classmate claiming he was unfairly excluded from owning one-third of the company.
- Perella Weinberg: Represented Perella Weinberg in litigation pending in Nevada State Court in connection with ownership of a real estate shopping mall project in Las Vegas.
- VOOM HD Holdings: As lead trial counsel, obtained a lucrative settlement during a jury trial on behalf of VOOM HD Holdings, a high-definition television subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation, in a multibillion dollar breach of contract action against DISH Network. An aggressive trial strategy resulted in sanctions against DISH Network for destruction of evidence, a decision that was affirmed by the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division in a precedent-setting opinion, and the exclusion of several of DISH Network’s expert witnesses. The settlement, one of the largest in a breach of contract case in New York State Court history, is valued at well over $1 billion.
- Capital One: Lead counsel to Capital One in a breach of employment case against the former chief executive officer of a subsidiary in federal court in Virginia, alleging breach of a restrictive covenant. Obtained a $20 million settlement prior to trial.
- VeriFone, Inc.: Lead trial counsel to VeriFone, Inc. in a breach of contract case in federal court in New York involving digital in-taxi advertising technology.
- NBC Universal: Obtained a rare preliminary injunction victory following a three-day evidentiary hearing for NBC Universal blocking the move of one of cable TV’s most popular programs, “Project Runway,” to Lifetime in a decision that the New York Times reported “stunned parties on all sides of the deal because such injunctions are so rarely granted in entertainment industry disputes.”
- Edgar Bronfman, Jr.: Obtained dismissal of a breach of contract and joint venture case against Warner Music Group Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. The dismissal was affirmed by the New York Court of Appeals in an important precedent affirming the application of the Statue of Frauds to oral contract claims.
- Starbucks: Secured a dismissal for Starbucks in its dispute with singer-songwriter Carly Simon over the disappointing sales for her album. Simon filed an amended complaint after the case was first dismissed by a federal court in Los Angeles. Her amended complaint was dismissed with prejudice on the grounds that Starbucks had no duty to disclose its business plans to her because she was a third party with no fiduciary, confidential or transactional relationship to Starbucks.
- Warner Music Group: Won dismissal of consolidated antitrust actions against Warner Music Group in cases challenging practices in the record promotion business.
- Montel Williams and Paramount: Won dismissal of consolidated employment discrimination cases against the popular television talk-show host Montel Williams and Paramount after persuading a federal judge that the case was based upon fraudulent allegations.
Representative matters involving the New York Attorney General
Clients include Aetna, Facebook, Freddy Mac, Goldman Sachs, Vantage Properties, and Warner Music Group.
- Facebook: Represented Facebook in negotiating a groundbreaking settlement with the New York Attorney General in the area of internet safety that was hailed as a model of compliance and resulted in even more visitors to the social networking site.
- Warner Music Group: Represented Warner Music Group in negotiating an industry-changing settlement concerning the record promotion industry.
- Freddie Mac: Represented Freddie Mac in negotiating new standards for the home mortgage industry.
Representative copyright, trade secret, trademark, patent, privacy and First Amendment cases
Media and technology clients include Bertelsmann, Hachette, HarperCollins, Home Box Office, IAC/InterActive, Sony, Sharp, Time Warner, and ValueClick.
- Perella Weinberg: Lead trial counsel to Perella Weinberg in a complex litigation alleging trade secret misappropriation, fraud, and various breaches of contract and employment duties in connection with a joint venture. Following a lengthy discovery period, the litigation was dismissed on behalf of Perella Weinberg.
- Polyvore: Defended Polyvore against trademark, trade dress and slogan infringement claims brought by the actress Reese Witherspoon that resulted in dismissal from the suit. In a separate suit, representing Polyvore in two precedent-setting copyright cases that claim Polyvore is legally responsible for user-uploaded content that appears on its platform.
- IAC/InterActive: Defended IAC/InterActive in trade secrets misappropriation action brought in the Southern District of New York that resulted in all of the trade secrets claims being dismissed on summary judgment.
- Defended numerous technology companies, including a U.S. mobile phone carrier, Sharp, ValueClick and Violin Memory, in trade secrets cases in courts throughout the country.
- Won a verdict at the high-profile trial of the case brought against the Estate of Jonathan Larson challenging Mr. Larson’s authorship of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Broadway musical “Rent.” The case resulted in the leading Second Circuit precedent defining co-authorship under the Copyright Act.
- HarperCollins and Jessica Seinfeld: Won summary judgment for HarperCollins and Jessica Seinfeld in a copyright infringement action involving the New York Times Number 1 Bestselling book, “Deceptively Delicious.” The dismissal was affirmed by the Second Circuit.
- Litigated and tried copyright and trademark cases for Sony, Warner Music, Home Box Office, Bertelsmann and other clients that resulted in important legal precedents.
- Sony Pictures: Won an important First Amendment case that reaffirmed the libel-proof doctrine for Sony Pictures involving the film “Donnie Brasco.”
Mr. Snyder has represented well-known individuals in significant matters, including Julie Andrews, Marc Anthony, Mariah Carey, Anderson Cooper, Cindy Crawford, Bob Dylan, Phil Falcone, Nancy Grace, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, LeBron James, Kid Rock, Jennifer Lopez, Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, The Rolling Stones, Jerry Seinfeld, Jessica Seinfeld, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Barbara Walters, Montel Williams, and Mark Zuckerberg.
In addition to his very public litigation work, Mr. Snyder regularly counsels clients—both corporations and senior executives—in confidential matters, including criminal and other government investigations that require expert handling of public relations. These matters include whistleblower cases, fraud investigations, FCPA and money laundering, obstruction of justice, insider trading, tax fraud and allegations of personal misconduct.
Mr. Snyder has handled numerous internal investigations involving alleged insider trading, bank fraud, mail and wire fraud, tax evasion and alleged sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
Mr. Snyder represents, and has represented, numerous nonprofit institutions, including The Clinton Foundation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Intrepid Air and Space Museum, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Larson Foundation and The Museum of the American Indian.
Before joining Gibson Dunn, Mr. Snyder was a name partner at Parcher, Hayes & Snyder, a prominent litigation boutique firm. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted organized crime and white collar crime cases and served as Chief of the Narcotics Unit. As a federal prosecutor, Mr. Snyder handled one of the largest pension fund fraud prosecutions ever brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Mr. Snyder is active in the community and in public affairs. He is a member of the Federal Bar Counsel’s Public Service Committee and the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City. Mr. Snyder was selected to serve on the Transition Committee of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Mr. Snyder earned his Juris Doctor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with high honors.