Robert L. Weigel is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Co-Head of the firm’s Judgment and Arbitral Award Enforcement Practice Group. Mr. Weigel is an experienced commercial litigator with extensive trial experience. He focuses on litigation concerning complex financial transactions, particularly for international clients in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. A list of the clients Mr. Weigel has represented includes Artémis and its founder, François Pinault; Crystallex; Verizon; Gucci; Tiffany & Co.; Nike; Oaktree Capital; Normandy Real Estate Partners; The Related Companies; Deutsche Bank; Crédit Agricole; Bank Brussels Lambert; UBS, Deloitte & Touche; Mitsubishi Trust and Banking Corporation; Dillingham Construction; and Dallah Al Baraka Investment Co. Ltd. (an investment bank based in Saudi Arabia).
Mr. Weigel has applied his extensive knowledge of financial transactions to develop worldwide judgment enforcement strategies to collect on judgments and arbitral awards totaling several billion dollars.
Mr. Weigel was ranked by Chambers Litigation Support 2021 in Global-wide Asset Tracing & Recovery, with clients noting that he is “one of the very best for asset tracing and recovery” and “part of a very select group around the world who are capable of handling this sort of high-value enforcement work.” In May 2021, The American Lawyer named Mr. Weigel to its list of “Northeast Trailblazers,” which recognizes 60 top professionals in the region “who have moved the needle in the legal industry.” In August 2018, The Am Law Litigation Daily named Mr. Weigel as “Litigator of the Week” for obtaining a significant victory for Crystallex International Corporation in its battle to collect its $1.4 billion judgment against Venezuela. Mr. Weigel was also named a Law 360 “MVP” in Retail and E-Commerce for 2015 – one of three “elite attorneys” recognized – for his “successes in high-stakes litigation and complex global matters.” The National Law Journal recognized Mr. Weigel as a “Top Litigator” in its annual “Winning: Top Litigators Tell Their Stories” feature, highlighting five attorneys “who prevailed during 2012 before a bench or jury trial.” Mr. Weigel was recognized for his successful defense of Artémis S.A. and its owner François Pinault in a complex, multi-year litigation stemming from the failure of the Executive Life Insurance Co. In addition, The Daily Journal recognized the complete defense verdict for Artémis S.A. as one of the “Top Ten Defense Verdicts of 2012.”
Mr. Weigel has also represented both individuals and corporations in civil and criminal investigations pursued by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and several U.S. Attorneys’ offices.
Mr. Weigel is admitted to practice before the New York courts, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of New York, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits.
Mr. Weigel is a 1981 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. While in law school he worked for Lexecon, the legal and economics consulting firm founded by the Honorable Richard Posner and Professor William Landes. He received his undergraduate degree in economics, with honors, from Binghamton University.
- François Pinault and Artémis: Successfully defended François Pinault and Artémis, the company he founded, in the long-running Executive Life litigation against the Insurance Commissioner of the State of California.
- In 2005, in a four-month jury trial obtained complete exoneration for Mr. Pinault and successfully convinced the jury to award zero damages against Artémis.
- In 2012, upon retrial of the sole count that the prior jury had deadlocked on, obtained a complete defense verdict from the jury on the Insurance Commissioner’s remaining $4 billion claim. Recognized as one of the Top Ten Defense Verdicts of the year by the California Daily Journal.
- Bank Brussels Lambert, UBS, Credit Agricole and Skopbank: Successfully represented Bank Brussels Lambert, UBS, Credit Agricole and Skopbank as plaintiffs against two major European banks in a dispute over collateral resulting in settlements, both before and after a two-and-a-half-month jury trial, in excess of US $70 million.
- Verizon: Successfully represented Verizon in a bench trial against a competitive local exchange carrier, obtaining a US $60 million judgment (having previously obtained a prejudgment attachment).
- Deloitte & Touche: Successfully defended Deloitte & Touche in a three-month jury trial concerning the failure of the largest road contractor in New Mexico.
- Kaiser Engineering: Successfully represented Kaiser Engineering in a trial in bankruptcy court concerning its obligations under its health plan.
- Cessna Finance: Obtained a $50 million arbitral award for Cessna Finance on a contested guaranty.
- Crystallex: Obtained a writ of execution over the shares of the Delaware parent of Citgo Petroleum Corp. to enforce a $1.4 billion judgment against Venezuela.
- Pearl Petroleum, Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas: Initiated enforcement proceedings in the UK, United States, and Dubai Int’l Financial Centre (DIFC), resulting in a multi-billion settlement with Iraqi Kurdistan.
- PDL BioPharma, Inc.: Obtained summary judgment on multiple guaranties of a $100 million loan. PDL Biopharma, Inc. v. Samuel J. Wohlstadter, et. al.
- Nike: Obtained judgment in excess of $1 billion and froze counterfeiters’ assets in over 150 foreign bank accounts.
- UBS: Commenced a lawsuit against Croatia over its share of a Yugoslavian bond issue, resulting in an 8 figure settlement.
- Mezzanine lender: Obtained summary judgment in lieu of complaint in the amount of $111 million in connection with a springing loan guaranty given on a loan secured by four office towers in Virginia.
- Yukos Capital: Obtained a $420 million prejudgment attachment against Rosneft Oil for Yukos Capital resulting in the collection in full of Yukos’ judgment.
- Yukos Capital: Obtained a $180 million judgment against Samaraneftegaz for Yukos Capital resulting in a successful settlement.
- Hotel 71 Mezz Lender LLC: Obtained a $50 million prejudgment attachment over the defendant’s interest in multiple out-of-state LLCs and successfully defended the attachment in a “landmark” decision in New York’s Court of Appeals. Hotel 71 Mezz Lender LLC v. Falor, 14 N.Y.3d 303 (2010).
- Obtained a $260 million judgment and foreclosed on the Mondrian hotel in Soho for Deutsche Bank.
- Gucci America, Inc.: Obtained order granting plaintiff’s motion to compel the Bank of China to produce counterfeiters’ bank records, despite claims that the documents were protected under Chinese law, and denied the Bank’s cross-motion to relieve it of the obligation to freeze the counterfeiters’ accounts. Gucci Am., Inc. v. Li, No. 10 Civ. 4974 (RJS), (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 23, 2011), and obtained affirmance of the District Court’s order freezing the counterfeiters’ assets, 768 F3d 122. On remand, obtained order holding Bank of China in contempt and fining them $50,000 per day until they produced the counterfeiters’ bank records.
- Gucci America, Inc.: Represented plaintiff in Gucci America, Inc. v. Frontline Processing Corp., 721 F. Supp. 228 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) (HB), in which the Court held that credit card processing companies may be held liable for contributory trademark infringement. Recognized as One of the Top 10 trademark decisions of the year according to the Northwestern Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property.
- Mezzanine lenders: Obtained two judgments (for $52 million and $43 million) on behalf of mezzanine lenders in two guaranty enforcement actions in connection with hotels in Chicago and Miami.
- Florida developer: Represented a Florida developer in a successful settlement, on the eve of trial, of an action brought by a mezzanine lender claiming more than $40 million.
- Accounting firms: Represented accounting firm clients in various actions arising out of the failure of a savings and loan, the separate failures of two large insurance companies and the failures of a number of other companies.
- Judgment creditor: Collected a judgment in excess of $5 million by attaching, in New York, a Texas lawsuit brought against Exxon by the judgment debtor. Breezevale Ltd. v. Dickinson, 262 A.D.2d 248, 249 (1st Dep’t 1999).
- Al Baraka: Represented Al Baraka in several actions, including the bankruptcy of the Singer Corporation and of a New York hotelier, both of which produced eight-figure recoveries for the bank.
- Mitsubishi Trust: Recovered a loan made by Mitsubishi Trust by obtaining summary judgment in lieu of a complaint. Mitsubishi Trust v. Housing Services Associates, 227 App. Div. 2d 305.
- Dillingham Construction: Represented Dillingham Construction in successfully recovering a bank deposit in a failed Russian bank by commencing an action in New York.
- Member of the Saudi royal family: Represented a member of the Saudi royal family in successfully recovering an eight-figure investment by attaching a lawsuit in New York.
- Court-appointed receiver: Represented a court-appointed receiver in successfully reversing a fraudulent conveyance of over 700 acres of land in the action titled Orr v. Kinderhill, 991 F.2d. 31.
- Investor: Recovered an eight-figure investment by an investor in a New York office building by intervening immediately prior to the building’s foreclosure and recovered a similar investment on behalf of the same investor in another office building.
- Investment partnership: Represented an investment partnership in successfully collecting a multi-million judgment obtained against a corporation owned by the Philippine Government.
- Venelum: Obtained dismissal of an action brought against Venelum in New York on grounds of forum non conveniens.