Robert L. Weigel is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and the founder and co-chair of the firm’s Judgment and Arbitral Award Enforcement Practice Group. Bob 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 Bob has represented includes ArcelorMittal, Yukos Capital, Tethyan Copper Company (a joint venture between Barrick Gold and Antofagasta), 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; and Dallah Al Baraka Investment Co. Ltd. (an investment bank based in Saudi Arabia).
Most recently, Bob was named to Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Global Litigators guide for 2023. He was also ranked by Chambers Litigation Support 2023 and 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 Bob 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 Bob 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. Bob was also named a Law360 “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 Bob 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.” In addition, the Daily Journal recognized the complete defense verdict for Artémis S.A. as one of the “Top Ten Defense Verdicts of 2012.”
Bob 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, including the enforcement of awards in excess of $1 billion for Tethyan Copper Company, Yukos Capital, Crystallex, ArcelorMittal and Pearl Petroleum.
- 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.
Representative Enforcement Matters
- 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.
- Commenced proceedings in the British Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C. and New York to enforce Tethyan Copper Company Limited’s (TCC) $6 billion arbitral award against Pakistan, resulting in a multi-billion dollar settlement.
- Won motions in actions in New York, London and the Cayman Islands resulting in a successful settlement of ArcelorMittal’s $1.3 billion arbitral award against Essar Steel.
- 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 a 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.
- 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.
- Obtained a $260 million judgment and foreclosed on the Mondrian hotel in Soho for Deutsche Bank.
- Gucci America, Inc.: Obtained an 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 an order holding the 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.
Bob is admitted to practice before the New York courts, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits.