Richard De Palma
Vice Chair, Business Litigation
Chair, International Arbitration
Richard is partner and vice chair of the firm's Business Litigation practice group, and a partner in the Construction and International practice groups. He also sits on the firm's International and Legal Project Management steering committees.
Richard is a trial lawyer, commercial litigator, arbitration practitioner and business/risk counselor with more than 30 years' experience practicing law on an international platform.
Richard focuses his practice on the trial and hearing of civil cases. He has particular experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in large-exposure cases where coordination of multiple venues is involved and preliminary relief is sought.
Richard has handled a broad range of disputes, primarily concentrated in complex domestic and international commercial, construction, banking, partnership, professional liability, insurance, trust and general litigation/arbitration matters. He represents clients in diverse industries, including accounting, information technology, domestic and international banking, financial services, insurance, manufacturing, food production and distribution, heavy civil construction, health care, cosmetics, aviation, offshore oil, natural resource/energy and mining.
- Represented international mining company in ICDR arbitration involving dispute over design, development and construction of a gold and silver mine in Mexico against the design JV and the general contractor.
- Represented international offshore bank in ICC arbitration (as claimant) involving claims of fraud and breach of contract against numerous related companies involving investment portfolios in Latin America.
- Represented owner/developer of electrical generation and distribution concession in Ecuador in ICDR arbitration proceeding in contract dispute regarding breach of sale and development agreement.
- Represented multinational pharmaceutical company in ICC arbitration arising from dispute concerning purchase and sale of pharmaceutical distribution company/network in Eastern Europe.
- Represented investment fund in dispute with venture co-partner in ICDR arbitration involving telecommunications infrastructure investments/operations throughout Latin America.
- Represented international engineering, design and construction firm in multiple litigations involved in the fall out from the WTC Terrorist attacks, as well as in connection with various (DOL, OSHA, Manhattan DA) governmental investigations.
- Represented a state-owned Chinese bank as plaintiff in multi-jurisdiction RICO/fraud case and subsequent retrial. Upon retrial, obtained verdict on RICO and fraud counts and judgment entered in amount of $110 million.
- Represented a publicly traded Greek shipping and mining company in a dispute with a preferred share investor involving claims of federal securities law violations, breach of contract and fraud. Prior to hearings, obtained confidential favorable settlement for client.
- Represented founder and CEO of international luxury brand company in dispute over his departure from the company in an AAA/ICDR arbitration proceeding. Obtained multi-million dollar confidential settlement for client prior to hearings in an ad hoc mediation conducted through an independent mediator in New York.
- Represented and obtained dismissal of all claims for a financial services company in two proceedings brought alleging breach of an LLC agreement, fraud and employment discrimination (age) seeking $12 million in damages and declaratory relief as to entitlement of profits in the future.
- Represented a manufacturing client in dispute over failure to deliver equipment for New York facility. Lead trial counsel in a three-week jury trial on apparent authority theory, seeking damages, including lost profits for prime season. Obtained verdict of $3.2 million for plaintiff/client.
- Represented plaintiff public company against a U.S. patent law firm in connection with legal malpractice claim. Obtained settlement for the client exceeding $1.3 million.
- Represented a premier international philanthropic organization as lead counsel in ICC arbitration proceeding against foreign sovereign. Obtained award for the client in excess of $1.2 million.
- Represented a Colorado-based heavy civil construction company in connection with a dispute arising from an airport modernization project. Obtained settlement (through mediation) of $101 million.
- Represented a major international oil company in ICDR/AAA arbitration proceeding arising from a $12 million dispute over payment of Gabonese taxes on African oil operations. After full hearing, client's liability reduced by 50 percent.
- Represented a special investment company in an LLC/partnership dispute. Judgment for defendant/client after trial.
- Represented plaintiffs on breach of contract and fraud claims in a dispute over failed transaction to sell wholly owned U.S. subsidiary. Verdict of $11 million resulting in $7.5 million judgment for plaintiffs/clients.
- Represented plaintiffs in a dispute arising from sale of a U.S. hotel chain to the defendant. Prior to any discovery, obtained summary judgment of $50 million for plaintiff/client.
- Represented respondent state-owned telecommunications company in an ICC arbitration proceeding regarding dispute over installation of country-wide wireless telephone system and seeking $7 million in damages. Obtained award in favor of client, dismissing claims and awarding no damages.
- Represented a client in a shopping center expansion dispute with the landlord. Obtained settlement for client in the amount of $460,000, including waiver of post-trial motions and any appeal rights.
- Represented a provincial Chinese airline as plaintiff in a fraud case against a U.S. leasing company. Obtained $20.8 million verdict for client.
- Represented defendant, a national supplier of liquid fuels, in a personal injury/brain damage case seeking $4 million. Obtained defense verdict in favor of client after liability phase and subsequently settled for nominal amount.
- Represented a client in an automobile purchase agreement dispute concerning a 1933 Duesenberg coupe. Obtained judgment in favor of client.
- Represented a law firm in a $12 million legal malpractice claim involving allegations of a failure to take action necessary to prevent ouster from board and loss of controlling interest in of public company. Obtained defense verdict for client.
- “Be Careful What You Ask For: Multi-Tiered Dispute Resolution Clauses,” New York Law Journal, August 7, 2017
- Co-author, “International Arbitration by Financial Institutions: Current Practices and Opportunities,” ABA Section of International Law, May 2017
- Co-author, "Proper Litigation Budgeting Delivers True Value to Clients," New York Law Journal, April 13, 2015
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: General Commercial/Highly Regarded in New York.