Areas of Concentration
Mr. Bernstein’s areas of concentration include:
- Complex federal and state commercial litigation
- Antitrust counseling and litigation
- Securities litigation
- Commodities counseling and litigation
- International litigation, including extraterritorial discovery
- Accounting malpractice
- Municipal law
- Construction law
Mr. Bernstein has represented:
- Hedge funds
- Metals traders
- Energy traders
- Government agencies
- Private investors
- Construction firms
- Bankruptcy debtors and creditors
- Pharmaceutical firms
Bob Bernstein joined Eaton & Van Winkle on November 30, 2012 after a 26-year legal career at Kaye Scholer, LLP, where he was of counsel in New York and a partner in the firm’s Frankfurt, Germany office, and served briefly as a partner at Vandenberg & Feliu LLP in Manhattan.
Mr. Bernstein has extensive experience in complex domestic and international commercial litigation. He has represented and advised many U.S. and foreign companies in the areas of commercial contract disputes, antitrust, commodities, derivatives, futures trading, hedge funds, insurance coverage, minority shareholder disputes, accounting and legal malpractice, real estate ownership issues, and employment disputes.
Mr. Bernstein has litigated in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States and worked with local counsel in connection with legal proceedings in Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Bolivia. He has also participated in arbitration proceedings before the AAA and JAMS, and mediation proceedings in a variety of different fora.
Mr. Bernstein has also assisted clients in matters involving law enforcement and government regulatory agencies in the United States and abroad.
Representative Legal Cases
Mr. Bernstein’s accomplishments include winning a $70 million judgment in December 2011 for the FDIC before a federal jury in Las Vegas, where he served as lead trial counsel in a case against a surety company that reneged on commitments guaranteeing payment of subprime leases. A unanimous jury returned a verdict of $60.5 million and the court later awarded nearly ten years of attorneys’ fees.
Mr. Bernstein has also represented a large metals trading hedge fund and companies representing 50% of the copper fabricating capacity in the United States in a widely-publicized battle opposing the introduction of a new copper-backed derivative that could threaten to legalize the hoarding of copper worldwide. As a result, Mr. Bernstein has been quoted frequently regarding this matter in publications including Financial Times, Bloomberg Business Week, Reuters and Institutional Investor, as well as other publications.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Bernstein was a key member of the team that represented a large German conglomerate in connection with its financial rescue following a $2 billion loss trading oil derivatives. In that connection, he negotiated the unwinding of unfavorable long-term contracts; brought legal actions to stop minority creditors from blocking the company’s financial rescue; brought breach of fiduciary duty claims against the former president of the German company’s U.S. subsidiary and obtained a favorable settlement; and successfully defended the company against dozens of breach of contract claims involving hundreds of millions of dollars in potential liability.
A notable case handled by Mr. Bernstein established that the London Metal Exchange is a U.S. market for antitrust purposes and, as a result, he obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of English and New York traders who were victims of a price squeeze.
Mr. Bernstein also tried an accounting malpractice case against a big-four accounting firm and obtained an $80 million judgment; succeeded in bringing fraud and breach of contract claims against a major online broker; successfully represented German real estate investors who were seeking to recover title to property in Manhattan; obtained a favorable settlement for a German website developer who had a claim against a U.S. investment banker; and succeeded in getting favorable settlements for institutional investors who had brought claims against insurers who had reneged on obligations to insure bonds collateralized by mobile home loans.
Mr. Bernstein also has appeared in a CNBC report on how investors can protect against hedge fund fraud.
Mr. Bernstein is married with two children and lives in Edgemont, New York, where he has served as president of the Edgemont Community Council.
Awards & Accolades
In 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, Mr. Bernstein was named a Super Lawyer for the New York Metro Area by New York Super Lawyers Magazine.
In 2005, Mr. Bernstein received Edgemont’s Silver Box Award for Distinguished Community Service.
Representative Litigation Matters
Southwire v. Securities and Exchange Commission (DC Cir. 2013) – Led three-year challenge on behalf of U.S. copper fabricating companies to SEC approval of new form of physical copper backed derivative. Appeal withdrawn as moot after sponsors abandoned intent to market the new products.
FDIC v. Safeco (D. Nev. 2013) – Served as chief trial counsel for government agency in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty case against surety that failed to honor obligations to guarantee payment of subprime debt marketed to bank investors. Jury verdict in excess of $60 million plus award of nearly $9 million in attorneys’ fees. (Currently handling appeal to Ninth Circuit.)
Metallgesellschaft AG v. Sumitomo Corp. of America, 325 F.3d 836 (7th Cir. 2003)
Represented first successful Sherman Act case in the United States for price fixing on the London Metal Exchange.
CBI Holding Co., Inc., 529 F.3d 432 (2d Cir. 2008) – Successfully prosecuted $45 million accounting malpractice claims against auditor of pharmaceutical distributor for failing to discover fraud by management under so-called “adverse interest” exception to normal rule that a claim against a third party for defrauding a corporation with cooperation of management accrues to creditors rather than to guilty corporation.
Marketxt Holdings Corp., 2006 WL 2864963 (S.D.N.Y. Bankr. Ct. Sept. 29, 2006) – Represented bankrupt electronic securities trading firm in breach of contract and fraud claims arising out of the sale of certain of its subsidiaries to E*Trade.
Cary Oil Co. v. MG Refining & Marketing, Inc. (SDNY 1998-2003) – Represented former oil trader in connection with breach of contract claims arising from enforcement of off-exchange oil futures contracts.
H. L. Hayden Co. of New York, Inc. v. Siemens Medical Systems, Inc., 797 F.2d 85 (2d Cir. 1986) – Successfully defended medical equipment manufacturer against allegations of price fixing.
- New York 1982
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1982
- U.S. District Court, Southern And Eastern Districts of New York, 1983
- District of Arizona, 1983
- Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, 1984
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1986
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1995
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2001
- RAK Frankfurt, Germany, 2003
Representative Lectures And Seminars
- American Copper Council, May 2011 (Montreal) (Copper ETFs)
- American Copper Council, November 2012 (Fort Lauderdale) (Copper ETFs)
- Copper & Brass Fabricators Council, December 2013 (New York) (Copper ETFs)
- University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.), 1981
- Cornell University (B.A., cum laude), 1977