Partner (Complex Commercial Litigation, Antitrust, Commodities, Bankruptcy)
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 a brief stint 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. He 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.
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 came back with a verdict of $60.5 million and the court later awarded nearly ten years of attorneys’ fees.
Mr. Bernstein has also been representing 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 threatens to legalize the hoarding of copper worldwide – a matter that finds Mr. Bernstein being quoted frequently in the Financial Times, Bloomberg Business Week, Reuters and Institutional Investor, among others.
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.
An important 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; succeeded in representing 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 appeared in a CNBC report on what investors can do to protect against hedge fund fraud.
In 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, Mr. Bernstein was named a Super Lawyer for the New York Metro Area by New York Super Lawyers Magazine.
Mr. Bernstein is married with two children and lives in Edgemont, New York, where he served as president of the Edgemont Community Council. In 2005, he received Edgemont’s Silver Box Award for Distinguished Community Service.
Complex Commercial Litigation, Antiitrust, Commodities, Bankruptcy
B.A., Cornell University, cum laude, 1977
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1981
New York and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1982
U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and 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
Frankfurt, Germany, 2003