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Local Litigation Star

National Practice Area Star

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A nationally respected commercial litigator recognized as a Litigation Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, the Hon. Richard Holwell has spent his career advocating and adjudicating high-stakes legal disputes, including during his nine years as a federal judge in the Southern District of New York. Before founding Holwell Shuster & Goldberg in 2012, he presided over two of the most significant securities fraud matters to reach trial in recent decades: the insider trading trial of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, and a securities class action (In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litigation) establishing significant law regarding the application of U.S. law to alleged securities fraud involving a foreign plaintiff. 

Judge Holwell represents, and has represented throughout his career, clients in complex commercial litigation matters involving securities, antitrust, and bankruptcy issues; in investigations undertaken by the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and other government agencies; and in his leading appellate practice. At HSG, clients have called on Judge Holwell for his advocacy skills, as well as his unquestioned judgment, in engagements ranging from his representation of Visa in antitrust litigation with the largest retailers in the United States to his appointment as independent monitor of a major financial institution under the terms of an agreement with the SEC. Judge Holwell also served on a pro bono basis as interim general counsel of the Port Authority in the aftermath of the “Bridgegate” scandal with a mandate to rebuild public confidence in the Authority’s operations. In 2012, he was appointed to the three-member NFL appeals panel, along with retired federal Judge Fern Smith and Georgetown professor James Oldham. 

Judge Holwell’s many career appellate arguments include one resulting in a decision, still significant today, establishing important precedent on the extraterritorial application of U.S. securities laws and antitrust standing under the Clayton Act. Before his confirmation to the federal judiciary, Judge Holwell practiced with HSG co-founding partners Michael Shuster, Daniel Goldberg, and Dorit Ungar Black at White & Case, where he led the firm’s global dispute practice and served on the Management Board. There, Judge Holwell and Shuster litigated more than 30 civil and criminal suits in the U.S. and abroad arising from the insolvency of Crédit Lyonnais, including a highly publicized fraud action against Kirk Kerkorian relating to his sale of MGM Film Studios. 

In addition to representing clients in domestic and international arbitrations, Judge Holwell is frequently asked to act as either the chair or member of the panel in ICC, AAA, ICDR, and ad hoc arbitrations. 

Judge Holwell has been a life-long supporter of the Bar, fulfilling its obligation to provide pro bono services to clients in need. As recognition of his past service, he was awarded the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year Award by the Legal Defense Fund, Inc. Judge Holwell is particularly proud of the contributions HSG’s young lawyers have made to the cause of equal justice since the firm opened its doors in 2012. 

Key Practice Areas:

  • Antitrust
  • Appellate
  • Arbitration
  • Banking + Financial Services
  • Business & Commercial
  • Securities
  • White Collar Crime


Updated Aug 2021