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Neal A. Potischman
Partner
Mr. Potischman is a member of Davis Polk’s Litigation Department, based in our Menlo Park office. He has represented individuals and institutions in a variety of civil, regulatory and criminal matters. He has participated in and helped prepare multiple cases for trial, including by cross-examining a number of fact and expert witnesses. He also has represented a number of witnesses in testimony before the Securities and Exchange Commission. His practice focuses on securities and acquisition-related litigation, antitrust and consumer fraud class actions, and regulatory matters (including relating to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).

Since joining Davis Polk, Mr. Potischman has had an active pro bono practice and currently coordinates Davis Polk’s pro bono program in our Menlo Park office. He also serves as the co-chair of the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services.

Work Highlights

Civil Litigation 

Mr. Potischman has extensive experience litigating class action and other high-stakes civil disputes, with a focus on securities class actions and litigation relating to mergers and acquisitions, complex antitrust matters and consumer fraud cases.



  • He was one of the lead lawyers representing Pfizer in connection with the 2009 landmark denial of class certification by Judge Patti B. Saris (D. Mass.) in a litigation in which plaintiffs sought $4.6 billion in alleged damages for payments relating to the off-label use of the prescription drug Neurontin.

  • He was one of the lead lawyers for a wireless communications company in numerous class actions that have been filed in state and federal courts nationwide challenging the legality of early termination fees, late payment fees and handset locking practices – he recently (2010) helped that carrier win dismissal of all claims filed against it in connection with a putative class action suit that challenged various business practices.

  • In his mergers and acquisitions practice, Mr. Potischman has represented companies and individuals in proceedings nationwide relating to deals (both friendly and hostile), ranging in size from $250 million to $47 billion. Recent representations include:

    • SMART Modular in litigation relating to its acquisition by Silver Lake Partners (2011)

    • LoopNet in litigation relating to its proposed acquisition by CoStar (2011)

    • Palm in litigation relating to its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard (2010)

    • Equinix in litigation relating to its acquisition of Switch and Data (2010)

    • Abbott Laboratories in litigation relating to its acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics (2009)

    • Roche in litigation relating to its acquisition of Anadys and Genentech (2011 and 2009, respectively)

    • Bank of America Merrill Lynch in litigation relating to Broadcom’s proposed acquisition of Emulex (2009-10)



  • Mr. Potischman has actively litigated a number of civil and criminal antitrust matters, including in connection with alleged price fixing in the market for optical disc drives and also in the fine art auction market, and in connection with alleged monopolization of the market for services by heavy duty helicopters. He has also provided antitrust advice in connection with a number of mergers.

  • In his securities litigation practice, Mr. Potischman has litigated a number of ’33 Act and ’34 Act claims in federal courts nationwide, recently obtaining dismissal of Section 11 claims filed against a Big Four accounting firm relating to investments in subprime securities. He is currently serving as lead counsel to multiple individuals involved in securities and derivatives actions pending in state and federal courts across the Western United States, and is actively involved in multiple subprime-related cases filed against a client investment bank.

  • Current and former clients include Abbot Laboratories, AMI Semiconductor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Chimei-Innolux Corporation, Equinix, Erickson Air-Crane, KPMG, LG Electronics, Morgan Stanley, Palm, Pfizer, Roche AG, SMART Modular and T-Mobile USA.
Criminal, Regulatory and FCPA Matters

He has been extensively involved in our white collar, regulatory and internal investigations practice.



  • He has conducted a number of internal investigations and compliance reviews (both proactive and reactive) for clients, including with respect to concerns about money laundering and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, in Asia, Latin America and Europe, in addition to the United States.

  • He has extensive experience representing Big Four accounting firms and individual auditors in connection with such investigations, as well as in parallel civil securities litigation. 

  • He has been involved in two criminal trials and has defended numerous individuals and entities in regulatory investigations initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the NASD, FINRA and the Federal Reserve Board.

Recognition

    • Member of Davis Polk’s Securities Litigation Group, which was named:
      • “Securities Litigation Department of the Year” finalist by The American Lawyer in 2014
      • “Securities Group of the Year” by Law360 in 2013
      • Chambers USA Band 1 for Securities Litigation 
    • Named a “2013 Rising Star” for Class Actions by Law360
    • Recognized as a California “Litigation Star” in Legal Media Group’s Benchmark Litigation
    • Member of Davis Polk's White Collar Criminal Defense Group, which was named a “White Collar Group of the Year” by Law360 for 2012
    • Member of Davis Polk’s Antitrust Group, which was named “Law Firm of the Year” in Antitrust Law by U.S. News - Best Lawyers Best Law Firms 2013 and a “Competition Group of the Year” by Law360 2012 and 2014

    Professional History

    • Partner, 2006-present
    • Associate, 1999-2006
    • Law Clerk, Hon. Leonard B. Sand, U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, 1998-1999

    Contact

    • 1600 El Camino Real
      Menlo Park, CA 94025
      P: 650-752-2021
      F: 650-752-3621

    Bar Admissions

    • State of California
    • State of New York
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, C.D. California
    • U.S. District Court, E.D. California
    • U.S. District Court, N.D. California
    • U.S. District Court, S.D. California
    • U.S. District Court, Colorado
    • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
    • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York

    Education

    • B.A., History & Political Science, Swarthmore College, 1995
      • with distinction
    • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1998
      • cum laude
      • Editor, Harvard Law Review