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James H.R. Windels


Experience in a wide variety of federal and state court commercial litigation matters and arbitrations, enforcement proceedings and internal investigations.

Jim has experience in a wide variety of federal and state court commercial litigation matters and arbitrations, regulatory enforcement proceedings and internal investigations. He represents public and privately held corporations, financial institutions, hedge funds, accounting firms, and corporate directors and officers.

Jim has argued appeals in the Second, Seventh and Ninth Circuits and appellate courts in New York and California. He has argued numerous motions in federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

He has represented clients in investigations by the SEC, DOJ, FINRA, the Manhattan District Attorney, the Federal Reserve Bank, NYDFS, the CFTC, PCAOB, and regulators in Japan, the United Kingdom and Canada.

In his pro bono practice, Jim is a member of the board, and a former chairman, of both Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A and Volunteers of Legal Service.

Experience highlights

  • Represented a leading investment bank in an action brought by the State of West Virginia relating to trading in U.S. government securities, culminating in a two-month jury trial in West Virginia state court and a judgment for our client on appeal; see 459 S.E.2d 906 (1995)
  • Represented a major airline in an action for breach of contract brought by the bankruptcy estate and creditors committee of Pan American World Airways, culminating in a two-month trial in federal court in New York and judgment for our client; see 175 Bankr. 438 (1994); 155 Bankr. 327 (1993)
  • Co-lead trial counsel for a healthcare and assisted living company in an action against a takeover target in California state court, culminating in a trial and judgment for our client (1999)
  • Represented the Board of Directors of a bankrupt alternative energy company in connection with its reorganization and defense of numerous securities litigation, federal whistleblower and creditor claims (2016-present)
  • Represented a major overseas creditor of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in U.S. bankruptcy proceedings (2010-2011) and related litigation concerning the termination and valuation of credit derivative transactions (2011-present)
  • Lead trial counsel for a global telecommunications company in an international arbitration regarding ownership of a cellular telephone company in Panama (2013-2016)
  • Lead counsel for a Brazilian energy company in federal securities litigation based on allegations of bribery and public corruption (2015-present)
  • Lead trial counsel for an investment adviser as claimant in a six-party NYSE arbitration arising from stock lending transactions, culminating in a final hearing and an award for our client (2004)
  • Represented a commercial bank in connection with antitrust and RICO lawsuits arising from commodities transactions with aJapanese trading company, winning dismissal and defeating class certification on a number of claims; see 306 F.3d 469 (2002); 113 Cal. App. 4th 195 (2003)
  • Won dismissal of several class action and shareholder derivative lawsuits against a major U.S. mutual fund adviser at the district court level and on appeal; see 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 20213; 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19964
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Benchmark Litigation – National and New York, Star


J.D., Harvard Law School
  • cum laude
  • Editor, Harvard Environmental Law Review
B.A., Princeton University
  • magna cum laude


Law Clerk, Hon. Peter K. Leisure, U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, 1989-1990

Professional history

  • Davis Polk since 1990

Qualifications and admissions

  • State of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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