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Lara Samet Buchwald


Lara Samet Buchwald

Civil Litigation
New York

Litigates complex and high-stakes commercial and bankruptcy matters in courts nationwide, from dispositive motions and discovery through trial and appeal.

Lara’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation in state, federal and bankruptcy courts across the country. Clients also turn to her for advice on a wide range of civil litigation and advisory matters.

Lara has deep experience in commercial disputes, shareholder derivative litigation, securities litigation, mass torts and bankruptcy litigation, and has been trial counsel in a number of high-profile bankruptcies.

Lara is one of Davis Polk’s two hiring partners, a vice chair of the board of the Legal Aid Society, and on the Global Advisory Board of the Women in Law Empowerment Forum. Crain’s New York Business named her among its “Notable Women in Law” for 2022.

Experience highlights

Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Aetna in a variety of major litigations, including successful defense of shareholder derivative claims arising out of a proposed merger
  • Bats Global Markets as trial and appellate counsel in a case of first impression concerning the application of section 199 tax deductions to electronic trading software
  • Citi in litigations arising out of the bankruptcy of Millennium Health, including successful dismissal of securities litigation
  • Con Edison in a variety of major litigations, including successful defense of mass-action civil litigation arising out of a steam main rupture in Manhattan
  • Crestview in litigations arising out of the merger of two banks, including successful resolution of putative class action challenging merger consideration
  • Multiple major financial institutions in fraudulent transfer litigation seeking clawback of loan repayments
  • Major financial institution in various complex litigations, including successful defense of action seeking to prevent termination of key contract, successful dismissal of petitions for extraterritorial discovery, and successful dismissal of aiding and abetting claims in a shareholder derivative action
  • Directors and officers of various public companies in successful resolution of shareholder derivative and securities litigations
Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Arch Coal in all aspects of its chapter 11 cases, including as trial counsel
  • Bonanza Creek Energy in all aspects of its chapter 11 cases, including as trial counsel
  • Delta Air Lines in connection with the chapter 11 cases of LATAM Airlines Group
  • Lead litigation counsel to EdgeMarc Energy in all aspects of its chapter 11 cases
  • Lead litigation counsel for an ad hoc group of bondholders in connection with the chapter 11 cases of Alta Mesa Resources
  • A consortium of lending institutions as appellate counsel in fraudulent transfer litigation arising out of the TOUSA bankruptcy
Pro Bono Litigation
  • The Legal Aid Society in multiple pro bono matters, including extensive advocacy work concerning indigent defense caseloads, which led to millions of dollars of increased funding for public defense in New York City, and successful litigation to the New York Court of Appeals regarding indigent defense case assignments
  • Counsel to a statewide class of indigent defendants challenging the constitutionality of the indigent defense system in Louisiana
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Benchmark Litigation – New York, Future Star; “40 & Under – Northeast”

Crain’s New York Business – “Notable Women in Law,” 2022

Law360 – “Rising Star: Bankruptcy,” 2018

Legal Aid Society – Pro Bono Publico Award, 2009-2010, 2012-2018

Davis Polk Pro Bono Award, 2016

A description of the selection methodology for the awards listed above can be found at the links for the respective awards. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

J.D., New York University School of Law
  • cum laude
  • Articles Editor, New York University Annual Survey of American Law
A.B., Public Policy Studies, Duke University
  • magna cum laude
Law Clerk, Hon. Naomi Reice Buchwald, U.S. District Court, S.D. New York, 2010-2011
Professional history
  • Partner, 2017-present
  • Davis Polk since 2008
Qualifications and admissions
  • State of New Jersey
  • State of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, N.D. California
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
  • U.S. Tax Court
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