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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, tax litigation, real estate disputes, and has been trial counsel in a number of high-profile cases.

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 and The American Lawyer named her nationwide finalist for Young Lawyers of the Year (Litigation) in 2023.

Experience highlights

Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Citi in multiple litigations, including successful dismissal of securities litigation arising out of the bankruptcy of Millennium Health
  • 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
  • A major global airline in dispute regarding contract termination with supplier
  • A multinational pharmaceutical company in a variety of complex litigations, including successful defense of efforts to enjoin the supply of vaccines
  • Multiple major financial institutions in successful defense of 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, dismissal of petitions for extraterritorial discovery, and 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 its chapter 11 cases, including as trial counsel
  • Bonanza Creek Energy in its chapter 11 cases, including as trial counsel
  • A major global airline in connection with the chapter 11 cases of LATAM Airlines Group
  • EdgeMarc Energy in its chapter 11 cases, including as lead litigation counsel
  • 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
Tax Litigation
  • Trial counsel to Bats Global Markets in a case of first impression concerning the application of section 199 tax deductions
  • Trial counsel to ExxonMobil in a case concerning the applicability of section 636(a) tax deductions
Pro Bono Litigation
  • The Legal Aid Society in multiple pro bono matters, including extensive advocacy work concerning indigent defense caseloads, 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
View more experience




American Lawyer – “Young Lawyer of the Year – Litigation” finalist, 2023

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

  • 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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