Top of page

Robert B. Fiske, Jr.


Senior counsel after serving as partner in our Litigation practice over a span of 46 years.

Bob, a senior counsel, tried many cases over a long and distinguished career, concerning a wide variety of industries and areas of the law in courts across the country. He is widely credited for pioneering white collar defense as a big-law practice area.

He also has extensive government experience. He was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1976 to 1980 and served as Chairman of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of U.S. Attorneys. In 1994, he was Independent Counsel in the Whitewater investigation.

Among numerous accolades, Bob received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Lawyer and the Federal Bar Council’s Emory Buckner Medal for Distinguished Public Service. He is a Fellow and former President of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

In 2016, he was a member of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform.

He is the author of “Prosecutor Defender Counselor: The Memoirs of Robert B. Fiske, Jr.”

Experience highlights

  • Clark Clifford and Robert Altman in investigations of their roles in the BCCI matter
  • Exxon in New York and New Jersey investigations of the Arthur Kill oil spill
  • Prudential Securities in the complex of proceedings arising out of its limited partnership sales practices
  • Co-counsel in the successful defense of the National Football League in the antitrust suit brought by the U.S. Football League
  • The New York Mets in the successful defense of an effort by Cablevision to block the formation of the Mets cable TV network with Time Warner and Comcast
  • Siemens AG in the negotiations of a resolution of Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations into international bribery charges
  • Audit committee of Bear Stearns in investigation into collapse of high-risk hedge funds
Financial and Securities
  • Representation of Exxon, Bankers Trust and other clients in securities actions
  • Obtained a reversal and judgment of acquittal in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals of the mail fraud conviction of David Brown, former chairman of the board of General Development Corporation
Products Liability
  • Successfully defended a $4 billion suit arising out of the Three Mile Island accident, brought by General Public Utilities against Babcock & Wilcox, which had designed and manufactured the nuclear reactor
  • Obtained reversals in the Missouri Supreme Court of two multi-million dollar compensatory and punitive damage verdicts against Suzuki after trials involving a rollover of the Suzuki Samurai sport-utility vehicle
Cases Handled Personally as U.S. Attorney
  • The conviction of narcotics kingpin Leroy “Nicky” Barnes
  • The labor racketeering conviction of Anthony Scotto and Anthony Anastasio
  • The representation of Attorney General Griffin B. Bell in connection with contempt proceedings in the Socialist Workers Party litigation
Public Service
  • Member of the New York State Judicial Compensation Commission, 2011
  • Represented the Judicial Council of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in disciplinary proceedings against a U.S. District Judge
  • Chairman of the Judicial Commission on Drugs and the Courts appointed by New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye
  • Member of the Commission for the Review of FBI Security Programs (Webster Commission)
  • Special Advisor to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in investigation of New York State Police



Federal Bar Council’s Emory Buckner Medal for Distinguished Public Service, 1987

New York City Bar Association Medal and the Fordham-Stein Prize, 2007

The American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award, 2008

Michigan Law School Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award, 2011

American Inns of Court Lewis Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics, 2016

James Duane Award for exemplary service to the Southern District of New York


LL.D., University of Michigan
J.D., University of Michigan Law School
  • Order of the Coif
  • Associate Editor, Michigan Law Review
B.A., Yale University

Professional history

  • Senior Counsel, 2010-present
  • Partner, 1964-2010
  • Davis Polk since 1955

Qualifications and admissions

  • State of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Back to top