Commercial Dispute and Contract

Davis Polk’s Commercial Dispute and Contract practice is one of the most highly regarded in the country. Our global network has over 250 litigators with a well-established reputation for providing market-leading representation in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. The firm handles high-stakes disputes and litigation in federal and state courts across the United States, as well as in arbitrations around the world.

Our lawyers regularly represent clients in a variety of matters relating to breaches of contract or fiduciary duty, business torts and tortious contract interference. We also defend clients on matters involving state and federal statutory law, including environmental laws, labor and employment laws, ERISA, and RICO.

Always focused on obtaining the best legal results for our clients, we bring specific strategies to resolving these cases based on our extensive trial and appellate experience. Our approach involves a rigorous process of case assessment, which includes document review, interviews of key personnel, and monitoring of developments in related litigation. We work closely with in-house counsel to optimize benefits and explore all possible avenues of resolution, whether adjudicated or negotiated, keeping our client’s long-term interest in mind.

Our litigators have a keen understanding of client business imperatives, recognizing that all aspects of a client’s business – including the business model, financial condition, workforce and employee concerns, regulatory issues, investor considerations and reputation – are important in determining the most effective legal strategy.


Chambers USA – General Commercial Litigation, “Elite,” Band 2

    • “[Davis Polk] has a strong track record handling high-profile contentious matters for financial industry clients and global corporations.”
    • Davis Polk is a “first-class player across an impressive breadth of big-ticket disputes.”
    • A client remarks, “Davis Polk handles our biggest and most difficult matters. It's a wonderful and fantastic relationship. The level of coordination within the firm is also exemplary.”
    • Another client remarks, “the team is incredibly strong. They are very tactical in their thinking, very diligent and provide very good client service."
  • Legal 500 U.S. – General Commercial Litigation, Band 1
  • BTI Consulting – "Complex Commercial Litigation Powerhouse," 2018


Notable Matters

  • Castleton Commodities International. We successfully affirmed a ruling dismissing claims against Castleton Commodities in a lawsuit filed in New York state court seeking management bank bonus payments on behalf of former employees.
  • Morgan Stanley. We achieved a complete dismissal in a multimillion dollar case brought by IDT Corporation, which charged Morgan Stanley with tortious interference with a contract and misusing confidential business information in a transaction for Telephónica. 
  • Fortune 50. We prevailed after an evidentiary hearing in a fast-tracked confidential arbitration matter between two Fortune 50 firms involving a multibillion dollar contract.
  • Roche. We represent Roche as defendants in a significant post-closing merger litigation pending in the Court of Chancery in Delaware.
  • Clearstream Banking. We represented Clearstream Banking and obtained a landmark victory in a $1.68 billion lawsuit brought by judgment creditors of Iran asserting claims for turnover and fraudulent conveyance in the S.D.N.Y..
  • Consolidated Edison Company of New York (ConEd). We represented ConEd and secured an outright victory and several highly favorable settlements in litigation arising from the events of Superstorm Sandy. The significance of these results goes beyond the individual cases because, as a result of collateral estoppel, the loss of a single case would have resulted in an avalanche of copycat cases against Con Edison.
  • Corsair Capital. We represented Corsair in an international arbitration against a former business partner arising out of a complex $90 million Indian banking transaction. The transaction was also the subject of substantial litigation in India and was the subject of expedited litigation in Mauritius.
  • The owners of the Spirits of St. Louis. We represented the owners of the Spirits of St. Louis, a basketball team that was one of the last surviving members of the American Basketball Association, in litigation against the NBA and the current owners of the Brooklyn Nets, the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, and the San Antonio Spurs. The parties settled after more than two years of litigation in the S.D.N.Y.
  • Comcast. We represented Comcast in litigation with the National Football League over telecasting the NFL Network that included both a New York State court action and an FCC proceeding that was tried before an administrative law judge. During post-trial briefing, the parties entered into a favorable settlement that included a long-term agreement to telecast the NFL Network.
  • Rabobank. We successfully defended Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank (Rabobank) in the S.D.N.Y. in a breach of contract action brought by MBIA Insurance Corp. and one of its subsidiaries relating to a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO) transaction involving a $1 billion portfolio of securities.
  • SMART Modular Technologies, Inc. We won a dismissal of claims brought in New York state court by Creative Mobile Technologies, LLC against our client, SMART Modular Technologies, Inc., alleging damages resulting from a supposed breach of contract relating to the delivery of CPU’s and displays for use in taxicabs.
  • JPMorgan Chase. We obtained summary judgment on behalf of JPMorgan Chase in a breach of contract action brought by our client against Controladora Comercial Mexicana, one of Mexico’s largest retailers.