PRACTICESCommercial Litigation, Trials and Appeals
Product Liability and Mass Torts
Alternative Dispute Resolution
New York University School of Law
- New York
- New Jersey
Richard A. Williamson
Mr. Williamson joined the firm as a partner in 1977. He handles commercial litigation, trials and appeals, product liability, mass torts, professional liability, partnership, corporate and commercial matters. Clients also regularly rely on him for advice concerning their business affairs and strategies.Upon the outbreak of 9/11 litigation following the terrorist attacks, Mr. Williamson was selected by the World Trade Center defendants (i.e., the Silverstein affiliated net lessees of the buildings at the World Trade Center site) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to represent them in 9/11 litigation throughout New York and New Jersey in the state and federal courts. Both the New York State Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York appointed Mr. Williamson as Liaison Counsel for the Ground Defendants (one of the two groups of defendants) in the wrongful death, bodily injury, property damage, and business interruption cases and as Co-Liaison Counsel for all defendants in cases alleging respiratory injury.
Mr. Williamson served as national counsel for one of the nation's largest and most prestigious professional firms when it was on the brink of financial collapse. Working together with investment bankers and financial and management consultants, he led the legal team in developing and implementing a complex, long-term strategy that included negotiation and nationwide litigation with a number of major groups of creditors that resulted in the restructuring of the firm's debt. That firm has survived and is now thriving.
In asbestos personal injury litigation, Mr. Williamson served on the national trial lawyers teams for several defendants over the last twenty-five years. He also devised and supervised the implementation of a dramatically new, far more aggressive approach to the defense of tens of thousands of cases on behalf of a major defendant that enabled it to settle cases, on the average, for less than half the amount it had been paying. In asbestos-in-buildings litigation, Mr. Williamson was appointed by the Court as Co-Liaison Counsel for all defendants and headed up our representation of two large corporate defendants for more than a decade.
Mr. Williamson also has been selected by judges to assist in the resolution of numerous high profile matters, for example, by serving as Special Settlement Mediator in the Bank of New York shareholder derivative actions arising out of the Russian money laundering scandal, as the Successor Liquidating Trustee for two large hedge funds, and as the Liquidating Trustee for the Bondholders Liquidating Trust of a large publicly held company. In his capacity as Liquidating Trustee, Mr. Williamson oversaw the successful recovery through the lawsuit he commenced of $480 million plus other consideration from AT&T, Cox Communications, Inc. and Comcast Corporation. In these capacities, Mr. Williamson has collected and disbursed over $1 billion. In addition, he also has served as a court-appointed Special Referee, as an arbitrator and as a private and court-appointed mediator in major business disputes.
Mr. Williamson also is regularly retained to represent law firms and other partnerships (including individual partners) in connection with partnership disputes and break-ups. He is the author of the chapter entitled Partnerships, in Commercial Litigation In New York State Courts, 3rd ed., Thomson West and NYCLA, 2010 plus annual supplements.
In addition, Mr. Williamson devotes substantial time and energy to lecturing and training other lawyers in litigation and trial techniques, including teaching regularly for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and lecturing on American Lawyer, Practicing Law Institute, New York State Bar Association and New York County Lawyers’ Association panels. Topics include: advanced trial advocacy, responding to a federal court complaint, opening statements, direct and cross-examination, expert witnesses, provisional remedies, and other litigation and trial related topics.
Associations & Memberships
- New York County Lawyers' Association (past Member of the Board of Directors; past Chair, Committee on the Federal Courts; past Co-Chair of the Special Masters Committee)
- The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) Foundation, Inc. (Member of the Board of Directors; Member of the Steering Committee of the Board of Directors)
- National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Member of Faculty for Trial Techniques
- Hofstra University School of Law, Annual Guest Instructor for Trial Advocacy Course
- American Inn of Court, Master
- New York City Bar Association, Member
- New York State Bar Association (Member, Trial Lawyers Section)
- New York State Bar Association Foundation, Fellow
- American Bar Association (Member of Section on Litigation; Committee Memberships include Professional Liability and Pre-Trial Practice and Discovery)
- Federal Bar Council, Member
- Defense Research Institute (Member; Steering Committee of the Professional Liability Committee)
- Hemlock Farms Community Association (past Member of the Board of Directors)