Lewis J. Liman’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, securities class action lawsuits, and white-collar defense matters and investigations.

He has successfully represented numerous corporations in federal class action or complex litigation, handled internal and governmental investigations for both individuals and corporations, and has tried 10 jury cases. Lewis was a former Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of Appeals in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He also has an extensive appellate practice.

Lewis joined the firm in 2003 as a partner.

Notable Experience

Federal Securities Class Actions and Complex Litigation

  • Has represented Petrobras, Vale Sanofi, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, IMAX, Bear Stearns, and Pall Corporation in federal securities class actions and other complex litigation.

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Shareholder Derivative Litigation and Securities Litigation

  • Has represented boards of directors, including those of Dow Chemical and CA, Inc. 

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Governmental and Internal Investigations

  • Has represented Tyco, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, IMAX, Bear Stearns, Pall Corporation, and numerous other companies that have not been disclosed. 

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Individual Clients

  • Has represented individuals in securities litigation and governmental matters or investigations, including those involving Baker-Hughes Corporation, Cardinal Health, MDC Partners, GAMCO, JP Morgan Chase, Alcoa, ImClone, Safety-Kleen, CMS Energy, Lehman Brothers, United Rentals and UBS.

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Appellate Litigation

  • Successfully argued Gabelli v. SEC before the United States Supreme Court in 2013, establishing that the general federal statute of limitations applicable to governmental civil penalty claims did not incorporate a discovery rule.

  • Successfully argued cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third, Ninth and Federal Circuits, and in the courts of New York State, and represented amici in numerous cases on appeal.

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Selected Activities

  • Vice President; Chair, Public Service Committee, Federal Bar Council
  • Member, Board of Trustees of the Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Trustee, Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Director, New York Legal Assistance Group
  • Former Member, Chief Judge's Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century and the Task Force on The Role of Attorneys in Corporate Governance, New York City Bar Association
  • Former Director, Legal Aid Society
  • Former Director, New York Council of Defense Lawyers


District Court Issues Significant Decision on Market Manipulation Standard,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum (December 6, 2018)

Cleary Gottlieb Discusses Federal Spoofing Conviction,” The CLS Blue Sky Blog (August 16, 2017) (with Jonathan Kolodner and Matthew Solomon) 

Supreme Court Applies Five-Year Statute of Limitations to SEC Disgorgement Claims,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum (June 6, 2017)

Interrogatories,” Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition, Thomson Reuters and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, (February 23, 2017)

Second Circuit Confirms Availability of U.S. Discovery in Aid of Foreign Criminal Investigations,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum (December 22, 2014)

Ex-Duane Reade CEO Case a Model for VWPA Restitution,” Law360 (October 8, 2014) (with Breon S. Peace)

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Securities Fraud Claims as Impermissibly Extraterritorial,” Cleary Gottlieb Alert Memorandum (August 25, 2014)

Class Actions,” 7 Securities Law Techniques: Transactions and Litigation ch. 92 (2012) (with Evan A. Davis, Mitchell A. Lowenthal, & Nancy I. Ruskin)

Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir,” New York Law Journal (October 7, 2011)

Whether 'Foreign-Cubed' Securities Class Actions Fit in U.S. Courts,” New York Law Journal (February 17, 2009) (with David H. Herrington)