Lawrence B. Friedman is a partner based in the New York office.
Mr. Friedman’s practice focuses on international and domestic commercial litigation and arbitration, including in such fields as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, international banking, and marketing and licensing agreements, and in disputes concerning intellectual property infringement and misappropriation. Mr. Friedman has particularly extensive experience in counseling clients in multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration.
In one of Mr. Friedman’s most prominent ongoing international engagements, he is currently defending the Russian Federation in arbitrations brought by the former majority shareholders of Yukos Oil Company under the Energy Charter Treaty. He is also currently defending Crédit Lyonnais and National Westminster Bank in lawsuits in New York federal court based upon allegations under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act that the banks are responsible for acts of international terrorism because they maintained accounts for Palestinian charities in England and France. He previously served as counsel to Crédit Lyonnais in the longstanding disputes concerning the rehabilitation of the Executive Life Insurance Company, including in highly complex and politically sensitive criminal and regulatory investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the New York State Banking Department, and several civil lawsuits in Los Angeles federal court.
Mr. Friedman also recently represented Bank of America in expedited litigation in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, in which he succeeded in defeating an attempt by the Lehman Brothers estate to thwart the bank’s sale of its interest in the Archstone real estate investment trust, which it co-owned with Lehman and Barclays Bank. He is also representing members of the Crédit Agricole Group and BNP Paribas in extensive litigation arising from the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. In recent years, Mr. Friedman also represented Gucci Group in parallel lawsuits in New York, Germany and Italy against Gucci’s worldwide licensee for fragrances, and sanofi-aventis in two separate lawsuits, one concerning an environmental liability agreement with Rhodia S.A., and the other involving a dispute with two European shareholders of Rhodia. He also previously represented Ahlstrom, the Finnish specialty paper manufacturer, in a joint venture dispute that spawned parallel proceedings in New York, Stockholm and Helsinki, and Russian industrialist Boris Berezovsky, in successfully prosecuting a libel claim against Forbes magazine in a London court.
Mr. Friedman has been extremely active in international commercial arbitrations since the mid-1980s, when he represented several American claimants in disputes with Iranian government agencies before the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague. More recently, he successfully represented Aventis CropScience in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration concerning the enforceability of a divestiture-related non-competition clause under European Community law, after defeating in court and before the arbitration tribunal the claimant’s request for a preliminary injunction. He also successfully represented Nortel Networks in an ICC arbitration relating to the grey market importation of telephone equipment, GlaxoSmithKline in an ICC arbitration relating to a product distribution agreement in Taiwan, and the Carlyle Group in winning the right to force a buyout of Carlyle’s investment in a Chinese retail venture. As noted above, he is currently representing the Russian Federation in a major international arbitration filed by former shareholders of Yukos Oil Company.
Mr. Friedman has been internationally distinguished as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global
for international arbitration and by Chambers USA
for general commercial litigation. His expertise and achievements have also been recognized in the PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook
, Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys
, and The Legal 500: United States
Finally, Mr. Friedman is a specialist in intellectual property litigation, representing clients in a wide variety of patent, trademark, trade dress and copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation lawsuits. Mr. Friedman has tried several patent, trademark and copyright infringement cases in federal courts, and has argued several appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He represented Ricoh Company of Japan in two patent infringement lawsuits relating to modular business office device and facsimile and laser printer technology, and previously won trial verdicts for Ricoh in patent infringement lawsuits relating to photocopier technology. He also recently won preliminary and permanent injunctions for The Heisman Trophy Trust against a seller of t-shirts that infringe the “Heisman” trademark. He also recently defeated requests for preliminary injunctions against People’s United Bank, based on challenges to the use of its name in Massachusetts by other banks with the word “peoples” in their names. Mr. Friedman also is currently defending Citigroup in a software-related trade secret misappropriation case. Mr. Friedman also successfully defended at trial and on appeal advertising agency Young & Rubicam in a copyright infringement lawsuit concerning Chinese television commercials for toothpaste, Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati in a motorcycle naming rights case, and retailer J. Crew in a patent infringement lawsuit concerning the operation of the company's retail website. Mr. Friedman also represented Ferrari in winning a trial verdict for trade dress infringement against a manufacturer of “kit car” replicas of Ferrari automobiles, which was affirmed on appeal. He also recently won for the Guggenheim Museum in New York the summary dismissal of a copyright infringement claim, based upon a fair use defense. Finally, he also represented the family of the lawyer depicted in the motion picture “Philadelphia” against the film’s producers, director and screenwriter, winning a substantial settlement in the midst of a jury trial.
Mr. Friedman joined the firm in 1983 and became a partner in 1991. He received a J.D. degree, cum laude
, from Harvard Law School in 1982, and an undergraduate degree, summa cum laude
, from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1979. Mr. Friedman also served as law clerk to the Honorable Charles P. Sifton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Mr. Friedman is a member of the Bar in New York and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Federal Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of New York. He was the inaugural chair of the International Commercial Dispute Resolution Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and was Secretary of the Association’s Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Legal Profession.