Vineet Bhatia
Partner
Houston Office Phone: (713) 653-7855 Email Download vCard Print Bio to PDF
Education
  • Rice University (B.A. 1987)
  • Columbia University School of Law (J.D. 1990)
Judicial Clerkship

Law Clerk to The Honorable Jack B. Weinstein, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Over the last 22 years, Mr. Bhatia has had tremendous success handling a wide variety of complicated, high-stakes commercial disputes for plaintiffs and defendants. Mr. Bhatia is experienced in antitrust litigation, contract disputes, intellectual property cases, insurance coverage litigation, first amendment litigation, product liability litigation and many other types of cases. He started his career at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz in New York City in 1991 and joined Susman Godfrey in 1996. He became a partner in the firm in 1997 and is serving on the firm's Executive Committee.

Mr. Bhatia has a nationwide practice and has handled lawsuits in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. He has also handled arbitrations in London.  His cases, which have arisen under domestic and foreign law, have taken him to Brazil, England, Russia, and Venezuela. Mr. Bhatia has also handled a number of disputes arising out of corporate transactions, such as purchase price adjustment arbitrations and tax sharing agreement arbitrations.

Honors and Distinctions
  • Notes and Comments Editor, Columbia Law Review, 1989-90
  • Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar (1987-90)
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Wins
  • November 2012: After over two years of litigation, the Department of Justice voluntarily dismissed a claim filed under the False Claims Act against my client, Kellogg Brown & Root. The DOJ had been seeking over $300 million in damages from KBR; it ended up getting nothing. KBR was not required to pay a penny in response to the DOJ’s lawsuit. Mr. Bhatia served as lead counsel in the case.
  • May 2012: Resolved a $450 million business interruption insurance claim arising out of Hurricane Ike.  The case settled one day before the arbitration hearing was scheduled to commence.  Mr. Bhatia served as co-lead counsel in the arbitration and led the settlement discussions with insurers.
  • January 2012: Received an arbitration award prevailing on all claims for a client in the wind energy business.  The award dismissed all of the claims against my client and required the other side to pay attorney fees and costs. Mr. Bhatia served as lead counsel in the arbitration.
  • September 2009: Two weeks before arbitration proceedings were to begin, Genworth Mortgage resolved a dispute with a mortgage originator over $500 million in bulk mortgage insurance. Mr. Bhatia and his partner, Steve Morrissey and Lee Godfrey had been hired by Genworth in May 2008 after winning beauty contest among several major litigation boutiques. The settlement terms are confidential.
  • August 2007: On the eve of trial, Genzyme Corporation agreed to pay $64 million to a certified class of shareholders that had held "tracking stock" in Genzyme's biosurgery division. Mr. Bhatia's firm was co-lead counsel in the case, and Mr. Bhatia had been selected as lead trial counsel.
  • April 2006: Lyondell Chemical Company announced that it had settled a breach of contract claim brought on behalf of Lyondell-Citgo Refining L.P. against PDVSA, the Venezuela national oil company, for breaching a long-term crude supply contract. The settlement terms are confidential. The case was filed in the Southern District of New York and arose under New York and Venezuelan law. After defeating PDVSA's motion to dismiss the case under the "act of state" doctrine and completing extensive discovery in the United States and Venezuela, Mr. Bhatia obtained an adverse inference against PDVSA for refusing to produce documents, and, following that discovery sanction, filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the plaintiff. The case settled while that summary judgment motion was pending. SG partners, Lee Godfrey and Vineet Bhatia, were the lead lawyers for Lyondell in this matter.
  • March 2005: A federal jury in Los Angeles California awarded Masimo Corporation, $420 million in damages (after trebling) against Tyco Health Care Group and its affiliate, Mallinckrodt, Inc. The claims had been brought under the federal antitrust laws based on Tyco's anticompetitive practices that prevented Masimo from selling its competing pulse oximetry products to hospitals located in the United States. The case was tried by Mr. Bhatia, Steve Susman, and two other partners in the firm's Los Angeles office. Mr. Bhatia selected the jury and presented and cross-examined the majority of witnesses at trial.
  • March 2005: A federal district court in San Antonio dismissed all claims by 53 plaintiffs suing ConocoPhillips and Rio Grande Resources, alleging that defendants' uranium mining and milling operations caused cancer and other medical ailments. Plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $50 million plus punitive damages; they recovered nothing.
  • December 2003: Several large financial institutions paid more than $100 million to settle consolidated class actions brought in Los Angeles on behalf injured people whose reserves for future medical care and living expenses had been looted from trust funds. The suit was filed after the trustee stopped paying disbursements of settlement proceeds to approximately 250 seriously injured people and wrongful death claimants. The plaintiffs recovered 100% of their losses. Mr. Bhatia worked extensively on this case with co-lead class counsel, Marc M. Seltzer, in Susman Godfrey's Los Angeles office.
  • August 2002: An arbitrator rendered an arbitration decision in favor of our client, Lyondell Chemical Company, against Atlantic Richfield Company. The arbitration involved the breach of a long-term agreement to supply MTBE. After the arbitration decision, the parties agreed that ARCO should pay Lyondell $21.5 million. Mr. Bhatia served as lead counsel in this case, and the result was featured in an article in the National Law Journal on the top plaintiffs firms in the United States.
  • June 2002: Mr. Bhatia concluded two cases arising out of ACE Limited's acquisition of Cigna Corporation — a tax sharing agreement arbitration and a lawsuit filed in New York. Mr. Bhatia represented ACE in both cases. The settlement agreement in the case is confidential.
  • November 2000: Mr. Bhatia served as lead counsel for Western Resources in a purchase price adjustment arbitration and related litigation against Westinghouse Electric Corporation. The arbitration and related case involved Western Resources's purchase of Westinghouse's home-monitored security business in December 1996. The terms of the settlement were confidential, although Western Resources disclosed, as required by the SEC, that it received $37.5 million to resolve all the claims.
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Professional Associations and Memberships
  • Admitted to bar, 1991, New York and 1996, Texas
  • State Bar of Texas
  • American Bar Association; Litigation Section, Antitrust Section
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
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Notable Representation

Mr. Bhatia has been hired to try lawsuits for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including ACE Limited, LyondellBasell, Philip Morris, Kmart, Westar Energy, Genworth Financial, & KBR. He has also been hired by private equity firms and their portfolio companies, including Apollo and its portfolio company, Hexion Specialty Chemicals.

Mr. Bhatia made a major contribution to one of the Top Ten Verdicts in the United States in 2005, when Steve Susman and he obtained a $140 million jury verdict (automatically trebled to $420 million) in an antitrust case against Tyco Healthcare Group. The case was tried in federal court in Los Angeles in March 2005. In March 2006, the Court upheld the jury's findings of antitrust liability but ordered a new trial on damages. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the liability verdict and the new damage award.

In addition to winning money for plaintiffs, Mr. Bhatia successfully has defended clients facing multi-million and multi-billion dollar claims. Philip Morris placed Mr. Bhatia on a National Steering Committee to organize the defense of tobacco litigation brought by dozens of foreign countries, and he was also in charge of the cases brought in Texas. The cases in Texas and throughout the country were dismissed, and those dismissals were upheld on appeal. Philip Morris ended up paying nothing. Two of the world's largest insurers — ACE Property and Casualty Co. and Equitas — also hired Mr. Bhatia to handle coverage disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars of exposure throughout the United States.

Mr. Bhatia is currently involved in litigation relating to mortgage fraud and negligent underwriting arising out of the housing downturn. He represents mortgage insurers and financial guarantors in multi-hundred million dollar disputes with banks and other mortgage originators. 

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