Jacob W. Buchdahl is widely recognized as a leading trial lawyer. The Chambers USA 2022 Edition notes that he “can come to a matter cold and in a short space of time master it and technically outsmart the other side.” Its 2021 guide refers to him as “tremendous” and “a very effective oral advocate,” and its 2020 edition lauds him as a “very creative” lawyer with “notable trial expertise.” In addition, Lawdragon has named Buchdahl among the 500 Leading Lawyers in America for several years in a row and he has been identified as a New York Super Lawyer every year since 2013.
Buchdahl represents both plaintiffs and defendants in commercial litigation across the United States. Buchdahl tries cases in every setting, from federal and state courts to AAA and FINRA arbitrations. Representative clients include Third Point, Nasdaq, and Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Before joining Susman Godfrey, Buchdahl was a federal prosecutor in the Public Corruption Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Buchdahl obtained the convictions of sixteen defendants after jury trials, including the former highest-ranking Russian at the United Nations on money-laundering charges.
Buchdahl is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School. He is married to Angela Warnick Buchdahl, the Senior Rabbi of Central Synagogue; they have three children and live in New York City. Buchdahl is a member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers for Children and the Board of Trustees of the Abraham Joshua Heschel School.
- Secured a preliminary injunction for Saba Capital precluding a closed-end mutual fund from enforcing a bylaw enacted during a shareholder proxy contest. The bylaw substantially raised the voting threshold required to elect trustees, and the injunction allowed Saba Capital’s replacement slate of trustees to prevail.
- Won an appeal reversing a judgment against a subsidiary of NBC Universal after its insurance carrier refused to pay for relocation costs of a television series following a terrorist attack. After obtaining summary judgment on liability issues, the damages and bad faith portions of the case settled favorably on the eve of trial.
- Won a $6 million FINRA arbitration award against an algorithmic trading company on behalf of a former employee, based on breaches of the non-disparagement provision of his separation agreement.
- Won a civil rights case on behalf of the NYU Law Review against an organization alleging that the Law Review discriminates against white men. After a successful motion to dismiss, we continue to represent this pro bono client on appeal to the Second Circuit.
- Won a jury trial in the Eastern District of Texas defeating patent infringement claims brought against a manufacturer of spinal implants.
- Won an arbitration on behalf of a leading New York hospital alleging breach of a licensing agreement against one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
- Won an administrative trial before the SEC defeating antitrust claims brought against an exchange over its pricing of market data.
- Won a bench trial in the Southern District of New York on breach of contract claims brought by a bond insurance company against Flagstar Bank over nearly a billion dollars of RMBS.
- Won at arbitration against Morgan Stanley in which FINRA rejected the bank’s attempt to recover on promissory notes extended to two of its former brokers and instead awarded over a million dollars in lost commissions to the brokers.
- Won a summary judgment in California state court granting our client the exclusive right to develop a promising cancer treatment and rejecting all of the plaintiff’s claims for damages.
- Won a summary judgment in Manhattan federal court defeating all of the plaintiff’s claims for trademark infringement.
- Won a summary judgment in New Jersey state court ending a multi-billion dollar lawsuit asserting state RICO and other claims against a prominent hedge fund relating to short-selling.
- Won a multi-million dollar New York state court judgment (subsequently upheld by the Appellate Division) against Ron Perelman on behalf of a movie development company.
- Won a AAA arbitration on behalf of a client seeking to enforce a finder’s fee contract against a company following its acquisition by a multi-billion dollar financial institution.
Honors & Distinctions
Honors and Awards
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Recognized in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers in New York for Litigation: General Commercial (2014 – 2023)
- Named a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation (2022, 2023 Euromoney)
- Included in the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2016 – 2022)
- Included in the Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America (2022, 2023)
- Included in the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers in America (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
- Named among “Super Lawyers,” New York Metro Edition (Law & Politics Magazine, Thomson Reuters, 2013 – 2022)
- Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York (2002-07)
- Honorable Charles S. Haight, Jr., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1997-1998
- Honorable John M. Walker, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1998-1999
- Yale Law School (J.D., 1997)
- Yale University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1994)
Leadership & Professional Memberships
- Member of the Federal Bar Council