David A. Barrett
t: 212 446 2310
f: 212 446 2350
Areas of Practice
Columbia Law School, J.D., 1974; Ordronaux Prize (first in graduating class); James Kent Scholar; Columbia Law Review, Contributing Editor
Harvard University, A.B., cum laude, History and Literature, 1971; John Harvard Scholarship
Justice Thurgood Marshall, United States Supreme Court, 1976-1977 Judge Wilfred Feinberg, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1974-1975
United States Supreme Court
United States District Courts: Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York
David Barrett's main practice areas include antitrust, appellate, commercial and insurance litigation, intellectual property, class actions, arbitration and mediation, and securities litigation.
Mr. Barrett was co-lead counsel for the plaintiff class in winning a securities class action on behalf of investors in Fairfield Greenwich, the largest “feeder fund” to Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi fraud. After more than seven years of litigation which entailed overcoming particularly challenging factual and legal hurdles and achieving precedent-setting rulings, plaintiffs obtained settlements totaling over $235 million. This is by far the largest recovery for shareholders in a Madoff feeder fund, and Mr. Barrett and BSF partner Stuart Singer received recognition as Litigators of the Week by The American Lawyer.
In recent years, Mr. Barrett defended Man Group plc in a securities class action arising from Man’s spin-off of MF Global. In that case, MF Global’s market cap fell by $1.1 billion after the firm’s risk control system failed to detect massive unauthorized speculation in wheat futures. Facing strict liability for that loss based on alleged misstatements in MF Global’s IPO prospectus, Mr. Barrett engineered a $33 million settlement for Man Group after dismissal of the complaint in the district court was reversed on appeal.
Mr. Barrett has represented a number of hedge funds and other financial firms in contract and fraud litigation arising from the financial crisis. He developed critical legal arguments in the firm’s representation of the co-founder of AriZona Iced Tea in the largest corporate dissolution proceeding in New York history, which settled after a billion-dollar award by the court.
Mr. Barrett won summary judgment, upheld on appeal, for Fresh Del Monte against class-action monopolization claims based on alleged patent misuse; represented the Attorney General of Mississippi as special counsel in antitrust litigation against Microsoft that achieved the largest per capita settlement of any of such suits brought by multiple states; successfully represented a dozen hedge funds in pursuing claims for hundreds of millions of dollars against JPMorgan Chase and Citicorp for assisting Enron in obtaining bank loans through fraudulent accounting practices; and won summary judgment for Goldman Sachs in securities fraud litigation.
Mr. Barrett’s major matters also include winning an $80 million arbitration award against a major international insurer in a coverage dispute concerning an unusual financial guaranty policy; victories at trial and on appeal for a leading international bank sued for fraud by foreign exchange trading customers; recovering millions of dollars on breach of fiduciary duty claims against a major bank trustee; representation of the FDIC in claims against officers, directors and auditors of failed banks that led to recoveries of over $100 million; and responsibility in hotly-contested litigation over fashion industry sales practices for a score of expert witnesses in fields as diverse as economics, marketing, survey research and fashion design.
Mr. Barrett has argued and briefed dozens of appeals in courts including the New York Appellate Division, multiple federal Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. In the Fairfield case alone, these included four appeals to the Second Circuit and in the AriZona case, more than a half dozen appeals.
Mr. Barrett serves on the Board of Visitors of Columbia Law School and is a long-time board member of Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children. He is a member of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer's Judicial Screening Panel, and has been a court-appointed receiver nominated by the SEC to administer disgorgement funds recovered by the government in securities fraud cases. His wife Didi Barrett is a member of the New York State Assembly.
Selected Professional Awards and Associations
New York City Bar Association
Declaratory Judgments for Libel, 74 Cal.L.Rev. 847 (1986), reprinted in Reforming Libel Law (ed. J.Soloski & R. Bezanson 1992)
Constitutional Limitations on Discriminatory State Tax Laws, New York University Second Annual Institute on State & Local Taxation (1984)
Stuart Singer and David Barrett Named Litigators of the Week (January 8, 2016)
54 BSF Attorneys Recognized as Top Lawyers in 2013 Super Lawyers Magazine (2013 Super Lawyers)
The BSF Report: Spring 2013 (03.08.2013)
BSF Attorneys Negotiate Settlement for Madoff ‘Feeder Fund’ Investors (November 6, 2012)
Harvard Art Museums Receive Gift of Outsider Art from Didi and David Barrett (October 21, 2011)
In Warhol Art Case, BSF's Defense is a Good Offense (Firm Newsletter Spring 2011)
After a Decade of Antitrust Litigation, An Extra-Sweet Victory for Fresh Del Monte (Firm Newsletter Spring 2011)
Sixteen BSF Attorneys Named 2010 New York Super Lawyers -- Metro Edition (2010 New York Super Lawyers -- Metro Edition)
Firm Report: May 2009 (May 2009)
Firm Report: July 2008 (07.28.2008)
BSF's Client ConnectU Finds New Evidence Against Facebook (June 5, 2008)
Firm Report: January 2008 (Vol. 3, Issue I) (01.22.2008)
Firm Report: July/August 2007 (Vol. 2, Issue II) (08.22.2007)
Firm Report: March 2006 (Vol. 1, Issue I) (03.01.2006)
United States Department of Justice, Office of Legislative Affairs, Special Counsel - Legislation