Robert Houck represents clients in government investigations and complex commercial litigation with a specific focus on cross-border matters. He has specific expertise in complex trading and markets issues. Robert has represented corporations and individuals in connection with regulatory investigations before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Stock Exchange, various state attorneys general and numerous non-US regulators.
Robert has extensive experience representing companies, underwriters, corporate officers, and outside directors in class actions brought under the Commodity Exchange Act, the US and state antitrust laws, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.
Robert is a member of our global Shareholder Risk team.
- Representing a major financial institution in connection with numerous class actions and regulatory investigations alleging manipulation of LIBOR and other interest rate benchmarks
- Represented a major financial institution on injunction and attachment proceedings in New York Supreme Court arising out of disputed oil rights in Nigeria and a related case in London
- Represented a major financial institution in connection with its multi-billion dollar real estate private equity opportunity fund and its $650 million settlement with limited partners
- Represented a major financial institution in 310 coordinated class actions challenging underwriter practices in IPOs and alleging tens of billions of dollars in damages
News and client work
- Restraints of trade and dominance in the United States: Overview, Thompson Reuters Practical Law (June 1, 2020)
- Extraterritorial enforcement of the commodities, securities and antitrust laws: A growing confluence, Futures and Derivatives Law Report, Volume 40, Issue 3 (March 2020)
- DOJ Task Force To Investigate Antitrust Crimes in Government Procurement, Pratt's Government Contracting Law Report, Volume 6 Issue 3 (March 2020)
- Guide to United States and United Kingdom derivative and commodity market enforcement regimes, April 2019
- Antitrust Litigation: Law and Practice in the US, Chambers Global Practice Guide Antitrust Litigation 2019
- Understanding and Preparing for the Convergence of US Criminal Antitrust Enforcement with Anti-Manipulation Laws Regulating Derivatives, FX, Cryptocurrency, Futures, Options and other Commodities under the Commodity Exchange Act, Volume 39, Issue 1 (January 2019)
- A Bridge Too Far: CFTC's 'Reckless' Manipulation Theory
Law360, January 2019
- 2018 Priorities and Policies of U.S. Derivatives and Commodities Enforcement Authorities: From The Exchange To The Regulator To The Criminal Prosecutor
Moderator, September 25, 2018, New York
- U.S. Market Manipulation: Has Congress Given the CFTC Greater Latitude than the SEC to Prosecute Open Market Trading as Unlawful Manipulation? It's Doubtful, Futures and Derivatives Law Report, Volume 38, Issue 6 (June 2018)
Career and qualifications
- Cornell University (AB Government, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) 1993
- Columbia School of Law (JD, Harlan Fiske Stone scholar) 1996
- Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in New York 1997
- Admitted as an Attorney-at-Law in United States District Courts for Southern and Eastern Districts of New York 1999
- Joined Clifford Chance 1996
- Partner since 2005
Awards and citations
- Robert Houck has been ranked in Chambers USA: Litigation - Securities. He is "a really brilliant guy who is very commercial, very focused on business needs and very effective at dealing with regulators," according to impressed peers. His broad litigation practice includes defending against securities class actions, as well as advising on enforcement actions and criminal investigations.
Chambers USA 2019 - Litigation: Securities (New York)
- Robert Houck has been ranked in Chambers USA - Litigation: Securities (New York). Robert Houck is highlighted by interviewees for his “impressive advocacy skill" and comes recommended as a “quick study on complex facts." He is well regarded for his ability to "expertly handle complex civil litigation as well as government enforcement investigations" involving the SEC and DOJ, as well as foreign regulators.
Chambers USA 2017 - Litigation: Securities
- Robert Houck is increasingly recognized for his extensive securities litigation and regulatory enforcement practice, drawing particular praise for his "especially strong experience in cross-border litigation." Interviewees praise his ability to "navigate clients through potentially treacherous situations."
Chambers USA 2016 – Litigation: Securities