Robert Houck is the practice area leader for Americas Litigation & Dispute Resolution. He represents clients in cross-border investigations and complex commercial litigation, including class actions.
He has extensive experience representing companies, underwriters, corporate officers, and outside directors in class actions brought under the Commodity Exchange Act, the U.S. and state antitrust laws, the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940.
- A global bank in connection with multiple federal and regulatory investigations into the collapse of Archegos Capital Management and related securities sales by its prime banks.
- A major financial institution in connection with numerous class actions and regulatory investigations alleging manipulation of LIBOR.
- A Canada-based financial institution in a class action lawsuit alleging manipulation of the USD12 trillion market for debt securities issued by the U.S. Treasury.
- A Chinese multinational banking company in a class action lawsuit alleging manipulation of NYMEX platinum and palladium futures and options prices.
- A major financial institution in connection with a USD50 million fraud claim brought by an option counterparty in California state court.
- A Swiss-based private equity firm in a whistleblower action and related SEC investigation of its expense allocation practices.
News and client work
- Has your U.S. retirement program had a risk checkup lately?, July 2021
- Developments in Commodities Law 2020 - An Uncommon Year in Review, August 2021
- Guide to United States, United Kingdom, and Hong Kong Derivatives and Commodities Market Enforcement Regimes, September 2020
- Spike in Silver Prices Has Similarities to GameStop Trading; Regulators on Alert (Bloomberg Law, March 2021)
- Law and Practice, Chambers and Partners Antitrust Litigation 2020 Guide
September 17, 2020
- 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 frequently works with major financial institutions, hedge funds and investment managers, and is held in high regard for his expert handling of securities litigation and regulatory matters. "He is well versed in securities law and takes a detailed and methodical approach. Clients also love working with him." "He understands how to navigate tricky matters and is good at seeing around the corner."
Chambers USA 2022 – New York Litigation: Securities
- Rob Houck is a terrific attorney, with great strategic sense and amazing analytic skills. He is particularly strong in white collar and securities. John Friel is junior partner who is a rising star.
Legal 500, 2022 – United States: Dispute Resolution Securities litigation: defense – Tier 3
- “Robert Houck frequently works with major financial institutions, hedge funds and investment managers, and is held in high regard for his expert handling of securities litigation and regulatory matters. ‘Extremely deft, knowledgeable and strategic.’ ‘Robert provides clear, direct advice, listens to client concerns and is willing to work with the client to come up with practical solutions.’ ‘He's an excellent lawyer with a strong litigation background and judgment’.”
Chambers USA 2021 – New York Litigation: Securities
- 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