Liddle & Robinson Attorneys at Law New York City

JEFFREY L. LIDDLE is the Founding Partner of Liddle & Robinson, L.L.P., which was formed in June 1979, and was originally known as Liddle, McMillin & Henze. As a renowned NY employment lawyer, Mr. Liddle represents employees and employers in all areas of employment litigation and contract negotiations. Besides practicing regularly in federal and state courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, Mr. Liddle tries many arbitrations, appearing regularly at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NASD Dispute Resolution, Inc. (NASD) and the American Arbitration Association.

Since he began practicing law in 1976, Mr. Liddle has distinguished himself as an experienced New York employment lawyer and one of the leading trial lawyers in the country, having tried to conclusion and won dozens of court cases and arbitrations with claims involving compensation, defamation, unfair competition, discrimination, fraud, breach of contract, wrongful termination and securities-related issues.

Since 2002, Mr. Liddle has worked on numerous cases that have exposed misconduct by Wall Street securities firms, and in particular, the conflicts of interest that existed between the firms’ investment banking and research departments. Mr. Liddle’s work in this area has led to significant media coverage. Mr. Liddle was featured prominently in the book Blood on the Street: The Sensational Inside Story of How Wall Street Analysts Duped a Generation of Investors (Free Press: 2005), written by the well-known business journalist, Charles Gasparino. He was also profiled in the July 19, 2004 edition of Newsweek in a story titled “Hosing Down Wall Street: Lawyer Jeff Liddle finds the dirt on big financial firms".

Mr. Liddle is currently lead trial counsel in one of the largest securities industry arbitrations in history, representing over 40 former high-level Robertson, Stephens, Inc. investment bankers with compensation and related claims valued in excess of $500 million.

Mr. Liddle has won several of the largest defamation cases in the history of securities arbitration, as well as perhaps the first and many of the other leading arbitrations involving wrongfully withheld compensation for high-level securities industry executives, including salesmen, traders, investment bankers and analysts. Mr. Liddle has also won several of the leading cases of wrongful termination within the securities industry, by invoking and refining a rarely used legal doctrine stating that licensed securities industry executives are subject to termination for “just cause” only.

Most recently, in February 2006, Mr. Liddle was an integral part of a trial team that won a $1 million jury verdict for Philip Spartis, a former Citigroup stockbroker based in Atlanta, Georgia, on a defamation claim against a lawyer who had posted false allegations against him on a web site. The web site was designed to solicit clients who would, in turn, bring claims against Mr. Spartis and Citigroup regarding the management of their brokerage accounts. The verdict, one of the first of its type in the country, included $600,000 in punitive damages and $400,000 in compensatory damages.

In August 2001, Mr. Liddle won for an individual client against Waddell & Reed the second largest punitive damages award ever in arbitration ($25 million), in addition to over $2 million in compensatory damages and almost $1 million in attorneys’ fees, on a claim under Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act. After a successful appeal by Waddell & Reed, the punitive damages aspect of the case was re-tried and the same arbitration panel again awarded Mr. Sawtelle $25 million. Waddell & Reed appealed again, and an appellate court ordered a new arbitration to re-hear the punitive damages issue. In December 2005, in order to avoid the uncertainties of continued litigation, Mr. Sawtelle and Waddell & Reed settled the punitive damages part of the case for $7.9 million. Counting compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorneys' fees and expenses, Mr. Liddle recovered over $10 million for Mr. Sawtelle.

In October 2000, Mr. Liddle won a defamation and wrongful termination claim against Merrill Lynch for a financial consultant who had worked in the firm’s Oakbrook, Illinois branch office, including $1,025,000 on the defamation claim, $515,000 on the wrongful termination claim, $250,000 in punitive damages, $250,000 in attorneys’ fees and over $107,000 in expenses, in addition to $116,800 in forum fees assessed against Merrill Lynch. In October 1993, Mr. Liddle won a defamation and unpaid compensation claim on behalf of a Dean Witter branch manager who had managed the firm’s Nashville, Tennessee branch office. The arbitration panel in that case awarded $728,250 in compensatory damages and $750,000 in punitive damages, in addition to $213,000 in attorneys’ fees. In one of the earliest securities industry defamation awards, in 1991 Mr. Liddle won $1 million in defamation damages for a former PaineWebber high-yield fixed income salesman, in addition to obtaining an award forgiving $775,000 on a promissory note the client signed in relation to compensation the firm had advanced to him.

Mr. Liddle’s extensive experience and reputation for aggressive and zealous advocacy have resulted in his settling through direct negotiation and mediation hundreds of cases for his many individual clients, with a total recovery of over $250 million.

Besides representing individuals and corporations, Mr. Liddle is well known for representing large groups of employees from the same and related departments of the leading domestic and foreign securities firms who are terminated in mass-layoffs, including L.F. Rothschild, PaineWebber, Advest, Legg Mason and Robertson, Stephens, Inc. In one high publicity case, Mr. Liddle represented 39 employees from CSFB’s Municipal Finance Department who were fired in 1994, and as reported in the Wall Street Journal, obtained a multimillion-dollar settlement for the group, in addition to winning a substantial arbitration award for one of the members of the department who elected not to settle.

In recognition of his many successes, reporters from leading business and news publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, Newsweek, Investment Dealers’ Digest, Securities Week, The Bond Buyer, Bloomberg, Reuters and The Economist frequently solicit Mr. Liddle’s views and commentary on his cases, compensation issues and employment and other practices in the securities industry.

Mr. Liddle has also appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNBC, CNN and other television networks and radio stations over the years. Mr. Liddle has also testified on a number of occasions before NASD and NYSE blue-ribbon panels with respect to securities arbitration, has testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on discrimination in the securities industry and has served on a number of panels, including as a panelist during the summer of 2000 on the Practicing Law Institute’s highly regarded annual securities arbitration seminar.

As a leading NYC employment attorney, Mr. Liddle has written extensively on legal issues, including authoring the leading scholarly articles summarizing New York’s unfair competition law.

Mr. Liddle was born in Aurora, Illinois. He graduated from Cornell University in 1971 and New York University School of Law in 1976. At NYU Law School Mr. Liddle was a Root-Tilden Scholar. He resides in New York City with his wife, Tara, and two children, Alexa and Harry.

Lawyer Headshot

Jeffrey L. Liddle

Managing Partner

Liddle & Robinson, L.L.P.

1177 Avenue of the Americas, 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10036
Tel: (646) 452-7211  Fax: (646) 452-7001

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