Rick Halper is a principal in the New York office of McKool Smith. His practice includes white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement actions, securities and derivative litigation, antitrust litigation, consumer class actions, accounting malpractice and fraud actions, and complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell. He also served as a special assistant district attorney in Kings County, Brooklyn, New York, where he acted as lead prosecutor or co-counsel in several felony jury trials, including homicide, assault, robbery, weapons possession, and narcotics cases.
After law school, Rick clerked for the Honorable Charles S. Haight Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Rick has also participated in several pro bono activities, including assisting Holocaust survivors in completing applications for benefits under the German Ghetto Work Payment Program, volunteering for the Election Protection effort for the 2008 presidential election, contributing to a handbook for family members of deceased service personnel, and representing a defendant in his appeal of a criminal conviction.
- DFS monitorship. Firm was appointed monitor of an international financial institution as a result of an enforcement action by the New York State Department of Financial Services. During the 18-month monitorship, Rick co-led the McKool Smith team, assisted by forensic consultants, in conducting a historical review of the institution’s conduct in four separate countries and a global review of the institution’s compliance function.
- Thomas, et al., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. Lennox Industries Inc. Counsel for Lennox, one of the world’s leading providers of climate control solutions, in defense of a national class action, involving a putative class of millions of consumers claiming breaches of warranty and unfair trade practices relating to evaporator coil leaks allegedly due to formicary corrosion.
- Cross-border tax evasion and money laundering. Representation of several Swiss banks that participated in the Department of Justice’s Swiss Bank Program.
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation. Counsel for primary external counsel to an international global, mining, oil, and gas company in connection with a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.
- Retractable Technologies Inc. and Thomas J. Shaw v. Becton, Dickinson and Company. Counsel for Becton, Dickinson and Company, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of medical supplies, in an antitrust and false advertising case brought by one of its competitors. The case alleges monopolization of the market for safety syringes and IV catheters, which are products designed to prevent accidental needle sticks that can injure healthcare workers.
- Insider trading investigation. Counsel for former hedge fund portfolio manager in federal criminal and regulatory investigation arising out of the use of expert-network firms.
- Madoff-related matters. Counsel for various entities and individuals, including a renowned Swiss private bank, a Luxembourgian SICAV, and the general counsel of a large feeder fund, in connection with litigation pending in federal, state, and international jurisdictions and federal and state regulatory investigations arising out of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Additionally, represent several individual investors in connection with claims submitted to the Department of Justice Madoff Victim Fund.
- In re ACS Shareholders Litigation. Counsel for the founder and former chairman of Affiliated Computer Services Inc., in litigations challenging then pending merger between ACS and Xerox Corporation. Merger successfully completed and cases settled favorably.
- Reid v. Siniscalchi, et al. Counsel for Finmeccanica S.p.A., one of the top ten global players in aerospace, defense, and security, and related entities in breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, and tortious interference litigation arising out of an unsuccessful joint venture to commercialize Russian satellite orbital slots.
- In the Matter of GH3 International Inc. Counsel for former chief compliance officer of a brokerage firm in connection with SEC investigation into alleged stock manipulation and fraudulent “pump-and-dump” schemes.
- Chemtura bankruptcy. Counsel for former Chairman and CEO of Chemtura in connection with proofs of claim relating to various retirement benefits.
- G.K. Las Vegas Limited Partnership, et al. v. Simon Property Group Inc., et al. Counsel for plaintiffs, founder and former partners of The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, one of the nation’s most successful shopping venues, in fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract litigation against Simon Property Group, the largest public U.S. real estate company.
- In re Crompton Corp. Securities Litigation; Fina v. Calarco, et al. Counsel for former chairman and CEO of Crompton Corporation, a global specialty chemicals company, in federal criminal antitrust investigation and related civil litigation (including multidistrict litigation, securities class action and derivative action). Successfully avoided indictment and any criminal or civil liability.
- In the Matter of Banc of America Investment Services, Inc., et al. Defense of global banking and financial services institution in SEC enforcement action relating to disclosure of its method for selecting proprietary mutual funds in its discretionary wrap fee programs. Negotiated favorable settlement.
- In the Matter of CVS Caremark Corporation, et al. Defense of national retail pharmacy and pharmacy benefits manager in SEC enforcement action relating to alleged inappropriate accounting for a barter transaction. Negotiated favorable settlement imposing no penalty or disgorgement.
- Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System, et al. v. Crawford, et al. Counsel for CVS, national retail pharmacy and pharmacy benefits manager, in litigations challenging then pending merger with Caremark RX, Inc. Defeated motion for preliminary injunction paving way for completion of merger.
- Computer Associates. Counsel for Sanjay Kumar, former chairman and CEO of Computer Associates,Inc., a global IT management software provider in criminal securities fraud action and multiple related civil matters, including securities class actions, derivative actions, and wrongful termination action.
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation. Investigation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations at international tobacco company.
- Federal Criminal Tax Shelter investigation. Counsel for former national law firm in federal criminal tax shelter investigation. Client entered non-prosecution agreement.
- Hays, et al. v. Deloitte & Touche LLP. Counsel for “Big Four” accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP in accounting fraud and malpractice action arising out of the bankruptcy of United Companies Financial Corporation, a diversified financial services company that originated, purchased, pooled, securitized, and serviced sub-prime mortgage loans. Case settled in the middle of trial.
Rankings & Honors
- Recognized as a "Rising Star" in New York by Super Lawyers, 2014
Media & Events
- McKool Smith Named an Honoree for "Global Dispute of the Year" at The American Lawyer 2015 Global Legal Awards09.29.2015
J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1999
B.A., English and History, summa cum laude, Duke University, 1996
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Hon. Charles S. Haight Jr., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- State of New York
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- The U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
- The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- Federal Bar Council