Randy M. Mastro, a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is Co-Chair of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group, which The American Lawyer has named “Litigation Department of the Year” three out of its last five competitions and a finalist five times in a row – both unprecedented achievements. He also serves on the Firm’s Management and Executive Committees.
Mr. Mastro routinely ranks among the nation’s leading litigators and trial lawyers in surveys of corporate counsel and other practitioners. Last year, Mr. Mastro was named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by Chambers USA, a “Litigation Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal, and a “Trial Lawyer MVP” by Law360. Indeed, in each of the last four years, he has been nominated “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by Chambers USA or Benchmark or both, receiving top honors twice. The National Law Journal named him among the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” recognizing him as one of the “100 lawyers in the United States who have shaped the legal world through their work,” and noting that “his ease in the courtroom, delivery of arguments and command of the law have made Randy one of the most in-demand attorneys in the country by big-name clients.” The American Lawyer cited him among “the best known, most-respected litigators in the country.” In Chambers USA, he is described as “one of the top litigators” and “trial lawyers” “in the country,” praised for his “exceptional public reputation” as a “tough, smart,” “outstanding” trial lawyer who is “in a class by himself,” “masters the facts of a case quicker than anyone I’ve ever met,” “delivers fantastically well in court,” “can take on anyone,” is “so persuasive,” and “has a great mind.” In The Legal 500—US Edition, he has been featured among the “Leading Trial Lawyers” in the country, with corporate counsel saying he is “immensely impressive,” “simply excellent,” “flawless,” “captivating,” “in a league of his own” in the courtroom, and “deserves an Academy Award” for “bringing a sense of drama and theater to his courtroom appearances.” Benchmark has described him as a “brilliant and effective litigator” who is “perennially revered” and “always brings a fresh perspective and will fight you to the end,” with peers noting, “You do not want to meet Randy down a dark alley, but you REALLY don’t want to meet him in a lighted courtroom,” and “I’ve seen him at work and I can only imagine that going against him must be like wrestling an alligator.” Benchmark also honored his achievements in “National Impact Cases” in 2015, 2017 and 2018. The New York Times has called him “the go-to lawyer for companies” suing the government, a “household name,” and a “fierce and combative litigator;” and The New Yorker has described him as a “merciless litigator,” “even by the pugilistic standards of the New York bar,” who “springs to life” and “is transfixing” in “the courtroom.”
Among many high-profile matters, Mr. Mastro won a two-month RICO trial barring the enforcement of a $9 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron that The American Lawyer called “The Case of the Century.” Moreover, he won a month-long trial against the SEC, obtaining the dismissal of all charges against high-profile entrepreneur, Lynn Tilton, and thereby defeating the largest individual enforcement action the SEC ever brought before its in-house tribunal, where it typically wins 90 percent of the time. Mr. Mastro also led the successful effort to defeat New York City’s controversial West Side Stadium project, and he represented the State of New Jersey in conducting a high-profile investigation into allegations concerning the “Bridgegate” controversy. He has tried dozens of cases in private practice and as a federal prosecutor, and he has also argued more than 100 appeals in federal and state appellate courts throughout the country.
Mr. Mastro has represented such clients as AIG, Chevron, Amazon, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Estee Lauder, Madison Square Garden, Cablevision, Dow Jones, Verizon, Dart, DraftKings, Home Depot, Daimler, Wynn, JPMorgan, GE Capital, Park Place/Caesar’s, Quest Diagnostics, IAC, Bear Stearns, Bank of New York Mellon, Empire Merchants, Edison Schools, Lynn Tilton, Peter Kalikow, Vornado, LeFrak Organization, Saks, Ziff Davis, UBS Financial Services, Octagon, Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, and Steffi Graf.
Before returning to Gibson Dunn in 1998, Mr. Mastro served as Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Chief of Staff and then as New York City’s Deputy Mayor for Operations. In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing all of the City’s operating agencies and budget, and served as the Mayor’s chief liaison with elected officials. In the Mayor’s absence, he was authorized to act on the Mayor’s behalf. While in the Giuliani administration from 1994 to 1998, Mr. Mastro spearheaded City initiatives to remove organized crime from the Fulton Fish Market, private carting industry, and San Gennaro Festival. For two consecutive years, NY1-TV named Mr. Mastro one of City government’s “Winners of the Year,” and Manhattan File magazine featured him among the “45 Most Powerful New Yorkers 45 and Under.”
In the early 1990s, Mr. Mastro was a Gibson Dunn litigation partner. In 1990, he served as Associate Counsel on the Independent Counsel investigation of HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce. In 1991, he was appointed Special Master and Monitor of the assets of a Saudi tycoon implicated in the BCCI scandal.
From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Mastro served as Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Civil Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he specialized in organized crime cases and spearheaded the federal government’s landmark racketeering suit that put the International Brotherhood of Teamsters into court supervision. Seven Days magazine named him one of “the 25 prosecutors and defenders other lawyers most admire, fear and talk about.” From 1982 to 1985, Mr. Mastro was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he was part of the successful libel defense trial team in Westmoreland v. CBS. Before that, upon graduating cum laude from Yale College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he was the school’s moot court champion, Mr. Mastro clerked for Justice Alan B. Handler of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Mastro received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award, the John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement, and the Director’s Award for Superior Performance, among other honors. Since then, he has been honored many times, receiving, for example, the Simon Rifkind Award from the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Civic Leadership Award from the Citizens Union of the City of New York, and the Lumbard Bowl, awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (in consultation with prior U.S. Attorneys) to distinguished alumni.
Mr. Mastro has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham Law Schools. He authored articles in the Federal Communications Law Journal, Fordham Law Review, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, and Seton Hall Law Review. His op-ed pieces have appeared in The New York Times, Daily News, and New York Post, and he also wrote for the Washington Post and Time. He co-authored the chapters, “White Collar Crime,” in Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, and, “Energy,” in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts.
Mr. Mastro has been a member of the bars of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and many federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He chaired two New York City Charter Revision Commissions. In addition, Mr. Mastro serves as Chair of the Citizens Union of the City of New York, Co-Chair of the Hamptons International Film Festival, and Vice Chair of the Legal Aid Society of New York City, as well as on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
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