Richard F. Ziegler is an experienced arbitrator in international and domestic matters and an accredited mediator, including for international matters. As a former general counsel of a major multi-national company and a former outside litigation counsel with extensive experience over four decades in financial, technology-intensive and regulatory matters, Mr. Ziegler is well equipped to manage and fairly arbitrate or mediate complex disputes.
Mr. Ziegler’s proficiency and comfort with the use of technology in dispute resolution proceedings is illustrated by his work as Chair of the Task Force on Remote Video Arbitration Proceedings convened by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (“CPR”) in April, 2020 to respond to the increased need for remote proceedings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. CPR published the Task Force’s “Annotated Model Procedural Order for Remote Video Arbitration Proceedings” on April 21, 2020 and updated on August 26, 2021.
Since the spring of 2020 Mr. Ziegler has participated in more than 50 days of merits hearings conducted remotely in a dozen international and domestic cases, with participants in the former logging-in from, among other locations, Beijing, Perth, Hong Kong, and Salzburg.
Mr. Ziegler has served as arbitrator in more than 50 arbitration proceedings in recent years. His assignments have been roughly evenly divided between domestic and international cases. He has served as chair, sole and co-arbitrator in matters administered by the ICC, ICDR, HKIAC, CPR and AAA and in ad hoc cases. He is listed in Chambers Global and Chambers USA as an international arbitrator based in the United States. (He is sufficiently fond of the comments that appear in Chambers' 2021 and 2022 editions that they are reproduced at the bottom of this page.)
He is a Fellow of both the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the College of Commercial Arbitrators and a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He is a member of the panels of arbitrators maintained by the International Centre for Dispute Resolution ("ICDR"), the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") (Large Complex Case Panel and Aerospace, Aviation and National Security Panel), the Silicon Valley Arbitration & Mediation Center ("Tech List") and the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution ("CPR") (National Panel of Distinguished Neutrals; General Counsel Panel; Technology (patent) Panel; Financial Services Panel; Cross-Border Panel).
Mr. Ziegler has served as Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics and early in his career served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan.
Recent ADR Engagements:
The commercial disputes Mr. Ziegler has handled span numerous industries, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, industrial/manufacturing, medical devices, biotech, oil & gas, chemicals, software, professional services and alcoholic beverages. The amounts at issue have ranged from the low millions to more than $1.5 billion.
The various merits hearings in which he participated as chair, sole or co-arbitrator in recent years include:
Mr. Ziegler is committed to helping achieve arbitration's potential for prompt, cost-efficient and fair dispute resolution. In two recent matters in which the parties jointly sought expedited proceedings, he succeeded in conducting evidentiary hearings and issuing final, reasoned awards in less than 90 days from his appointment.
Mr. Ziegler also acts as mediator in complex business disputes, and is certified as a mediator in international matters by London’s Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. His recent experience as mediator includes mediating the break-up of a joint manufacturing venture between Asian and U.S. partners; a large fee dispute between lawyer and client; a “business divorce” between co-owners of an investment firm; a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets in the context of a terminating joint venture; and a dispute between a law firm and a former partner.
Preparation for ADR Work:
Before he began accepting assignments as an ADR neutral a few years ago, Mr. Ziegler enjoyed a multi-faceted career that prepared him to perform ADR roles effectively:
Mr. Ziegler’s career has given him a deep understanding of business imperatives and strategies, cross-border business disputes and the need for efficient, fair and timely dispute resolution.
Subject Matter Experience
Mr. Ziegler’s experience as both General Counsel at 3M and as outside litigation counsel at Cleary, Gottlieb and Jenner & Block has given him meaningful subject matter experience in a wide variety of legal issues and claims, in the context of several different industries. A large number of his engagements as counsel involved financial and securities issues, mergers & acquisitions, as well as technology issues, including patent disputes and commercial claims concerning technologically-complex products, components and systems. His assignments as arbitrator and mediator in recent years — which are described in the Overview section — have drawn on much of this experience.
Here’s a summary:
Mr. Ziegler’s practice as outside counsel involved a lot of work for financial services clients – broker-dealers, investment banks, asset managers and the like -- and clients in the aerospace, defense, automotive and telecommunications industries, including manufacturers of propulsion systems, aircraft components, aircraft and automobiles.
Mr. Ziegler’s senior role at 3M necessarily immersed him in the many industries in which 3M participated with its diversified portfolio of technologies and products. These included health care, including drug delivery systems; bandages; orthodontic products; health information systems; and pharmaceuticals (under Mr. Ziegler’s supervision 3M divested its global pharmaceutical business); industrial products, including chemicals and abrasives; personal safety and security equipment, including respiratory protection; air and water filtration; transportation, including highway markings and signs and automotive fasteners and other components; graphics and optical systems; electronic components; and the consumer products for which the company is best known, such as Scotch® tape and Post-It Notes®.
Mr. Ziegler has long since lost track of the number of disputes he has handled as lead counsel involving supply contracts, long-term agreements, distribution contracts, consortium agreements, joint ventures, stockholder agreements, partnership agreements, merger and acquisition/divestiture agreements, employment contracts and insurance policies. He acted as lead counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants in matters involving such legal theories as breach of contract, breach of warranty, breach of fiduciary duties, tortious inducement of breach of contract and interference with prospective contractual relations, misappropriation of trade secrets, civil RICO, fraud, antitrust claims (including attempted monopolization and agreements in restraint of trade), negligent misrepresentation and alleged violations of unfair and deceptive trade practices statutes. He has significant experience in class actions, including having tried a class action involving executive compensation claims.
Mr. Ziegler has significant experience with sophisticated financial instruments including credit default swaps, residential mortgage and other asset-backed securities, interest rate swaps and other derivatives. He acted as lead counsel in matters involving broker-dealer regulation, investment management matters governed by ERISA, insider trading, and federal securities laws including tender offer, proxy contest, merger & acquisition, public securities offering and bond indenture disputes. At 3M Mr. Ziegler served as a director of 3M’s investment management company, which supervised the investment portfolio of its multi-billion dollar pension fund.
Technology/Intellectual Property/Environmental Disputes:
Mr. Ziegler handled numerous commercial disputes involving complex technology issues arising in such areas as chemistry, electronics, aerodynamics, materials science and computer software, involving products such as printed circuit boards, aircraft engine thrust reversers, bullets, fire-fighting equipment, flight simulators, gas turbine propulsion systems and auxiliary power units, helicopter ball bearings and video games. As outside counsel Mr. Ziegler first-chaired patent trials and as General Counsel at 3M he supervised a substantial number of patent and other IP disputes. His work at 3M also included responsibility for significant environmental litigation arising from a chemical compound of which 3M was the exclusive producer, and multiple product liability claims. In his private practice Mr. Ziegler was lead counsel in environmental matters and other land-use disputes.
Insurance Coverage Disputes:
Mr. Ziegler has represented clients in multiple insurance matters, including relating to D&O, fidelity/dishonesty, ERISA/fiduciary, property & casualty and comprehensive liability policies in contexts including environmental, product liability, theft, and corporate shareholder derivative claims. As General Counsel at 3M he addressed issues arising from complex prior-period coverage towers for asbestos and environmental contamination claims.
As outside litigation counsel, Mr. Ziegler first-chaired numerous bench and jury trials and was lead counsel in multiple domestic and international arbitrations. The scope of Mr. Ziegler’s experience as outside litigation counsel is illustrated by the significant decisions he won in federal and state appellate courts, including in the US Courts of Appeals for the 2d Circuit (Ceres v. Gel Partners, changing the limitations period in SEC Rule 10b5 actions), 8th Circuit (Tonka v. Luthi, determining the criteria for vicarious liability in civil RICO actions); Federal Circuit, en banc (Honeywell v. Hamilton Sundstrand, narrowing the scope of patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents), the Delaware Supreme Court, en banc (Arnold v. Society for Savings, clarifying the scope of director protection from monetary damages for disclosure violations) and the New York Court of Appeals (NBT Bancorp v. Fleet/Norstar, clarifying the law of tortious interference in the merger context).
His arbitration work as outside counsel included commercial disputes involving supply and distributorship agreements and complex technological issues. The parties included governments, major multi-national companies, and smaller enterprises in Brazil, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Thailand, Norway, the United States and elsewhere.
Mr. Ziegler chairs the Education Committee of the New York Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and is Co-Director of the "Comprehensive Course in International Arbitration" sponsored jointly by the New York Branch and Columbia Law School, offered annually each Spring in New York City. In 2019 he was Co-Director of the New York Branch's “Accelerated Route to Fellowship” program.
A former chair of the Committee on Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar Association, Mr. Ziegler taught a seminar on ethics and complex litigation at Columbia Law School for three semesters (1997-2000) and was a member of the faculty of the winter trial advocacy program at Cardozo Law School for many years.
Drawing on his experience as in-house and outside counsel, Mr. Ziegler has been a frequent author and speaker on both arbitration and mediation, as well as on compliance and governance matters. Here are some of his speaking engagements:
In the News
Ziegler Chairs CPR Task Force on Remote Video Arbitration Proceedings; CPR Launches Model Procedural Rule With Annotations, April 21, 2020
"Former in-house counsel launch New York arbitrator boutique" - Global Arbitration Review (subscription)
"Former MasterCard, 3M General Counsel Form New ADR Firm" - New York Law Journal, Law.com, Corporate Counsel
"Former MasterCard, 3M GCs Start Dispute Resolution Venture" - Law360 (subscription)
Mr. Ziegler has published numerous articles in the National Law Journal, Business Lawyer and other publications on various litigation-related topics, including the importance of civility in litigation practice. His more recent articles have focused largely on topics related to alternative dispute resolution. His publications include:
I retired from Jenner & Block LLP on May 31, 2019 and after that date ceased to have access to the firm’s conflicts database. As of that date I also ceased to have any ethical obligations to firm clients for whom I had not personally rendered services or otherwise obtained any confidential information. Escaping the imputed conflicts of interest that accompany partnership in a major law firm was a key reason for my choice to retire from the Jenner partnership and establish my independent practice as arbitrator and mediator.
I am a member of numerous legal, ADR-related and other organizations (pertinent ones are identified on the list of Professional Affiliations on this website). I attend various conferences on legal and non-legal topics, typically including meetings sponsored by the New York International Arbitration Center, the New York Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the annual meeting of CPR and meetings of its Arbitration Committee, the annual meeting in New York of the ICC, meetings of the International Arbitration Club of New York, meetings of the College of Commercial Arbitrators, meetings of the Silicon Valley Arbitration and Mediation Center and one of the twice-yearly meetings of the Association of General Counsel, of which I am an emeritus member. I occasionally attend meetings of the International Bar Association and its arbitration and mediation committees. I do not maintain records of the other participants in such events or members of such organizations, and in making the required disclosures associated with being considered for a new assignment, I do not purport to seek to identify whether any of the persons associated in any way with the potential proceeding have attended the same conferences or meetings or are members of the same organizations, as I do not believe any such attenuated connections could reasonably be considered to affect my impartiality or independence. The same is true with respect to persons I have “befriended” or “linked” on LinkedIn or other social media sites, many of whom I have never met.
Of course, I will diligently disclose if I know that I have a personal, social, familial or professional relationship with any person identified to me as associated with a new potential proceeding. Also, I maintain and will check records of all the persons and entities who have participated in all prior arbitrations and mediations in which I have served as arbitrator or mediator. I will also disclose if I recall that I represented any such person or entity, or was adverse, in the course of my career as outside counsel. Finally, I do not review reports of my professional investment managers to learn if I or my wife own securities of a prospective party because I do not have input into the managers' selection of specific investments and no one issuer's securities account for a material portion of our investments; I will, however, disclose if I am aware or become aware that I or my wife own securities issued by a party or other significant participant in a proceeding for which I am being considered to serve, or am serving, as an ADR neutral.