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.
Mr. Ziegler has served as arbitrator in more than 70 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 in "Band 1" for international arbitrators. (He is sufficiently fond of the comments published in Chambers offered by arbitrators with whom he has served and counsel who have appeared before him that they are reproduced at the bottom of this page from the 2021, 2022, and 2023 Guides.)
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 branded 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 was Co-Director of the "Comprehensive Course in International Arbitration" sponsored jointly by the New York Branch and Columbia Law School, from 2019 through 2021. In 2019 he was Co-Director of the New York Branch's “Accelerated Route to Fellowship” program and previously was on the faculty of that 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:
Scope of this statement. This statement explains the extent of the disclosures I am committed to making in any prospective matter. It also explains the categories of relationships that I view as too slight or attenuated to warrant disclosure and identifies certain practical constraints on my ability to disclose some relationships.
My conflicts database and usual disclosures. I maintain a conflicts database in which I enter the names of the parties, counsel and any co-arbitrators in each of the matters in which I have participated as a neutral. For any prospective assignment my practice is to disclose whether I have previously been or am currently engaged in any matter in which the persons or entities identified as participants in the prospective matter have appeared. Consistent with the disclosure expectations of the various institutional administrators of arbitration proceedings, I also endeavor to disclose any other non-trivial or non-casual professional, social, familial or other relationship that I can recall having had with any person identified to me as participating in a new potential proceeding, subject to the limitations described in this statement.
Database limitations. I do not include in my conflicts database the names of expert or fact witnesses, corporate representatives or entities that are corporate affiliates of the parties that have appeared in my matters. I also do not enter the names of lawyers who were not initially identified as participating in a matter and who appear thereafter in only a minor capacity; I supplement my conflicts database when necessary to identify any additional counsel who take on a significant role. Consequently, I am typically not able to disclose any participation in my prior matters by fact or expert witnesses, corporate representatives or late-assigned attorneys with minor roles, and I am also unable to disclose if an entity involved in a prospective matter may be a corporate affiliate of a party in one of my matters. I will, however, endeavor to disclose the participation of any such persons or affiliations if I am aware of it.
Because expert witnesses associated with the leading expert consulting firms frequently participate in my matters (e.g., FTI Consulting, Charles River Associates, NERA, Compass Lexecon, or one of the major accounting firms), I will not disclose if an organization with which a newly-identified expert is associated has been associated with different expert witnesses who have previously appeared before me.
I do not maintain a record of inquiries I receive concerning possible selections to serve as a neutral that do not result in actual appointments and therefore am unable to disclose such inquiries.
My colleague Noah Hanft at AcumenADR LLC and I do not share any income; AcumenADR's activities are limited solely to providing services to us for which we pay equal shares. We also do not share any confidential information concerning any of our matters. Consequently, I do not know, and do not seek to find out, if any of the parties or counsel in my matters currently are or previously were associated in some way with Noah.
Subsequent relationships. Once I have undertaken a matter I will disclose any relationships that arise thereafter while the matter is pending that involve any of that matter’s participants of which I become aware. I typically decline to be considered for potential appointments where a party or lawyer involved in the prospective matter is participating in a matter in which I am currently serving as a neutral; I will entertain potential appointments involving a law firm that is currently appearing before me if none of the specific lawyers or parties is participating in the current matter.
Attenuated relationships. 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. I do not keep records of the membership of the professional organizations of which I am a member or of the other attendees of the various professional conferences I attend or at which I speak. Consequently, I do not disclose any such relationships. I will disclose, however, if I am aware that I have served as a moderator of, or speaker on, a conference panel on which someone who is identified as a participant in a prospective matter has also served as a speaker or moderator. I do not disclose if persons I have “befriended” or “connected” on LinkedIn or other social media sites, most of whom I have never met, are identified as participants in a prospective matter.
The professional meetings that I frequently attend include: 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 am an adjunct member of the New York City Bar Association’s International Commercial Disputes Committee but I have chosen not to attend any of that committee’s meetings during the pendency of an arbitration proceeding in which I serve on the tribunal because two members of the committee are counsel in the pending proceeding.
My prior professional associations. I retired from Jenner & Block LLP on May 31, 2019 to establish my independent practice as an arbitrator and mediator. I withdrew as a partner from Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton on December 31, 2002 to become Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs, and General Counsel of the 3M Company. After those dates I ceased to have access to either law firm’s conflicts database. 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. Consequently, I cannot disclose any connections my two prior law firms or their past or current attorneys may have with the participants in any matter in which I participate as a neutral. I will, however, disclose any personal connection I recall having with any participants in the course of my multi-decade career as outside litigation counsel.
Financial interests. I do not review reports of my professional investment managers to learn if I or my wife own securities of a prospective party; 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 assets. I will, however, disclose if I am aware or become aware that I or my wife own securities issued by a party or party affiliate in a proceeding for which I am being considered to serve, or am serving, as a neutral.
Family relationships. My wife is a retired attorney, one of my sons and my daughter-in-law are each partners in law firms in Toronto, Canada, and my son-in-law is an in-house attorney at a university in New York. I do not have access to any of their professional relationships and make no effort to determine if they have any connections to any participant in any of my matters.
Recommendations/references. From time to time I write recommendations for various professionals upon request and on occasion I request others to serve as a reference for me. I do not maintain any record of such recommendations or requests. I will disclose that I have made such a recommendation, or requested that a person serve as a reference, if I recall having done so with respect to a person identified as a participant in a prospective matter. To minimize this disclosure practice, when organizations, such as the Chambers Guide, request that I identify references, I typically list, for a given time period, all counsel who have appeared before me and all co-arbitrators with whom I have served in completed matters, without ascertaining their willingness to respond. As a result, I do not disclose that I have identified such persons on such objectively-determined lists.
Parties and counsel considering me for appointment as a neutral are welcome to seek clarifying or follow-up information from me (through the case manager, if applicable) if they wish.