Samuel I. Portnoy

Samuel I. Portnoy

Director, Business & Commercial Litigation

This attorney has been selected for the recognitions mentioned herein, which have been conferred by the corresponding publications and/or organizations noted. An overview of the award selection methodologies for these recognitions can be found at Links to certain specific methodologies are embedded in individual entries. Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Mr. Portnoy is a business litigator who handles major commercial disputes for a wide range of companies and individuals. From large-cap industry leaders to cutting-edge start-ups, Mr. Portnoy’s clients rely on him to deliver efficient, effective solutions for their most complex legal matters. He is Co-Chair of the firm’s Securities Team. He also focuses his practice on high-stakes breach of contract disputes and professional negligence claims in the financial and legal services industries. Recent and current examples include the defense of major pharmaceutical manufacturers and C-suite executives against various 1934 Act claims, representation of a securities rating agency in a contract dispute concerning bond pricing technology, and the defense of multiple prominent legal service providers against claims of professional negligence. Mr. Portnoy brings to bear ability and perspective informed by more than 15 years of experience in private practice, service as in-house counsel, and work for federal judges, both trial and appellate.

Mr. Portnoy regularly litigates in federal and state courts throughout the country, handling complex business and commercial litigation in areas that include:

    • Securities fraud
    • Insider trading
    • Common law fraud
    • Professional negligence and liability
    • Breach of contract
    • The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act
    • The Federal Tort Claims Act
    • Mass tort
    • Fraudulent conveyance
    • Business reorganization

In addition to co-chairing the firm’s Securities Team, he serves on Gibbons’s Professional Development Committee and Recruiting Committee, is the Commercial & Criminal Litigation Group’s Staffing Director, and is active in the Gibbons Diversity Initiative.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Portnoy was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where he regularly represented utilities, hedge funds, Fortune 500 companies, and some of the largest financial institutions in the country in connection with civil litigation and in responding to subpoenas issued by federal and state agencies and self-regulatory organizations.

During his time with Davis Polk, Mr. Portnoy was seconded to the New York Mets for the 2009 baseball season, affording him invaluable insight into complex commercial litigation from the client’s perspective.

Prior to joining Davis Polk, Mr. Portnoy clerked for the Honorable Peter W. Hall, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and interned for the Honorable Allan L. Gropper, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. As a result, Mr. Portnoy is able to provide his clients with service and guidance informed by virtually every relevant perspective on civil litigation.



Brooklyn Law School (J.D., summa cum laude)


    • Notes and Comments Editor, Brooklyn Law Review
    • Moot Court Honor Society
    • Dean’s List


    • Donald W. Matheson Memorial Prize
    • Cornelius T. Wickersham, Jr. Prize
    • Zaretsky Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Fellowship
    • Prince Scholarship
    • Centennial Grant
    • Class of 1911 Scholarship
    • Richardson Scholarship
    • CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in: Federal Courts and the Federal System; Constitutional Law II; Constitutional Law I

University of Vermont (B.A.)


  • Dean’s List
  • National Political Science Honor Society


  • Vermont Scholar Award

Professional Admissions

State of New Jersey

State of New York

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Professional Activities

John C. Lifland Inn of Court Master
Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey
New Jersey State Bar Association
Essex County Bar Association
American Bar Association

Judicial Clerkship(s)

Law clerk to the Honorable Peter W. Hall, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 2006-2007

Judicial intern to the Honorable Allan L. Gropper, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, 2004