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Bob Cleary is the immediate past co-chair of Proskauer’s Litigation Department, a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and co-chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Group. He joined the firm in June 2002 after a lengthy career as a federal prosecutor, including service as the U.S. Attorney both in New Jersey and in Southern Illinois.

He has repeatedly been recognized in various publications as a leading practitioner, including The Legal 500 United States, in which clients describe him as “cool, calm and collected” and a “master strategist.” The American College of Trial Lawyers recognized his trial expertise by inducting him as a Fellow in 2014.

Bob concentrates on white collar criminal defense, SEC and related enforcement matters, securities litigation, complex civil litigation, tax controversies and internal investigations. He has extensive experience in international criminal matters, including money laundering investigations and foreign extradition proceedings.

He has been retained in many high-profile corporate scandals of the past several years including, among others:

  • The multi-billion dollar Petrobras scandal in Brazil, one of the two largest corruption investigations in the world

  • The 1MDB international money laundering investigation

  • A sweeping, multi-year federal criminal investigation into a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio for a leading global financial institution

  • Numerous civil lawsuits and government investigations relating to the demise of Lehman Brothers

  • Criminal investigations relating to allegations of manipulation and collusion in the LIBOR market
  • Criminal investigations relating to allegations of manipulation and collusion in the foreign exchange and precious metals markets
  • Air cargo criminal antitrust investigation and prosecutions
  • Auto parts criminal antitrust investigation and prosecutions
  • One of the largest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases ever indicted
  • Tyco criminal investigation and SEC enforcement action
  • New York Attorney General’s criminal and civil investigation of investment bank trading practices
  • Mutual fund investigations and enforcement actions
  • Insurance industry investigations and enforcement actions
  • Stock options backdating investigations and enforcement actions

Bob has 30 years of courtroom experience as a trial lawyer and appellate advocate. He recently served as lead trial counsel in what is believed to be the longest criminal antitrust trial in New York State history, representing the alleged architect of the charged antitrust and fraud scheme. After an almost year-long trial, Bob achieved complete vindication for the client by securing acquittals and dismissals on 36 of 37 felony charges, and got the lone count of conviction dismissed post trial.