Barry R. Ostrager is a Senior Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and former Chair of Simpson Thacher’s Litigation Department from 1999 to 2011. Barry has successfully tried to verdict five cases in which more than a billion dollars was at issue. He has also successfully tried dozens of other cases to verdict and argued scores of appeals throughout the country, including two successful appeals to the United States Supreme Court. He has been prominently involved in the trials of many high-profile securities, antitrust, insurance and other commercial cases. Barry was lead trial counsel for Swiss Re in the highly publicized insurance coverage dispute involving the World Trade Center tragedy which resulted in a unanimous jury verdict in favor of Swiss Re, and lead counsel for Hanwha in a multibillion-dollar dispute with the Korean government that was the subject of a multi-week trial. Barry successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court the closely followed Epstein v. Matsushita case that arose out of Matsushita’s successful tender offer for MCA, Inc. In 2010, he successfully argued again before the Supreme Court the Travelers v. Bailey case, which resolved important issues relating to the rights of settling insurers in an asbestos-related bankruptcy. He also successfully represented Andersen Consulting against a $14 billion claim by Arthur Andersen in connection with Andersen Consulting’s successful bid to win a separation without cost from the Andersen Worldwide organization in the largest ICC arbitration in history.
Recently his trial victories have included a $110 million jury verdict for Gray Development Group in Arizona state court related to failed efforts to develop a 41-acre apartment complex in Phoenix, and a $30 million jury award on behalf of a member of the Jordanian Royal Family in Florida state court with respect to a commercial dispute against his former partners. Last year, Barry prevailed on behalf of Travelers in an insurance coverage trial he conducted in California Superior Court against Plant Insulation Company, a former Travelers insured, which was seeking limitless coverage from Travelers for asbestos personal injury claims.
Barry has been prominently involved in supervising the Firm’s major insurance and reinsurance practices in both its New York and Los Angeles offices. He has been lead trial counsel in more than a dozen major insurance coverage cases, including Shell Oil Co. v. Winterthur Swiss Insurance Company, a multibillion-dollar environmental insurance coverage dispute in which the jury returned a verdict for the insurers after a sixteen-month trial.
Barry is coauthor of the Handbook on Insurance Coverage Disputes (Aspen Law & Business 2012), a widely used, three-volume treatise now in its sixteenth edition. He also co-authored Modern Reinsurance Law and Practice, 3d. (LegalWorks 2014), the leading treatise on modern insurance law. Barry is also a frequent lecturer on federal securities law and insurance law.
In June of 2006, Barry was named the “Leading U.S. Litigation Business Trial Lawyer” by Chambers & Partners. This year, for the eleventh consecutive year, Barry was ranked by Chambers as a “Band One” General Commercial Litigator and “Band One” Insurance: Dispute Resolution Leading Lawyer. “A great strategist and a robust litigator,” Barry has received widespread praise for his remarkable “ability to get along with both opponents and judges.” For the tenth consecutive year (2005-2014), Barry was recognized as one of the leading trial lawyers in the U.S. by The Legal 500,which has frequently identified him as one of the “Top Ten Trial Lawyers” in the U.S. and as an “exceptionally effective cross-examiner” with “brilliant litigation skills.” Euromoney’s Benchmark Litigation has also recognized Barry as a “Litigation Star” for both General Commercial Litigation and Insurance Litigation (2010–2014).
Barry has been a member of the Firm since 1980. He received his B.A. from City College of the City University of New York in 1968 and his M.A. in 1973. He earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1972 and served as a judicial clerk in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Barry is admitted in the New York and California State Bars; the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York, Connecticut, the Western District of Texas and the Northern and Central Districts of California; the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and District of Columbia Circuits; the United States Supreme Court; and the United States Court of International Trade. He is also a member of the City Bar Association, The American Bar Association, The American Law Institute and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.