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Former Partners

In Memoriam:

The partners of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP mourn the loss of their colleague, partner and friend, Roy Reardon. In his more than 60-year career, Roy was a leader of our Firm and the Bar, and he was the heart and soul of our Litigation Department. We, and all who knew Roy, will miss him dearly. 

Roy joined Simpson Thacher on March 18, 1956, and he retired as a partner of the Firm in 2017. As a young partner, Roy became a go-to products liability lawyer for General Motors, trying and usually winning, jury trial after jury trial in the New York State Courts. Through this work, Roy honed his skills as a trial and appellate lawyer without equal. Roy drew on that experience throughout his extraordinary career in trial and appellate courts across the United States, representing Fortune 500 companies, public figures, professional sports organizations and many others in their most important and high profile matters. Of his many victories, the case of which Roy may have been most proud was his victory in Home Shopping Network vs. GTE, where GTE, then the local phone company in Florida, had been sued by HSN for fraud and misrepresentation after GTE allegedly mishandled millions of calls to HSN, which calls were the life blood of HSN, a television marketing firm. After an 8-week trial, Roy not only convinced the Florida jury to reject HSN’s $1.5 billion in damages claim, but to also award GTE $100 million on its business libel counterclaims, reported to be the largest such award in history at the time. See N.Y. Times, “GTE Wins $100 Million Libel Case” (Aug. 3, 1989).

Roy created opportunities for generations of Simpson Thacher litigators to try jury cases, in automobile and drug product cases, as well as insurance and a variety of other commercial cases. Because of Roy, the Firm became and remains today widely known and respected both by the Courts and in the legal community as lawyers who know how to try, and win, jury cases. Equally important, Roy was a trusted colleague and mentor to countless attorneys at Simpson Thacher and in the broader legal community.

Roy headed the Firm’s Litigation Department and was a member of our Executive Committee. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a New York Law Journal columnist, Roy held numerous important positions within the legal community, including serving as Chair of the Appellate Division, First Department Grievance Committee, a Special Master for the Appellate Division, First Department, a member of the Board of the Fund for Modern Courts, and a member of the Executive Committee and Treasurer of the City Bar Association. Roy received numerous awards and accolades, including the Servant of Justice Award from the Legal Aid Society and the William Nelson Cromwell Award from the New York County Lawyers Association. In 2011, Roy was honored by the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York in a special salute to Roy as “A Lawyer for All Seasons.”

In this difficult time, we join Roy’s loving family in remembering his extraordinary career and life. Roy’s family asks that, in lieu of flowers, you please consider a donation in Roy’s memory to the Legal Aid Society, Civil Practice Law Reform Unit, attention Janet Sabel, Attorney-in Chief and Chief Executive Officer, 199 Water Street, New York, New York 10038.

  • St. John’s University School of Law, 1954 J.D.
  • St. Francis College, 1951 B.A.


Roy L. Reardon

Email: [email protected]