Co-founding partner, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Antitrust Group, Hector Torres is one of the nation’s top lawyers for the prosecution of antitrust and other complex commercial cases, and recognized by clients for “outstanding” results, “tremendous success”, “exceptional service, timely and wise advice and recognition of business implications.” For over 30 years, he has successfully prosecuted and defended major U.S., South American, European and Asian corporations in high-profile antitrust and complex commercial actions and in international arbitrations, and has secured billions of dollars in affirmative recoveries.
Hector has been recognized by Lawdragon as a Leading Plaintiff Lawyer for antitrust litigation. Lawdragon also profiled Hector, highlighting his “groundbreaking creativity and remarkably successful results,” and commending his leadership in the Hispanic community. He was honored by the National Law Journal as an Antitrust Trailblazer and a Litigation Trailblazer, and by Latino Leaders Magazine as a Top Latino Lawyer, in recognition of his pioneering work in antitrust cases and leadership in the Hispanic community. He has been recognized by The Legal 500 for Antitrust, Commercial Disputes and Securities Litigation, and by Best Lawyers. He has also been named as a national and local Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, a Notable Diverse Leader in Law by Crain’s New York Business and an Expert in Competition and Antitrust by Euromoney Legal Media Group.
Hector currently serves on the Committee on Character and Fitness for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department. He was appointed and served as a member of Governor George Pataki’s New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the First Department from 2002 to 2006. He has also served on the Yale Law School Association’s Executive Committee.
- Lead global outside counsel for Ford Motor Company in obtaining affirmative recoveries in connection with price-fixing, bid-rigging and customer allocation cartels involving more than 90 automotive parts suppliers, and impacted purchases in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, described by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as its largest criminal antitrust investigation, resulting in nearly $3 billion in criminal fines.
- Alaskan Reefer Management and Kloosterboer International Forwarding, shippers of frozen fish from Alaska, in securing a pathbreaking preliminary injunction in the District of Alaska enjoining the U.S. government from assessing penalties for alleged Jones Act violations while the legality of already assessed penalties is adjudicated.
- U.S. Bank, as trustee of 13 RMBS securitization trusts, in actions seeking more than $6 billion for breaches of representations and warranties made by the sellers and loan originators with respect to the mortgage loans pooled in these securitizations. Defendants include affiliates of Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and UBS.
- Federal Housing Finance Agency, as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in actions in federal and state courts against numerous financial institutions and individuals. The lawsuits sought rescission or damages from the banks for, among other things, their misrepresentations concerning pools of mortgage loans that underlie residential mortgage-backed securities the banks issued, securitized and sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. After prevailing on critical pre-trial issues, FHFA settled the actions brought by Kasowitz for over $2 billion, including a $1.25 billion settlement with Morgan Stanley.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals, and its US subsidiary Actavis, in defense of antitrust actions commenced by the State Attorneys General for 48 states, 28 civil antitrust class actions and multiple direct actions.
- Ford Motor Company in defending against a series of putative class action suits in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois concerning certain automotive transmissions. We have secured dismissal of a majority of the claims asserted in this action, and all claims asserted by the sole putative class representatives for two of the state subclasses.
- Pilgrim’s Pride in a putative antitrust class action in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma, in which plaintiffs allege that a group of chicken companies engaged in anticompetitive conduct that enabled them to pay growers of broiler chickens less than the competitive level.
- Google in obtaining dismissal with prejudice of $1.6 billion antitrust claims against Google under the Sherman Act for alleged monopolization and alleged violation of the California unfair competition state law.
- ZTE Corporation, a global telecommunications company, alongside former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, in an independent assessment regarding concerns of certain members of the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch, and certain American businesses related to potential national security vulnerabilities and risks that ZTE’s products may pose to the United States.
- Anderson News in an antitrust action alleging a conspiracy among the leading magazine publishers and distributors to boycott Anderson forcing it into bankruptcy.
- Le-Nature’s Liquidation Trust in action arising from massive Ponzi scheme causing more than $500 million in damages to Le-Nature’s estate. For this representation, Hector was selected as The American Lawyer's Litigator of the Week.
- Source Interlink Distribution and Source Interlink Companies in an antitrust action alleging that leading magazine publishers and distributors conspired to force Source out of the wholesale single-issue magazine market. One commentator noted: “Standing in the way of the publishers’ alleged conspiracy, like Superman in front of a speeding locomotive, has been Kasowitz Benson.” The case settled on favorable terms.
- Successful defense of CNA Holdings, Celanese Americas Corporation, Hoechst GmbH and Celanese GmbH in multi-district litigation involving alleged price-fixing conspiracy in the North American polyester staple fiber market.
- Successful prosecution of Sherman Act and unfair competition claims on behalf of Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Tomen America in international arbitrations and litigation arising from global parcel tanker price-fixing conspiracy.
- Successful prosecution of Sherman Act and unfair competition claims on behalf of Transammonia and Trammochem in international arbitrations arising from parcel tanker price-fixing conspiracy.
- Successful representation of large Central American financial group in dispute arising from $1.5 billion bank sale to Citigroup.
- In a complex toxic tort action, successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of failure-to-warn and related claims against Celanese based on the federal pre-emption doctrine and the OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard.
- Successful prosecution of Sherman Act and unfair competition claims on behalf of Nidera Handelscompagnie, Transgrain Transport and Transgrain Shipping in international arbitrations arising from parcel tanker price-fixing conspiracy.
- Successful prosecution of Sherman Act and unfair competition claims on behalf of Celanese, Celanese Chemicals Europe GmbH, Celanese Pte., Grupo Celanese S.A., Servicios Corporativos Celanese S. de RL de C.V. and Acetex Corporation in international arbitrations arising from parcel tanker price-fixing conspiracy.
- Successful defense of Celanese in $500 million contract action in Texas state court against Celanese.
- Successful prosecution of fraud and misappropriation of business opportunity claims against AIG subsidiary, American Life Insurance Company on behalf of Argentina-based AIVA, in federal district court in Delaware, and in international arbitration under Inter-America Commission Arbitration Commission.
- Successful prosecution of securities fraud claims against Serfin Securities on behalf of Mexico-based Lamuno family.
- Successful defense of Celanese in lawsuits by hundreds of IBM employees alleging chemical exposure in microchip-manufacturing facilities.
- Lead counsel in obtaining class certification in an action against National Westminster Bank, N.A. t/a Fleet Bank of New York, N.A., for violation of a Phantom Stock Appreciation Plan. The breach arose from the bank’s failure to value properly units issued under the Stock Plan at the time of merger. The plaintiff class consisted of 742 former employees of the bank who participated in the stock plan and received awards of units thereunder. The Court granted class certification and divided the class into two subclasses, those plaintiffs who signed documents purportedly releasing their claims against the bank, and those who did not.