Robert Julian is a litigation partner in Winston & Strawn’s San Francisco office. He has more than 25 years of experience litigating breach of fiduciary duty cases (which involve directors, officers, trustees, and other agents), managing related corporate investigations, and litigating complex commercial cases, with an emphasis of such cases in the insolvency setting.
In the past several years, Mr. Julian has successfully defended more than $1 billion in five cases. He also has recovered more than $400 million in plaintiffs’ cases for his clients. Examples of his recent representations include:
- The Pluris, Inc. creditor derivative suit, in which he successfully defended the lead defendant director of a failed Silicon Valley firm against a creditor’s $50 million breach of fiduciary duty suit, and obtained the only published California appellate decision which defines the duties of directors during a corporation’s “zone of insolvency.”
- The Southeast Banking Corporation bankruptcy case, involving one of the biggest bank holding company failures in the nation, in which he successfully defended the trustee against a $250 million breach of fiduciary claim and recovered all of the trustee’s $5 million fee and a $2.5 million bonus for the trustee client, after trying the case to judgment and winning the resulting appeal.
- The Larry L. Hillblom probate case in Saipan, one of the largest probate cases in the world, in which he successfully defended the chairman of the Hillblom Charitable Trust against breach of fiduciary duty claims in excess of $200 million and recovered more than $5 million for the chairman, and more than $170 million for the trust.
- The Boeing 747 Cargo Conversion Litigation in San Francisco federal court, in which he successfully defended an aerospace firm against more than $450 million in claims and recovered $2.5 million of his defense costs from the lead defendant.
- A Dallas federal district court case arising out of the collapse of a local savings and loan association, in which he obtained a jury defense verdict on RICO claims against Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and recovered a $7.2 million verdict on behalf of his client.
- Two separate cases arising out of the San Juan Dupont Hotel fire litigation in Puerto Rico, in which he recovered more than $12 million on behalf of his clients, Fireman’s Fund and General William Lyon, after they had been sued in the litigation.
Mr. Julian has substantial experience with fiduciary and business tort issues that arise in troubled company settings, including fiduciary duty and agency disputes; insider control; director, officer, and professional liability claims, and related authority issues; direct vs. derivative shareholder claim ownership disputes; treatment of insurance coverage; fraudulent and preferential conveyances; joint venture disputes; pension claim disputes; disguised loan and other property of the bankruptcy estate disputes; alter ego and equitable remedies; lender-debtor disputes; mandatory and equitable subordination claims; right to jury trial and bankruptcy jurisdiction battles; insurance receivership disputes; and bank and bank holding company failures.
Mr. Julian was honored in the peer rankings-based 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation and 2012 edition for his commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and trusts and estates law practices. He was also recognized in 2008 in the Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition.
Honors and Awards
Mr. Julian is a member of the firm’s Finance Committee.
Mr. Julian received a B.A. from the University of San Francisco in 1976 and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1979.