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COVID-19’s Impact on Commercial Transactions and Disputes


Speaker(s): Muhammad U. Faridi, Stephen P. Younger, Timothy H. Smith
Recorded on: Apr. 17, 2020
PLI Program #: 299471

Muhammad U. Faridi is a Partner in the Firm's Litigation department. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including disputes related to breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, structured finance transactions, alleged violations of U.S. sanctions, international joint ventures, and fraud. He has handled a wide variety of litigation matters at various stages—including jury and bench trials and appeals—for large financial institutions (such as financial guarantors and hedge funds), international manufacturing conglomerates, large pharmaceutical companies, and not-for-profit organizations. He has also advised clients with interests in distressed businesses, and his clients have recouped billions of dollars through litigation and out-of-court settlements. 

Mr. Faridi has been recognized by several professional associations and organizations. He was named a “2018 Rising Star” by the New York Law Journal, which “recognizes the region’s most promising lawyers who are no older than 40.” He has been named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hotlist” of practitioners for multiple years, including as recently as 2019. The hot list highlights professionals who “have been deemed most promising emerging talent in their respective litigation communities in the US and Canadian litigation community by peers and clients.” He was the recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s 2014 Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, highlighting his recognition by the Young Lawyers Section of the association for having rendered outstanding service to both the community and legal profession. Based upon Mr. Faridi’s work on death-penalty matters and his leadership in chairing the New York City Bar Association’s Capital Punishment Committee, the Firm was awarded the 2017 Norman Redlich Pro Bono Award. Mr. Faridi has also received The Legal Aid Society’s Pro Bono Publico Award for multiple years, MFY Legal Services, Inc.’s Partner in Justice Award, and the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project’s TD Bank Champion of Justice Award. Mr. Faridi was also recognized as the 2017 Law Day Honoree at John Jay College of Criminal Justice “for his outstanding commitment to the legal community.”

Mr. Faridi has also written extensively on commercial litigation in New York. He is the co-editor of Commercial Division Practice Guide (Bloomberg), a treatise that seeks to provide guidance on the process of litigation in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court, a court established to enhance the quality of judicial adjudication and to improve efficiency in the case management of commercial disputes in New York. Mr. Faridi is also a contributor to the American Bar Association Section of Business Law's annual review of business courts in the United States. Further, Mr. Faridi is a founding contributor to the Firm’s blog, www.NYCommercialDivisionBlog.com, covering developments related to practice and case law in the Commercial Division and commercial cases in New York appellate courts.

Mr. Faridi is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law where he teaches commercial litigation.

Prior to joining Patterson Belknap, Mr. Faridi served as a law clerk to Judge Jack B. Weinstein, Senior U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of New York.


Stephen P. Younger, Past President of the New York State Bar Association, is a leading commercial litigator who is also well-known for his alternative dispute resolution work. Having been with Patterson Belknap since 1985, Mr. Younger has more than 30 years of experience as a business litigator. As a seasoned trial lawyer, he has tried many cases in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels. He also frequently argues appeals, particularly in the appellate courts of New York. Based on his significant ADR experience, he is often called on to serve as an arbitrator or mediator in high-stakes matters. Mr. Younger serves as Editor of the New York Commercial Division Practice Guide, which is part of Bloomberg Law's Litigation Practice Portfolio Series.

Mr. Younger’s clients include financial institutions, mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds and venture capital firms involved in commercial, securities and real estate disputes. He has also developed an extensive practice representing European and Latin American companies in U.S.-related matters.

In addition to his previous role as State Bar President, Mr. Younger has sat on numerous New York State Bar Association committees. He is Past Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, having previously served as Chair of its Securities Litigation Committee and of its ADR Committee. Mr. Younger served as Chair of the State Bar’s Task Force on Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms. He also chairs the State Bar's Subcommittee on the Judiciary Article of its Constitutional Convention Committee.

Mr. Younger is the State Delegate for New York to the ABA’s House of Delegates where he chairs the New York delegation. He is a member of the Steering Committee for the ABA's Nominating Committee. He serves on the ABA's Standing Committee on the American Judicial System.  He is Past Chair of the ABA’s International Mediation Committee and its Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services. He served as the ABA’s representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.  He is chairing the ABA's 2017 summer meeting in New York City.

Mr. Younger previously served on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Transition Committee and was the Transition Director for Mr. Cuomo when he was the New York State Attorney General. He also served on the Transition Committee for New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance. He was Counsel to the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination, which nominates New York’s Court of Appeals Judges, and is a member of the Governor's First Department Judicial Screening Committee.

Mr. Younger is Chair of the Board of the Historical Society of the New York Courts. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Modern Courts and received the Fund’s John J. McCloy Award. He served on the Chief Judge's Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century, and currently serves on the Chief Judge’s Commercial Division Advisory Council. He was formerly a member of the Chief Judge’s Advisory Committee on New York State Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirements. He is a co-editor of Patterson Belknap’s Commercial Division Blog.

Mr. Younger serves on the Board of Directors of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, and previously served as the Chair of its Executive Advisory Committee. He is a founding Board member and Vice Chair of the New York International Arbitration Center. He is also a member of the ADR Advisory Committee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

A long-time Trustee of Albany Law School, Mr. Younger is Past President of its National Alumni Council. He is also Secretary of the Harvard Club of New York City and previously served on the Club’s Audit Committee.

Mr. Younger is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law where he teaches commercial litigation. 

Mr. Younger has spoken at more than 200 seminars and written over 30 articles in the fields of securities litigation, commercial arbitration and international dispute resolution.

Prior to joining Patterson Belknap, Mr. Younger served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Hugh R. Jones, Associate Judge for the New York Court of Appeals.


Timothy Smith is an Associate in the Firm's Litigation department. In 2019, Mr. Smith served as a Law Clerk to the Hon. Christopher F. Droney of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From 2017 to 2018, Mr. Smith served as a Law Clerk to the Hon. Paul G. Gardephe of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. From 2016 to 2017, Mr. Smith served as a Law Clerk to the Hon. Nancy G. Edmunds of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.