Robert W. Trenchard


Chair, Litigation E-Discovery Committee

Trenchard, Robert W.

Robert Trenchard has maintained a diverse civil litigation practice in New York for the past 18 years, focusing on large complex cases. He has litigated multiple complex civil and regulatory matters in federal and state courts and before regulatory agencies. Mr. Trenchard serves as chair of WilmerHale’s E-Discovery Committee, a lead partner for WilmerHale DiscoverySolutions, a member of the firm's finance committee, and co-chair of the firm's Senior Associate Committee. 

Mr. Trenchard has litigated domestic and international contract disputes, antitrust matters, bankruptcy matters, securities and commodities law and regulation issues, patent matters, insurance matters, torts and telecommunications issues.

Mr. Trenchard has represented corporate and individual clients in high-profile government investigations, international arbitrations and civil litigation. He has many years of experience in representing clients in commodities manipulation and fraud investigations by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission ( CFTC). He has also actively litigated cases against the CFTC and has extensive experience in civil litigation arising under the Commodity Exchange Act.

In 2010 and 2011, Mr. Trenchard participated in multiple panels and CLE presentations concerning electronic discovery and review.

In 2008, Mr. Trenchard was a guest lecturer on corporate governance at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. On September 6, 2007, he taught the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) teleconference, "E-Discovery in Antitrust Lawsuits and FTC/DOJ Investigations."

Honors & Awards

  • In 2012, WilmerHale DiscoverySolutions was recognized by InformationWeek 500, an annual listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology, for its e-discovery and document review technology.  
  • Recognized as a “New York Super Lawyer” in the 2010-2014 editions.

Publications & News


May 13, 2014

Success at the Federal Circuit: WilmerHale Earns Five Victories in One Week

WilmerHale has just completed an extremely successful week at the Federal Circuit, receiving favorable decisions in five out of six patent cases concerning various legal issues.

February 6, 2014

2013 CFTC Enforcement Year-in-Review, and a Look Forward

In recent years, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) has brought cases of ever-greater significance, against respondents with greater name recognition, for consistently increasing civil monetary penalties.

March 19, 2012

Disclosing Novel Document Review Methods

An article by Partner Robert W. Trenchard appearing in the March 19, 2012 edition of New York Law Journal.

April 18, 2011

Hope for Reversing Commoditization of Document Review?

An article by Partner Robert W. Trenchard appearing in the April 18, 2011 edition of New York Law Journal.

February 24, 2011

The Defensibility of Predictive Coding

In this webinar, WilmerHale Partner Robert w. Trenchard and Recommind Vice President and General Counsel Craig Carpenter discuss whether Predictive Coding satisfies the federal rules’ requirements for reasonable (and thus, defensible) review; its potential for producing more accurate results than linear review; and its potential for costing significantly less while also being quicker than traditional linear review.

February 3, 2011

The Defensibility of Non-Human Document Review

An article by Partner Robert W. Trenchard discussing how advances in technology now hold the promise of reigning in e-discovery review costs and improving quality. Published in Digital Discovery & e-Evidence, a Bureau of National Affairs publication.

December 9, 2010

Computer-Expedited Review: The Future is Here

Partner Robert W. Trenchard, along with technology provider Recommind, explores how computer expedited review is no longer a dream – it’s here now, and it works.

September 9, 2010

Rethinking Selective Waiver

Written by Peter K. Vigeland, Robert W. Trenchard and Omar Khan, published in the New York Law Journal.

September 1, 2010

Cost Shifting and Fee Splitting in Electronic Discovery

Robert W. Trenchard participated in an audio podcast exploring how cost shifting and cost collaboration are occurring in electronic discovery. The expert panel also delved into how new technologies such as concept searching can be addressed in meet and confers to reduce costs. Listen to the podcast.

November 23, 2009

Diverging Responses to Electronic Discovery Costs in Federal and New York State Courts

Speaking Engagements

January 30-February 1, 2012

LegalTech 2012

New York, New York

January 31-February 2, 2011

LegalTech 2011

New York, New York

Recent Highlights

  • While at another law firm, Mr. Trenchard represented Sumitomo Corporation in one of the largest market manipulation CFTC investigations in history, and in related civil class and individual actions brought under the CEA, antitrust statutes and the common law.
  • In 2011, Mr. Trenchard tried a federal bankruptcy action on behalf of a US federal government agency.
  • Mr. Trenchard represents a major bank in multiple actions by State Attorneys General concerning credit card payment protection products.
  • Mr. Trenchard represents a Delaware limited partnership in the oil and gas business in putative derivative and direct actions involving matters of corporate governance in Delaware and New York State Court. Mr. Trenchard recently tried claims in New York State Court in this matter.
  • Mr. Trenchard represents a major international financial institution in a putative securities law class action arising out of the global economic collapse.
  • Mr. Trenchard represented a commodity options brokerage firm in litigation against the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. 
  • Mr. Trenchard represented a major investment bank in civil litigation arising out of the high-profile collapse of a hedge fund in 2007.
  • Mr. Trenchard represents certain firms involved in several high-profile investigations of specialist trading practices at the New York Stock Exchange and related civil litigation.
  • Mr. Trenchard represents a major national insurance carrier in a complex multidistrict action arising out of the New York Attorney General’s investigation of contingent commission payments in the insurance industry.
  • Mr. Trenchard was involved in a two-week trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York involving sanctions sought in connection with a former government lawyer's alleged theft of confidential law enforcement information.
  • Mr. Trenchard has participated in a two-week trial before the London Court of International Arbitration on behalf of a major international advertising firm.
  • Mr. Trenchard represents two biotechnology companies in interference proceedings before the US Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.
  • Mr. Trenchard represents a multinational pharmaceutical company in ANDA patent litigation pending in the District of New Jersey

Professional Activities

Mr. Trenchard is the former chair of the ABA's Civil Litigation subcommittee for International Litigation. He is also a former member of the Association of the Bar of the City Of New York’s Antitrust Committee and the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar’s Antitrust Committee. He is a member of the Lexis/Nexis Advisory Board and the Sedona Conference working group on E-Discovery.


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JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1994, Member, Board of Student Advisors

BA, summa cum laude, Hamilton College, 1991, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

New York

New Jersey


The Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan, US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1994 - 1995