Robert C. Heim
Special Counsel | Philadelphia
Robert C. Heim

Robert C. Heim is special counsel for Dechert's antitrust practice. A nationally known trial lawyer, he focused his practice on antitrust, defamation, products liability and complex commercial litigation. He is a past Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and past President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. He is an elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Mr. Heim has been consistently ranked as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA, which has praised him as “an outstanding trial lawyer,” and “extremely knowledgeable of the law and very well respected by the courts.” The 2014 edition designated him a Star Individual for his general commercial litigation practice in Pennsylvania, noting that clients describe him as "an excellent resource." In 2014 he was the only private lawyer named as one of the three finalists for The Legal Intelligencer's Attorney of the Year Award. Mr. Heim was also recognized by The Legal 500 United States 2013 for his product liability and mass tort defense work within the pharmaceuticals and medical devices industry. He has been listed by The Best Lawyers in America for antitrust, arbitration, bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, mass tort class action litigation and mediation and was recognized as one of the top 10 trial lawyers in Pennsylvania. Describing him as "a pillar of the Philadelphia litigation community and a product liability legend" in its 2015 edition, Benchmark Litigation has regularly listed Mr. Heim as a Litigation Star, most recently in the areas of insurance, general commercial litigation, antitrust, appellate, products liability, securities, and white collar litigation.

Mr. Heim was appointed by the late United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and completed two-three year terms. He has been an invited speaker at the Fifth Circuit and Third Circuit Court of Appeals conferences. At the 2017 Third Circuit Judicial Conference, he spoke on recent class action and MDL developments. He also has been Chair of the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board. He has lectured on both trial and appellate advocacy and taught appellate advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is chairman of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts and a member of the American Law Institute

Mr. Heim has represented numerous Fortune 100 companies in trial and appellate matters in both state and federal courts throughout the country. They include Bayer Corp., BP Amoco, Comcast, Toll Brothers, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Altria Corp., Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, American Airline, Verizon Communications, AIG, Verizon Wireless, Adelphia Communications, Wegmans Supermarkets and Johnson & Johnson. He has also defended major law firms in malpractice actions.

  • Representation of a Special Committee of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in an investigation into allegations of misconduct by the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Chief Justice of the United States directed that the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit conduct the investigation and a Special Committee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit retained Mr. Heim to assist it.
  • Representation of Bristol-Myers Squibb in a successful action before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania overturning a US$28 million award against BMS in an unfair trade practices case.
  • Representation of Toll Brothers in defense of a securities class action brought under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 alleging misrepresentations concerning the company’s prospects and associated insider trading.
  • Representation of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania and Citizens Financial Group, Inc. in a massive lender liability action brought by the developer of a proposed US$700 million commercial/retail/residential project. Plaintiffs alleged that the Bank, among other things, made fraudulent and/or negligent misrepresentations, breached its contractual duties in connection with the financing of the project, and tortuously interfered with existing and prospective business relationships.
  • Representation of Comcast Corporation in defending a consumer class action relating to claims that the company wrongfully installed converter boxes in consumers’ homes despite knowing that the level of service requested by the consumer did not require a converter box.
  • Representation of Adelphia Communications Corp. against the company’s former auditors, in one of the country’s largest accounting malpractice cases in history. Adelphia alleged that faulty audits and professional negligence by the auditors allowed accounting improprieties to go undetected at Adelphia, including hundreds of millions of dollars worth of looting by Adelphia’s former management. After filing cross motions for summary judgment, but before the court ruled on them, the parties settled for a payment of US$167.5 million to Adelphia.
  • Representation of Pfizer, Inc. in a Pennsylvania statewide class action asserting consumer fraud and breach of warranty claims related to the promotion and sale of Neurontin for indications not approved by the FDA.
  • Representation of Wyeth, a Pfizer subsidiary, in an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of a decision by the Pennsylvania Superior Court which, for the first time, recognized a claim for design defect of a prescription drug. The recent argument was among the first oral arguments ever televised by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
  • Representation of Pennsylvania Judges in a successful original action before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court challenging on constitutional grounds the decision by the Pennsylvania legislature to rescind pay raises enacted for the judiciary.
  • Representation of Atlantic Richfield Company (“ARCO”), a former owner of two nuclear materials processing facilities in Western Pennsylvania, following the post-trial reversal (based on evidentiary errors) and remand of a plaintiff’s verdict in a “test case” trial involving eight plaintiffs hand-picked by plaintiffs against our client and current site owner Babcock & Wilcox in a longstanding toxic tort case brought by 300 plaintiffs claiming bodily injury and property damage from the release of airborne emissions of radioactive materials.
  • Served on active duty with the United States Navy from 1964 until 1969 and is a Captain (inactive) in the United States Naval Reserve
  • Recipient of the Learned Hand Award (2002) for distinguished service to the profession and the community
  • Recipient of the Louis H. Pollak Champion of the Public Interest Award (2014), in recognition of his advocacy and commitment to the public interest legal community
  • Third Circuit Judicial Conference on Class Actions and MDL Developments, (August 24, 2017)
  • The Particular Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act on Antitrust and Indirect Purchaser Class Action Suits — Innovative Strategies for Defense of Class Action Suits, Philadelphia, PA (February 9, 2006)
  • Live Demonstrations of the Wrong and Right Way to Address Seven Different E-Discovery Scenarios — Mealey's Advanced E-Discovery Conference, Philadelphia, PA (September 21, 2004)
  • Best Practices in Civil Litigation: A Review of Practices in This Jurisdiction and Others — 2002 Federal Bench-Bar Conference, Cheltenham, PA (June 14, 2002)
Services Industries
    • University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1964
    • The College of William & Mary, MBA, 1968
    • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1972, An editor of the Law Review
    • Pennsylvania
    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • Former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Free Library of Philadelphia for seven years and continues to serve as trustee by mayoral appointment
    • Chair of the Board of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts
    • Board Member, Philadelphia Orchestra 
    • Former member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit Center City District
    • Former Board Member of the MBF Center, a non-profit provider of computer training for physically impaired children
    • Served on the Boards of Philadelphia High School Academies and the Philadelphia YMCA