As a named shareholder of Simmons Hanly Conroy, Mr. Hanly is an experienced trial lawyer and litigator who has litigated, managed and tried numerous complex jury cases throughout the United States in virtually all areas of civil litigation for more than 30 years. He is renowned for his exhaustive trial preparation, imaginative trial strategies, nearly photographic memory of the contents of documents and tightly controlled and disarmingly-effective cross-examinations.

For the first 20 years of his career, Mr. Hanly was lead national trial, coordinating and settlement counsel to the world’s largest asbestos company in its asbestos products liability cases; in that capacity he oversaw more than 100 local law firms and handled hundreds of thousands of cases.

In the last two decades, Mr. Hanly has represented plaintiffs exclusively in a variety of mass tort and other complex civil cases and played a leading role in the settlement of thousands of pharmaceutical cases, resulting in recoveries for the firm’s clients in excess of $1 Billion. Mr. Hanly has also represented plaintiffs in financial class actions and mass sex abuse cases. Recently, Mr. Hanly was named as Co-Lead counsel in the national opioid litigation that is pending in Cleveland, Ohio involving claims on behalf of municipalities from across the nation against the manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioid pain medicines; this federal multidistrict litigation is regarded as the largest and most complex litigation in U.S. history.

Representative cases include:

  • In Re National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL 2804 (N.D.Ohio 2018) (Co-Lead Counsel);
  • Jean-Charles v. Perlitz, 3:11-CV-00614-RNC (D. Conn. 2013) (consolidated actions on behalf of 24 Haitian nationals alleging negligent supervision on part of Connecticut-based defendants of convicted pedophile, resulting in sexual abuse; settlement of $12 million)
  • In re DePuy Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2244 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 9, 2012) (Chair of Plaintiffs’ Discovery Committee)
  • CFTC v. Walsh et. al., 09-CV-01749 (GBD) (S.D.N.Y.) (lead counsel to Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System (IPERS) on its $250 million claim in $1 billion Ponzi scheme litigation involving Westridge Capital and its principals)
  • Synergetics USA, Inc. v. Alcon Laboratories, Inc. and Alcon, Inc., 2008-cv-3669 (DLC) (S.D.N.Y.) (lead counsel in plaintiff’s contingency fee antitrust suit; settlement of $32 million and fee of $10.5 million)
  • Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and member of Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in MDL 1570, In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 (S.D.N.Y.) (Anti-terrorism Act actions against financial sponsors of terrorism)
  • Member of Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, In re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, No. 21 MC 97 (S.D.N.Y.) (consolidated 9/11 negligence actions against airlines and airport security companies)
  • Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and member of Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee appointed by court in MDL 1699 to assist coordination of federal MDL with New York state litigation proceedings, In re Bextra and Celebrex Products Liability Litigation (N.D. Cal.)
  • Member of Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Committee, In re Bextra Litigation (state-wide coordinated proceedings, Supreme Court, New York County)
  • Member of Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Committee in MDL 1598, In re Ephedra Products Liability Litigation (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. T & N Ltd., 191 F.R.D. 522 (E.D. Tex. 2000) (successful vacation of $1.66 billion default judgment)
  • Chase Manhattan Bank v. T & N plc, 1997 WL 221203 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 28, 1997), aff’d, 162 F.3d 1147 (2d Cir. 1998) (successful defense of largest asbestos property damage case ever tried in U.S.) (trial profiled in “Chase’s Case Turns to Dust,” The American Lawyer (May 1996))
  • Meyer v. Schneider (Supreme Court, New York County, 1998) (jury verdict of $4.8 million on behalf of pedestrian struck by automobile)
  • Schlaifer Nance & Co., Inc. v. Estate of Andy Warhol, 927 F. Supp. 650 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), aff’d, 119 F.3d 91 (2d Cir. 1997), subsequent proceedings, 7 F. Supp. 2d 364 (S.D.N.Y. 1998), rev’d, 194 F.3d 323 (2d Cir. 1999) (successful defense of RICO, fraud and copyright claims)
  • Warhol Foundation v. Federal Insurance Co., 189 F.3d 208 (2d Cir. 1999) (successful recovery of insurance coverage for plaintiff)
  • Artwear, Inc. v. Hughes (Estate of Andy Warhol), 615 N.Y.S.2d 689 (App. Div. 1st Dep’t 1994) (successful defense of fraud claims)
  • Prospect Group, Inc. v. Kirby, 1992 WL 400732 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 23, 1992) (successful prosecution of complex breach of contract claims)
  • Sundbom v. Erik Riebling Mfg. Co., (S.D.N.Y. 1991) (national record jury verdict of $4.5 million on behalf of woodworker who lost four fingers in defective woodworking machine accident).

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Consumer Protection
  • Personal Injury
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation

Bar and Court Admissions:

  • New York, 1980
  • Texas, 2001
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, 2004
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2003


Paul J. Hanly, Jr.

Rated by Super Lawyers

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  • Law Clerk to Hon. Lawrence A. Whipple, U.S. District Judge, District of New Jersey, 1979-1980
  • New York Metro Super Lawyer, 2007 – 2019
  • Best Lawyers: “Best Lawyers in America,” 2019-2020, in the area of Plaintiffs’ Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Elite Trial Lawyers, 2020

Representative Experience:

Pharmaceutical Litigation


  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Council
  • Federal Bar Foundation (Member, Board of Directors, 1997-2004)
  • New York County Lawyers Association (Member, Committee on Federal Courts, 1996 to date)
  • CLE Instructor on Trial Advocacy, 1999, 2002-13
  • American Association for Justice


  • Cornell University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1974)
  • Cambridge University (M.A., with honors, 1976)
  • Georgetown University (J.D., 1979)