Our experience includes these matters:

Accountants' Liability Matters

  • We represent a Big Four accounting firm in a federal securities class action brought by investors who owned certain notes in a major credit card issuer that went into bankruptcy. In addition to suing the former officers and directors of the company for preparing allegedly misleading financial statements, the investors sued our client, the company's outside auditor, for issuing a clean opinion on those financial statements. While the plaintiffs' motion for class certification was pending, and before any substantial merits discovery occurred, the parties agreed in principle to a settlement that is very favorable to our client.

  • We represented a Big Four accounting firm in an action arising out of the largest property and casualty insurance company liquidation in U.S. history. The Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, in her capacity as the company's statutory liquidator, alleged that the firm and one of its partners—which served as the insurance company's outside auditor and appointed actuary, respectively—committed auditing and actuarial malpractice. Following completion of fact and expert discovery, we obtained partial summary judgment for our client and settled the case for a fraction of the amount sought. 

  • We represented a Big Four accounting firm in an audit malpractice action that arose out of the highly publicized corporate scandal at one of the nation's largest cable companies in which the debtor-in-possession sought billions of dollars in alleged damages. After that action settled, we also represented the accounting firm in federal securities class and individual actions, related SEC and criminal actions for securities laws violations, and an accounting malpractice action arising from the matter. 

  • We represented a Big Four accounting firm in litigation brought by one of its audit clients, a former NYSE company. The plaintiff sought over $500 million in damages, alleging that our client failed to detect a complex criminal scheme to embezzle money and falsify the company's financial statements. We filed a counterclaim as well as third-party claims. We reached a favorable global settlement with all involved parties. 

  • In an action that proceeded to a jury trial, we defended a Big Four accounting firm against claims by a former partner of another major accounting firm who claimed that our client engaged in tortious conduct that resulted in the partner's dismissal from his position. Following the close of the plaintiff's case, we obtained a dismissal of all claims. 

  • We represented a national accounting firm in a malpractice action arising out of audit work for a large life insurance company in which the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, in her role as the insurer's statutory rehabilitator, sought over $100 million in damages from the accounting firm based on its alleged failure to detect material overstatements in the insurance company's real estate portfolio. This action culminated in a mediation, after which we settled the case for a fraction of the amounts sought. 

  • We were retained by a national accounting firm in a securities and common law fraud suit by shareholders of a national health care services company. Before any discovery, we successfully obtained dismissal of the action on the grounds that the plaintiff-shareholders did not purchase in reliance on any alleged misstatement by the accounting firm, and that the plaintiffs were not owed any duty by the accounting firm. 

  • We represent a manager of an accounting firm in a federal criminal investigation into the accounting treatment of certain matters in the financial statements of a municipality.

Professional Liability Claims against Lawyers

  • A prominent national law firm retained us in connection with a $45 million professional liability claim. We prevailed after a six-week arbitration.

  • We successfully represented a plaintiff’s litigation firm in a two-week trial arising out of a dispute with another firm. Our client recovered its share of the substantial fees at issue and prevailed in the defense of claims of breach of fiduciary duty. 

  • We represented a national law firm in an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court in Salt Lake City in what was at that time the largest bankruptcy ever filed in Utah. The law firm had represented the debtor, whose trustee claimed that a former partner in the firm had breached his fiduciary duty to the client in various ways, including undisclosed participation in groups that were buying assets of the debtor out of the bankruptcy. We reached a favorable settlement prior to trial. 

  • We defended a mid-sized law firm sued by a former client alleging that it would not have been liable for a multimillion-dollar judgment entered against it in connection with a real estate deal had the documentation been prepared in accordance with the deal as negotiated. 

  • We represented, as co-lead counsel, a prominent national law firm in a four-week arbitration in which a former corporate client of the firm alleged breach of fiduciary duty and other professional misconduct as a basis for nonpayment of multimillion-dollar fees. Our client prevailed on all claims and recovered its fees in full. 

  • We represented a high-profile trial lawyer sued for alleged malpractice in a commercial litigation matter. 

  • We represented several firms named as defendants in securities class actions arising from municipal bond or securities offerings. 

  • We represented a labor and employment law firm that was sued for retaliating against employees of the firm's corporate client. Dismissal of all counts was sustained on appeal. 

  • We represented a national law firm in investigating, reporting, and taking other action against one of its partners for improprieties in client billing and expenses.
     
  • We represented a specialty law firm and its personnel in connection with alleged misconduct in the prosecution of a patent infringement action. The case was dismissed on motion.

Other Professional Liability Matters

  • We won a jury trial for an insurance broker in a professional negligence action brought by an insurance company after one of the insured's employees was injured on the job. The insurance company alleged that the broker submitted a workers compensation insurance application that inaccurately described the insured's operations. In federal court, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the broker, awarding the insurance company nothing. 

  • We defended a major medical certifying board in connection with numerous lawsuits asserting claims of errors and omissions against the board.

  • We defended a major international insurance broker in connection with a number of multimillion-dollar professional liability matters involving complex procurement, coverage, and reinsurance issues. We won one matter by jury trial and successfully resolved others by summary judgment or through very favorable settlements.

Government Investigations

  • We represent a partner in a public accounting firm in three separate investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the audits of China-based public companies formed by reverse mergers. The client has received Wells notices for all three matters, and we are in the process of defending the client in relation to those notices. 

  • We represented several accounting firms and their employees in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and other government agencies, including the New York County District Attorney's Office, into a variety of accounting, tax, and consulting matters involving complicated accounting and tax issues.

  • We have represented numerous lawyers, physicians, and other professionals in disciplinary matters brought by the New York State Department Disciplinary Committees, Office of Professional Medical Conduct, and Office of Professional Discipline.

  • We represented a CPA who was an employee of a public company that was the subject of an accounting fraud investigation conducted by the SEC. The client was deposed by the SEC over several days and received a Wells notice. The matter was settled.

  • We represented a former New York State employee in a matter arising from an investigation by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Audit Committee Investigations

  • The audit committee of a nationally known weight-loss and nutrition company retained us in a Sarbanes-Oxley investigation relating to the timing and propriety of a number of stock-option grants.

  • We represented the audit committee of a major defense contractor in a Sarbanes-Oxley investigation arising out of a whistleblower's allegations regarding a possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

  • The audit committee of the nation's second-largest real estate investment trust retained us in a Sarbanes-Oxley investigation relating to "tone at the top" and allegations of improper accounting.

  • The audit committee of a publicly traded clothing manufacturer retained us in a Sarbanes-Oxley investigation relating to accounting for in-transit shipments.

  • We represented the audit committee of a publicly traded insurance company in an SEC investigation into the company's practices for accounting for reinsurance.

Counseling

  • We serve as outside counsel to a large multistate law firm on various internal or external issues, including threatened or actual lawsuits, issues arising from terminations of employment, and potential conflict of interest claims.