Complex Civil Litigation

The attorneys at Spears & Imes have represented numerous institutions and individuals in civil cases, involving complex financial issues and a variety of other matters. We have experience in every stage of civil proceedings, including drafting pleadings, motion practice, fact discovery, expert discovery, trial, post-trial briefing, and appeal. Chambers & Partners has recognized the firm’s “impressive reputation for courtroom strength” in civil litigation.

In particular, the firm has developed a rich expertise in civil litigation involving complex financial transactions or complex issues of federal or state law. Recent representations include:

  • Our representation of a large international investment bank that is a defendant in multiple cases in federal and state courts in which plaintiffs are seeking billions of dollars in damages from our client in connection with the offering and sale of mortgage securities.
  • Our representation of nine Cayman Island hedge funds as plaintiffs in a federal securities fraud lawsuit claiming more than $200 million in losses in connection with a scheme involving stock manipulation in the U.S. market. The district court denied six defendants’ motions to dismiss and granted our clients’ motion to dismiss all counterclaims filed by an answering defendant. The case is pending.
  • Our representation of the same Cayman Island hedge funds as plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit asserting an unjust enrichment claim against the former wife of the primary architect of the stock manipulation scheme.  The district court has entered an extensive pretrial asset freeze, and the case is pending.
  • Our representation of a hedge fund and an investment adviser as defendants in a securities fraud lawsuit in federal court, in which the plaintiffs sought to hold the defendants liable for the plaintiffs’ investments in a fund that served as a conduit to Bernard L. Madoff. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of our clients on all of the causes of action against them.
  • Our representation of a large European bank as a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit in which our client sought to recover large losses on its investment in a synthetic financial derivative that was based on credit default swaps referencing 100 different corporate and sovereign entities.
  • Our representation of a group of foreign and domestic financial institutions in a six-week federal jury trial against a major U.S. investment bank to recover large losses related to the sale of bonds backed by consumer installment loans. The jury returned a verdict in favor of our clients, resulting in a judgment for $144 million that was affirmed on appeal. The verdict was recognized by the New York Law Journal as the third largest verdict in New York state and federal courts for that year.
  • Our representation of MetLife as the defendant in a complex federal civil litigation in which plaintiffs sought indemnification for an alleged breach of contract and recovery under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”).
  • Our representation of a large English bank in a bankruptcy proceeding in which $400 million worth of receivables of a large U.S. corporation, which secured bonds issued to our client, had been taken without notice by the bankruptcy court at the commencement of the proceeding and used to finance the operations of the corporation during its reorganization. As a result of our litigation efforts in the bankruptcy court and the district court, our client received full payment for all of the wrongfully taken receivables and reimbursement of all of its litigation costs.
  • Our representation of a group of foreign and domestic financial institutions and hedge funds in a federal securities fraud litigation in Oklahoma to recover hundreds of millions of dollars of losses associated with their purchases of bonds backed by credit card receivables. We achieved a settlement for our clients in which they recovered nearly 100 percent of their losses.
  • Our representation of the insurer MBIA in lawsuits to recoup over $1 billion in potential losses related to a financial guaranty it had given to purchasers of bonds backed by credit card receivables.
  • Our representation of Columbia University as the defendant in a whistleblower proceeding based on allegations of improper Medicaid billing at a University hospital.  The proceeding was resolved on terms favorable to the University.
  • Our representation of Columbia University as the defendant in a federal civil rights action based on a drug test program in which members of the University’s medical school faculty had participated. All claims against the University were dismissed with prejudice.
  • Our representation of Genentech as the defendant in a products liability case relating to Genentech’s patented drug Xolair. The court granted Genentech’s motion to dismiss.
  • Our representation of the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman in litigation relating to a failed effort at a leveraged buyout of a major U.S. chemicals manufacturer.
  • Our representation of a publicly traded company and its directors as the defendants in a shareholder class action suit brought against them under the federal securities laws. At trial in the Eastern District of New York, the jury returned a verdict for our clients on all claims.