Peter L. Simmons

Peter L. Simmons

  • Partner
  • Litigation
  • New York
  • T:   +1.212.859.8455
  • F:   +1.212.859.4000
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Peter L. Simmons is a litigation partner with 30 years of experience handling a wide array of complex commercial, financial and securities disputes at both the trial and appellate levels, and in arbitration. He represents financial institutions, corporations and directors in major nationwide class actions and multidistrict litigations; in disputes over corporate governance and fiduciary duties; and in numerous cases arising from public and private M&A transactions and corporate investments. His cases include disputes over accounting fraud, pay-to-play practices, corporate disclosures and omissions, and conflicts of interest.

Among Mr. Simmons' recent notable representations in the securities arena are:
  • Defense of three underwriting syndicates in the multi-billion dollar Global Crossing securities litigation, including allegations of massive accounting fraud and securities law violations.
  • Led internal investigation for publicly traded company in response to whistleblower allegations of misstatement of financial data.
  • Defense of a company in two RICO litigations alleging that mishandling of insurance claims amounted to mail and wire fraud.
  • Defense of a CDO manager and its affiliates in a treble damages securities fraud/qui tam lawsuit, as well as a separate derivate litigation, brought on behalf of a state pension fund to recover investment losses in the wake of the collapse of the market for structured products.  The cases spawned interlocutory appeals to both the federal and state appeals courts, and resulted in a state fraud statute being declared unconstitutional as applied to our client.
  • Defense of Deutsche Bank and its affiliates in litigations brought by and on behalf of a state pension fund claiming losses resulting from "pay to play" political corruption by state officials, and the bank's minority ownership of a company whose founding partners allegedly paid kickbacks for investment referrals.
  • Secured the dismissal of claims against underwriters in litigation over the initial public offering of a shipping company that went bankrupt less than a year after its IPO.
  • Obtained dismissal of RICO claims against two major financial institutions in litigation arising from alleged public corruption in placement of investments.
  • Representation of "big four" accounting firm in securities fraud litigation.
  • Defense of registered investment adviser in SEC investigation into offerings of structured and asset-backed securities.
Mr. Simmons also regularly represents clients in M&A, commercial and accounting disputes.  These have included:
  • Representation of major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Houlihan Lokey in shareholder litigations and other matters arising from M&A transactions.
  • Defense of corporate directors and private equity buyers in numerous shareholder class actions arising from M&A transactions.
  • Representation of US institutional investors in two unrelated disputes about their investments in Indian real estate ventures and private companies, with a specific focus on accounting issues.
  • Represented Cargill, Inc. in shareholder litigation arising out of its US$24 billion split-off and disposition of its 64% stake in Mosaic Company.
  • Representation of Japanese auto parts manufacturer in antitrust class actions filed in the wake of DOJ criminal investigation.
  • Defense of real estate venture in a dispute with one of its members concerning contractual rights to force the sale of a commercial office tower, and the plaintiff's claim that the process was manipulated to deprive it of its anticipated upside in the property.
  • Numerous post-closing purchase price adjustment, indemnity and accounting disputes arising out of the sale of businesses.
In the intellectual property area, Mr. Simmons handles copyright and trademark litigations, disputes over theft of trade secrets, as well as internet and licensing problems.  He has litigated and advised clients on issues involving unauthorized web site access, as well as disputes over the antitrust implications of using intellectual property, such as alleged monopolization, refusals to deal, restrictive covenants, blanket licensing, tying arrangements and misuse of intellectual property rights.  Some of his matters in this area include:
  • Defense of a hedge fund accused by a competitor of theft of trade secrets and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  • Representation of EMI Group plc in music piracy copyright litigation, with antitrust counterclaims, resulting in the largest-ever recovery at the time for a single copyright plaintiff in favor of EMI.
  • Representation of a music performing rights organization in arbitrations against all local television stations in the United States to determine reasonable license fees.
  • Representation of an international hotel chain in various trademark and internet domain name disputes.
Mr. Simmons has also been an adjunct instructor at Columbia Law School and is the author of articles in various professional publications.  In addition to his legal work, Mr. Simmons is a director and treasurer of Selfhelp Community Services, Inc., a not-for-profit organization providing community-based healthcare, social services and housing to over 20,000 senior citizens in the New York area.  He is also a director of the Office of Appellate Defender.
 

Honors & Awards

Mr. Simmons is recognized by Benchmark: Litigation for both Securities and Commercial Litigation. Mr. Simmons is also recognized by Legal 500 in Antitrust: Cartel.

Professional Associations

Member, American Bar Association
Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Committee on Securities Litigation, 2011–present; Committee on Federal Courts, 2007– 2011; Committee on Professional Responsibility, 1998–2001; Committee on Civil Rights, 1989–1992)
Member, Federal Bar Council
Director, Office of Appellate Defender
Director and Treasurer, Selfhelp Community Services, Inc.

Clerkships

Prior to joining Fried Frank, Mr. Simmons clerked for the Hon. Lawrence W. Pierce on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Bar Admissions/Licensed Jurisdictions

New York, United States Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Sixth and Ninth Circuits, United States Court of International Trade, various district courts across the country
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