New York City, New York 10103
focuses his practice on complex and general commercial litigation in the United States and abroad. He has extensive experience representing leading companies in a wide range of matters, including contract disputes, bankruptcy and securities litigation, consumer class actions, commercial real estate foreclosures, insurance recovery actions and arbitrations. Examples include the following.
Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities. Represents Credit Suisse Securities (USA) in connection with lawsuits pending in the New York Supreme Court, brought by monoline insurers Assured Guaranty, MBIA, and FGIC and seeking to deny coverage under financial guarantees covering residential mortgage-backed securitizations. Also represents Credit Suisse in lawsuits brought by investors in residential mortgage-backed securitizations, pending in New York Supreme Court.
Represents the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) as amicus curiae in MBIA v. Countrywide on an appeal pending in the New York Appellate Division, First Department, involving key issues in lawsuits by monoline insurers against issuers of residential mortgage-backed securities.
Long-Term Supply Agreements. Represents Hemlock Semiconductor, Inc. in actions pending in Federal Court in Michigan arising from breaches of long-term contracts for the supply of polycrystaline silicon used in the manufacture of solar panels, totaling more than US$500 million.
Consumer Class Action Defense. Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a putative nationwide class action against Rail Europe, Inc., the largest U.S. distributor of European railroad tickets and related services, in an action alleging deceptive sales practices, fraud, negligence and violations of consumer protection statutes.
Import and Distribution Litigation. As counsel for Centre Vinicole-Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CV-CNF), defeated applications by its former exclusive U.S. importer and distributor for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that threatened to cripple CV-CNF’s U.S. operations. CV-CNF produces the best-selling champagne in France and is the fifth largest selling brand in the United States.
Bankruptcy Litigation. Trial counsel for the court-appointed representative of future asbestos personal injury claimants in a five-week hearing of the multibillion dollar estimation phase of in In re W.R. Grace & Co., Case No. 01-1137 (JKF), in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Information Technology Outsourcing Arbitration. Trial counsel for Capgemini US LLP in a three-week arbitration arising from a complex IT outsourcing contract. Successfully obtained a panel ruling that rejected almost all of the claimant’s request for more than US$10 million.
Commercial Real Estate Foreclosure. Counsel for a national U.S. bank acting as trustee to the AFLCIO Building Investment Trust in foreclosure on a US$56 million mortgage on a high-end condominium tower in downtown Manhattan.
Reinsurance Arbitration. Represented several Lloyd’s of London syndicates in run-off in an arbitration in New York arising from alleged fraudulent inducement into a complex reinsurance program brokered in England.
Accountants’ Liability. Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP legacy United Kingdom firms against a complex action relating to U.K. audit and business review services, brought by a major European bank in California state court.
Environmental Insurance Coverage. Represented Wyeth (formerly known as American Home Products Corporation) in a complex declaratory judgment action to determine Wyeth’s right to insurance coverage for liability imposed against the company as a result of environmental contamination at 37 sites located in more than a dozen jurisdictions.
Tort/Premises Liability. Represented Wyeth and American Cyanamid Company in numerous actions involving issues of strict product liability, strict premises liability and alleged violations of the New York Labor Law. Obtained summary dismissal of several cases and secured indemnification for these companies on contractual and common law grounds.
Criminal. As a pro bono assistant district attorney with the Homicide Bureau of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, second-seated three homicide trials.
Mr. Ansbro spoke on the panel addressing "Coverage Issues Arising from Consumer Mortgage Fraud and the Impact of the U.S. Financial Meltdown," at the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice's 20th Annual Mid-Year Program in February 2012.
|Areas of Practice||1) Commercial Litigation, 2) Insurance, 3) International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution, 4) Mass Torts & Product Liability and 5) RMBS Litigation|
|Law School||J.D., Yeshiva University, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 1995|
|Education||B.A., Columbia University, 1988|
|Bar Member / Association||State bar of New York|
|Most recent firm||Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP|
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Benjamin P. Smith is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice. He is a trial lawyer with a particular focus on high-stakes disputes in the biotechnology, medical device, and internet industries.