Philip M. Smith

 
 

Biography

Phil has 28 years of experience as a litigator practicing at some of the largest international law firms.  Prior to forming Kravit Smith LLP, he was a litigation partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in New York City.  In his law practice, he has represented plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation and dispute resolution matters throughout the United States and around the world.  He regularly represents clients in complex commercial and financial disputes, government investigations and enforcement, cross-border disputes, securities litigation, merger and acquisition litigation, corporate governance and control disputes, complex breach of contract and business tort claims, trade secrets claims, creditors’ rights and worldwide asset recoveries, private international law and white-collar criminal investigations and proceedings.

Phil has earned an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell which is award to only those lawyers with the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

 

Education

J.D., Fordham University School of Law (1989)

A.B., Columbia College, Columbia University in the City of New York (1982)

Admissions

New York

Courts

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd, 4th, 7th, 11th, and District of Columbia Circuits

U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York

Affiliations

New York State Bar Association

New York City Bar Association

Defense Research Institute

Representative Engagements

  • Representing the plaintiff in an action for breach of a merger agreement between two pharmaceutical companies.

  • Represented a financial institution in a confidential arbitration and obtained a multi-million dollar award for client.

  • Representing a Swiss private equity firm against a prominent New York City real estate developer in connection with the developer’s failure to pay our client for its interest in a large condominium development; obtained a court-ordered monitor over the condominium development who has collected over $24 million to date for client.

  • Represented a manager in a prominent real estate development company in connection with whistleblower claims.

  • Represented a leading credit card issuer in connection with claims in a consumer class action by a bank issuer of foreign currency prepaid cards.

  • Represented an oil and gas company and its directors in numerous shareholder actions following the announcement of its $600 million sale to a major producer.

  • Represented an Indian manufacturer in litigation arising from a US subsidiary's plant closing and obtaining dismissal of all claims.

  • Represented a prominent real estate title agency in an investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services.

  • Represented a publicly-traded environmental technology company and its officers in a criminal investigation by Federal prosecutors in Texas under the Economic Espionage Act. Negotiated a non-prosecution agreement with no financial or other obligations.

  • Represented an Indian construction company in a World Bank sanctions and debarment proceeding.

  • Represented a publicly-traded financial institution in a protracted proxy fight that included obtaining a decisive temporary restraining order in New York federal court the day before the annual shareholders’ meeting that enjoined a director and large shareholder from breaching a shareholders' agreement and from supporting a competing plan solicitation from dissident shareholders.

  • Represented a startup technology company in an extensive two year SEC investigation into private placement practices. Obtained no-action letter.

  • Represented a major Canadian bank and subsidiaries in a securities fraud action commenced by 13 mutual funds and a hedge fund claiming losses of $60 million, following a successful challenge to certification of a putative class action alleging multi-billion dollar investor losses arising from the infamous Bre-X gold mining scandal.

  • Represented one of the founders and principals of a prominent foreign financial institution in a protracted SEC enforcement proceeding following a five year investigation.

  • Represented the founders and directors of one of the largest gaming industry vendors in a securities class action and shareholder derivative action following a massive stock drop arising from the announcement of an extensive internal investigation. Also represented client in state gaming regulatory proceedings.

  • Represented oil and gas companies and their officers and directors in securities fraud action brought by a hedge fund which lost a proxy fight in connection with an acquisition of a public oil exploration company; obtained dismissal of all claims which was affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Representing special litigation committee of leading environmental technology company on resolution of significant theft of trade secrets claims and conducted an extensive internal investigation.

  • Represented a public financial company, in a protracted proxy fight that included obtaining a decisive temporary restraining order in New York federal court the day before the annual shareholders’ meeting that enjoined a director and large shareholder from breaching a shareholders agreement and from supporting a competing plan solicitation from dissident shareholders.

  • Represented funds managed by one of the world’s largest fund managers in connection with their successful effort in Delaware Chancery Court to enjoin the sale of a large regional bank’s assets which would have fatally impaired funds’ interests in tens of millions of dollars in Trust Preferred Securities issued by the bank.

  • Represented a minority shareholder in an expedited Delaware Chancery Court proceeding blocking the efforts by the majority shareholder, a major Swiss bank, to sell a leading mortgage originator and servicer. Negotiated buyout of client at a multiple of the value of its shareholding.

  • Represented a Canadian securities firm in defense of an $80 million claim in arbitration at FINRA; obtained complete dismissal of claims.

  • Represented three major Canadian banks in the Southern District of New York defending a securities fraud action arising from a public offering by a Canadian gold producer.

  • Represented a Tier-1 automotive supplier in multi-jurisdictional litigation with technology co- venturer.

  • Represented heirs to a prominent family fortune in a protracted will contest by the decedent’s estate manager who was a large beneficiary under prior wills.

  • Represented several Canadian broker-dealers in putative securities fraud class actions in both the United States and Canada arising from a Canadian initial public offering (IPO), where the plaintiffs alleged hundreds of millions of dollars of damages. Clients settled the claims globally for nuisance value.

  • Represented one of the largest foreign manufacturers and retailers of eyewear, as well as its U.S. subsidiaries, in a securities class action claiming losses exceeding $500 million, resulting from a successful tender offer for a U.S. public company; favorably resolved case after discovery and filing motion for summary judgment.

  • Represented one of the world’s most prominent businessmen and his family’s companies in U.S. and international civil and criminal proceedings emerging from the BCCI banking scandal. Mr. Smith’s representation included conducting worldwide discovery and trying through judgment and appeals a $111 million dollar enforcement action brought by banking regulators, resulting in the payment of a fraction of the penalty sought and the release of domestically frozen assets totaling hundreds of millions of dollars; also obtained dismissal of a multi-billion dollar RICO claim, served as lead counsel in coordinating more than 30 related actions in 11 countries involving multibillion dollar claims, represented related parties in several federal and state grand jury proceedings, and successfully defended a civil action brought by a federal banking receiver including two successful appeals to the Eleventh Circuit.

  • Co-lead counsel for the heirs to a prominent family fortune in a protracted will contest by the decedent’s estate manager who was a large beneficiary under prior wills. Negotiated an extremely favorable settlement for clients on the eve of trial.

  • Represented the chairman and CEO of a large food service company in a securities fraud class action and resolved the civil claims favorably; also negotiated with the SEC to take no action against his client in a related investigation.

  • In a coordinated effort with the SEC and federal prosecutors, recovered most of a Japanese institutional investor’s damages after commencing a civil RICO action for the investor against an issuer and clearing bank in the infamous “Princeton Note” fraud.

  • Successfully defended a real estate development company and its officers and directors in a large, complex RICO action, obtaining a complete dismissal which was upheld by the Second Circuit.

  • Prosecuted a civil action through jury verdict and successfully recovered the bulk of millions of dollars lost by the client in sophisticated securities fraud.

  • Defended a major tobacco manufacturer in a $100 million breach of contract and securities fraud claim action resulting from its sale of an international tobacco merchant. The litigation was favorably settled for nuisance value after extensive foreign discovery on an extremely fast track.

  • Tried claims for a Korean petroleum refinery in a maritime arbitration against a supertanker’s owners arising from a late crude oil delivery; the owners paid significant damages to the client after the supertanker’s lack of seaworthiness was demonstrated to the arbitrators using sophisticated models and forensic engineering experts.

  • Represented a Swiss bank investor claimant and related investment funds which were swindled in an infamous investment fund fraud, recovering almost all of his client’s multimillion-dollar losses by commencing litigation in Bermuda and asserting innovative claims in the ensuing insolvency proceedings.