Liz O’Connor is an accomplished litigator with experience in a broad range of complex commercial cases encompassing securities law, conflict of laws, class actions, professional liability, banking, contracts, intellectual property, real estate and product liability, among others.
Liz has been at the forefront of the defense of more than 20 European banks and investment funds against claims made by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and by the liquidators of the largest Madoff "feeder fund" to recover transfers made to those banks and investment funds for the benefit of their customers. To date, despite hundreds of millions of dollars of claims against them, none of the clients has paid anything to the trustee or the liquidators except for de minimis settlements of two small claims for commercial reasons, and all the trustee’s claims against the clients have been dismissed.
For more than a decade, Liz has provided indispensable advice and innovative approaches related to the governance of an architectural firm known worldwide. Beyond supplying essential counsel to that firm, Liz has also been entrusted with a pivotal role in the defense of particularly sensitive lawsuits brought against the firm both in New York and around the country. She successfully represented that firm and a prominent architect from that firm against claims that they had copied the design for a landmark New York City skyscraper from the work of another architect.
In her defense of an international law firm against claims of professional malpractice and fraud, Liz was able to cut through the arcane dealings between that law firm and its purported former client to demonstrate that the applicable statute of limitations had run despite the purported former client’s claim the limitations period was extended under the continuous representation doctrine and discovery rules of a foreign state. When that proof was presented to the court in a summary judgment motion developed and prepared by Liz, the purported former client agreed to voluntarily discontinue the lawsuit.
Liz was instrumental in the successful prosecution of complex breach of contract claims brought by a large national bank as successor trustee under an indenture against another large national bank related to the improper disbursement of funds during the development of a Las Vegas casino project. On behalf of the holders of second mortgage notes for whom her client served as indenture trustee, she marshalled evidence demonstrating that the defendant bank had breached the relevant disbursement agreement by continuing to disburse funds for the project despite having knowledge that conditions precedent to those disbursements had not been met. That evidence was critical in opposing the defendant bank’s motion to dismiss, which, in turn, led to a favorable settlement benefitting the second mortgage note holders.
As counsel to the successor liquidating trustee for two large hedge funds that failed due to the mispricing of their portfolios, Liz developed the litigation strategy for the pursuit of claims against insiders, auditors, overdrawn partners and others to recover assets for the hedge funds’ estates. Liz also worked with a team of forensic accountants to create the subsequently court-approved plan for the distribution of the funds’ assets to their limited partners.
Liz is regularly retained to represent law firms and other partnerships (including individual partners) in connection with partnership disputes and break-ups. Along with Richard A. Williamson, she is the co-author of the chapter titled, "Partnerships,” in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, 4th ed., Thomson West and NYCLA, 2015 plus annual supplements.
Before joining Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, Liz was a partner at Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer LLP, which dissolved in June 2018. She started her legal career as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.
Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, a full-service, mid-size law firm announced today that it has expanded its Litigation and Corporate and Securities practices, continuing its strategic growth and strengthening its client offerings by adding five lawyers from the prominent litigation boutique Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer LLP, which dissolved as of June 30, 2018.