David Balabanian co-chairs the firm's Securities and Financial Institutions Litigation Group. He is a litigator with more than 40 years of experience handling complex, high-stakes commercial litigation, including securities and antitrust cases and takeover litigation.
The 2008 edition of Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business reported, "David Balabanian is a 'marvelous counselor' and 'impressive trial lawyer' who is well respected for his extensive experience and ability to 'appeal to judges as well as juries.'" David has also been listed in all editions of The Best Lawyers in America for over 10 years. In 2006, he was named as the "Litigation Attorney of the Year" by California Lawyer.
David has taught over 150 continuing legal education courses and written extensively on topics relating to law practice, particularly the management of large, complex cases. He was a member of the commission which authored the California Judicial Council's Deskbook on the Management of Complex Civil Litigation.
In addition to law practice, David has been active in professional and civic affairs, having served as president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, chairman of the California Conference of Delegates, lawyer delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and as a member of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee. Currently he serves on the Boards of the Practising Law Institute and the San Francisco Opera.
David is known for his accessibility and rapid response and for his personal involvement in all matters entrusted to his care. He received his education at Harvard College, Oxford University and the Harvard Law School and is admitted to practice in California, New York and the District of Columbia, as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court and many federal District and Circuit Courts.
New Orleans Employees' Retirement Systems v. Washington Mutual - Representing former Washington Mutual affiliates, employees and officers in federal Securities Act actions in Washington state, alleging that the SEC filings for various WaMu mortgage backed securities contained misrepresentations about WaMu's loan underwriting and appraisal practices. The suits concerns securities with a total value of about $30 billion.
In re McKesson HBOC, Inc. Securities Litigation - Representing McKesson for a limited purpose in federal securities class action involving claims under Section 10(b), Section 14(a) and Section 20(a)
In re STEC Securities Litigation - Representing underwriters in securities class action alleging violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the '33 Act and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the '34 Act
PeopleSoft v. Oracle - Represented Oracle Corp. in the action brought by PeopleSoft Inc. to stave off Oracle's hostile acquisition
" Sierra National Insurance Co. v. Crédit Lyonnais - Represented the plaintiff in this action seeking over $2 billion on behalf of the runner-up bidder for the assets of Executive Life Insurance Co. against the winning bidders, whose bid violated federal and state banking and insurance laws
Reilly v. The Hearst Corp. - Successfully represented the purchaser in litigation involving the sale of the San Francisco Examiner
Chemical Bank v. S.C. Johnson Co. - Lead counsel for plaintiff in this jury trial resulting in payment of plaintiff's claim
AWARDS AND HONORS
Benchmark Litigation, local litigation star, California (2012)
Best Lawyers, San Francisco Antitrust Lawyer of the Year (2011)
Best Lawyers, leading lawyer in Antitrust Law, Bet-the-Company Litigation and Commercial Litigation (1993-2012)
Chambers USA, leading lawyer in General Commercial Litigation (California) (2008-2011)
Super Lawyers, Northern California (2004-2011)
PLC Dispute Resolution Handbook, featured as a leading dispute resolution lawyer (2009)
International Who's Who of Commercial Litigators, leading lawyer (2008)
California Lawyer, Litigation Attorney of the Year (2006)
Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal, Top 100 leading California lawyer (2006)
Admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, California and New York
Registered Foreign Lawyer in England and Wales
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Harvard Law School, Bachelor of Laws, cum laude (1965)
University of Oxford, Bachelor of Philosophy (1962)
Harvard College, Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude (1960)
Kimo S. Peluso is a litigation partner in the New York office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Mr. Peluso's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation. He has extensive experience handing lawsuits arising from business and partnership disputes, government contracts, false advertising and unfair competition. Mr. Peluso is a regular lecturer on depositions and witness preparation. He has handled numerous trials and other hearings in state and federal courts and in arbitration, and has prepared witnesses for testimony in court, in administrative proceedings, and before the U.S. Congress. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School where he was the managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Peluso served as a law clerk to the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Susan F. DiCicco litigates securities and complex commercial cases, principally representing financial institutions and hedge fund managers in cases throughout the country. She focuses on complex financial transactions and fixed-income products (particularly structured finance transactions). Susan regularly assists clients with trading issues and disputes, as well as assessing risks on new complex products and formulating strategies for existing transactions. Clients recognize Susan as a practical litigator who is fully versed in their businesses. Susan serves as the practice leader for the firm’s global Commercial Litigation practice.
In the securities defense field, Susan litigates securities class actions and a variety of cases asserting fraud claims under the 1933 Act, the 1934 Act and state blue-sky statutes. She recently obtained a full dismissal for the syndicate of underwriters in the putative class action arising from the Fairway Markets IPO (SDNY), as well as a full dismissal for the underwriters in a putative class action involving the EveryWare global secondary offering (SD Ohio), which was affirmed on appeal. She currently represents a national organic grocer in a putative securities class action filed in Arizona. She also advises clients in several matters involving commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities, structured products, CDOs, CLOs, distressed debt trades, repos, whole loans, loan participations, and a variety of swaps and options.
In the complex commercial space, Susan handles a wide variety of litigation for institutional parties, including real estate disputes, banking litigation, lender liability litigation, bankruptcy litigation, and secured lending disputes. She also serves as national coordinating litigation counsel for a real estate investment manager.
James H.R. Windels is a member of Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Litigation Department. Since joining Davis Polk in 1990 he has had wide experience in a variety of federal and state court commercial litigation matters, international arbitrations, regulatory enforcement proceedings, and internal investigations.
Mr. Windels’ matters include securities cases relating to public offerings and underwritings, sales and trading, asset management, mutual funds, private equity transactions and accounting matters. He has represented companies and accounting firms in internal investigations, bidders and targets in mergers and acquisitions litigation, and financial institutions and manufacturers in federal and state antitrust actions. He has also represented financial institutions and accounting firms in investigations and proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the New York Stock Exchange, federal and state criminal authorities, and local regulators in Europe and Asia.
Mr. Windels joined Davis Polk in 1990, became a partner in 1997, and served as practice group coordinator of the Litigation Department from 2006-11. He clerked for the Honorable Peter K. Leisure, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, from 1989-90. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of Volunteers of Legal Services and previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and Chair of the Board of Directors of Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A.