Mr. Skelton is a Shareholder of the Firm. He specializes in complex litigation, with a primary emphasis on securities fraud, commodities fraud and antitrust cases. Throughout nearly 25 years at the Firm, Mr. Skelton has achieved substantial victories in numerous cases, both through settlements and in matters that went to verdict.
Mr. Skelton along with senior partner Barbara Hart served as Court-appointed Lead Class Counsel in In re Beacon Associates Litig., 09 Civ. 0777 (LBS) (AJP) (S.D.N.Y.), and Lead Securities and Derivative Counsel in In re J.P. Jeanneret Associates Litig., 09 Civ. 3907 (CM) (AJP) (S.D.N.Y.). The team also served as Court-appointed Liaison Counsel with the United States Department of Labor, coordinating the private and regulatory actions, and leading the settlement negotiations. Following the multi-party, multi-day mediation process (involving two mediators) at which the parties agreed in principle to settle, Mr. Skelton led the negotiation of the complex settlement papers to memorialize the settlement (a process which took seven months) involving: (a) multiple groups of private plaintiffs (class, derivative and individual); (b) the U.S. Department of Labor; (c) the Office of the New York Attorney General; (d) multiple groups of defendants; and (e) the Bankruptcy Trustee. The Honorable Colleen McMahon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted final approval of the $219.9 million settlement, noting that “The settlement process really was quite extraordinary.”
Mr. Skelton has tried over two dozen matters to verdict or award, including jury and bench trials in various federal and state courts, and arbitrations before various arbitral bodies, in addition to cases that settled during trial. This includes a three-week trial in the Southern District of New York, a bench trial in the Doft v. Travelocity matter (a statutory appraisal case in Delaware Chancery Court that resulted in an award of $30.43 per share plus compounded prejudgment interest, for a transaction in which the public shareholders who did not seek appraisal were cashed out at $28 per share). Doft & Co. v. Travelocity.com Inc., 2004 WL 1152338 (Del. Ch., May 20, 2004, modified June, 2004). In the New York Stock Exchange/Archipelago Merger Litigation (N.Y. Sup. Ct.), Mr. Skelton was lead trial counsel for the firm in a case that settled two days into a week-long preliminary injunction trial, and immediately after Mr. Skelton completed his examination of a member of the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange.
Securities litigation, antitrust litigation, commodities litigation
Precious Metals: Mr. Skelton is spearheading the prosecution of In re: London Silver Fixing Ltd. Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:14-md-02573 (S.D.N.Y.), an action alleging that some of the world’s largest financial institutions engaged in illegal price fixing of silver futures in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Commodities Exchange Act. Partial settlements of $38 million have been achieved, and the case is ongoing against the non-settling defendants.
Benchmark Manipulation: Mr. Skelton has been heavily involved in class actions involving the manipulation of IBOR-denominated financial instruments, in which Lowey served as either sole or co-lead counsel, including Laydon v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Case No. 12-cv-03419 (S.D.N.Y) and Sonterra Capital Master Fund Ltd. v. Credit Suisse Group AG, Case No. 15-cv-871 (S.D.N.Y).
Bond Rigging: Mr. Skelton was heavily involved in In re GSE Bonds Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 19-cv-1704 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y.), a class action against sixteen of the world’s largest banks alleging a conspiracy to fix the prices of debt securities issued by government sponsored entities. Plaintiffs have reached settlements totaling more than $386 million.
Other Notable Achievements
Mr. Skelton represented Federated Investors to challenge the merger between Xerox Corporation and Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. in an action in Delaware Chancery Court. Mr. Skelton helped to achieve a $69 million settlement on the eve of trial. Besides the substantial monetary recovery, Lowey achieved structural protections for the class, including implementation of a majority of the minority vote.
Mr. Skelton represented Federated Investors in opt-out securities litigation against Tyco International, Ltd., asserting claims unavailable to the class, including claims for Section 18 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and New Jersey RICO claims, and achieving a recovery substantially greater than that received by the class. Federated American Leaders Fund, Inc. v. Tyco International, Ltd., 05 Civ. 4566 (S.D.N.Y.).
Mr. Skelton led the prosecution of an opt-out action in MMI Investments, L.P. v. NDC Health Corp., 05 Civ. 4566 (S.D.N.Y.). Hedge fund MMI Investments asserted claims for violations of the federal securities laws and the common law, including claims not available to the class, most notably a claim for violation of Section 18 of the Exchange Act, and a claim for common law fraud. After aggressively litigating the client’s claims, Mr. Skelton obtained a substantial settlement, although the class claims were dismissed.
Mr. Skelton has played key roles in other high-profile cases, including In re WorldCom Securities Litigation, In re HealthSouth Securities Litigation, and In re DaimlerChrysler AG Securities Litigation. In the DaimlerChrysler AG Securities Litigation, Mr. Skelton’s work helped to secure a highly favorable settlement on behalf of Glickenhaus & Co., a registered investment advisor and the second largest stockholder of Chrysler, in a non-class securities lawsuit. Successful implementation of the firm’s opt-out strategy led to a recovery far exceeding that received by class members.
Mr. Skelton worked on the amicus curiae brief filed by Lowey Dannenberg on behalf of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the New York City Pension Funds, and the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System in the New York Court of Appeals in Assured Guar. (UK) Ltd. v. J.P. Morgan Inv. Management Inc. (Dec. 20, 2011). In that successful outcome, the Court of Appeals held that New York’s Blue Sky law, the Martin Act, does not pre-empt investors from asserting common law causes of action. Assured Guar. (UK) Ltd. v. J.P. Morgan Inv. Mgmt. Inc., 18 N.Y.3d 341 (2011).
From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Skelton was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law where he taught Advanced Appellate Advocacy from 2007 through 2009, and Securities Litigation and Enforcement in 2011. He has also lectured at various conferences on topics involving securities litigation.
B. A. Providence College (1987), magna cum laude
J.D. Fordham University School of Law (1991); member of the Fordham Law Review.
New York, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York