Thomas J. McCormack

Co-Head of Commercial Litigation, United States
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

New York
United States
T:+1 212 408 5182
New York
United States
T:+1 212 408 5182
Thomas J. McCormack

Thomas J. McCormack

vCard

Biography

Tom McCormack is Co-Head of Commercial Litigation, United States, and a leading trial lawyer.  During the course of his career, he has tried a wide range of cases — including several billion dollar cases — involving fraudulent conveyance claims, energy supply contracts, joint venture agreements, corporate governance and securities claims, drug development projects and many others.

Mr. McCormack has a national practice, having litigated cases in over 25 states.  He has been recognized as a leading litigation practitioner in numerous legal publications, including The Legal 500 US, Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation.


Professional experience

Expand all Collapse all

JD, Cornell Law School, 1982
BA, Stanford University, 1978

  • New York State Bar
  • In re Residential Capital, LLC, Mr. McCormack served as chief litigation counsel to the court-appointed Examiner in its investigation of potential claims held by ResCap, the bankrupt mortgage lender. The investigation concluded that ResCap would likely prevail in various multi-billion dollar claims against its corporate parent, the former GMAC.
  • In Starr Insurance Co. v. American Claims Management, Inc., Mr. McCormack was trial counsel to Starr in a New York federal court action against ACM for its conversion of funds in a trust account. Following a two week trial, Starr obtained a multi-million dollar verdict against ACM awarding both compensatory and punitive damages. 
  • In re Tribune Company, Mr. McCormack was trial counsel to the Unsecured Creditors Committee in seeking confirmation of a contested reorganization plan for a media company that filed for bankruptcy owing over $13 billion. After a two week trial, the court confirmed the plan, finding the settlement which formed its basis to be reasonable and appropriate.
  • In U.S. Full Service v. Tricor Energy, Inc., a case arising out of a joint venture for the development of a natural gas storage facility, Mr. McCormack obtained a $15 million judgment against Tricor for its breaches of fiduciary duty, following eight days of trial. 
  • In re Yukos Oil Company Ltd., Mr. McCormack was trial counsel to the receiver of Yukos Oil (appointed by the Russian Courts) in securing U.S. injunctive relief precluding Yukos's management from selling a $1.6 billion Lithuanian oil refinery.
  • In Public Utilities Commission of California v. Sellers of Long Term Contracts, Mr. McCormack was trial counsel to Allegheny Energy in successfully defeating California's highly publicized claims to abrogate over $12 billion of electricity supply contracts.
  • Mr. McCormack has represented numerous financial institutions, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, in a variety of litigation matters involving, among other things, failed tender offers, syndication disputes, loan defaults and "lender liability" claims.
  • In Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Johnson & Johnson, Mr. McCormack was trial counsel to Purdue in pursuing claims against Johnson & Johnson arising out of its breaches of a joint drug development and marketing agreement. The case settled favorably mid trial.
  • Mr. McCormack has represented various officers and directors of publicly traded companies in class actions and derivative suits, defending allegations of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duties and related claims, in state and federal courts around the country.
  • In Zinc Corporation of America v. Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Ltd., a case arising out of a manufacturing joint venture, Mr. McCormack obtained an award, after 23 days of hearings, dismissing all of ZCA's breach of fiduciary duty claims and granting Mitsui sole ownership of the joint venture and an additional $15 million on its counterclaims.
  • In re Bennett Funding Group, Inc. Securities Litigation, Mr. McCormack defended a major insurance brokerage firm in a series of class action and securities fraud claims filed in the wake of the collapse of an equipment leasing company accused of selling nearly $1 billion of sham securities.
  • In Moore Corp. Ltd. v. Wallace Computer Services, Inc., Mr. McCormack was trial counsel to Moore in a Delaware federal court action seeking to compel Wallace to accept Moore's $1.3 billion hostile tender offer.


Reported Decisions

Some of the significant reported decisions in cases in which Mr. McCormack has been involved in recent years include:
  • Northwest Requirements Utilities v. Powerex Corporation, 798 F.3d 796 (9th Cir. 2015) (dismissing on standing grounds claims seeking to challenge certain regulatory protocols for the provision of power transmission services in the Pacific Northwest).
  • In re TOUSA, Inc., 680 F.3d 1298 (11th Cir. 2012) (reversing district court's ruling that the bankruptcy court erred in finding a lack of "reasonably equivalent value" to support certain liens obtained prior to debtor's bankruptcy).
  • San Juan Cable LLC v. Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc., 612 F.3d 25 (1st Cir. 2010) (in a case of first impression, holding that Section 541(b)(1) of the Cable Act does not provide a private right of action to a party seeking to enforce its provisions against a competitor).
  • In re Isolagen Inc. Securities and Derivative Litigation, 279 Fed. Appx. 133 (3d Cir. 2008) (dismissing as premature plaintiff's appeal of the dismissal of a shareholder derivative suit where subsequent proceedings arising out of a related securities class action were contemplated).
  • T & E Pastorino Nursery v. Duke Energy Trading & Mktg., LLC, 123 Fed. Appx. 813 (9th Cir. 2005) (affirming the dismissal, on grounds of pre-emption and the filed rate doctrine, of several putative class action suits challenging the terms of numerous multi-billion dollar energy supply agreements). 
  • Hallwood Realty Partners, L.P. v. Gotham Partners, L.P., 286 F.3d 613 (2d Cir. 2002) (in a case of first impression, holding that Section 13(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 does not provide a money damages remedy to an issuer of securities). 
  • Orthocraft, Inc. v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., 2002 WL 3160477 (E.D.N.Y., Nov. 16, 2002) (denying motion to amend complaint seeking to differentiate a new class of cell phone service subscribers from a class previously denied certification). 
  • In re Tobacco/Governmental Health Care Costs Litigation, 83 F. Supp. 2d 125, (D.D.C. 1999), aff'd, 249 F.3d 1068 (D.C. Cir. 2001), cert. denied, 534 U.S. 994 (2001) (dismissing claims made by the Republic of Guatemala for the recovery of health care costs purportedly incurred by its citizens). 

Mr. McCormack has been recognized as a leading litigation practitioner in numerous publications, including:

  • The Legal 500 US, Commercial Litigation, The Legal 500, 2015 - 2017
  • The Legal 500 US, recommended lawyer, Dispute resolution - General commercial disputes, The Legal 500, 2018 - 2019
  • Benchmark Litigation, Euromoney Institutional Investor, PLC, 2009 - 2017
  • Chambers USA, Chambers & Partners, 2007 - 2013
  • New York Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2006 - 2019
  • "US courts retreat from applying major federal statutes to extraterritorial activity," Norton Rose Fulbright Corporate and commercial disputes review, Issue 7, December 2018
  • "Project Finance and Infrastructure," Chapter 146, Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition (Robert L. Haig ed.) West & ABA, 2017
  • "Second Circuit Reverses Course on Edge Act Jurisdiction," Financial Services Litigation NewsWire, July 2013
  • "Supreme Court Holds Proof of 'Loss Causation' Not Required to Obtain Class Certification of Securities Fraud Claim," Client Alert, June 20, 2011
  • "Action Against Trust Special Servicer Dismissed for Failure to Comply with No Action Clause," Financial Services Litigation NewsWire, April 2011
  • "TOUSA: $300 Million Revolving Loan Facility Avoids Fraudulent Conveyance Attack," Client Alert, March 8, 2011
  • "Court Orders Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. to Continue Funding Defaulted Loan," Project Finance Newswire, April 2010
  • "Companies in Hot Seat as Courts Advance Climate Change Claims," Law.com, January 4, 2010
  • "Recent Decisions Permit Claims That Private Companies are Contributing to 'Climate Change'," Client Alert, November 5, 2009
  • "Financial Meltdown Triggers Litigation Wave," New York Law Journal, January 5, 2009
  • "Edge Act Enables National Banks to Invoke Federal Jurisdiction Over Suits Involving International Banking or Financial Operations," The Banking Law Journal, November/December 2007
  • "Federal Long-Arm Statute: An Avenue for Asserting Personal Jurisdiction of Foreign Nationals Who Are Not Focused in a Particular State," New York Law Journal, October 2006
  • "Top ten things you need to know about New York contract law - webinar," Moderator, Web Seminar, July 19, 2018
  • "Privilege Law:  Overview and Recent Developments," New York Litigation Business Summit, Norton Rose Fulbright CLE Seminar, New York, NY, November 8, 2017
  • "Top Ten Things You Need to Know About New York Contract Law," Chadbourne CLE Seminar, New York, NY, May 30, 2014
  • "Lessons for Lenders in Financing Transactions With Distressed Companies," Strafford CLE Webinar: Responding to TOUSA III, New York, NY, July 11, 2012
  • "Lender Liability: Evaluating, Minimizing and Defending Claims: Defending Against Attacks on Loans in Workouts, Defaults and Bankruptcy," Strafford CLE Webinar, New York, NY, December 1, 2011
  • "New Perils in Chapter 11: Distressed Investing After Washington Mutual," Chadbourne CLE Seminar, New York, NY, October 20, 2011
  • "Fraudulent Conveyance Actions: TOUSA Revisited," Strafford CLE Webinar, New York, NY, May 3, 2011
  • "The TOUSA Decisions - Efficacy of Saving Clauses, Post-Insolvency Amendments & More," ExecSense Webinar, New York, NY, April 20, 2011
  • "Lender Liability: Evaluating, Minimizing and Defending Claims Seminar," Strafford CLE Webinar, New York, NY, December 21, 2010
  • "Protecting Client Information: A Primer on Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine," Bloomberg Law Seminar, New York, NY, April 28, 2010
  • "A Day in the Life of an E-Discovery Case," T3 Trial Tactics & Technology Conference, New York, NY, November 27-28, 2007
  • Court-Appointed Mediator, Commercial Division, New York Supreme Court, New York County, 1997 to date
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Council
  • Mr. McCormack has been admitted to courts throughout the country for the purpose of litigating individual cases, including courts in California, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is also admitted into the United States Court of Federal Claims.