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Calamari, Peter E.

Peter E. Calamari

Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7171
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

Peter Calamari is the firm’s Presiding Partner and Chair of the firm’s National Banking and Financial Institutions Practice. Mr. Calamari has 30 plus years of experience representing clients in complex commercial litigation, particularly in the financial services industry.  Over the years he has been involved in some of the most significant international disputes, as well as responsible for oversight of cases producing some of the biggest settlements in U.S. history for his clients, with recoveries totaling in excess of $15 billion.  Recently, Mr. Calamari has focused on representing institutional investors and sovereign wealth funds in claims involving complex financial products in court proceedings and international arbitrations.  He was the lead attorney for Washington Mutual, Inc. in connection with its claims against JP Morgan Chase which resulted in a settlement valued at $7.5 billion. He was the lead attorney for MBIA in connection with its multibillion claims against Bank of America and others arising out of collapsed RMBS.  Currently, Mr. Calamari represents the ResCap Liquidating Trust in approximately 85 lawsuits seeking indemnity and damages from correspondent lenders arising from the defendant lenders’ sale of defective mortgage loans.  To date the Trust has recovered over $1.3 billion in settlements and recently prevailed the first ever RMBS jury trial against one of the defendants.  He also has represented clients in all phases of employment litigation, including discrimination complaints, competition and trade secret claims and internal investigations into dignity and respect in the workplace.

He is a magna cum laude graduate of Fordham Law School, where he also was an adjunct professor of law.  Between 2000 and 2004, he was a managing director at Credit Suisse, assisting in various administrative functions at the most senior level including as the Global Head of Human Resources.  In that capacity he helped organize a new division specializing in hedge funds, private equity and alternate capital investments.

Mr. Calamari has long been recognized by Chambers USA who praises his well-known plaintiff-side practice against major financial institutions, which sees him labeled as "probably the most feared name among bank defendants." and "a real strategic leader in the space (2020).” He has previously been highly regarded for his commercial litigation expertise and praised for his “excellent instincts and great courtroom presence (2013).”

  • Secured a multi-billion dollar settlement, involving both cash payments and the commutation of swaps, for our client MBIA Insurance Corporation, after a series of victories in the New York state trial and appellate courts.  In the rulings immediately prior to settlement, Justice Bransten ruled substantively in MBIA's favor on the parties' summary judgment motions, adopting virtually the entire legal framework advocated by Quinn Emanuel.  
  • Representing MBIA in an action against J.P. Morgan Securities (“JPMS”) based on misrepresentations made by Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. (“Bear Stearns”), JPMS’s predecessor-in-interest, in connection with a 2006 securitization of mortgage loans.  Filed in September 2012, the Complaint in this action alleges that Bear Stearns intentionally altered the contents of a due diligence report before providing it to MBIA to induce MBIA to insure the securitization, causing MBIA has paid in excess of $168 million in claims when the securitization suffered massive losses from delinquencies and defaults. 
  • Representing a Mid East sovereign wealth fund in an ICC arbitration against the manager of a US based Hedge fund in which our client was the largest shareholder.  Peter and his team asserted claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud (among other claims) when the fund manager applied default provisions of the fund’s shareholders agreement so as to deprive our client of its entire investment in the fund.  As a result of a multi-faceted tactical approach that placed the fund manager under significant pressure both inside and outside the arbitration, they obtained a confidential settlement that completely achieved their client’s financial objectives.
  • Representing the ResCap Liquidating Trust (“the Trust”) in approximately 85 lawsuits seeking to recover indemnity and damages from correspondent lenders arising from the defendant lenders’ sale of defective mortgage loans that resulted in billions of dollars of losses and liabilities for the Trust’s predecessor, Residential Funding Company (“RFC”). The actions are proceeding in federal district court in Minnesota and bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York. 
  • Representing AEP Generating Company (“AEPG”) and Indiana Michigan Power Company (“I&M”) in a $1.4 billion breach of contract and indemnification case brought by a series of trusts on behalf of corporate investors.  The case, Wilmington Trust Co. et al. v. AEP Generating Co. et al., (filed July 26, 2013 in the S.D.N.Y), concerns the operation of a coal-fired power plant located in Rockport, Indiana, which was sold to Plaintiffs in 1989 in a sales/leaseback transaction. 
  • Representing Fifth Third Bank, a major banking corporation, in parallel actions against Concord Capital Management, LLC and related entities (collectively, "Concord") in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  These actions arise out of Concord's failed “Ultra” program to lend money to high net worth individuals to pay premiums on life insurance policies. 
  • Represented MBIA in Minnesota Federal Court against Ally Financial and associated Ally entities such as Ally Bank pursuing claims arising out of RMBS securitizations.  On June 26, 2013, an agreement was reached settling this case, along with other claims brought by MBIA against various Ally subordinate companies that had been placed in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York, resulting in a nine figure recovery for MBIA.  
  • Obtained a $2.1 billion settlement in connection with claims asserted against bank defendants involving the issuance of 2.4 billion in Enron Credit linked notes.
  • Fordham University School of Law 
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 1973)
  • Manhattan College
    (B.E.E. 1967) 
  • The State Bar of New York
  • United States District Courts:
    • Southern District of New York
    • Eastern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • Second Circuit
  • Credit Suisse First Boston, LLC:
    • Managing Director-COO of Human Resources, 2000-2004
  • Winston & Strawn:
    • Partner, 1997-1999
  • Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason (merged into Winston & Strawn in 1997):
    • Managing Partner, 1976-1997
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore:
    • Associate, 1973-1976
  • Ranked in New York: General Commercial Litigation (2015-2021) and New York: Securities in Chambers USA (2016-2021). Quoted as "a well-regarded attorney" and "a great, aggressive litigator."
  • Ranked by Best Lawyers in New York 2018 in the practice area Commercial Litigation.
  • Ranked as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation 2018. 
  • Selected by the New York Law Journal as a 2017 honoree for Distinguished Leadership.
  • Recognized as part of the 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon 500 2017.
  • Ranked in Financial Services – Litigation (2014-2017) and Securities Litigation – Plaintiff (2016-2017) by Legal 500 USA.
  • Ranked in Bankruptcy and General Commercial Litigation by Benchmark Litigation 2017.
  • Ranked in the Who’s Who Legal: Litigation 2014 and 2016 guides.
  • Ranked by Best Lawyers in America 2014-2017, 2020 and 2022 in the practice area Commercial Litigation.
  • Ranked in Litigation: General Commercial: The Elite – New York and Litigation: Securities: Institutional Plaintiffs – New York by Chambers USA 2016.
  • Ranked by New York Metro Super Lawyers 2014-2016 in the area of Business Litigation.
  • Ranked by U.S. News’ Best Lawyers 2015 in the area of New York – Commercial Litigation.
  • Ranked as a Local Litigation Star in the areas of Appellate and Bankruptcy by Benchmark Litigation 2015..
  • Selected to The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers 2014 guide.
  • Ranked as a Local Litigation Star in the areas of Bankruptcy, General Commercial Litigation, and Securities by Benchmark Litigation 2014.
  • Listed as a "Leading Commercial Litigator" by Who's Who Legal, 2013.
  • Selected as a ‘2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Banking & Finance Law’ by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™.
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Expert Panelist, Prime Finance
  • Frequent lecturer and author of numerous publications for:
    • PLI, Securities Industry Association and numerous others.
  • Fordham Law School:
    • Adjunct Professor of Law, 1976-1985
  • Manhattan College, Laboratory Instructor for Electrical Engineering Students:
    • 1966-1967