Peter Chaffetz

Founding Partner

Direct
+1 212 257 6961
Fax
+1 212 257 6950
Where Advocacy Meets Business

In 2019 Chambers USA reported that Peter “is a real talent and great in court.” The previous year he was described as “an extremely effective advocate” who “is insightful and provides great service.”

Peter has first-chaired more than 35 trials and arbitrations with amounts in dispute ranging to in excess of $2 billion.  He uses his trial skills, judgment and experience to settle cases when possible and to win the great majority of cases that can’t be settled.

Experience

Peter’s trial/arbitration practice has ranged across the fields of commercial and financial litigation, including post-merger disputes, licensing, construction, commercial fraud, bankruptcy, energy and Ponzi schemes.  For many years he has also been recognized for his market leading reinsurance disputes practice.

Peter starts each case by focusing on the client’s business and the transaction that underlies the dispute.  By getting early control of the facts he has often found winning arguments that others have missed and that catch opponents by surprise.  He crafts his written and oral advocacy for the greatest possible clarity and force.

Prior to forming Chaffetz Lindsey, Peter served as Global Head of the 600-plus Litigation and Dispute Resolution team at one of the largest international law firms.  That experience gave him a perspective on cross-border litigation and international law that is rarely seen at smaller firms.

Representative Matters

Commercial

  • Defending one of the world’s largest retailers against a US$250-plus million claim for breach of a software license. We won dismissal of all claims and an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in favor of our client.
  • Currently opposing enforcement of $2.5 billion arbitration awards against Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in New York federal court.
  • Persuaded ICC arbitration panel both to reject a general contractor’s $20 million breach of contract claim against subcontractor client, but also to award the client $27 million on its counterclaim.
  • Successful representation of IBM in two technology licensing disputes in federal court.
  • Multiple disputes over discovery under 28 U.S. C. § 1782 in support of foreign proceedings.
  • Acting as arbitrator in an ICC dispute involving a joint venture to market software to Asian telecom companies.

Reinsurance

  • Lead counsel in Second Circuit appeal of $56 million federal jury verdict lost in 2017 by prior counsel.
  • Successfully defended against rescission of nine-figure mortgage reinsurance program in the wake of the financial crisis.
  • Won full relief in sports-disability reinsurance dispute involving some of the country’s highest earning professional athletes.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of nine-figure environmental reinsurance arbitration.
  • Obtained summary judgment from arbitral panel in a confidential, multi-claim collection dispute.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Advocacy and Ethics – how far can you go?” IBA Litigation Forum, Session Chair (Chicago, May 2018).
  •  “Courting Business – How the U. S. Supreme Court has Reduced U.S. Litigation Exposure for International Businesses” (Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and England).
  •  “Provisional  Remedies In Aid of Arbitration:  The New York Approach in 10 Questions,” Combar North American Meeting (Venice, 2016).
  • “Contract Avoidance under U.S., UK and Bermuda Law,”ARIAS U.S. Fall Conference (New York, November 2015).
  • “How to Market a Litigation Department,” Annual IBA Meeting (Vienna, October 2015).
  • “The Arbitrators’ Perspective on How to Present a Cross Border Direct Coverage Arbitration,”ARIAS U.S. Fall Conference (New York, November 2014).
  • “Sex, Drugs and Legal Practice: Stress, Alcohol and Substance Abuse in the Profession,” Annual IBA Meeting (Tokyo, October 2014).
  • “Alternative Dispute Resolution Options for Global Commercial Transactions,” (Sao Paulo, December 2012).
  • “How Much is This Going to Cost Me?” Annual IBA Litigation Forum, (New York, 2012).

Professional Affiliations

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School
  • B.A., Harvard College

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • California
  • Multiple Federal Courts

Directorships

  • Council for Economic Education

Recognition

Chambers USA

  • Band 1 for Dispute Resolution: Reinsurance
  • Band 2 for Dispute Resolution: Insurer – New York

Legal 500 USA

  • Leading Individual for Insurance: Advise to Insurers: Reinsurance

Who’s Who Legal

  • Global Elite Thought Leader in Insurance & Reinsurance: North America
  • Thought Leader in Arbitration
  • Thought Leader in Litigation
  • Expert in Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers
  • Expert in Arbitration Lawyers
  • Expert in Litigation Lawyers

 

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