William J. O'Brien
William O’Brien represents corporations and individuals in complex litigation involving corporate, commercial and securities-related matters. His practice focuses on pre-trial, trial and appellate work in federal and state courts.

Bio

Mr. O’Brien has participated in commercial arbitrations before the AAA and regulatory proceedings before the SEC and FINRA.

Mr. O’Brien has represented clients, both as plaintiffs and defendants, in actions involving a variety of federal and state statutes, including the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Securities Act of 1933, the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), the Delaware General Corporation Law and New York’s Business Corporation Law. He also has litigated a wide range of common law claims, including alleged breaches of contract, breaches of fiduciary duties, fraud, negligence and tortious interference.

Among others, Mr. O’Brien has represented:

  • The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and certain of its affiliates in defending against CDO-related lawsuits filed in both state and federal court;
  • Citigroup Inc., Discover Financial Services and Student Loan Corp. in defeating federal securities fraud claims arising from accounting-related disclosures;
  • UBS in defending against RMBS-related claims brought under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Blue Sky Laws of Virginia and the District of Columbia;
  • UniCredit S.p.A. in its defense of Madoff-related litigation, which was named among the top matters in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution category in the Financial Times’ 2013 “US Innovative Lawyers” report;
  • former officers and directors of Fremont General Corporation, a subprime lender, in defeating federal securities fraud claims stemming from the decline of the company’s residential mortgage lending business;
  • Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman Sachs Credit Partners L.P., Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in a trial arising from a $2 billion financing facility for Solutia, Inc.;
  • an underwriting syndicate of financial institutions in multiple shareholder actions arising from the collapse of WorldCom, Inc., the global telecommunications provider;
  • American Funds Distributors, Inc. in a seven-day enforcement hearing before the NASD (now FINRA); and
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in successfully prosecuting civil RICO claims against defendants who had been involved in renovating the MTA’s headquarters at 2 Broadway in Manhattan.

Mr. O’Brien received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the editorial board and articles review board of the Virginia Law Review.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1996
  • B.A., Amherst College, 1993

Admissions

  • New York

William J. O'Brien

Counsel, Complex Litigation and Trials
william.obrien@skadden.com