Paul “Tad” M. O’Connor, Co-Chair of the firm's Real Estate Litigation practice, is a distinguished trial and appellate litigator focusing on complex commercial cases. He is regularly cited for his legal knowledge by publications including The Wall Street Journal, The American Lawyer and Law360. Tad’s clients have included, among others, private equity powerhouse TPG, Fortress Investment Group, a lender in a dispute relating to Liverpool Football Club, and many major international real estate and hospitality companies including Related, JDS Development, L and L Holdings, Maximus, InterContinental Hotels Group, Crowne Plaza, Morgans, sbe, Hilton and Aman Resorts.
Tad represents private equity firms, financial institutions, real estate developers and owners, hotel operators, major corporations and wealthy individuals in federal and state courts around the country and before arbitration tribunals in the United States and Europe.
Tad also has significant experience handling real estate disputes related to commercial and hotel properties around the country, including the representation of hotel operators in disputes with owners. His successful work in this area has been instrumental in the firm’s Real Estate Litigation Practice Group being recognized as Band 1 by Chambers USA, and Tier 1 by U.S. News – Best Lawyers.
In addition, Tad has been recognized as a Band 1 practitioner by Chambers USA, where clients describe him as “extremely smart, sagely experienced, very thorough and a pleasure to work with.” He has been named a Real Estate Trailblazer by the National Law Journal. The Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation, Lawdragon and Super Lawyers also recognize him as one of the top litigators in the United States.
As a result of his work, Tad has been appointed by courts to serve as a bankruptcy trustee and as a director of a facility administering large product liability settlements.
- 111 West 57th Property Owner LLC in prevailing at the trial court and on appeal at the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, which unanimously dismissed claims of breaches of fiduciary duty and constructive trust involving the 90-story luxury condominium located at 111 West 57th Street in Manhattan, brought by AmBase, a former indirect equity investor in the project. The panel also affirmed the cancellation of a lis pendens filed against the property.
- TPG, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, in a variety of matters, including in litigation related to a Greek telecommunications company.
- Intercontinental Hotels Group (“IHG”) in obtaining significant injunctive relief, upheld on appeal, for IHG in an action involving its long-term license agreement related to the 795-room Crown Plaza Times Square hotel in Manhattan.
- Hudson Realty Capital in a case involving misconduct in a planned 1,000-acre real estate development in Apex, North Carolina. After filing a complaint against C. Thomas Hendrickson, and numerous entities under his control, seeking redress for their misconduct, we successfully defeated defendants’ motion to move the case to North Carolina. We also defeated defendants’ motion to dismiss in its entirety.
- JDS Development in the dismissal of state and federal RICO claims against the developer related to a large residential project in Manhattan, upheld by the Second Circuit.
- JDS Development in a series of lawsuits filed against it by joint venture partners alleging breach of contract, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty arising from alleged financial wrongdoing and self-dealing in JDS’s acquisition and development of a luxury residential property in Brooklyn, New York, alleging damages in excess of $50 million.
- SL Green Realty, New York City’s largest owner of office real estate, in winning a $185 million arbitration award against HNA Group (International) Company Limited, part of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, relating to SL Green’s $148 million equity investment in 245 Park Avenue, a marquee office tower in New York City.
- An international hotel company in successfully obtaining significant injunctive relief arising from a contract dispute with hotel owners. The preliminary injunction, unanimously affirmed by the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, bars the owner of a large New York City hotel from unilaterally terminating its hotel management agreement with our client.
- Robert Rosania, head of Maximus Real Estate Partners, in successfully obtaining the dismissal of claims against Mr. Rosania in a long-running dispute between partners in a large, multi-billion commercial real estate portfolio.
- Bridgeton Holdings in obtaining significant victories for the client in an action involving claims related to numerous real estate transactions involving hotels and development projects in New York City. The Southern District of New York dismissed nine of the twelve causes of action asserted against Bridgeton by William Obeid, a part owner of Bridgeton’s counterparty in a variety of real estate transactions. Subsequently, the Court further narrowed the claims against Bridgeton on summary judgment, substantially reducing Bridgeton’s potential liability.
- Parkmerced Investors in a $150 million lawsuit against WeWork for breach of contract relating to a planned investment in Parkmerced’s San Francisco apartment complex, one of the largest privately owned developments in the United States.
- Global A&T Electronics, a large Singapore semiconductor company, in successful litigation involving its debt issuances
- A lender in a dispute with The Royal Bank of Scotland relating to Liverpool Football Club, which was sold to a group led by the owner of the Boston Red Sox.
- Majority owner of Aman Resorts, a luxury hotel group with locations in 15 countries, in a dispute relating to the acquisition of the company.
- JDS Development in a case of first impression concerning the interpretation of the New York Zoning Resolution involving the transfer of over 250,000 square feet of air and development rights in a large scale development project in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan.
- OKO Group, an international real estate development firm created by Vladislay Doronin, owner and chairman of Aman Resorts, in various disputes related to the conversion of the historic Crown Building on 5th Avenue in Manhattan into private residences and an Aman Resort-branded hotel.
- Aman Resorts in various disputes, including in a California Federal ADA-related class action.
- Minority partners in disputes with the managing partners related to a nearly $2 billion portfolio of large commercial office buildings in New York, including the iconic Seagrams building, defeating dismissal motions and favorably settling the matter.
- A national developer obtaining summary judgment against The Sapir Organization, a New York real estate firm, relating to its failure to close a $20 million transaction to purchase property in Las Vegas.
- Lenders in foreclosing on over $300 million of loans secured by the Alex Hotel and Flatotel, obtaining judgment of foreclosure on both properties and on tens of millions of dollars in personal guaranties.
- A private equity firm in claims against auditors relating to an investment in a clothing manufacturer in India.
- An affiliate of Fortress Investment Group in a lawsuit, filed in New York federal court, against an affiliate of AIG, seeking to enforce an agreement pursuant to which Fortress had agreed to purchase in excess of $100 million of real estate investments from the AIG affiliate. Kasowitz successfully opposed a motion to dismiss, and then settled the case.
- A large polymer company in a significant contract dispute with a major manufacturing company seeking to recoup up to $400 million, resulting in summary judgment affirmed on appeal for his client.
- A leading private equity investment advisor in multi-jurisdictional litigation against one of Australia’s largest financial institutions.
- A major supplier of engineering resins in a series of lawsuits around the country relating to underground petroleum supply lines.
- A software company in a significant copyright infringement and theft of trade secret case against a major computer hardware company.
- A privately held manufacturing company in a trademark and unfair competition suit against one of the nation’s largest web and telemarketing companies, obtaining a permanent injunction and damages for his client.
- Several insureds in a series of mediations and arbitrations seeking insurance coverage for product liability claims, including in a lengthy arbitration in London resulting in a recovery of nearly $100 million for one of his clients.
- As a director of the claims handling a company overseeing one of the largest product liability settlements in the country, as well as several other large settlements and a bankruptcy trust, managed the administration of more than $1 billion in claims.
- As trustee of a major bankrupt manufacturing company in Texas, recovered more than $80 million from the manufacturer’s insurers and others.