A prominent first-chair litigator for 30 years, Howard E. Cotton seamlessly combines consummate litigation strategy and courtroom skill with a comprehensive understanding of his clients’ business objectives.
In so doing, Howard affords his substantial client roster a full menu of services, from regularly leading high-stakes commercial litigations, to forging practical solutions pre- and post- litigation.
In his unique role as advisor, counsel and tactician, Howard has maintained longstanding relationships with a broad-based group of clients, both domestic and international, spanning numerous industries.
Those clients include real estate developers, management and hospitality companies, financial institutions, hedge funds, real estate funds, family offices, public and private companies and their senior officers, high net worth investors and entrepreneurs, and foreign governments.
Recognized as a New York Metro Super Lawyer in Business Litigation for many years, Howard’s diverse practice encompasses a wide spectrum of business disputes, including breach of contract, business torts, Uniform Commercial Code, partnership and corporate shareholder derivative disputes, real estate, securities and common law fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty.
His success in a variety of forums – from state and federal courts, to numerous arbitration and mediation proceedings – has led to numerous leadership roles at prominent law firms. Howard is especially recognized for his considerable experience with complex real estate litigation, representing real estate funds, developers, management companies, hospitality companies, lenders and borrowers.
- Regularly represent numerous domestic and international real estate investors and owners in disputes regarding the value of their membership or partnership interests in connection with the sale of properties indirectly owned through these interests.
- Represented individual member of a prominent New York real estate family in alleging more than 20 direct and derivative claims against another family member, who used his position of dominion over the family real estate business to loot and waste assets, and to exclude the client from millions of dollars in distributions and fees.
- Represented numerous domestic and international real estate investors in disputes regarding the value of their membership or partnership interests in connection with the sale of properties indirectly owned through these interests.
- Represented leading real estate companies in various disputes, including disputes with foreign hotel operators regarding overseas hotel development and claims of trade name infringement.
- Regularly represents lenders and borrowers in real estate financing litigations involving alleged defaults or breaches of term sheets, building and construction mortgage agreements, financing agreements and guarantees.
- Represented leading private equity fund in various jurisdictions to enforce guarantees of multimillion-dollar building mortgage loans.
- Represented real estate fund in connection with disputes arising out of its acquisition of various luxury resort properties.
- Represented Eastern Caribbean foreign government in connection with default on an $11 million bank loan, incurred to build a luxury hotel resort.
- Regularly represent hedge funds, fund of funds, and family offices and their personnel in connection with litigation, conflict avoidance and risk analysis.
- Represented investment bank in dispute over warrants and allegations of fiduciary breach in connection with initial public offering.
- Represented substantial family office threatened with potential forfeiture of assets arising out of worldwide probe involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Represents international commodities trader in litigation with foreign government involving excess of $25 million in governmental guarantees, as well as in multi-venue disputes relating to shipments of goods, letters of credit and governmental bonds.
- Mediation Program of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York, Member of Panel of Mediators (2011 to present)
- American Bar Association
- Association of the Bar of the City of New York
- New York State Bar Association, Civil Practice Law and Rules Committee
- J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1983
- A.B., Cornell University, 1980
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
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