Robert A. Skinner is a partner in Ropes & Gray’s Litigation and Enforcement practice group, where he represents investment advisers and other financial services firms in securities litigation and other complex business disputes.
A recognized industry leader in investment management litigation, Rob has been at the forefront of many of the key challenges facing the mutual fund industry in recent years, including subprime-related losses, excessive fee claims and prospectus liability.
In addition to handling active litigation matters, he frequently advises investment managers and other clients in their dealings with state and federal regulators. Rob is a regular speaker and commentator on litigation and risk management issues facing asset managers.
He also has substantial experience in litigating major insurance coverage disputes on behalf of insurers, including trial and appellate victories in the 9/11 World Trade Center coverage dispute.
- JD, magna cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1994; Editor, Harvard Law Review
- AB, summa cum laude, Washington University in St. Louis, 1991; Phi Beta Kappa
- Massachusetts, 1994
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- Harris Associates: Obtained U.S. Supreme Court victory for mutual fund adviser in Jones v. Harris Associates, 559 U.S. – (2010), the seminal decision establishing the liability standard for excessive fee claims under Section 36(b) of the 1940 Act.
- Ameriprise Financial: Argued and won Eighth Circuit victory in Gallus v. Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (2012), dismissing excessive fee claims and establishing unavailability of “defective process” claims under Jones v. Harris Associates.
- Sequoia Fund: Won dismissal of derivative claims against all defendants asserted in connection with Fund’s allegedly over-concentrated investments in Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
- Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London: Defending underwriters at Lloyd’s in multi-district litigation asserting antitrust and RICO class actions based on broker commission practices.
- Allianz Funds: As lead counsel, won dismissal of derivative shareholder suit against mutual fund adviser and trustees alleging breach of fiduciary duty and securities law violations.
- Institutional Investor: Argued and won favorable decision in the Second Circuit enforcing arbitrability of a claim asserted by a major university endowment against a Russian oil and gas company that issued American Depositary Receipts.
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