In addition to my responsibilities as Deputy General Counsel of Radian Group Inc. (NYSE:RDN), I have served as an arbitrator and mediator for many years, both through private engagement and the American Arbitration Association (where, in addition to AAA’s general commercial and employment panels, I participate on specialty panels for Large Complex Cases; Mergers and Acquisitions and Joint Ventures; and Master Mediators). I serve primarily in New York and Connecticut, but occasionally elsewhere, and also online. You can find a copy of my arbitration and mediation profile here.
The experience on which I draw as an arbitrator and mediator comes from 23 years as a business litigator, followed by in house positions with two financial services organizations. In 2005, I became general counsel and chief administrative officer to OpHedge Fund Services, a start up hedge fund administrator which, after five years of substantial growth, was acquired by the industry leader.
After a brief return to private practice, I accepted the general counsel role at Clayton Holdings LLC, a provider of real estate and mortgage due diligence and asset management services to investment banks and other institutional investors. Since Clayton’s 2014 acquisition by Radian Group Inc. (NYSE: RDN), I continue to serve as the company’s chief legal officer for its real estate, title, valuation and asset management services businesses.
I find that attorneys and their clients seek my arbitration and mediation help in (oftentimes complex) business disputes involving owners/investors/partners, senior management and contractual relationships, frequently but certainly not exclusively in the financial services arena. In the case of mediation, the conflicts tend to be intense and deep-seated. However, I have experience and interest in most business matters, including:
• Contractual disputes between commercial entities, sometimes involving complex relationships that involve multiple contracting parties with claims of substantial damages
• Business divorces, including the purchase, sale, division of ownership interests and assets;, operations; management succession; indemnification; ongoing relationships and opportunities
• M&A, joint ventures and strategic relationships, and their attendant issues (e.g. breaches of representations and warranties, noncompetition and nonsolicitation provisions, earn-outs, employment agreements, fraud and misrepresentation, payment)
• Privately owned business disputes (e.g., including misrepresentations and material omissions in contractual documents, breach of fiduciary duties by officers, directors and/or shareholders, usurpation of corporate, company and partnership opportunities, management and principal controversies, risks created by personal guaranties, the termination of credit by lenders, complications created by the divorce of an owner, nepotism, and noncompetition and nonsolicitation provisions)
• The separation of professionals (e.g. physicians, attorneys, accountants) from practice groups, and attendant issues (e.g. compensation and equity valuation, breach of fiduciary duties, personal guaranties of corporate obligations, noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, and real estate ownership)
• Employment disputes, especially for senior level executives, including compensation, termination, noncompete, nonsolicitation and severance issues, equity participation arrangements, covenants not to compete, trade secrets, and usurpation of corporate opportunities
• Construction disputes, including delay claims, wrongful termination, deficient work, subcontractor and supplier performance, and payment issues
• Professional negligence, including liability and issues involving statutes of limitation, continuing course of conduct, and causation
And, I also indulge a frolic and detour known as Golf Dispute Resolution, a website/blog that tracks the intersection of golf and law.
Robert A. Harris