Michael E. Petrella
Areas of Practice
Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1994; Case Western Reserve Law Review, Contributing Editor
Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., Government, 1991; Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society
Pennsylvania (voluntarily inactive)
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals: Second and Sixth Circuits
United States District Court: Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; District of New Jersey; and Western District of Michigan
United States Tax Court
Michael E. Petrella specializes in complex commercial litigation and has successfully litigated and tried numerous business disputes in both state and federal court. His experience includes litigating matters involving securities fraud, intellectual property, antitrust, civil RICO, and the full range of business torts.
Mr. Petrella has represented clients in internal shareholder disputes and leveraged buyout suits, and has extensive experience litigating investor and financial industry arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the American Arbitration Association, and the New York Stock Exchange.
Representative matters handled by Mr. Petrella include the following:
- Securities fraud and related claims on behalf of private equity fund client against Cendant Corporation in decade-long litigation. Case resulted in summary judgment in excess of $100 million, $725,000 in discovery sanctions against defendant, and award of attorney’s fees.
- Litigated breach of contract and business tort action for former president and CEO of AIG Global Real Estate. Client’s claims pertained to profit shares in every AIG real estate investment in the world, including some of the most prominent and valuable properties in Asia. After four years of litigation, case ended in favorable settlement the evening before trial in the Southern District of New York.
- In NML Capital, Ltd. v. Republic of Argentina, No. 12-105-cv(L), worked on an emergency basis to assemble a consortium of financial firms holding more than $1 billion in exchange bonds issued by the Republic of Argentina. Acting under severe time constraints, obtained stay from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit preventing the enforcement of an injunction entered by a federal district court that would have interfered with the Republic's payments on over $24 billion in exchange bonds, by conditioning such payments on the prior satisfaction of obligations to other creditors. Stay enabled the Republic's exchange bondholders to receive $3 billion in payments.
- Litigated specific performance and breach of contract case for private equity fund arising out of defendant’s refusal to close on sale of company. Following oral argument, court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss and entered summary judgment in favor of client, resulting in a favorable settlement for the client.
- Co-tried and obtained a multi-million dollar award for an executive who conceived and introduced the Refco/Thomas H. Lee leveraged buyout.
- Represented a prominent private equity firm as the plaintiff in a securities fraud case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. After the original complaint was dismissed, replaced client’s existing counsel, developed new causes of action, and filed of amended action. After revised complaint survived motions to dismiss, obtained favorable eight-figure settlement prior to deposition discovery.
- Defended co-founders of prominent social media firm in case by former associate claiming a share of stock valued in the nine figures. Successfully resisted critical motion for injunctive relief by plaintiff, resulting in a ruling that plaintiff was unlikely to succeed on the merits. The case was ultimately resolved by summary judgment in favor of the client.
Selected Professional Awards and Associations
Regularly listed among Top Lawyers by New York-Metro Super Lawyers Magazine
Fifty-three Attorneys Recognized as New York Metro Super Lawyers (October 10, 2016)