Don is a licensed attorney, a Fellow in the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a CEDR Accredited Mediator, a member of the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), and an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s Consumer Panel. He is an active CPR member and serves on its Arbitration, Mediation and Conflict Prevention Committees. Don is also a Member of the New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section and that section’s Ethics Committee.
Don was previously Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Regulatory Matters for KPMG LLP, a national accounting and professional services firm, and the US member firm of KPMG International. Before joining KPMG, Don was a litigator with the New York law firm of Chadbourne & Parke. Don’s 37-year career litigating, mediating and arbitrating a broad array of complex commercial and professional services issues makes him uniquely qualified to aid parties in resolving their disputes.
For the past 26 years, first as an Associate General Counsel and later as Deputy General Counsel for Litigation and Regulatory Matters (DGC-L&R) of KPMG, Don was continuously involved in prosecuting and defending complex commercial and professional services disputes and successfully resolved dozens of lawsuits, pre-suit claims, arbitrations and government investigations through direct negotiation and mediations, and when necessary through arbitral hearings or jury or administrative trials. Those matters arose from the provision of accounting, auditing, tax and advisory services delivered by the firm to clients in all industries (though with particular concentrations in finance and banking, insurance, government contracting, consumer products and manufacturing) and federal, state and local governments. The matters involved claims of breach of contract, securities and common law fraud, unfair competition and theft of trade secrets, government contracting and regulatory compliance, insurance coverage and brokerage issues, intellectual property rights and trademark enforcement, unauthorized access to computer hardware, software and proprietary information, professional licensing issues, partnership and employment issues and other claims, in which claimed damages ranged from tens of thousands of dollars to $1.3 billion.
As DGC-L&R and one of his firm’s key risk management leaders, Don successfully managed the firm’s litigation and regulatory portfolio by employing a rigorous and objective early risk assessment process and applying creative strategic and tactical thinking to find practical solutions acceptable to all parties. He oversaw the activities of a group comprised of highly experienced litigators, senior audit partners, paralegals, and forensic technologists and was responsible for strategic and tactical decisions made in individual litigation matters. Don created and managed the Office of General Counsel’s Electronic Data Discovery Group, a group of in-house forensic technology professionals dedicated to keeping KPMG current with changing electronic preservation, collection and production standards and methodologies, from which Don gained the expertise to address complex electronic discovery issues. Don’s extensive experience with cross-border litigation, arbitration and government investigations, together with 14 years of continuous participation on KPMG International steering and working groups addressing issues arising from multi-jurisdiction matters, gives Don a keen understanding of how differences in national legal and regulatory systems can affect the prosecution and resolution of complex international disputes. Don also has extensive experience resolving partner rights and employee discrimination claims, as well as EEOC investigations and audits.
Don championed the firm’s adoption and strict adherence to ADR provisions in its client and vendor contracts, and promoted early claims assessment, case valuation and efficient resolution through direct negotiation or mediation. Don initiated and managed the firm’s membership in the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (IICPR) and served as one of the firm’s representatives on its Advisory Council and Arbitration Committee from 2014-19.
Before joining KPMG’s Office of General Counsel, from 1982-1993, Don was a litigator with Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York specializing in complex commercial litigation, securities class and derivative actions, and conducting internal investigations, all for clients in the manufacturing, insurance, defense and energy industries. He represented clients in international legal proceedings in the United Arab Emirates and Bermuda.
Subject matter areas in which Don has extensive experience include:
- Breach of contract – including claims from asset or business valuations, actuarial opinions, transaction post-closing adjustment provisions, restrictive covenants and pay-out provisions
- Torts – including professional malpractice, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contractual relations
- Professional Liability – including Accounting, Audit, Actuarial, Tax and Business Consulting services
- Securities Class and Mass Actions, and Derivative Actions
- Government Contracting Compliance and Ethics – including Federal Acquisition Regulations; federal and state procurement and ethics laws
- Regulatory Compliance – including SEC, PCAOB, IRS, DOJ, FINRA, State Boards of Accountancy, state insurance commissioners, state and local taxing authorities and other regulators
- Multinational litigation, arbitration and investigations
- Intellectual Property, Trademark Protection and Unfair Business Competition – including infringement, theft of trade secrets, covenants not to compete
- Insurance Coverage and Claims – including multi-party captive insurance programs, professional liability indemnity cover, cyber insurance, reinsurance policies and treaties
- Electronic Discovery – including retention policy, preservation, collection and production requirements and methodologies
- Data Protection and Use – unauthorized access to and/or use of data and data systems
- Partnership Rights
- Discrimination and Employment claims and investigations – Title VII and EEOC Investigations, ADEA, Equal Pay Act, FLSRA, whistleblower statute claims, class and collective actions