Todd A. Higgins, co-founder of Crosby & Higgins LLP, has an extensive corporate background and possesses significant complex litigation experience in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings. Mr. Higgins focuses his legal practice on commercial disputes and complex civil litigation, and he has built a track record by seeking out “difficult to win” cases where smart, creative, and aggressive advocacy can make all the difference in the outcome for the client. Mr. Higgins and the law firm frequently share the risks and rewards in these challenging cases through partial or blended contingency fee arrangements.
Recent Litigation Experience
Since co-founding Crosby & Higgins LLP in 2004, Mr. Higgins has tackled the firm’s most difficult legal matters. Mr. Higgins has successfully counseled individuals and businesses in a variety of commercial disputes, and has prosecuted a number of cases all the way to trial and judgment in the state and federal courts. Mr. Higgins has recovered millions of dollars for the firm’s clients. Selected representations include:
Serving as counsel on behalf of a coalition of New York City medallion taxicab interests in connection with Article 78 proceedings brought against the City of New York in New York State Supreme Court, Queens County, as well as federal constitutional claims pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, concerning medallion taxicab owners’ exclusive, statutory right to hails amidst the proliferation of millions of on-demand electronic hails being solicited and accepted from the streets of New York City every month by companies such as Uber and Lyft.
Successfully resolving a $20 million dollar claim on behalf of Affinity LLC in connection with the alleged destruction of Affinity’s business by GfK Mediamark Research & Intelligence, LLC, a major media and consumer research company in the United States, through a campaign of alleged predatory pricing, unfair competition, tortious interference and misappropriation of confidential information.
Successfully opposing a motion for a preliminary injunction in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and subsequently securing voluntary dismissal of the action arising from the proposed construction of the largest water desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere, to be built on the Pacific Ocean in Rosarito, Mexico.
Assisting the plaintiff’s litigation team in a major high profile antitrust action brought in federal district court for the Southern District of New York. The case was brought by a professional football team against a large media and entertainment company alleging antitrust violations, including monopolization, tortious interference and deceptive business practices, and unfair competition, in connection with the construction of a new football stadium in New York City. After the district court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, the parties successfully resolved the dispute by negotiating a settlement.
Prevailing at trial and recovering statutory double damages in Stamford Superior Court, Civil Division, in an action brought on behalf of a restaurant investor/employee, arising out of defendants’ breach of contract and failure to pay wages pursuant to C.G.S.A. § 31-72.
Successfully representing a foreign supplier of digital inkjet printing, packaging, and large format imaging services in a complex breach of contract and fraud action in the Northern District of New York. After filing a motion to join an additional party and assert claims for unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of Non-Disclosure Agreement and attempted monopolization, the case was successfully resolved on a confidential basis.
Securing the first FINRA arbitration award against Merrill Lynch for an institutional client who was sold more than $100 million in Auction Rate Securities. After an exhaustive, two week evidentiary hearing in Houston, Texas, involving more than twenty testifying witnesses, the FINRA Panel held Merrill Lynch liable and ordered it to pay the claimant significant compensatory damages and interest, and also ordered it to pay all FINRA forum fees.
Delivering the first FINRA arbitration award against Oppenheimer & Co. for clients holding Auction Rate Securities. In the sweeping victory, the panel ordered the return of the investor’s arbitration filing fees, awarded expert witness fees, and ordered the rescission and repurchase of the full amount of the securities at issue.
Successfully defeating a motion to dismiss in New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division, in an action brought on behalf of a New York State real estate brokerage firm, arising out of the defendants’ alleged fraudulent conduct and repeated breaches of an exclusive and a co-exclusive brokerage agreement concerning claims, among others, that defendants breached the parties’ agreements by marketing the rental units in question as short-term rentals (i.e., less than 30 days) in violation of the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law (“MDL”).
Prosecuting and successfully resolving multiple New York and Connecticut federal and state court breach of contract and defamation actions for an east coast hotel management company.
Successfully representing a European restaurant chain in a M&A finder’s fee case in the Southern District of New York. The case involved claims for fraud and quantum meruit, arising out of an approximate $380 million dollar acquisition. After a two-week trial, a federal jury returned a verdict for $1.5 million.
Obtaining multi-million dollar judgment after bench trial in the commercial division of New York State Supreme Court in an action to pierce the corporate veil and recover damages from corporate defendant individually for a breach of contract claim arising out of the sale of 44 New York condominium units.
Successfully defeating a motion to settle and approve the final account of the assignee on behalf of a client, a publicly traded middle market metals distributor, in an assignment proceeding pending in Westchester County Supreme Court, Commercial Division.
Successfully prosecuting claims against a venture capital firm and major investment bank shareholder in the commercial division of New York State Supreme Court. The case arose from the defendant’s 40% equity holding in the client, obtained in exchange for approximately $5 million in venture capital. It was alleged that the equity holding was improperly and fraudulently transferred to an unaffiliated entity, in violation of transfer and first refusal rights set forth in the client’s stockholder agreement. After highly contested motion practice, the case was resolved with the client recovering all of its shares held by the defendants.
Effectively litigating numerous infringement and breach of contract claims on behalf of a website portal company and content provider in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York. The claims sought include preliminary injunctive relief, ordering specific performance of an exclusive distribution agreement, pending out-of-state arbitration of the underlying claims. After complex motion practice and oral argument in contemplation of the grant of the injunction being sought, the underlying dispute was successfully settled on behalf of the client.
Successfully defeating a motion for a temporary restraining order and subsequently resolving a trademark infringement and trade dress dispute on behalf of a Canadian distributor, in a federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Nevada, including claims for federal and common law trade dress infringement, federal trade dress dilution, and unjust enrichment.
Securing substantial settlement on behalf of a marketing company in a multi-million dollar international arbitration dispute against well-known global corporation. The case involved claims for fraudulent inducement, breach of contract and punitive damages. After highly contested discovery and motion practice, the case was successfully resolved on the eve of the first day of hearings before the arbitrator.
Successfully negotiating a settlement in an employment dispute against a major clothing manufacturer in New York City, resulting from the employee’s claims based on violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, New York Labor Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New York Human Rights Law, and breach of an employment contract arising out of alleged religious discrimination in the workplace.
Obtaining a confidential settlement for an employment dispute on behalf of a financial planner against a major life insurance corporation. The claims included defamatory regulatory filings, breach of contract, and potential sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims under Title VII.
Successfully resolving a $100 million dollar lawsuit against Lord & Taylor and The May Department Stores Company on behalf of Nicole Miller Men, based on the breach of an alleged exclusive distribution agreement between the parties.
Additional Legal Experience
Prior to founding Crosby & Higgins LLP, Mr. Higgins worked in Washington, D.C. and in New York City with the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. At Gibson Dunn, Mr. Higgins gained valuable experience with commercial disputes, alleged securities and antitrust violations, and other complex litigation. As a member of the appellate group, Mr. Higgins also spent significant time working on appellate matters, including a number of cases pending before various federal courts of appeal and the United States Supreme Court. Subsequently, Mr. Higgins began practicing law in Connecticut where he focused on business litigation, as well as ERISA, securities, consumer, and antitrust class action cases, including class action claims involving AT&T, AOL Time Warner, Electronic Data Systems, Sprint, Nortel Networks, American Energy and Power and Reliant Energy.
Professional Education and Teaching Experience
Mr. Higgins entered into the study of law in 1998, after graduating from the Fordham University School of Law where he was awarded the Fordham Law Prize (first in class) and was elected to the Order of the Coif for high attainment in the study of law. Mr. Higgins was also a member of the Fordham Law Review, was the co-author of a revised annual treatise on the antitrust law of vertical restraints, and was a research editor for a casebook on First Amendment rights. Deeply interested in politics and the field of constitutional law, Mr. Higgins previously served as an adjunct professor of political science for the University of Connecticut where he taught courses in constitutional law since 2005.
Family and Community
Mr. Higgins is the proud father of four children. Mr. Higgins is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts of New York and Connecticut. He is also a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Connecticut Bar Association. Mr. Higgins strives to be an active member of the community and has served as a volunteer attorney with Lawyers for Children America, a non-profit organization that provides guardian ad litem services for abused and neglected children in crisis situations.