Martin G. Durkin is a partner in Holland & Knight's Chicago office, and a member of the firm's Litigation Section, with more than 25 years of experience in representing corporations and financial institutions, including banks, broker-dealers and investment funds, in commercial litigation, class actions, internal investigations, regulatory matters and antitrust counseling. Mr. Durkin has extensive litigation experience in financial and securities fraud, including Ponzi scheme matters. He has represented clients in numerous state and federal actions, including multidistrict litigation throughout the country.
Mr. Durkin has served as lead trial attorney to international financial services companies in class actions and mass actions involving claims of securities fraud, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO), fiduciary duty violations and related commercial torts. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business litigation claims and has tried cases involving common law and Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) contract claims, statutory and common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of state and federal securities and antitrust laws.
Mr. Durkin represents clients in all aspects of strategic risk management and litigation. He regularly counsels clients on pre-dispute planning, risk-control and mitigation, and alternative dispute resolution.
Mr. Durkin is one of three partners leading the firm’s Industry Sector Initiative. This initiative brings together lawyers and senior professionals from a broad range of practice areas all of whom have an expertise focused on a common industry. Through this initiative Holland & Knight is increasing the collaboration of its lawyers to enhance its representation of clients in strategic industries, and to bring cost-effective solutions to client issues.
From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Durkin was a member of Holland & Knight's Directors Committee.
Class Actions – Consumer Protection Defense
- Toben v. Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC – Defeated class certification and obtained summary judgment for national automobile service center in consumer fraud class action challenging fees. The trial court's judgment was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. (Toben v. Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC., 751 F.3d 888 (8th Cir. 2014)).
- Alliano v. Timothy Ferriss and Random House – Obtained dismissal of a consumer fraud class action brought against a publisher and best-selling author arising from a dispute regarding access to Internet-based materials. The dismissal was affirmed on appeal by the Illinois Appellate Court. (Alliano v. Timothy Ferriss and Random House, 2013 IL App (1st) 120242, March 29, 2013).
- Glen Ellyn Pharmacy, Inc. v. Proven Pharmaceuticals, LLC. – Defended pharmaceutical manufacturer in class action alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. 14 C 09958 (N.D. Ill. 2014).
- Defended a national financial services company in class action alleging a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act in the administration of customer accounts
- Defended an international manufacturer of bulk and compressed gas in a nationwide class action for violation of state consumer fraud acts arising from billing practices
- Represented former executives of industry-leading privately held company in civil fraud class actions and opt-out actions arising from alleged fraudulent billing and pricing practices
- Represented a national consumer lender in class action alleging violation of the Driver's Privacy Protection Act
Class Actions – Antitrust and Unfair Competition
- Defended an international manufacturer of industrial gases in consolidated class actions and opt-out actions alleging price fixing. The matters were consolidated by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation. A jury returned a defense verdict following an extended trial.
- Defended an international pharmaceutical manufacturer in class action and opt-out actions alleging price fixing and Robinson-Patman Act violations
- Represented an international industry trade association in response to Civil Investigative Demand, grand jury subpoena and class action lawsuits regarding price fixing for food products
Financial Services and Fiduciary Litigation
- Defended a national insurance and investment company in a complex securities fraud and Ponzi scheme matter arising out of the conduct of a former agent, who pleaded guilty to fraud and financial abuse of the elderly. More than 60 plaintiffs joined in this mass action and sought damages, including punitive damages of more than $1 billion. Following a four-week trial, the jury returned verdicts in favor of the defendant.
- Defended a public pension fund in a breach of a contract action by an investment adviser over the calculation of rates of return and fee hurdle
- Lyondell Chemical Company Shareholder Litigation – Defended a public pension fund in class actions alleging fraud and fraudulent conveyances arising from leveraged buyouts of public companies., U.S. Bankr. Ct., SD NY, 09-10023, and In re Tribune Company Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation, SD NY 11 MD 2296
- Bohnett v. Amedisys, Inc. – Defended a financial services company in shareholder strike suit class action challenging "poison put" and "dead hand proxy put" terms in credit facility. (No. C 641725 - East Baton Rouge, LA. 2015).
- Defended a national bank in action alleging breach of fiduciary duty in the management in minor’s trust account. The district court’s entry of summary judgment was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Miller v. American National Bank and Trust Co., 4 F.3d 518 (7th Cir. 1993).
- Defended a financial services company in actions arising from a former registered representative's operation of a Ponzi scheme and related securities act violations
- Defended financial services company in multiple actions alleging violations of state and federal securities laws, unsuitable sales and financial abuse of the elderly
- Defended a financial services company in FINRA arbitration alleging failure to supervise in selling away and Ponzi scheme matters
- Represented commercial bank in repossession of private aircraft
White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations
- Represented a national charity in the internal investigation of fraud and embezzlement by employees. The investigation resulted in the indictment of three employees.
- Represented a national insurance company in the prosecution of an action to break up a life, health and hospitalization insurance fraud scheme. The representation resulted in the criminal indictment and guilty plea of the person responsible for the fraud.
- Represented executives of target corporations before federal grand juries investigating alleged antitrust violations
- Represented a former executive of a major construction company in federal false claims act investigation
- Represented corporations and trade associations in response to Civil Investigative Demands and Grand Jury Investigations by the United States Department of Justice, and State Attorneys General
Mediation and Arbitration
- Represented a radio and cellular communications manufacturer in international arbitration regarding the construction of a communication network in Nigeria
- Represented a national financial services company in the mediation of claims regarding breach of fiduciary duty and violations of securities laws in sales of annuities and related products
- Represented a regional bank in arbitration of claims with a transaction processing company following termination of a contract for ATM, and credit and debit card processing
- Represented a residential developer in arbitration of financial mismanagement and self-dealing claims brought by investors