Overview

John M. Toriello is the practice group leader for the firm's New York Litigation Group and co-chairs the firm's Insurance Industry Team. Mr. Toriello has extensive experience in jury and nonjury trials, appeals to both federal and state appellate courts and international arbitrations of contract disputes. He represents clients in a wide range of insurance disputes, including prosecution of fiduciary duty claims, fraud claims, coverage claims and broker/intermediary errors-and- omissions claims. He acts in marine, aviation, CGL, satellite, environmental, reinsurance, business interruption and other litigations and arbitrations.

Mr. Toriello has led the representation of aircraft lessors, equipment lessors and other aviation clients in international repossession, bankruptcy, purchase, sale, redelivery and general contract disputes related to, among other things, nonpayment, aircraft and equipment condition, compliance with (FAR)s, escalation clauses and valuation.

Mr. Toriello has led the representation of financial institutions and obligors in connection with the enforcement of loan and other obligations, the pursuit of fraud and fraudulent conveyance claims, the defense of lender-liability claims, judgment enforcement and insurance-coverage disputes. In his general practice, he represents clients on contract and product liability matters involving heavy industrial equipment, manufacturing plants, aircraft, vessels and satellites, as well as counsels sellers and manufacturers of sporting equipment, appliances and food products. Mr. Toriello has also directed judgment-enforcement litigations and been appointed an arbitrator in ICC and private arbitrations. A substantial amount of his practice relates to international transactions.

In addition, Mr. Toriello has delivered papers at meetings for various professional organizations on topics including Asbestos Litigation, Piercing the Corporate Veil, Environmental Risks Faced by Lenders Under United States Law and Resolution of International Insurance Disputes. He has written several articles for the New York Law Journal and Reactions.

While in law school, he served as articles editor for the St. John's Law Review.

Experience

  • Representation of a recovery trustee and Corporation of Lloyd's to prosecute fraud and judgment enforcement claims against a Lloyd's underwriter for embezzlement of funds through fraudulent reinsurance schemes in excess of $50 million, resulting in recovery of funds and property in New York, Vermont, Florida, France and Switzerland
  • Defense of a reinsurance intermediary against claims in excess of $10 million by reinsurers related to cut-through endorsements and indemnity agreements
  • Defense of a Fortune 50 company against insurance and indemnity claims involving asserted environmental damages in excess of $350 million
  • Defense of a syndicate at Lloyd's in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and antitrust putative class action against Lloyd's syndicates seeking damages in excess of $100 million
  • Defense of an insurance fund against a claim in a London arbitration in excess of $60 million for an asserted breach of loss portfolio transfer
  • Defense of U.S., French, English, German and Japanese insurers on arbitration claims ranging from $50 million to $300 million for various satellite and transmission failures
  • Representation of a United States export-import company resulting, after trial and appeal, in the recovery of losses occasioned by the rejection of cargo on a fully laden chartered vessel under a marine insurance policy
  • Defense of aviation insurers on environmental coverage claims in excess of $100 million related to Miami International Airport and various carriers operating at the airport

  • Representation of three international banks who together with three other international banks suffered loss in excess of $90 million arising from a trade finance fraud including foreclosure on collateral and recovery of insurance proceeds from a cargo insurer and criminal restitution from a Colombian fraudster resulting, after trial and two appeals, in a full recovery including interest and attorneys' fees
  • Defense of European turnkey dairy factory suppliers against fraud, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and breach of contract claims brought in two actions by United States purchasers of factories
  • Representation of money center bank in a claim for excess of $20 million, including seizure, foreclosure and sale of collateral, enforcement of guarantee and dismissal of lender liability claims arising from asset-based lending to Greek shipping businesses
  • Representation of a foreign bank in the enforcement of loan obligations in excess of $15 million, including the seizure and sale of collateral, enforcement of guarantee and dismissal of lender liability claims
  • Defense of a manufacturer's finance company on rejection of capital equipment subject to a forward purchase contract and dismissal, after trial and appeal, of $50 million claim for breach of contract and bad faith
  • Representation of the Export-Import Bank of the United States in the recovery of a commercial aircraft located in the Philippines and subject to a Philippine bankruptcy and Chapter 15 proceeding in the U.S.
  • Representation of a Venezuelan company in a claim against a standby letter of credit arising from the lease of a jack up oil rig to an Ecuadorian government agency
  • Enforcement of a guarantee on behalf of an equipment lessor against an individual in Nigeria and the collection of funds following enforcement proceedings in New York and London
  • Defended a capital equipment manufacturer against a multimillion-dollar deposit refund claims in New York, New Jersey and Illinois

  • Representation of three aircraft lessors in recovering more than 20 commercial aircraft from a Mexican carrier through injunctive relief, self-help and orders issued in Chapter 15 proceedings
  • Representation of various aircraft lessors in the enforcement of various lease obligations and the recovery of commercial aircraft and aircraft parts in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines
  • Broad experience in litigating and arbitrating commercial disputes on behalf of manufacturers, lessors, secured parties, sellers and purchasers of commercial and business aircraft and engines, with an emphasis on rights under Articles 2, 2A and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and lessors' rights under the Bankruptcy Code; matters frequently involve disputes regarding aircraft and engine sale and lease transactions and redelivery/redelivery conditions that implicate civil aviation regulations in the United States and abroad, including:

    • aircraft and engine redelivery or delivery conditions in purchase and lease agreements, including issues of airworthiness, compliance with aircraft/engine type certificate, extended range twin operations (ETOPS), airframe nonconformities, exhaust gas temperature (EGT) margins, non-incident status, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulation compliance and cannibalization of parts 
    • lessee nonpayment of rent and maintenance reserves and recovery of the equipment in the United States and abroad through U.S. legal proceedings
    • enforcement of guarantees
    • revocation of acceptance, repair and replacement warranties, business interruption, diminution in value and consequential damages
    • rights of secured creditors under aircraft parts consignment agreements
    • price escalation clauses based on government employment indices
    • negotiations with Boeing concerning new aircraft delivery delays
    • judgment and arbitration award enforcement in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Far East and Africa
    • foreign and U.S. bankruptcy representation

  • Representation of a charterer in an arbitration arising from a grounding in Charleston harbor with competing claims of unseaworthy vessel and unsuitable cargo
  • Representation of a charterer in claims by and against a hull insurer, brokers and owner arising from the sinking of a barge
  • Representation of cargo vessels in collisions with a sail boat in offshore waters
  • Successful dismissal, on forum non conveniens grounds, of claims by eight crewmembers of a historic sailing vessel against foreign commercial vessel, arising from collision in international waters
  • Representation of financial institutions in an enforcement of rights arising from marine asset-based financing and dismissal of lender liability claims

  • Special counsel to an asbestos containing product manufacturer in defense of nationwide claims for injury and death
  • National counsel for a washing machine manufacturer in numerous severe personal injury claims arising from an allegedly defective door locking mechanism
  • National counsel for a sporting goods manufacturer in defective bicycle claims

Credentials

Education
  • St. John's University School of Law, J.D.
  • Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Memberships
  • International Bar Association, Insurance Committee, Chairman
  • Imagine, A Center for Coping With Loss, Chairman
  • Books for Kids Foundation, Board of Advisors
  • Westfield New Jersey Board of Education, Vice President, 1986-1989; 1994-1997
  • United Fund of Westfield, N.J., Fund Distribution Committee 2010-2013
  • American Bar Association
  • New York City Bar Legal Referral Service – Joint Committee on Legal Referral Service
  • New York City Bar Association, Ethics, Insurance, Corporate/Outside Counsel Committees
Honors & Awards
  • Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers, Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides, 2004-2017
  • Guide to the World's Leading Insurance/Reinsurance Lawyers, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2016, 2017
  • Who's Who Legal: Transport, Aviation Contentious, 2014-2019; Who's Who Legal 100: Aviation, 2014
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Transportation Law, Insurance Law, 2012-2020
  • New York Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2012, 2014-2019
  • ABA Military Pro Bono Project Outstanding Services Award, 2014
  • Corporate Counsel Edition, Super Lawyers magazine
  • Best of the Best USA, Aviation, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2017
  • Guide to the World's Leading Product Liability Lawyers, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2012, 2015, 2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News