Peter J. Biging is an accomplished trial and appellate attorney with more than 30 years of experience as a litigator in the state and federal courts of New York. As vice chair of the firm's nationwide Management and Professional Liability Practice Group, Peter counsels and defends directors and officers against claims alleging fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duties, and a variety of professionals against claims based on alleged errors and omissions (E&O) in the performance of their professional services. He also regularly litigates labor and employment practices liability claims, commercial disputes, and municipal liability claims premised on alleged civil and constitutional violations.

Peter's D&O work involves the defense of both for-profit and not-for-profit companies and their executives, and E&O work includes defending insurance agents and brokers, securities brokers, lawyers, and a wide range of other miscellaneous professionals. Peter is regularly called upon to handle complex, high-stakes commercial litigation and claims involving allegations of gross negligence, fraud and malfeasance, harassment and discrimination, as well as litigation of non-solicitation/non-compete disputes. Throughout the course of his work in these areas, Peter has been repeatedly honored as a New York Metro area Super Lawyer.

A recognized thought leader in the area of D&O and E&O risks and litigation, Peter is the current chair of the American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) and Professional Liability Insurance Committee, and is the immediate past chair of the Professional Liability Defense Federation's Insurance Agent/Broker Claims Committee. As of October 2018, he has been tapped to serve as a member of the Professional Liability Defense Federation's Board of Directors.

Representative Matters
  • Directors and Officers (D&O) and Errors and Omissions (E&O) Liability
  • Dismissal following trial of claims against an insurance broker for allegedly failing to procure insurance for a residential building despite receiving specific instructions to do so and an application, leaving owner uninsured for severe personal injury claims
  • Dismissal of fraud, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims, and other claims asserted in a suit alleging a scheme to defraud involving complicated fraudulent financing of real estate ventures, resulting in actual damages alleged to exceed $40 million
  • Dismissal of claims against insurance broker for alleged failure to advise in connection with purchase of coverage for art gallery after it sustained substantial losses as a result of agreeing to indemnify purchaser of famous artist's work if it's provenance was successfully challenged (affirmed on appeal to Appellate Division, First Department)

  • Insurance and Reinsurance Coverage
  • Summary judgment award voiding over $200 million in reinsurance due to the fraudulent concealment of a cedent’s insolvency (affirmed by the Appellate Division, First Department and the New York Court of Appeals)
  • Decision (noted on the cover of the New York Law Journal) finding that it was the duty of an insurer to defend breach of fiduciary duty claims made against a law firm on the part of a legal malpractice insurer, despite the fact that only fraudulent conduct was specifically alleged

  • Legal Malpractice
  • Dismissal (and affirmance by the NY Appellate Division, First Department) of legal malpractice claims against a law firm for allegedly making a disastrous “tactical” decision contrary to the client’s wishes
  • Dismissal of legal malpractice action against New Jersey based lawyer brought in New York state court on grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction, notwithstanding evidence of work periodically performed in New York, including litigating in New York state and federal courts; once severed from larger case alleging conspiracy to defraud, never further pursued
  • Minimal dollar value settlement of $15 million claim alleging malpractice in the handling of maritime arbitration, after deposition of plaintiff's renowned ethics expert establishes he was himself practicing law in New York without a license
  • No contribution settlement of alleged Judiciary Law Section 487 claim in alleged multi-million fraud involving alleged misuse of the courts to pursue and conceal same, following filing of motion to dismiss 
  • Successful argument of appeal to Second Circuit of case involving dismissal of claims against lawyer for alleged participation in international fraud scheme for failure to name the proper corporate party with standing, even after proper party was identified and plaintiff's counsel sought permission to amend, for failure to do so in keeping with Court's instructions regarding final amendments to Complaint, despite District Court acknowledging that the dismissal was quite likely to result in a fraud going unpunished

  • Municipalities and Public Entities
  • Dismissal of the First Amendment claims of a high school art teacher disciplined for a classroom speech soliciting student participation in a planned art school involving nude models (affirmed by the Second Circuit)
  • Dismissal of a First Amendment claim arising from disciplining of an elementary school student for writing a story about murder and sex involving other students (affirmed by the Second Circuit)
  • Dismissal of claims against a social services agency for violation of due process in connection with the removal of children from foster parents (affirmed by the Second Circuit)
  • Dismissal of a Section 1983 claim for regulatory taking and defamation in connection with a town's issuance of notices of hearings for engaging in regulated activity on wetlands without a permit
  • Dismissal of wrongful death claims (affirmed by the NY Appellate Division, Second Department) against a municipality for allegedly failing to protect two young women who had been walking on railroad tracks from an oncoming train because a police officer who had allegedly directed them into harm’s way had not assumed a “special duty” to protect them

  • Commercial/Miscellaneous
  • Dismissal of libel claims, both affirmed in precedent-setting decisions by the NY Appellate Division, First Department, based on a psychiatric evaluation report to an insurer as protected opinion, and based on a court-ordered report on the mental status of a criminal defendant by a social worker as protected by quasijudicial proceeding immunity
  • Decision upholding the standing of a parent corporation to assert RICO claims for injuries to diminution in value of stock caused by racketeering activity directed at a subsidiary
Honors
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating: AV Preeminent
  • New York Metro Super Lawyers, 2009–10, 2012–18
Professional Affiliations
  • Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF)
  •      Insurance Agents/Brokers Claims Committee: Immediate Past Co-Chair, Corporate Governance
  •      Corporate Governance Committee: Former Chair
  •      Board of Directors: Member
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  •     Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section: Chair, Professional Liability Insurance Committee (PLIC)
  •      Litigation Section: Employment and Labor Relations, Insurance Coverage Litigation, and Professional Liability Litigation Committees
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
  • New York City Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Admitted to Practice
  • New York 
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Education
  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • Queens College, The City University of New York, B.A., cum laude, 1981
Publications
Presentations
  • "#MeToo and the Emerging D&O Risks," CLM Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, March 13, 2019
  • "Disasters and the Insurance Agent/Broker, Insurance Consultant, and Risk Manager," ABA and PLDF Panel, "Disasters: The Emerging D&O, E&O and Corporate Risks," New York, NY, February 5, 2019
  • Moderator, "Special Relationships, the Duty to Advise, and the High Stakes Insurance Agent and Broker E&O Claim: Strategies for Defending and Trying These Cases," PLDF Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, October 5, 2018
  • "The ESI and Social Media Monster," ASPEN Insurance CLE, June 18, 2018
  • "Corporate/D&O Liability and Sexual Harrassment in the Workplace: The New Paradigm and How to Manage the Risks Presented," New York State Bar Association, New York City, NY, May 24, 2018
  • Moderator, "Managing and Defending the High Stakes Insurance Agent and Broker E&O Claim," CLM Annual Conference, Houston, TX, March 14, 2018
  • "Legal Malpractice at a Crossroads? The Looming Threats" (Co-Presenter), CLM Annual Conference, Nashville, March 29-31, 2017
  • "Strategic and Ethical Landscape of Defending Clients Who Have Engaged in Indefensible Conduct" (Co-Presenter), ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, August 5, 2016
  • "The Sharing/On-Demand Economy: The Issues and Exposures," 12th Annual National Directors Offers Insurance ExecuSummit, Uncasville, CT, May 17, 2016
  • "Strategies for Defending the Seemingly Indefensible Claim," New York, NY, September 29, 2015 
  • Moderator, "Relationship Advice: Analyzing Claims-Made Coverage and When Claims 'Relate Back' to Prior Policy Periods," 11th Annual National Directors and Officers Insurance ExecuSummit, Uncasville, CT, May 20, 2015 
  • "Legal Malpractice," ABA Spring Conference, Philadelphia, May 1, 2015 
  • "Defending the Insurance Agent and Broker E&O Claim Arising From the Insurance Application Process — The Changing Landscape," DRI Professional Liability Seminar, New York, NY, December 4, 2014
  • Panelist, ABA TIPS Professionals, Officers and Directors Liability Committee Leadership Meeting, Boston, August 8, 2014
  • Moderator, "Insurance Agents E&O: Wait, Wait, There’s a Duty to Do What?" 2013 PLUS International Conference, Orlando, FL, November 5, 2013 
  • "Handling the Case Involving Allegations of Fraud or Other Malfeasance by an Employee," WESFACCA Annual Ethics CLE, New Castle, NY, October 24, 2013
  • "Professional Liability Coverage in Dispute: The Usual Suspects and Developing Issues," Thomson Reuters Webinar, July 17, 2013
  • Moderator, "Super Storm Sandy — A Professional Liability Perspective," PLUS Mid-Atlantic Chapter Workshop, Philadelphia, PA, May 9, 2013