John Callagy has served as trial and appellate counsel for numerous disputes in various federal and state courts, representing his clients on virtually all legal issues affecting large domestic and international enterprises. He has advised and litigated on behalf of U.S. and European corporate clients in connection with investigations, securities law issues, antitrust, complex contract matters, insolvency, unfair competition, indemnity insurance coverage, product liability, intellectual property, environmental law and ERISA, pension, labor and personnel matters.
Although John works diligently to minimize the impact litigation has on his clients, he is a force to be reckoned with in the event that trial is necessary. His acute attention to detail without losing sight of the bigger-picture objectives of his clients have been honed over years of successful trial practice. John is valued by clients and colleagues alike for his ability to execute winning strategies that are not only grounded in the law, but that are also substantive, novel and even compelling.
John is also skilled in representing clients on appeal. He is adept at identifying the issues that will attract an appellate court’s attention, and prepares thoughtful and persuasive briefs and influential oral arguments. John has prosecuted and opposed petitions for certiorari, review, rehearing, mandamus and other emergency relief, as well as briefing and arguing important matters of civil law at the appellate levels. He knows, from first-hand experience, how to preserve critical issues for an appeal during trial. In everything he does, John is committed to crafting and advocating arguments that are not only based upon substantive legal theory, but also incorporate his client’s business objectives and are delivered in an effectual way.
John has defended clients with hundreds of millions and billions of dollars at stake. Notably, John is also sensitive to the cost of legal services and the impact litigation can have on his client’s operations and bottom line.
John became Kelley Drye’s first chairman in 1992, a role he held for two continuous decades. As a result, John understands the challenges and obstacles his clients face when managing a business. In addition, John has been recognized by the community in which he lives and works. A New York “Super Lawyer,” John received the prestigious “Saint Thomas More Award,” presented by the Archdiocese of New York. In 2005, he was honored at the Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A 37th Anniversary & Annual Partnership Awards Benefit, recognizing him for his leadership and dedication as chairman of Brooklyn A’s first-ever capital campaign, which raised nearly $4 million and led to the purchase of the organization’s Williamsburg headquarters and the opening of its Bushwick location.
Inner-City Scholarship Fund, trustee
Georgetown University, Board of Regents
Sacred Heart School, Greenwich, Conn., trustee
Financial Services/Securities Litigation
Trial counsel for JPMorgan Chase in an eight-day trial in the Southern District of New York. In a complete defense decision, the judge dismissed a breach of contract and fraud suit alleging failure to disclose potential liabilities after the plaintiff, NES Financial Corp., purchased one of the bank’s subsidiaries.
Representing JPMorgan Chase in the General Motor bankruptcy against a billion-dollar claim by the creditors’ committee for avoiding security interest.
Represented JPMorgan Chase in a multimillion-dollar, multidistrict securities and fraud litigation in Columbus, Ohio relating to the collapse of National Century. The cases successfully settled in discovery.
Represented JPMorgan Chase and senior executives in connection with litigation between Dow Chemical and its directors over an unauthorized leveraged buyout attempt.
Represented JPMorgan Chase in its WorldCom related securities litigation. The case successfully settled.
Trial counsel for JPMorgan Chase in a one-month jury trial in the Southern District of New York to recover over $1 billion from insurance companies that guaranteed structured finance transactions involving Enron. A favorable settlement was reached during jury deliberations.
Represented the president of Caldor against various alleged violations of the securities laws in the Caldor Securities Litigation.
Trial counsel for Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract claim brought by a former licensee, which alleged that the licensee’s rights to use certain trademarks was prematurely terminated. The case settled during trial.
Represented the interest of Prince Jefri of Brunei against claims of a multibillion-dollar theft of funds from the government of Brunei.
Represented a partner of an EPC contractor against fraud and breach of contract claims resulting from the construction of a $200 million de-inked pulp plant in Hagerstown, MD.
Trial counsel for Asea Brown Boveri, Inc. in a jury trial defending breach of contract and tortious interference claims seeking multimillion-dollar damages following a contested corporate merger. Received a complete defense verdict.
Trial counsel for Reader’s Digest in a multimillion-dollar antitrust, unfair competition and defamation lawsuit in state court in San Diego, CA. The case settled at trial.
Trial counsel for a plaintiff against General Motors in a successful jury trial involving claims of breach of contract and unfair competition for wrongfully appropriating the plaintiff’s intellectual property relating to the General Motors credit card.
Trial counsel for GTE in a jury trial against a multimillion-dollar claim for alleged breach of partnership obligations relating to a cellular phone franchise in the Midwest.
Represented JPMorgan Chase in connection with the protection of $200 million of collateral being claimed in a proceeding in Australia brought by the liquidator of a failed reinsurance company.
Listed in New York Super Lawyers, 2007-2017.
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A 37th Anniversary & Annual Partnership Awards Benefit, honoree, 2005.
Lawyers’ Committee of the Archdiocese of New York, Saint Thomas More Award, 2006.
Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, Character and Fitness Committee