In addition to serving as a neutral, Usher heads the dispute resolution practice group at Winslett Studnicky McCormick & Bomser LLP. With decades of successful trial, ADR, and appellate experience, he has been selected by both plaintiffs and defendants to represent their interests in high-stakes litigation, arbitration, and mediation – including multi-national disputes resolved by foreign courts and international arbitration. Usher has handled arbitrations under the rules of AAA, CPR, JAMS, FINRA, and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Some examples of his recent matters include:
- Lead counsel representing a group of over 40 venture capital firms in an international arbitration and foreign court action with more than $120 million at issue. The matter involved a series of disputes arising out of a foreign public company’s purchase of a U.S.-based technology company controlled by the VCs. In resolving those disputes, Usher led the team that tried and won case before a European court and then reached a favorable settlement of the overall dispute before the conclusion of the international arbitration in London.
- Represented Knoedler Gallery — one of the most prominent art galleries in the world before its closure — in an international dispute involving what CNBC called “[t]he biggest art fraud in modern U.S. history”. The matter involved the sale to a Liechtenstein museum of fake art attributed to Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock, among others.
- Led the team that obtained a TRO and order attaching the assets of a production/finance company behind the Academy Award winning Best Picture Birdman. Morgan v. Worldview v. Worldview Entertainment Holdings, Inc., NY Supr. Ct., Index No. 652323/2014.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction in a trademark infringement action against a high-profile, VC-funded technology company. The order required the defendant to immediately cease operations and completely re-brand before reopening. Bulman v. 2BKCo. Inc., 882 F.Supp.2d 551 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).
- Member of the successful joint-defense team in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Stoker, 11-cv-7388. Retained by Citibank to act as counsel for the named defendant’s immediate boss. The two-week-long trial involved a deal at the center of Citibank’s proposed $285 million settlement with regulators over subprime residential mortgage securities.
- Acted as lead plaintiffs’ counsel for a group of 13 portfolio managers and other senior executives of a failed New York-based hedge fund in connection with claims of breach of contract, fraud, and alter-ego liability, among others. After a successful court case, including two appeals, Usher and his team prevailed in a prolonged arbitration.
- Served as lead counsel for a defendant in the mammoth multidistrict litigation regarding the alleged manipulation of LIBOR. Usher’s client was accused of using tainted LIBOR numbers to affect rates on student loans, but he succeeded in having all claims dismissed.
Usher began his legal career in New York City as a commercial litigator at Thacher Proffitt & Wood, where he represented large financial institutions and insurance companies for the most part. Usher left Thacher in 1996 to join the senior management team of then-fledgling Razor & Tie Entertainment. During his tenure, Razor & Tie grew to be one of North America’s largest privately owned media companies, including one of the nation’s most successful direct marketers of entertainment products, a media-buying unit, a marketing unit, a publishing company, and a record label with multiple Gold and Platinum releases.
Usher left Razor & Tie to join Digital Club Network (now part of eMusic) as Chief Operating Officer. Usher was part of the senior management team that took DCN from a start-up to the world’s largest aggregator of live concert recordings and a successful record label specializing in live music recordings. Under Usher’s leadership, DCN produced the world’s largest online music event, with over 200 acts including blink-182, Wu Tang Clan, Wilco, Patti Smith, Widespread Panic, and Sonic Youth, performing at 25 venues around the country – all webcast live. In addition, DCN signed recording deals with some of the most prominant up-and-coming acts in the country, as well as industry legends, ranging from John Legend to Dispatch to Ralph Stanley.
After DCN, Usher served as CEO of Odin Media (a producer of technology-enabled marketing solutions for companies like Comcast and Cablevision), before starting his current firm in 2008.
In addition to the above, Usher has been an ADR professional since the mid-90’s. Usher’s diverse career has also included starting a company that imported and distributed shoes from Argentina, serving a deputy campaign manager for a United States Congressperson, and serving as executive producer on 20+ albums, multiple music videos, and a short film.