Brian A. Berkley is an associate with Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. Mr. Berkley concentrates his practice on commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on arbitration and complex breach of contract litigation, securities, financial services, and mergers and acquisition-related litigation, business tort and non-compete litigation, international matters, and First Amendment and media litigation. He has provided successful representation to Fortune 500 companies, midsize companies, and national and international clients.
Mr. Berkley has been selected for inclusion on the annual Pennsylvania Rising Stars lists for 2013-2014 for business litigation.
The following matters are representative of Mr. Berkley’s practice:
Arbitration and Complex Breach of Contract Litigation
Mr. Berkley routinely counsels clients on the drafting of arbitration clauses and the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration. He has guest lectured at a local law school on the unique procedures that apply in arbitration. He also has written or co-written on arbitration law, including an article titled “Promotion of Arbitration in the 21st Century,” published in the May 2013 issue of For the Defense, a publication of the Defense Research Institute.
- Bevan v. DaVita, Inc., 557 Fed. Appx. 706 (10th Cir. 2014) – won affirmance of confirmation of underlying arbitration award after successful defense against breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims
- defended and prosecuted two arbitrations on behalf of medical device manufacturer, turning an initial multi-million dollar claim against client into a multi-million dollar settlement for client
- prosecuted a breach of exclusive supplier contract claim in AAA arbitration on behalf of major bottling company, leading to a favorable monetary settlement
- prosecuted breach of contract claim in state court on behalf of large real estate company against national hotel chain, leading to a favorable monetary settlement
- defended large regional bank in breach of contract litigation involving a software contract in federal court, leading to a favorable monetary settlement.
Securities, Financial Services, and Mergers and Acquisition-Related Litigation
Mr. Berkley is a member of the firm’s Securities and Financial Services Enforcement Group. He routinely counsels clients on an array of financial regulatory issues. Mr. Berkley also counsels corporate clients on litigation risks associated with mergers and acquisitions.
- Hamilton Partners, L.P. v. Highland Capital Mgmt., L.P., 2014 Del. Ch. LEXIS 72 (Del. Ch. May 7, 2014) – won dismissal of complaint alleging breach of fiduciary duty claims against director in stockholder class action
- Alliance Industries, Inc. v. Longyear Holdings, Inc., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25743 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 2012) – won summary judgment on behalf of large mining exploration company, defeating breach of contract and tort claims while obtaining award for breach of representations and warranties in asset acquisition agreement
- defended mortgage company in trading desk dispute, leading to an early cost-saving settlement.
Business Torts and Non-Compete Litigation
Mr.Berkley is a current Web site and social media editor for the American Bar Association’s Business Torts Litigation Committee. From 2011-2012 he was a co-chair of the committee’s Unfair Trade Practices Subcommittee. He routinely counsels clients on the enforcement of non-compete, non solicitation claims and issues related to business tort litigation.
- lead counsel on behalf of large insurance company successfully enforcing a non-solicitation agreement and favorably prosecuting tortious interference claim against a former broker and his new employer, resulting in a favorable settlement securing a stipulated injunction enforcing the agreement’s terms and monetary payment
- lead counsel successfully defended against enforcement of a non-solicitation agreement, tortious interference claim, and fraud claims against a large insurance company and broker, resulting in favorable settlement
- obtained dismissal at the motion to dismiss stage of unfair trade practices claim against large pharmaceutical company.
Mr. Berkley represents international clients in international arbitrations as well in U.S. courts. He has successfully obtained early dismissals saving international clients from the costs of U.S. discovery. Representative matters include:
Mr. Berkley is active in the Irish American Business Chamber of Commerce and Philadelphia Bar Association’s Brehon Society.
- Princeton Football Partners LLC v. Football Association of Ireland, Civ. No. 11-5227 (D.N.J. July 23, 2012) – on behalf of premier Irish soccer association, obtained dismissal of complaint alleging RICO, breach of contract, and tort claims
- Fernandez v. BLM Group, Case No. 08-21240 (S.D. Fla.) – on behalf of Italian manufacturer, obtained dismissal of complaint alleging product liability claims
- one week international arbitration before the London Court of International Arbitration relating to failed international real estate joint venture.
First Amendment and Media Litigation
Mr. Berkley wins cases on behalf of clients relating to First Amendment litigation. Representative matters include:
In addition, Mr. Berkley has defended major newspapers and other media clients in defamation cases brought by government officials and other high-profile plaintiffs. He has written on issues relating to defamation, including “Early Mitigation of Defamation Damages,” ABA’s Business Torts Litigation Newsletter (Vol. 20, No. 1).
- Coppola v. Larson, Civ. No. 06-2138 (D.N.J. 2006) - obtained, on behalf of college student newspaper editors in pro bono matter, a preliminary injunction reinstating the student’s faculty advisor. The decision was the first of its kind to recognize that the First Amendment rights of student newspaper editors can be violated by the removal of their faculty advisor. The decision received local and national media attention, and the matter was later favorably settled.
- Startzell v. City of Philadelphia, Civ. Act. No. 05-05287 (E.D. Pa. 2007) (affirmed by Third Circuit) – obtained summary judgment on behalf of parade organizers against protestors who claimed the organizers conspired with the City of Philadelphia to restrict their First Amendment rights. The protest received national media attention.
Mr. Berkley also has an active pro bono practice. He is the co-founder of Pepper’s Veterans’ Rights Pro Bono Practice Group, which focuses on providing crucial legal representation to indigent veterans in Philadelphia. In recognition of his efforts, he received the 2013 Homeless Advocacy Project Award. He has represented Disability Rights of New Jersey, helping to ensure protection of the constitutional rights of disabled New Jersey residents. Mr. Berkley also represented Elton John’s AIDS Foundation in defense of the foundation’s intellectual property.
Mr. Berkley is active in the American Bar Association. In addition to his involvement with the Business Torts Litigation Committee, he is also a member of the ABA’s Corporate Counsel Committee. Recently, he acted as a co-chair for the 2014 ABA Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar.
Mr. Berkley received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Washington and Lee School of Law in 2005, where he was a staff writer for the Law Review and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society. He was an Oral Argument and Best Brief finalist for Moot Court, and also served as a Burks Scholar teaching first-year law students research and writing skills. He studied abroad at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) in 1999.
Mr. Berkley is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.