Mr. Spencer has prosecuted a broad range of cases at Milberg LLP, with an emphasis on representing plaintiffs in class and other representative actions involving complex financial issues.
He was one of the principal trial counsel for plaintiffs in In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), one of the very few securities fraud class actions to go to trial and verdict. The jury returned a large verdict for plaintiffs in January 2010, which was upheld on appeal and has now resulted in distributions to class members.
Mr. Spencer has represented hundreds of holders of defaulted Argentine bonds in enforcement actions in New York federal court, including working with sovereign debt hedge funds in obtaining pari passu injunctions and preserving them on appeal, which helped settle the long-standing disputes in early 2016.
Mr. Spencer has handled many other securities cases at the Firm, including those against defendants in the fields of technology, real estate, finance, leasing, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. His first exposure to this type of case was in the precedent-setting “WPPSS” litigation in the late 1980s, which involved bond defaults on nuclear power plants in the Pacific northwest and established the blueprint for prosecuting many complex securities class actions that followed.
Mr. Spencer has also led the Firm’s prosecution of other cases in diverse fields. He was one of two principal trial counsel representing the FDIC in its year-long trial against a major accounting firm involving failed-bank audits, which led to a global settlement covering all government claims just before closing arguments to the jury. He has prosecuted consumer and securities claims against companies that sold deferred annuities unsuitable for retirement plan investors. He has taken appraisal and breach of fiduciary duty cases to trial in Delaware and Pennsylvania. He had extensive involvement in representing a coalition of union health care funds seeking to recover costs for treating smoking-related illnesses from the tobacco industry, pursuing the cases through several appeals. He has also represented plaintiffs in cases involving accounting malpractice, limited partnership investments, real estate closing fees and mortgage insurance, contract disputes, defamation, unlawful lotteries, and consumer deception.
Mr. Spencer began his legal career as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Wm. Matthew Byrne Jr. in Los Angeles (1976-77). He then returned to New York and joined Cravath, Swaine & Moore as an associate, where he worked until 1986, when he joined Milberg as an associate and became a partner later that year.