Mr. Kerr has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in hundreds of state and federal class actions, involving damage claims from $10 million to $10 billion.
Mr. Kerr's work on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants has resulted in numerous favorable outcomes. From prosecuting a securities fraud action against Vivendi for plaintiffs where in January 2010 the jury returned a verdict that at the time had an estimated value of $9 billion, to defending a corporation in a "bet-the-company" litigation that was dismissed in its entirety on summary judgment only months before trial, Mr. Kerr's versatility provides a benefit in all litigation phases.
Since joining Baker Botts, Mr. Kerr has maintained an active defense practice, focusing on securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate transactions, typically on behalf of corporations and their officers and directors. Some representative matters Mr. Kerr has worked on at Baker Botts include:
- Defending a subprime mortgage originator in significant RMBS “put-back” actions brought by a servicer/trustee in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“SDNY”).
- Defending an international energy company in a securities fraud class action in the SDNY.
- Defending a controlling shareholder against breach of fiduciary duty claims arising out of a going-private transaction in the Delaware Chancery Court.
Prior to joining Baker Botts, Mr. Kerr was primarily a plaintiff's litigator for approximately 18 years, with substantial experience in securities fraud cases. Virtually every one of Mr. Kerr's cases was contingent, which meant his fees were dependent on his outcomes. That experience instilled in Mr. Kerr a work ethic that is not driven by the billable hour but by his ability to help his clients.
Mr. Kerr also provides full-service representation to clients throughout the art world, from collectors to dealers, investors to artists. Mr. Kerr leverages his experience in securities and corporate law to bring sophisticated advice to clients, including strategic business advice and support, drafting and negotiating sales contracts, commission agreements, consignment agreements, auction house contracts/guarantees, and dealer/gallery contracts. Mr. Kerr also represents clients in art litigation and other dispute resolution, including issues relating to authentication and stolen art. Mr. Kerr also provides general representation to artists and their work. Mr. Kerr works on matters requiring all degrees of sensitivity, whether high-profile or discreet.
Mr. Kerr's far-reaching experience in the art space includes representing: a group of collectors in a defamation/disparagement case relating to the artist Keith Haring; a book publisher in a defamation/breach of contract case against News Corporation; a UK film producer in an antitrust case involving the alleged manipulation of the market for Warhol art; and an Australian media group in a complex commercial dispute in New York State Supreme Court against News Corp., Sony, Universal, and Paramount arising from an alleged international conspiracy to put the media group out of business.
Mr. Kerr has also been involved in a range of pro bono work, including helping artists with issues related to the creation of fine art, the representation of indigent prisoners in civil rights cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Wright v. Coughlin, 225 F.3d 647 (2d Cir. 2000)), and working extensively with Trial Lawyers Care to provide legal assistance to the families of victims of the September 11th attacks, including an in-person hearing before Special Master Kenneth Feinberg.
In 1993, Mr. Kerr graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Economics from the University of Albany, where he received the Gordon Karp Prize for Excellence in Economics, was founder of the Presidential Honors Society, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and valedictorian. In 1996, Mr. Kerr graduated from Hofstra Law School, where he was a member of the Hofstra Law Review and a Dean's Scholar. Mr. Kerr, admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1996 and the New York Bar in 1997, is a member in good standing of the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second and Third Circuits.