Frechette, Donald E.

Donald E. Frechette


Partner

 

Overview

With over thirty-five years of courtroom experience, Donald Frechette is a zealous advocate for the Firm's corporate and financial services clients. A former in-house counsel, he has acted as outside national litigation counsel to two insurance companies and, in that role, has hired and supervised trial lawyers across the country. Don advises corporations, banks and insurance companies in a broad array of contested issues including securities law, regulatory disputes, mergers and acquisitions litigation, inter-bank conflicts, lender liability, trademark infringement and unfair competition, franchise claims, and class actions. His practice also involves the representation of both cedents and reinsurers in reinsurance arbitration and litigation.

Representative Experience

  • Successfully challenged Connecticut and New Jersey bans on bank ATM surcharging.
  • Obtained a dismissal of all securities class claims under SLUSA against a life insurer in connection with its sale of variable annuity contracts in a case of first impression.
  • Served as special investigative counsel to a housing authority allegedly involved in discriminatory lending practices.
  • Obtained a ruling establishing that state bank regulators have no visitorial authority over national banks in an important case of first impression.
  • Represented one of New England's largest banks in connection with state regulatory efforts to unwind a five bank merger.
  • Prevailed before the Connecticut Supreme Court in a case challenging Connecticut's corporate estimated tax statute in a case of first impression.
  • Represented consumer finance companies in class action litigation arising under TILA, TCPA, RESPA, RIFSA, FDCPA and FCRA. In one recent class action, he obtained a dismissal of all claims on the basis of a first impression statute of limitations question.
  • Has also been at the forefront of litigation involving the enforcement of contracts containing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. For example, he prevailed, both at trial and in appellate proceedings, in a case involving a partnership arbitral mechanism that allows partners to serve as arbitrators in matters involving their own firm.
  • Represented a cedent in an international consolidated reinsurance arbitration involving an attempted rescission of the relevant treaties. Notably, in related litigation, Don was able to force one of the reinsurers to consolidate its claims into a single arbitration with the cedent, thereby resulting in significant economies of scale for the client and related cost savings.
  • Retained by several national insurance carriers to represent them in connection with on-going investigations being conducted by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Massachusetts and West Virginia concerning insurance brokering practices.
  • Represented a national life insurance carrier in connection with Texas appellate proceedings arising out of a dispute with one of its brokers that resulted in the reversal of a $12 million trial court judgment.
  • Represented one of the nation's largest banks in a trade defamation case brought against a state savings bank and ultimately negotiated a settlement whereby the savings bank agreed to forever refrain from further comparative advertising.
  • Prosecuted a summary judgment that disposed of most of plaintiff's claims in a case involving a consumer finance company. He then negotiated a settlement that established a vendor relationship between the former adversaries.

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Member, New England Legal Foundation
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, New England Legal Foundation (Connecticut Council Advisory)
  • Named a Connecticut Super Lawyer in the area of Business Litigation 2006-2019 by Super Lawyers Magazine