Laura Connor Smith

Partner

Laura Connor Smith has more than 20 years of experience providing accounting and financial advisory services to companies and legal counsel on a multitude of issues involving disputes in arbitration and litigation matters and financial investigations. Laura has worked on client assignments such as damages analyses of complex contract disputes, intellectual property, valuations, investigations, and bankruptcies in various industries with a particular depth of experience in large international arbitrations involving both contract and treaty claims. She has extensive experience assisting with internal and external investigations of financial institutions.

Testimonial Experience

Laura has testified or submitted expert testimony primarily relating to damages, economics and financial issues in the following matters:

  • Rafael Ortega, ERR Investments, LLC, et al. v. Francisco Moreno, AEA Consulting, LP, AEA, LLC, et al., Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duties, Breach of Statutory Duty of Loyalty, Breach of Statutory Duty of Care. Filed expert report in May 2024 on the fair values of five related entities and the harm to the entities’ values caused by the actions of one partner. Dispute involved the operations of meat wholesale companies based in the U.S. (Engaged by respondents/counter-claimants)
  • ICC Matter Involving U.S. and European Parties, Breach of Contract, Misappropriation of Trade Secrets, Fraudulent Inducement, Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, RICO, Tortious Interference and Aiding and Abetting a Breach of Fiduciary Duty. Filed expert report on alleged damages claimed by claimant and the alleged counterclaim damages of respondent in January 2024.  Dispute involving medical devices. (Engaged by respondent; parties from U.S. and Europe)
  • Sheryl Cohen Fine, et al. v. Bowl America, Inc., et al., Shareholder Class Action Dispute, Breach of Fiduciary Duties, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland – Northern Division, Case No. 1:21-CV-01967-SAG. Filed expert report on damages in December 2023. Testified at deposition in January 2024. Dispute involving a termination fee in an acquisition and damages matter related to the appropriate purchase price of the acquired company. (Engaged by defendants)
  • Quanta Services Netherlands B.V. v. Republic of Peru, Expropriation and Fair and Equitable Treatment, ICSID Case No. ARB/21/1. Filed expert reports on damages in April and November 2022 and testified at hearing in June 2023. Dispute involving the construction and operation of broadband networks in rural regions of Peru. (Engaged by respondent; parties from Netherlands and Peru)
  • Matter Involving Egyptian and Chinese Parties, Paris Court of Appeals, Case No: RG n 21/20796. Filed expert statements in March and May 2023 in appeal proceedings related to the original award of lost profits to an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) claimant. (Engaged by ICC claimant, parties from Egypt and China)
  • GMS Ventures and Investment Holdings Co. LLC/Jordan (Exempt), et al. v. Republic of Iraq, Expropriation and Fair and Equitable Treatment, ICSID Case No. ARB/22/8. Filed expert report on damages in January 2023. Dispute involving the manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products in Iraq. (Engaged by claimants; parties from Jordan and Iraq)
  • Full Circle United, LLC v. Bay Tek Entertainment, Inc., Breach of License Agreement, Breach of Agreement, Tortious Interference, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, Civ. Action No. 1:20-cv-03395. Filed expert reports on alleged economic losses suffered by plaintiff in July and October 2021. Deposed in July 2022. Dispute was related to the operation of league play games within bars and other venues in the United States. Economic losses included lost profits. (Engaged by plaintiff)
  • ICC Matter Involving Egyptian and Chinese Parties, Breach of Contract. Filed expert report on alleged economic losses suffered by claimant in May 2019 and respondents’ counterclaim losses in November 2019 and January 2020. Testified at hearing in November 2020. Dispute was related to the distribution of home appliances in Egypt. Economic losses include direct losses, lost profits, and reputational harm. Award for claimant issued in October 2021, with lost profits award using all inputs and assumptions from Smith Report. (Engaged by claimant; parties from Egypt and China)
  • Bull Communications, Inc. v. PaeTec Communications, Inc., Breach of Contract, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Monroe, Index No. 2010-7108. Filed expert reports on alleged economic losses suffered by plaintiff in January and March 2018 and provided deposition testimony in May 2018. Economic losses include lost commission payments in the telecommunications industry. (Engaged by plaintiff)
  • Martin Campanella v. Metropolitan Aviation, LLC, Wrongful Termination, U.S. Department of Labor, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Filed an expert report on alleged economic losses suffered by the plaintiff in February 2014. Economic losses include lost back-pay and lost future earnings. (Engaged by plaintiff)
  • Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, regarding Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) findings and compliance with an investigation into a Washington, DC, financial institution (2004).

Consulting Engagement Experience

Representative examples of Laura’s engagement experience include:

Disputes

  • Meat Processing Industry, Litigation; Fraud and Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a dispute involving a post-acquisition price dispute related to a company that had poultry by-product processing facilities.
  • Medical Device Industry, Litigation; Patent Infringement. Managed an engagement team in a patent infringement dispute related to a glaucoma surgical device. Analysis included the assessment of lost profits, reasonable royalty, and irreparable harm.
  • Luxury Retail Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a dispute involving construction that impacted the operations of a luxury retailer. Analysis included the assessment of lost profits resulting from the alleged contract breach.
  • Pharmaceutical Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a dispute involving claims related to a license agreement for a pharmaceutical product. Analyses included assessments of royalties and stock option grants.
  • Oil and Gas Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in an interim measures proceeding regarding financial and audit issues and in defense of alleged damages and the assessment of counterclaims involving an oil and gas exploration and production joint venture in Nigeria.
  • Convenience Store and Gas Station Industry, Litigation; Involuntary Dissolution. Managed an engagement team in a shareholder oppression matter. Analyses included assessments of the fair value of the company and the minority shareholders’ interest in the company. Shareholder dispute involving the oppression of the minority shareholders of a company owning a regional chain of convenience stores with gas stations.
  • Banking and Insurance Industries, Litigation; Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Unjust Enrichment, Fraudulent Conveyance. Managed an engagement team in a breach of fiduciary duty dispute involving the failure of an insurer and reinsurance company. Analyses included assessments of the benefits received by parties to the litigation and the conduct of certain executives.
  • Banking Industry, Litigation; Aiding and Abetting Fraud, Breach of Fiduciary Duty. Managed an engagement team in a fraud dispute and related aiding and abetting claims against a financial institution related to the fraud perpetrated by Allen Stanford and his co-conspirators in the operation of a decades-long Ponzi scheme.
  • Medical Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a breach of contract dispute involving an agreement for the development of knee replacement products.
  • Medical Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a breach of contract dispute involving a license agreement related to medical data.
  • Insurance Industry, Litigation; Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Fraud in the Inducement, Gross Negligence. Managed an engagement team in a breach of contract and fraud dispute involving the management of an insurer’s assets related to the collapse of hedge funds and related party reinsurers.
  • Securities, Litigation; Violations of Securities Laws. Managed an engagement team in a securities litigation that dealt with issues related to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) loan loss reserves on a credit card loan portfolio.
  • Software Industry, Litigation; Breach of Contract, Tortious Interference, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Interference with Economic Relations, Misappropriation of Trade Secrets. Managed an engagement team in a breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties dispute involving the development of software for food delivery.
  • Banking and Insurance Industries, Litigation; Breach of Contract, Negligence and Misrepresentation. Managed an engagement team in a breach of contract dispute involving a bank trustee relationship in the healthcare industry. Dispute involved the failure of a reinsurance company and collateral held in a bank trust account.
  • Pharmaceutical Industry, Arbitration; Denial of Justice. Managed an engagement team in a dispute involving a request for interim measures resulting in a $150M judgment in Ecuador. Interim measures were denied.
  • Real Estate Development Industry, Arbitration; Expropriation. Managed an engagement team in an international contract dispute, which involved the assessment of lost profits related to a resort development in the Dominican Republic.
  • Railway Matter, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in an international contract dispute, which involved the assessment of lost profits related to a Colombian railway.
  • Banking and Insurance Industries, Litigation; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a breach of contract dispute involving a bank-trustee relationship in the healthcare industry. Dispute involved the failure of two reinsurance companies and collateral held in a bank trust account.
  • Port Operations Matter, Arbitration; Expropriation. Managed an engagement team in an international contract dispute, which involved damages related to port operations in India.
  • Postal Service Industry, Arbitration; Expropriation. Managed an engagement team in an international investment treaty dispute, which involved the assessment of the value of a Croatian postal service provider.
  • Textile Manufacturing Industry, Arbitration; Expropriation. Managed an engagement team in an international investment treaty dispute, which involved the assessment of the value of cotton fabric manufacturing and dyeing plants located in Uzbekistan.
  • Insurance Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a breach of contract dispute involving advanced data analytics in the health insurance industry.
  • Aerospace Industry, Litigation; Antitrust. Managed an engagement team in an antitrust dispute involving the assessment of past damages and lost future opportunities in the aerospace industry.
  • Gold Mining Matter, Arbitration; Expropriation. Managed an engagement team in an international investment treaty dispute, which involved the assessment of the value of a Venezuelan gold mining concession.
  • Consulting Service Industry, Litigation; Breach of Fiduciary Duties. Managed an engagement team in a breach of fiduciary duties dispute involving claims against a former officer and the directors of a large multi-national consulting firm related to events preceding bankruptcy. Matter involved assessing the value of the firm both consolidated and by its individual operating units.
  • Television/Broadcasting Industry, Litigation; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in a contract dispute involving distribution rights for Polish television content for broadcast and Internet distribution in the Americas.
  • Commodities Matter, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in an international contract dispute involving the wrongful termination of a joint-venture agreement involving the sales of commodities in Venezuela.
  • Education Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in an international contract dispute involving the wrongful termination of a contract related to the offering of higher education programs in Vietnam.
  • Telecommunications Industry, Arbitrations; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in international contract disputes involving interconnection rates between Egyptian fixed and mobile telecommunications operators.
  • Wrongful Termination Matter, Arbitration; Wrongful Termination. Managed an engagement team in a wrongful termination dispute involving lost back-pay and future lost compensation.
  • Financial Services Industry, Arbitrations; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in international contract disputes related to the operation of payment card operations in its franchisees, which involved the assessment of potential lost profits and other potential financial harm involving parties from Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States.
  • Chemical Manufacturing Industry, Arbitration; Expropriation. Managed an engagement team in an international investment treaty dispute involving the assessment of the value of a Romanian chemical plant.
  • Shipping Dispute in Iron Ore Industry, Arbitration; Breach of Contract. Managed an engagement team in an international maritime dispute related to the contractual arrangements for the shipment of iron ore involving parties from Argentina and Brazil.
  • Software Various Intellectual Property Matters. Managed engagement teams in the preparation of damage assessments related to patent infringement matters related to online wagering technology, computer hardware and software, internet-related technologies, toys and games, food additives, medical devices, and hurricane protection.
  • Telecommunications Industry, Litigation; Legal Malpractice. Prepared a damage analysis, drafted an expert report, and prepared an expert for deposition and trial testimony for a legal malpractice matter involving reasonable royalty damages for technology in the wireless telecommunications industry.
  • Software Industry, Litigation; Infringement. Prepared damage analysis for a trade secret infringement case in the software industry.

Valuation & Licensing

  • Food Service and Lifestyle Industries, Mediation; Partnership Dispute. Valued the impact on a celebrity brand as it relates to the brand’s use in a fast-casual restaurant joint venture. Assessed metrics of performance of the joint venture as it relates to operating partner’s projections and industry comparable companies.
  • Telecommunications Industry, Litigation; Shareholder Dispute. Managed an engagement team in an appraisal action to assess the fair value of a Russian telecommunications company in the Delaware Chancery Court.
  • Various Industries. Assisted in the valuation of intellectual property portfolios and developing and implementing intellectual property licensing programs regarding interactive television, semiconductors, and Bluetooth technology.
  • Toy and Game Industry. Assisted with the determination of the extent of past and future financial damage to a well-known toy brand as a result of the negative impact of lead paint-related recalls of its products.

Financial Investigations, Fraud & Forensic Accounting

  • Various Industries. Conducted royalty investigations to determine damages related to the alleged underpayment of royalties in the software and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Banking Industry. Managed a team assisting the government with Bank Secrecy Act compliance and a fund tracing investigation. Drafted reports to the government on our progress and findings.
  • Banking Industry. Assisted government regulators in an investigation involving Anti-Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance and fund tracing for a financial institution. Drafted multiple reports to the regulators on our progress and findings.
  • MBA, University of Maryland, USA
  • BSBA, Finance, Villanova University, USA
  • Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

Language

  • English (native)
  • Member, National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)
  • Member, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE)

Publications & Papers

  • “How Forensic and Quantum Experts Can Assist Counsel and Triers of Fact with Jurisdictional and Causation Topics in Arbitration/Litigation”, The FFF in Focus Newsletter, Spring Edition 2024
  • Compliance Programs and Anti-Money Laundering Efforts” (Chapter 7), Co-author, in Building a World-Class Compliance Program: Best Practices and Strategies for Success, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008
  • Post-Acquisition Disputes: A Financial Perspective”, Co-author, The Commercial Law Connection, National Bar Association, Summer 2006
  • Update on International Commercial Crime”, Co-author, What’s New in U.S. Litigation? Second Annual U.S. Litigation Seminar, October 2004 (republished as “International Commercial Crime: Money Laundering”, The Institutional Corporate Law Section Newsletter, National Bar Association, October 2004)
  • Post Enron – What Is Involved if Earnings Management Is Suspected?”, The Institutional Corporate Law Section Newsletter, National Bar Association, November 2002

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

  • Levering Financial & Technical Experts: Views from Counsel, Arbitrator and External Financier”, New York Arbitration Week, New York, New York, USA, November 2023
  • Quantifying Damages in Mining and Infrastructure Arbitration”, ICC Canada Arbitration Committee Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 2023