Christopher J. Porzio

Christopher is a seasoned trial lawyer who represents many clients in the financial services and health care fields. Using his litigation skills and his prior experience as a general counsel, he is well-positioned to help clients evaluate and manage litigation risk, mitigate exposure and creatively and cost-effectively bring difficult disputes to successful outcomes.

What do you focus on?

I practice in three main areas.

Financial Services Litigation and Arbitration

I represent financial services firms in matters such as FINRA arbitrations and litigations involving employee (broker) compensation and actions alleging business related-torts and the violation of restrictive covenants. I also draft and negotiate employment contracts and evaluate litigation risk in connection with proposed terminations in the U.S. and internationally. I recently spent several years as general counsel at a broker-dealer focused primarily on the interdealer credit and equity derivatives markets, where I managed the firm’s global legal affairs.

Health Care Litigation

I represent health care entities, including hospitals, health systems, academic medical institutions and clinics in a broad array of matters with emphasis on internal medical staff fair hearings and related administrative and litigation matters, False Claims Act cases involving Medicare and Medicaid billing and federally funded research grants, discrimination actions and physician restrictive covenant cases.

Indian Law and Gaming

I play an integral role in developing and expanding the firm’s Indian Law and Gaming practice, primarily through the representation of the interests of non-tribal entities in negotiations and litigations involving Indian gaming initiatives and land claims. I have litigated matters involving land claims under the Indian Trade and Intercourse Act, issues of tribal sovereignty and immunity from suit, extinguishment of aboriginal title, the enforceability of local zoning codes on lands held in fee by tribes and the applicability of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

What do you see on the horizon?

Increased automation and use of technology in the financial services industry, combined with regulatory restrictions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Act, will continue to displace brokers, traders and other revenue producers, particularly those in higher risk markets and products. I expect to see an increase in the number of compensation-related claims these employees will bring against broker-dealers and am looking at new strategies to help my clients anticipate and respond to these claims.

Publications and Presentations

  • “Risk Management in Medical Staff Matters,” Stony Brook School of Health Technology and Management’s Patient Safety and Management of Risk course, September 2014 (Presenter)

Representative Experience

  • In 2012–13, acted as  lead/sole counsel  for broker-dealer in defense of  compensation-related claims brought by head of brokerage desk in a FINRA arbitration  before three-arbitrator panel spanning seven hearing sessions, which resulted in a favorable settlement prior to decision.
  • As lead counsel for broker-dealer in several other compensation-related FINRA arbitrations brought by former employees, handled matters from arbitration selection through hearing preparation and was able to negotiate favorable settlements.
  • Shared role as lead trial counsel in a Title VII race and national origin discrimination case resulting in full defense verdict for academic medical institution after a two-week jury trial.
  • Represented the Town of Southampton in litigation relating to the Shinnecock Tribe’s effort to build a casino on the east end of Long Island, culminating in a 40-day federal court bench trial that, at the time, resulted in a permanent injunction in the Town’s favor.
  • Shared role as lead counsel in defense of $30M tortious interference action in New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division and obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims against brokerage firm and two of company’s co-founders, which was affirmed by the New York State Court of Appeals.
  • Acted as lead counsel in one week jury trial for hospital client, resulting in full defense verdict on all claims arising out of allegedly tortious acts of employees, including claims of assault, battery, false arrest and false imprisonment.
  • Defended large hospital client in False Claims Act case involving Medicare and Medicaid billing and federally-funded research grants and obtained significant ruling from court on calculation of the number of claims, which led to favorable settlement for client.
  • Defended hospital client against tort claims brought against it in its capacity as temporary operator of adult home appointed by the Department of New York State Health pursuant to the New York Social Services Law, culminating in two-week trial that resulted in defense verdict on five of six claims.   
  • Has significant experience defending colleges and universities in Article 78 proceedings and plenary actions relating to student discipline, breach of contract arising out of student handbooks, disability accommodations, tenure revocation, academic fraud and plagiarism.  
  • Defended numerous municipalities, including in cases involving civil RICO, the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and other constitutional claims.

Moving up to partner

Long Island Business News | March 05, 2020

This roundup of attorneys elevated to partner in the Long Island area highlights the promotion of Complex Commercial Disputes partner Chris Porzio, who is part of NP’s new partner class for 2020.

On the Move

Innovate Long Island | February 07, 2020

This round-up of personnel moves in the legal industry mentions Long Island Complex Commercial Disputes partner Chris Porzio, who officially joined the NP partnership at the start of February.

Movers & Shakers

The Deal | February 04, 2020

This column of notable executive moves in the legal industry included a write-up on the promotion of Nixon Peabody’s 2020 new partner class: Laura Bacon, Shariff Barakat, Katie Baynes, Robert Fisher, Kimberly Harding, Brian Mahoney, Sonia Nayak, Dara Newman Histed, Morgan Nighan, Chris Porzio, Rachel Pugliese, Dana Roper, and Peter Trimarchi.

Career Tracker: Lawyers on the Move

Reuters Legal | February 03, 2020

This roundup of personnel moves in the legal industry highlights the 13 members of Nixon Peabody’s 2020 new partner class: Laura Bacon, Shariff Barakat, Katie Baynes, Robert Fisher, Kimberly Harding, Brian Mahoney, Sonia Nayak, Dara Newman Histed, Morgan Nighan, Chris Porzio, Rachel Pugliese, Dana Roper and Peter Trimarchi.


Christopher J. Porzio


Long Island

Phone: 516-832-7586

Fax: 877-680-6295

Hofstra University School of Law, J.D., with distinction

Amherst College, B.A., cum laude

New York

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

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