Peter Larkin provides legal counsel and representation to accountants and accounting firms in connection with all aspects of their businesses. He is co-chair of Wilson Elser’s national Accountants practice. In addition to professional malpractice defense and commercial disputes, Peter’s practice encompasses regulatory investigations and proceedings, risk management, ethics proceedings, and transactional matters involving accounting firms. He also represents businesses and banking institutions in a wide array of commercial disputes.
Given his strong working knowledge of accounting principles and familiarity with the New York Office of the Professions, Peter regularly is called upon by accountants facing ethics complaints and the potential loss of license. Peter also is involved in such diverse areas as securities, tax and banking laws, RICO, ERISA, accounting standards, fraud investigations, employment disputes, post-employment restrictive covenants, purchases and sales of professional practices, partnership disputes and separations, and risk management and best practices for accounting and financial professionals. Peter’s effectiveness in these matters is built on his ability to not only translate the law for his clients but also fluently communicate the principles of the accounting profession to judges, juries and opposing counsel.
Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Peter was a court attorney and senior court attorney with the New York Appellate Division, Second Department. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting.
Areas of Focus
Peter has represented accounting firms of all sizes in hundreds of lawsuits involving the full range of professional services that accountants provide to their clients. Allegations in these cases have ranged from the failure to detect criminal or fraudulent activity to faulty tax structuring in a major transaction, and from negligence associated with the implementation of a billing system to negligence in tax preparation, estate planning or business valuation. Peter has taken several accounting malpractice cases to trial.
In addition to representing accountants in litigation, Peter assists in the purchase or sale of a practice, partnership disputes and separations, and regulatory, licensing and ethics proceedings; drafts manuals and policies; provides continuing education and risk management presentations; and handles general commercial matters such as real estate and financing transactions, leases and licensing. Peter also has handled professional licensing and ethics proceedings matters – from initial inquiry through evidentiary hearings – in New York and many other states before the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Internal Revenue Service, and various state licensing boards and societies.
Peter has represented numerous businesses and banking institutions in a wide array of disputes. General commercial disputes have included matters involving breach of contract and fraud, criminal and regulatory review, tax disputes, workers compensation issues, and post-employment disputes. Banking matters have included investigation and removal of officers, bad check cases, customer complaints and TILA matters. Peter also has helped the victims of financial crimes to investigate, evaluate and seek recovery of their losses through direct action against the perpetrator and insurance claims.