Michael C. Spencer has done litigation and trial law work in the United States on both the plaintiff and defence sides since he became a lawyer in 1978. After a chance meeting with Won Kim in 2007, he became interested in diversifying his practice into Canada, and was called to the bar in Ontario in 2011. He is a founding principal at Kim Spencer McPhee Barristers and plays a senior role in the firm’s securities and insurance litigation practice and other areas with cross-border aspects.
Mike began his legal career as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Wm. Matthew Byrne Jr. in Los Angeles (1976-77). He joined Cravath, Swaine & Moore as an associate in New York in 1978, and then moved to the plaintiff side at the Milberg law firm in 1986, where he remains of counsel.
During over three decades with Milberg in New York, Mike prosecuted a broad range of cases, mostly class and other representative matters involving complex financial and securities issues. He was counsel for plaintiffs in In re Vivendi, S.A. Securities Litigation (S.D.N.Y.), one of the rare securities fraud class actions to go to trial, where he was instrumental in obtaining a record-breaking jury verdict in 2010. More recently, he has represented the largest group of individual holders of defaulted Argentine bonds in the New York litigation, which mostly settled in 2016. He has handled securities cases against defendants in the fields of technology, real estate, finance, leasing, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. His first exposure to complex cases on the plaintiff side was in the precedent-setting “WPPSS” litigation in the late 1980s, which involved bond defaults on nuclear power plants in the Pacific Northwest and established the blueprint for prosecuting many complex securities class actions that followed.
Mike holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University (1973) and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School (1976). He is admitted to practice in New York (1978), California (1978, inactive), and Ontario (2011).
Mike can be reached at [email protected]