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Timothy Harkness


Commercial litigation | Data, privacy and cybersecurity | Media, entertainment and sports | Restructuring and capital solutions | Technology | Telecommunications |

He is a thoughtful and compelling advocate who focuses on the bottom line - getting results.

Chambers USA 2022

Profile details

About Timothy Harkness

Tim represents clients in complex commercial litigation. He is particularly known for handling transnational and cross-border disputes.

He has played prominent roles in major cases involving allegations of fraud, breaches of contract, post-M&A disputes and alleged violations of the law of nations and Anti-Terrorism Act. He also handles bankruptcy litigation, particularly when those cases involve transactions taking place in multiple countries. Technology, telecommunications, life sciences companies, as well as professional services and private equity firms, manufacturers and media companies call upon Tim’s knowledge and experience in commercial arbitrations and civil litigation arising from claims of fraud, breach of contract, and veil piercing.

Tim also advises clients concerning data location, cybersecurity and privacy.  

Recent work

  • Defending alleged violations of the law of nations and the Anti-Terrorism Act concerning conduct in areas of conflict.
  • Defending post-M&A disputes concerning purchase price adjustments, representations and warranties, and the allocation of responsibilities for liabilities.
  • Filing successful arbitration claims on behalf of technology and life sciences companies in relation to breaches of supply and collaboration contracts.
  • Representing a global financial institution in the dismissal after trial of all claims based on fraud, breach of contract and quasi contract which sought over $100m in damages in connection with a software consultancy agreement.
  • Advising a private equity firm in litigation in over a dozen states and in bankruptcy court concerning whether a fund would be liable for the alleged defects of a product manufactured by a portfolio company.
  • Successfully defending a luxury fashion manufacturer against claims brought in New York State Supreme Court.
  • Litigating on behalf of an international trust structure administered out of Monaco in alleged subsequent transfers in a Madoff clawback action – the matter involves parallel litigation in the UK and Bermuda.
  • Advising professional services firms, manufacturers and media companies in commercial arbitrations and civil litigation arising from claims of fraud, breach of contract, malpractice, veil piercing and patent infringement.
  • Defending against and prosecuting Section 1782 applications to get US discovery in aid of proceedings in non-US jurisdictions.
  • Handling international discovery in more than two dozen countries, including the UK, Germany, Brazil, Malta, Hong Kong, Argentina and South Africa.
  • Advising multinational companies concerning preparation for and responses to cyber attacks.



  • JD, cum laude, University of Michigan, contributing editor to the Law Review.
  • BA, cum laude, Yale University.


  • Admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, in the States of Connecticut and New York, and before the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of New York and the Central District of Illinois, the United States Circuit Court for the Second and Tenth Circuits.
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US).


  • Active in alumni affairs at Yale, and served on the Association of Yale Alumni’s Board of Governors and the Board of the Yale Alumni Service Corps.