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Aaron H. Marks

Partner | New York
T (212) 506-1721
F (212) 506-1800

Aaron H. Marks is an accomplished trial lawyer focusing on complex commercial litigation.  He is widely recognized as one of the top litigators in the country, including in Chambers USA (“brilliant and analytical – a real star at the firm,” “excellent tactician,” “very effective and well prepared,” “very understanding and sensitive to the needs of in-house counsel”); Legal 500 (recognized as one of the 45 Leading Trial Lawyers in the U.S.; a leading Trade Secrets attorney); Euromoney; Benchmark Litigation; and New York Super Lawyers.  Aaron was profiled as one of the nation’s most accomplished litigators under the age of 45 by The American Lawyer magazine (see related “Fab Fifty” article). 

Aaron has significant experience handling disputes relating to securities, financial products, real estate, entertainment, mass torts and trade secrets.  He represents corporations, private equity and other investment firms, multi-national financial institutions and individuals in state and federal courts throughout the country, before arbitration panels, and in proceedings involving the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and various state attorneys general.   Aaron has extensive trial experience, including having served as first chair representing companies in several significant cases.

Notable Representations
  

  • AMC Networks in the defense of a lawsuit brought by profit participants alleging, among other things, breach of contract, and seeking additional profit distributions from the AMC television series The Walking Dead.
  • Coach, the luxury fashion brand, in the defense of several putative class actions alleging the company used deceptive comparison pricing at the company’s outlet stores.
  • Peter Nygärd and the Nygärd Companies in multiple highly publicized defamation and other tort actions against Nygärd’s nemesis, hedge fund manager Louis Bacon.
  • TSL (USA), an affiliate of National Australia Bank, and Royal Park Investments, an entity created in connection with the Belgian State’s sale of Fortis Bank to BNP Paribas for the purpose of purchasing and managing certain of Fortis Bank’s structured credit risks, in three separate actions against Oppenheimer and its affiliates relating to defendants’ misconduct as administrators of three structured finance vehicles, alleging damages of more than $2.5 billion.
  • Hilton Worldwide in an action alleging trade secret misappropriation brought by Hilton’s competitor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and in a grand jury investigation conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office (S.D.N.Y.), relating to the same underlying facts.
  • MBIA, one of the world’s largest monoline insurers, in litigation brought by 18 of the world’s largest banks seeking to overturn MBIA’s corporate restructuring which, with the approval of the New York Department of Insurance (now the Department of Financial Services), established a separate company for MBIA’s municipal bond insurance business.  After a several-week evidentiary proceeding, the New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of MBIA, upholding MBIA’s restructuring.
  • Purolite International, a specialty chemical manufacturer, in an action against competitor Thermax Ltd. (India) for misappropriation of trade secrets relating to formulae and production processes for ion-exchange resin.  The case settled on the eve of trial with a $38 million payment by Thermax.
  • Freescale Semiconductor in an expedited action by senior term lenders challenging Freescale’s issuance of $1 billion of incremental term loans as barred by an occurrence of a material adverse change.
  • Apollo Management and its portfolio company, Hexion Specialty Chemicals, in litigation arising from Hexion’s proposed $15 billion merger with Huntsman Chemicals.  Prosecuted an expedited proceeding against Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank to compel specific performance of the banks’ commitments to fund the acquisition, and successfully negotiated a settlement with Huntsman, bringing an end to one of the largest-ever battles over a leveraged buyout.  The Wall Street Journal lauded the settlement as a “sweet deal” for Apollo and Hexion.
  • Ernst & Young in a successful appeal and settlement of an accounting malpractice action brought by the creditors of CBI Holdings.
  • Basic Element Company, a leading Russian industrial conglomerate, in the trial and appeal of securities fraud claims for insider trading and market manipulation against a major United States investment bank, stemming from the liquidation of a $1.5 billion stake in a Canadian auto parts manufacturer.
  • Several of the nation’s largest private-equity firms (Apollo Management, Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, Centerbridge Capital Partners, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Fortress Investment Group and TPG Capital) in disputes over acquisitions and acquisition financings for several large leveraged buyout transactions. These disputes involved the applicability of material adverse change clauses, post-merger insolvency, and specific performance of debt financing commitments. Most of these buyouts, including Home Depot Supply ($9 billion) and Harrah’s Entertainment ($30 billion), funded and closed.
  • BankUnited, Florida’s largest bank, with respect to non-compete and trade secret lawsuits brought by Capital One.
  • Safra National Bank in several arbitrations brought by clients alleging unsuitability and other claims regarding investment portfolios, and in an action brought by Bank of America.
  • Cigarette manufacturer Liggett Group in ten jury trials, including several in which Liggett was the sole defendant.  One of the verdicts in favor of Liggett (returned in 90 minutes) is believed to be the fastest rendered jury verdict in the 50-year history of litigation against cigarette manufacturers.  Also led Liggett’s defense of the nine-month bench trial of the Department of Justice’s RICO lawsuit against the tobacco industry, with the court awarding judgment in Liggett’s favor (whereas substantial relief was ordered against all of the other major cigarette manufacturers).
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as trial counsel in the trial concerning the Port Authority’s alleged liability arising from the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center.  The New York Court of Appeals subsequently dismissed the action.
  • Interstate Bakeries in litigation against certain lenders that balked on their commitment to provide financing to facilitate the company’s exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  • A foreign battery manufacturer in an action brought by a large manufacturer of touch control panels over responsibility for alleged product defects and recall costs.
  • One of the nation’s largest hotel owners in attorney general and putative class actions arising out of alleged consumer fraud, as well as ADA lawsuits as to certain of the owner’s hotel properties.
  • Real estate developers in litigation concerning ownership, financing disputes, and eminent domain.
  • Professional athletes in disputes concerning promotional contracts, endorsement deals and use of performance-enhancing drugs.
  • Video-game maker Take-Two Interactive Software in shareholder derivative actions arising out of alleged insider trading.

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