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Commercial Litigation

Kasowitz’s core focus is commercial litigation.  We outthink and outflank our opponents, and understand what it means for our clients to win.  We have extensive trial experience and are always trial-ready.  We represent both plaintiffs and defendants and have won major cases in virtually every litigation sub-area.

We have significant experience in representing clients in all types of breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent conveyance, tortious interference, unfair competition, civil RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and other commercial actions in state and federal courts throughout the country, as well as in national and international arbitrations and mediations.

Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, private equity and other investment firms across a wide range of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, high-tech, chemical, energy, entertainment, consumer products, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications.  Our philosophy is to aggressively litigate every action, while doing so in a cost-effective manner, in order to best achieve the goals of our clients.

Notable representations include:

  • MF Global Holdings, a former global financial derivatives broker, in a $3 billion lawsuit against its outside auditor, PwC, which settled during trial.
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency, as conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in actions in federal and state courts against numerous financial institutions and individuals.  The lawsuits sought rescission or damages from the banks for, among other things, their misrepresentations concerning pools of mortgage loans that underlie residential mortgage-backed securities the banks issued, securitized and sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  After prevailing on critical pre-trial issues, FHFA settled the actions brought by Kasowitz for over $2 billion, including a $1.25 billion settlement with Morgan Stanley.
  • 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.  The banks agreed to drop their challenge to MBIA’s restructuring, and MBIA then received $1.7 billion in cash and a $500 million line of credit for its municipal bond insurance business.
  • Loreley Financing in claims against banks totaling $13 billion, including a $965 million claim alleging that Citigroup had committed fraud by inducing Loreley to invest in CDOs filled with assets selected by short investors.
  • 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.
  • ACA Financial Guaranty, a bond insurer, in its $120 million fraud suit against Goldman, Sachs & Co. and hedge fund Paulson & Co. for fraudulently inducing ACA to issue a financial guaranty for Goldman’s ABACUS CDO by deceiving ACA about Paulson’s role and financial interest in the transaction. We successfully argued the case before the New York Court of Appeals, creating precedent on the standards for reliance in fraud actions under New York law.
  • TPG in numerous matters, including in bankruptcy proceedings and multiple state and federal court actions concerning portfolio company Caesars Entertainment, and in obtaining injunctive relief against a former employee for breaching confidentiality obligations.
  • Fairfax Financial Holdings, a Canadian insurance holding company, in a $6 billion New Jersey RICO action arising out of a short-selling attack on Fairfax and its operating subsidiaries by a group of hedge funds and their operatives in collusion with certain purportedly independent securities analysts.
  • Hilton Worldwide in defending a civil action alleging trade secret misappropriation brought by Hilton’s competitor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and a parallel grand jury investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  The case, described by the media as “Grishamesque,” settled after a year of discovery.
  • Peter Nygard, a Canadian fashion mogul, and the Nygard Companies in multiple actions adverse to hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon in New York state and federal courts, California, and The Bahamas that concern allegations of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, conversion and other torts.
  • Veleron Holding, a Russian oligarch-owned firm, in an insider trading and market manipulation lawsuit brought against Morgan Stanley and affiliates.
  • The State of Hawaii in an action alleging fraud, False Claims Act violations and other claims against Ciber, Inc. stemming from an implementation of Oracle software for the State’s Department of Transportation.
  • Coach, the global fashion company and leading design house of modern luxury goods, in connection with four putative class-action lawsuits alleging violations of various consumer protection laws on behalf of nationwide classes and state subclasses.
  • SL Green Realty in a litigation against a major gaming company arising out of the bidding process to run New York’s Aqueduct racetrack casino.
  • Apollo Management and its portfolio company, Hexion Specialty Chemicals, in litigation arising from Hexion’s proposed $15 billion merger with Huntsman Chemicals.  The firm 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.
  •  Freescale Semiconductor in defending against injunctive and damages litigation by senior lenders who claim that a material adverse change had occurred, and that their interests were diluted, when the company issued incremental debt of $750 million.  This case involved expedited discovery and a number of appellate proceedings.
  • Verizon Wireless in a deceptive trade practices lawsuit by the Florida Attorney General against Alltel Communications, which Verizon Wireless had acquired. The Florida AG sought more than $20 million in damages and billions of dollars in penalties for alleged unfair trade practices violations in connection with Alltel’s marketing of its roadside assistance feature for mobile customers.  After a three-week bench trial, the Circuit Court Judge entered judgment in favor of Alltel on all counts.
  •  TD Bank in actions by investment groups alleging that the bank aided former attorney Scott Rothstein’s $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.  TD Bank contests the allegations and has asserted various affirmative defenses.
  • Southern Union Company in a lawsuit relating to its unsuccessful acquisition bid for Southwest Gas.  A federal court jury awarded Southern Union $60 million in punitive damages against the Arizona Corporation Commissioner for improperly influencing the outcome of the acquisition.  The primary corporate defendants, Southwest Gas and the competing bidder, Oneok, agreed to multi-million dollar settlements with Southern Union.  The verdict is believed to be the largest-ever punitive damages award against an individual.
  • Southern Union and CrossCountry Energy in an action relating to claims by a major energy corporation that the energy corporation was entitled to a right of first refusal to key assets involved in the multibillion dollar merger of CCE with a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, and Southern Union was liable to the energy corporation for alleged breach of a capital stock agreement and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in connection with the CCE merger. Kasowitz obtained a judgment denying all relief sought by the energy corporation.
  • Level 3 Communications, one of the largest telecommunications providers in the country, in its action against Switch & Data Management Company to prevent S&D from effectively shutting down large portions of Level 3’s international network as a result of a contract dispute.  The firm obtained a temporary restraining order and, after an extensive evidentiary hearing, obtained a preliminary injunction precluding S&D from taking action to prevent Level 3 from obtaining the benefits under the contract, after which the parties reached a confidential settlement.
  • Special Entertainment Counsel for the Chapter 11 Trustee for Trans Continental Television Productions in a three-year heavily contested litigation against MTV Networks, Viacom, Viacom International, Bad Boy Films and Bad Boy Records.  The lawsuit centered around MTV’s scheme to misappropriate Trans Continental’s ownership interest in Making the Band, which later featured hip-hop star Sean Combs (p/k/a Diddy).  The case raised novel issues of copyright and contract law.  On the eve of the three-week jury trial, the Viacom and Bad Boy defendants agreed to settle the case.

Highlights 

National Law Journal Names Marc Kasowitz a Litigation Trailblazer

The National Law Journal has named firm founder Marc E. Kasowitz a "Litigation Trailblazer."  Mr. Kasowitz has won some of the nation’s highest-profile business disputes.  To read the article please click here.


Chambers USA 2017 Ranks Kasowitz as a Commercial Litigation Elite Law Firm

Kasowitz is ranked as an Elite Commercial Litigation law firm in the United States by Chambers USA.  One client said that the Kasowitz team "has some amazing lawyers, who jump on any matter at any time of day or night. They are very commercial and thoughtful about client needs, and are great team players. In terms of bank for the buck, they're one of the top." Another client notes, "When I want a trial lawyer, I want a Kasowitz lawyer." To read more, please click here.


Legal 500 2017 Recommends Kasowitz's Commercial Litigation Practice Group

Legal 500 US 2017 has again recommended Kasowitz, highlighting the firm as providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel nationwide. To read more, please click here.