Described by CNBC as the "toughest lawyer on Wall Street" and by Bloomberg Financial News as an "uberlitigator," Marc E. Kasowitz is widely regarded as one of the preeminent trial lawyers in the country. He has been profiled by The American Lawyer in an article entitled "Heavy Hitter" and in the cover story "Fast Rise to the Top." Marc has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as one of the country's top 100 trial lawyers. He has been honored as a "Litigation Trailblazer" by the National Law Journal and was designated a "Securities MVP" by Law360, which noted that he "has made a career out of beating big banks." Marc has also been recognized as one of the nation’s top litigators by publications including Chambers USA ("widely respected as an 'extremely talented litigator,'" praised by clients for "his 'tremendous trial experience,'"); Lawdragon 500 ("the cream of the crop"); Benchmark ("a unique, zealous, and exceptionally skilled advocate" "his guidance is extremely reliable and he is very client-focused and big picture-oriented"); The Legal 500 ("excellent across the board," "superbly talented lawyer," and "very much at the center" of the current spate of mortgage-backed securities litigation) and The Best Lawyers in America©. Opponents cited by The American Lawyer have acknowledged Marc as a "powerhouse" and "the toughest of the tough guys," and a foreign publication has referred to him as "one of the most prominent and feared lawyers in the United States."
Marc regularly serves as national trial counsel in complex litigation in the areas of bank finance, fraudulent conveyance, RICO, corporate governance, antitrust, securities, mass tort, product liability, environmental, breach of contract, and other commercial cases. Marc also has an extensive and successful track record in dealing with investigations and lawsuits by state attorneys general, including path-breaking settlements of tobacco litigation. Marc has also conducted numerous internal investigations on behalf of boards of directors, management and special committees regarding alleged corporate misfeasance, conflicts of interest, challenges to board authority, insider trading, accounting fraud, market timing, obstruction of justice, market manipulation, and other issues relating to director and officer fiduciary responsibilities and liabilities.
Marc, the firm’s founding and managing partner, has been profiled by Law360 as one of the country's most innovative managing partners.
- President-elect Donald J. Trump in a wide range of litigation matters for over 15 years.
- ACA Financial Guaranty Corp., a bond insurer, in its $120 million fraud suit against Goldman, Sachs & Co. and hedge fund Paulson & Co., Inc. 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. Marc 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.
- Douglas Elliman Realty, one of the largest real estate brokerage firms in the country, in numerous employment, contract, intellectual property and commercial matters.
- 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.
- Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, 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.
- 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.
- Anderson News, a leading magazine wholesaler, in an antitrust action alleging a conspiracy among the leading magazine publishers and distributors to boycott Anderson forcing the company into bankruptcy.
- Harbinger Capital Partners, a prominent hedge fund and majority shareholder of LightSquared, in connection with adversary proceedings against LightSquared’s largest creditor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. In one of those adversary proceedings, the bankruptcy court held, after a trial on the merits, that the creditor breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and the creditor’s misconduct warranted equitable subordination of its interest.
- 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.
- Liggett Group as national counsel in smoking and health litigation for over 20 years and in conceiving, negotiating and implementing the first-ever settlement of smoking and health litigation, including health care cost recovery actions brought by state attorneys general. These Liggett settlements led to industry-wide settlements and revolutionary changes in industry conduct, as well as extraordinary financial benefits for Liggett.
- Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers, a trade association comprised of the leading monoline insurers, in a successful First Circuit argument that a Puerto Rican law allowing Puerto Rico, rather than Congress, to restructure its debt was unconstitutional and preempted by the Federal Bankruptcy Code. Marc’s amicus brief and oral arguments were considered instrumental in this precedent-setting win.
- Source Interlink Distribution and Source Interlink Companies, magazine wholesalers, in an antitrust action alleging that leading magazine publishers and their distributors conspired to force Source out of the wholesale single-issue magazine market. After Marc obtained a temporary restraining order compelling the defendant magazine publishers and their national distributors to resume supplying magazines to Source, one commentator noted: “Standing in the way of the publishers’ alleged conspiracy, like Superman in front of a speeding locomotive, has been Kasowitz Benson.” The case then settled on favorable terms.
- Private equity funds Apollo Management, Centerbridge Capital Partners, Fortress Investment Group, TPG Capital and others in disputes in large leveraged buyout transactions. Marc formulated the litigation strategy for disputes with target companies regarding material adverse effect clauses, post-merger insolvency and specific performance, and disputes with major banks regarding funding of debt financing commitments.
- Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as lead trial counsel in the five-week trial concerning the Port Authority’s alleged liability for personal injury, wrongful death and business interruption damages arising from the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center. After trial, the New York Court of Appeals dismissed the action on the basis of a governmental immunity defense developed by Marc.
- Apollo Management and its portfolio company, Hexion Specialty Chemicals, in litigation arising from Hexion’s proposed $15 billion merger with Huntsman Chemicals. Marc 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.
- Celanese Chemicals as national counsel for mass product liability litigation concerning allegedly defective plumbing systems installed in six million homes nationwide. In addition to winning several trials on behalf of Celanese, Marc also negotiated and gained final approval for one of the largest product liability class action settlements in history, and successfully defended that settlement against constitutional law challenges in federal and state trial and appellate courts around the country.
- Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (“RMBS”) Trusts, on behalf and at the direction of the holders of certificates in these Trusts, in put-back actions for breach of contract against the mortgage originators and/or the banks that sold the mortgage loans to the Trusts.
- Harold Peerenboom in a defamation action against billionaire Isaac Perlmutter arising out of an anonymous hate-mail campaign against Peerenboom. Marc defeated numerous motions by Perlmutter to dismiss the case, with the Court holding that the complaint’s allegations sufficiently “link[ed]” Perlmutter to the hate mail campaign and that Perlmutter’s alleged conduct was “sufficiently outrageous” to sustain a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Cornell Law School
Editor, Cornell Law Review
(B.A., cum laude, 1974)
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
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