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Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

New York

  • 1177 Avenue of the Americas
  • New York
  • New York
  • USA
  • NY 10036
  • Chairmen: Gary P Naftalis, Thomas E Constance
  • Chairman Emeritus: Ezra G Levin
  • Managing Partner: Paul S Pearlman
  • Number of partners: 113
  • Number of lawyers:   375
  • Languages: English, French
  • Website: www.kramerlevin.com

Firm Overview:
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP is a premier, full-service law firm with offices in New York, Silicon Valley and Paris. The firm’s lawyers are leading practitioners in their respective fields, who understand clients’ businesses, demonstrate a strong focus on client service and offer innovative and practical solutions.Kramer Levin represents Global 1000 and emerging growth companies, institutions and individuals, across a broad range of industries.

Main Areas of Practice:  

Accountants’ Liability:
Arthur H Aufses Tel: 212 715 9234
Email: aaufses@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Michael J Dell Tel: 212 715 9129
Email: mdell@kramerlevin.com

Harold P Weinberger Tel: 212 715 9132
Email: hweinberger@kramerlevin.com

Banking & Finance:
Kenneth Chin Tel: 212 715 9459
Email: kchin@kramerlevin.com

Business Immigration:
Ted Ruthizer Tel: 212 715 9421
Email: truthizer@kramerlevin.com
Contact: MarkDKoestler Tel: 212 715 9385
Email: mkoestler@kramerlevin.com

Capital Markets/Finance:
Scott S Rosenblum Tel: 212 715 9411
Email: srosenblum@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Thomas D Balliett Tel: 212 715 9164
Email: tballiett@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Richard H Gilden Tel: 212 715 9486
Email: rgilden@kramerlevin.com

Scott S Rosenblum Tel: 212 715 9411
Email: srosenblum@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Thomas D Balliett Tel: 212 715 9164
Email: tballiett@kramerlevin.com

Corporate Governance/ Board Committee Representations:
Kenneth P Kopelman Tel: 212 715 9358
Email: kkopelman@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Thomas E Molner Tel: 212 715 9429
Email: tmolner@kramerlevin.com

Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy:
Kenneth H Eckstein Tel: 212 715 9229
Email: keckstein@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Thomas Moers Mayer Tel: 212 715 9169
Email: tmayer@kramerlevin.com

Electronic Discovery:
Norman C Simon Tel: 212 715 7816
Email: nsimon@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Brendan M Schulman Tel: 212 715 9247
Email: bschulman@kramerlevin.com

Employee Benefits:
Christine Lutgens Tel: 212 715 9426
Email: clutgens@kramerlevin.com

Employment Law:
Kevin B Leblang Tel: 212 715 9306
Email: kleblang@kramerlevin.com

Charles S Warren Tel: 212 715 9387
Email: cwarren@kramerlevin.com

Financial Services:
Carl Frischling Tel: 212 715 7520
Email: cfrischling@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Susan J Penry-Williams Tel: 212 715 7510
Email: spenrywilliams@kramerlevin.com

Individual Clients:
John C Novogrod Tel: 212 715 9327
Email: jnovogrod@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Cheryl E Hader Tel: 212 715 9245
Email: chader@kramerlevin.com

Intellectual Property:
Peter A Abruzzese Tel: 212 715 7576
Email: pabruzzese@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Jonathan S Caplan Tel: 212 715 9488
Email: jcaplan@kramerlevin.com

Land Use:
Paul D Selver Tel: 212 715 9199
Email: pselver@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Michael T Sillerman Tel: 212 715 7838
Email: msillerman@kramerlevin.com

Contact: Gary PNaftalis Tel: 212 715 9253
Email: gnaftalis@kramerlevin.com

Mergers & Acquisitions/Joint Ventures:
Thomas E Molner Tel: 212 715 9429
Email: tmolner@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Howard T Spilko Tel: 212 715 9267
Email: hspilko@kramerlevin.com

Private Equity & Hedge Funds:
Thomas T Janover Tel: 212 715 9186
Email: tjanover@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Howard T Spilko Tel: 212 715 9267
Email: hspilko@kramerlevin.com

Real Estate:
Michael P Korotkin Tel: 212 715 9155
Email: mkorotkin@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Jay A Neveloff Tel: 212 715 9290
Email: jneveloff@kramerlevin.com

Securities & Shareholder Litigation:
Gary P Naftalis Tel: 212 715 9253
Email: gnaftalis@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Alan R Friedman Tel: 212 715 9300
Email: afriedman@kramerlevin.com

Gilbert Liu Tel: 212 715 9460
Email: gliu@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Laurence Pettit Tel: 212 715 9458
Email: lpettit@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Richard D Rudder Tel: 212 715 9470
Email: rrudder@kramerlevin.com

Howard J Rothman Tel: 212 715 9242
Email: hrothman@kramerlevin.com

White Collar Defense:
Gary PNaftalis Tel: 212 715 9253
Email: gnaftalis@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Barry H Berke Tel: 212 715 7560
Email: bberke@kramerlevin.com


  • 1177 Avenue of the Americas,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10036
  • Tel +1 212 715 9100
  • Fax +1 212 715 8000
  • Website : www.kramerlevin.com
  • 990 Marsh Road,
  • Menlo Park,
  • California
  • USA
  • Tel +1 650 752 1700
  • Fax + 1 650 752 1800

Advertising - Nationwide

THE FIRM This litigation heavyweight leads the field in advertising. The team regularly advises some of the nation's biggest advertisers on high-profile Lanham Act false advertising cases and class actions. It has also built a particularly strong reputation for its work before the National Advertising Division (NAD) and the National Advertising Review Board (NARB). Recent successes include securing victories for clients such as Procter & Gamble and Neutrogena. Other key clients include AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Dannon.

Sources say: "They have a great relationship with the NAD, a great understanding of the process and deep knowledge of marketing law."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Harold Weinberger is a "respected and prominent" litigator who specializes in marketing law. He advises on a number of high-profile false advertising claims under the Lanham Act, and recently represented Neutrogena in a long-running dispute relating to its sunscreen products.

Norman Simon is an up-and-coming partner who impresses sources with his boundless energy, and is tipped to take an "increasingly prominent role" in the group.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

THE FIRM This New York-based corporate restructuring and bankruptcy practice has experienced a stellar year. Kramer Levin's team is able to provide advice to clients working across the bankruptcy spectrum, but is especially renowned for its creditor-side engagements. In this vein, the group has undertaken several high-profile representations including advising the unsecured creditors' committee on ResCap's $15 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. It also acted for unsecured creditors' committees on several other high-value bankruptcies, including the Chapter 11 cases of Hostess Brands, AES Eastern Energy and Patriot Coal.

Sources say: "They have lawyers who are exceptional and top in their fields; highly experienced and very intelligent. They are outstanding at thinking of creative solutions when you are in a particularly difficult situation."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Thomas Mayer is cochair of the corporate restructuring and bankruptcy practice. He is "among the most intellectual of all bankruptcy lawyers," say sources, and provides "thorough, detailed and excellent analysis." His current highlights include advising the Official Unsecured Creditors' Committees on the Chapter 11 bankruptcies of Hostess Brands and Patriot Coal. 

Fellow practice group cochair Kenneth Eckstein is an expert in a wide range of bankruptcy representations. In recent highlights, he represented the unsecured creditors' committee in the ResCap bankruptcy. "He has an outstanding reputation and an excellent presence in court," according to interviewees, who add: "He can establish an excellent rapport with the judges."

Capital Markets - Nationwide

Capital Markets - Nationwide

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Immigration - Nationwide

THE FIRM This fine business immigration group is based in New York and comes particularly recommended for its work in investment and employer sanctions. It also maintains a fine track record handling the immigration consequences of corporate transactions.

Sources say: "They are very timely and their advice has been consistently accurate – I trust their judgment."

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very well-regarded" Theodore Ruthizer cochairs the firm's business immigration practice and has over three decades' experience in the space.

Mark Koestler is well known in the field, particularly for his representation of clients in the entertainment industry, but also represents a fine choice of counsel for individuals and organizations in other sectors including financial services and insurance. 

Investment Funds - Nationwide

THE FIRM The registered funds team at Kramer Levin offers significant experience in representing independent directors of mutual funds. The firm fields a solid bench of accomplished attorneys whose representation of numerous high-quality clients attracts admiration from market sources. The independent directors of Oppenheimer Funds, Morgan Stanley and First Eagle regularly call upon the guidance of this team on the full spectrum of matters affecting their businesses, including risk management, compliance, litigation and strategic matters.

Sources say: "They have a deep bench and a team that is deeply admired. They have real expertise and a lot of experience."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Carl Frischling garners significant praise for the depth of his expertise in this arena, and is "extraordinarily well connected," according to sources. He is highly respected for his representation of the independent directors and independent trustees of major investment funds complexes.

Ronald Feiman enters the rankings on the back of significant positive commentary on his abilities in the registered funds area. He is praised for his significant expertise in the industry, as well as the strategic approach he brings to complex matters.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

THE FIRM This corporate restructuring and bankruptcy group moves into the top tier for the first time on the back of a stellar year. Kramer Levin's diverse team boasts experience in all manner of restructuring issues, with particular expertise in creditor-side representations, where it has acted for committees in many of the year's most significant bankruptcies. Its recent highlights include advising the unsecured creditors' committee in ResCap's high-profile $15 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Additional engagements include representing the unsecured creditors' committees in the high-stakes bankruptcies of Patriot Coal, Hostess Brands and AES Eastern Energy. 

Sources say: "They have lawyers who are exceptional and top in their fields; highly experienced and very intelligent. They are outstanding at thinking of creative solutions when you are in a particularly difficult situation."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Group cochair Thomas Moers Mayer garners acclaim for providing "thorough, detailed and excellent analysis." He has been instrumental to some of the firm's greatest successes, and is leading for the creditors' committee in the bankruptcies of Hostess Brands and Patriot Coal, as well as advising an ad hoc group of holders in the Eastman Kodak Chapter 11 proceedings. He is described as "among the most intellectual of all bankruptcy lawyers; extremely knowledgeable on the law and how things will play out." 

Mayer cochairs the practice alongside Kenneth Eckstein. Eckstein is currently acting for the unsecured creditors' committee in the ResCap bankruptcy and is also adept at handling company-side matters, with his representation of St Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers being a prime example. Clients note that "he has an outstanding reputation and an excellent presence in court; he can establish an excellent rapport with the judges."

Adam Rogoff is experienced across the full spectrum of bankruptcy work and possesses expertise in a range of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, aviation and automotive. He is presently playing a prominent role in the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal, on which Kramer Levin acts for the unsecured creditors' committee.

The "very aggressive, intelligent and creative" Douglas Mannal enters the rankings as someone who is "among the top junior partners in the Bar." Recent work includes his representation of the unsecured creditors' committee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of ResCap.

Corporate/M&A - New York

THE FIRM This firm handles a wide range of strategic, distressed and private equity-led M&A deals, and is praised for its efficiency and commerciality throughout the transactional process. In a recent highlight, the group advised Fundtech on its $700 million all-stock merger with S1, a provider of software for the financial services industry. It also represented Answers.com in its acquisition by AFCV Holdings.

Sources say: "The team is extremely efficient and worked seamlessly together with my team to get deals done." "As an inhouse lawyer I am charged with being more commercial than legal. Kramer Levin helps us translate legal advice into a business discussion right away."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say Howard Spilko "has great skills and is highly practical," as well as "entrepreneurial." He recently represented AIG in its $35 million sale of two insurance companies.

According to commentators, Ernest Wechsler "is extremely commercial and knows how to get a transaction done without getting into a legal fight of the kind that tends to bog down attorneys. He knows how to protect you in a commercial sense." He recently advised BlackRock on the sale of chemical company Wellman.

Immigration - New York

THE FIRM This firm's business immigration group continues to garner an excellent reputation in the field. The group handles a variety of immigration matters including immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, permanent residency cases, compliance and the immigration-related elements of corporate transactions. An impressive client roster includes Santander, HBO and Louis Vuitton.

Sources say: "A very, very fine firm."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Theodore Ruthizer "really knows his stuff" according to sources. He is a longstanding and well-respected practitioner in the field, and an expert in business immigration matters. 

Mark Koestler is described as "a very bright guy" by market observers. He advises individuals and organizations from a wide range of industry sectors, including banking, advertising, entertainment, luxury goods, e-commerce and insurance.

Matthew Dunn continues to impress commentators. He assists a variety of clients and has particularly strong expertise in healthcare, hospitality, banking and advertising.

Litigation - New York

THE FIRM Kramer Levin has a prominent litigation practice, and houses a stellar team of trial lawyers. Its strength in the white-collar criminal defense and government investigations space is a key draw for clients, and it also gains praise for its ability to handle commercial and securities litigation. The team's recent work includes successfully representing SiriusXM Radio in a breach of contract action brought against it by One Twelve. It also continues to represent Bear Stearns in multiple investigations and lawsuits stemming from the financial crisis.  

Sources say: "They are really strong in litigation - they have good courtroom skills, and they have them in spades." "They give you the gold standard of advice, so you feel that you have gone to the best."  

KEY INDIVIDUALS "World-renowned" Gary Naftalis maintains his place as a preeminent litigator in this market, particularly in relation to white-collar criminal defense work. He is repeatedly retained for complex and high-value disputes, and earns praise for his trial prowess. His recent work includes the high-profile representation of former McKinsey managing director Rajat Gupta in an SEC enforcement action and criminal prosecution.

Barry Berke is a "uniquely talented trial lawyer," and is highly praised for his ability to handle white-collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation. He is "one of the most creative and resourceful lawyers" in the market, say sources. His recent work includes representing a former portfolio manager at Moore Capital Management, Christopher Pia, in a CFTC investigation.

Real Estate - New York

THE FIRM This firm's real estate department is renowned for its breadth of expertise in both litigation and transactional matters, and regularly acts for investors, owners, developers and bankers. Its excellent zoning and land use practice is also recognized as one of the best in the city. A recent highlight saw the team acting on behalf of New York Life on its $360 million purchase of an office building. The firm also represents Toll Brothers, Rockrose Development and Forest City Ratner.

Sources say: "Responsive and creative." "They are extremely bright, business-savvy and they blend tremendous business awareness with exceptional legal judgment."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Jay Neveloff is celebrated among sources, who report that "his judgment is outstanding, as is his understanding of business aspects, and he has great talent in structuring and negotiating transactions." He represents a number of leading companies with regards to their real estate matters.

The "very experienced" Paul Selver is a recognized land use expert who "really knows his business." Recently, he advised Extell Development on obtaining land use approvals for the 3 million sq ft Riverside Center. Interviewees find that "he's very thoughtful, pragmatic and is a problem solver."  

Commentators admire Jay Godman's "depth of experience" in real estate matters, and comment that he has "a really good understanding from a business perspective of the details involved, as well as from a legal perspective."

Tax - New York

THE FIRM This firm's tax group maintains an excellent planning and advisory practice involving state, local, federal and international tax matters. It is particularly well known for its handling of partnerships and joint ventures for clients in the hedge fund, private equity and entertainment industries. It also handles restructurings; gift, income and estate taxation for individuals; international and domestic M&A; and executive compensation and employee benefits. It recently represented HiTouch Services in its acquisition and subsequent restructuring of MyOffice Products.

Sources say: "It is an excellent outfit."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Barry Herzog's practice encompasses almost every aspect of federal income tax. He is an especially seasoned handler of partnerships, real estate transactions, public and private M&A, bankruptcies, and financial products. He is described as "commercial, and quick to understand the tax implications of investments." 

Maria Jones plays a lead role in the firm's state and local tax practice. She represents a number of high net worth individuals in connection with questions of income allocation and residency, and has litigated on behalf of clients such as Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and UniCredit in relation to international banking facilities.