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Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

New York

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: 112
  • Number of lawyers: 375
  • Languages: English, French
  • International Offices: The firm also has an office in Paris.

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:  

Accounting 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: Mark D Koestler Tel: 212 715 9385
Email: mkoestler@kramerlevin.com

Capital Markets/Finance:
Christopher S Auguste Tel: 212 715 9265
Email: cauguste@kramerlevin.com
Contact: Thomas E Molner Tel: 212 715 9429
Email: tmolner@kramelrevin.com
Contact: Ernest S Wechsler Tel 212 715 9211
Email: ewechsler@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
Contact: Howard T Spilko Tel: 212 715 9267
Email: hspilko@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
Contact: Barry H Berke Tel: 212 715 7560
Email: bberke@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: Barry H Berke Tel: 212 715 7560
Email: bberke@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 P Naftalis 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

Basic facts about the department Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Strong New York-based litigation group offering particular expertise in Lanham Act cases and class actions. Represents major clients in the industry in high-profile and complex matters. Also appears regularly before the National Advertising Division (NAD).

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Top tier." 

"A powerhouse in New York." 

Work highlights Defending Johnson & Johnson in a consumer fraud class action that alleges a product's label gives consumers a false impression.

Represented Starbucks in a matter before the NAD challenging Kraft over its advertising of a new product. It was successfully argued that the advertising was misleading in implying a similarity in taste between the new product and an existing Starbucks product.

Notable practitioners  

Harold Weinberger is "a great trial lawyer," particularly within the field of advertising law. Clients confirm that he is "definitely a go-to when we have major advertising litigation," while also praising the energy he brings to his advocacy.

Norman Simon is a young partner who is recognized in the market as being "a really fine lawyer." Sources say he "has done some excellent work" in relation to Lanham Act false advertising.

Significant clients AstraZeneca, The Dannon Company, ExxonMobil, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble.  

Banking & Finance - Nationwide

This firm is classed as a "Other Noted Firm".

Other Noted Firms are firms that are active in this practice area but have not yet been ranked.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Strong creditors' committee practice routinely representing official unsecured creditors' committees in major Chapter 11 filings. Handles significant work for lending institutions and ad hoc groups of noteholders, and has recently handled debtor-side engagements in the shipping and healthcare sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are very professional in how they handle matters. I think they are very good at dealing with clients and are able to cut some very astute deals."

"They have a tremendous amount of experience with the partners that lead the group having been involved in major US bankruptcy cases." 

Work highlights Acted for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Hostess Brands bankruptcy case, which involved $2 billion in unsecured debt. The group was originally involved in labor negotiations and post-liquidation sought to maximize recoveries for the committee in the sale of assets.

Represented the indenture trustees, Bank of New York Mellon and Law Debenture Trust, with regard to $2 billion in bonds linked to seven airports in the American Airlines bankruptcy case. The case has involved the reinstatement of $1.72 billion of those bonds and further negotiations as part of the plan of reorganization for the debtor.

Notable practitioners  

Thomas Mayer has worked for stakeholders in major Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy filings and is a leading authority on representing creditors' committees. Recent engagements include representing creditors' committees in the Hostess Brands and WP Steel Venture cases.

Kenneth Eckstein is celebrated for his work in some of the nation's biggest cases, with engagements including the official creditors' committees in the Residential Capital and Patriot Coal bankruptcies. Clients say "he is a smart guy and he has a good temperament."

Significant clients General Maritime, St Vincent Catholic Medical Centres, Creditors' Committee for AES Eastern Energy, JPMorgan Chase.

Capital Markets - Nationwide

What the team is known for Provides solid transactional and regulatory expertise to a wide range of market participants, across all asset classes and products. Draws on strength of related practices, including tax, bankruptcy and insurance, to offer comprehensive services at high quality.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I find that Kramer Levin approaches projects with a pragmatic sense that governs their legal passion. They care about getting things right, legally, but understand that the business drives the deal."

"They know what they are talking about, stay current in a fast-moving regulatory landscape and negotiate aggressively on our behalf."

Work highlights Represents various financial institutions, providing ongoing advice on regulatory reform and compliance.

Advises Lehman Brothers entities on a variety of derivatives and structured finance matters.

Notable practitioners  

Fabien Carruzzo leads the derivatives practice and is highly respected for his role in significant transactions and regulatory concerns. "He not only understands his field of expertise, but has good knowledge of the business. He is a kind but firm person to negotiate against, with a calm intellect." 

Immigration - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key offices include New York and Silicon Valley.

What the team is known for Held in high esteem for its advice on a wide range of business immigration matters. Offers expertise in the transfer of foreign individuals, and supplies strategic advice on visas and employment verification audits.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are responsive and they analyze the issues very carefully."

"They are knowledgeable and extremely timely."  

Notable practitioners  

Peers regard Theodore Ruthizer as a "really good business immigration lawyer." He cochairs the firm's business immigration group.

Mark Koestler is well known for his representation of clients in the entertainment industry, such as theater companies, talent agencies and producers. He also advises hedge funds and banks.

Investment Funds - Nationwide

Basic facts about the department
Key office is New York.

What the team is known for Representing independent boards of directors of mutual funds in the full range of work relating to registered funds.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
"They advise extremely well in regard to all mutual fund legal and compliance issues."

"They are proactive and keep us well informed on all matters relating to our responsibilities as directors."

Notable practitioners  

Carl Frischling is noted by sources for his "experience and sage counsel" and as someone whose "mutual fund experience and expertise is without equal."

Ronald Feiman has "good insight" and is considered "a lawyer to be reckoned with." He has a huge amount of experience in the area and maintains a busy practice.

Bankruptcy/Restructuring - New York

What the team is known for Renowned for its creditor-side practice and extensive experience in working with creditors' committees and in bankruptcy litigation arising from complex creditor claims. Also skilled in counseling distressed companies, with notable representation of clients in industries including healthcare and shipping.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They have a tremendous amount of experience, with the partners that lead the group having been involved in major US bankruptcy cases."

"They are extremely responsive, very talented and bring the right resources to a case."

Work highlights Continues to represent the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Residential Capital Chapter 11 proceedings. 

Has acted for the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Patriot Coal bankruptcy case, investigating avoidance claims and advising on labor agreements and retiree benefits. 

Notable practitioners  

Cochair Thomas Mayer has significant experience representing official creditors' committees in major bankruptcy cases. His recent work also included acting for financial creditors in the City of Detroit bankruptcy and a group of second-lien noteholders in the restructuring of Energy Future Intermediate Holdings. Clients describe him as "adept at finding solutions outside of the box that haven't occurred to others."

Kenneth Eckstein is praised for doing a "phenomenal job of getting people to focus on what the end game is and making sure the case stays on track." He has extensive skill in acting committee-side in bankruptcy matters. He also recently acted for St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers as the debtor through its Chapter 11 filing.

Adam Rogoff advises on transactional bankruptcy matters and is active in bankruptcy litigation on behalf of troubled businesses, creditors' committees and lenders. His recent work is equally varied and includes engagements for the official creditors' committee in the Patriot Coal bankruptcy as well as acting as debtor's counsel in the St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers.  

The "very talented" Douglas Mannal is described as having "the confidence of clients and the respect of adversaries." His clients include creditors' committees, bank agents, first-lien lenders and ad hoc bondholder groups, with recent work including representing General Maritime in its bankruptcy proceedings.

Significant clients The Bank of New York Mellon, official committee of unsecured creditors of Hostess Brands, JPMorgan Chase, official committee of unsecured creditors of AES Eastern Energy.

Corporate/M&A - New York

What the team is known for Frequently called upon for midmarket M&A transactions, as well as LBOs, auctions, and contested and negotiated tender offers. Distressed M&A and the financial services industry are areas of particular activity.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Responsive, commercial and pragmatic."

"They are very responsive and helpful."

Work highlights Acted for Deloitte & Touche on the sale of Deloitte Recap to Thomson Reuters (Scientific).

Acted for POOF-Slinky on its acquisition of Alex Toys.

Notable practitioners 

Ernest Wechsler handles M&A, joint ventures and general corporate counseling. Clients say he is "very commercial, very responsive, very hard-working and well rounded."  

Significant clients AIG, Ocwen Loan Servicing, Clarfeld Financial Advisors, Traeger Wood Pellet Grills, Lane McVicker.

Immigration - New York

What the team is known for Outstanding practice housed within an international full-service firm. Offers clients longstanding experience and expertise in immigration compliance, employer sanctions, naturalization, citizenship issues and all visa petitions. Notable niche in the entertainment industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"They are responsive and helpful, and they understand the business and business concerns."

"We think very highly of them."  

Work highlights Assisted with the long-term and short-term visa requirements of individuals entering the country to work on several Broadway productions, including 'Macbeth' and 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'.

Advised an international insurance company on immigration law compliance issues stemming from a business acquisition.

Notable practitioners  

Theodore Ruthizer is variously described by interviewees as a "very eminent and capable lawyer" and "one of the top lawyers in immigration." He is a go-to for major corporate clients.

Sources say Mark Koestler is "very bright" and "terrific in every respect." He acts for individual and corporate clients in the entertainment, insurance and banking industries, among others.

Matthew Dunn's broad practice ranges from temporary and permanent visa petitions to compliance and auditing.

Significant clients Santander, Daiwa Securities America, DDB Worldwide, Duff & Phelps, Euro RSCG New York.

Litigation - New York

What the team is known for Superb reputation for its notable white-collar crime and investigations group. Excellent track record in representing both corporations and executives in complex criminal litigation. Also fields civil litigation strength with noted abilities in commercial and securities litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Really smart lawyers and very client-friendly. They have a very deep bench, they get right to the point and they have a terrific combination of intellectual firepower and a common-sense approach."

"They are excellent: thorough, well prepared and give excellent counsel and advice. They defended my interests superbly and cooperated with the people they needed to cooperate with. They have excellent relationships across the white-collar defense Bar."

Work highlights Acted for Johnson & Johnson in a high-value action against Guidant in connection with alleged violation of a no-solicitation covenant in a merger agreement between the companies.

Acted on behalf of a portfolio manager of SAC Capital, Michael Steinberg, in connection with a high-profile insider trading case.

Represented a former Barclays officer in a range of investigations by the SEC, DOJ and other government agencies in connection with Libor rate setting.

Notable practitioners  

Gary Naftalis is considered "a real dean of the white-collar Bar" and is described by a client as "one of the best strategists I have ever seen in the legal field." His high-profile representation of key individuals in some of the most publicized white-collar crime disputes in recent times is complemented by his notable civil litigation expertise.

"Incredibly skilled" Barry Berke is considered a "successful trial lawyer" and has an excellent reputation in both the white-collar and general commercial space in New York. He is "an exceptionally good advocate" who has "that rare combination of intellect and common sense, and a mastery of trying cases."

Paul Schoeman takes "a thoughtful, considered approach to legal issues." He attracts praise for his abilities in white-collar criminal defense work. One source comments: "I was extremely impressed with the quality of his work and the sophistication of his thinking."

Michael Dell is gaining prominence in the securities litigation space. His recent work includes representing Deloitte in defense of $1 billion in claims brought against it by the liquidating trustee of Reliance Group Holdings.

Significant clients Sirius XM Radio, Al Rushaid Petroleum Investment, Vishay Intertechnology, Conor Medsystems.

Real Estate - New York

What the team is known for Offers expertise on a range of real estate transactions including leasing of retail, industrial and office properties, and structured finance sale and leasebacks. Also maintains a healthy reputation for zoning and land use work.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I am very impressed and pleased with their work."

"They have some very good lawyers." 

Work highlights Represented a joint venture of Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital on the negotiation of a ground lease to develop a new hotel and residential complex.

Advised CIM in a number of transactions including the purchase with Kushner of 200 Lafayette Street, and its purchase of retail unit 225 Fifth Avenue.

Notable practitioners  

Jay Neveloff is praised by clients for his ability to "eliminate problems." He is a frequent choice to advise developers of commercial, residential and retail projects.

James Godman is "very commercial, very user-friendly, and has a lot of local New York knowledge," say commentators. His clients include developers, lenders and borrowers.

Land use expert Paul Selver has "fantastic knowledge" and is "smart, thoughtful and a good advocate," according to interviewees. He recently advised Brookfield Properties on land use matters related to construction, renovation and repositioning at the World Financial Center.  

Significant clients The Related Companies, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, Peebles, Archdiocese of New York.  

Tax - New York

What the team is known for Handles a broad range of international, federal, state and local tax matters. Proficient in the tax issues affecting investment funds and the entertainment industries, and offers particular strength in the fields of restructuring, M&A and joint ventures.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The level of partner involvement is as high as you could ask, and they are all very responsive."

"They function extremely well together and they are excellent at probing and understanding ultimate objectives before applying their formidable problem-solving skills."

Work highlights Represented several private equity funds in connection with the tax aspects of the negotiation and structuring of a number of M&A transactions.

Represented a foreign bank in connection with tax litigation proceedings concerning the application of US treaty provisions and the allocation of bank loans.  

Notable practitioners  

Barry Herzog is an expert on the tax aspects of real estate, M&A and financing transactions. Market commentators recognize him to be "a good lawyer and strong in the field of tax."

Maria Jones handles a broad range of state and local tax matters. "She is extremely technical, and brings to the table a great deal of experience and the ability to work with clients," states an interviewee.