Seward & Kissel Highly Ranked by The Legal 500 U.S. 2024 – 9 Practices and 9 Lawyers Ranked

June 17, 2024

The Legal 500 U.S. 2024 features a number of Seward & Kissel attorneys and practices ranked amongst the nation’s elite. The Firm is proud to have 9 practices and 9 attorneys recognized. Details regarding the practices and attorneys ranked are outlined below. For more details, please visit Seward & Kissel’s profile on The Legal 500 site.

Recognized Practices:

M&A/Corporate and Commercial – M&A: Middle-Market

Praised for being ‘sensible and reasonable in its approach to negotiation’, Seward & Kissel LLP‘s sector focus makes it a popular address for clients from the financial services sector, such as investment management firms and broker-dealers, as well as for shipping and offshore wind companies. The New York-based team’s sizeable roster of non-US-based clients is a testament to its cross-border expertise. Leadership duties are divided between partners Craig Sklar and James Abbott. Sklar, who is praised for his ‘impressive, collaborative approach’ to M&A deals, is well-versed in maritime transactions, while Abbott is a key contact for inbound US work. Nick Katsanos is geared to handle roll-ups in the veterinary industry. Danielle Lemberg, who was promoted to partner in July 2023, handles a broad spectrum of transactional work and is a popular choice for private equity clients.

Hall of Fame: James Abbott

Leading Lawyers: Nick Katsanos

Next Generation Partner: Danielle Lemberg

Practice head(s): Craig Sklar, James Abbott

Other key lawyers: Nick Katsanos, Gary Anderson, Danielle Lemberg


Transport: Shipping – Finance

Home to a ’cutting-edge practice that leads the way in US shipping finance’, Seward & Kissel LLP‘s banking and finance practice represents several of the world’s leading public and private maritime companies, financial institutions and other shipping industry participants. The team’s coverage ranges from initial structuring and formation and seed financing, to an array of capital-raising deals in the US and overseas. In addition to assisting with high-stakes finance deals, the group’s expertise encompasses capital markets, M&A, private equity, and restructuring and insolvency work. Active on behalf of both borrowers and lenders, it also advises on associated tax, litigation and regulatory issues. The ‘very knowledgeable’ maritime and transportation finance group is led by Mike Timpone, who predominantly represents US and non-US banks (as well as shipowners on the borrower side) in secured loans and other financing transactions; Keith Billotti is an adviser to maritime sector clients on corporate and US securities law; and Edward Horton acts for issuers and underwriters on major securities deals. The department further includes recently-promoted partner Kurt Plankl; and maritime and international finance specialist Sophia Agathis.

Leading Lawyers: Keith Billotti

Hall of Fame: Mike Timpone

Rising Stars: Sophia Agathis

Practice head(s): Mike Timpone, Keith Billotti, Edward Horton

Other key lawyers: Kurt Plankl, Sophia Agathis


Transport: Shipping – Litigation and Regulation

Seward & Kissel LLP, offering ‘deep knowledge of both the underlying transactions and best strategies for resolving commercial disputes that arise’, handles litigation, arbitration and investigations throughout the US and abroad, with the maritime litigation practice focusing on disputes arising from shipping business, financing transactions, shipping securities and governance, as well as vessel operations. ‘At the top of his game’, Bruce Paulsen is a specialist in shipping industry-related finance and securities-related disputes, along with traditional maritime disputes, lien claims and environmental issues. Paulsen co-chairs the litigation group alongside Russell Johnston, who was elevated to the role in September 2023. In another boost to the practice, Brian Maloney was promoted to partner in July 2023. Maloney specialises in litigating complex commercial disputes and managing regulatory investigations, and has a growing caseload in relation to shipping industry-related sanctions. The team further includes Laura Miller, promoted to counsel in January 2024, whose recent experience includes being part of the team representing ING Bank in lawsuits arising from the OW Bunker group’s global collapse.

Hall of Fame: Bruce Paulsen

Next Generation Partner: Brian Maloney

Practice head(s): Bruce Paulsen, Russell Johnston

Other key lawyers: Brian Maloney, Laura Miller


Investment Fund Formation And Management – Alternative/Hedge Funds

Seward & Kissel LLP’s investment management team is based in New York, boasting a number of experienced partners advising and representing hedge fund and investment managers at all levels and advising on the full range of SEC related regulatory matters. Jointly led by Patricia Poglinco and Kevin Neubauer,  the team handles fund formation issues, advising on forming open-ended fund structures in the crypto and blockchain industry. Christopher Riccardi has decades of experience in the field, advising various clients in investment strategies, derivatives, and securities, while Debra Franzese is another key contact. Daniel Bresler is an active member of the team, preparing offering documents regarding various fund structuring.

Hall of Fame: Steven Nadel

Practice heads: Pat Poglinco, Kevin Neubauer

Other key lawyers: Christopher Riccardi, Debra Franzese, Dan Bresler


Investment Fund Formation And Management – Mutual/ Registered/ Exchange-Traded Funds

Asset management organizations, mutual fund complexes and their independent directors turn to Seward & Kissel LLP for advice on the formation and structuring and registration of mutual funds, exchange traded funds and business development companies, among other registered entities. The firm’s broad practice additionally covers regulatory advice pertaining to SEC rules and developments as well as reorganizations and fund acquisitions, with a particular strength of the team regarding bank mutual fund activities. Practice head Paul Miller is based on Washington DC and focuses his practice in this area and frequently advises registered investment companies and advisers on remaining compliant with SEC regulations and the Investment Company Act of 1940. Further important team members include Robert Kurucza who has expertise in federal banking and securities laws, which benefits clients who are structuring new fund products, Lauren Clise, who supports registered investment companies and ETFs with their registration and operation and Lancelot King advises investment companies and registered investment advisers during regulatory examinations, with all three being based in Washington DC.

Practice heads: Paul Miller

Other key lawyers: Robert Kurucza, Lancelot King, Lauren Clise


Dispute Resolution – Corporate Investigations And White-Collar Criminal Defense

Seward & Kissel LLP frequently advises clients within the financial sector, including banks, broker-dealers, and hedge funds. In addition to its expertise in the financial services sector, the team is also experienced at representing professionals within the cryptocurrency and blockchain market. Jaimie Nawaday has broad capabilities in acting for both companies and individuals who are being investigated for money laundering, securities fraud, and false claims. Michael Watling is recommended for matters relating to market manipulation, tax evasion, and mortgage fraud. Other key lawyers in the team include Philip Moustakis and Russell Johnston, both of whom have an in-depth knowledge of cases concerning digital assets.

Practice head(s): Jaimie Nawaday, Michael Watling

Other key lawyers: Philip Moustakis; Russell Johnston; Noah Czarny


Dispute Resolution  – Securities Litigation: Defense

Based in New York, Seward & Kissel LLP frequently acts for public shipping companies, investment managers, broker-dealers and banks in class actions, 10b5 matters, insider trading claims and market manipulation cases. The lead partners are Russell Johnston and Bruce G Paulsen, who are ‘particularly knowledgeable and experienced‘. Government enforcement and internal investigations lawyer Michael G Considine and complex litigation specialist Jack Yoskowitz are further standout attorneys in the practice. The ‘smart, responsive‘ Michael Watling also plays a key role in the firm’s most complex matters.

Practice head(s): Bruce Paulsen, Russell Johnston

Other key lawyers: Michael Considine, Jack Yoskowitz, Michael Watling


Investment Fund Formation And Management – Private Equity Funds (Including Venture Capital)

Seward & Kissel LLP‘s investment management team is well regarded for their ‘excellent understanding of their market’ and ‘long term expertise in this area of law’. The firm frequently works on fund formation matters for middle market private equity funds, primarily on behalf of sponsors, across a variety of strategies and asset classes and has particular strength in regulatory aspects relating to every stage of the fund lifecycle. Patricia Poglinco and Kevin Neubauer lead the team, whose broad practice covers private equity funds, private credit funds, venture capital funds and hedge funds. The team is also supported by Joseph Morrissey provides advice to middle market fund sponsors and notable private equity firms regarding fund structuring and regulations. The team is based primarily in New York, where Christopher Riccardi and Dan Bresler are further names to note. Regulatory and corporate expert Daniel Viola joined the firm in August 2023.

Practice Heads: Patricia Poglinco, Kevin Neubauer

Other key lawyers: Kevin Neubauer; Joseph Morrissey; Christopher Riccardi; Dan Bresler; Daniel Viola; Noelle Indelicato; Kevin Cassidy


Finance: Restructuring (Including Bankruptcy): Corporate

Seward & Kissel LLP ‘s New York-based corporate restructuring and bankruptcy group has capabilities in both in-court and out-of-court restructurings, as well as insolvency-related litigations, of which the firm specializes in for a range of clients from debtors to unsecured creditors’ committees. John R Ashmead heads the team and is experienced in representing trustees and creditor committees in chapter 11 proceedings and liquidations, while Robert J Gayda handles restructuring matters for a range of clients both in-court and out-of-court. Catherine LoTempio is focused on providing bankruptcy advice to lenders, bondholders, creditor committees and corporate trustees and agents.

Practice Head: John Ashmead

Other Key Lawyers: Robert J Gayda; Catherine LoTempio


Dispute Resolution – Financial Services Litigation

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