Michael J. McNamara is a partner in the Litigation & Investigations Group.

He attended Columbia College and Fordham Law School where he was a Member of Law Review.

Michael is a “generalist” who has assisted banks, broker-dealers, Fortune 100 companies, hedge fund managers and other individual clients in litigating and resolving a wide range of disputes in state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings, mediations, SEC investigations and regulatory proceedings.

In addition, Michael has extensive experience strategizing with clients on significant employment matters, often with an eye toward avoiding litigation, including planning and executing termination decisions; negotiating employment and separation agreements; and advising on bonus pools and executive compensation issues, group hires, the enforceability of restrictive covenants and workplace investigations.

Michael began his career at Philips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Ballon where he worked closely with legendary trial lawyer Louis Nizer on matters that included representing a major oil company in administrative hearings before the Department of Energy and related state and federal court litigation arising from an aborted tender offer.

Representative Experience

Notable matters at Seward & Kissel include:

  • Lead counsel to a large foreign bank in all litigation arising from the collapse of Enron, including a massive federal securities class action in Houston, Texas. Several of the co-defendant banks paid billions of dollars to settle the class action; the case against our client was ultimately dismissed on the merits without any payment.
  • Successfully defending a major technology company, directors and employees accused of employment discrimination and retaliation at trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The verdict in our clients’ favor was subsequently affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Lead counsel in a dispute in the Commercial Division, New York County, between two large international banks involving the management of a $1.4 billion CDO fund. The dispute, which arose from a group hire, was resolved on favorable terms through mediation after we successfully opposed a motion for a preliminary injunction and prevailed in an emergency appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department.
  • Defending a large foreign bank in a dispute involving a $500 million swap agreement that involved parallel proceedings in New York and London. After extensive litigation in both forums, the dispute was resolved on favorable terms through mediation.
  • Successfully representing a hedge fund manager in a variety of matters arising from an $800 million currency trading loss.
  • Successfully representing a foreign bank and its affiliates in litigation in the Commercial Division, New York County arising from the collapse of a large Canadian hedge fund. Our clients were awarded summary judgment on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud by investors in the fund seeking in excess of $90 million in damages, which was affirmed by the Appellate Division, First Department.



Michael has been recognized for his work in Business Litigation every year since 2007 (New York Super Lawyers).
Michael has served in a number of significant leadership roles in the Firm, he has been Co-Chair of the Litigation Department, a Member of the Firm’s Advisory Committee and a Member of its Compensation Committee.

Michael has also been elected or appointed to a number of leadership positions in state and local bar associations. He is a Past President of the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) and he currently serves as a Director of NYCLA and a Member of its Executive Committee.

Michael is also currently a Vice President of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) representing the First Judicial District, a Member of the NYSBA Executive Committee and Chair of its Finance Committee.