Michael J. McNamara is a Partner in the Litigation Department.

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

Michael is a litigation “generalist” who has represented banks, broker-dealers, Fortune 100 companies, investment managers and individual clients in a wide range of significant disputes in a variety of forums, including lawsuits in state and federal courts, arbitrations, mediations, SEC investigations and regulatory proceedings.

In addition, Michael has significant experience advising management and senior executives on employment issues, including employment and separation agreements, executive compensation issues, termination decisions, team hires, restrictive covenants, and internal investigations of workplace issues.

Michael began his career at Philips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Ballon where he worked closely with famed trial lawyer Louis Nizer on significant matters for a major oil company that included federal administrative hearings and related state and federal court litigation arising from a failed tender offer.

Representative Experience

Notable matters at Seward & Kissel include:

  • Lead counsel to a large foreign bank in 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 publicly-traded technology company and management employees accused of employment discrimination and retaliation at trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The judgment in our clients’ favor was subsequently affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Lead counsel in a dispute involving the management of a $1.4 billion CDO fund. The dispute, which arose from our client’s hiring of several senior employees, was resolved on favorable terms through mediation after we defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction and prevailed on an emergency appeal.
  • Defending a large foreign bank in a dispute involving a $500 million swap agreement that involved parallel proceedings in New York and London courts. After extensive litigation in both forums, the dispute was resolved on favorable terms through mediation.
  • Representing an investment manager with over $3 billion under management in various matters arising from an $800 million currency trading loss.
  • Representing a foreign bank and its affiliates in connection with the collapse of a large Canadian hedge fund. Our client won summary judgment in the Commercial Division, New York County, which was affirmed by the Appellate Division, First Department.


Michael has been consistently recognized for his work in Business Litigation since 2007 (New York Super Lawyers) and he has written extensively on litigation and employment law topics.

Michael has served in a number of significant leadership positions in the Firm, including as a member of the Firm’s Advisory Committee, its Compensation Committee and as Co-Chair of the Litigation Department.

Michael is also very active in bar association activities. He is the Immediate Past President of the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA), one of the largest and most influential bar associations in the country, and he has served in the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association and the ABA.

Michael was elected a Vice President of the New York State Bar Association representing the First Judicial District for a one year term commencing June 1, 2021.