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 has represented banks, broker-dealers, publicly-traded companies, investment managers and other clients in a wide range of disputes in various forums, including actions in state and federal courts, arbitrations, mediations, SEC investigations and regulatory proceedings.

Michael began his career at Philips, Nizer, Benjamin, Krim & Ballon where he worked closely with legendary trial lawyer Louis Nizer on significant matters for a major oil company client that included administrative hearings before the U.S. Department of Energy and related federal class actions and state court litigation arising from an aborted 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 our client’s co-defendants paid billions of dollars to settle the class action, while the case against our client was ultimately dismissed 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 between two large foreign banks involving the management of a $1.4 billion CDO fund. The dispute arose from our client’s hiring of several senior employees and was resolved on very favorable terms after we defeated a motion for a preliminary injunction and prevailed on an emergency appeal.
  • Defending a large foreign bank in a dispute regarding a $500 million swap agreement which 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 matters arising from an $800 million currency trading loss.
  • Representing a foreign bank accused of aiding and abetting the collapse of a well-known Canadian hedge fund in a case filed in the Commercial Division, New York County. Our client was granted summary judgment by the trial court which was affirmed by the Appellate Division, First Department.

In addition to litigated matters, Michael advises companies and senior executives on a broad range of employment issues, including employment and separation agreements, executive compensation issues, group hires, restrictive covenants, and internal investigations of workplace issues.


Michael has been recognized for his work in Business Litigation (New York Super Lawyers 2007-2017) and Securities Litigation (Legal 500) and written frequently on litigation and employment topics, including the chapter on “Negotiations” in Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts (4th ed.).

Michael is currently the President of the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA), one of the largest and most influential bar associations in the country.

In addition to his role as President of NYCLA, Michael is a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association, a member of the Nominating Committee of that Association and a delegate to the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates.