Michael Lynch is chair of the firm’s Litigation practice. Michael has extensive trial experience, both from his days as a prosecutor in New York City under the legendary Robert Morgenthau and during his nearly two decades at Kelley Drye.
Michael represents major businesses in litigation where the stakes have been valued into the billions of dollars. His clients include national and global brands seeking to preserve, defend and expand their market share.
Michael provides the hands-on experience needed to litigate all aspects of single and multi-plaintiff claims and large-scale class actions involving trademark and copyright law, consumer fraud, false advertising and other business-related issues, as well as white-collar defense and investigations. The 2017 edition of US Legal 500 notes that Michael is “recommended for false advertising litigation” and is recommended for his work in the areas of Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action: Consumer Products.
Designing a multifaceted approach to dispute resolution is absolutely critical to achieving the right outcome. However, disputes almost never unfold in a straight line, so success depends upon a comprehensive yet flexible strategy. Michael draws from his perspective as a former prosecutor to leverage his client’s position effectively throughout the dispute resolution process. He is dedicated to working with each client to analyze their case and design the right offense or defense at the onset of the dispute. His creativity, aggressive approach to discovery and proven negotiation skills support him in achieving business-oriented solutions to even the most complicated litigation claims.
A formidable trial lawyer, Michael’s reputation is also that of a problem solver, personally committed to saving his clients both time and money, who strives to find resolution without resorting to trial. Clients retain Michael again and again for his ability to balance “winning” versus a more economical and discreet route to resolution. A trusted adviser, Michael is the advocate and trial lawyer that businesses and colleagues call upon when important investment, time and other resources are on the line.
Clever Commuter, board of directors
IP/False Advertising/Consumer Fraud
Representing the largest privately held spirits company in the world, defending its claims to the HAVANA CLUB trademark and seeking cancellation of Cuba’s putative registration in the D.C. District Court. This brand and related case is one of the most significant United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademark cases in history and was profiled on “60 Minutes” in January 2017.
Representing a leading video game developer in a consumer class action lawsuit involving alleged claims of violation of California’s false advertising and unfair competition laws in connection with the release of one of the most hotly anticipated video game releases in history.
Representing a leading video game developer in a dispute with a former executive.
Obtained full dismissal with prejudice of consumer class action claims alleging deceptive pricing by major national retailer. In 2017, the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the suit.
Represented the maker of cosmetic consumer products in a class action lawsuit. The suit claimed that the company’s marketing was misleading and asserted claims of unjust enrichment, breach of contract and violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Negotiated a favorable settlement that was upheld during a fairness hearing over a vehement challenge by an objector.
Defending a sporting goods manufacturer against state consumer protection and false advertising claims relating to performance claims regarding its football helmets.
Defending a sports and entertainment representation firm in the Southern District of New York against claims of copyright infringement and breach of contract relating to a children’s television series featuring star quarterback, Cam Newton.
Trial counsel for an in-store marketing company in the District Court in Minnesota prosecuting Sherman Act and Lanham Act claims. Secured a favorable settlement during trial.
Trial counsel defending a major nutritional supplement manufacturer in a Lanham Act jury trial involving comparative advertising claims in the Eastern District of New York. The jury unanimously found that our client’s statement, used on wholesalers’ and retailers’ store-brand packaging for joint care products, inviting consumers to compare the products to a competitor’s products, is not false and misleading and does not violate Section 43 of the Lanham Act.
Prosecuted claims of breach of a non-compete agreement, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, violations of the Lanham Act and related claims in District Court in Iowa on behalf of a media publishing company. Supervised a team of attorneys in all phases of discovery, summary judgment and trial preparation. Reached a successful settlement just prior to trial.
Successfully moved to dismiss a class action antitrust/price-fixing action pending in the Northern District of California against three Japanese chemical and trading companies.
Lead counsel defending an Internet marketing company in Colorado state court against claims of theft of trade secrets, unfair competition and other claims relating to search engine optimization techniques alleged by the plaintiff to have been proprietary. Secured a favorable settlement during mediation only two weeks prior to trial.
Lead counsel in defending a manufacturer of precision hospital equipment against claims of trademark and intellectual property infringement. Michael’s aggressive discovery approach and creative thinking drove the ultimate business solution to the litigation.
Lead counsel for an Internet marketing company in successfully opposing an emergency motion for injunctive relief relating to claims of trademark infringement.
Represented an online marketing and consumer good company against false advertising claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Negotiated a favorable settlement following discovery.
Served on the jury trial team that defended a major financial institution in state court in Houston, Texas, against claims of conflict of interest and breach of contract brought by distressed debt hedge funds in connection with the bank’s role as indenture trustee on certain Global Crossing debt. The case settled favorably on the eve of closing arguments.
Served on the jury trial team in the Southern District of New York for a major financial institution in a
$2.1 billion lawsuit against 11 insurance companies that refused to honor surety bonds issued to backstop certain commodities transactions involving Enron. A favorable settlement for our client was reached during jury deliberations.
Defended a major financial institution as indenture trustee in a multibillion-dollar multidistrict litigation against claims of breach of duties brought by noteholders of a bankrupt health care company.
Advised a major financial institution in connection with certain Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) transactions, including a CDO squared and other asset-backed financial instruments.
Representing an online broker-dealer against claims of aiding and abetting, control person liability, negligence, unjust enrichment and fraudulent transfer asserted ostensibly on behalf of the bankrupt estate of a customer who pleaded guilty to conducting a Ponzi scheme.
Lead counsel representing one of the world’s largest integrated oil/energy/chemical companies in an arbitration involving a crude oil transaction.
Internal Investigations/White-Collar Crime
Served on the team that successfully moved to dismiss a RICO action brought against a telecommunications equipment company that sought more than $200 million in damages for allegations that they and other defendants engaged in a pattern of racketeering designed to secure competitive advantages from the Saudi Arabian government in the performance of a $4.3 billion telecommunications project in Saudi Arabia. The court granted the motion to dismiss, with prejudice and without leave to replead, before any discovery.
Performed an internal investigation for a New York state not-for-profit agency to respond to a state investigation involving the misappropriation of taxpayer funds, no-show employees and related allegations. Guided our client through the investigation, negotiated survival of the agency with state investigators, and assisted the client in implementing new executive leadership and reforming board governance and corporate compliance policies.
Representing SUNY in the Department of Justice’s investigation of Governor Cuomo’s economic incentive plan known as “Buffalo Billions.”
Performed an internal investigation of the U.S. operations of a large foreign conglomerate that uncovered corporate malfeasance, including the misappropriation of corporate funds, breaches of fiduciary duty and falsification of business records. Recovered a large portion of the misappropriated funds.
Represented a broker-dealer in an insider trading investigation.
Represented an international real estate brokerage whose employees were witnesses in a real estate/mortgage fraud investigation.
Represented the largest privately held spirits company in the world as a defendant in a complex commercial/IP dispute involving a multiyear, multimillion-dollar exclusive marketing agreement with a major sports franchise. After extensive discovery and prevailing on numerous discovery motions, we successfully negotiated a settlement.
Represented a landlord in New York Supreme Court in a complex litigation against a commercial tenant who refused to pay rent while asserting claims for breach of contract and fraud totaling over $20 million in damages. We successfully obtained a preliminary injunction permitting the landlord to regain access to the premises and obtained an early court ruling that the tenant was likely in violation of a lease provision governing lease assignments. We then moved for summary judgment seeking an eviction before discovery commenced, and the parties successfully settled all claims moments before oral argument.
Served on the jury trial team in a complex commercial litigation involving a dispute arising out of the creation of the first pay cable television channel in India in the New York State Commercial Division Court. Guided our client (foreign nationals) through intricacies and nuances of the U.S. court system and litigation practices. Supervised a team of attorneys in all phases of discovery, summary judgment and trial.
Lead counsel representing the seller of a Midtown Manhattan office building prosecuting claims for breach of Purchase and Sale Agreement by ostensible purchaser, winning a motion for summary judgment allowing the seller to retain a $38.5 million deposit on the sale, plus interest. The judgment was affirmed by a five-member panel of judges in the New York state Court of Appeals.
Represented a technology company in a commercial dispute relating to a recall effort in the European Union.
Advised a hedge fund in connection with an investment in Bernard L. Madoff Investments Securities LLC.
Represented a large multinational shipping company in the Southern District of New York against admiralty attachment claims in connection with a contract of affreightment agreement.
Defended a leading technology company in a series of claims for unpaid advertising expenses resulting from the bankruptcy of one of its advertising agents.
Recommended in US Legal 500 for his work in the areas of Product Liability, Mass Tort & Class Action: Consumer Products, 2017 and Marketing & Advertising, 2017.
Listed in New York Super Lawyers, 2011–2016.
Named one of Law 360’s “Securities Lawyers Under 40 to Watch.”
Selected as one of the Irish Legal 100 by Irish America Magazine, 2009 and 2016.