Commercial Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Our Commercial Litigation team is comprised of courtroom-tested trial lawyers with deep experience in the defense and prosecution of claims arising out of our clients’ business relationships. We have been lead counsel in lawsuits and arbitrations throughout the country and in many international arbitrations. 

As commercial litigators, your business disputes are our business.  Our job is to resolve those business disputes on terms favorable to you, either through direct negotiation, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms or litigation.

While the nature of our clients’ businesses and the kinds of commercial disputes they encounter have changed over time, our fundamental approach to representing clients in commercial matters has remained constant.  Litigation for litigation’s sake has never had a place in our playbook.  It never will.  For us, at the heart of every commercial dispute is a business—our client.  With each case comes a mix of business interests and strategic objectives unique to that client.  We litigate to advance our client’s business interests, executing upon a litigation strategy developed specifically to achieve its objectives.  We do so efficiently, aggressively and effectively.  We fight hard, but we fight smart.

We are confident in and proud of our commercial litigation capabilities.  But don’t take our word for it.  We are recognized by our peers for the depth and breadth of our litigation bench.  We have been named to “Most Feared Law Firms” in BTI Consulting’s “Litigation Outlook 2017 and 2018.”  General counsel and legal decision makers consider Kelley Drye one of the firms that they would least like to see as opposing litigation counsel—welcome news to our clients.  We were also named to the "Honor Roll for Commercial Litigation" in BTI's "Litigation Outlook 2019" and listed in BTI’s “Litigation Outlook for 2015,” as a “Leader of the Best” for approaching client work with creativity, flexibility and business savvy.

Kelley Drye’s commercial litigators are more than accomplished advocates; they’re pioneers in business litigation.  Since its creation more than two decades ago, our litigators have served in leadership roles overseeing the evolution of the Commercial Division of New York State Supreme Court—the preeminent specialized business court in the country, and have participated in the development of specialized business courts based on the New York Model in nearly two dozen states. Our business litigators are also recognized thought leaders in their practice areas.  We’ve made significant contributions to the two leading treatises on commercial litigation in the federal and New York State courts—Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, third edition, which features substantive chapters prepared by eight Kelley Drye attorneys, and Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, fourth edition, which includes fifteen chapters authored by our commercial litigators.  One of our partners has served as editor in chief of both treatises since their inception.

  • Obtained a complete dismissal of an over $50 million lawsuit asserting claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, and gross negligence against a real estate investment company and its managing principals arising from the parties’ joint investment in a real estate development project in Miami, Florida.

  • Kelley Drye was trial counsel for an international fashion retailer in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract claim brought by a former licensee that alleged that the licensee’s rights to use certain trademarks was prematurely terminated.  The case settled during trial.

  • Represented the world’s leading retailer of athletic footwear in a $15 million dispute with a vendor regarding claims of fraud.  New York State Commercial Division’s court granted Kelley Drye’s motion in its entirety and dismissed the case. 

  • Represented a healthcare provider in an application for preliminary injunction and sustaining a large medical group’s billing practices against allegations that they amounted to unlawful, coercive and unprofessional conduct designed to defraud the plaintiff healthcare insurer.

  • Representing a financial institution in a lawsuit brought by the unsecured creditors’ committee in bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York for the return of $1.4 billion in payments made by the estate of General Motors to the bank and other secured creditors of GM.

  • 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, successfully negotiated a settlement.

  • Kelley Drye successfully represented a real estate management company as the seller of a midtown Manhattan office building prosecuting claims for breach of Purchase and Sale Agreement, winning a motion for summary judgment allowing the seller to retain a $38.5 million deposit on the sale, plus interest.  Judgment was affirmed by a five-member panel of judges in the New York State Court of Appeals.

  • Represented a branded apparel, footwear and brand management company in a dispute involving the alleged breach of a distribution agreement for handbags and other goods.  We obtained dismissal of the suit after the court agreed that there was no subject matter jurisdiction for the claims to be heard in federal court.

  • Represented a national testing laboratory at the New York Court of Appeals, which answered two certified questions from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concerning whether a duty of care was owed and whether a fraud claim was stated in favor of the laboratory.

  • Represented a university’s medical school and secured a permanent injunction and order of contempt against a disgruntled former student of the medical school, who violated the federal Anticybersquatting Act and breached a nondisparagement agreement through his registration and use of numerous bogus websites designed to confuse prospective students by driving them to inaccurate information contained on what they assumed were legitimate websites controlled by the medical school.

  • Represented an energy company in a series of lawsuits brought by independent dealers in state and federal courts concerning disputes over their Dealer Supply Agreements.

  • Represented an entertainment technology company, in a tortious interference with contract and breach of contract action arising out of a venture to install an Imax™ theater at a museum.  The case successfully settled after discovery and a summary judgment motion.

  • Successfully prosecuted fraudulent transfer and alter ego claims against a number of related foreign corporations and the Republic of Argentina, ultimately obtaining a $130 million settlement for the client.  

  • Defended a financial services company, its president and one of its employees accused of stealing a competitor’s trade secrets and interfering with the competitor’s present and prospective business relationships.  We successfully obtained pre-discovery dismissal of the trade secret claims and the claims against our client’s president, and—following extensive discovery—the court granted our clients’ summary judgment motion and dismissed the remaining claims in their entirety.

  • Represented a printing and imaging technology company in a theft of trade secrets case involving software stolen by a competitor.  We obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, prosecuted claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and for misappropriation of trade secrets, and ultimately obtained a confidential, favorable settlement for our client.
 
 

Overview

Our Commercial Litigation team is comprised of courtroom-tested trial lawyers with deep experience in the defense and prosecution of claims arising out of our clients’ business relationships. We have been lead counsel in lawsuits and arbitrations throughout the country and in many international arbitrations. 

As commercial litigators, your business disputes are our business.  Our job is to resolve those business disputes on terms favorable to you, either through direct negotiation, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms or litigation.

While the nature of our clients’ businesses and the kinds of commercial disputes they encounter have changed over time, our fundamental approach to representing clients in commercial matters has remained constant.  Litigation for litigation’s sake has never had a place in our playbook.  It never will.  For us, at the heart of every commercial dispute is a business—our client.  With each case comes a mix of business interests and strategic objectives unique to that client.  We litigate to advance our client’s business interests, executing upon a litigation strategy developed specifically to achieve its objectives.  We do so efficiently, aggressively and effectively.  We fight hard, but we fight smart.

We are confident in and proud of our commercial litigation capabilities.  But don’t take our word for it.  We are recognized by our peers for the depth and breadth of our litigation bench.  We have been named to “Most Feared Law Firms” in BTI Consulting’s “Litigation Outlook 2017 and 2018.”  General counsel and legal decision makers consider Kelley Drye one of the firms that they would least like to see as opposing litigation counsel—welcome news to our clients.  We were also named to the "Honor Roll for Commercial Litigation" in BTI's "Litigation Outlook 2019" and listed in BTI’s “Litigation Outlook for 2015,” as a “Leader of the Best” for approaching client work with creativity, flexibility and business savvy.

Kelley Drye’s commercial litigators are more than accomplished advocates; they’re pioneers in business litigation.  Since its creation more than two decades ago, our litigators have served in leadership roles overseeing the evolution of the Commercial Division of New York State Supreme Court—the preeminent specialized business court in the country, and have participated in the development of specialized business courts based on the New York Model in nearly two dozen states. Our business litigators are also recognized thought leaders in their practice areas.  We’ve made significant contributions to the two leading treatises on commercial litigation in the federal and New York State courts—Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, third edition, which features substantive chapters prepared by eight Kelley Drye attorneys, and Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, fourth edition, which includes fifteen chapters authored by our commercial litigators.  One of our partners has served as editor in chief of both treatises since their inception.

Experience

  • Obtained a complete dismissal of an over $50 million lawsuit asserting claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation, and gross negligence against a real estate investment company and its managing principals arising from the parties’ joint investment in a real estate development project in Miami, Florida.

  • Kelley Drye was trial counsel for an international fashion retailer in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract claim brought by a former licensee that alleged that the licensee’s rights to use certain trademarks was prematurely terminated.  The case settled during trial.

  • Represented the world’s leading retailer of athletic footwear in a $15 million dispute with a vendor regarding claims of fraud.  New York State Commercial Division’s court granted Kelley Drye’s motion in its entirety and dismissed the case. 

  • Represented a healthcare provider in an application for preliminary injunction and sustaining a large medical group’s billing practices against allegations that they amounted to unlawful, coercive and unprofessional conduct designed to defraud the plaintiff healthcare insurer.

  • Representing a financial institution in a lawsuit brought by the unsecured creditors’ committee in bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York for the return of $1.4 billion in payments made by the estate of General Motors to the bank and other secured creditors of GM.

  • 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, successfully negotiated a settlement.

  • Kelley Drye successfully represented a real estate management company as the seller of a midtown Manhattan office building prosecuting claims for breach of Purchase and Sale Agreement, winning a motion for summary judgment allowing the seller to retain a $38.5 million deposit on the sale, plus interest.  Judgment was affirmed by a five-member panel of judges in the New York State Court of Appeals.

  • Represented a branded apparel, footwear and brand management company in a dispute involving the alleged breach of a distribution agreement for handbags and other goods.  We obtained dismissal of the suit after the court agreed that there was no subject matter jurisdiction for the claims to be heard in federal court.

  • Represented a national testing laboratory at the New York Court of Appeals, which answered two certified questions from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concerning whether a duty of care was owed and whether a fraud claim was stated in favor of the laboratory.

  • Represented a university’s medical school and secured a permanent injunction and order of contempt against a disgruntled former student of the medical school, who violated the federal Anticybersquatting Act and breached a nondisparagement agreement through his registration and use of numerous bogus websites designed to confuse prospective students by driving them to inaccurate information contained on what they assumed were legitimate websites controlled by the medical school.

  • Represented an energy company in a series of lawsuits brought by independent dealers in state and federal courts concerning disputes over their Dealer Supply Agreements.

  • Represented an entertainment technology company, in a tortious interference with contract and breach of contract action arising out of a venture to install an Imax™ theater at a museum.  The case successfully settled after discovery and a summary judgment motion.

  • Successfully prosecuted fraudulent transfer and alter ego claims against a number of related foreign corporations and the Republic of Argentina, ultimately obtaining a $130 million settlement for the client.  

  • Defended a financial services company, its president and one of its employees accused of stealing a competitor’s trade secrets and interfering with the competitor’s present and prospective business relationships.  We successfully obtained pre-discovery dismissal of the trade secret claims and the claims against our client’s president, and—following extensive discovery—the court granted our clients’ summary judgment motion and dismissed the remaining claims in their entirety.

  • Represented a printing and imaging technology company in a theft of trade secrets case involving software stolen by a competitor.  We obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, prosecuted claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and for misappropriation of trade secrets, and ultimately obtained a confidential, favorable settlement for our client.
Partner
Email (212) 808-5082(212) 808-5082
Michael Lynch is chair of the firm’s Litigation practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  Michael has extensive trial experience, both from his days as a prosecutor...
Partner
Email (973) 503-5920(973) 503-5920
Joseph Boyle focuses his practice on class actions and commercial litigation.  His experience includes various areas of consumer class action litigation and litigation involving telecommunicat...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7853(212) 808-7853
Andrea Calvaruso chairs the firm’s Trademark and Copyright practice group and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  She represents clients from a wide range of industries...
Partner
Email (973) 503-5922(973) 503-5922
A formidable litigator, compelling advocate and dynamic negotiator, Jeff Castello has represented a number of large corporations in complex food, beverage and consumer product false advertising and...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8518(202) 342-8518
Thomas Cohen’s practice focuses on providing legal counsel to further the business interests of entities engaged in the provision of wireline and wireless telecommunications, cable (video) an...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7534(212) 808-7534
Jon Cooperman is an experienced trial attorney.  His practice focuses on all aspects of civil litigation, including commercial litigation and contract disputes; environmental law claims pertai...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5006(713) 355-5006
Kenny Corley is managing partner of the firm’s Houston office.  His practice is focused on litigation and trial advocacy, with an emphasis on environmental and business disputes in state...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7847(212) 808-7847
Robert Crotty’s practice is focused on commercial litigation, trials, appeals and arbitrations.  With more than four decades of experience, Bob has represented clients in the automobile,...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7812(212) 808-7812
Levi Downing’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation matters, including trademark, trade dress, copyright, false advertising, unfair competition, defamation, breach of contract, f...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7771(212) 808-7771
Bill Escobar is one of Kelley Drye’s leading trial lawyers.  Bill defends, prosecutes and resolves serious business disputes for both domestic and international business clients.  B...
Partner
Email (973) 503-5917(973) 503-5917
Glenn Graham focuses on all aspects of civil litigation.  His experience includes consumer class action defense, commercial litigation and contract disputes, and law enforcement investigations...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7640(212) 808-7640
Bill Gyves focuses his national practice on the litigation, arbitration and mediation of complex business disputes.  For nearly three decades, Bill has represented clients from a diverse spect...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7715(212) 808-7715
Bob Haig’s practice focuses on commercial and other types of civil litigation in federal and New York state courts at both the trial and appellate levels. A veteran litigator and proven ...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7817(212) 808-7817
Bill Heck is involved in complex corporate litigation, including mass disasters and toxic torts.  Bill represents major corporations involved in sophisticated commercial litigation, such as di...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5050(713) 355-5050
Bill Jackson is co-chair of the firm’s national Environmental Law practice group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.  Bill has one of the most sophisticated and success...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8864(202) 342-8864
In his fourth decade of practice, Ira Kasdan is focused on complex civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution.  He has successfully argued, and won, high-stakes litigation in federal ...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7609(212) 808-7609
Cliff Katz represents generic pharmaceutical companies in complex commercial litigation.  His litigation practice includes pharmaceutical pricing, antitrust, breach of contract, federal and st...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7811(212) 808-7811
Neil Merkl is chair of Kelley Drye’s Insurance Recovery and Counseling practice group.  Neil is a commercial lawyer, litigator and trial attorney with more than thirty years of experienc...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7843(212) 808-7843
Jaclyn Metzinger focuses her practice on commercial and complex civil litigation in both state and federal courts.  Her experience includes consumer class actions, false advertising claims, an...
Partner
Email (212) 808-5101(212) 808-5101
Annie Mitchell is a results-oriented trial attorney serving as counsel in a variety of commercial litigation matters in federal and state courts, including breach of contract, financial services, f...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7889(212) 808-7889
Nicholas Panarella is a dedicated litigator, trial advocate and appellate attorney.  With more than two decades of experience in resolving serious, high-stakes disputes, Nick has litigated com...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5023(713) 355-5023
Will Petit represents clients in the litigation and trial of environmental, commercial and general civil matters.  He also provides practical, cost-effective legal advice on general business a...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7726(212) 808-7726
Philip Robben is head of the firm’s International Arbitration team.  His practice focuses on international and domestic litigation and arbitration.  Philip’s experience includ...
Partner
Email (212) 808-5052(212) 808-5052
James Saylor has managed complex litigations and arbitration for a diverse breadth of firm clients, including national brick and mortar and online retailers, internationally-recognized brands, tech...
Partner
Email (973) 503-5923(973) 503-5923
Whitney Smith’s practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and consumer class action defense.  Whitney frequently defends clients faced with claims under the Telephone Consumer Pr...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7965(212) 808-7965
Rob Steiner is the managing partner of Kelley Drye’s New York office.  A proven litigator and trial attorney with over two decades of experience in complex business litigation, Rob has h...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7586(212) 808-7586
Damon Suden is an experienced and talented litigator and trial attorney.  His practice includes commercial and complex civil litigation and class action defense in both state and federal court...
Partner
Email (213) 547-4916(213) 547-4916
Becca Wahlquist is co-chair of the firm's Consumer Class Action Defense practice.  She has a wide-ranging, complex commercial litigation practice defending Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 busi...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7985(212) 808-7985
David Zalman’s practice involves commercial and complex civil litigation, including class action defense, contract disputes, unfair competition, false advertising, real estate disputes, corpo...
Retired Partner
Email (212) 808-7729(212) 808-7729
Bud Holman served as the firm's managing partner for eight years and was a member of the Executive Committee for 21 years. Bud's litigation practice focused on alternative dispute reso...
Special Counsel
Email (202) 342-8823(202) 342-8823
Melissa Byroade represents domestic and international clients in litigation and international arbitration, with a focus on environmental litigation. A substantial portion of Melissa’s pr...
Special Counsel
Email (212) 808-7551(212) 808-7551
Rebecca (Blake) Durrant focuses her practice on representing clients in complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts.  
Special Counsel
Email (312) 857-7078(312) 857-7078
Catie James is special counsel in the firm’s Chicago office. Catie’s practice focuses on telecommunications, commercial litigation, and products liability defense, representing clients ...
Special Counsel
Email (212) 808-7544(212) 808-7544
Randall Morrison represents a variety of clients across a wide range of industries in connection with litigation, regulatory investigations, and business counseling.  In addition, Randall has ...
Special Counsel
Email (212) 808-7636(212) 808-7636
Dave Reap is in the Litigation Practice Group, and specializes in consumer protection, products liability, and environmental matters. A substantial portion of Dave’s practice includes re...
Special Counsel
Email (713) 355-5013(713) 355-5013
Lana Rowenko’s practice focuses on environmental litigation, as well as commercial litigation.  Lana’s environmental practice includes representing states and sovereigns in complex...
Special Counsel
Email (212) 808-7639(212) 808-7639
Genna Steinberg focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, including copyright, trademark, trade secret, employment, advertising, real estate, and breach of contract disputes.  Gen...
Special Counsel
Email (713) 355-5031(713) 355-5031
Nancy Yanochik has experience in environmental matters, tort and commercial litigation.  She has represented a broad range of clients including large petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and transpo...
Senior Associate
Email (212) 808-7614(212) 808-7614
Aaron Gold represents financial institutions and other large corporations in state and federal court across a wide range of issues, including securities fraud, contract disputes, and products ...
Senior Associate
Email (973) 503-5916(973) 503-5916
Matthew Chakmakian’s practice focuses on commercial litigation and consumer class action defense, assisting clients with all stages of litigation and arbitration.  Matthew has also brief...
Senior Associate
Email (212) 808-5137(212) 808-5137
Elizabeth Krasnow focuses her practice on litigation. Prior to rejoining Kelley Drye, Elizabeth was senior litigation counsel at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where she defen...
Senior Associate
Email (212) 808-7928(212) 808-7928
Noah Lindenfeld focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, including breach of contract, deceptive trade practices, products liability, and real property matters.  He represents cl...
Senior Associate
Email (973) 503 5978(973) 503 5978
Bob Ward is a senior litigation associate who focuses his practice on commercial litigation and consumer class action defense. Previously, Bob served as law clerk to the Honorable Douglas M. F...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8804(202) 342-8804
Krystal Alvarez is an associate in the firm’s Litigation group.  Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation.  Krystal’s experience includes counseling clients on em...
Associate
Email (212) 808-7525(212) 808-7525
Tiffany Arosemena is an associate in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Trademark and Copyright practice groups.  Tiffany focuses her practice on prosecuting and defending trademark an...
Associate
Email (212) 808-7784(212) 808-7784
Brianna Santolli’s practice centers on commercial litigation with a focus on the healthcare industry.  Brianna has considerable experience in all stages of complex commercial litigation,...
Discovery Attorney
Email (212) 808-7683(212) 808-7683
Nancy Lopez is a discovery attorney in the firm’s New York office.  Nancy focuses on providing e-discovery and document review support for Kelley Drye’s clients across practic...
Discovery Attorney
Email (212) 808-7941(212) 808-7941
Jasmine Sripa is a discovery attorney in the firm’s New York office. Jasmine focuses on providing e-discovery and document review support for Kelley Drye’s clients across practices, ind...
Discovery Attorney
Email (212) 808-7613(212) 808-7613
Sara Yoon is a discovery attorney focusing on providing e-Discovery and document review support for Kelley Drye’s clients across practices, industries and offices.  Sara works seamlessly...

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