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Kay Ellsworth is a co-founder of the firm. She specializes in a variety of complex commercial disputes, including securities, franchise, and business tort litigation, as well as insurance and reinsurance litigation and arbitration.
Ms. Ellsworth currently focuses her practice on pursuing recovery on behalf of institutional investors for securities law and other violations relating to structured securities, especially mortgage-backed securities.
Previously, Ms. Ellsworth represented clients and won trials and arbitrations involving franchise disputes, reinsurance claims, alleged breaches of contract, claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, and a variety of other commercial torts. Chambers USA describes Ms. Ellsworth as a “sparkler” in the courtroom.
David Grais is a co-founder of the firm. He was one of the first litigators to focus on securities backed by subprime and Alt-A mortgage loans. He is a prominent advocate for investors in structured finance securities, especially mortgage-backed securities and has written and spoken widely on the issues. American Banker calls Mr. Grais the “new nemesis” of the mortgage-backed securities industry.
In his three decades of practice, Mr. Grais has won several dozen trials and arbitrations, involving mainly reinsurance and the performance of complex computer, satellite, telecom, and other technical systems. Chambers USA describes Mr. Grais as an “aggressive and proactive lawyer and a brilliant thinker.” He is a member of the American Law Institute.
Outside the office, Mr. Grais is a director of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Westchester and Hudson Valley chapter, and a former director of the Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra and the Battery Dance Company.
Masha Heifetz represents institutional investors in litigation against issuers and underwriters of mortgage-backed securities and mortgage servicers. She has also represented a sovereign wealth fund in an international arbitration, as well as consumer goods companies in product liability and trademark disputes. In her pro bono practice, Masha has represented incarcerated clients in deportation proceedings. Masha is fluent in Russian and has a working knowledge of Spanish and French.
Kate Matthews is an experienced litigator, specializing in complex commercial and securities litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country. Ms. Matthews currently represents the FDIC in its role as receiver for a number of failed banks in actions seeking to recover damages arising out of the banks’ investments in residential mortgage-backed securities.
Previously, Ms. Matthews represented clients in a variety of complex disputes, including investor suits arising out of alleged wrongdoing in the insurance placement process and a consolidation of more than 300 class actions alleging misconduct in the initial public offering of internet and other high technology companies. Ms. Matthews also has represented plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes disputes relating to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by directors and offers of a public company, the interpretation and enforcement of reinsurance contracts, and the bidding process leading to the award of a lucrative public contract.
Kristina Mentone specializes in complex securities and commercial litigation. Ms. Mentone currently represents the FDIC in its role as receiver for several failed banks in litigation against issuers and underwriters of residential mortgage-backed securities.
Previously, Ms. Mentone represented plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes disputes related to a variety of financial investments. Ms. Mentone also has experience with internal and regulatory investigations related to securities and accounting regulation.
Jisun Park represents the FDIC on a number of RMBS actions, one of which resulted in a favorable settlement shortly before trial. She is also a member of the team representing the Federal Home Loan Banks of San Francisco and Seattle. Ms. Park has experience in all phases of civil litigation, from discovery through trial. Before joining the firm, Ms. Park represented corporate clients in a wide variety of matters in state and federal courts, ranging from securities class actions to breach of contract cases to antitrust matters.
Michael M. Pomerantz represents clients in a broad range of high-stakes, complex commercial disputes, with a focus on financial products and markets. Mr. Pomerantz has represented an international finance company in litigation over interest rate and currency swap transactions; international trading conglomerates in litigation over foreign exchange transactions and other derivatives; a well-known commodities expert in litigation over the transfer of assets from a commodities index fund; a broker-dealer in an industry-wide dispute involving the “when-issued” securities market; and an international trading conglomerate in litigation over long-term fixed-price fuel contracts. He also has represented clients in multi-million dollar litigations involving complex contracts, tax, antitrust, bankruptcy, and product liability.
Mr. Pomerantz currently is part of the teams representing the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle and the FDIC in their multi-billion dollar actions against securities dealers to rescind the purchase of certificates backed by residential mortgage loans.
Vickie Reznik represents clients in a broad range of complex commercial litigation, including securities, corporate governance and counseling, regulatory investigations, M&A, and bankruptcy litigation. As trial counsel, Ms. Reznik has represented both plaintiffs and defendants. She has successfully litigated multi-million dollar cases for a variety of private and Fortune 500 companies and has represented clients in hearings and trials in federal and state courts across the country.
Ms. Reznik currently represents the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and The Charles Schwab Corporation in their litigation against securities dealers to rescind the purchase of certificates backed by residential mortgage loans. Also, Ms. Reznik recently represented the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle in connection with multi-billion dollar claims against leading Wall Street banks arising from the purchase of residential mortgage-backed securities, and the FDIC in its role as receiver for a number of failed banks in actions seeking to recover damages arising out of the banks’ investments in residential mortgage-backed securities.
Previously, Ms. Reznik represented a leading competitive energy company in its successful defense against a hostile takeover bid, including an expedited trial and related class action suits; an independent oil and gas exploration company in evidentiary hearings and an expedited adversary proceeding as part of its successful Chapter 11 restructuring; a leading financial advisory services firm in its successful defense against fraudulent misrepresentation claims arising out of a bankruptcy asset sale, and a global financial services firm in SEC investigations and arbitrations related to research conflicts.
Lourdes Slater focuses her litigation practice on issues involving electronically stored information (ESI) and discovery management. She provides her clients with advice on all aspects of data identification, preservation, collection, review, production, and presentation at trial. She has litigated domestically and internationally for over 20 years, and has practiced in state and federal courts and in domestic and international arbitrations. Ms. Slater is also a lecturer on ESI and data privacy topics at various law schools.
Ms. Slater has extensive experience litigating securities, insurance, reinsurance, and complex civil cases with multi-million document collections and productions, and in handling complex discovery disputes. She has extensive expertise on privacy law and compliance regulations, including in the implementation of proper procedures to handle and secure data implicating personally identifiable information.
Ms. Slater currently represents several plaintiffs in actions filed in federal and state courts in connection with multi-billion dollar claims under federal and state securities laws arising from the purchase of residential mortgage-backed securities.
Previously, Ms. Slater advised clients on the European Data Privacy Protection Act and its application in U.S. actions; in connection with the handling of complex claims under primary, excess, umbrella, catastrophe and third-party liability policies on behalf of insurance companies covering a range of issues in environmental, toxic tort, and product liability actions; worked for the Securities Investor Protection Corporation’s appointed Trustee in the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.; and was responsible for overseeing all service, procedures, and discovery issues arising out of the 1,000 + actions filed by the Trustee.
She is a frequent speaker and panelist, particularly in the area of ESI, and has also written extensively on the topic, including co-authoring IT Law For Businesses: The Legal Risks Every CEO Should Be Aware Of. Outside the office, Ms. Slater is a Director of the Board and a Philanthropy Committee Member of Birch Family Services, Inc., a non-profit organization serving the needs of children and adults with disabilities in New York City.
Leanne Wilson advises investors and other financial institutions in litigation arising out of complex financial transactions. She represents a trustee of two RMBS trusts on a loan repurchase case in the Supreme Court of New York. She advises distressed credit funds on their rights under transaction agreements for ABS and CDOs and has helped to negotiate favorable out-of-court settlements on behalf of those clients. Ms. Wilson is also a member of the team representing the Federal Home Loan Banks of San Francisco and Seattle. Before joining the firm, Ms. Wilson represented companies in cases on appeal to appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
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