Neil A. Steiner is a partner in Dechert’s Trials, Investigations, and Securities group. He represents private equity funds and their portfolio companies, hedge funds, investment advisers, corporations and their senior executives in a variety of matters. These include complex corporate governance and commercial disputes, securities litigation, internal investigations, and white-collar defense, SEC, New York Attorney General and other regulatory investigations. He also works seamlessly with Dechert’s private equity team, where his expertise is frequently sought to resolve issues as they arise during transactions as well as to litigate indemnification and other post-closing disputes. Mr. Steiner has extensive first-chair trial experience in federal and state courts throughout the country as well as before arbitral tribunals. He has consistently been recognized for his white collar and securities practice by The Legal 500 US. Clients appreciate his astuteness as a strategic, business-oriented, and creative problem solver as well as the experience he has gleaned from dozens of trials.
Mr. Steiner also devotes significant time to pro bono matters, with a particular emphasis on voting rights cases, and serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He received the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono PublicoAward in 2020 and the Second Circuit Federal Bar Council’s Thurgood Marshall Award in 2021 for his voting rights work and was named one of the ten most innovative lawyers in North America by the Financial Times in 2015.
Mr. Steiner has been deeply involved in litigation arising from Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. He obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims asserted in a federal securities class action brought on behalf of investors in the hedge funds managed by J. Ezra Merkin and Gabriel Capital Corporation that lost more than $2 billion with Madoff; tried a number of arbitrations brought by investors in the Funds; defended against claims brought by the New York Attorney General on behalf of investors and devised a unique settlement with the NYAG that garnered universal investor buy-in; and defended and successfully settled claims brought by the Madoff SIPC trustee. Mr. Steiner also obtained dismissal with prejudice of securities class actions brought on behalf of investors in two fund-of-funds managed by Family Management Corporation that suffered losses in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and defended individual claims brought in New York state court and FINRA arbitration. He is currently defending one of the principals of Fairfield Greenwich in ongoing litigation brought by the Madoff SIPC trustee seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Mr. Steiner has also litigated a broad range of corporate governance disputes in Delaware Chancery Court and arbitration proceedings. He recently successfully represented a sovereign wealth fund in an expedited trial and appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court over governance rights with respect to its multi-billion-dollar investment in a public utility. He represented siblings in a dispute with other family members over control of a multi-billion-dollar family real estate business and obtained a favorable settlement resulting in substantially improved governance and cash flows. Mr. Steiner has also represented an affiliate of Emigrant Bank in a series of arbitrations against the founder and former chief executive officer of one of its businesses and the related auction of that entity, which resulted in the Emigrant affiliate buying out the minority shareholders.
In his pro bono work, Mr. Steiner prevailed in the Sixth Circuit, in a matter of first impression, in requiring Ohio officials to ensure that counties comply with a federal law mandating that public assistance offices provide voter registration applications to applicants for public assistance. The subsequent settlement of that litigation resulted in more than 400,000 low-income Ohio citizens registering to vote through public assistance agencies in just two years. Mr. Steiner subsequently led similar litigation on behalf of low-income voters in Nevada and Georgia, where he won a ruling that the federal law applies to public assistance applications submitted by telephone or over the internet in addition to in-person applications.
Mr. Steiner has served as lead trial counsel, alongside the American Civil Liberties Union or the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, in four voting cases tried to verdict, including a challenge to Wisconsin’s strict voter identification laws, which led to the law being enjoined as unconstitutional until policies were modified to make photo identification more readily available; a successful challenge to Kansas’ restrictive law requiring documentary proof of citizenship to register to vote, which prominent election law scholar Rick Hasen called “the most important voting rights trial so far of the 21st century”; a challenge to Texas’ election of its Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals justices on a statewide basis; and a challenge to New York’s policy of excluding inactive voters from election-day poll books, which resulted in an order requiring such voters to be included. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Steiner led cases to ensure safe and accessible voting in Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and he is currently litigating challenges to discriminatory redistricting maps in Arkansas, Georgia, and Texas on behalf of state affiliates of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause.
Mr. Steiner also writes extensively on developments in securities litigation, including regularly contributing articles to the New York Law Journal. He has also co-authored the chapter on Trademark Litigation in the Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts treatise and the chapter on Data Privacy in the Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts treatise.
Neil A. Steiner is a partner in Dechert’s Trials, Investigations, and Securities group. He represents private equity funds and their portfolio companies, hedge funds, investment advisers, corporations and their senior executives in a variety of matters. These include complex corporate governance and commercial disputes, securities litigation, internal investigations, and white-collar defense, SEC, New York Attorney General and other regulatory investigations. He also works seamlessly with Dechert’s private equity team, where his expertise is frequently sought to resolve issues as they arise during transactions as well as to litigate indemnification and other post-closing disputes. Mr. Steiner has extensive first-chair trial experience in federal and state courts throughout the country as well as before arbitral tribunals. He has consistently been recognized for his white collar and securities practice by Th ...Continue Reading
Representing operator of skilled nursing homes in governance dispute with joint venture partner over control and management of approximately two dozen facilities on the West Coast.
Defending directors of a business development company against claims of breach of fiduciary duty arising from the sale of the company.
Defending biopharmaceutical company in claims relating to ownership of and transfer restrictions on shares.
Defending private equity firm and its portfolio company against claims by former shareholder seeking to rescind consensual foreclosure.
Defended portfolio company of private equity firm against claims by former chief financial officer over value of his interests.
Defended business development company and its manager against claims seeking to enjoin the sale of an investment.
Defended portfolio company of private equity firm against claims by former chief executive officer alleging that he was fraudulently induced to accept employment and purchase stock.
Defended founder of healthcare technology company against claims of breach of non-compete covenants by purchaser of business.
Defended leading video game developer and its founder against claims brought by former executive seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and equity.
Represented owner of professional sports franchise in dispute with minority owners.
Defended several business development companies in shareholder litigation in Delaware, New York and Maryland arising from corporate transactions.
Represented general counsel of pharmaceutical company in congressional and regulatory investigations and securities litigation.
Represented private equity fund and two of its founders in connection with the separation of the third co-founder.
Advised the outside directors of Lehman Brothers in various litigations, investigations and corporate governance matters related to Lehman’s bankruptcy.
Defending offshore hedge fund in clawback litigation brought by the Madoff SIPC trustee.
Advised European family office on clawback litigation brought by the Madoff SIPC trustee arising from investments with Madoff made through an offshore feeder fund.
Defended leading milk processor against interference with contract claims brought by a competitor arising from the supply of milk to Starbucks.
Defeated competitor’s application for an injunction seeking to prevent milk processor from contracting with Starbucks.
Defended principals of casino management company in decade-long litigation by lenders claiming interference with lenders’ relationship with Indian tribe on whose reservation casino was located. Obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims and argued appeal, which affirmed dismissal.
Obtained dismissal with prejudice of all claims against GlaxoSmithKline and its chief executive officer in the Paxil Securities Litigation (affirmed by the Second Circuit).
Defended Interactive Brokers in a securities class action alleging misrepresentations in connection with its initial public offering, in which plaintiffs agreed voluntarily to dismiss with prejudice all remaining claims following the Court’s decision dismissing the vast majority of the complaint.
Defended Monster Worldwide in stock-drop ERISA claims brought by participants in the company’ s 401k plan (Taylor v. McKelvey (SDNY)).
Defended the alleged controlling shareholder of Friedman’s Jewelers in government investigations, securities class action litigation and bankruptcy litigation.
Defended Dutch telephone company Royal KPN N.V. in securities litigation arising out of the KPNQwest bankruptcy (In re KPNQwest N.V. Securities Litigation and Appaloosa v. Qwest (SDNY)).
Defended Royal KPN N.V. in securities litigation arising out of the initial public offering and subsequent bankruptcy of Infonet Services Corp.
Defended the founding shareholders of 360networks in securities litigation arising out of the initial public offering of 360networks.
Defended the former chairman of the audit committee of Fannie Mae in securities and derivative actions (In re Fannie Mae Securities, Derivative and ERISA litigation (DDC)).
Defended the former chief financial officer of U.S. Foodservice (a subsidiary of Royal Ahold) in criminal, SEC and civil securities litigation.
Represented several employees of Bristol Myers in grand jury and SEC investigations.
Defended senior executives of computer manufacturer in internal investigation and SEC investigation.
Represented a UK hedge fund and its traders in an SEC insider trading investigation.