Firm Profile > Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP > New York, United States

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10036
United States

Media, technology and telecoms > Advertising and marketing: litigation Tier 1

New York firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP provides a full service in advertising litigation, with recent instructions including high profile class actions, Lanham Act cases, and enforcement proceedings arising from regulatory investigations. The firm is also involved in follow-on cases arising from advertising disputes, such as its representation of pet food manufacturer Blue Buffalo in third-party claims against two of its suppliers, whose adulterated and falsely labelled ingredients exposed the company to substantial false advertising claims, both from competitors and consumers. The team is headed up by experienced litigator Steven Zalesin, who takes the lead on most of its complex and high-profile cases, with a significant practice across all major areas of the firm's practice. At a more junior level, the firm saw two recent additions to the partnership, as Jane Metcalf and Joshua Kipnees made the grade in early 2019.

Practice head(s):

Steven Zalesin

Other key lawyers:

Jane Metcalf; Jonah Knobler; Adeel Mangi; Joshua Kipnees;


Patterson Belknap are a great team with excellent understanding of class action litigation space, especially in the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors.

Steve Zalesin and Jonah Knobler have a very in depth understanding of false advertising litigation and are in touch of all developments related to the space.

Key clients

The Coca-Cola Company

The Hershey Company

Johnson & Johnson

L’Oreal USA, Inc.

Eli Lilly and Company

Blue Buffalo Company

The Nature’s Bounty Company

Altice USA

General Mills, Inc.

The Clorox Company

Tax > Not-for-profit (nonprofit and tax exempt organizations) Tier 1

Based in New York, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP fields 'a strong, talented team of lawyers who are experts in all aspects of exempt organization law'. The group advises clients such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Rockefeller Foundation and The American Civil Liberties Union, on a range of issues from tax, governance, and regulatory compliance to intellectual property, employment law and litigation. Laura Butzel, who frequently advises on governance,  joint ventures and tax issues, heads the practice group, which also includes John Sare, a name to note for matters pertaining to charitable gifts and endowment funds; Robin Krause, who handles domestic and cross-border tax and corporate governance projects; and 'talented communicator' Tomer Inbar, who frequently advises on hybrid tax-exempt and corporate structures and affiliated organizations. Also recommended are Megan Bell and counsel Janine Shissler, who has particular experience assisting with charitable and program-related investments and the structuring of joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Laura Butzel


Patterson Belknap’s nonprofit practice has a wide-breadth of experience. They are extremely responsive and do a good job tailoring their advice to our specific situation and risk tolerance.

They have a very strong talented team who are experts in all aspects of exempt organization law. They are sophisticated and practical.  And they have a wide range of talented experts in the firm who supplement their work when the question at hand requires additional expertise.

Tomer Inbar is amazing to work with. He always makes time to handle urgent issues, is very pragmatic, responsive, and generally a lovely person to work with. Tomer is also a great counselor. He has great emotional intelligence skills that he combines with excellent technical legal advice. He is great with non-lawyers at my organization and is a talented communicator.

Susan Vignola, an associate within the practice, is also great to work with. She is cost-effective, responsive, and does a good job of checking with partners when appropriate on her work. She’s a delight to work with.

Media, technology and telecoms > Advertising and marketing: transactional and regulatory

Founded in 1919, Patterson Belknap is a law firm of more than 200 lawyers committed to providing high-quality legal advice and service for clients and to maintaining a congenial and diverse workplace. The Firm makes its clients’ business issues its own. At the same time, it cares about its attorneys, its staff and the community it is privileged to serve. Patterson Belknap delivers a full range of services across more than 20 practice groups in both litigation and commercial law. The Firm’s clients are diverse: from pharmaceutical and medical device companies to major media and publishing empires; from consumer products companies to financial institutions; from fine art museums to famous entertainers; and from foreign companies seeking to transact business on the US stock exchanges to US companies doing business abroad.

Main areas of practice: Patterson Belknap is one of a handful of law firms in the US with a significant practice group devoted exclusively to tax-exempt organizations, and it has one of the largest practices of its kind in New York City. Its representation of charities and other types of not-for-profit, tax-exempt organizations dates back to the Firm’s beginnings. The Firm represents tax-exempt organizations in all aspects of their operations and management, and the legal needs of exempt organization clients cover the spectrum of the Firm’s practice areas.

Patterson Belknap’s false advertising practice is consistently recognized on a national level as being ‘one of the elite players in false advertising litigation’. Its attorneys have represented both plaintiffs and defendants in many of the most notable false advertising cases throughout the nation. These include numerous false advertising class actions in which the Firm has successfully defeated class certification. In addition to litigation, the Firm represents clients at the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (NAD). We also counsel clients regarding new product launches, package development, claims substantiation, advertising clearance, regulatory compliance, public relations matters, and industry initiatives related to advertising and marketing.

More than half the attorneys at Patterson Belknap are devoted to litigation. The litigating partners have tried hundreds of cases, including many of the most complex in their fields. Their work includes complex commercial disputes; intellectual property litigation, including patents, trademark and copyright; law firm defense; structured finance litigation; False Claims Act and whistleblower defense; antitrust; government and internal investigations; creditors’ rights; anti-counterfeiting; product liability; privacy and data security; media and entertainment; and employment. The corporate practice includes art and museum law; cross-border transactions; employee benefits and executive compensation; intellectual property transactions; M&A and private equity; real estate; securities; tax; and trusts and estates.

Department Name Email Telephone
False advertising Steven A Zalesin
Tax-exempt Organizations Laura Butzel
Tax-exempt organizations Robin Krause
Tax-exempt organizations Tomer Inbar
Litigation Saul B Shapiro
Intellectual property William F Cavanaugh Jr
White-collar defense and investigations Daniel S Ruzumna
White-collar defense and investigations Joshua A Goldberg
Financial litigation Erik Haas
Financial litigation Peter Tomlinson
Corporate Herman H Raspé
Employment Lisa E Cleary
Real estate Kenneth L Sankin
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Megan Bell  photo Ms Megan Bell
Ms Laura Butzel  photo Ms Laura Butzel
Ms Robin Krause  photo Ms Robin Krause
Mr Bernard O’Hare  photo Mr Bernard O’Hare
Mr Saul Shapiro  photo Mr Saul Shapiro
Number of Partners : 51
Number of Lawyers : 149
Co-Chair and Managing Partner : Lisa E. Cleary
Co-Chair : Peter W. Tomlinson
Chair, Litigation Department : Saul B. Shapiro