Mr Michael Swartz > Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10022
United States
Michael Swartz photo

Work Department

Litigation, Shareholder Activism, Blockchain technology & Digital Assets, Complex Commercial Litigation, Regulatory & Compliance, Securities Enforcement, Securities Litigation, Antitrust, Cybersecurity & Data Privacy


Michael E. Swartz, co-chair of the Litigation Group and head of the shareholder activism litigation practice, focuses on complex commercial litigation and antitrust, particularly as it relates to mergers and acquisitions. His litigation practice includes shareholder activist litigation, private investment fund disputes, M&A litigation, corporate control disputes and securities litigation. Michael has particular expertise with litigation involving Sections 10(b), 13(d), 14(a), 14(e),16(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and in arbitration proceedings. He represented Trian Fund Management in its proxy contest at Procter & Gamble, and achieved a series of victories on behalf of venBio Select Advisor in its proxy campaign at Immunomedics. Among other things, for venBio, Michael obtained a TRO blocking the closing of a global license agreement, which effectively would have amounted to a sale of the company. Michael’s other recent litigation experience includes activist litigation; cryptocurrency investment fund disputes, representations of several boards and companies in M&A- and proxy-related litigation; and obtaining dismissal of several Section 16(b) actions brought against investment advisers and the funds they manage, seeking disgorgement of alleged short-swing trading profits. Michael served as trial counsel to the former Vivendi Universal CFO in a four-month securities class action jury trial. The jury returned a verdict of no liability for SRZ’s client for securities fraud. He also represented The Children’s Investment Fund in a trial involving proxy litigation commenced by CSX Corporation and served as trial counsel to the former chief legal officer of media giant Hollinger in a four-month criminal trial. Michael represented Cerberus Capital Management in its $9.2-billion acquisition of Safeway.

Michael has been recognized by his peers and clients in Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and AttorneysThe Legal 500 US and New York Super Lawyers in the area of business litigation. His litigation victories have been featured in The Hedge Fund JournalHedge Fund Legal and Compliance Digest and, recently, the Litigation Group, co-chaired by Michael, won Law360’s “Asset Management Practice Group of the Year” for its representations of leading private investment funds. Michael’s recent publications include contributing to the 2020 Shareholder Activism Insight report (produced by Activist Insight in association with SRZ), The Activist Investing Annual Review 2019 and co-authoring the “Information Sharing with Market Professionals” chapter in the Insider Trading Law and Compliance Answer Book 2019 (Practicing Law Institute). Michael is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He is also a former law clerk to the Hon. Irving R. Kaufman, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Michael received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was editor of the Columbia Law Review, and received his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.


American Bar Association (Antitrust and Litigation Sections); International Bar Association; New York City Bar Association; Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice Chair and Executive Committee Member).


Columbia Law School, JD (Editor, Columbia Law Review); University of California, Los Angeles, BA, magna cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa).

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP has a five-partner team that handles securities litigation from both its New York and Washington DC offices. It frequently defends federal and state securities claims across the US, with a particularly prominent role in the defense of hedge funds and private equity firms. Its work also includes the representation of Fortune 500 corporations, securities underwriters and broker-dealers. It has recently shown its prowess in financial services cases, having acted for individuals and organizations accused of insider trading and in short-swing, as well as in disputes relating to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Practice head Michael Swartz in New York and Peter White in DC are the lead partners. Regulatory specialists Gary Stein in New York and DC-based partner Howard Schiffman are also recommended.

United States > Dispute resolution > M&A litigation: defense

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP joins the ranking this year partly on the strength of the work done by Michael Swartz in New York, who along with Peter White in Washington DC leads the firm’s litigation group. The firm is a key adviser to the financial services industry on corporate and transactional matters, as well as providing counsel on regulatory, compliance, enforcement and investigative issues. Swartz handles a growing number of complex corporate disputes arising out of failed or contested mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, and the firm has a well-established shareholder activism practice that also sees it involved in contentious matters.

United States > Dispute resolution > General commercial disputes

From its offices in New York and Washington DC, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP excels in litigation related to investment management. It also has expertise in broker-dealer disputes, shareholder activism and proxy contests. In a highlight matter, co-chair Michael Swartz recently won a series of victories for hedge fund venBio Select Advisor and is continuing to advise the company relating to its proxy contest at Immunomedics. Elsewhere, William Gussman is representing TPG Specialty Lending in securing repayment of credit from IHeartMedia, after the latter went into bankruptcy. Other key lawyers to note are co-chair of litigation group Peter White (in DC); Taleah Jennings, who focuses on fiduciary-related issues; Gary Stein, who has deep experience at appellate level; and Robert Ward, who specializes in commercial and securities litigation.