Mr Jonathan Polkes > Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10153
United States
Jonathan Polkes photo


Co-Chair of Weil’s global Litigation Department


Jonathan Polkes is Co-Chair of Weil’s global Litigation Department and is recognized among the top securities litigators and white collar lawyers in the U.S. He is a former federal prosecutor and a first-chair trial lawyer who litigates significant, “bet-the-company” securities, corporate, white collar, and other disputes, supervises government and regulatory investigations, and counsels boards, directors, and senior executives on sensitive internal investigations and corporate governance matters. For more than 30 years, Jonathan has worked at the cutting edge of litigation and enforcement trends. He has been recognized by every major legal publication for his achievements.  His significant engagements have chronicled many significant global crises and developments that have impacted the business world.


Haverford College (BA); NYU School of Law (JD).

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York has ‘a dedicated team specializing solely in securities litigation’ and each team member ‘drives exceptional results for their clients’. The firm is highly regarded for its work on behalf of corporate issuers and private equity clients. John Neuwirth and Caroline Zalka are co-heads of the securities litigation practice. Neuwirth and Joshua Amsel are ‘recognized as national leaders in this area, and are at the top of the list for securities cases no matter how big or complicated’ . They advised Churchill Capital Corp. III on a case arising from an $11bn deSPAC transaction. Zalka and Jonathan Polkes are ‘terrific commercial litigators, with a strong strategic sensibility’ . They worked with the ‘consistently knowledgeable, practical and accessible’  Stacy Nettleton to secure a complete victory for Morgan Stanley in a $4bn breach of fiduciary duty dispute. Evert Christensen is another emerging talent in the New York office. Robert Stern in Washington DC, who joined from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, is a nationally recognized first-chair trial lawyer and highly rated securities and enforcement attorney. Clients remark that he ‘provides excellent, strategic and candid counsel and a great advocate’  and is ‘a good man to be on your side in a difficult situation’ .

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

At Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York, ‘the litigation team takes a practical approach to dispute resolution grounded in both the facts and specific laws involved, leading to negotiating from a position of strength‘. Clients praise the ‘sophisticated, specialized litigators who have deep experience in this area‘. John Neuwirth (who is ‘as good as they come and is a national leader in this space‘) and Caroline Zalka are co-heads of the securities litigation practice, which is home to a number of standout partners. Neuwirth worked with Joshua Amsel (who ‘keeps an even-keeled manner and is a pragmatic problem solver‘) and up-and-coming partner Evert Christensen in the defense of Churchill Capital Corp. III in stockholder litigation in Delaware Chancery Court following its $11bn de-SPAC merger with MultiPlan. Jonathan Polkes is ‘one of the best securities litigators‘ and he recently collaborated with Stacy Nettleton to secure a complete victory in long-running litigation for long-time client Morgan Stanley in connection with the fallout from the 2007 Tribune Co. leveraged buy-out led by billionaire Sam Zell.