Mr Stephen W. Tountas > Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP > New York, United States > Lawyer Profile

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
1633 BROADWAY
NEW YORK, NY 10019
United States
Stephen W. Tountas photo

Work Department

Partner

Position

Commercial Litigation; Plaintiffs’ Litigation; Securities Litigation

Career

Stephen W. Tountas is a versatile trial lawyer who prosecutes and defends complex securities actions and commercial disputes on behalf of leading hedge funds, mutual funds, family offices, and public pension funds.

Steve has been a principal member of several high-profile trial teams and has recovered billions of dollars for stakeholders of public companies.  He also regularly handles significant defense-side litigation, including matters arising from allegations of securities fraud and corporate malfeasance.

In addition to his active litigation practice, Steve develops potential cases for his clients and provides strategic advice regarding the relative merits of pursuing litigation on a direct or class-wide basis.  Sophisticated creditors also frequently turn to Steve to develop litigation strategies in anticipation of potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings that may enhance their recovery of fraud-related losses compared to other stakeholders.

In 2020, The National Law Journal named Steve a Plaintiff’s Trailblazer and highlighted the success of his market-leading strategies in several recent direct securities actions.  He has also been recommended by The Legal 500 for securities opt-out litigation (2018-2020); by Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star (2020); recognized on Benchmark Litigation’s Under 40 Hot List (2016-2018); honored as a Rising Star by Law360 (2017); and recognized by New York Metro Super Lawyers (2014-2018).

He is a long-term member of the Securities Litigation Committee of the New York City Bar Association, and he is frequently asked to speak or comment on issues pertaining to securities litigation.  Steve is also a member of Law360‘s Securities Editorial Advisory Board.

Memberships

New Jersey; New York; U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; U.S. Supreme Court

Education

Washington University School of Law (J.D., Dean’s List and Scholar of Law, 2003); Union College (B.A., Political Science, Dean’s List, 2000)

Leisure

New York City Bar Association, Securities Litigation Committee; Appointed Member (2014 – Present), Secretary (2011 – 2013); Federal Bar Council

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: plaintiff

The New York office of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP is home to a deep bench of securities litigators who handle both defense and plaintiff work but focus predominantly on the latter. The firm handles both direct securities fraud and opt-out cases, frequently acting for prominent hedge funds, mutual funds and pension funds in high-profile cases. It continues to be involved in cases concerning residential mortgage-backed securities, acting for trustees of RMBS transactions, and it is a key adviser to investment funds in disputes arising from the trillions of dollars in complex financial assets held in securitization trusts. Sheron Korpus, Michael Hanin and Stephen Tountas (who is ‘a talented securities lawyer – very knowledgeable and strategic and experienced‘) are the lead partners. Leading trial lawyer Marc Kasowitz, who scored a major victory for MBIA Insurance Corporation in an RMBS case by securing a $600m payout from Credit Suisse in 2020, also plays a central role in the practice. Uri Itkin left the firm in May 2022.

United States > Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense

Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP handles bet-the-company securities litigation on both defense and plaintiff side, acting for major corporations and financial institutions, and their directors and officers. Among its prominent clients is the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals, for which the firm is defending one of the largest securities class actions currently pending as well as the more than 20 related direct actions, filed on behalf of more than 75 opt-out plaintiffs. Sheron Korpus, who led the Teva case, Michael Hanin and Stephen Tountas lead the practice from New York. Emerging partner talent Uri Itkin left the firm in May 2022.