Seward & Kissel LLP > New York, United States > Firm Profile

Seward & Kissel LLP
1 BATTERY PARK PLAZA
NEW YORK, NY 10004
United States

Industry focus > Transport: shipping - litigation and regulation Tier 2

Praised for its ‘first-class service’, Seward & Kissel LLP represents an array of publicly-held and private shipping companies, along with shipping banks, owners and investors. The New York-based practice consistently acts in disputes arising from financings, shipping securities and governance issues, as well as vessel operations. The firm’s maritime litigators are also able to leverage the expertise of the firm’s robust US maritime corporate practice. Bruce G Paulsen co-chairs the firm’s litigation group alongside government investigations specialist Michael G Considine. ‘At the very top of his field’, Paulsen routinely handles complex maritime disputes, while counsel Brian Maloney, ‘excellent at cutting through to the detail’, litigates commercial disputes and manages regulatory investigations. Key associate Laura Miller‘s practice covers maritime litigation and regulatory inquiries.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Seward & Kissel are market leaders in the US, and their reputation is well deserved.’

A first-class service, with strength and depth from the bench.’

‘S&K is able to staff its teams with competent lawyers from diverse legal backgrounds (such as admiralty and maritime law and bankruptcy law) to grapple with complex problems in the transport and shipping sector.’

‘Bruce Paulsen is an industry veteran, and first class in his knowledge and performance.’

‘Bruce Paulsen is at the very top of his field – anything in this area I refer to him.’

‘Bruce Paulsen and counsel Brian Maloney are very capable, high-calibre, international admiralty attorneys, who are easy to work with, always available and deliver sound advice.’

‘Bruce Paulsen and Brian Maloney are highly competent and extremely hardworking.’

‘Brian Maloney is excellent at cutting through to the detail and focusing on the important matters – very responsive and with very good turnaround times.’

Key clients

Commodities & Minerals Enterprise

ING Bank NV

Blue Wall Shipping

Sea Justice

Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries

American Bureau of Shipping

Sargeant Bulk Asphalt

Work highlights

  • Advised ING Bank in coordinating its national strategy, in relation to several dozen maritime arrest and interpleader actions.
  • Represented Commodities & Minerals Enterprise in obtaining large-value awards in two maritime arbitrations.
  • Represented Blue Wall Shipping in obtaining summary judgment in defence of a vessel attachment proceeding.

M&A/corporate and commercial > M&A: middle-market (sub-$500m) Tier 2

A firm with offices in New York and Washington DC, Seward & Kissel LLP directs its attention to middle-market M&A deals, both domestic and multijurisdictional. The team, which is noted for its ‘broad capabilities in investment management’, is also active in the shipping, finance, media, veterinary and private equity fields and is headed by ‘superstar’ lawyer Craig A Sklar alongside the ‘excellentJames E Abbott. The team also includes Nick Katsanos, a go-to for premerger notification requirements as governed by the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, as well as counsel Danielle Lemberg whose key strengths include joint venture, venture capital and seed investment deals.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Investment management space is a key strength.’

‘James Abbott has excellent strategic advisory skills that go beyond legal issues to the heart of key business decisions.’

‘The team is very attentive to clients. Accessible and user-friendly. Great corporate law practice for the middle market.’

‘Jim Abbott is very good. He breaks down arcane legal concepts into easy-to-understand chunks. He is also very approachable, accessible and friendly, while driving a hard bargain for his clients.’

‘S&K gives the highest-quality legal advice focused on the practical objectives of clients rather than getting caught up in legal game-playing. This helps clients to close deals faster and with lower costs, while still addressing fundamentally important structuring and documentation issues.’

‘Craig Sklar and Nick Katsanos have been our deal team leads for many years. They embody the virtues noted above. They are highly responsive and efficient, as well as being excellent lawyers.’

‘Seward & Kissel is a top notch firm with broad capabilities in investment management, M&A, trusts and estates planning among many others. Attorneys have the right combination of legal and practical advice as well as the business acumen that is unusual to find in many lawyers. Top notch firm with partner involvement at every step. Overall you get great expertise at a reasonable price – my go to firm. Their team is amazing.’

‘Craig Sklar is an amazing M&A attorney who leaves no stone unturned and gets the deal done. He will work long hours to meet any deadline – superstar.’

Key clients

iM Global Partner

Global Ship Lease, Inc.

Growth Catalyst Partners

Emigrant Partners

Estancia Capital Management

Kennedy Lewis Investment Management

MedLit Graphics, LLC

TIG Advisors, LLC

Marblegate Asset Management, LLC

Kudu Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised TIG Advisors and Tiedemann Wealth Management on merger with UK-based Alvarium Investments and SPAC Cartesian Growth Corp. to form NASDAQ-listed global wealth manager Alvarium Tiedemann Holdings with combined AUM of $54bn.
  • Advised Global Ship Lease, Inc. (NYSE:GSL) on $233.9m acquisition of 12 containerships from Borealis Finance.
  • Advised private equity sponsor Growth Catalyst Partners on acquisition of The Equine Network, a provider of proprietary equine sports content, information and tech enabled services, and follow-on acquisition of insect control provider Spalding Laboratories.

Industry focus > Transport: shipping - finance Tier 3

Seward & Kissel LLP‘s New York-based practice routinely advises public and private maritime companies, financial institutions and other industry participants on major financings. Acting for both borrowers and lenders, the team’s workload encompasses loans, finance leases, and alternative financing deals. It also assists with structured finance, debtor-in-possession and exit financings, credit support, and security interests in vessels in the US and US-influenced jurisdictions including the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Liberia and Vanuatu. Mike Timpone leads the maritime and transportation finance practice, while Keith Billotti and Edward Horton co-head the maritime and transportation capital markets and corporate securities group.

Key clients

Hudson Structured Capital Management

Scorpio Tankers

Eagle Bulk Shipping

Eneti

DNB Bank ASA

SFL Corp

Euronav NV

Torm

Star Bulk Carriers Corp

Global Ship Lease

Work highlights

  • Represented Hudson Structured Capital Management in relation to a joint venture with Pangaea Logistics Solutions to acquire, own and operate four newbuilding bulk carriers, the transaction involving a secured pre-delivery term loan credit facility.
  • Advised Eagle Bulk Shipping on its $400m fleet refinancing.
  • Represented a major shipping company in its acquisition of ten Suezmax tankers, the consideration including both ordinary shares and cash.

Investment fund formation and management > Alternative/hedge funds Tier 3

Seward & Kissel LLP works with some of the most prominent and diverse names in the industry, ranging from emerging to well-established, institutional managers. The capabilities of the offering are as diverse as its client base; the group is well versed in the gamut of fund formation and management structuring matters, as well as regulatory and compliance issues for hedge funds across all strategies including activist, fund of funds, and hybrid funds. The practice is jointly headed up by Patricia A Poglinco and Robert B Van Grover, and also fields recognized expert Steven B Nadel. Another key contact is David Mulle, who brings his experience as co-head of the firm’s family office department to his role within the investment management team. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Other key lawyers:

David Mulle; Steven B Nadel; Christopher Riccardi; Joseph Morrissey

Key clients

Landsdowne

Scopia

Henderson Global

Axonic

Kennedy Lewis

Tiedemann Investment Group

Tiger Legatus Capital Management

Cohen & Company Capital Management

Hurricane Capital

Pinnbrook Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Pinnbrook Capital Management on the structuring of its management company and fund entities, in addition to assisting with a nine-figure seed investment into the fund.
  • Advised new investment manager Hurricane Capital Advisors on the formation and related regulatory considerations of a private investment platform vehicle utilizing segregated portfolios which will allow experienced managers to invest in various sectors, asset classes and geographies.
  • Provided regulatory advice to Kennedy Lewis, a leading opportunistic credit manager, in connection with its strategic partnership with York Capital Management, with the spinout of its CLO division to a separate entity called Generate Advisers.

Investment fund formation and management > Mutual/registered/exchange-traded funds Tier 3

Seward & Kissel LLP‘s wide-ranging offering is equally well versed in the representation of registered investment companies and other similarly-regulated entities, and consequently serves a client base spanning mutual funds, closed-end funds, ETFs, BDCs, and other entities that are registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Washington DC office fields many of the key practitioners in this space; at the senior and leadership level, Paul M Miller and Robert Kurucza are the core contacts. The arrival of counsel Alexandra Alberstadt – who  has extensive experience working with registered investment advisers on a host of regulatory matters affecting their business, and on matters in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space – from Practus in November 2021 has also greatly boosted the firm’s registered funds presence in New York.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

AB Funds/AllianceBernstein L.P.

Aegis Funds/Aegis Financial Corporation

Akre Capital Management LLC

Estancia Capital Partners

Fairholme Funds/Fairholme Capital Management LLC

Forum Funds

North Square Funds

Prospector Funds/Prospector Partners Asset Management

Sequoia Fund/Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb LP

Work highlights

  • Advised on the registration of three new North Square Funds and the reorganization of three mutual funds managed by Stadion Money Management into the corresponding North Square Funds, representing an acquisition of approximately $730m in fund assets now managed by North Square Investments.
  • Advised iM Global Funds: iM Dolan McEniry Corporate Bond Fund, the iM DBi Managed Futures Strategy ETF and the iM DBi Hedge Strategy ETF on their reorganization into a corresponding clone fund of Litman Gregory Funds Trust, reflecting the transfer of approximately $171m in fund assets.
  • Advised AB FlexFee Large Cap Growth Portfolio and AB Large Cap Growth Fund on AB Large Cap Growth Fund’s acquisition of approximately $389m worth of assets of AB FlexFee Large Cap Growth Portfolio.

Dispute resolution > Corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense Tier 5

The government enforcement and internal investigations group at Seward & Kissel LLP acts for corporate entities and individuals on a range of government investigations and regulatory enforcement matters. The firm often works with independent firms internationally to advise on cross-border cases and has particular experience in financial crimes, bribery and antitrust, tax fraud and environmental matters. New York’s Michael G Considine heads the team and has previously been selected as a federal monitor for a number of corporations following government investigations. Rita M Glavin left to found her own firm.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Jack Yoskowitz; Philip Moustakis; Noah Czarny

Testimonials

‘They are excellent: true experts in their field.’

‘Michael Considine has the ability to reduce very complex procedural and substantive legal issues to terms that are clear and understandable for the lay client and does so in an authoritative yet humble manner.’

‘It is a true pleasure to work with Michael Considine.’

‘Michael Considine is unusually strong and provides an impressive mix of experience and sound judgment and strategy.’

‘Mike Considine is a very experienced and skilled white-collar trial lawyer, with broad experience in a number of complex areas of law.’

‘Mike Considine’s work ethic is impressive and he is creative in approach, thoughtful and skilled at tailoring strategy to the individual case and client.’

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 5

Seward & Kissel LLP in New York has long-standing expertise in class actions and securities matters related to hedge funds and other investment managers, foreign and domestic public companies, investment banks and broker-dealers. Michael G Considine and Bruce G Paulsen are the lead practitioners in a team that handles not only 10b5 class actions and shareholder lawsuits, but also represents its clients before regulatory bodies including the SEC, FINRA and the CFTC. In 2021, the firm handled investor claims against banks and hedge funds, disputes between investment managers and their members and employees, and significant derivative claims brought against publicly held shipping companies. Key partner Jack Yoskowitz is representing Sancus Capital in a case alleging that defendants diverted funds held in a trust account for Great Western.

Other key lawyers:

Jack Yoskowitz

Key clients

United Overseas Bank, Ltd.

Sancus Capital Credit Master Fund, Ltd., f/k/a Sancus Capital Blue Credit Opportunities Fund, Ltd.

Tocqueville Asset Management

Fairholme Capital Management, L.L.C., Fairholme Funds, Inc., and Bruce Berkowitz

CG Blockchain, Inc and BCT, Inc.

Jacob Mercer

Work highlights

  • Represented United Overseas Bank in a putative class action in the S.D.N.Y. captioned Frontpoint Asian Event Driven Fund, L.P. v. Citibank, N.A., (16-cv-5263) involving the alleged manipulation of SIBOR (Singapore Interbank Offered Rate) and SOR (Singapore Swap Offer Rate).
  • Advised Tocqueville Asset Management in connection with books and records requests by minority investor founder and subsequent lawsuit seeking over $100 million in alleged damages to his investment.
  • Represented investment fund in defending against claims brought by insurance company for alleged diversion of trust funds.

Investment fund formation and management > Private equity funds (including venture capital) Tier 5

Seward & Kissel LLP‘s New York-based investment management practice is known for its private equity fund formation expertise, especially with respect to middle-market focused funds. The firm also has deep knowledge of the legal and regulatory requirements applicable both to the funds themselves and to their investment advisers, including those that are pertinent not just at the beginning, but throughout the entire life cycle of a fund. Patricia A Poglinco and Robert B Van Grover are the key names to note.

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Morrissey; David Mulle; Christopher Riccardi

Key clients

Carbon Direct Capital Management

QVIDTVM Management, LLC

Cohen & Company Financial Management, LLC

Tru Arrow Partners

Stable Asset Management

Soryn Capital

FourWorld Capital

LexShares

Work highlights

  • Assisted Carbon Direct Capital Management with the preparation of offering documents for a closed-end private equity fund.
  • Represented FourWorld Capital Management in connection with the formation of a fund with a target raise of $500m that accommodated both US and non-US investors.
  • Advised LexShares on a unique structure that allowed the fund to engage in a general solicitation for both its investors, and investors investing in special purpose co-investment vehicles.

Seward & Kissel LLP, founded in 1890, is a leading US law firm with an international reputation for excellence. The firm focuses its practice primarily on corporate issues and litigation in the financial services, corporate finance and capital markets areas. The firm is particularly well known for its representation of major commercial banks, investment banking firms, investment advisers and related investment funds (including mutual funds and hedge funds), broker-dealers, institutional investors and transportation companies (particularly in the shipping area).

Main areas of practice
Bankruptcy and corporate reorganization: the firm handles bankruptcy, workout and reorganization matters.

Business transactions (M&A and private equity): clients in connection with middle-market mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures, strategic alliances and seed capital arrangements, with emphasis on investment management, broker-dealer and other financial services, shipping and media industry deals.

Capital markets: issuers and underwriters in US and global offerings of securities, ie registered initial and secondary public offerings (including ‘shelf’ offerings), private placements and Rule 144A and Reg S offerings.

Derivatives and other counterparty arrangements: dealers and counterparties in structuring, negotiating and documenting over-the-counter and cleared derivative instruments, including hybrid products, and advises industry participants on regulatory compliance programs, exchange-traded futures and options, and repurchase and securities lending programs.

Distressed debt and secondary-market trading: clients in the purchase and sale of distressed domestic and foreign loans, sovereign loans and other distressed debt, as well as in all aspects of the distressed debt practice area.

Global bank and institutional finance: domestic and international banks and financial institutions in structured finance, corporate trust, restructuring, workouts and insolvency, lending, aircraft and project finance; major banks in structuring innovative loan portfolio platform, leveraged loan transactions and total return swap transactions and distressed debt and claims trading.

Investment management: since forming the first hedge fund in 1949, the firm continues to represent a large market share of worldwide hedge fund work, with a client roster that includes a number of the top 100 hedge fund managers based on assets under management. The firm represents private investment and registered fund clients in fund formation, operation and other complex matters, including: tax, regulatory and compliance, business transactions, enforcement, litigation, management company, and fund structuring and reorganizations.

Litigation: banks, broker-dealers, investment managers and other clients in courts, regulatory proceedings, administrative tribunals and arbitrations, focusing on securities-related litigation, business disputes, government enforcement and internal investigations, employment matters, insurance, maritime, trademark, and bankruptcy and workout matters.

Maritime and aviation finance: creates innovative financing structures for shipowners and lenders, and handles complex transactional and other issues arising from the expansion and contraction of the shipping markets; advises owners, operators, lessors and financiers of commercial and corporate aircraft in the acquisition, leasing and financing thereof and the implementation of ownership structures.

Real estate: institutional investors, developers and others in buying, selling, developing and financing all types of real estate assets; joint ventures and the formation of, and investments in, private equity funds.

Structured finance and asset securitization: participants in connection with secured and unsecured, asset based, market value and cash flow transactions; multi-seller commercial paper conduit transactions; receivables transactions, including mobile device installment billing contracts; commercial lending; subscription finance; CLOs; risk retention structures and financing; public and private offerings of securities; project finance; and derivatives products.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Bankruptcy and corporate reorganization John R Ashmead
Business transactions (M&A and private equity) James E Abbott
Business transactions (M&A and private equity) Craig A Sklar
Capital markets Gary J Wolfe
Capital markets Robert E Lustrin
Capital markets Edward S Horton
Capital markets Keith Billotti
Derivatives and other counterparty arrangements Craig Hickernell
Distressed debt and secondary market trading Greg Cioffi
Distressed debt and secondary market trading Kalyan (Kal) Das
Distressed debt and secondary market trading John R Ashmead
ERISA and employee benefits S John Ryan
Global bank and institutional finance (global corporate trust and restructuring/municipal and global project finance) Kalyan (Kal) Das
Investment management Patricia A Poglinco
Investment management Robert B Van Grover
Litigation Mark J Hyland
Litigation Michael J McNamara
Maritime and aviation Lawrence Rutkowski
Maritime and aviation Michael Timpone
Maritime and aviation James H Hancock
Real estate Mark A Brody
Structured finance and asset securitization Greg Cioffi
Structured finance and asset securitization Kalyan (Kal) Das
Taxation Jonathan P Brose
Taxation Ronald P Cima
Taxation James C Cofer
Trusts and estates Hume R Steyer
Washington D.C. Paul T Clark
Washington D.C. Paul M Miller
Number of Partners : 53
Number of Other Fee-Earners : 117
Total Staff : 298