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

Seward & Kissel LLP
NEW YORK, NY 10004
United States

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

Seward & Kissel LLP has established a good reputation for middle-market negotiated M&A in a range of sectors, and increasingly handles international deals involving buy-side private equity firms. The New York-based team, which is praised for being ‘incredibly attentive and well-versed in M&A‘, is under the joint leadership of James Abbott, whose areas of expertise cover cross-border deals, joint ventures and private equity investments in the media and shipping sectors, and Craig A Sklar, a key contact for investment management industry work. The highly regarded Nick Katsanos offers ‘commercial practical solutions‘ in the context of M&A, private equity and joint venture transactions in the media, broker-dealer, veterinary and shipping spaces. Counsel Danielle Lemberg takes on a leading role in a variety of corporate transactions, including M&A, private and venture capital deals.

Practice head(s):

Craig A Sklar; James Abbott

Other key lawyers:


‘Knowledgeable team. Great at understanding our business. They are focused on defending our terms but simultaneously making sure the deal isn’t put at risk as we look to build a partnership with each investment.’

‘The team of partners and associates is strong in private equity and M&A. Jim Abbott and Nick Katsanos together manage to keep on top of detail throughout the transaction, quickly grasping issues and offering commercial / practical solutions. They never hide behind specialists but find solutions in a calm and measured manner.’

‘Special mention goes to Nick Katsanos and Jim Abbott who are a great double-act. They always endeavour to turn comments around in 24 hours so they keep you on your toes as a colleague on the same side. Nick’s recall of detail across complex transaction documents in another jurisdiction is really impressive but at the same time he and Jim are just a real pleasure to work with. I would have them in my team any day! Super smart, responsive, practical and good value would be the words I would use to describe them.’

‘We love the S&K team. Incredibly attentive and well-versed in M&A. We wouldn’t be able to operate without them. They are constantly plugged in and advise us in more ways than a typical counsel would.’

‘Primarily work with Nick Katsanos. He is the best. Always available, knowledgeable and just a general pleasure to work with.’

‘Deep industry knowledge, top attorneys and great service, delivered at a fair price compared to other NYC law firms.’

‘Craig Sklar and Nick Katsanos are fantastic M&A lawyers with excellent legal and problem solving skills.’

‘The things that make them stand out are their availability and the practical approach to complete the transactions we have worked on together.’

Key clients

Tiedemann Advisors, LLC

Frontline Ltd.

Growth Catalyst Partners

Estancia Capital Management

Marblegate Asset Management, LLC


Marex Group

TechInsights Inc.

Kudu Investment Management

iM Global Partner

Transport > Shipping: finance Tier 2

Fielding ‘very responsive and diligent advisers‘, Seward & Kissel LLP‘s New York-based maritime practice advises major public and private maritime companies and financial institutions on banking, finance and capital markets work. The department’s corporate and transactional expertise covers initial structuring, formation and seed financing, along with capital raising transactions in the US and overseas. Clients additionally benefit from the team’s specialisms in M&A, private equity, tax, litigation and regulatory issues, and restructuring and insolvency mandates. Heading up the firm’s maritime and transportation finance group, Mike Timpone is highly focused on the representation of US and non-US banks and other institutional lenders in secured loans and other financing deals, in addition to acting for shipowners as borrowers in such transactions. Also integral to the group are Keith Billotti, whose practice involves advising domestic and foreign maritime industry clients on corporate and US securities law, and corporate securities law expert Edward Horton. Additional key partner Hoyoon Nam advises on complex financings, while counsel Kurt Plankl and senior associate Sophia Agathis are also active team members.

Practice head(s):

Mike Timpone; Keith Billotti; Edward Horton

Other key lawyers:


Very responsive and diligent advisers who almost act as part of clients’ banking deal teams.

A very tight team, led by Mike Timpone, that seamlessly supports lenders during transactions.

Key clients

Hudson Structured Capital Management

Scorpio Tankers

Eagle Bulk Shipping



SFL Corp

Euronav NV


Flex Lng

Global Ship Lease

Work highlights

  • Represented DNB Bank in a $175m multi-currency senior secured green facility.
  • Represented Eagle Bulk Shipping in its $400m fleet refinancing.
  • Represented Frontline in the approximately $4bn stock for stock merger with Euronav NV.

Transport > Shipping: litigation and regulation Tier 2

Fielding a ‘great team with fantastic experience in shipping‘, Seward & Kissel LLP‘s US maritime litigation practice represents major publicly-held and private shipping companies, as well as shipping banks, owners and private equity companies. Acting in litigation, arbitration proceedings and investigations, the firm’s expertise covers disputes arising from shipping financings, securities work and governance issues, along with vessel operations. The team particularly specializes in the coordination of concurrent multi-jurisdictional matters. Co-chair of the firm’s litigation group Bruce G Paulsen handles finance and securities-related disputes in the shipping industry, as well as traditional maritime disputes, lien claims and environmental matters; Paulsen also has substantial expertise in international trade sanctions. Fellow litigation department co-chair Michael G Considine also co-leads the firm’s government enforcement and internal investigations practice. At counsel level, the recent experience of commercial disputes and regulatory investigations specialist Brian Maloney includes successfully defending a vessel owner against corporate veil piercing claims, while associate Laura Miller predominantly focuses on maritime and commercial litigation, government investigations and regulatory inquiries. All attorneys mentioned are based in the firm’s New York office.

Practice head(s):

Bruce G Paulsen; Michael G Considine

Other key lawyers:


First-class practitioners.

Great team with fantastic experience in shipping.

Always on top of things with fast response times, and the lawyers do not miss a thing.

Bruce G Paulsen and counsel Brian Maloney both have cutting-edge market know how, combined with the commercial ability to find the right solution.

Brian Maloney is very easy to work with, and knows how to run cases with multiple jurisdictional elements.

Key clients

Commodities & Minerals Enterprise

Hanwin Shipping

Rexel Corp

ING Bank

Sea Justice

Blue Wall Shipping

American Bureau of Shipping

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

The New York office of Seward & Kissel LLP impresses clients with its ‘expertise across fund structuring, regulation and commercial logic for US onshore and offshore funds‘ and has long-standing experience in this area. Hedge fund managers at every level, from emerging new players to some of the highest regarded firms in the market look to the firm for counsel and work with the investment funds team, as well as related practice areas, including tax, labor and compliance. The deep bench includes Christopher Riccardi and Joseph Morrissey among its most experienced regular lead lawyers, with Dan Bresler and Nicholas Miller further contacts to note.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Poglinco; Robert Van Grover

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Riccardi; Joseph Morrissey; Nicholas Miller; Dan Bresler; Kevin Neubauer; Noelle Indelicato


‘The firm has tremendous strength in depth, and are an excellent partner in supporting our fund management firm. Their expertise across fund structuring, regulation and commercial logic for US onshore and offshore funds is superlative. The firm has excellent technology that allows us to feel fully up to date, and stay on top of various regulatory filings.’

‘The team we interact with at S&K have the perfect combination of technical skill, commercial intelligence, and speed of response.’

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

Clients appreciate the ‘deep and unique expertise‘ of the team at Seward & Kissel LLP that advises on the full spectrum of matters for all types of registered fund, and is especially well known for its strength in bank mutual fund activities. The firm represents a variety of asset management organizations, including some of the largest mutual fund complexes in the US and internationally. Practice head Paul Millerhas developed a culture inside the firm that embodies a client focused approach coupled with actually solving business problems‘. His practice focuses on registered investment companies and registered investment advisers, and he has extensive experience on matters affecting registered funds and ETFs, including their formation, their registration with the SEC, and their service provider arrangements. Robert Kurucza and counsels Alexandra Alberstadt and Lancelot King are further key contacts. All named lawyers are based in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Paul Miller


‘S&K’s strength is its people, each with a deep and unique expertise, combined with a client first approach and responsiveness demonstrated by each individual team member. The core values of the firm are expressed throughout encounters with each unique subject matter expert.’

‘Paul Miller has developed a culture inside the firm that embodies a client focused approach coupled with actually solving business problems. To me, this is the essence of S&K that is clearly demonstrated and is a differentiator in the marketplace.’

Key clients

AB Funds/AllianceBernstein L.P.

Aegis Funds/Aegis Financial Corporation

Akre Capital Management LLC

Fairholme Funds/Fairholme Capital Management LLC

Prospector Funds/Prospector Partners Asset Management

Sequoia Fund/Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb LP

Homestead Funds

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

Seward & Kissel LLP routinely counsels clients on a spectrum of compliance mandates, often assisting corporate and individual clients on the full array of governmental investigations, parallel litigations and regulatory enforcement matters. The department has also represented investment advisers and funds public companies, and their officers and directors, with an assortment of state investigations. Jaimie Nawaday joined the team in May 2022 and conducts internal investigations for companies, and advises clients on asset forfeiture, Bank Secrecy Act and False Claims Act issues; she co-leads the team alongside Michael Considine, while Jack Yoskowitz  routinely assists individual and institutions in the financial sector with commercial and corporate litigation and regulatory matters. Michael Watling acted as a prosecutor and financial regulator for over 15 years, and has led numerous white-collar investigations; he arrived at the firm with Russell Johnston from King & Spalding LLP in November 2022. Bruce Paulsen is also a name to note.  All names mentioned are located in New York.

Practice head(s):

Michael Considine; Jaimie Nawaday

Other key lawyers:


‘Depth, solid quality and federal investigations experience.’

‘Mike Considine is a very smart, strategic attorney who also brings great common sense and strong people skills to each matter. He is a great team player who never loses sight of his clients’ best interests.’


Work highlights

Dispute resolution > Securities litigation: defense Tier 5

New York firm Seward & Kissel LLP acts for domestic and foreign private issuers, investment advisers, investment funds, prime brokers, underwriters, financial institutions and private investors in a broad range of work that encompasses class actions, derivative claims, market manipulation cases and short swing profit matters. The firm has significant presence in the financial services and public shipping sectors, counting United Overseas Bank and US Bank National Association among its clients. Michael G Considine, who is advising United Overseas Bank on a putative class action concerning alleged manipulation of the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate and Singapore Swap Offer Rate, and Bruce G Paulsen are the lead partners. Jack Yoskowitz plays an increasingly prominent role in the practice and is currently acting for Tocqueville Management Corporation, its founder and minority shareholder asserts claims of breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment.

Practice head(s):

Michael Considine; Bruce Paulsen

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Tocqueville Management Corporation (nominal defendant); Tocqueville Asset Management; Robert Kleinschmidt; Alexander Kleinschmidt; Lara Kleinschmidt; Andrew Kleinschmidt; Annie Kleinschmidt; Nell Kleinschmidt; The Robert W. Kleinschmidt Irrevocable Dynasty Trust

Capital Credit Master Fund, Ltd., f/k/a Sancus Capital Blue Credit Opportunities Fund, Ltd. (“Sancus”)

U.S. Bank National Association

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

Jacob Mercer

United Overseas Bank, Ltd.

Aksia LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Tocqueville Asset Management and its principals in connection with books and records requests by minority investor founder and subsequent lawsuit seeking over $100 million in alleged damages to his investment.
  • Advised Aksia LLC in connection with a class action brought by a class of Pennsylvania public-school teachers who participated in a retirement plan for employees of the Pennsylvania public school system against various plan advisors.
  • Advised U.S. Bank National Association, as indenture trustee, in successfully defending Trust Indenture Act and other claims brought by the holder of subordinated notes issued by the ACIS-6 CLO arising out the alleged mismanagement of the CLO.

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

Seward & Kissel LLP has great experience in representing clients in private equity fund matters, staying across the spectrum of legal and regulatory requirements applicable to funds, as well as to investment advisers, an increasingly in-demand area as the SEC roll out new guidelines. A further recent growth area for the firm’s broader funds practice has been in advising fund sponsors seeking to raise capital for public/private funds, thereby combining the strengths of the private equity practitioners and experts in hedge and alternative funds. Joseph Morrissey‘s clients include some of the most recognizable private equity firms, along with market fund sponsors. Christopher Riccardi draws on extensive experience in the broader investment funds market, and a further key name to note is private equity and private debt expert Kevin Neubauer. Debra Franzese has rapidly become a go-to figure in the market for a host of the firm’s high-profile funds, while at the associate level, Noelle Indelicato supports across the range of matter types. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Morrisey; Christopher Riccardi; Kevin Neubauer; Debra Franzese; Noelle Indelicato


‘Broad scope of the business so there is always an expert to pull from. Strong expertise in alternative funds.’

‘Knowledgeable team. Great at understanding our business and our goal for the fund launch or transaction and applying it to the legal doc. They are focused on defending our terms but simultaneously making sure the deal isn’t put at risk as we look to build a partnership with each investment.’

Dispute resolution > Financial services litigation

Co-chaired by Bruce Paulsen and Michael Considine, Seward & Kissel LLP’s New York-based litigation group has a focus on regulatory and enforcement issues, acting for financial institutions and asset management companies. The recent arrival of Russell Johnston and Michael Watling from King & Spalding LLP in late 2022 has strengthened the firm’s enforcement and internal investigations capacity.

International Trade > Customs, export controls and economic sanctions

With signature strengths in the financial services and shipping spheres, Seward & Kissel LLP maintains a unique economic sanctions and export controls practice with a niche focus in these sectors. The group handles an array of compliance, investigations and enforcement matters.

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
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