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Michael A. Paskin

Partner, Litigation

Michael A. Paskin is a partner in Cravath’s Litigation Department. He serves as the Litigation Hiring Partner and is a member of the Firm’s Diversity Committee. Over more than two decades at the Firm, his practice has focused on class actions and other complex litigation, primarily in the areas of securities, antitrust, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy and general commercial disputes. Mr. Paskin has represented many leading financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Westpac, in matters involving complex financial products such as residential mortgage‑backed securities, credit default swaps, interest rate swaps and other derivatives, as well as loan syndication and interest rate benchmarks. He also has represented corporate clients in various industries, including Akorn, Big Lots, Beazer Homes, Cummins, IBM, Lucent Technologies, Sprint and YPF S.A. In addition, Mr. Paskin represents corporations and boards of directors in connection with internal investigations and inquiries by U.S. and foreign regulators, including the SEC, DOJ, CFTC and European Commission.

Mr. Paskin was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” and as a “National Star” in general commercial litigation (2017-2019) and antitrust litigation (2018, 2019) by Benchmark Litigation. He was also recognized as a “Local Litigation Star” in New York by that publication (2016-2019). In 2017, 2018 and 2019, he was selected as one of Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America.” Mr. Paskin was also recommended by The Legal 500 United States for his work in the financial services, corporate restructuring, antitrust and securities litigation practice areas, and he has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for his litigation work.

In April 2016, Mr. Paskin was featured as “Litigator of the Week” in The AmLaw Litigation Daily for representing the Republic of Argentina in litigation arising from its $80 billion sovereign debt default in 2001. After being retained as new counsel in February 2016, Mr. Paskin led a team that obtained the vacatur, first at the S.D.N.Y. and then on an expedited Second Circuit appeal, of extraordinary injunctions that were imposed on Argentina in 2012 and 2015. The victory cleared the way for Argentina to return to the international capital markets for the first time since its historic default. Mr. Paskin’s work for Argentina was also recognized in the Financial Times North America Innovative Lawyers 2016 report and received a National Impact Case Award from Benchmark Litigation.

Mr. Paskin’s other notable representations include:

Securities

  • JPMorgan RMBS Litigations: Represented JPMorgan and related entities—including WaMu and Bear Stearns—in RMBS investor actions. In In re Washington Mutual Mortgage Backed Securities Litigation (W.D. Wash.), Mr. Paskin won one of a handful of decisions limiting RMBS class claims based on tranche‑level standing, which eliminated claims covering $7.5 billion in securities. In Dexia SA/NV, et al. v. Bear, Stearns & Co., et al. (S.D.N.Y. and N.Y. Sup. Ct.), Mr. Paskin won summary judgment in federal court covering certificates worth over $1.5 billion.
  • Willis v. Big Lots, Inc., et al. and In re Big Lots, Inc. Shareholder Litigation (S.D. Ohio): Represented Big Lots and individual defendants in securities and derivative litigation alleging insider trading and misstatements regarding the company’s performance and prospects. The securities case settled after defendants successfully petitioned the Sixth Circuit for interlocutory review of class certification. Mr. Paskin also represented Big Lots in related SEC and U.S. Attorney investigations that were closed with no action being taken.
  • In re Chemed Corp. Securities Litigation (S.D. Ohio) and In re Chemed Corp., Shareholder Derivative Litigation (D. Del.): Represented Chemed and individual defendants in class action securities litigation and shareholder derivative actions.
  • Lentsch v. Vista Outdoor Inc., et al. (D. Utah): Represented Vista Outdoor and individual defendants in a securities class action related to alleged misrepresentations about the company’s performance and goodwill impairments.
  • State of New Jersey and its Division of Investment v. Sprint Corporation, et al. (D. Kan.): Won summary judgment in securities class action alleging misstatements concerning employment contracts with Sprint’s former CEO and President. Mr. Paskin also represented Sprint in shareholder litigation in Kansas state court related to the recombination of Sprint’s FON and PCS “tracking stocks.”
  • In re Beazer Homes USA, Inc. Securities Litigation (N.D. Ga.): Represented Beazer in securities and derivative litigation alleging improper mortgage origination practices and accounting improprieties designed to obscure the impact of the declining housing market.
  • Represented Lucent Technologies in one of the largest securities class actions in history (D.N.J.), and related federal and state securities, derivative, whistleblower and bankruptcy litigation and SEC and U.S. Attorney investigations.
  • Won summary judgment for IBM in securities class action (S.D.N.Y.) relating to allegations that IBM made false statements concerning the level of its stock dividend.

Antitrust

  • In re Interest Rate Swaps Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Representing Morgan Stanley in class action alleging dealers conspired to block exchange trading of IRS, as well as a related CFTC investigation.
  • Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, et al. v. Bank of America Corporation, et al. (S.D.N.Y.): Representing Morgan Stanley in class action alleging that prime brokers conspired to block anonymous peer‑to‑peer trading platforms for securities lending. Mr. Paskin also represents Morgan Stanley in related litigation brought by allegedly boycotted trading platforms.
  • Tera Group, Inc., et al. v. Citigroup, Inc., et al. (S.D.N.Y.): Represented Morgan Stanley in an action alleging that CDS dealers conspired to block competing trading platforms.
  • Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW) Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Representing Westpac Banking Corporation in class action alleging manipulation of the Australian BBSW benchmark.
  • In re Credit Default Swaps Antitrust Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Represented Morgan Stanley in class action alleging a conspiracy to block exchange trading of CDS. Mr. Paskin also advised Morgan Stanley in related DOJ and European Commission inquiries that closed with no action taken against Morgan Stanley.
  • In re Aftermarket Filters Antitrust Litigation (N.D. Ill.): Represented Cummins Filtration Inc. in class action alleging price‑fixing in the market for automotive replacement filters.
  • Represented IBM in connection with the contested termination of a 1956 DOJ antitrust consent decree, as well as a DOJ antitrust investigation into agreements between IBM and Storage Technology Corporation.

Mergers and Acquisitions Litigation

  • Akorn, Inc. v. Fresenius Kabi AG, et al. (Del. Ch. and Del.): Represented Akorn in litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery regarding Fresenius’ termination of the parties’ $4.3 billion merger agreement. Following expedited proceedings, the case culminated in a one‑week bench trial in July 2018 and subsequent expedited appeal. It is one of a handful of cases regarding termination rights arising from material adverse event (“MAE”) provisions in merger agreements to be tried to a decision, and the first such appeal decided by the Supreme Court of Delaware.
  • Won motions to dismiss for Casey’s General Stores in Iowa state and federal court litigations related to the attempted hostile takeover of Casey’s by Alimentation Couche‑Tard.
  • Represented the Haas Trusts, the largest shareholder of Rohm and Haas, in M&A litigation with Dow Chemical. The case settled based on the Trusts’ agreement to make an equity investment in Dow, which cleared the way for the $15.5 billion acquisition.
  • Represented numerous corporations and boards in shareholder litigation arising from announced M&A transactions, including: Symetra Financial in its acquisition by Sumitomo; EMBARQ in its acquisition by CenturyTel; and GTECH in its merger with Lottomatica.

General Commercial Litigation

  • United Natural Foods, Inc. v. Goldman Sachs (N.Y. Sup. Ct.): Representing Goldman Sachs against breach of contract and fraud claims brought by a former client based on alleged breaches of obligations owed by Goldman Sachs in connection with the syndication of financing for a $3 billion acquisition.
  • Petersen Energía Inversora v. Argentine Republic and YPF S.A. and Eton Park Capital Management v. Argentine Republic and YPF S.A. (S.D.N.Y.): Representing YPF against claims by minority shareholders arising out of Argentina’s 2012 expropriation of a controlling stake in YPF.
  • Morgan Stanley v. Discover Financial Services (N.Y. Sup. Ct.): Won partial summary judgment for Morgan Stanley in a breach of contract action based on Discover’s refusal to pay a special dividend of approximately $800 million.
  • IBM v. Lexmark (S.D.N.Y.): Represented IBM in a contract action relating to the sale of IBM’s printer business. The case culminated in a two‑week bench trial and judgment for IBM in excess of $55 million.

Bankruptcy

  • In re Energy Futures Holdings Corp., et al. (Bankr. D. Del.): Conflicts counsel to Energy Future Intermediate Holdings Company LLC in connection with the $49 billion bankruptcy of the largest electricity utility in Texas.
  • In re Tribune Company, et al. (Bankr. D. Del.): Represented various affiliates of both Dimensional Fund Advisors and Goldman Sachs in connection with adversary proceedings and other litigation related to the Tribune bankruptcy.
  • In re Tronox Incorporated (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.): Represented Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and other secured lenders in an adversary proceeding that sought to avoid transfers and obligations under a $200 million secured debt facility.
  • Represented Lucent in an adversary proceeding (Bankr. D. Del.) brought by the Chapter 7 trustee of Winstar Communications, culminating in a 21‑day bench trial.

Mr. Paskin was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received a B.A. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and a J.D. from Fordham School of Law in 1995, where he was a member of the Law Review. Following graduation, Mr. Paskin served as law clerk to Hon. Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He is a member of the International Bar Association, American Bar Association and New York City Bar Association. He joined Cravath in 1996 and became a partner in 2003.

Mr. Paskin may be reached by phone at +1‑212‑474‑1760 or by email at mpaskin@cravath.com.

Mr. Paskin is admitted only in New York.

      Contact
      +1 (212) 474-1760
      +1 (212) 474-3700