Mr. Kasner has been ranked repeatedly in the top tier for nationwide securities litigation in Chambers USA — including most recently in its 2023 rankings — and has been described by clients as the “dean of the securities Bar,” “king of the [securities] space,” a “presence in the courtroom” and “the best securities litigator I have worked with in terms of legal expertise, business knowledge, courtroom skills and client focus.” He also is one of a select group of lawyers listed by Chambers as a Star Individual for New York securities litigation, in addition to being a recipient of its Business Trial Lawyer Award for Excellence. Sources also have told the publication, “He’s probably the best securities lawyer in the country.”
Mr. Kasner has recently been recognized as a USA Litigation Thought Leader by Who’s Who Legal and named to The Legal 500’s Hall of Fame for Securities Litigation: Defense, in addition to being recognized as a Lawdragon Legend in 2022, one of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Global Litigators and 500 Leading Litigators in America, and a National Practice Area Star by Benchmark Litigation 2023. He also has repeatedly been named to The Best Lawyers in America. Under Mr. Kasner’s leadership, Skadden’s 80-attorney securities litigation practice has consistently been ranked, including in the 2023 edition, in the Fearsome Foursome — the four elite litigation practices — and named a “powerhouse” in securities and finance litigation by BTI Consulting. The practice also has been acknowledged by Lex Machina as having served as defense counsel in more federal securities cases in the U.S. from 2019 to 2023 than any other law firm. In addition, Mr. Kasner has been named a Distinguished Leader by the New York Law Journal — which also has repeatedly named Skadden as its Litigation Department of the Year — as well as a Litigation Trailblazer by The National Law Journal.
Mr. Kasner has advised or is currently advising numerous public and private companies of various sizes around the world, including, among others:
- Amgen Inc.
- Anadarko Petroleum
- BMW AG
- Coinbase Inc.
- Hawaiian Electric
- News Corporation
- Nokia Corporation
- Pfizer Inc.
- Officers and directors of Republic Airways, Inc.
- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
- Sprint Nextel Corporation
Over the course of his career, he also has advised financial services clients worldwide in class action and other litigation, including, among others:
- Banco Itaú S.A.
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch
- Barclays plc
- BNP Paribas
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- Citigroup Inc.
- Deutsche Bank AG
- Equitable Financial
- Fidelity Investments
- Goldman Sachs & Co.
- J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
- Morgan Stanley
- The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
- Société Générale S.A.
His victories before the U.S. Supreme Court and various appellate courts throughout the United States include representing, among others:
- Merrill Lynch in Merrill Lynch v. Dabit, in which he secured a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in the first case in which the Court addressed the provisions of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998
- Merrill Lynch in Lentell v. Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. — one of Law360’s Securities Cases of the Decade — in which the Second Circuit adopted a standard for pleading loss causation that has been cited hundreds of times
- Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. in the first class action appeal arising from the auction rate securities market collapse, despite an SEC brief calling for the decision’s reversal — a move that could have exposed a wide range of financial institutions to liability. The decision has been cited in more than 300 cases since its issue date
- Bank of America and Merrill Lynch against two double-derivative actions, securing a decision at both the district and circuit court levels that set new standards for such claims
- Vivint Solar, Inc., several of its officers and directors, and The Blackstone Group in securing a significant Second Circuit decision in a case of first impression that created a circuit split on the standard for determining the disclosure of interim financial data in a prospectus
- The underwriting syndicate of Petrobras’ multibillion-dollar global bond offerings, successfully arguing issues related to the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank to class certification proceedings under Federal Rule 23. This was the first time a circuit court applied Morrison at the class certification stage. The case settled favorably while a writ of certiorari regarding class certification was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court
Mr. Kasner also has represented numerous Europe-based, U.S.-listed companies and their individual officers and directors in securities litigation. These include Autoliv Inc., the former CEO of Porsche Automobil Holding SE, RSA Insurance Group plc, SCOR SE, Seadrill Ltd., Stena AB and Unilever Plc, among others.
Additionally, he advises Latin American companies in the defense of a wide range of litigation and regulatory issues, including securities and complex commercial claims, for clients such as BRF S.A., Cimento Tupi S.A., Gerdau S.A., Quiñenco S.A. and Tech Pack S.A. In addition to representing the Petrobras underwriter syndicate, which included Banco Bradesco BBI S.A., Itaú BBA USA Securities, Inc. and Banco do Brazil S.A., he recently has advised:
- Avianca Holdings S.A. in securing the withdrawal of a New York state action brought by its second-largest shareholder in an attempt to block, among other things, a contemplated strategic partnership between Avianca, Colombia’s largest airline, and United Airlines
- Banco Itaú International in obtaining the dismissal of Florida RICO litigation in the Southern District of Florida brought by the Meridian Trust Company involving the Brazilian oil exploration company OGX Petróleo e Gás Participações S.A., among others
- Embraer S.A. in securing the dismissal with prejudice of a federal securities fraud class action that resulted in the clarification of company disclosure standards in connection with an ongoing investigation
- Netshoes (Cayman) Limited in securing in the dismissal, and subsequent settlement, of a state securities class action alleging that the company violated the Securities Act of 1933 by making false and misleading disclosures in connection with its IPO
Mr. Kasner is the recipient of the Judge Joseph M. Proskauer Award from the UJA-Federation of New York, given to distinguished individuals who have shown a deep commitment to philanthropy and whose conduct and service exemplifies the highest ideals of the law (2017); the Judge Simon G. Rifkind Award presented by the Jewish Theological Seminary in recognition of his demonstrated commitment to the letter of the law and for distinguished public service (2014); and the 40th Anniversary George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award from the American Friends of The Hebrew University Lawyers’ Division, Greater New York Region (2010).