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Michael C. Hefter
Michael Hefter is a partner in Bracewell's New York office and a member of Bracewell's Trial Section. Mr. Hefter has extensive experience as lead litigation and trial counsel for numerous clients in complex business matters in litigation in federal and state courts throughout the United States. As part of his practice, Mr. Hefter regularly represents clients in U.S. and international arbitration and in matters before federal, state and self-regulatory agencies. Mr. Hefter has litigated both jury and non-jury trials in federal and state courts, including two bench trials within the past 12 months.
Mr. Hefter's principal areas of practice include litigation and arbitration in complex commercial disputes, including claims involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and other business disputes, securities litigation, RICO actions, structured finance disputes, post-acquisition disputes, corporate governance (including mergers and acquisition litigation), claims involving lender liability issues, class and derivative actions, claims involving LLC and limited partnership issues and structures, bankruptcy-related and other forums of general commercial and complex litigation. He has represented clients in numerous industries, including energy, insurance, healthcare, investment and commercial banking, private equity and hedge funds, venture capital, real estate, accounting, telecommunications, aerospace and defense, chemicals, and computer software.
Mr. Hefter currently represents a large private equity fund defending class action allegations pending in federal court in Delaware and in the court of appeals for the Third Circuit that the fund should be held liable for portfolio company's alleged failure to provide warnings under the federal WARN Act and related state laws. The named representative plaintiffs took an appeal to the Third Circuit after we were successful in having those claims dismissed at the pleading stage. The motion to dismiss the remaining class claims is pending.
Mr. Hefter currently represents a publicly traded company and its directors in multi-state class action shareholder litigation in Delaware and New York challenging a tender offer and merger under state and federal law. We were successful in defeating a motion for preliminary injunction in New York, and the action continues to proceed in Delaware.
Mr. Hefter currently represents a private equity fund in litigation pending in federal court in California against the former officers and directors of a publicly traded company for breach of fiduciary duty in causing the failure of the company. Although the case is still in the pleading stage, we have been successful in defeating several pre-answer motions and obtaining sanctions.
Mr. Hefter recently acted as lead trial counsel on behalf of major institutional investors against claims of a debtor in bankruptcy seeking to nullify a pre-payment provision in a trust indenture governing the debtor's senior secured bonds.
Mr. Hefter currently represents a hedge fund in litigation arising from the financing of a failed collateralized loan obligation transaction involving credit card receivables. The case is currently pending in New York and is at the summary judgment stage.
Mr. Hefter is currently defending a large international consulting firm against fraud claims involving the sale of a U.S. subsidiary. We were successful in obtaining the dismissal of RICO claims in federal court. The remaining state claims are scheduled for trial in November 2012.
Mr. Hefter acted as lead counsel to a major commercial bank defending allegations that the bank improperly interfered with the distribution of "funds" through a loan "waterfall", and for lender liability arising from the failure of the borrower resulting from the credit crisis.
Mr. Hefter acted as lead counsel in defending class action allegations filed in California and Delaware concerning the acquisition of a major U.S. computer manufacturer.
J.D., with honors, Emory University School of Law, 1991
B.A., University of Michigan, 1988
U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Council
Named by the editors of The National Law Journal one of the "40 under 40" lawyers in the United States
Super Lawyers – Metro New York 2010, 2009, 2007