Practice Areas

Art Law

Art Law

We regularly represent the world’s leading artists and some of the most renowned galleries in art-related disputes, and for good reason: our record of achieving successful outcomes in this sphere is unparalleled. Our lawyers have been lead counsel in cases around the globe involving artworks, artists, galleries, auction houses, dealers, and collectors. Our experience ranges from copyright disputes to nine-figure lawsuits involving some of the most valuable art being sold in the market today.

Our deep understanding of the art market, developed over more than 15 years of practice, is essential to resolving any significant dispute in art law.  Complimented by our intellectual property practice, our work in this field often incorporates our knowledge of provenance, condition, and technique. As active participants in the art market, we also understand the dynamics driving the sector – from capital flows to auction house shifts to emerging artists and technologies. Our cross-border work makes us especially well-suited to negotiate matters involving laws of multiple jurisdictions and our trial experience helps drive to the best result possible.

Notable Matters

  • We were the first law firm to file suit on behalf of a collector against the now-defunct Knoedler Gallery — and also the first with whom Knoedler settled even as it chose to continue litigating against the firms that followed.
  • We represented a world-famous artist in a tortious interference lawsuit and secured a verdict in favor of our client at trial.
  • We defended a well-regarded art dealer against claims by a multi-billionaire art collector for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the sale of several works of art. As a result of our efforts, all claims asserted against our client were dismissed.
  • We have successfully guided several art galleries through sales tax investigations commenced by the New York Attorney General.
Banking and Financial Services

Banking and Financial Services

Our firm was founded handling a complex international dispute for one of the world’s largest banks. Over the past 25 years we have built on this groundbreaking work to expand our knowledge base, and we now represent financial institutions around the world in their most challenging, high-stakes matters.

Clients include U.S. and international banks, hedge funds, asset managers, private equity funds, angel investors, and venture capital firms. We are deeply experienced fighting for plaintiffs and defendants in matters relating to commercial disputes, regulatory compliance, antitrust, securities, and other complex litigation.

We formulate aggressive strategies based on each client’s business objectives and deliver outcomes that maximize our clients' position in the marketplace. Our core strength is winning criminal and civil cases through the intense scrutiny of relevant facts and documents.

Experience has taught us the value of leveraging our U.S.-based approach in cross-border disputes and regulatory matters. Our lawyers have successfully represented financial clients faced with regulatory challenges by governing agencies in the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain, and the Caribbean.

Notable Matters

  • For more than 15 years, Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig has acted as outside general counsel to a global asset manager with more than $20 billion in assets. The client was successfully guided through significant regulatory investigations in the U.S., the UK, France, and Spain. We also successfully represented the client in connection with a multibillion-dollar claim against the business and its CEO by a former employee who alleged that he had been promised a partnership.
  • We represented a New York-based hedge fund manager and his firm in defending securities fraud and other claims asserted against them by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. After oral argument on defendants’ motion to dismiss, the SEC agreed to settle the claims without any finding of fraud on the part of the defendants.
Complex Commercial Litigation and Trial Practice

Complex Commercial Litigation and Trial Practice

Our firm regularly represents clients in high-stakes trials in state and federal courts throughout the United States, as well as in jurisdictions around the globe. We are often retained by clients shortly before trial to help secure victory in their most important disputes.

Rather than specialize in any industry or discipline, we handle all kinds of cases focusing only on one thing: winning high-stakes disputes, whatever the circumstance or situation may be. We have successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial cases and trials concerning banking and finance, regulatory matters, international disputes and arbitration, securities litigation, complex commercial litigation, patent cases, copyright cases, criminal defense, and the world of fine art, among other areas.

Clients who have lived through a trial know that trying cases — and properly preparing cases for trial — is a specialty of its own. Because we believe in our ability to win, we also bet on ourselves: whether we represent plaintiffs or defendants, we typically try cases on a success-based fee. In our clients’ bet-the-company cases, we take the bet with them.

Notable Matters

  • We successfully represented a major investment bank in a high profile litigation involving the sale of subprime securities.
  • We secured the dismissal of a multi-billion-dollar claim asserted against a hedge fund manager arising from an alleged short-selling conspiracy.
  • We secured a trial verdict dismissing claims brought against our client by a co-investor in a solar energy company.
Executive Compensation

Executive Compensation

Negotiations over executive compensation have grown increasingly complex in recent years.  From structuring C-suite contracts to resolving disputes when a senior executive leaves, Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig counsels leaders and institutions on all aspects of compensation plans and employee agreements.

We work extensively with clients in the financial sector, including hedge funds, investment banks, private equity firms, and venture capital firms. We handle a range of employment issues and contracts, such as temporary restraining orders (TROs), non-competes, non-solicits, and sensitive negotiations over benefits.

Our team brings a unique vantage point to executive compensation work: as trial lawyers, we are always thinking one step ahead to anticipate potential pitfalls in an agreement. We develop strategies that protect our clients from possible future litigation. And because we represent employers as well as employees, we understand negotiations from both sides of the table. The dual perspective informs our ability to craft sound contracts and defend our clients’ priorities when disputes arise.

Notable Matters

  • The chief executive of a major global bank hired us concerning compensation issues as he transitioned out of the institution and into a position with a financial services company.
  • We represented a financial services firm in connection with a dispute with its former Co-Chief Operating Officer over his right to retain millions of dollars in stock appreciation rights (SARs) following his resignation from the company. The firm successfully negotiated a settlement in which the co-COO agreed to repay the firm the full value of the SARs he received.
  • We successfully represented the former CFO of a major company in the health industry, including drafting his complaint, litigating his case through discovery, and obtaining a favorable settlement.
  • We represented the European head of investment banking at a major global bank in connection with his hiring by, and subsequent exit from, another major global bank.
Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

The value of a business or life’s work can hang in the balance when intellectual property is threatened. Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig provides strategy and strength in the courtroom to plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes IP matters.

Our clients include financial institutions, cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology companies, software companies, and individual inventors, as well as some of the world’s leading artists and galleries. We help protect clients' intellectual property rights against a broad spectrum of challenges, including claims concerning patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, misappropriation, and false advertising. We also serve as co-counsel to firms that need high-powered representation in IP disputes in New York City.

From the moment we are engaged on an intellectual property matter, we focus on developing a strategy that will meet our client's business objectives while minimizing business disruptions and negative publicity. Clients benefit from our proven track record representing both plaintiffs and defendants, as well our success-based fees.

Notable Matters

  • In defending a major bank sued by the largest patent owner in the world, we successfully invalidated three of the four asserted patents; a later motion filed by our firm resulted in the dismissal of all claims on the fourth patent.
  • We successfully represented a New York-based company in a Digital Millenium Copyright Act case. Although we were hired after the court had already entered an injunction against our client, we successfully argued the facts of the case and the court not only dissolved the injunction but granted summary judgment in favor of our client.
  • Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig regularly represents one of the largest art galleries in the world in all of its copyright and trademark disputes. We have obtained judgments in our client’s favor both in the U.S. and overseas.
  • Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig represented a major film production and entertainment company in several different matters, including most recently in a technology patent licensing dispute brought by another film and entertainment company against several defendants.
International Litigation and Cross Border Disputes

International Litigation and Cross Border Disputes

In today’s global marketplace, businesses need a legal partner with experience in resolving complex disputes or defending against governmental inquiries across multiple jurisdictions. Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig has represented clients in more than 20 countries with respect to cross-border disputes, litigation, investigations, and transactional matters.

Our lawyers regularly handle international investigations, including insider trading cases before regulatory authorities throughout Europe. We also represent clients in cross-border disputes between parties outside of the United States. The firm’s experience in these matters stretches from the UK to France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia, as well as the Cayman and British Virgin Islands.

Our core strength is in bringing U.S. litigation tactics to bear in international jurisdictions. We believe that cases are won on the facts — and thus we are intensely focused on investigations and fact-finding prior to trial. The facts-driven litigation behind our international practice has produced a track record of positive outcomes for clients around the globe.

While our bench has extensive experience litigating matters internationally, we represent large, multinational clients efficiently and cost-effectively by integrating a global network of lawyers and other professionals in a wide array of practice areas — including tax and corporate law — throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Notable Matters

  • We litigated the largest divorce settlement in the history of UK courts ($530 million.)
  • Our team assisted a global financial services firm in its rollout of an online banking platform in Europe to serve its retail and institutional clients.
  • We coordinated legal teams across three continents for a multinational insurance and financial services company involved in an international commercial dispute.
  • We represented a UK hedge fund manager in separate insider trading investigations in the UK, France, and Spain.
  • We represented an executive of a multi-billion dollar French company in an insider trading investigation in France.
  • We represented a member of the royal family in Brunei in litigation involving his ownership of assets in the United States.
  • Our team represented a high-net-worth individual based in the UK in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice insider trading investigation.
  • We represented an engineer based in Japan in connection with a criminal proceeding (pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan) arising from an automobile product recall.
  • We devised and coordinated legal strategy on behalf of the CEO and the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia in connection with civil and criminal proceedings in the U.S., UK, Europe and several offshore jurisdictions involving the collapse of Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). The global defense of multi-billion dollar claims involved supervising over 35 law firms in more than seven jurisdictions.
Regulatory Investigations and White Collar

Regulatory Investigations and White Collar

Regulatory scrutiny and the threat of criminal charges can derail businesses, ruin reputations, and destroy careers. Dontzin Nagy & Fleissig represents individuals and businesses in the financial sector, including hedge funds and investment banks, in government-facing civil and criminal investigations.

We have extensive experience conducting internal investigations at the behest of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Our lawyers are frequently brought in to respond to Wells Notices issued by the SEC when organizations or individuals face potential enforcement actions. When such matters go to trial, we have an excellent track record getting fraud charges dismissed or reduced and finding favorable resolutions through negotiation.

Our firm also regularly represents plaintiffs and defendants in securities litigation, including cases related to fraud, non-disclosure, insider trading, valuations, and the Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933 and 1934, among other matters. When the most contentious matters threaten to become criminal, we work aggressively to keep matters within a civil context for our clients.

Beyond our work in the U.S., we have a strong background in international investigations, including cross-border regulatory cases with governmental agencies in the UK, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, and the offshore jurisdictions.

Notable Matters

  • We represented a New York-based hedge fund manager and his firm in defending securities fraud and other claims brought by the SEC before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. After oral argument on defendants’ motion to dismiss, the SEC agreed to settle the claims without any finding of fraud on the part of our clients.
  • We successfully represented a hedge fund manager embroiled in a wide-ranging SEC investigation involving potential claims for insider trading and market manipulation.
  • We represented a prominent art gallery who was facing charges by the New York Attorney General under the False Claims Act for tax fraud.  We successfully negotiated a “no-fraud” settlement without any False Claims Act liability.
  • We successfully defended the former president of a national brokerage firm under investigation for alleged “market timing” and “late trading” activities.
  • We represented a top executive of a leading global provider of wireless networking systems in connection with an SEC investigation of potential accounting fraud at the company.  As a result of our representation, no charges were brought against our client.
  • We represented the CEO of an Israeli medical device manufacturer in connection with a Department of Justice investigation relating to the recall of a product sold by a major U.S. pharmaceutical company.  The DOJ ultimately concluded, based on our presentations, that our client had not engaged in any wrongdoing.
  • We successfully represented two former high-level executives of Lehman Brothers in connection with an investigation by the bankruptcy court examiner into potential wrongdoing by the company’s officers and directors.