101 Park Ave.//New York, NY 10178-0060//United States
For more than 20 years, Michael S. Kraut has represented banks and other financial institutions in defense of large high-risk, high-profile complex securities and commercial class actions and other litigation involving securitization issues and breach of contract, fiduciary duty, and consumer protection claims. Michael also defends clients in government enforcement actions and counsels clients on sensitive internal investigations and a range of regulatory and compliance issues.
Michael is rated for Commercial Litigation by Chambers USA, which describes him as “a remarkably strategic thinker” and notes that “he’s a great advocate – he has great intelligence and is very skilled.” The Legal 500 describes Michael as “creative, thoughtful, and knowledgeable” and recognizes that he is noted for his “knowledge of changing trustee practices based on industry developments and case law evolution.”
Michael co-leads the firm’s banking industry team and leads the litigation practice’s institutional financial services practice. Michael previously led the New York office’s litigation practice for four years before stepping down to devote more time to his practice.
Representation of a national bank in defense of multiple class actions alleging breaches of statutory and common law claims in connection with Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans pursuant to the CARES Act.
Representation of RMBS trustees in defense of more than a dozen class, derivative, and individual actions brought by investors in certificates issued by RMBS trusts, alleging claims for, among other things, violation of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of the trust agreements in federal and state courts.
Representation of RMBS trustees in defense of numerous nationwide class actions brought by mortgage loan borrowers asserting claims for, among other things, consumer unfair and deceptive trade practices and/or asserting that the trustees lacked standing to enforce notes and mortgages that had been securitized.
Representation of RMBS trustees in connection with judicial proceedings involving multibillion dollar settlements negotiated between investors and sponsors concerning sponsors’ liability for representations and warranties.
Representation of national banking institutions in defense of federal and state regulatory investigations and qui tam actions related to residential mortgage-backed securitization.
Representation of trustee of GNMA Guaranteed Grantor Trusts in defense of federal court action filed by residual class holders alleging a breach of contract claim.
Representation of large commodities broker in action against customer's controlling shareholder and its corporate affiliate to reform and enforce a guaranty of a commodities trading account.
Representation of indenture trustee in defense of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted by trust investor that purchased credit-linked notes in a transaction in which it wrote loss protection on a portfolio of loans.
Representation of broker-dealer, bank, and investment adviser in defense of an action brought by a limited partner in an exchange fund alleging breach of contract and fraud.
Representation of hedge funds in defense of SEC investigations concerning compliance with federal securities laws and regulations, including issues relating to material nonpublic information, trading around secondary and follow-on offerings, and spread of rumors.
Representation of one of the world’s largest mutual fund complexes in a SEC investigation relating to best execution of equities trading.
Awards and Affiliations
Client Service All-Star, BTI Consulting Group (2020)
Ranked, Litigation: General Commercial, New York, Chambers USA (2020)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Financial services: litigation, The Legal 500 US (2015–2020)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: General commercial disputes, The Legal 500 US (2018–2020)
Recommended, Dispute resolution: Securities litigation: defense, The Legal 500 US (2018)
Recommended, Securities Shareholder Litigation, The Legal 500 US (2015–2016)
Recognized, New York Super Lawyers (2013–2020)
Rising Star, New York Super Lawyers (2011–2012)
Member, Law Firm of the Year, Securities Regulation, US News/Best Lawyers – Best Law Firms (2019)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Structured Finance Litigation Committee, American Bar Association
Member, Securitization and Structured Finance Committee, American Bar Association
Member, Trust Indentures and Indenture Trustee Committee, American Bar Association
U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First and Second Circuits
University of Michigan, 1996, B.A., High Distinction
University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1999, J.D., Cum Laude