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Carlinsky, Michael B.

Michael B. Carlinsky

Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7150
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

Michael Carlinsky serves as Co-Managing Partner of the firm and as the Global Head of Complex Litigation and Co-Chair of Insurance Litigation at Quinn Emanuel.  He has consistently been ranked among the top litigators and trial lawyers in the United States by multiple leading global publications.

Recently, Benchmark Litigation named Carlinsky "General Commercial Litigator of the Year" for 2022, and the New York Law Journal named him one of three Finalists for 2022 “Lawyer of the Year.”   Chambers USA 2021 to 2023  ranks him Band 1 for Commercial Litigation and Band 2 for National Trial Lawyers, describing him as “a tremendous litigator,” who is “fearless and confident” and whose “advice is incredibly thoughtful and well developed.” Additionally, Chambers depicts him as a “dogged lawyer” who is “very charismatic and personable.”  Prior Chambers’ rankings dubbed Carlinsky “the Maserati of lawyers,” having the force of a “freight train” in court, and “a master strategist” praised for his “unique ability to see the big picture and craft and work toward results on a broad scale involving a huge constellation of matters.”  Carlinsky is “held in high esteem by peers, who consider him to be one of the top trial lawyers in the country,” “an excellent and ‘tough litigator’ whose deep trial capabilities see him act for clients in high-value commercial and securities-related cases,” and has “strong gut instincts” as well as an ability to “recognize pressure points in cases and get things done,” according to Chambers, which added that he is “not afraid to try cases” and is “a tenacious lawyer with serious street smarts.”

Carlinsky has been named one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” every year since 2015 by Benchmark Litigation, which referred to him as “Quinn’s big gun,” and has received awards from numerous other legal publications.  Chief Justice Janet DiFiore recently appointed him to the New York Supreme Court Commercial Division Advisory Council.

Carlinsky’s practice is international in scope, encompassing work for multinational companies, public and private companies, hedge funds, asset managers, private equity firms, partnerships and individuals in all types of litigation, with a particular emphasis on complex commercial litigation, business-tort litigation, securities litigation, insurance-related litigation, mergers and acquisitions litigation, shareholder derivative suits, litigation involving financial products and instruments, internal corporate investigations, corporate governance matters, Delaware Court of Chancery litigation, non-compete and trade secret litigation, and intellectual property disputes. Carlinsky has recovered more than $4 billion dollars in verdicts, awards, and settlements for his clients, even though his practice is substantially defense-side.

He also has a significant practice representing Brazilian and other companies located in South America in litigation matters and internal investigations.

  • American International Group (“AIG”)
  • PGA of America
  • Garrett Motion
  • Mirae Asset
  • Crestview Partners
  • Carlyle Group
  • GIC (Singaporean sovereign wealth fund)
  • Mubadala, Ambac
  • HPS Investment Partners
  • AmTrust Financial
  • EIG Partners
  • Enstar
  • Brookfield
  • H.I.G. Capital
  • Match Group
  • TRICO/FirstBrands
  • Wexford Capital
  • National Indemnity
  • INVISTA/Koch Industries
  • Centerbridge Partners
  • Morgan Stanley
  • CSN (Brazil)
  • BTG Pactual  
  • Pinterest
  • First Data
  • Beam Inc.
  • Bessemer, FirstEnergy
  • Alvarez & Marsal
  • Odebrecht
  • Renova
  • OAS
  • Express Scripts, Inc.
  • Achieved a $1.84 billion settlement for client Ambac Assurance against Countrywide and Bank of America after five weeks of trial in New York Supreme Court in one of the largest Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (“RMBS”) cases.
  • Obtained a defense jury verdict for client AIG and Lexington Insurance in less than 2 hours following a weeklong jury trial in Delaware Superior Court, including a unanimous finding by clear and convincing evidence by a 12 person jury that Plaintiff Conduent had committed insurance fraud.          
  • Successfully represented Mirae Asset Management in Delaware Court of Chancery litigation and, after full trial in action arising out of termination of $6 billion sale transaction involving issues of MAE and Ordinary Course Covenants; obtained decision allowing buyer to terminate.  Served as lead trial counsel. Decision affirmed by Delaware Supreme Court.
  • Successfully represented GIC in Delaware Court of Chancery litigation arising out of termination of M&A transaction involving sale of AmEx Global Business Travel. Matter settled with Buyer terminating.
  • Represented Garrett Motion, a NYSE-listed company, in action in SDNY bankruptcy court litigation against Honeywell International arising out of Honeywell's spin-out of Garrett.
  • Represent multiple public companies in securities litigation asserting 10(b)(5), Section 11 and 12 claims in federal and state courts throughout U.S.  Clients include AmTrust Financial, WideOpenWest, ChinaCache, Mammoth, National General, Garrett Motion.  Obtained dismissal of Section 11 and 10b class actions.
  • Represented Centerbridge and affiliates in litigations pending in Delaware Court of Chancery and New York Supreme Court in actions arising out of auto loans business.       
  • Represented Lockton Insurance in Delaware Court of Chancery litigation against competitor, Alliant, arising out of Alliant's raid of Lockton personnel in breach of restrictive covenants and misappropriation of trade secrets. Obtained significant preliminary injunction following expedited proceedings.
  • Represented C3-ai in Delaware federal court litigation defending against claims by shareholders alleging 10b5 and common law fraud arising out of merger transaction. Served as lead trial counsel for two-week bench trial. Obtained complete defense verdict, which was upheld on appeal.  
  • Represented Brazilian meat company, JBS and its directors in Delaware Chancery Court shareholder derivative litigation arising out of sale of affiliated company to another affiliated company.
  • Represented Brazilian steel company, CSN, in litigation in in NY federal court on claims worth $300 million. Obtained complete jury verdict following seven-day trial.
  • Represent Brookfield in litigation arising out of joint venture real estate development project.
  • Represent collateral manager Alvarez & Marsal against Zohar Funds and Lynn Tilton in litigation pending in SDNY and Delaware.  Tried case in Delaware Court of Chancery.
  • Represented insurer AmTrust in New York State Court litigation arising out of take-private transaction and de-listing of shares.  Defeated preliminary injunction and obtained dismissal with prejudice.
  • Represented insurer AmTrust in securities litigation in New York Supreme Court; obtained dismissal with prejudice.
  • Represent Ambac in defending RICO action brought by military housing projects (joint ventures between U.S Army and private developers) arising out of Ambac's financial guarantees. 
  • Represent Ambac in litigation against Bank of America/Countrywide seeking recovery of billions of dollars of losses arising out of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities.  
  • Represent private equity firm Crestview Partners in Delaware Chancery Court litigation arising out of investment in Oxbow Carbon, including full trial on merits relating to Crestview's exit sale rights.
  • Represent private equity firm, H.I.G. Capital, in shareholder derivative suit in Delaware Court of Chancery.
  • Represented Core Media Litigation trust in New York State Court action against Apollo and related entities seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages arising out of alleged scheme against Core bondholders.  
  • Represent Brookfield Asset Management and certain affiliates in various litigation matters.
  • Represent Wide Open West, a leading cable provider, in securities litigation pending in New York State Court arising out of company's public offering.
  • Represented special committee of BTG Pactual board, Brazil’s largest independent investment bank, in internal investigation in connection with Lava Jato. 
  • Represented AIG as lead counsel in $10 billion fraud suit against Bank of America and its affiliates arising out AIG’s purchase of billions of dollars in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities.
  • Successfully represented AIG in a federal court action brought by a Canadian company seeking to walk away from its obligation under an interest rate swap worth in excess of $1.5 billion to AIG.
  • Successfully represented Morgan Stanley, including at trial, in a $250 million dispute against Barclays arising out of a credit default swap on a collateralized debt obligation (“CDO”). 
  • Successfully represented WMI (parent company of WAMU) in multiple litigations in Bankruptcy Court and District Court against JPMorgan Chase and the FDIC arising out of the failure of Washington Mutual Bank.
  • Successfully tried a major trademark infringement case for a significant California commercial real estate developer.
  • Represented Morgan Stanley against Citibank in significant dispute arising out of a credit default swap on a CDO.
  • Represented AIG in connection with the evaluation and prosecution of litigations against counterparties arising out of AIG’s RMBS portfolio.
  • Represented AIG in a significant litigation in Chicago federal court brought by insurers alleging AIG engaged in a widespread fraud in the workers compensation market.
  • Achieved complete victory in a significant matter for Morgan Stanley in an arbitration brought against it by the former Global Head of Oil Trading.  Panel awarded zero damages on claims seeking in excess of $30 million in damages.
  • Represented the limited partners of a hedge fund in a shareholder derivative arbitration against a hedge fund manager and his stockbroker sister based on claims of systemic fraud through post-execution allocations of securities trades over more than a decade.  After an arbitration that spanned seven months, the arbitration panel, in a unanimous opinion, awarded his clients over $75 million in compensatory and punitive damages, which included $35 million for disgorgement of compensation for the period of the fraud.  The award was confirmed.
  • Represented INVISTA, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, in multiple trade secret litigations.
  • Served as lead litigation counsel for American International Group, Inc (“AIG”) in a multi-pronged dispute with former AIG CEO Maurice R. Greenberg and several C. V. Starr entities (represented by Boies Schiller and Skadden Arps) concerning the ownership of more than $1 billion worth of insurance business.  Successful on three injunction motions in NY state court and overseeing global effort to separate AIG from Starr Agencies.  Also defended AIG in trademark litigation over Starr marks.  All sixteen matters were settled globally. 
  • Represented AIG in a shareholder derivative action pending in Delaware, known as the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana v. Greenberg litigation. 
  • Represented AIG as lead trial counsel in a major reinsurance and contract dispute in Connecticut Federal Court.
  • Represented a large pool of reinsurers (known as the ECRA Pool) as lead trial counsel in defense of claims by USF&G seeking several hundred million dollars from the pool members.
  • Represented the Trustee of two litigation trusts arising out of the bankruptcy of REFCO and its affiliates, a multi-billion-dollar bankruptcy.
  • Represented a group of bondholders in connection with the bankruptcy of the beverage company Le Nature’s, Inc.  He also represents a group of initial and secondary purchasers of Le Nature’s bank debt.
  • Represented internet music company in multiple copyright infringement actions brought by the “big five” record labels and others in the Southern District of New York.  Took two cases to trial.
  • Represented DoubleClick in seminal case of DoubleClick v. Henderson, filed in the New York Supreme Court, against former rogue employees for theft of trade secrets, obtaining a precedent-setting injunction.
  • Hofstra University School of Law
    (J.D., 1989)
  • Susquehanna University
    (B.A., cum laude, 1986)
  • State Bar of New York
  • United States District Court:
    • Southern District of New York
    • Eastern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • Federal Circuit
    • Second Circuit
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, Litigation Department: 
    • Partner, 1997-2002
    • Associate, 1993-1997
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Business and Securities Litigation Department:
    • Associate, 1989-1993
  • Recognized by Lawdragon 500 as a Leading Litigator in General & Commercial Litigation, 2023, 2024
  • Ranked Band 1 for Commercial Litigation by Chambers USA in 2021 to 2023
  • Ranked Band 2 for National Trial Lawyers by Chambers Global Guide in 2021 to 2023
  • Selected to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers guide in Business Litigation and Securities, Financial & Securities Litigation from 2020 to 2023
  • Named Who’s Who Legal Commercial Litigation Report in 2022
  • Named "Commercial Litigator of the Year" by Benchmark Litigation in 2022
  • Honored as “Litigator of the Week” by The American Lawyer in 2022
  • Ranked in New York Insurance Dispute Resolution – Insurer Litigation, Chambers USA from 2013 to 2022
  • Ranked in New York General Commercial Litigation, Chambers USA from 2013 to 2021
  • Named a Benchmark Litigation Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America from 2015 to 2023
  • Named a New York Metro Super Lawyer from 2008 to 2019
  • Named a New York Metro Rising Star in 2018
  • Named a 500 leading lawyers in America by Lawdragon 500 in 2017
  • One of five lawyers named in Law360’s 2017 MVPs
    Lawyer of the Year 2014 – Insurance Litigation – New York, Corporate LiveWire
  • Ranked in Benchmark Plaintiff Litigation in National Securities Litigation in 2012
  • Ranked leading individual in New York General Commercial Litigation by Chambers USA 2011 and 2009
  • "Not Just for Feudal Lords -- A Law Proscribing Champerty,"
    • The Deal, Vol. 3, No. 21 (April 25-May 1, 2005)
  • "Are Anti Circumvention Laws Constitutional," 
    • New York Law Journal, January 28, 2002.
  • "Posting 'No Trespassing' Signs on the Internet,"
    • New York Law Journal, January 16, 2001.
  • "Does The CDA Help Clean Up the Internet?"
    • New York Law Journal, August 22, 2000
  • "Stop the Music: Napster Is Not Covered By DMCA?"
    • New York Law Journal, May 16, 2000
  • "Inevitable Disclosure and the Internet: The 'EarthWeb' Decision,"
    • New York Law Journal, November 17, 1999
  • "Customer Lists As Trade Secrets,"
    • New York Law Journal, November 3, 1999
  • "Courts Define Client Relationships As a Legitimate Business Interest,"
    • New York Law Journal, July 20, 1999
  • "Second Circuit Fashions New Test to Endorse Non Compete Provisions,"
    • New York Law Journal, May 21, 1999
  • "Protecting Trade Secrets: Using 'Inevitable Misappropriation' And the Exit Interview,"
    • New York State Bar Journal, February 1999, Vol. 71, No. 2
  • "Trade Secrets: DoubleClick v. Henderson: Can an Employer Prevent a Former Employee From Competing Even in the Absence of a Non Compete Agreement?"
    • Bright Ideas – The Newsletter of the Intellectual Property Law Section, Vol. 7, No. 2 , Fall 1998
  • "Litigation: Measures to Protect Trade Secret Theft,"
    • New York Law Journal, November 24, 1997
  • Member, New York State Bar Association:
    • Chair, Trade Secrets Committee of the Intellectual Property Law Section, 1997-2002
  • Member, New York State Bar:
    • Secretary, Intellectual Property Law Section