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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 B. Carlinsky, the Chair of Complex Litigation and Co-Chair of Insurance Litigation at Quinn Emanuel and a founder and managing partner of the firm’s New York office, has consistently been ranked among the top litigators by multiple leading global publications.  Chambers USA (2015) called Mr. Carlinsky “the Maserati of lawyers,” and Chambers USA (2014) described Mr. Carlinsky as “‘a master strategist’ who is 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.  His broad-based commercial litigation expertise is complemented by notable experience in insurance-related disputes.’”  Chambers USA (2013) found that Mr. Carlinsky is “held in high esteem by peers, who consider him to be ‘one of the top trial lawyers in the country.’” Chambers added: “Market commentators continue to highlight Michael Carlinsky as an excellent and ‘tough litigator’ whose deep trial capabilities see him act for clients in high-value commercial and securities-related cases.” Prior Chambers USA guides described Carlinsky as having “strong gut instincts,” an ability to “recognize pressure points in cases and get things done,” “not afraid to try cases,” “a tenacious lawyer with serious street smarts” and having the force of a “freight train” in court.  He draws praise for his “astute judgment and client-focused approach.” Mr. Carlinsky was also named one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America” for 2015 and 2016 by Benchmark Litigation.  His practice is international in scope, representing multinationals in all types of litigation with a particular emphasis on complex commercial litigation; business-tort litigation; insurance-related litigation; and intellectual property litigation. Mr. Carlinsky has recovered more than $4 billion dollars in verdicts, awards and settlements for his clients.

  • Mr. Carlinsky’s clients include American International Group (“AIG”), Morgan Stanley, Georgia Pacific, National Indemnity, INVISTA/Koch Industries, Centerbridge Partners, Le Nature’s, Rio Tinto, CSN (Brazil), BTG Pactual, Pinterest, First Data, Beam Inc., Bessemer, Wexford Capital, FirstEnergy, Alvarez & Marsal, Odebrecht, Renova, OAS, Express Scripts, Inc., and Crestview Partners.
  • In AIG v. Bank of America, lead counsel for AIG in a $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.
  • Obtained jury verdict in NY federal court, following seven day trial,  finding in favor of client CSN, a large Brazilian steel company, on all claims worth in excess of $300 million.
  • 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.
  • Representing Morgan Stanley against Citibank in significant dispute arising out of a credit default swap on a CDO.
  • Representing AIG in connection with the evaluation and prosecution of litigations against counterparties arising out of AIG’s RMBS portfolio.
  • Representing 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 against Rhodia.
  • 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.  He also represents AIG in connection with fraud and RICO claims by the National Workers Compensation Reinsurance Pool.
  • Represented AIG as lead trial counsel in a major reinsurance and contract dispute in Connecticut Federal Court.
  • Representing 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.
  • Representing the Trustee of two litigation trusts arising out of the bankruptcy of REFCO and its affiliates, a multi-billion dollar bankruptcy.
  • Representing 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.
  • Mr. Carlinsky defended internet music company in a significant copyright infringement action brought by the “big five” record labels in UMG Records v. , filed in the Southern District of New York.
  • In DoubleClick v. Henderson, filed in the New York Supreme Court, Mr. Carlinsky successfully represented an Internet advertising company in action against former rogue employees for theft of trade secrets, obtaining a precedent-setting injunction.
  • In Watcher Technologies LLC v. , pending in the Southern District of New York, Mr. Carlinsky is defending a software development and direct access trading company in an action for copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets involving software. 
  • Hofstra University School of Law
    (J.D., 1989)
  • Susquehanna University
    (B.A., cum laude, 1986)
The State Bar of New York
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, Litigation Department: 
    • Partner, 1997-2002
    • Associate, 1993-1997
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Business and Securities Litigation Department:
    • Associate, 1989-1993
  • Selected to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyers 2020 guide in Business Litigation
  • Named 2020 Southern California Super Lawyers in Business Litigation and Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Named a Benchmark Litigation Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America from 2015 to 2019
  • Named a New York Metro Super Lawyer from 2008 to 2019
  • Ranked in New York General Commercial Litigation, Chambers USA from 2013 to 2019
    Ranked in New York Insurance Dispute Resolution – Insurer Litigation, Chambers USA from 2013 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