NEW YORK — July 1, 2008 — LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP is pleased to announce a major expansion of its securities litigation practice with the addition of five leading securities litigators and the opening of a Washington, D.C., office. Joining the firm as partners are Howard Schiffman, Mark S. Mandel and Ida Wurczinger Draim, along with Eric A. Bensky and James M. Wines who join the firm as special counsel. All have extensive litigation and enforcement practices, and Mr. Schiffman, Mr. Mandel and Ms. Draim have all worked in the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Leading the D.C. office will be prominent securities litigator Howard Schiffman, formerly with the Washington, D.C., office of Dickstein Shapiro. Before entering private practice, Mr. Schiffman was a trial attorney with the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. He has been at the forefront of securities litigation and regulatory developments for the past three decades, and recently successfully represented the former CEO of Knight Securities, the largest Nasdaq market-making firm, in connection with a federal court action brought by the SEC. After a 14-day bench trial, all parties were completely cleared of wrongdoing. He also represents the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Comverse Technology, Inc. in connection with allegations of stock option backdating and in related derivative litigation.
Mr. Mandel, a highly-regarded securities litigator from Morgan Lewis, will reside in the firm’s New York office. Mr. Mandel is a former chief of the New York office of the SEC’s Division of Broker-Dealer Enforcement. For over a decade in private practice, he has handled many high-profile securities-related litigation and enforcement matters, including a recent dismissal with prejudice of a $100 million securities fraud suit arising out of the aborted sale of an overseas telecom company on behalf of a large financial institution.
Ms. Draim also was an attorney in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement and then served as Special Counsel to SEC Chairman John Shad. She has more than 22 years of experience in securities regulatory matters and compliance counseling and recently represented the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), as amicus on behalf of the successful appellees in the first federal case in which a pre-dispute arbitration agreement was held enforceable against the receiver for the institutional customers who executed the agreement. She also was formerly with Dickstein Shapiro.
Mr. Wines and Mr. Bensky, also joining the D.C. office from Dickstein Shapiro, bring a wealth of litigation experience, having been involved in proceedings and investigations including the representation of broker-dealers and mutual funds. Mr. Wines’ experience includes representing issuers, officers and directors, broker-dealers, and registered representatives and other market participants in investigations and enforcement proceedings before the SEC and FINRA and in related civil litigation in federal, state and arbitration proceedings. Mr. Wines has particular expertise in litigation related to complex transactions and market regulation on the equities and derivatives markets. Mr. Bensky’s experience includes the successful representation of prime brokers and clearing firms in federal, state and arbitration proceedings brought by investors in collapsed trading vehicles.
“Opening an office in Washington, D.C., is a natural expansion of our securities litigation and regulatory representation practices. This is a major step forward in building out our “go-to” top securities regulatory practice,” said Paul N. Roth, a founding partner of the firm and a member of the firm’s executive committee.
“We could not be more thrilled to have Howard and Ida lead our D.C. team and to have Mark join us in New York,” added Martin L. Perschetz, co-chair of the firm’s 100-lawyer litigation practice. “Joined by Eric and James, their experience representing clients in investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by the SEC and other government agencies, as well as their handling, in both the trial and appellate courts, of the full range of actions arising under federal and state securities laws, will extend our already deep bench of securities litigation talent.”
Mr. Schiffman, who was head of his former firm’s securities litigation, regulatory and compliance practice and a three-time member of its executive committee, said of his new affiliation: “I’m very excited to spearhead the firm’s expansion into D.C. and to contribute to the growth of its litigation practice. I know that my clients will be well served by the firm’s diverse practice area capabilities and the consistently high level of client service for which it is known.”
Commenting on the move, Mr. Mandel said, “I am delighted to be joining SRZ, particularly given its long history serving financial institutions and the firm’s decision to expand its litigation practice. It’s an exciting time to be part of such a strong securities litigation team.”
About Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP
Founded in 1969, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP (www.srz.com) has more than 450 lawyers and offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and London. The firm offers legal counsel in litigation, investment management, business transactions, finance, real estate, structured products and derivatives, business reorganization, bank regulatory, intellectual property, employment and employee benefits, tax, environmental law, insurance and individual client services.
Biographical Information on New Partners and Special Counsel
Howard Schiffman, a partner in the litigation practice group at Schulte Roth & Zabel and head of the Washington, D.C., office, joins the firm from Dickstein Shapiro, where he was a partner and head of the firm’s securities litigation, regulatory and compliance practice. Nationally known in the area of securities litigation and regulatory developments, his practice ranges from investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by various exchanges and government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), to a diverse array of civil litigations, including securities class actions, and arbitrations. He also has served as special internal investigative counsel to public companies. His clients have included many of the leading financial institutions and investment banks, largest Nasdaq market makers, institutional and retail brokerage firms and their registered representatives, trade execution and clearing firms, prime brokers, national accounting firms, hedge funds, and numerous public and private companies and their senior officers. He has extensive trial experience and a solid record of successes in the numerous SEC enforcement actions, SRO proceedings and NASD arbitrations he has handled. Mr. Schiffman began his career in the Division of Enforcement of the SEC. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Fordham University, where he was a member of the Fordham Law Review, and his B.A., cum laude, from Colgate University.
Mark S. Mandel, a partner in Schulte Roth & Zabel’s New York office and a member of the litigation practice group, focuses his practice on securities, banking and finance litigation. A former chief of the SEC’s Broker-Dealer Enforcement Branch in New York, he presently represents investment banks, corporations, directors and officers in securities class actions and SEC and self-regulatory organization (SRO) investigations, and has been involved in many high-profile securities cases. Mr. Mandel has a J.D. from American University and a B.B.A. in finance from Hofstra University. He joins the firm from Morgan Lewis, where he was a litigation partner.
Ida Wurczinger Draim, a partner in Schulte Roth & Zabel’s Washington, D.C., office and a member of the litigation practice group, focuses her practice on securities compliance counseling and the representation of securities industry and corporate clients in regulatory investigations and proceedings and in civil litigation. Her clients have included institutional and retail brokerage firms and their registered representatives, prime broker and clearing firms, hedge funds and their managers, investment advisors, and public and private companies and their senior officers and directors. Ms. Draim joins SRZ from Dickstein Shapiro, where she was a partner. She has served with the SEC, as staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement and as Special Counsel to SEC Chairman John Shad and also served as Chair of the Corporation, Finance and Securities Section of the D.C. Bar. She began her law career as a securities litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. Ms. Draim received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A., cum laude, from Rutgers University.
Eric A. Bensky, a special counsel in the litigation practice group in Schulte Roth & Zabel’s Washington D.C., office, focuses his practice on securities litigation. He has been involved in civil, disciplinary and criminal proceedings and investigations before federal courts, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the American Stock Exchange, and before arbitration panels of FINRA, the NYSE, the CBOE, and the American Arbitration Association. Prior to joining SRZ, he was a partner at Dickstein Shapiro. Mr. Bensky received his J.D., with honors, from the University of Chicago Law School and has a B.A., with high honors and high distinction, from the University of Michigan.
James M. Wines is a special counsel in Schulte Roth & Zabel’s litigation practice group in the Washington, D.C., office, Mr. Wines’ principal practice area is securities litigation and his experience in this area includes the successful defense of: securities class actions and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) arbitrations, as well as the litigation of complex trade disputes between market participants. In addition, Mr. Wines has extensive experience representing both issuers and market participants in connection with investigations and enforcement proceedings brought by various exchanges and governmental agencies, such as the SEC and FINRA. Formerly a partner in the litigation practice of Dickstein Shapiro, Mr. Wines received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.