Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney

New York

Review

Dispute resolution

Operating for nearly a quarter of a century, Hoguet Newman Regal and & Kenney now occupies a unique space in the crowded New York market, taking on cases spanning several practice areas and servicing them with a more personalized, hands-on approach. While the firm’s founding partners come armed with “big law” credentials – “they were all at White & Case back in the 1970s” – the firm is a maverick boutique, not, as one partner insists “a small firm masquerading as a big firm.” One peer notes, “they are making a mark as ‘giant killers.’ They go up against, and beat, some of the big brand-name shops all the time.” The firm is noted especially for its commercial, insurance and labor and employment capacity, and the cases it takes on are often of a novel nature.
     One such example involves an ownership dispute concerning New York’s iconic Palm steakhouse, in which firm founder Frederic Newman scored several consecutive wins. An all-purpose commercial trial generalist, Newman won a $120 million award at trial in a dispute over the iconic Palm steakhouse. Newman represented the plaintiffs, who own a 20% stake in the entity and alleged that the grandsons of the founders, who own the other 80% of the entity, cheated the plaintiffs out of the financial rewards of the Palm's expansion by creating a series of companies, which the two grandsons own exclusively, to hold the new restaurants. In December 2019, a judge ordered defendants in the long-running battle to pay $4.6 million in attorney’s fees and expenses to HNRK for its successful prosecution of the case and, in May 2020, the New York Appellate Division, First Department unanimously affirmed the February 2019 judgment. Dorothea Regal attends to a robust insurance coverage practice that includes ongoing representation of Syngenta Crop Protection in insurance coverage disputes. Another partner actively involved in disputes for Syngenta, Joshua Blosveren is emerging as one of the firm’s busiest and most visible litigators. In addition to his Syngenta work, Blosveren serves as insurance counsel to the Board of Directors of Tesla in connection with their pursuit of insurance coverage under D&O insurance for an underlying litigation pending in Delaware Chancery Court relating to the compensation of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Blosveren also represents Cox Enterprises and Cox Radio in connection with their pursuit of coverage arising out of the high-profile defamation and invasion of privacy claim brought by Terry Bollea (also known as the wrestler Hulk Hogan). In a favorable ruling for Cox, a US district judge denied Hiscox’s motion to dismiss Cox's breach of contract and bad faith claims in July 2020. Damian Cavaleri, who attends to a hybrid commercial and employment practice, represented RAK Tourism in a case brought by a plaintiff to enforce a foreign judgment in New York state court through motion for summary judgment in lieu of complaint. The court granted Cavaleri’s motion to dismiss, and The First Department affirmed the lower court’s decision. Cavaleri also acts for individual clients; one voices appreciation, stating, “Damian counsels his clients, and helps with perspective when clients are upset. [He worked on a] separation agreement after I was terminated. He drove the conflict to conclusion, explained everything, and kept me realistic.”

Labor and employment

Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney is well-known for being one of the formidable boutique firms focusing almost exclusively on litigation. The firm is noted for its expertise and successes in  insurance, commercial and labor and employment litigation.  Its labor and employment practice is equipped with lawyers who often have diverse practices, enabling them to take on complex cases that require a deep knowledge of business and commercial issues.

Damian Cavaleri maintains a unique hybrid practice of both commercial and employment litigation. The hybrid nature of his practice involves him in many restrictive covenants and non-compete matters involving C-Suite and top management. He is currently acting as plaintiff on behalf of Jeff Lucas, a high-level executive, against Verizon, defended by one of the nationally recognized top-tier law firms in labor and employment. The plaintiff alleges that Verizon acted in bad faith and acted fraudulently when he attempted to leave to WarnerMedia. Cavaleri recently successfully remanded the case back to state court after the defendant’s attempt to remove it to federal court. The total damages equate to about $13 million. 

Cavaleri’s employment practice also involves the routine disputes afflicting management, such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower claims. He defended Fresenius Medical Care Holdings against alleged “reverse” discrimination claims, asserting that he was discriminated based on his status as a white male. The plaintiff additionally alleged retaliation claims citing the complaints he filed on the conditions of the clinic he was managing. The multi-dimensional case was favorably settled earlier this year.

Randi May is particularly skilled in the practices and motions to avoid litigation, especially when necessary for clients. When avoidance is not possible, May represents clients in federal and state court and before arbitration panels. Her experience has involved all types of employment-related issues – ranging from discrimination to wage-and-hour claims. She also handles matters arising from various restrictive covenants. She often drafts these agreements for clients, which makes her especially adept in litigating these issues. May is often representing C-Suite and management clients.