With offices in New York and DC, Schulte Roth & Zabel is praised by peers for its “very high-quality” work, primarily in the financial services sector. The firm is noted for its novel mix of practice concentration, its cutting-edge client base and its approach to cases. “Schulte has really come to dominate in certain areas,” observes one peer. “They have always been a go-to for private equity and hedge funds, and now they have cornered the market in areas like cryptocurrency as well.” Cases in these areas are noted often for imposing “steep learning curves that demand a fast-moving and forward-leaning approach to litigating them effectively,” in the words of one peer, concluding “Schulte delivers.” The firm’s demonstrated strengths in the securities and white-collar areas have been prominently on display in a number of matters for a diverse spectrum of clients. A peer testifies, “I've worked with SRZ litigators on a variety of litigation matters over the years. Most recently we've been looking at cross-border securities litigation matters. The partners there have a range of skills that range from litigation to structuring and tax.”
The alluded-to “forward-leaning” approach is reflected in the firm’s star roster; peers make note of a “generational shift.” With the departure of two senior stars in the firm’s white-collar department, the New York group has been augmented with the recent addition of Gayle Klein, an all-purpose commercial litigator. This addition is viewed favorably by peers and clients. “Look more into Gayle, she is a major star,” advises a peer. A client meanwhile confirms, “Gayle is extremely effective in understanding her clients' needs and executing plans to effect those both in the courtroom and outside.” Exemplifying her own, as well as the firm’s, versatile caseload, Klein is attending to a trademark infringement case brought by a shareholder activist investment firm against a multi-strategy investment firm seeking to preclude it from using its chosen name. In April 2021, the court found that the plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on its claims and denied the motion for preliminary injunction, thereby allowing the client to continue to use its name in the proxy contest. Michael Swartz, who several peers view as the “heir apparent” to the firm’s securities practice and certainly one of the visibly active within the practice, has emerged as one of the foremost authorities on the cryptocurrency litigation that has occupied a lot of the firm’s time as well as Swartz’s own. He has also secured multiple hard-fought victories for venBio Select Advisor in a proxy campaign that was subject to an unusual level of litigation over many novel issues. Robert Ward, another New York stalwart, is attending to two actions relating to the property located at 520 Fifth Avenue in New York: one involving claims of breach of contract, fraud, and promissory estoppel, and the other involving a recovery sought for a borrower’s failure to repay principal and interest due under a promissory note.
In the smaller DC office, Pete White spearheads the firm’s white-collar practice, acting for a wide range of entities and individuals. In a new high-profile case, White is advising prominent Baltimore attorney Ken Ravenell, who has represented some of the city’s highest-profile defendants. Ravenell was arrested and charged following a years-long investigation by the government. “This is a fascinating case,” marvels one Baltimore peer. “Ken Ravenell is a fantastic trial attorney in his own right and so his case is getting a lot of attention.”