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Michael E. Swartz is co-chair of Schulte Roth & Zabel’s Litigation Group, head of the shareholder activism litigation practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He focuses on complex commercial litigation and antitrust, particularly as it relates to mergers and acquisitions. His litigation practice includes shareholder activist litigation, securities litigation, private investment fund disputes, M&A litigation and other corporate control disputes. Michael has particular expertise with litigation involving Sections 10(b), 13(d), 14(a), 14(e),16(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act and in arbitration proceedings. He represented Engine No. 1 in its proxy contest at ExxonMobil and Trian Fund Management in its proxy contest at Procter & Gamble — the two largest proxy contest in U.S. history, and achieved a series of victories on behalf of venBio Select Advisor in its proxy campaign at Immunomedics. Among other things, for venBio, Michael obtained a TRO blocking the closing of a global license agreement, which effectively would have amounted to a sale of the company. Michael’s other recent litigation experience includes cryptocurrency investment fund disputes, representations of several boards and companies in M&A- and proxy-related litigation; and obtaining dismissal of several Section 16(b) actions brought against investment advisers and the funds they manage, seeking disgorgement of alleged short-swing trading profits. Michael served as trial counsel to the former Vivendi Universal CFO in a four-month securities class action jury trial. The jury returned a verdict of no liability for SRZ’s client for securities fraud. When representing Pantera Capital Management, a leading crypto investment fund, Michael prevailed following an arbitration hearing in obtaining the first publicly reported opinion in the United States finding a usurpation of corporate opportunity in the investment management space. 

Michael has been recognized by his peers and clients in Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, Chambers USA for his work in securities litigation, The Legal 500 US for his work on M&A litigation, and New York Super Lawyers in the area of business litigation. His litigation victories have been featured in The Hedge Fund Journal (“Immunomedics Proxy Contest: SRZ Achieves Unprecedented Litigation Victories”), Hedge Fund Legal and Compliance Digest (“Schulte’s Michael Swartz Discusses Section 16(b) Litigation, Exemptions and Strategies for Hedge Fund Managers to Reduce Risks of Non-Compliance”) and, most recently, the Litigation Group, co-chaired by Michael, won Law360’s Asset Management Practice Group of the year for its representations of leading private investment funds. Michael is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He is also a former law clerk to the Hon. Irving R. Kaufman, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Michael received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was editor of the Columbia Law Review, and received his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Updated Aug 2021