Fred N. Knopf

Of Counsel

New York
T +1.212.589.4232
F +1.212.589.4201

Overview

Drawing on over three decades of experience, Fred Knopf's practice encompasses a vast array of securities and corporate matters. He routinely handles legal matters involving all aspects of the securities industry, from defending to prosecuting claims, handling regulatory and consulting assignments, and acting as a mediator. Having tried over 100 cases, he also has considerable experience representing clients in large, complex commercial, antitrust, malpractice and professional liability litigation, as well as class actions.

Fred has significant experience providing comprehensive representation for public and private financial services companies as both inside and outside counsel. He has handled numerous matters involving a variety of substantive areas of business, including alternative investments; insurance; retirement; third party research; capital markets; equity research; equity sales and trading; fixed income; trading operations; client services; compliance; practice development; information technology; registered representative transitions; and marketing.

Fred has written and lectured on various corporate industry topics. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University Jack Welch College of Business, where he teaches a graduate-level class on financial regulation and compliance.

Select Experience

Securities Litigation
  • Represented issuers in a putative class action by sophisticated investors in several private syndicate transactions involving international investments of approximately $7 million. Obtained dismissal of the action on behalf of client.
Complex/Commercial/Insurance/Professional Liability Litigation
  • Acted as national counsel for Little League Baseball. Obtained numerous decisions granting dismissal of actions against a local league for due process violations and for violations of international charter.
Accountants’ Liability
  • Represented defendants in a group of cases brought by investors in several feeder funds of Madoff securities. Obtained decision granting motion to dismiss on one case leading to the resolution of several others.
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Experience

Securities Litigation
  • Represented issuers in a putative class action by sophisticated investors in several private syndicate transactions involving international investments of approximately $7 million. Obtained dismissal of the action on behalf of client.
  • Represented several broker-dealers in the Provident Royalties securities litigation. Obtained decision granting brokerage firms’ motion to dismiss claims under Texas Securities Act in putative class action case arising from $450 million Provident Royalties ponzi scheme.
  • Represented a top-50 Fortune 500 insurance company and subsidiaries in a case of first impression seeking to establish liability against the distribution chain of the variable annuities industry, including the distributor and issuing companies. Clients were awarded directed verdict after multi-week FINRA arbitration hearing.
  • Represented international financial services firm specializing in institutional equity, fixed income sales and trading in a raiding case. After a two-week trial, obtained a decision denying injunctive relief to inter-dealer broker of emerging market securities arising from allegations involving the hiring of 30 employees who previously worked for the plaintiff.
Complex/Commercial/Insurance/Professional Liability Litigation
  • Acted as national counsel for Little League Baseball. Obtained numerous decisions granting dismissal of actions against a local league for due process violations and for violations of international charter.
  • In fidelity bond insurers’ lawsuits as assignee and subrogee of insured corporation, after payment under bond of $12.4 million, recovered settlements of $10.7 million, and obtained a $15.8 million default judgment against remaining defendants.
  • Represented international agency in antitrust class action involving alleged price fixing by professional managers in the NYC fashion modeling industry and seeking $450 million in damages. The case resulted in numerous published decisions in Second Circuit Court of Appeals and S.D.N.Y. Court granted partial summary judgment
  • Represented sheet metal union in case alleging violations of Sherman Antitrust Act, NLRA and state antitrust laws of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Obtained declaratory judgments in related cases concerning collective bargaining agreements
  • Represented international reinsurer in a RICO action arising from a reinsurance spiral created and operated by a group of reinsurance brokers and intermediaries. Claim involved $800 million in losses from the 112 reinsurance contracts. Resolved via international arbitration compelled by the US courts.
  • Represented international patent law firm in legal malpractice action arising from alleged malpractice in handling an underlying patent infringement litigation. The specific acts of malpractice focused on alleged misinterpretation of patent claims and whether the elements of those claims were present in the accused products. Claimed damages were $45 million.
  • Represented the purchasers of several related companies who acted without knowledge that shortly before the purchase the former principal had sold an essential asset to a competitor. Parallel litigation in Illinois and New York ensued involving alleged securities fraud. The case was resolved on terms favorable to client.
  • Represented a group of constituent members of Lloyd’s of London in litigation alleging that the business of Lloyd’s violated the U.S. Securities Laws. Cases were brought in multiple districts all resulting in dismissal, affirmance on appeal in several circuits and denial of certiorari by the United States Supreme Court.
Accountants’ Liability
  • Represented defendants in a group of cases brought by investors in several feeder funds of Madoff securities. Obtained decision granting motion to dismiss on one case leading to the resolution of several others.
  • In fidelity bond insurers’ lawsuits as assignee and subrogee of insured corporation, after payment under bond of $12.4 million, defeated motion for summary judgment in malpractice action against former accountant for the insured corporation.
  • Defended accounting firms in consolidated shareholders’ derivative suits against auditors for jewelry manufacturers. Claims included violations of federal securities laws, RICO and common law. Courts granted motions for summary judgment in cases.
  • Represented financial advisor and accountant for the music group New Kids on the Block in litigation involving allegations that the advisor helped one business partner gain a $25 million financial windfall at the expense of the other partner. Obtained defense verdict after a four-week trial.
  • Won appellate decision affirming dismissal of fraud claim against accountant on the grounds of an arbitration award. The decision was one of first impression and granted JNOV on the grounds that plaintiff did not prove constructive privity in a compilation engagement.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • New York Metro "Super Lawyer" (2007, 2010, 2013)

Memberships

  • Financial Services Institute, Due Diligence Council: Member
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Westchester and Southern Connecticut Chapter
    • Litigation and Insurance Committee: Co-Chairperson

Community

  • Sacred Heart University, Jack Welch College of Business, Board of Visitors: Member
  • Congregation B’nai Torah: Vice President of Administration & Finance
  • Town of Easton, CT, Board of Finance: Chairman

Prior Positions

  • Sacred Heart University, Jack Welch College of Business: Adjunct Professor (2016 to 2020)
  • Public Financial Services Company: General Counsel (2017 to Present)
  • Private Financial Services Company: Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel (2014 to 2017)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
  • Connecticut
  • New York

Education

  • J.D., Quinnipiac University School of Law, 1990, cum laude; Quinnipiac Law Review, Associate Editor
  • B.S.B.A., Sacred Heart University, 1987, with distinction; Parliamentary Debate Society, Captain