Michael S. Gordon

Partner

New York
T +1.212.589.4265
F +1.212.589.4201

Overview

Michael Gordon is known for his insightful analysis and deft advocacy in complex commercial litigations in state and federal courts, as well as in arbitration and mediation proceedings, throughout the United States. He regularly serves as advisor, strategist and advocate for a diverse group of clients that span a wide range of industries, including real estate, financial services, media and entertainment, as well as nonprofit charitable organizations. During his career, Michael has handled virtually every type of business dispute, including those involving commercial contracts, business torts, civil RICO claims, employment discrimination, the entertainment industry (theater and publishing), fiduciary litigation, intellectual property (including trademark infringement and unfair competition), limited liability company, corporate and partnership disputes, insurance and reinsurance litigation, noncompete and trade secret disputes, and shareholder derivative disputes. He has a substantial background representing commercial and residential real estate developers, real estate funds, and management and hospitality companies in large, complex real estate litigations involving properties valued up to $1 billion.

Since 2011, Michael has served on the Mediation Panel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, using his noteworthy skills as a neutral to shepherd numerous employment discrimination and Section 1983 cases to resolution. Michael’s broad-based experience as an advocate and a neutral give him a unique perspective in counseling his clients on when to commence or continue litigation, when to avoid it and when to steer pending disputes toward settlement or alternative dispute resolution.

Select Experience

Real Estate Litigation
  • Regularly represents lenders and borrowers in real estate financing litigations involving alleged defaults or breaches of term sheets, purchase and sale agreements, building and construction loan agreements, mortgage agreements, guarantees, pledge and security agreements, and loan subordination agreements.
  • Represents numerous domestic and international real estate investors in disputes regarding the value of their membership or partnership interests in connection with the sale of properties indirectly owned through these interests.
Domestic and International Commercial Litigation
  • Represented officers and directors of New York and Hong Kong-based group of companies in federal court, and won dismissal of civil RICO claim and summary judgment dismissing fiduciary claim seeking in excess of tens of millions in damages asserted by the Singapore-based assignee of Hong Kong liquidators.
  • Represented reinsurance company, its directors and affiliates in numerous arbitrations and in a dispute with a breaching counterparty, recouping the reinsurer's attorney's fees for the unconsummated transaction, as well as lost opportunity damages.
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Experience

Real Estate Litigation
  • Regularly represents lenders and borrowers in real estate financing litigations involving alleged defaults or breaches of term sheets, purchase and sale agreements, building and construction loan agreements, mortgage agreements, guarantees, pledge and security agreements, and loan subordination agreements.
  • Represents numerous domestic and international real estate investors in disputes regarding the value of their membership or partnership interests in connection with the sale of properties indirectly owned through these interests.
  • Represented owners of the largest federally subsidized housing development in the country in defeating factions of limited partners of the owner, who sought to enjoin the more than $905 million sale of the housing development to new owners.
  • Represented individual member of a prominent New York real estate family in alleging more than 20 direct and derivative claims against another family member who had used his position of dominion over the family real estate business to loot and waste assets, and to exclude the client from millions of dollars in distributions and fees.
  • Represented fiduciary in numerous litigations arising out of a highly contentious trust dispute between siblings in a wealthy real estate family, in which the plaintiff sought $60 million in damages for breach of fiduciary duty and misrepresentation with respect to the sale of her beneficial interests in six residential apartment buildings in Manhattan.
  • Represented individual member of a real estate family with significant holdings in New York and Israel in a protracted litigation involving the valuation of his and his siblings' ownership interests in various real estate LLCs, and then intervened, post-settlement, to mediate the modification of the settlement and ensure defendants' fulfillment of their payment obligations to his client and the other plaintiffs.
  • Represented real estate lender against allegations of breach of contract and tortious misconduct arising out of the lender’s alleged “breach” of a term sheet regarding a proposed $850 million loan.
  • Represented real estate developer/borrower in mortgage loan and completion guaranty dispute with a major real estate lender.
  • Represented one of the largest real estate owners in New York City in connection with insurance coverage action for more than $75 million in business interruption and property damage losses incurred as a result of the events of September 11.
  • Represented leading real estate companies in disputes with foreign hotel operators regarding overseas hotel development.
  • Represented owners and operators of an exclusive Caribbean resort in protracted litigation, defending myriad claims against his clients, including breach of contract, fiduciary breach, fraud and misappropriation of land.
  •  Represented hotel fund in numerous litigations exceeding $100 million in alleged damages incurred in connection with the acquisition and development of various hotel properties.
  • Represented foreign government in connection with default on $11 million bank loan incurred to build a luxury hotel resort.
Domestic and International Commercial Litigation
  • Represented officers and directors of New York and Hong Kong-based group of companies in federal court, and won dismissal of civil RICO claim and summary judgment dismissing fiduciary claim seeking in excess of tens of millions in damages asserted by the Singapore-based assignee of Hong Kong liquidators.
  • Represented reinsurance company, its directors and affiliates in numerous arbitrations and in a dispute with a breaching counterparty, recouping the reinsurer's attorney's fees for the unconsummated transaction, as well as lost opportunity damages.
  • Represented international apparel company and defeated anticompetitive claims asserted by prior employer of new officer regarding alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Represented investment manager of private equity fund joined as a third-party in a matrimonial action and defeated claims that the fund had colluded with one of its members to hide marital assets from the member’s wife.
  • Represents numerous leading Broadway producers, including the internationally renowned producers of a Broadway musical in a dispute over entitlement to co-producer benefits and bonuses.
  • Represented high-net-worth international financier based in Madrid and his overseas investment entities in federal court against allegations that these entities facilitated a $550 million Ponzi scheme, as well as in ancillary Swiss proceedings involving allegations of money laundering.
  • Represented Israeli family and its various international interests in international litigation and facilitated a favorable settlement for his client with a former affiliate, an Eastern Caribbean government and its national bank.
  • Represented a dental software manufacturer in nationwide litigation and arbitration that paved the way for the manufacturer to exercise its contractual right to terminate agreements with local distributors, and to preclude these local distributors from using the manufacturer's proprietary software to provide "technical support" to existing customers.
  • Represented not-for-profit charitable organization and negotiated a favorable Assurance of Discontinuance with the Charities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office following its investigation of the organization’s operations.
  • Represented nonprofit home health care provider in combatting anticompetitive poaching and patient steering activities by a larger home health care provider.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Empire State Counsel®: Pro Bono Honoree (2016)

Memberships

  • The Dramatists Guild Foundation: Board of Directors (2010 to present)
  • Housing Works Inc. Board of Directors (2013 to present)
  • Housing Thrift Shops Inc.
    • Board of Directors (2007 to present)
    • Chair of the Board (2013 to 2016)
  • Marjorie's Fund, Inc.: Board of Directors (2017 to present)
  • Mediation Program of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of New York, Member of Panel of Mediators (2011 to present)
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • New York County Lawyers' Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • New York
  • New Jersey

Education

  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1991
  • B.A., Columbia University, 1988, Phi Beta Kappa