Commercial Litigation

Kaplan Hecker & Fink lawyers are highly experienced commercial litigators with wide-ranging backgrounds that include litigating various commercial disputes on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants, in court, and in mediation and arbitration proceedings. Our practice includes contract disputes, partnership disputes, bankruptcy litigation, class actions, securities litigation, consumer protection cases, and much more. We represent a range of clients across diverse industries, from large financial institutions and ratings agencies, to Fortune 500 companies, tech companies and startups, and nationally prominent individuals – among numerous other categories. In 2023, Chambers ranked Kaplan Hecker as one of New York’s highly regarded firms in General Commercial Litigation. Partner Robbie Kaplan is described as being “aggressive when you need her to be and a very realistic litigator,” ranking her in Band 1 among New York’s top general commercial litigators. Partner Gabrielle Tenzer is likewise praised for “her ability to handle a wide array of commercial litigation matters and acts for a diverse client base, including those from the healthcare, finance and telecoms sectors.”

We have tried cases to verdict and defended those verdicts on appeal, and we have also delivered victories for our clients at the earliest stages of litigation. Our approach—formulating the strategy to win, and proceeding in the most efficient way possible—also results in favorable, early settlements for our clients.

Other representative commercial litigation matters include:

  • Representing Airbnb in a lawsuit against the City of New York over an ordinance that would have required the home-sharing platform to turn over massive amounts of private information about its “hosts” on a monthly basis. In January 2019, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer granted a preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect, agreeing with lawyers from Kaplan Hecker that the ordinance was incompatible with the protection against illegal search and seizure enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.  The case has been described as attracting “intense interest” at a national level, given the implications of the ruling on regulatory approaches to similar “sharing economy” services across the country. In June 2020, Kaplan Hecker reached a favorable settlement on behalf of Airbnb, resolving the case.
  • Representing a large hotel developer in a high-profile business dispute, including in multi-jurisdictional arbitration and court proceedings.
  • Representing Airbnb in obtaining the dismissal of a putative class action in federal court, relating to claims that Airbnb allegedly meets the technical definition of a real estate broker. As pre-trial lead counsel, our lawyers successfully argued that the plaintiff could not demonstrate any harm it allegedly suffered on account of Airbnb’s lack of a broker’s license, leading to the suit’s dismissal. In June 2020, the First Department unanimously ruled in favor of our client, upholding the lower court’s ruling.
  • Representing Uber in connection with cease-and-desist demands related to its offering of e-bikes and other new mobility products.
  • Negotiating a complex settlement to several contract disputes relating to the management of a prominent art estate.
  • Representing T-Mobile in an arbitration concerning an indemnification agreement with a former services provider.
  • Defending a prominent government contractor against a series of False Claims Act claims where the Government declined to intervene in the case.
  • Providing litigation advice to Pfizer Inc., in connection with mass product liability litigation.
  • Representing a large technology company with respect to potential challenges to new regulations impacting their product offerings in major American cities.
  • Securing dismissals of several lawsuits against Columbia University, which alleged that the university had not fulfilled its obligations under Title IX or the New York State or New York City Human Rights Laws.
  • Representing Fitch Ratings in a complaint regarding fraudulent and negligent practices in connection with the rating of certain CDOs.

Prior to launching Kaplan Hecker, some of our lawyers’ representative commercial litigation matters included:

  • Representing Bristol-Myers Squibb in defending against a $3.4 billion contract and tort claim by generic drug manufacturer Apotex, winning a unanimous jury verdict of no liability.
  • Representing the California Public Utilities Commission in litigation relating to the bankruptcy of public utility PG&E.
  • Representing Airbnb in putative class actions in the Southern District of New York.
  • Representing J.P. Morgan Chase in a multi-billion-dollar lender liability proceeding arising out of the bankruptcy of a mortgage originator.
  • Representing a Fortune 500 company in major private civil antitrust litigation, in which the company prevailed on a motion for judgment as a matter of law post-trial.
  • Representing a Fortune 500 company in a complex cross-border tax dispute with a former parent company, which resulted in summary judgment entirely in the client’s favor.

Lawyers who specialize in this Practice Area