Firm co-founder Mark Cohen is the managing partner of C&G’s New York office, and head of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration and White Collar Defense & Regulation groups. Mark’s litigation practice includes complex commercial disputes, real estate litigation, securities litigation, employment litigation, and antitrust litigation. He also represents companies, corporate boards, board committees, and individual clients in white collar criminal cases, federal and state regulatory proceedings, and corporate internal investigations.
Mark is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He maintains an active trial practice of both civil and criminal cases and has tried approximately 25 cases to verdict. He led C&G teams to two of the most significant victories in highly contested cases of the past five years. In one case, C&G achieved a complete victory against the SEC following a two week jury trial in the representation of a former hedge fund analyst in an insider trading case. Mark was subsequently selected as a Litigator of the Week by AmLaw Litigation Daily. Mark also led a C&G team to a landmark victory in a high-profile FCPA case on behalf of a former investment analyst with one of the world’s largest publicly traded hedge funds, which resulted in C&G’s nomination for Global Investigation Review’s Most Important Court Case of the Year award in 2018.
Since 2011, he has served as the court-appointed monitor for the largest fire department in the country. The monitorship involves implementing the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York’s remedial order following a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination.
Prior to co-founding Cohen & Gresser, Mark served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and formerly practiced with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a Note Editor of the Law Review.
Mark has been ranked by the Chambers USA guide as a Leading Individual in the white collar crime and government investigations category each year since 2013 and has been recognized in its securities litigation category since 2016. Chambers USA also nominated Mark for its White Collar Crime & Government Investigations individual award in 2016. He is recognized in Legal 500’s U.S. guide in the categories of corporate investigations and white collar criminal defense, securities litigation, and general commercial disputes. He is regularly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America for white collar criminal defense, and is a former member of Law360’s editorial advisory board for its white collar coverage. He has also been named a Local Litigation Star in each edition of Benchmark Litigation since 2012. He has been included as one of New York’s Super Lawyers for business litigation each year since 2008 and selected by Super Lawyers each year since 2014 as one of the top 100 lawyers in the New York metropolitan area.
For the past three years, he has been a visiting lecturer at the Sorbonne in Paris, teaching a course to French law students on U.S. white collar criminal law.
Firm co-founder Mark Cohen is the managing partner of C&G’s New York office, and head of the firm’s Litigation & Arbitration and White Collar…
University of Michigan Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1987); Cornell University (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 1984)
New York State; U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Activities and Affiliations
Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
Board of Trustees, Federal Bar Council
Visiting Lecturer, Sorbonne University (Paris)
Member, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Compliance and Legal Division)
Member, American Bar Association (Section on Litigation)
Former Member, Law360 Editorial Advisory Board (for White Collar Coverage)
Former Co-Chair, Securities Subcommittee of the Committee on Commercial and Business Litigation, American Bar Association
Board of Trustees, Supreme Court Historical Society
Member, New York City Bar Association
Board of Directors, New York Council of Defense Lawyers, 2008-2011
Member, UJA-Federation of New York (Lawyers Division, Criminal Law Group)
Appointed Court Monitor by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in United States of America and The Vulcan Society v. The City of New York. Duties and responsibilities include oversight of the recruiting, testing, hiring, training, and promotions of minority firefighters in the Fire Department of New York.
Representation of a major U.S. broker-dealer in connection with a series of FINRA arbitration proceedings arising out of the sale of auction rate securities and the subsequent collapse of the auction rate securities market. The first two completed arbitrations, which in aggregate sought damages in excess of $90 million, have resulted in outright victories for the client.
Successfully represented renewable energy company in obtaining declaratory judgment in contract dispute with shareholders and former executive that was affirmed on appeal.
Represented a major Texas-based hedge fund in connection with a complex civil litigation brought in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court relating to the client’s participation in a $400 million lending syndicate under a credit facility and the borrower’s (a major television station owner) alleged violation of various financial covenants in the operative credit agreement.Read More
White Collar Defense
Representation of former Wynnefield Capital hedge fund analyst Peter Black in SEC v. Obus, an insider trading case brought by the SEC in the Southern District of New York, in which the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict after a two-week trial.
Represented a senior corporate executive in connection with a Department of Justice investigation of alleged price-fixing in the market for TFT-LCD display panels.
Represented a former senior trader in connection with a Department of Justice investigation of alleged bid-rigging in the market for municipal bonds and related derivative securities.
Represented the President of a Dallas-based natural gas trading firm in connection with a joint investigation by the CFTC and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office alleging impropriety in natural gas futures trading.
Representation of a manufacturer of natural hand sanitizer and surface disinfectant products in connection with an investigation by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office related to sales practices and advertising claims.
Representation of senior executive of Fortune 500 distribution company in connection with civil and criminal investigations into accounting issues, including revenue recognition issues.
Representation of senior executive of Fortune 500 reinsurance company in connection with various civil and criminal investigations.Read More
Trials and Appeals
Mr. Cohen maintains an active trial practice of both civil and criminal cases and has tried approximately 25 cases to verdict. He has appeared numerous times before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Legal 500 has once again recognized Cohen & Gresser in its United States guide. The firm is recognized for its excellence in the following categories:
- Corporate Investigations/White Collar
- Corporate Investigations/White Collar – Advice to Individuals
- General Commercial Disputes
- Securities Litigation Defense
Legal 500 notes that C&G has “impressive cross border capabilities and is often retained by clients in multijurisdictional disputes” and that our disputes team members are “true litigators, focused, and thoughtful - no stone is left unturned.”
Chambers has again recognized C&G for its excellence in General Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, and White Collar Crime & Government Investigations. Chambers notes C&G’s “strong commitment to client service” and “top-quality advice,” labeling the firm as “outstanding.”
Chambers also recognized the following individuals: Jonathan S Abernethy for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations; Karen H Bromberg for Intellectual Property: Patent; and Mark S Cohen for General Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, and White Collar Crime & Government Investigations.
For the seventh consecutive year, Cohen & Gresser has been ranked as a recommended New York law firm by Benchmark Litigation. In addition to the firm’s ranking, Mark S Cohen, Lawrence T Gresser, and Daniel H Tabak were all individually recognized in the publication’s 2019 guide.
A Cohen & Gresser litigation team led by Mark S Cohen and Jonathan S Abernethy recently won a major victory in a high profile Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) case on behalf of client, Vanja Baros, a former investment analyst with hedge fund Och-Ziff (one of the world’s largest publicly traded hedge funds). In July, a federal court in New York dismissed the SEC’s entire complaint against Baros and his co-defendant, and the SEC recently declined to appeal the court’s decision, which is therefore final.
Global Investigations Review (GIR) has nominated Cohen & Gresser for its Most Important Court Case of the Year award for C&G’s major victory in a high profile FCPA case on behalf of a former investment analyst with international hedge fund Och-Ziff. A federal court in New York dismissed the SEC’s entire complaint against our client and his co-defendant, and the SEC declined to appeal. Mark S Cohen and Jonathan S Abernethy led the C&G team, which also included S Gale Dick, Colin C Bridge, and Reggie B Schafer.
Mark S Cohen and Thomas E Bezanson were recognized in Best Lawyers in America's 2019 New York listings – Mark for Criminal Defense – White Collar and Tom for Commercial Litigation and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants. This is the sixth year in a row Mark has been recognized by Best Lawyers, a publication that completes a rigorous survey process, compiling confidential evaluations from top attorneys in their fields.
Legal 500 has once again recognized Cohen & Gresser in its United States guide. The firm is recognized for its achievements in the following categories:
- Corporate Investigations/White Collar – Advice to Corporates
- Corporate Investigations/White Collar – Advice to Individuals
- General Commercial Disputes
- Securities Litigation Defense
Legal 500 notes that C&G has “an excellent group of sophisticated lawyers” and "has the ability to explain complex structures in plain English.” Nine C&G partners were individually recognized in the guide.
Chambers has recognized Cohen & Gresser in its 2018 USA guide. The firm is recognized for its excellence in General Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, and White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.
Chambers notes that C&G is "a very high-quality firm" with "very smart, very capable people who are very dedicated to their clients," and that C&G attorneys "have great judgment and are excellent lawyers."
Chambers also recognized the following individuals:
Jonathan S Abernethy for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Karen H Bromberg for Intellectual Property: Patent, and Mark S Cohen for Securities Litigation and for White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations.
Cohen & Gresser co-founding partner Mark S Cohen recently became a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America that accepts only one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province.
"We are delighted and honored that Mark has received this well-deserved recognition," said C&G Managing Partner Lawrence T Gresser.
For the sixth consecutive year, Cohen & Gresser has been ranked as a recommended New York law firm by Benchmark Litigation. In addition to the firm’s ranking, partners Mark S Cohen, Lawrence T Gresser, and Daniel H Tabak were all individually recognized in the publication’s 2018 guide.
Chambers USA and Legal 500's United States guides have recognized Cohen & Gresser and a number of the firm's lawyers for outstanding achievements during the past year in the categories of Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, Patents, and Corporate Investigations and White Collar Defense.
For the fifth consecutive year, Cohen & Gresser has been ranked as a recommended New York law firm by Benchmark Litigation. In addition to the firm’s ranking, partners Mark S Cohen, Lawrence T Gresser, and Karen H Bromberg were all individually recognized in the publication’s 2017 guide. Benchmark Litigation is the only publication that focuses exclusively on U.S. litigation.
Each year, Best Lawyers completes a rigorous survey process, compiling confidential evaluations from top attorneys in their fields. For the fourth year in a row, Cohen & Gresser partner Mark S Cohen is recognized in New York’s Criminal Defense: White Collar category. Tom Bezanson was also recognized in New York’s Commercial Litigation category for 2017.
Law360's coverage of Cohen & Gresser's newest partner, Steve Sinaiko.
Cohen & Gresser has been ranked as a Recommended New York law firm in the 2016 edition of Benchmark Litigation. In addition to the firm’s ranking, partners Mark S Cohen, Lawrence T Gresser, and Karen H Bromberg were all individually recognized by the publication. Benchmark Litigation is a leading guide to top litigation firms and attorneys in the United States that exclusively covers the litigation and disputes market. Its editors examine recent casework handled by law firms and conduct extensive interviews with litigators and their clients to identify leading firms and litigators.
Each year, Best Lawyers completes a rigorous survey process, compiling confidential evaluations from top attorneys in their fields. For the third year in a row, Cohen & Gresser partner Mark S Cohen is recognized in New York’s Criminal Defense: White Collar category.
The Legal 500 United States ranked Cohen & Gresser for its achievements in securities litigation in its recently released 2015 guide. The guide notes Cohen & Gresser’s “extraordinary team of attorneys, who present cases in the best and most efficient manner practicable.” Partners Mark S. Cohen, Lawrence T Gresser, S Gale Dick, C Evan Stewart, and Daniel H Tabak were also noted as “impressive” attorneys in this field. The Legal 500 offers nationwide rankings by reviewing the strengths and strategies of law firms across the country. Founded in 1987, Legalease, publisher of the Legal 500 directories, is a leader in the provision of legal market information, offering authoritative and in-depth analysis and commentary across a broad portfolio of publications, spanning directories, magazines, journals, textbooks, and online. The Legal 500 U.S. 2015 Guide offers nationwide rankings by reviewing the strengths and strategies of law firms across the country.
- Mark S Cohen, Partner: White Collar Advisory Board
- Robert J Gavigan, Partner: Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory Board
- Bonnie J Roe, Partner: Private Equity Advisory Board
- Daniel H Tabak, Partner: Legal Ethics Advisory Board
- Christopher M P Jackson, Counsel: Life Sciences Advisory Board
Cohen & Gresser has been ranked as a "Recommended" New York law firm in the 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation. In addition to the firm’s ranking, partners Mark S Cohen, Lawrence T Gresser, C Evan Stewart, and Karen H Bromberg were all individually recognized by the publication. Benchmark Litigation is a leading guide to top litigation firms and attorneys in the United States and bases its rankings on extensive face-to-face interviews around the country over a six-month period with the nation's leading private practice attorneys and in-house counsel.
Each year, Best Lawyers completes a rigorous survey process, compiling confidential evaluations from top attorneys in their fields. For the second year in a row, Cohen & Gresser partner Mark S Cohen is recognized in New York’s Criminal Defense: White Collar category.
The Legal 500 United States ranked Cohen & Gresser for its achievements in securities litigation in its recently released 2014 guide. Legal 500 noted that the firm is "young and nimble," naming Mark S Cohen as the leader of a team of "experienced lawyers who work at a more palatable price than competing firms." Lawrence T Gresser and Daniel H Tabak are also recommended in light of their successful dismissal of a short swing profits case for Goldman Sachs, and C Evan Stewart was highlighted in the report as an "incredible trial lawyer with big case experience."
A recent ruling in favor of Cohen & Gresser client Peter Black marked the end of one of the longest SEC's trials in history. AmLaw's Litigation Daily recognized this victory by naming Mark S Cohen as a "Litigator of the Week".
On Friday, May 30, 2014, a Cohen & Gresser trial team led by Mark S Cohen and Jonathan S Abernethy won a major trial victory on behalf of its client, Wynnefield Capital Inc. analyst Peter Black, in an insider trading case brought by the SEC.
Chambers USA ranked Cohen & Gresser's White Collar Defense group and listed its Securities Litigation group as a Recognized Practice. In its analysis, Chambers USA commented that the firm is "[n]oted for its litigation capabilities across the full spectrum of industry sectors" and has a "[r]espected white-collar crime and government investigations practice."
Mark S. Cohen is ranked in the White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations category, has been described as being an "effective advocate and very effective at counseling a client through a very difficult investigative process." Jonathan S Abernethy, also ranked in the White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations category, received praise for his "excellent knowledge of the law."
Cohen & Gresser is defending an individual accused of participating in an insider trading scam in a long-standing case brought by the SEC. Law360 covered the beginning of the trial and Partner Mark S. Cohen’s opening statement.
Partners Mark S Cohen and Robert J Gavigan have been selected as members of Law360’s 2014 editorial advisory boards. Each year, Law360 selects a small group of practitioners from across the country in each of its practice area and industry groups to aid in shaping the publication’s editorial content for the following year. Mr. Cohen was named to both the Banking and the White Collar editorial advisory boards, and Mr. Gavigan was selected for the Mergers & Acquisitions editorial advisory board.
Mark Cohen spoke to Compliance Week for its article “Ralph Lauren vs. Total: A Tale of Two FCPA Violators,” which highlighted the very different outcomes for clothing retailer Ralph Lauren Corp. and French oil and gas company Total S.A. for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Cohen remarks, “The size of the bribes and how many years they've been paid out speak to the government's view of the company's conduct.” He added, “A larger bribe paid out over many years is going to be a more negative factor for a company than a one-time incident.”
Mark S Cohen has been appointed by Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York to act as a special bias monitor to oversee the hiring of minorities in the Fire Department of New York.
Mark S Cohen explores the international regulatory landscape in an article titled, "Managing the Risks of Cross-Border Investigations for Israeli Businesses," published in the Israel Desks Guide from Nishlis Legal Marketing.
This article addresses one aspect of the United States’ multi-faceted campaign to recover income taxes and penalties on undisclosed offshore accounts – the U.S. Department of Justice’sinvestigation and criminal prosecution of foreign banks that are alleged to have opened and maintained accounts for U.S. taxpayers. The Department of Justice has argued that by enabling U.S taxpayers to open and maintain accounts that the taxpayers did not report to the Internal Revenue Service, the banks participated in efforts to defraud the United States of taxes owed on the accounts. The authors examine in particular the impact of the Department of Justice’s Program for Swiss Banks, a voluntary disclosure program negotiated with the Swiss government in which about 100 Swiss banks registered to participate, the extraordinary information being collected, and assess other countries that may become the next focus of investigation.
Recent developments in insider trading cases have shown the limitations on prosecutions and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions, particulalry those involving chains of tippers and tippees charged with receiving and trading on material, non-public information. This article addresses how recent trial and appellate outcomes highlight limitations for insider trading cases and will suggest some resulting practice implications.
Published by Bloomberg BNA, the treatise covers all aspects of the FINRA arbitration process, including prehearing matters, motion practice, hearings, and awards, and also provides a detailed guide to FINRA investigations and enforcement actions.
The SEC has recently signaled a renewed focus on the investigation and prosecution of accounting fraud with the creation of a Financial Reporting and Audit Task Force. The Task Force will use sophisticated computer algorithms to mine financial filings looking for potential irregularities. The SEC is expected to take a close look at companies particularly in the technology sector, and at revenue recognition. The article examines recent public statements and SEC enforcement actions that help provide clues to the SEC’s renewed focus in this area.
South Korea’s equivalent to the FCPA is the Foreign Bribery Prevention Act or FBPA for short. Although passed more than 15 years ago, it was rarely used—until now. Recent activity under the act is an encouraging sign that Korea may be stepping up its enforcement activity.
A discussion on per se liability and how it relates to the allegations of price fixing recently made against Apple.
How the U.S. Sherman Act has been used to prosecute international cartels in cases of price-fixing abroad.
While press coverage treated the government approval of this merger as a fait accompli, this article will explore the potential for parties involved to face exacting antitrust scrutiny.
The FTC has proposed to formalize the process of withdrawing a merger notification and refiling it. This article discusses the requirements of SEC’s proposed new rule, § 803.12(c) governing this process.
Last year saw a sharp increase in investigations targeting the illicit flows of funds through financial institutions. In three prominent enforcement actions in 2012—against ING, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC—prosecutors and regulators extracted massive fines for conduct ranging from intentional concealment of illicit transactions to ineffective monitoring.
The Guide addresses several key issues arising from the FCPA on which multinationals have long sought guidance, including (i) the elements of an effective anti-corruption compliance program; (ii) gifts and entertainment expenses; (iii) facilitating payments; (iv) the FCPA's broad definition of "foreign official"; (v) successor liability when a company merges with or acquires another company that has committed acts of bribery; and (vi) FCPA jurisdiction over foreign companies that do not trade on U.S. exchanges.
Examining how FCPA whistleblowers have been incentivized and the impacts this rewards structure may have on ‘business as usual’.
The implications of the Galleon ruling in terms of white collar defense - specifically the growing use of wiretapping during insider trading investigations.
A helpful guide for hedge funds to remain compliant and mitigate risk of investigation, specifically under the heavy hand of recent regulatory legislation.
A helpful guide for hedge funds to remain compliant and mitigate risk of investigation, specifically under the heavy hand of recent regulatory legislation.
This article seeks to manage the expectations of senior executives, companies, and their counsel in light of the recent wave of lawsuits and criminal investigations of the officers and directors of failed banks as well as those who did business with them.
Steps counsel can take to help their client avoid or at least minimize the impact of a DOJ antitrust prosecution.
When it comes to preparing for a successful deposition, substance is equally important as procedure and it is important for young lawyers to not get so caught up in the procedural planning they neglect the substantive planning. This article offers four touchstones to help guide young lawyers successfully through the planning and execution of their first deposition.
This article presents four touchstones for young lawyers to leverage when preparing for their first deposition, focusing on matters of substance over procedure.
Mark S Cohen participated in a CLE panel titled “Ethical Issues in Jury Trials” at PLI’s annual Trial by Jury. The panel discussed issues including avoiding ethical pitfalls and making ethical decisions, preparing a witness without coaching, dealing with a witness whose story changes or conflicts with other evidence, and issues involved with using jury consultants and investigating jurors.
Mark S Cohen and Muriel Goldberg-Darmon served as guest lecturers at the Université Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne for the 2017 fall semester. They taught a course titled “U.S. White Collar Criminal Law” to students in the Master 2 (JD equivalent) program. The course covered the fundamental principles of U.S. criminal law and a review of the key participants in white collar criminal practice. The course also covered substantive white collar issues, such as FCPA, banking, and finance-related issues. Jonathan S Abernethy and Christian R Everdell served as visiting lecturers. Reggie B Schafer served as the course’s teaching assistant.
A presentation discussing how the legal market landscape was impacted by the financial crisis and how it has changed since and strategies to succeed nowadays.
Since 1994, Office of the Appellate Defender has hosted First Monday in October. This annual fundraising event features a mock U.S. Supreme Court argument, followed by an awards ceremony at which the Milton S. Gould Award for Outstanding Advocacy is presented to two of the most highly regarded advocates in the nation. This year, C&G partner Mark S Cohen will be one of nine justices on the panel.
This panel will discuss recent trends in compliance and enforcement, including 10b5-1 plans, hedging and pledging, and case law developments.
The panel will address best practices for corporate counsel assisting boards of directors in fulfilling their corporate governance responsibilities, including the various ethical issues that may arise in evaluating an acquisition, conducting an internal investigation or other situations.
Drawing prominent commercial litigators, this panel addresses ethical issues including new developments in confidentiality, the attorney-client privilege, and the attorney work-product doctrine. Additional topics cover conflicts, e-discovery, no-contact rules, and whistle-blower remedies.
This program offers practical advice to guide attorneys through every facet of the deposition process, providing the fundamental skills for taking and defending depositions.
Topics covered included new developments in confidentiality, the attorney-client privilege, the attorney work-product doctrine (including disclosure obligations to third parties, the status of government pressure to waive, congressional legislation, selective waiver, and inadvertent waiver), lawyer's exposure to civil liability, whistle-blower remedies for lawyers, and more.
Topics covered included recent trends in criminal enforcement as illustrated by the A U Optronics trial; the structure of antitrust enforcement in the United States, and recent civil trials of interest.
This InsideCounsel panel explored recent trends in developing and implementing anti-corruption compliance programs for international operations from an in-house counsel and regulatory perspective. The panel focused on the impact of the new Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other recent global developments related to anti-corruption upon the development and implementation of global anti-corruption compliance programs.
This CLE program explored the litigation implications of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The panel was moderated by The Honorable Paul G. Gardephe.
- Litigation & Arbitration
- White Collar Defense & Regulation