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Abensohn, Adam M.

Adam M. Abensohn

Partner

adamabensohn@quinnemanuel.com
Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7229
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

Adam Abensohn is an accomplished trial lawyer, and was named AmLaw’s “Litigator of the Week” after prevailing at trial against Citibank, which sought unsuccessfully to recoup more than $500 million it had mistakenly transferred in connection with a syndicated term loan.  Mr. Abensohn has also successfully litigated high stakes claims against the major Wall Street Banks in connection with the 2008 financial crisis, and has successfully defended a major cosmetics manufacturer in multiple suits alleging asbestos contamination in talcum powder.  In addition to having litigated a wide range of commercial matters, including cases involving complex financial instruments and product liability defense, Mr. Abensohn has handled numerous white collar criminal matters and appeals. 

Before joining the firm in 2008, Mr. Abensohn was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York, where he served as lead trial counsel in prosecutions involving charges ranging from insurance and bank fraud to narcotics and gun trafficking, and appeared several times before the Second Circuit.  Mr. Abensohn also served twice as a law clerk to the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor, in the Southern District of New York and in the Second Circuit.  In addition, Mr. Abensohn was an Adjunct Professor for several years at Fordham Law School, and has been a panelist and speaker on a range of topics, including trial practice and large-scale litigation related to the residential mortgage-backed securities crisis. 

  • Brigade Capital
  • Symphony Asset Management
  • HPS Investment Partners
  • JBS, S.A.
  • H.I.G. Capital
  • Brookfield
  • Mubadala Investment Co.
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
  • Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp.
  • Washington Mutual, Inc.
  • Nuance Communications, Inc.
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • MBIA Insurance Corp.
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company
  • Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
  • Trial counsel for ten fund managers, including Brigade, H.P.S. and Symphony, against Citibank, which was seeking to recoup more than $500 million it had mistakenly transferred in connection with a 2016 Revlon Term Loan.  Following a one week bench trial in the Southern District of New York, at which Mr. Abensohn delivered the closing argument, the Court issued a 100-page decision ruling in favor of Quinn Emanuel’s clients, holding that they were under no obligation to return the disputed funds.  Mr. Abensohn and his Quinn Emanuel trial partners were named AmLaw “Litigators of the Week,” and the verdict was reported as a “huge win” by the major news outlets (e.g., Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, etc.).
  • Counsel for Colgate-Palmolive in multiple actions, throughout the United States, successfully defending claims by plaintiffs alleging serious illness from the use of cosmetic talcum powder.  Mr. Abensohn served as counsel for Colgate at trial in Los Angeles, where he secured a complete defense verdict, and argued successfully to uphold that verdict before the Court of Appeals.  Mr. Abensohn has also argued successfully for summary judgment in similar actions in multiple jurisdictions, including in Maryland and Wisconsin. 
  • Counsel to JBS, S.A. and several of its individual directors in derivative litigation, in Delaware Chancery Court, brought by the minority shareholders of Pilgrim’s Pride, claiming breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the company’s 2017 acquisition of Moy Park, a JBS subsidiary.  Successfully negotiated dismissal of multiple individual defendants, and subsequently achieved settlements for JBS and the remaining director defendants.
  • Counsel to H.I.G. in derivative litigation, in Delaware Chancery Court, in an action brought by minority shareholders in Surgery Partners, an operator of outpatient surgical facilities, claiming breach of fiduciary duty in connection with H.I.G.’s sale of its controlling stake in the company to Bain.
  • Counsel for Mubadala Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi-owned investment company, in a civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and other defendants brought by IPIC and Abar, two affiliated entities, in connection with the 1MDB controversy.
  • Counsel for FHFA in its landmark mortgage-backed securities litigation against multiple financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and UBS, brought in its capacity as conservator to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  FHFA secured an $800 million verdict in a bench trial against Nomura and RBS, which was affirmed by the Second Circuit on appeal, and settled numerous additional actions on highly favorable terms. 
  • Represented prominent Turkish businessman in high-profile criminal prosecution in the Southern District of New York alleging violations of Iran sanctions.
  • Represented Assured Guaranty in multiple actions asserting claims arising out of misrepresentations in the sale and marketing of mortgage-backed securities.
  • Represented Raj Rajaratnam, founder of hedge fund the Galleon Group, in seeking relief from insider trading convictions and an eleven-year sentence which stands as the highest sentence ever imposed in the Southern District of New York for insider trading.
  • Represented New York based asset manager in fee dispute with foreign investor concerning substantial commercial real estate portfolio in the United States secured settlement on favorable terms.
  • Represented MBIA in action based on fraud and breaches of contract by Merrill Lynch in connection with $5.7 billion of credit default swaps (and related insurance policies) written against Merrill Lynch-arranged CDOs.
  • Represented Coca-Cola in successful defense of action involving claims of vicarious corporate liability based on supposed human rights violations by foreign bottling companies.
  • Represented Charles Schwab & Co. in action by the New York Attorney General purporting to assert fraud claims arising out of sale of Auction Rate Securities prior to market collapse.
  • Represented Washington Mutual, Inc. in its multi-billion dollar lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase concerning the forced sale of WaMu, which involves allegations of billions of dollars in alleged preferences and fraudulent transfers.
  • Represented leading New York real estate developer in connection with $ 188 million loan, financed by several national banks, for construction of large corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.
  • Obtained favorable plea on behalf of client charged in the Southern District of New York with marketing and selling illegal tax shelters on behalf of wealthy clients of national accounting firm.
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of leading technology firm in arbitration involving alleged breach of a merger agreement.
  • Obtained post-trial acquittal of two lead counts of conviction in high-profile tax prosecution involving alleged failure by client to make necessary disclosures in variety of IRS forms.
  • Represented multiple witnesses in prosecution of New York State Senator Joseph Bruno on charges of public corruption and theft of honest services.
  • Georgetown University Law Center
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 1994)
    • American Criminal Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
    • Student Commencement Speaker
  • University of Michigan
  • (B.A., high distinction, 1991)
    • James B. Angell Scholar
  • The State Bar of New York
  • United States District Court:
    • Southern District of New York
    • Eastern District of New York
  • Assistant United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office:
    • Eastern District of New York, 2003-2008
  • Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr, New York:
    • Associate/Counsel, 2000-2003
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1998-1999
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1996-1997
  • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Washington D.C.:
    • Associate, 1994-1996; 1997-1998
  • Fordham University: Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, 2006-2011