Kenneth E. Lee is recognized as one of the nation’s most highly respected lawyers for bet-the-company disputes, complex business litigation, securities litigation, corporate governance disputes, and complex internal investigations. Lawdragon has recognized Mr. Lee on its list of the “2024 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America” and “2024 500 Leading Litigators in America.” The 2023 Chambers USA Guide similarly ranked Mr. Lee individually as among the nation’s top practitioners in Securities Litigation, and the 2024 edition of Benchmark Litigation recognizes him as a “Litigation Star.” Significantly, under his leadership, Levine Lee became the only boutique in the United States to be ranked by the 2023 Chambers USA Guide as one of the nation’s top law firms in Securities Litigation, and was ranked in the 2024 edition of Benchmark Litigation’s highest category for Dispute Resolution—one of the few boutiques to achieve that top designation. As Chambers writes, Mr. Lee is “regularly retained by public company clients on significant securities” matters, has “an encyclopedic knowledge of legal matters,” and “spearheads strategic decision making” for his clients in “delicate” and “sensitive” situations.
Mr. Lee is frequently called on to handle the most sensitive matters for major clients throughout the world. Recently, Mr. Lee has served as lead counsel for the Demand Review Committee of the Board of Apollo Global Management in an investigation of shareholder claims; the Compensation Committee of the Board of Apollo with respect to corporate governance and compensation issues; the Special Litigation Committee of the Board of Xerox in a shareholder derivative action involving allegations of insider trading by Carl Icahn, at the time Xerox’s largest shareholder; a Director of Bumble, in a derivative litigation involving Blackstone’s sale of $1 billion in Bumble stock; Stability AI, a leading artificial intelligence company and one of the fastest startup companies to reach $1 billion in valuation, in corporate governance and litigation matters; and an individual in a dispute involving one of the largest privately held art collections in the country.
Given his effectiveness, Mr. Lee is repeatedly retained by the same clients to handle the major disputes they face. In recent years, he has served as primary outside counsel to leading Indian media company, Eros Media World plc, and its largest shareholder, Kishore Lulla, across a variety of subject matter disputes, including the defense of a $400 million securities class action; defense of a $100 million Video Privacy Protection Act class action; an SEC investigation; a lawsuit against short-selling firms; and a corporate control dispute, which resulted in a corporate spinoff.
Throughout his prominent representations, Mr. Lee has achieved significant victories for his clients under the most challenging circumstances. Mr. Lee represented the Lehman Brothers Inc. Bankruptcy Trustee in a $40 billion dispute with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and negotiated a settlement which was deemed by the Bankruptcy Court to be “a comprehensive consensual resolution of one of the most complex matters ever to be resolved in history.” In 2022, Mr. Lee represented a major media company in successfully opposing an ex-parte Temporary Restraining Order and fending off a hostile takeover attempt. And, previously, having been engaged as appellate counsel by a New York real estate developer to appeal one of the largest sanctions awards ever issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, following his oral argument, he obtained a reversal and vacatur by unanimous decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In prior years, Mr. Lee represented the Lehman Trustee in a $6 billion case against Barclays, an $83 million case against Deutsche Bank, and a $98 million case against Wells Fargo; the Bankruptcy Trustee for MF Global in a $20 million case against an affiliate of Koch Industries; and Expedia Group, Sterling Bancorp, and Lazard in significant litigation matters.
Mr. Lee began his career at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP after graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, where he received the Thomas Mulroy prize for oral advocacy and the Tony Patiño Fellowship, and Harvard College.
Mr. Lee serves on Majority Leader Schumer’s Judicial Screening Panel. He is a member of the Federal Bar Council and the Asian American Bar Association of New York, and has served on a number of non-profit boards.