Mark A. Kornfeld, Partner


Mark is a seasoned litigator and highly skilled in dispute resolution with nearly 30 years of success in arbitrations, asset recovery, bankruptcy litigation, complex commercial litigations, equity receiverships, mediation, Ponzi schemes, and regulatory and securities litigation under state and federal securities laws (and FINRA) both domestically and internationally. He is Co-Chair of Quarles & Brady’s Securities Litigation Team and Chair of the Tampa Office Securities Litigation Practice.

He draws from decades of high-stakes experience to provide advice and counsel customized to solving a client’s problems. He approaches all matters as a trusted adviser who appreciates and understands his clients’ businesses. Mark prides himself on being a value-add for his clients by being able to quickly analyze the competing variables on complicated disputes, how they will impact the client, and, by providing multi-dimensional, strategic and practical advice to the client no matter the industry or scope of the problems at issue. He has experience developing customized, alternative fee arrangements for firm clients and is at the forefront of issues and analysis when it comes to litigation finance.

Mark currently serves as a court-appointed federal equity receiver in connection with the In Re Kinetics This comes after Mark served for nearly a decade as one of the core leaders and strategists involved in the court-appointed representation of Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) Trustee Irving Picard and working for his lead counsel David Sheehan in global efforts to recover billions in assets for the Fund of Customer Property. Mark was one of the few attorneys in the world to interview Mr. Madoff in prison as part of the Trustee’s investigation. Mark also served the Recovery Initiative as the first Chair of the Expert and Settlement Committees, as well as leading multiple teams involved in billions in settlements and litigations against managers, investment advisors, domestic and international feeder funds and other financial institutions.

In addition, Mark is a skilled and trusted dispute resolution expert, who advises, manages and counsels an array of clients and industries, including, investment bankers, managers, hedge funds, fund of funds, the financial services industry, media companies, start-ups, construction and real estate developers, Fortune 500 and private equity companies, and executives, officers and directors, prior to and upon the commencement of high-stakes litigation. Mark is routinely sought out by members of the media for comments on high-profile litigation and regulatory enforcement matters arising from Ponzi schemes, insider trading and other economic frauds.

Select Experience

  • Serves as Receiver for the matter In re Kinetics arising out of a $45m investment fund based in Florida where the SEC charges fraud and misappropriation of investor assets against an investment manager who allegedly siphoned assets for individual use and real estate in Florida and Puerto Rico.

  • Represents a multi-billion dollar, global financial services firm in nine-figure breach of contract and tort litigation against an insurance company alleged to have improperly terminated “trail commissions” to broker-dealers in connection with certain guaranteed minimum income benefit products issued to clients.

  • Represents multiple defendants in bankruptcy, state, federal and regulatory litigation and and investigations in connection with the Woodbridge Ponzi scheme.

  • Successfully Represented a former director in eight figure bankruptcy litigation advanced by the Small Business Administration alleging breach of duties and malfeasance against a dozen officers and directors in connection rising out of the collapse of two affiliated small businesses, by achieving a settlement for a small fraction of the client’s litigation exposure as alleged by the SBA.

  • Represents a multi-billion dollar investment manager in FINRA arbitration alleging claims of fraud and unsuitability by the investor.

  • Represents multiple customers in seven-figure FINRA arbitration alleging fraud and deceptive practices by the broker in connection with the default on two promissory notes delivered to the clients.

  • Serves as outside counsel to litigation funding company providing ongoing strategic advice and counsel and litigation analysis and risk management due diligence in connection with investment opportunities being considered by the funder.

  • Represents a subcontractor in seven-figure commercial litigation arising out of breach of contract and I just enrichment claims for extra work and unpaid change orders.

  • Leading role in the worldwide investigation and asset recovery efforts being conducted by the SIPA Trustee for the benefit of BLMIS customers with allowed claims. Led multibillion-dollar lawsuits involving feeder funds and leverage providers. Also, led a complex litigations involving the use of derivatives and other exotic leverage products during Madoff's decades-long Ponzi scheme. Was a Core Captain, head of the Settlement and Expert Committees, played a key role in the strategic planning for all litigation, coordinating discovery, expert witnesses and settlement negotiations. Negotiated in excess of $3b in settlements procured by the SIPA Trustee.
  • Led a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)-regulated broker-dealer client and its parent (and executives) to a successful, pre-complaint settlement after receipt of Wells Notices of charges by FINRA arising out of a multimillion-dollar minimum-maximum offering and the breaking of escrow related to it. The matter was resolved with no charges against the individuals.
  • Successfully defended a securities class action arising out of a $4.5 billion acquisition and the merger consideration paid thereunder, including substantial motion practice before the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, and winning a motion to dismiss and litigation of class certification issues before the Second Circuit. This post-merger securities fraud class action related to the calculation of merger consideration in connection with the post-closing conditions precedent and ultimately was settled for a fraction of the demand in the complaint.
  • Represented a global financial services firm in connection with discovery arising out of and in connection with the ongoing Caesars Operating Co. multibillion-dollar bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Represented a market-maker in connection with a regulatory investigation and civil class actions seeking upward of $800 million in damages relating to allegations against the company involving false marks for illiquid securities.
  • Represented an investment manager in connection with a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into alleged improprieties in supervisory and other trading practices. The client was successfully absolved of any wrongdoing.
  • Represented $1 billion environmental and water rights investment funds in a series of domestic and international commercial litigation, arbitrations and mediations. Provided advice and representation on contract, tortious interference, employment litigation, private equity, bankruptcy and other transactional matters, as necessary. Successfully had dismissed a tortious interference with business relationship claim against a company and its principal.
  • Represented a major owner and commercial real estate developer in construction cross-litigation for errors and omissions against subcontractors and a construction manager. The case was settled for the client for a fraction of the initial demand following aggressive litigation in discovery and mediation efforts demonstrating that the client was not liable for the alleged damages.
  • Represented a major media publication in construction litigation brought against a design builder, as well as commercial litigation against equipment and system vendors and a landlord. Obtained settlement recoveries of more than eight figures for the client through demonstrated understanding of issues and diligence.
  • Represented a major accounting firm in a professional malpractice case related to subprime lender audit practices. The case was settled favorably for the client after years of litigation due in part to the executed litigation strategy and key admissions that were elicited during the deposition process.
  • Represented a company and its executives in securities class actions and regulatory investigations arising out of allegations of false financial statements, backdating revenues and other revenue recognition allegations. Successfully resolved the case after years of litigation for a fraction of the initial demand.

Legal Services

Education and Honors

  • Brooklyn Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1992)
  • Vassar College (B.A., 1989)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

Professional and Civic Activities

  • New York State Bar Association
    • Commercial Section
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
    • International Section
  • Hilsborough County Bar Association
  • Tampa Circle of Influence
  • National Association for Federal Equity Receivers (NAFER)
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

Professional Recognition

  • The Legal 500 United States (2015, 2016)
    • Recommended in Dispute Resolution: Securities litigation – defense
  • New York Metro "Super Lawyer" (2011 to 2017)