Trial lawyer John P. “Sean” Coffey has joined Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP as a partner in the firm’s New York office, where he will serve as the chair of complex litigation.
As co-managing partner of the plaintiffs’ litigation firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, Coffey led a trial team that obtained more than $6 billion in the WorldCom case for the New York State Common Retirement Fund and other investors. He retired from Bernstein Litowitz to run unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for New York Attorney General in 2010.
Before joining Bernstein Litowitz, he was a partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
Barry Berke, co-chair of Kramer Levin’s litigation department, said, “I have known Sean professionally and personally for over 20 years, and I am so thrilled to have him bring his extraordinary talents to the firm. He is a passionate advocate and exceptional trial lawyer who will play a critical role in the ongoing expansion of our litigation group and complex litigation practice.”
While Coffey’s work at Bernstein Litowitz focused exclusively on the plaintiff’s side, he has tried cases as a federal prosecutor and defense lawyer as well. His practice at Kramer Levin will encompass both plaintiff and defense representations. This past summer, Coffey was brought in, shortly before trial, to serve as co-counsel for Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs trader accused by the SEC of securities fraud.
Gary Naftalis, co-chair of the firm and co-chair of the firm’s litigation department, said, “Sean brings to the firm incomparable experience in the complex litigation area. He has handled dozens of high profile disputes, and we are delighted to have an advocate of his extraordinary ability playing a leading role in our litigation group.”
Coffey joins Kramer Levin from BlackRobe Capital, a commercial litigation finance investment firm that evaluated complex business disputes, where he was a co-founder and managing director. Prior to his legal career, he served as an active duty Naval Officer, at one time serving as the Personal Military Assistant to Vice President George H.W. Bush. He continued to serve in the Navy as a reserve officer for 18 years and retired as a Captain.
Coffey received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.S., with merit, from the United States Naval Academy.
He is a member of the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches trial practice as an adjunct professor, and serves on the boards of Common Cause New York, Council for Unity, the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, and Greenhope Services for Women.
“I look forward to contributing to the success of Kramer Levin,” Coffey said. “The litigation department takes on challenging cases that shape the legal structure of our nation. Joining the firm and working with Gary Naftalis and Barry Berke and the rest of their deep and talented team presents a terrific and exciting opportunity at this point in my career.”
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