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Sarah M. Fait

Gov. Cuomo's Principal Advisor Steven M. Cohen Joins Zuckerman Spaeder LLP's New York Office

September 21, 2011

Read what the New York Times wrote about Steven M. Cohen's arrival.

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP is pleased to announce that Steven M. Cohen, who was most recently Secretary to New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, is joining the firm as a partner in its New York office. Mr. Cohen brings to Zuckerman Spaeder a combination of skills and experience in government, politics, and private practice. Mr. Cohen will lead the expansion and development of Zuckerman Spaeder’s New York office, and will focus his practice on crisis management, government investigations and white collar criminal defense, and complex commercial and regulatory matters.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Steve Cohen join the firm to lead the expansion of our New York presence and to strengthen a number of the firm’s critical practice areas,” said Zuckerman Spaeder’s Chairman Graeme W. Bush. “Much of the most significant criminal, enforcement, and commercial litigation in which Zuckerman Spaeder is involved comes out of New York, and Steve’s work to grow our New York office will enhance our capacity to handle these types of matters. We are particularly pleased to embark on this new phase of growth with someone who shares our values and our focus on delivering the most effective and efficient legal services we can to our clients.”

For more than 20 years in public and private life, Mr. Cohen has identified, managed, and solved some of the most complex problems facing corporations, individuals, and government entities. He has a track record of getting results through the use of innovative strategies in the courtroom, boardroom, and halls of government. As Secretary to Gov. Cuomo, Mr. Cohen was the senior member of an administration that produced the first on-time budget in years (and in doing so closed a $10 billion deficit) and an unprecedented string of legislative successes. Among his many roles with the Cuomo administration, Mr. Cohen formulated the strategy and was appointed to direct the effort that led to the passage of the Marriage Equality Act in June 2011. Mr. Cohen was also Counselor and Chief of Staff during Gov. Cuomo’s entire four-year term as New York State Attorney General. In that capacity, Mr. Cohen was responsible for the overall operation of the Attorney General’s Office, and had oversight responsibility for all major investigations as well as the defense of the State of New York. In addition, Mr. Cohen directed the investigation of New York State Senator Pedro Espada as well as the Attorney General’s online child pornography initiative. He also spearheaded efforts that led to the industry-wide adoption of a system of copyright alerts to curb the illegal downloading of copyrighted works.

"After almost five years with Governor Cuomo, I plan on building a law practice that uses the same kind of strategic planning and innovative thinking that made the Cuomo administration successful,” said Mr. Cohen. “I can think of no better place to do this than at Zuckerman Spaeder, a firm with the highest quality lawyers and a sense of creativity that breeds success.”

Mr. Cohen previously was a partner at a New York law firm, where he practiced in the areas of government investigations, white-collar criminal defense, and complex civil litigation. Before entering private practice, Mr. Cohen was an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) in the Southern District of New York, where he served as Chief of the violent gangs unit.

Founded in 1975, Zuckerman Spaeder is a national litigation boutique that represents individual and institutional clients in high-stakes civil and commercial cases. Zuckerman Spaeder counts among its ranks many of the nation’s leading lawyers, who include former federal prosecutors and public defenders, as well as attorneys who have served in congressional offices and federal agencies.

The firm opened its New York office in 2004, and has since been involved in many of New York City’s high-profile cases, including partner William W. Taylor III’s defense of former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in his recently dismissed criminal case and ongoing civil case; former NYSE Compensation Committee Chairman Kenneth ‎Langone in the highly publicized litigation over Dick Grasso’s compensation (the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court dismissed all claims against Langone); and Theodore Sihpol, the first person in U.S. history to be criminally charged for “late trading” mutual funds.

Zuckerman Spaeder was named to The National Law Journal’sMidsize Hot List” in 2010 and 2011, and was recognized as a finalist for “Litigation Boutique of the Year” by The American Lawyer in 2009 and 2005. Zuckerman Spaeder is also the top-listed firm for white collar criminal defense in The Best Lawyers in America, with more attorneys recognized in that category than any other firm in the country. The firm’s attorneys have extensive experience in matters related to securities violations, tax controversy, political law, legal ethics, food and drug law, and health care fraud. For more information about Zuckerman Spaeder, visit