• David S. Frankel is an accomplished advocate with more than 30 years’ experience representing senior executives, directors and corporations in complex, high-stakes white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, government and regulatory enforcement actions, and arbitrations, including actions brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the New York County District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and other government and administrative agencies. David joined Kramer Levin in 1983, served as a partner from 1991 to 2017, and became counsel on Jan. 1, 2018.

    For securities industry clients, David has handled cases involving allegations of improper practices including market manipulation, breach of fiduciary duty, false and misleading disclosures, and accounting fraud. He has also represented individuals and corporations in government investigations of pharmaceutical industry irregularities and political corruption, as well as in complex civil litigations and class actions, including securities class actions and commercial disputes.

    David’s notable matters include his representation of Rajat Gupta, the former managing director worldwide of the McKinsey & Co. management consulting firm, in both a criminal insider trading investigation in the Southern District of New York and a parallel SEC civil enforcement action. After a four-week criminal trial in June 2012, Gupta was acquitted of two counts of the indictment, but convicted on certain other counts. David is also defending former Bear Stearns chairman and chief executive officer James Cayne in federal securities and ERISA class action litigation, alleging fraud relating to Bear Stearns’ valuation, mortgage-backed securities, and liquidity and capital reserves. David previously represented Cayne before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in connection with its investigation of the 2008 financial crisis. Other significant recent cases include David’s representation of special committees of the boards of directors of a major European financial institution and a Fortune 500 health care company, in connection with federal criminal investigations and related regulatory proceedings. He represented a senior scientist of a major U.S. pharmaceutical company in a federal criminal investigation alleging violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, following which no charges were filed, as well as in related civil proceedings. He successfully represented the chief accounting officer of a Fortune 100 company in a lengthy SEC investigation involving a number of complex accounting issues, including accounting for pension obligations, derivative transactions and currency hedging, after which the SEC declined to bring charges.

    David also conducts internal corporate investigations and advises clients on the design and implementation of compliance programs.

    Throughout his career, David has committed himself to pro bono activities. Recently, he prepared a number of amicus briefs in the New York Court of Appeals on behalf of the Innocence Project, an organization that pursues reform initiatives designed to enhance the truth-seeking function of the criminal justice system and to prevent wrongful convictions. He supervised the work of firm associates both on behalf of federal prisoners seeking relief under the Obama administration’s Clemency Project 2014 and on the Safe Passage Project, a not-for-profit created to address the unmet legal needs of indigent immigrant youth living in New York City. He has also supervised associates working with the Legal Aid Society in prosecuting appeals by New York State criminal defendants. In 2016, David received an award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service Advocacy from the Legal Aid Society for his work with the Society on an amicus brief that resulted in a New York Court of Appeals decision protecting the ability of defendants to impeach law enforcement defendants testifying in civil rights actions filed against them. David represented a class of homeless children in a federal civil rights action alleging that New York City and State systematically denied adequate medical treatment for asthma. After three years of litigation, the city and state agreed to provide free screening and medical care for asthma, as well as annual training to homeless shelter employees, and to disseminate information on asthma in public schools and at day care centers. For his work on the case, Dajour B. v. City of New York (S.D.N.Y. 2001), David was honored by the Legal Aid Society, which cited his “outstanding commitment to equal access to justice.”

    Experience

    • Represented the chief financial officer of a technology company in SEC and DOJ investigations involving the backdating of options, at the time a major civil and criminal enforcement priority. Following lengthy investigations and presentations to government attorneys on behalf of the client, both agencies declined to file any charges.

    • Represented a major real estate development firm and its employees in federal criminal political corruption investigations. No charges were filed against the company or any of its employees.

    • Represented Canary Capital Partners and its principal, Edward Stern, in investigations by the SEC and the New York attorney general of market timing of mutual funds, and in follow-on federal class action litigations consolidated by the Multidistrict Litigation Panel in the District Court for the District of Maryland. The government investigations and civil litigations were all settled on highly favorable terms.

    • Represents James Cayne, the former chairman and CEO of Bear Stearns, in federal securities and ERISA class action litigation, as well as in a prior investigation before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

    • Represented Rajat Gupta, former managing director worldwide of McKinsey & Co. consulting firm, in insider trading investigations, including a four-week criminal trial in the Southern District of New York.

    • Represented a special committee of the board of directors of a major European financial institution in connection with a federal criminal tax investigation and a related SEC investigation.

    • Represented the special committee of the board of directors of a Fortune 500 health care company in connection with a federal criminal investigation and related state regulatory proceedings.

    • Defended a senior scientist of a major U.S. pharmaceutical company in a federal criminal investigation of potential violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which concluded with no charges filed.

    • Represented the former chairman and CEO of a major drug manufacturer in a federal criminal investigation of allegations of misbranding and health care fraud.

    • Represented the chief accounting officer of a Fortune 100 company in a lengthy SEC investigation involving complex accounting issues, including accounting for pension obligations, derivative transactions and currency hedging. The SEC declined to bring charges.

    • Represented Raymond Harding, former head of the New York State Liberal Party, in parallel investigations by the New York State attorney general’s office and the SEC.

    • Represented a senior trader of a major investment bank in SEC and DOJ investigations relating to municipal bonds and derivatives. No civil or criminal charges were ever filed against the client.

    Credentials

    Education

    • J.D., New York University School of Law, 1982
      • Senior Note and Comment Editor, New York University Law Review, 1981-1982
    • B.A., cum laude, Yale University, 1976

    Bar Admissions

    • District of Columbia, 1993
    • New York, 1984

    Clerkships

    • Honorable Irving R. Kaufman, U.S.C.A., 2nd Circuit, 1982 - 1983

    Court Admissions

    • U.S.C.A., 1st Circuit
    • U.S.C.A., 2nd Circuit
    • U.S.C.A., 4th Circuit
    • U.S.D.C., Eastern District of New York
    • U.S.D.C., Southern District of New York

    Professional Affiliations

    • New York State Bar Association
    • New York City Bar Association, Member, Judiciary Committee (2005-2007)
    • American Bar Association
    • Yale-China Association Fellow, Instructor in English Language and Literature at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1976-1978)