Kasowitz Benson Torres

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Kasowitz Benson Torres
Kasowitz logo 2017.gif
Headquarters Paramount Plaza
New York City
No. of offices 9[1]
Major practice areas Litigation
Key people Marc Kasowitz, founder and managing partner[2]
Date founded 1993
Company type Limited liability partnership
Website http://www.kasowitz.com/

Kasowitz, Benson & Torres is a New York law firm founded in 1993. It employs 350 lawyers and maintains offices in several states.[3] The firm focuses on product liability litigation, corporate, family and employment law, as well as intellectual property, bankruptcy and creditors' rights.[3] Notable clients have included Donald Trump,[4] Robert DeNiro, Celanese, ArvinMeritor, Liggett Group, Enron, WorldCom and Mia Farrow.



The firm was founded as Kasowitz, Hoff, Benson & Torres in 1993 when Marc Kasowitz left the Mayer Brown law firm with 18 other lawyers and two clients.[5] David M. Friedman was added as a partner in May 1995,[6] and William Bruce Hoff, Jr. left in November.[7]


The firm began in New York City with 18 lawyers and after 6 months expanded to include a Houston branch office.[3][5] Friedman joined the firm in 1993 or 1994 and opened its bankruptcy practice.[5] In 1996 several new lawyers joined the firm to begin its employment and matrimonial practices.[5] It opened a New Jersey office in 1997, Atlanta in 2001[5] and in 2003 the fiirm opened a San Francisco office while former assistant district attorney, Leslie Crocker Snyder, joined the office in New York.[8] By 2004 the firm had increased to 160 lawyers and included an additional office in Atlanta.[5] The firm opened its Miami, Florida office in 2006 and expanded its San Francisco, California office in 2007 by merging with the seven lawyer firm, Topel & Goodman.[3] The 2005 launch of the intellectual property arm of the company led to several personnel changes with various key lawyers arriving and departing.[3] This included Peter J. Toren who left the intellectual property department in the spring of 2007.[3]

In 2009 the firm hired Marcos Daniel Jimenez, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, to lead its Miami, Florida office[3] and added insurance recovery litigation to its practice.[9] In January 2010 the company added Robin Cohen and her insurance team from the firm, Dickstein Shapiro.[3]

In November 2012 the firm opened an additional office in Silicon Valley.[10] They opened a Los Angeles, California office in May 2013 led by partners that were lured away from Jenner & Block.[11][12] In June, former U.S. Senator, Joe Lieberman, joined the firm as Senior Counsel[13] and his former Senate Chief of Staff, Clarine Nardi Riddle launched a Government Affairs branch of the company in Washington D.C.[14] In October, two senior litigation attorneys from NBC Universal joined the firm's Los Angeles office to begin an entertainment litigation practice.[15]

In 2014, following the resolution of several large cases, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman laid off approximately 30 of its 350 attorneys.[16][17] In 2014, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman was ranked as the 119th largest firm in the United States by Law360.[18] In June, the firm was awarded the Chambers USA 2014 Award for Excellence.[19]

Notable clients and cases[edit]

In 2003 the firm successfully opposed a chemical company called Celanese and won an asbestos lawsuit involving the auto parts supplier, ArvinMeritor.[5] They also overturned a $799 million punitive damages award levied against the Liggett cigarette company.[5]

In 2004 the company received the "largest toxic tort settlement in U.S. history" in a case involving one of Monsanto's company plants in Alabama.[5] By 2005 the firm had participated in the bankruptcy cases of Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing and Adelphia Communications and the matrimonial proceedings for Robert De Niro, Donna Hanover and Mia Farrow.[5] The firm has represented Donald Trump since 2001.[20] In January 2006, the firm filed a defamation lawsuit (dismissed in 2009) on behalf of Donald Trump against the author and publisher of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.[21][22] In 2010 the firm's clients included Fortress Investment Group, Liggett Group, MBIA and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.[3] In 2016, the firm represented Harold Peerenboom of Toronto in an extended legal fight with his seasonal Palm Beach, Florida, neighbor, businessman Isaac Perlmutter.[23] In 2017, the firm had recently added the Russian Sberbank "in a case that accused it of conspiring to take over a Russian granite company".[24]


The firm's main administration consists of the partners, Marc Kasowitz, Daniel Benson, Hector Torres and David Friedman and its executive committee consists of Kasowitz, Benson and Torres.[3] The company's average per partner profit was $2.9 million in 2004[5] and $2.1 million in 2009.[3] According to a 2004 article in American Lawyer the firm had a "diverse culture" featuring an exceptional number of young lawyers but fewer than the average number of women and minority employees.[5] In contrast, a 2014 a report by American Lawyer ranked the firms cultural diversity as 59th out of the 223 firms they evaluated.[25]


In September 2007 the firm was dismissed by its client, Biovail Corporation after a Southern District Judge found Biovail Corp. had used legal documents in violation of a protection order.[3] The law firm denied knowledge of the protective order and was later rehired by Biovail.[3]

In December 2007, one of the firm's partners, Jeremy Pitcock, was fired for "extremely inappropriate personal conduct." Pitcock sued the firm for wrongful firing and defamation and the firm countered with a suit claiming Pitcock sexually harassed 12 female employees. A panel of the Appellate Division, dismissed both suits.[3]

A former associate filed a lawsuit against the firm in August 2011 alleging negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract and wrongful termination. The suit's 2012 dismissal was upheld upon appeal.[26][27]


  1. ^ "Offices". Kasowitz, Benson, Torres. kasowitz.com. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  2. ^ "Marc E. Kasowitz". Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman. kasowitz.com. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Raymond, Nate (September 13, 2013). "Kasowitz Holds Power Close As He Grows Firm, Lures Business". New York Law Journal. Accessed June 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Cassens Weiss, Debra. "Meet Marc Kasowitz, the litigator who often represents Donald Trump". ABA Journal. American Bar Association. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Amon, Elizabeth (August 2004). "Fast Rise to the Top" (PDF). The American Lawyer. Incisive Media. p. 11. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  6. ^ "Profiles/Executive Moves". Crain's New York Business. May 1, 1995.
  7. ^ William Bruce Hoff Jr.: Lawyer, model ship builder, dies Chicago Tribune
  8. ^ Unknown author, (September 2003) Supreme Court Justice Leslie Crocker Snyder Joins Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman Archived April 14, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Official web site
  9. ^ Lowe, Zach. "It's Official". Am Law Daily. AmLawDaily. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  10. ^ Staff Writer. "KBTF Open Office in Silicon Valley". JD Journal. JDJournal. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  11. ^ "Kasowitz Benson Poaches Two Partners, Sets Them Up in New LA Office". JDJournal.
  12. ^ Staff Writer (June 7, 2013). "Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman". Insurance Weekly News.
  13. ^ Unknown author, (June 6, 2013) Senator Joseph Lieberman Joins Kasowitz News, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP
  14. ^ News Reporter (June 5, 2013). "Kasowitz Opens DC Office with Clarine Nardi Riddle to Lead Government Affairs Practice". China Weekly News.
  15. ^ Johnson, Ted. "NBCU Legal Execs Joint Litigation Firm". Variety. Variety.
  16. ^ Simmons, Christine (February 21, 2014). "Kasowitz Layoffs Tied to End of Credit Crisis Cases". New York Law Journal.
  17. ^ Lat, David (February 10, 2014). "Nationwide Layoff Watch: Casualties At Kasowitz Benson". Above the Law.
  18. ^ Simpson, Jake, "Law360 Reveals 400 Largest US Law Firms" Law360
  19. ^ Staff Reporter (June 13, 2014) Kasowitz Insurance Policyholder Recovery Group Receives Chambers Award for Excellence, Insurance Weekly News
  20. ^ Morrow, Brendan (April 19, 2017). "Marc E. Kasowitz: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com.
  21. ^ "Trump Sues Writer and Book Publisher". The New York Times. January 25, 2006.
  22. ^ Goodman, Peter (July 15, 2009). "Trump Suit Claiming Defamation Is Dismissed". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross, "Lurid Suit Over Hate Mail Embroils Isaac Perlmutter, Marvel Chief", New York Times Dealbook, March 7, 2016. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  24. ^ Sorkin, Andrew Ross, "Trump’s Lawyer, Marc Kasowitz: ‘The Toughest of the Tough Guys’", New York Times Dealbook, June 5, 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  25. ^ Staff writer (May 29, 2014). "Diversity Scorecard: How the Firms Rate". The American Lawyer. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  26. ^ Weiss, Debra Cassens (January 23, 2013) Associate Who Told Partners of His Superior Legal Mind Loses Appeal ABA Journal
  27. ^ Pearson, Brendon (January 23, 2013) New York Law Journal