Shaun D. McElhenny
Shaun is a client-focused litigator whose practice encompasses a wide variety of complex civil litigation and commercial arbitration matters. At the outset of each matter, Shaun takes the time to understand his client’s goals and the risks and opportunities that each situation presents and plans an engagement that is both impactful and cost-efficient. His clients include individuals, partnerships, privately held companies, public corporations, and nonprofit organizations in a diverse array of industries.
Shaun’s business litigation practice is focused on clients in the financial services industry, where he has represented commercial and investment banks, insurance companies, broker-dealer firms, and investment funds in a broad range of cases including customer disputes, fraudulent conveyance actions, foreclosures, and contract disputes. He is also experienced in the areas of employment litigation, construction litigation, and business divorce, as well as general commercial contract and tort litigation.
Shaun is also a member of the firm's Product Liability Litigation group, where he represents clients in connection with toxic tort, food and device safety, and consumer fraud litigation.
Outside of his practice, Shaun is actively involved in the New York City Family Court's Volunteer Attorney Program, where he advises pro se litigants regarding domestic violence, spousal support, and child custody and support matters. Shaun is also co-chair of the Leadership Council of the Bowery Residents’ Committee (BRC), a young professionals' fundraising and volunteer organization supporting one of New York City’s largest homeless services organizations. In addition, he has served as a coach in the New York State Bar Association's High School Mock Trial Tournament, and he is an active alumni supporter of Fordham Law School's Moot Court program.
A representative sampling of Shaun's experience includes:
Financial Services Industry Litigation
- Representing an insurance company and broker-dealer firm in an action brought by a client regarding allegedly unsuitable life insurance policies and annuities.
- Representing a hedge fund in a dispute with a former fund investor over alleged failures to pay foreign exchange tax and rebates of management fees.
- Representing a commercial bank in bringing multiple actions against loan guarantors and negotiating forbearance agreements.
- Representing a commercial bank in connection with criminal and civil subpoenas seeking customer records.
- Representing an investment advisory firm in multiple actions to avoid transfers made to its funds pursuant to leveraged buyouts.
- Representing a broker-dealer firm in a FINRA arbitration regarding the suitability of an alternative investment recommendation and alleged churning of a client’s securities portfolio.
- Representing commercial banks in the foreclosure of mortgages on mixed-use and residential properties.
- Representing an investment bank in a contract dispute over the sale of a bankruptcy claim.
- Representing a financial services company in a dispute over the transfer of a client’s account upon death.
- Representing a medical equipment manufacturer in a breach of contract case against a foreign distributor.
- Representing a national freight shipping company in an action against a customer for non-payment.
- Representing an online magazine distributor in an arbitration regarding commissions paid to a subscription agency and an action regarding alleged non-performance of a marketing and distribution agreement.
- Representing an auction house in multiple actions to recover payment from bidders.
- Representing a regional baked goods wholesaler in an action against a distributor for non-payment.
- Representing a startup medical diagnostic devices company in a dispute over intellectual property licensed from a major research university.
- Representing an internet technology vendor in a dispute over an unapproved online simulcast.
- Representing a hedge fund in a dispute over a former fund manager’s compensation.
- Representing a corporate communications firm in a dispute over an employee’s restrictive covenant with a prior employer.
- Representing a global security products distributor in a dispute over employees’ restrictive covenants with a prior employer.
- Representing a startup company engaged in constructing a transnational fiber-optic cable system in a dispute with former executives regarding compensation.
- Advising an executive and significant shareholder in a closely held corporation on the effect of employment termination on share value.
Business Divorce Litigation
- Representing a member of a limited liability corporation in a proceeding to determine the corporation’s fair value.
- Representing a managing member of a limited liability corporation in an action for removal and payment of damages to other members.
- Representing a closely held corporation regarding payment of dividends to a dissenting shareholder.
- Representing a subcontractor in a dispute over non-payment for installation of an athletic field.
- Representing a national foundation equipment distributor in an action against a property owner for non-payment.
- Representing an architect and construction manager in a dispute with a building owner regarding alleged design defects.
- Representing an electrical services company in a breach of contract action brought by a subcontractor
Product Liability and Consumer Fraud Litigation
- Representing an electronics manufacturer in a personal injury case arising from an allegedly defective appliance.
- Representing a roll-on, roll-off carrier in multiple maritime asbestos actions.
- Representing a gas and electric utility company in various litigations alleging asbestos exposure.
- Representing a national packaged-food producer in a consumer food safety action.
- Representing an international cosmetics company in a purported consumer class action regarding allegedly misleading labeling.
- Representing a membership marketing company in a consumer fraud class action and attorney general action.
Non-profit Entity Representations
- Advising a public benefit corporation regarding its obligations under freedom of information and open meetings laws
- Representing a major research university in a challenge to its campus expansion on land use and constitutional grounds.
- Co-Author, "Second Circuit Permits Madoff Trustee to Pursue Transfers Made Between Foreign Entities," NYSBA International Law Practicum, Vol. 32 No. 1 (2019)
- Co-author, “International Arbitration by Financial Institutions: Current Practices and Opportunities,” ABA Section of International Law, May 2017
- Co-author, “Second Circuit Upholds Bankruptcy ‘Safe Harbor’ for Securities Transactions,” AIRA Journal, Vol. 30 No. 2 (2016)
- New York State Courts Access to Justice Program Pro Bono Award
- Fordham University School of Law Archibald R. Murray Public Service Award
- New York City Bar Association
- Bowery Residents' Committee (BRC) Leadership Council, co-chair