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Steven F. Molo

Steven Molo, one of the country’s leading courtroom advocates, is a founding partner of the national litigation boutique MoloLamken. He represents corporations, boards, funds, investors, inventors, and individuals in complex business litigation, white collar criminal and regulatory matters, and IP litigation. His client base is international.

Chambers and Partners calls him “fantastic in the courtroom”; a “fabulous courtroom litigator who lights up the room with his presence”; "very bright, imaginative, and creative in his approach to problems"; and “one of the most talented lawyers in the city.” Benchmark Litigation – which named him one of the top 100 Trial Lawyers in America – calls him "revered"; “an outstanding advocate and fearless in court"; who "delivers the goods." Legal 500 calls him "a rockstar litigator; a great lawyer," with "terrific knowledge of the courts and the law." It says he is “smart, creative, responsive, knowledgeable, and engaging; he has an excellent mix of traits that set him apart from his peers.”

For the past twelve years he has been named to Lawdragon’s list of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. He has been recognized by Chambers USA, Super Lawyers (Top 100 Lawyers in New York), The Best Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation, Euromoney, and Legal 500, which includes him on its elite list of Leading Trial Lawyers, as well as other guides to the leaders of the legal profession. 

Mr. Molo regularly tries civil and criminal cases before juries and judges throughout the country. He has extensive experience in post-trial and appellate advocacy as well.

He began his career as a prosecutor in Chicago, then practiced with Winston & Strawn, where he was a senior litigator and member of that firm’s Executive Committee. He spent five and a half years as a litigation partner with the Wall Street firm Shearman & Sterling before founding MoloLamken in October 2009.

He has been involved in some of the most complex legal issues in U.S. courts over the past 20 years. Frequently, Mr. Molo and the firm are asked to work with other counsel in representing a client after a matter has been pending and the need for additional courtroom experience has become apparent.

He has represented many directors, CEOs, and other executives in a variety of sensitive matters.

The civil commercial matters he has handled include those involving issues of antitrust, breach of contract, fraud, shareholder rights, structured products and derivatives, insurance, RICO, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, insolvency and restructuring, defamation and privacy, securities, banking, and consumer fraud. His cases frequently involve class actions as well as individual suits. He has testified as an expert on New York commercial law in the High Court of Justice in London.

His criminal matters have included those involving issues of antitrust, mail, wire, bankruptcy and securities fraud, health care fraud, insurance fraud, environmental crimes, obstruction of justice, tax fraud, and other complex crimes. He frequently conducts internal investigations for management, boards, and audit committees. He co-authored a leading treatise, Corporate Internal Investigations, and has been recognized as an expert in federal court where he has testified on that topic and corporate prosecutions.

Mr. Molo has also served as trial counsel in intellectual property matters including patent, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and copyright cases.

He serves on the editorial advisory board of Today's General Counsel and speaks and writes extensively on the subjects of business litigation, corporate criminal liability, and trial and appellate advocacy. He has commented on legal topics for CNN, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other news media.

He has taught or lectured at Northwestern University Law School, Loyola University of Chicago Law School, John Marshall Law School, SMU Law School, William & Mary Law School, the University of Illinois College of Law, and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. He is also co-author and general editor of Your Witness: Lessons on Cross-Examination and Life from Great Chicago Trial Lawyers. For five years, he served as counsel to the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation. He is also qualified to practice in England and Wales, on the Roll of Solicitors.

Representative Matters

  • Directors of a consumer products company in defending a challenge to a $900 million dividend paid to a private equity investor
  • An activist investor in a bench trial in Delaware bankruptcy court concerning equity rights
  • Investors in residential mortgage-backed securities trusts in proceedings to determine the distribution of a $9 billion settlement among various classes of bondholders
  • The former Speaker of the New York Assembly in a federal criminal jury trial on charges of public corruption
  • A prominent doctor in a federal criminal jury trial on charges of health care fraud
  • Several former NFL players in objecting to the fairness of the class action settlement of the “Concussion Litigation”
  • Several trustees and investors in residential mortgage-backed securities trusts in a series of suits to recover for the diminution in the value of the trust as a result of the conduct of the parties originating the mortgage loans
  • The former CEO of a European auto manufacturer in connection with a DOJ investigation of U.S. environmental laws
  • An activist investor in connection with a challenge to the corporate governance of one of the largest transportation companies in the United States
  • An Israeli pharmaceutical manufacturer in prosecuting a $4+ billion claim for fraud and breach of contract based on its acquisition of a Mexican company
  • A publicly traded media company in litigation relating to a $1.8 billion debt restructuring
  • An investor seeking recovery of $800 million in losses on a “holder claim” based on decline in stock value of one of the world’s largest banks during the financial crisis
  • A senior financial services executive in a federal criminal jury trial on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice 
  • A former CEO and private equity firm partner in obtaining dismissal of a federal indictment charging securities and bank fraud as well as obstruction of agency proceedings
  • A Tokyo private equity firm in a dispute with the former employer of the firm’s founders concerning competitive restrictions
  • A developer of electric power plants in a trial in New York Supreme Court concerning theft of trade secrets
  • The holder of several patents relating to website construction in a series of cases against infringers
  • A private equity firm in challenging an injunction limiting competitive activity of a portfolio company and its key executives
  • An Asian government in litigation in the United States and United Kingdom relating to an arbitral award based on a dispute concerning the construction of a power plant and development of a mine
  • A licensor of agribusiness technology in a trial concerning a patent licensing agreement
  • Several groups in successfully challenging New York City’s ban on super-sized sugary drinks
  • A former pharmaceutical executive in prosecuting a whistle-blower claim
  • A former CEO of a publicly traded retailer in defending criminal securities fraud charges
  • A former managing director of a leading investment bank in defending criminal securities fraud charges related to the sale of derivatives
  • A private Silicon Valley technology company in a bench trial against one of the world’s largest banks based on events arising from an M&A transaction
  • A global consulting firm in investigating a senior executive’s misconduct
  • An institutional bond holder in a trial in Delaware bankruptcy court and defending tort and contract claims in New York Supreme Court arising from the purchase of $250 million in second lien notes of a distressed media company
  • A CEO of a leading financial services firm in a dispute with a former firm member concerning investments
  • A private equity firm in a lawsuit over post-closing purchase price adjustments in connection with the sale of a portfolio company
  • Health care providers in a nationwide Sherman Act Section One class action against the dominant manufacturers and distributors of syringes and catheters
  • A leading insurance company in investigating fraud by a major vendor and related civil litigation
  • A Fortune 500 company in prosecuting a legal malpractice case against an Am Law 50 firm
  • A senior executive of a Japanese manufacturing company in a price-fixing investigation conducted jointly by USDOJ and the JFTC
  • A CDO management firm in connection with civil litigation and regulatory matters emanating from the global financial crisis
  • An investment bank in obtaining judgment in its favor and the reversal of a $1.6 billion jury verdict in a suit alleging fraud in connection with its role in a corporate acquisition
  • A former Foreign Service Officer and West Point graduate in a federal criminal jury trial on charges of bribery and conspiracy to facilitate the issuance of visas in violation of State Department policies
  • The former CFO of a publicly traded technology company in a federal criminal jury trial and regulatory and civil proceedings based on alleged securities and accounting fraud
  • A major broker-dealer in a civil jury trial in which a hedge fund claimed fraud in the sale of collateralized mortgage obligations
  • A hedge fund in a suit in the Delaware Chancery Court challenging a gate and proposed restructuring of another fund in which it invested 
  • An entertainment company in a lengthy arbitration involving allegations of 10b-5 violations and other claims following an acquisition
  • The world’s largest insurance broker in a civil jury trial concerning senior executive compensation
  • A leading real estate developer and its lender in a bench trial relating to a dispute with a major tenant
  • A lending syndicate in defending multi-billion dollar tort claims and in prosecuting a personal guaranty action against a prominent real estate developer (and reality TV show host) relating to financing of a 92-story building in Chicago
  • Two non-U.S. financial institutions in connection with recovery actions and the defense of claims relating to Madoff
  • The Illinois Senate relating to procedures for the impeachment trial of the Governor
  • A non-U.S.-based insurance holding company in SEC and DOJ investigations into balance sheet fraud through finite reinsurance
  • A New York real estate developer in investigating and reporting a Ponzi scheme fraud perpetrated by the client’s former lawyer, the name partner of a prominent New York firm
  • A senior mutual fund executive in an investigation by the SEC and New York Attorney General
  • A midwest manufacturing company in an internal investigation and defense of an SEC investigation relating to insider trading
  • A CEO in numerous shareholder and derivative actions, parallel SEC proceedings, and a trial before the bankruptcy court relating to allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duties following the discovery of accounting irregularities
  • The nation’s largest bar review course provider in a civil antitrust class action alleging a price-fixing and market allocation conspiracy and a separate civil antitrust class action alleging product tying
  • A national insurance company in defending a federal grand jury investigation, state regulatory inquiries, consumer class actions, whistle-blower allegations, and media scrutiny emanating from claims handling practices following a major natural disaster
  • A midwest manufacturing company in a DOJ grand jury investigation into price-fixing in the market for certain building supplies
  • A publicly traded insurance broker in multiple consumer class actions alleging civil antitrust and RICO violations, as well as Attorney General and insurance regulatory investigations
  • A national retailer in attempted nationwide consumer fraud class actions in multiple forums and Attorney General investigations
  • A national publisher and sweepstakes company in an appeal of a class certification order in an attempted consumer class action
  • A group of mortgage lenders in an appeal of an order challenging certain lending restrictions
  • A major broker-dealer in an appeal in litigation relating to sales practices that resulted in a challenge to certain whistle-blower legislation
  • A majority shareholder of a public company in shareholder derivative litigation relating to Revlon duties and change of control
  • An investment advisor and mutual fund company in a derivative suit alleging breaches of fiduciary duty relating to fund management
  • A global pharmaceutical manufacturer in a federal grand jury investigation and civil litigation emanating from a foreign subsidiary’s falsification of information to the FDA
  • A holder of patents related to web design technology in multiple patent infringement suits against major tech companies
  • A manufacturer of laundry soap delivery technology in patent infringement litigation in the trial court and the Federal Circuit
  • An internet telephone services provider in patent infringement litigation relating to the company’s core technology
  • A food manufacturer in an ICC arbitration concerning a technology licensing dispute
  • A holder of patents related to the manufacture of clothing in an ITC action to block importation of infringing products
  • A gaming company in defending allegations of trademark and trade dress infringement in injunction proceedings in the trial court
  • A manufacturer of batteries in pursuing copyright, trademark, and trade dress claims relating to a well-known advertising campaign
  • A licensor of an agribusiness technology in patent infringement litigation
  • A rock star in defending copyright infringement allegations in the trial court and court of appeals
  • A major political party in a trial before a three-judge federal district court relating to voter rights and legislative reapportionment issues


Honors & Awards

Recognized by peer and client review for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (New York: commercial litigation, white collar defense, appeals), Chambers USA, Super Lawyers (Top 100 Lawyers in New York), Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers, Leading Attorneys (business litigation, white collar criminal defense, antitrust, appeals), Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the Law, and Who's Who in Business and Finance

Named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, Benchmark Litigation Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, and Legal 500 Leading Trial Lawyers


University of Illinois, College of Law, J.D.

University of Illinois, College of Communications, B.S.

Bar and Court Admissions

  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Solicitor, Law Society of England and Wales
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, D.C., and Federal Circuits
  • London Court of International Arbitration

Professional Affiliations

American Inns of Court Foundation, Trustee

United States Supreme Court Historical Society, Trustee

New York Inn of Court, Member (Past Vice President, Executive Committee)

Federal Bar Foundation, Trustee

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee, Member (2004 - 2010)

Seventh Circuit Bar Association, Member (Past President)

Federal Bar Council, Member (Courts Committee)

Chicago Inn of Court, Member (Past President)

American, Illinois, and Chicago Bar Associations, Member

American Bar Association, Trial Attorney Advisory Board, Member

American Bar Foundation, Life Fellow

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Member

COMBAR, Honorary Member

Scribes, The Society of Legal Writers, Member

Economic Club of Chicago, Commercial Club of Chicago, Theodore Roosevelt Association, Member

University of Illinois College of Law Board of Visitors, Member

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