Mr. Elsen has long held a major reputation in the field of securities and financial services law. He began this work as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, under then U.S. Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the country’s leading prosecution office for securities and financial services cases. Over subsequent decades, he has litigated and arbitrated scores of such cases, was selected by the American Bar Association to head its force on securities arbitration and by the New York City Bar Association as its spokesman before Congress when the securities laws were being rewritten through the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
He has also participated in major securities law disputes, including the New York City Bar’s amicus brief before the Supreme Court in the leading 10b-5 case of Central Bank of Denver v. First Interstate Bank of Denver, for which he chaired a team of leading SEC experts, including later SEC Commissioner Harvey J. Goldschmid and John C. Coffee, Jr., and securities laws professors at NYU and Fordham, as well as Columbia.
His securities law and finance expertise was recognized by the Governor of New York during the New York fiscal crisis, when he appointed Mr. Elsen chief counsel to a commission the governor created to investigate the causes of and to recommend cures for New York’s default on its public authority bonds. In that role, he not only led the investigation and directed the report, but cross-examined former governors of New York, Nelson Rockefeller and Malcolm Wilson, in public hearings, as well as numerous experts in the field of municipal bonds.
- Mr. Elsen has served either as sole arbitrator or as part of an arbitration panel in numerous cases, including the following securities and financial services disputes.
- Disputes about indemnities between major European companies involving potential liabilities of over $100 million
- Nuclear power disputes involving over $100 million, issues involved insurance coverage for repairs and outages
- Disputes involving Asian, Near Eastern, and U.S. companies on commodity sales, with over $40 million at stake
- Dispute between South American companies over stock valuations, with over $10 million at stake
- A major dispute between one of the Big Four accounting firms and a government agency
- Several disputes involving investment bankers and broker-dealers, and several based on corporate disputes
- Litigation of Securities Cases: As counsel, Mr. Elsen has handled numerous SEC investigations, private securities law actions, securities prosecutions, both as prosecutor and defense counsel, and numerous international disputes in which there were securities law aspects. He has represented not only American companies and individuals, including multinationals, but also many foreign companies and individuals, including those in Holland, Israel, Lebanon, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Liberia, Nigeria, and Mexico.