Michael Keats is the co-head of Stroock’s Financial Services Litigation and Enforcement practice. For more than 20 years, Mr. Keats has maintained a diverse and high-profile trial and appellate practice representing sophisticated clients in "bet the company" litigation and regulatory matters.
Mr. Keats represents broker-dealers, hedge funds, private equity funds, commodities firms, commercial banks and other institutions in civil securities litigation and regulatory proceedings throughout the country. His practice covers a wide variety of legal disciplines affecting financial institutions, including securities, commodities, bankruptcy, antitrust, corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, administrative procedure, ERISA and employment litigation. He also has experience representing clients in administrative proceedings, including challenges to federal regulatory actions under the Administrative Procedure Act. His practice frequently requires managing complex parallel civil litigation, global regulatory proceedings and internal investigations. Mr. Keats’ public financial services clients have included Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Ally Securities, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Prudential, Bank of America and UBS.
From 2007-2012, Mr. Keats served as a Managing Director in Goldman Sachs' Litigation and Regulatory Proceedings Group. In that capacity, he handled major regulatory and litigation matters during a period of extraordinary market upheaval and regulatory change across virtually all of Goldman Sachs' businesses. Mr. Keats managed derivative litigation against Goldman Sachs' board of directors regarding a host of challenged business practices, and advised executive management and senior business personnel on the full range of litigation and regulatory enforcement issues arising both before and after the financial crisis. Mr. Keats represented Goldman Sachs before government officials, supervisory regulators and enforcement staff worldwide, as well as before congressional investigative committees. Mr. Keats worked directly with Goldman Sachs' media relations, investor relations, public disclosure and accounting functions in the regular cycle of financial reporting during the financial crisis as well as in the crisis management context.
Over the years, Mr. Keats also has represented clients in commercial, entertainment and intellectual property litigation. He was one of the lead trial counsel in the Napster copyright litigation, which helped define the contours of copyright law on the Internet. He also represented the music industry more generally in a variety of major actions seeking to protect the rights of songwriters and music publishers in the digital age, as well as before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Keats has represented high-tech clients in a variety of disputes, such as a major software manufacturer in arbitration against one of its licensees, and another software manufacturer in an earn-out dispute with the former shareholders of an acquired company.
Mr. Keats is active in the community and has represented the National League of Women Voters before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in landmark voting rights litigation. Mr. Keats is a member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York, a non-profit educational organization. He has represented industry trade associations, such as the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), the Western Power Trading Forum, and Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), as amicus curiae in a variety of major cases of interest to the securities and commodities industries. Mr. Keats has significant experience communicating with the media regarding complex legal issues and has been quoted in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg News and Law360.


Mr. Keats' recent representations have included:
  • Representing hedge funds at trial defending against insider-trading allegations.
  • Representing a special committee of a board of directors in negotiating a potential interested-party transaction.
  • Representing a research analyst in a FINRA investigation concerning research analyst independence.
  • Representing a global investment bank in an SEC investigation regarding margin rule compliance.
  • Representing a global investment bank’s hedge fund affiliates in equitable subordination litigation.
  • Representing a replacement general partner in litigation against a hedge fund’s former investment advisor.
  • Representing an audit firm in Department of Labor investigation concerning ERISA compliance audit.
  • Representing a global investment bank against threatened breach of contract claims by a supposed joint venture partner.
  • Representing a large data processor in indemnification litigation with former ISO.
  • Representing hedge funds in connection with potential insider-trading matters. 
  • Representing industry trade associations as amici curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Representing a commodities trading firm in ICE expedited arbitration.
  • Representing an investment management advisor in an SEC investigation.
  • Representing a social media company in IPO securities litigation.
  • Representing a trader in FDIC litigation concerning Residential Mortgage Backed Securities.
  • Representing an asset manager in Department of Labor investigation relating to trustee FX trading practices.
  • Representing a hedge fund manager in auction rate securities arbitration.
  • Representing two broker-dealers in residential mortgage-backed securities litigation brought by FHFA and NCUA.
  • Representing hedge funds in derivatives litigation.
  • Representing a former director of a Fortune 100 company in securities litigation.
  • Representing a former chief executive officer in breach of fiduciary duty and fraud litigation.
  • Representing one of the world’s largest bank’s global head of derivatives trading in a CFTC investigation regarding ISDA Fix.
  • Representing broker-dealers in numerous FINRA investigations.
  • Representing one of the world’s largest payment-processors in an internal investigation.
  • Representing a broker-dealer in FCPA investigations.
  • Representing a former Board Chairman in corporate opportunity litigation.


Mr. Keats has been recognized by The Legal 500 for his practice in Securities Litigation.


New York, 1996

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit; U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia; U.S. Supreme Court


Law Clerk, Honorable Bruce M. Selya, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit


J.D., magna cum laude, Boston University School of Law, 1995; Editor, Boston University Law Review

M.A., Brandeis University, 1992; International Economics and Finance

B.A., cum laude, Brandeis University, 1991


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