Bruce Kaplan, a founder of Friedman Kaplan, has served as lead counsel in a number of complex commercial, financial services, and securities cases. His practice includes representation of major public and private companies across a wide variety of industries, including before arbitration tribunals, in mediation, and on appeals before state and federal courts. Following the financial crisis, Mr. Kaplan successfully represented a number of private equity funds in several prominent and leading-edge contract disputes related to breach of financing commitments.
Mr. Kaplan has a significant trial practice which has included both jury and bench trials of major commercial litigations. He also represents audit committees, special committees, and entities in connection with confidential and expedited internal investigations.
- Representation of the world’s largest manufacturer of artificial turf fields in a fraud and breach of warranty action. On summary judgment, Mr. Kaplan and the firm secured the dismissal of trademark infringement, defamation, false advertising, and related counterclaims valued by the adverse party in the case at more than $100 million. Following a two-week jury trial, the parties in the case reached a settlement.
Representation, as lead trial counsel, of a co-owner and co-managing member of a real estate management company, which oversees a portfolio of affiliated properties in the New York metropolitan area, in a AAA arbitration arising out of a “business divorce” between him and his partner. In their award, issued following a seven-day evidentiary hearing, the arbitrators removed our client’s adversary from the management of the real estate management company, confirmed his removal from the management of several affiliated companies, ordered him to repay funds he misappropriated from the management company, its affiliates, and their investors, and determined that our client was entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees and arbitral fees.
- Representation of entities sponsored by Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. as acquirers in litigation concerning the funding banks’ alleged breach of a contract to finance the $18 billion leveraged buyout of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. The case gave rise to the issuance by Justice Helen E. Freedman of what is now the leading New York decision on the ability of courts to require banks to honor commitments to finance large corporate transactions, and resulted in a favorable settlement for the firm’s clients after one day of trial.
- Representation of two private equity funds as sponsors in litigation concerning the funding banks’ alleged breach of a contract, in the midst of the financial crisis, to finance the firm’s clients’ $30 million leveraged buyout of Harrah’s Entertainment. As a result of the litigation, the firm’s clients received the financing, and the transaction went through.
- On behalf of the Audit Committee of a NYSE-listed company, Mr. Kaplan and the firm conducted an investigation of charges of sexual harassment and sexual assault against the company’s CEO by a subordinate. Because of the urgency of the matter, at the request of the company, the entire engagement was conducted to completion in 24 days.
- Representation of an equity investor in a major investment bank in pursuing to successful settlement his individual claims exceeding $1 billion.
- Representation of a major pharmaceutical company in an action for breach of contract by a non-authorized wholesaler in connection with the mass recall by the company of certain consumer health products.
Prior to founding Friedman Kaplan, Mr. Kaplan served in the U.S. Air Force and was an associate at Kelley, Drye & Warren and later in the litigation department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He then served as Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel of New York City. In that position he had supervisory responsibility for all trials and appeals to which the City was a party, and personally served as the City's lead trial and appellate counsel in many significant cases involving federal securities laws, product liability, federal and state constitutional principles, and municipal contracts.
Outside the Office
Mr. Kaplan is a member and former trustee of the Federal Bar Council, an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in federal practice and fellowship among federal practitioners in the Second Circuit.
Harvard Law School, J.D. (1966)
Columbia College, B.A. (1963)
State of New York
U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, and Fifth Circuits
U.S. Supreme Court
Honors and Awards
New York Super Lawyers List, 2006-present
Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2009