Mala Ahuja Harker is a member of the firm's Management Committee. She represents individuals and corporations in the financial services, pharmaceutical, and other industries in connection with white collar, securities, employment, and complex commercial litigation matters.
Prior to rejoining Friedman Kaplan, where she was formerly a partner, Ms. Harker served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 2011 through 2017. In this role, Ms. Harker investigated and prosecuted cases involving sophisticated financial frauds, insider trading, securities violations, mortgage and bank fraud, tax evasion, money laundering, public corruption, identity theft and cybercrime, as well as violent crime and drug offenses, among others.
Ms. Harker’s work for the U.S. Attorney’s office included a long term investigation involving corruption at the Newark Watershed Conservation & Development Corporation, which resulted in the conviction of several high ranking employees and outside contractors of the agency.
Ms. Harker was selected to Chambers & Partners' list of ranked lawyers in the Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations in New Jersey category of the 2021 and 2022 Chambers USA guides. A description of the selection methodology can be found here. (No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.)
- Representation of WeWork co-founder and former CEO and Chairman Adam Neumann and affiliated company We Holdings LLC in a Delaware Chancery Court action, which was consolidated with an action commenced by a Special Committee of WeWork’s Board of Directors, challenging the decision of WeWork’s majority institutional shareholder to terminate a multi-billion dollar tender offer.
- Representation of GSO Capital Partners in litigation challenging its refinancing of debt issued by New Jersey-based home builder Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc.
- Representation of the NWHI Litigation Trust that was established in the bankruptcy to pursue claims relating to the 2014 transaction, in which Nine West’s predecessor was purchased, certain of its businesses were sold off, and its shareholders received more than $1 billion for their shares.
- Representation of Wilmington Savings Fund Society, FSB as successor indenture trustee for $250 million of unsecured notes of Nine West Holdings, Inc. in connection with Nine West’s bankruptcy and potential claims arising out of the company's 2014 leveraged buyout and asset sales. Co-lead counsel in a contested bankruptcy confirmation hearing that led to a revised plan of reorganization that provided a greater recovery to noteholders and other unsecured creditors.
- Representation of the Chief Financial Officer of an international media company in connection with an internal investigation.
- Representation of an inter-dealer brokerage firm in a three week arbitration related to claims of unfair competition and raiding by a rival firm.
- Representation of a hedge fund in a two week arbitration involving contract and tort claims against a departing portfolio manager.
- Representation of a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in a multimillion dollar breach of contract action by a supplier.
- Representation of a major operator of refrigerated storage centers in an action in New York state court seeking to enjoin a failed bidder from utilizing confidential information gained in the auction process pursuant to an NDA in efforts to purchase facilities from landlords of the client's existing warehouse locations.
- Representation of a senior executive of a generic drug manufacturer in connection with a criminal investigation and related civil shareholder actions.
Prior to her time with the District of New Jersey and with Friedman Kaplan, Ms. Harker was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP.
Outside the Office
Ms. Harker is a member of the Federal Bar Council, the Women’s White Collar Defense Association and its Development Committee, the New York City Bar Association and its Women in the Legal Profession: White Collar Crime Subcommittee, and the South Asian Bar Association of New York, in addition to serving as the firm’s Management Committee representative on the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She is also an active member of professional organizations that advocate for gender equity and inclusion within the workplace, including the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Legal Network for Gender Equity, which connects those who have experienced sexual misconduct in the workplace with attorneys and public relations professionals who can help them. Ms. Harker serves on the Board of Trustees of Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, which improves the lives of economically-disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey by empowering them with tools, advice, and pro bono representation with the goal of securing fair and equal treatment within the legal system.
University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D. (1999)
Washington University, St. Louis, B.A (1996)
State of New York
State of Virginia
U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Ninth Circuits
Honors and Awards
Crain's New York Business, Notable Diverse Leaders in Law list, 2022
Law Review and Publications
Winner of Best Brief, Edwin R. Keedy Cup Moot Court Competition