Michelle Ann Gitlitz

Biography

CHAIR, GENERAL LITIGATION PRACTICE GROUP

Michelle Gitlitz concentrates her practice in the area of securities law, representing corporations, investment companies, and hedge funds in corporate, regulatory, and litigation matters. Michelle also counsels clients on the intersection of law, business, and technology, including issues related to distributive ledger technologies (blockchain), smart contracts, virtual currencies, and artificial intelligence. Michelle advises clients on the following:

  • Investment Company Act/Investment Advisers Act: representing open-end, closed-end, Boards of Trustees, and business development companies with registration, regulation, and governance matters
  • Fund formation: creating and organizing private investment funds and hedge funds, including funds that invest in emerging digital technologies (blockchain) and virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin
  • Government investigations: representing companies, officers, and directors in connection with investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, FINRA, and other state and federal regulatory agencies arising out of possible violations of law

Michelle co-authors a Fund and Investment Management Regulatory Update and Recent SEC Enforcement Actions  overview for clients. Michelle frequently speaks about blockchain technology, virtual currencies, and artificial intelligence at conferences and forums. She has participated in MIT’s Legal Forum for Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain and lectured at MIT's Computational Law Course.

Outside the Firm

Michelle enjoys hiking, tennis, traveling, and baking.

Experience

  • Formation of hedge funds that invest in distributive ledger technologies and virtual currencies.
  • Counsel clients on transactions involving distributive ledger technology and virtual currencies.
  • Counsel independent trustees and mutual fund boards regarding Investment Company Act of 1940 and Investment Advisers Act issues.
  • Representation of one of the country’s premier banking and financial services institutions, to recover damages for repudiation of customer obligations under interest rate swap agreements.
  • Representation of a manufacturer of nutritional supplements, in connection with a formal order of investigation issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Representation of a Special Committee of a mining company, in connection with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of possible violations of the securities laws by the company and its officers, directors and affiliates.
  • Representation of independent trustees of mutual fund trusts, in connection with allegations relating to violations of Section 15(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 for alleged failure to evaluate factors to be considered when approving or renewing investment advisory contracts on behalf of shareholders.
  • Representation of the board of trustees and the investment adviser to a family of mutual funds, in connection with the policies and practices with respect to investments by certain funds in IPOs of equity securities.
  • Representation of the independent trust.

News & Views

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Recognitions

  • 2012–2016, “Rising Star” in Business Litigation, listed in Super Lawyers

Affiliations

Professional Activities
  • Co-Chair, Blockchain Working Group
  • Co-Founder, Diversity in Blockchain

Credentials

Admissions

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York

Education

  • Brooklyn Law School, JD
  • Cornell University, BS