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Renée M. Zaytsev

Counsel
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Honors

  • Renée was named for inclusion to the New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, a Thomson Reuters lawyer rating service for lawyers under 40, since 2015.

Education

J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 2007

  • Member, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal

B.A., Stanford University, 2003

Bar & Court Admissions

  • New York, 2008
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

As a litigation attorney with Olshan, Renée M. Zaytsev engages in sophisticated commercial and securities litigation.

Renée is Counsel in Olshan’s Litigation group.  Renée focuses her practice on sophisticated general commercial and securities litigation in federal and state courts.  She has represented Fortune 500 and middle-market companies, financial institutions, private investment funds, real estate developers, and individuals in a wide variety of commercial disputes, including claims arising under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934; M&A shareholder litigation; licensing matters; and breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and breach of contract claims.

Renée regularly appears and handles arguments in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the Delaware Chancery Court, among others.  She has also argued appeals in the Appellate Division, First Department and the Court of Appeals.

Recent examples of Renee’s practice include the following:

  • Renée represents an activist hedge fund that, by virtue of running a successful proxy contest, has been sued for aiding and abetting the target board’s alleged breach of fiduciary duty, one of the first cases of its kind. Renee recently argued a motion for summary judgment before Vice Chancellor Laster in the Delaware Chancery Court, seeking dismissal of the claim.
  • Renée won a decisive defense award for a bulge-bracket investment bank after a three-day FINRA arbitration where 11 witnesses testified to a three-member panel involving a disputed bond trade.
  • Renée represents a private investment fund and its investment adviser in connection with claims asserted under Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The plaintiff relies on novel legal theories that, at the time the claim was filed, had not yet been directly addressed by any federal court.
  • Renée achieved a reversal in the First Department of the lower court’s denial of her client’s motion to dismiss a claim by his former partners to force the client to sell his one-third interest in an LLC that owned the broker-dealer.  After the First Department dismissed this claim, Renee continued to defend the client against the remaining claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.  She successfully obtained advancement to cover 100% of her client’s legal fees, leading to the plaintiffs’ dismissal of their claims.

Renée also frequently handles litigation for the firm’s Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring group.  She currently represents a trustee in a high-profile adversary proceeding against a public company and a reality television personality, both of whom were recently found liable for, inter alia, committing fraud on the debtor’s creditors and on the court itself.  Renée also defended a director of a well-known retailer, which had filed a voluntary chapter 11 petition, against a claim that the director violated his fiduciary duties.  Though the claim was filed in the Bankruptcy Court, Renee successfully argued for withdrawal of the reference pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall, and subsequently achieved dismissal of the action for her client.

Renée is committed to pro bono work.  Recently, she successfully convinced the First Department to overturn the conviction of an indigent defendant based on the trial court’s improper disqualification of counsel.  She subsequently defended the First Department’s decision in the Court of Appeals, where she argued on behalf of her client. Renée serves as the firm’s pro bono liaison.

Renée previously served as Secretary to the Professional Responsibility Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is frequently called upon to weigh in on legal ethics matters at the firm.

Renée is a globetrotter and a polyglot.  The daughter of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, she was born in the United States and moved to Zurich, Switzerland with her family at the age of 13.  She has traveled to 39 countries and is married to an Argentine.  She speaks Spanish fluently, and she also speaks Russian and French. 

Renée received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she served on the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal.  She received her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University, graduating in three years.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Secretary, New York City Bar Association Committee on Professional Responsibility

  • Represent one of Olshan’s activist clients and a hedge fund that he co-manages against claims for breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary, respectively, in the Delaware Chancery Court.  The action involves the merger of PLX Technologies, Inc. with Avago Technologies Wireless, Inc.  The plaintiffs in the action allege that the directors of PLX, including the client, breached their fiduciary duties in approving the transaction, and further allege that the hedge fund, which ran a successful proxy contest to get its principal on the board, aided and abetted the breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Represent a trustee in a high-profile adversary proceeding pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Prosecuted claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, among others, against a public company and a reality television personality who misappropriated the existence of the debtor’s last remaining asset, in violation of the automatic stay, and who concealed and lied about the existence of the asset to the creditors and the Court.  Recently achieved a hard-fought judgment on liability, in which the Bankruptcy Court found that the defendants were liable on all of the asserted claims.
  • Defend private investment fund and its investment adviser in multi-million dollar dispute pending in the Eastern District of New York relating to a claim by a shareholder that the defendants violated Section 16(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Represent a lender in a claim to recover its multi-million dollar loan after the defendants defaulted in their payment obligations, a dispute pending in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
  • Represented large privately-held fragrance licensing company against claims brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York pertaining to the status of the client’s license for a well-known fragrance brand. Successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of the client.
  • Prosecuted claims on behalf of a long-standing real estate client who was defrauded out of his one-third ownership interest in a hotel enterprise.  The case involved claims of breach of the parties’ operating agreement, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as claims for aiding and abetting fraud and attorney deceit in violation of Judiciary Law § 487 against the attorneys who facilitated the fraudulent transaction.  Negotiated a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Represented the founder of a successful broker-dealer against claims by his former partners to force the client to sell his one-third interest in the LLC that owned the broker-dealer. Achieved a reversal in the First Department of the lower court’s denial of the motion to dismiss the claim, and then continued to defend the client against the remaining claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.  Brought a related action in the Delaware Chancery Court and successfully obtained advancement to cover 100% of the fees incurred in the New York action, leading to the plaintiffs’ voluntary dismissal with prejudice of their claims. 
  • Defended a director of a well-known retailer, which had filed a voluntary chapter 11 petition, against a breach of fiduciary duty claim in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Successfully argued for withdrawal of the reference, and achieved dismissal of the action in the District Court.
  • Represented hedge fund in prosecuting claims relating to the failure to deliver shares pursuant to a warrant.  Obtained a TRO that led to a favorable settlement.
  • Won a decisive defense award for a bulge-bracket investment bank after a three-day FINRA arbitration where 11 witnesses testified to a three-member panel involving a disputed bond trade.
  • Represented a privately-owned endodontic supply company in a three-week federal jury trial, leading to a $44 million jury verdict in the client’s favor.  Successfully prosecuted the client’s claims for breach of contract and unfair competition, and successfully defended counterclaims brought against the client under the Lanham Act.

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