Seth Grosshandler is a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP based in the New York office.
Mr. Grosshandler’s practice focuses on financial institutions, derivative products, securities transactions, secured transactions and structured finance. As an instrumental player in the development of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Bankruptcy Code, the Federal Deposit Insurance Act and Orderly Liquidation Authority, Mr. Grosshandler is regarded as a preeminent expert on risks to counterparties of regulated financial institutions in the event of the insolvency of the financial institution, as well as the rights of secured and unsecured creditors in insolvency proceedings to close-out, net and exercise remedies in derivative and securities transactions. During and after the financial crisis, he advised major Wall Street firms on their exposure to failing and failed counterparties, including Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and various government agencies on market stabilization efforts.
Since then, Mr. Grosshandler has participated in transatlantic regulatory reform initiatives, with a particular emphasis on legal mechanisms for resolving financial institutions. He has been actively engaged with both market participants and regulators on the development of rules to implement Orderly Liquidation Authority, innovative approaches to financial company insolvency such as ‘bail-ins’, and harmonizing U.S. and EU requirements for resolution plans (so-called ‘living wills’). Mr. Grosshandler is currently advising several U.S. and non-U.S. institutions on the preparation of their resolution plans.
Mr. Grosshandler has also been very involved in the move to cleared OTC derivatives – representing the Futures Industry Association in the creation of standard documentation for the relationship between futures commission merchants and their cleared OTC customers and the insolvency treatment of the FCMs’ rights, and the implementation of the CFTC’s “legally segregated operationally commingled” (LSOC) treatment of cleared OTC customer collateral. That work is an outgrowth of Mr. Grosshandler’s representation of an ad hoc group of buy-side and sell-side market participants (with the participation and support of ISDA, SIFMA AMG and MFA), formed at the behest of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to analyze cross-jurisdictional insolvency issues with respect to customer access to central CDS clearing platforms.
Mr. Grosshandler is designated as a “star performer” by Chambers Global
and Chambers USA
and is internationally distinguished as one of the best lawyers by Law Business Research’s The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers
, Who’s Who of Banking Lawyers
, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook
, IFLR 1000: The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms
, The Legal Media Group Guide to the World’s Leading Banking Lawyers
, The Best Lawyers in America
and The Legal 500
. He was also selected as Best Lawyers'
2014 New York Derivatives and Futures Lawyer of the Year.
Mr. Grosshandler lectures and is widely published on the various aspects of financial institution insolvency matters and derivatives products.
Mr. Grosshandler joined the firm in 1983 and became a partner in 1992. He received a J.D. degree, cum laude
, from Northwestern University in 1983 and an undergraduate degree from Reed College in 1979.
Mr. Grosshandler is a member of the Bar in New York. His native language is English, and he is proficient in French.