Partner Lena Konanova has been named to Bloomberg Law’s list of 40 outstanding lawyers under age 40 from across the United States. “They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40” applauds successful young lawyers with track records of success in significant, high-impact client matters, and is a remarkable distinction for Konanova and Selendy Gay.
Konanova was named to this highly selective list for demonstrating key qualities Bloomberg Law looks for, including early ownership of key roles in client matters, strong leadership skills, tangible support for diversity and inclusion efforts, and new ways of thinking about the practice of law.
Bloomberg Law recognizes Konanova for her expertise in trials, arbitrations, and successful appeals before federal and state courts where she has held wrongdoers and entire industries accountable while both securing constitutional rights and recovering billions of dollars in commercial matters.
For example, she played a key role in the firm’s representation of Fairfield Sentry Limited on an appeal to recover $6 billion in redemption payments from entities arising out of the Madoff Ponzi scheme. She was also instrumental in representing the Federal Housing Finance Agency in securing an $806 million judgement against Nomura and RBS in a landmark residential mortgage-backed securities litigation.
Konanova’s public interest work is notable—she co-led Selendy Gay’s team in representing the American Federation of Teachers as they filed suit against the US Department of Education for the department’s failure to properly implement the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. In a similar case against Navient, one of the nation’s largest student loan services, she helped secure a very favorable settlement for teachers, nurses, first responders, and other public servants.
“Lena’s dedication to equity and inclusion shines through in her legal advocacy for the public employees we serve," praised Sara Tammelleo of American Federation of Teachers when asked about Konanova's work on their case. "Whether it is a teacher from the Bronx, or a bus driver from southern Florida, Lena has treated each AFT member she has encountered with dignity and respect. She approaches each person’s personal financial struggle with the same degree of consideration and understanding, and then fights tirelessly to ensure that their rights are represented fairly.”
Konanova has further fought for consumer access to renewable energy, and successfully advocated to establish a federal right to a minimum education and access to literacy.
At Selendy Gay, Konanova heads the firm’s recruiting and training programs. She was key in developing and implementing the firm’s associate training program, with special emphasis placed on mentorship. She is a senior advisory board member of the Health Finance Institute, a nonprofit working to catalyze financing for the prevention of non-communicable diseases. She’s also involved with Her Justice, an organization that provides free legal help to women and children living in poverty in New York City.