David Elsberg

Managing Partner

212 390 9004

Photo of David Elsberg

David Elsberg is a founding and managing partner of Selendy & Gay.

David is a seasoned trial lawyer with decades of experience trying cases in courts and arbitration forums across the nation. Law360 named David both a Trial Pro and also a Securities MVP, noting his “artful and measured cross-examination style and his tireless attention to detail” and reporting that clients describe him as “aggressive, passionate, and a first-rate thinker” whose “ability to read people and think numerous questions ahead is uncanny.” David has also been recognized as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation, a “Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal, a New York Metro “Super Lawyer,” and among the “500 Leading Plaintiffs’ Financial Lawyers” and the “500 Leading Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon.

David has litigated a broad range of complex commercial cases, including trials and arbitration hearings involving, among other things, financial fraud and malfeasance, breach of fiduciary duty, corporate governance and control contests, investment funds, partnership and alternative entities, energy, bankruptcy, unfair competition, contracts, employment, and structured financial products.

Representative Matters

  • Fairfield Sentry Limited (in liquidation) et al.: Currently representing foreign representatives of several funds in liquidation abroad in Chapter 15 proceedings in Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, and before the U.S. District Court on appeal, asserting foreign avoidance, common law, and breach of contract claims, seeking to recover about $6 billion dollars in redemption payments from hundreds of entities arising out of the Madoff scheme.
  • UMB Bank, N.A.: Currently Special Litigation Counsel for bond indenture trustee representing the largest group of unsecured creditors in the Neiman Marcus bankruptcy proceeding in U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
  • UMB Bank, N.A.: Currently representing bond indenture trustee in a suit alleging that Neiman Marcus fraudulently transferred a $1 billion asset and that Ares is liable for tortious interference with the bond indenture.
  • A major energy company: The respondent in a confidential international arbitration victory in front of a AAA Panel that awarded claimant zero and dismissed with prejudice its claim against our client for hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Crestview v. Koch: In a six-day trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery, represented private equity fund Crestview Partners against Bill Koch in successfully enforcing the contractual right to conduct a sale of Oxbow Carbon, the company in which the private equity fund had bought a minority interest.
  • Quadrant v. Vertin: In a one-week trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery, successfully represented defendants against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and fraudulent transfer. David also argued the appeal to the en banc Delaware Supreme Court which upheld the trial win.
  • MASTR Adjustable Rate Mortgages Trust 2006-OA2 et al v. UBS: In a one-month trial in the Southern District of New York, successfully represented plaintiff in breach-of-warranty suit regarding three residential mortgage-backed securities trusts.
  • ResCap bankruptcy litigation: Represented the ResCap Liquidating Trust in suits against dozens of loan originators for indemnity and breaches of contract arising from the sale of defective mortgage loans, achieving settlements of $590 million.
  • Access vs. JPMorgan: In a three-week trial in New York Supreme Court, successfully represented plaintiff in claim for breach of investment guidelines.
  • Five Mile Capital v. MSR Hotels: In a three-day hearing in the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court, successfully represented defendant investment fund executives against claims of breach of fiduciary duty. All claims were dismissed in their entirety.
  • Rosen Capital v. Merrill Lynch: In a two-week FINRA hearing, successfully represented claimant investment fund in seeking damages from improper margin call and breach of account agreements. The arbitration panel issued an award of about $79 million, which was reported to be one of the largest investor arbitration awards on record.
  • Washington Mutual v. JPMorgan: In one of the largest bankruptcies in history, represented the debtor against challenges to its confirmation plan in the District of Delaware Bankruptcy Court. The result, a $6 billion settlement, represented a significant distribution for Washington Mutual's creditors.
  • A leading biotechnology company, in successfully obtaining a judgment dismissing a complex patent infringement suit brought by a multinational pharmaceutical company that sought over $500 million in damages.

Affiliations & Community Involvement

David earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable Amalya Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He has taught as a guest lecturer on securities regulation at Harvard Law School. He has taught as a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School. He is on the Executive Board of The Calhoun School, an independent school in New York City.

  • Harvard Law School (J.D., 1995)
    Magna cum laude, Harvard Law Review: Developments Editor & Supervising Editor, 1994-1995, Editor, 1993-1994
  • Duke University (B.A., distinction in History major, 1992)
    Summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
Partner & Co-Chair of Investment Fund Practice, 2006-2018

Miller & Wrubel
Partner, 2002-2006

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Associate, 1997-2002

Law Clerk to the Hon. Amalya L. Kearse
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1995-1996

  • State Bar of New York
  • United States Courts of Appeals: First Circuit, Second Circuit
  • United States District Courts: Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York