Michael C. Keats

Michael C. Keats

  • Partner
  • Litigation
  • New York
  • T:   +1.212.859.8914
  • F:   +1.212.859.4000
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Michael C. Keats is a litigation partner with more than 20 years of experience handling a diverse and high-profile trial and appellate practice representing sophisticated clients in "bet the company" litigation and regulatory matters.
Mr. Keats represents broker-dealers, hedge funds, private equity funds, commodities firms, commercial banks and other institutions in civil securities litigation and regulatory proceedings throughout the country. He advises clients on a wide variety of legal disciplines affecting financial institutions including, securities, derivatives, commodities, bankruptcy, antitrust, corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, administrative procedure, ERISA and employment litigation matters. He also has experience challenging federal regulatory actions under the Administrative Procedure Act. Mr. Keats' practice often requires managing complex parallel civil litigation, global regulatory proceedings and internal investigations. His financial services clients have included Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Allianz Asset Management, Ally Securities, Bank of America, Blackstone/GSO, Brigade Capital Management, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, First Data Corporation, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, King Street Capital Management, Monarch Alternative Capital, Och-Ziff Capital Management, Prudential, Royal Bank of Scotland, and UBS.

Mr. Keats also represents clients in commercial, entertainment and intellectual property litigation. He acted as one of the lead trial counsel in the Napster copyright litigation, which helped define the contours of copyright law in the digital age. Mr. Keats represents high-tech clients in a variety of disputes, including a major software manufacturer in an arbitration against one of its licensees, and another software manufacturer in an earn-out dispute with the former shareholders of an acquired company.

Prior to joining Fried Frank, Mr. Keats was a partner at a prominent international commercial law firm, and previously served as a Managing Director in the Regulatory Proceedings Group at Goldman Sachs. While at Goldman, he handled major regulatory and litigation matters during a period of extraordinary market upheaval and regulatory change across virtually all of Goldman Sachs' businesses. Mr. Keats oversaw shareholder derivative litigation against Goldman Sachs' board of directors regarding a host of challenged business practices, and advised executive management and senior business personnel on the full range of litigation and regulatory enforcement issues arising both before and after the financial crisis. Mr. Keats represented Goldman Sachs before government officials, supervisory regulators and enforcement staff worldwide, as well as before congressional investigative committees. Mr. Keats worked directly with Goldman Sachs' media relations, investor relations, public disclosure and accounting functions in the regular cycle of financial reporting during the financial crisis as well as in the crisis management context.

Prior to private practice, Mr. Keats clerked for the Honorable Bruce M. Selya for the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Mr. Keats has been recognized by Legal 500 for his practice in Securities Litigation. He is a frequent speaker at conferences focused on securities law and has significant experience communicating with the media regarding complex legal issues including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Bloomberg News and Law360.

Mr. Keats is active in the community and has represented the National League of Women Voters before the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, in landmark voting rights litigation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and served on the Board of Trustees of Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York, a non-profit educational organization. He has represented industry trade associations, such as the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), the Western Power Trading Forum, and Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), as amicus curiae in a variety of major cases of interest to the securities and commodities industries.

Professional Associations

Board Member, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Board of Trustees, Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York


Hon. Bruce M. Selya, US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Bar Admissions/Licensed Jurisdictions

New York; United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; United States Court of Appeals for the First, Ninth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits; United States Supreme Court.

Practices & Industries


Boston University School of Law, JD – 1995
  • magna cum laude
  • Editor, Boston University Law Review
Brandeis University, MA – 1992
  • International Economics and Finance
Brandeis University, BA – 1991
  • cum laude
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