Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Steven S. Sparling counsels and represents executives, directors and other individuals as well as Fortune 100 companies in sensitive, complicated and often high-profile matters involving criminal and regulatory trials, hearings, investigations and related proceedings. Mr. Sparling’s work on behalf of his clients involves a comprehensive range of substantive issues in white collar criminal defense and regulatory work, including defending against allegations of securities and accounting fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, insider trading, running a Ponzi scheme, money laundering, stock options backdating, obstruction of justice and tax offenses. He has conducted numerous internal investigations for U.S. and foreign companies, represented both officers and directors in connection with such investigations, and worked with auditors and disclosure counsel as well as outside regulators and government agencies. Mr. Sparling successfully represented a former SAC Capital Fund Advisors fund manager in a prominent insider-trading case that was ultimately dropped by U.S. prosecutors. Mr. Sparling also recently represented a principal of a fund, clearing him of any wrongdoing in connection with an SEC investigation concerning high-speed Internet trading and purported stock price manipulation. In addition, Mr. Sparling represented the head of a multibillion-dollar investment fund in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act criminal case, clearing the client prior to trial with regard to charges that alleged he conspired to bribe the president of Azerbaijan in connection with the privatization of the state-owned oil company.
Mr. Sparling also represents individuals, companies, and mutual and hedge funds in connection with complex securities and commercial civil litigation and corporate control matters. He litigates in both federal and state court, representing clients in securities class actions and shareholder derivative suits, ERISA cases, and contract disputes. He has represented corporations, individuals and partnerships in commercial arbitration proceedings. For example, Mr. Sparling represented a class of consumer packaged goods companies in a prominent antitrust class action. He and co-counsel secured a $250 million settlement on behalf of the class. Mr. Sparling also successfully secured the dismissal of all claims against an international investigative company in a state court civil action seeking more than $20 million, based on allegations of fraud, gross negligence and breach of contract brought against the company by its former client. In addition, Mr. Sparling represented individual trustees of several funds in connection with putative securities class actions in a multidistrict ligation concerning allegations of misstatements in investment materials implicating both state and federal laws, including the Securities Exchange Act and the Investment Company Act.
Mr. Sparling also represents professional boxers, promoters and others in the boxing profession, and has won high-profile boxing arbitrations and court proceedings for world champion boxers, promoters, managers and advisors in matters concerning exclusive promotional contract rights and claims for tortious interference with contract. Mr. Sparling secured an arbitration award on behalf of a promoter enforcing the specific performance of a promotional contract against the number-one ranked light heavyweight contender in the world, who was attempting to sign with another promoter on the eve of a multimillion-dollar championship fight. Mr. Sparling also represented the middleweight champion of the world, defeating a motion by a former promoter of the client for a preliminary injunction seeking to preclude the client from boxing for another promoter and then obtaining an arbitration award holding that the client was free to sign with another promoter.
Mr. Sparling also serves as an adjunct professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, teaching a seminar on corporate internal investigations. He was selected by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Student Bar Association and the 2015 graduating class as “Best Adjunct Professor.”