Recent News

Rakower Law partners Michael Rakower and Melissa Yang continue to establish themselves as thought leaders in commercial litigation.  Recently, each served as a panelist during the New York State Bar Association’s annual Commercial Litigation Academy, which took place on November 3-4, 2022. Melissa served as a panelist in Venue Decisions: State Court vs. Federal Court vs. Arbitration.  She was joined by Benjamin Weissman of Foley Hoag, Jay G. Safer of Wallmuth Maher & Deutsch, and arbitrator William H. Crosby.   Stephen P. Younger of Foley Hoag moderated the panel. Michael moderated the panel entitled Civil Appeals and Argument.  He was joined by the following panelists: Appellate Division Justice Sharon A. M. Aarons (3rd Dept.); Hon. Anthony Carpinello (Ret.) (3rd Dept.), now a JAMS arbitrator; Gerard Rath of Shaub, Ahmuty, Citrin & Spratt LLP; and Michael McMahon of Bond Schoeneck & King.

Rakower Law PLLC is investigating claims on behalf of investors of Renren Inc. (“Renren” or the “Company”) who held shares of Renren in June 2018. (NYSE: RENN) This investigation concerns an action pending in New York Supreme Court, New York County entitled, In re Renren, Inc. Derivative Litigation, Index No. 653594/2018

The action includes allegations that Renren’s officers and directors breached fiduciary duties owed to the Company in connection with a series of transactions in which Renren’s investment portfolio was transferred to Oak Pacific Investments (“OPI”) in exchange for an inadequate cash dividend paid to certain minority shareholders who did not receive shares in OPI. In a recent decision, the court concluded that those Renren shareholders as of June 21, 2018 who received dividends in connection with the OPI transaction are entitled to recover on any judgment or settlement in the action.

Rakower Law PLLC represents an investor with sizeable Renren holdings as of June 21, 2018 who intervened in the pending court action. If you held Renren common stock or American depositary shares (“ADS”) on June 21, 2018 and received a cash dividend as a result, you are advised to contact Michael C. Rakower at or (212) 660-5550 to obtain additional information regarding this investigation.


Rakower Law PLLC is a boutique commercial litigation firm located in New York City focusing on aggressively representing clients in complex commercial disputes. For more information visit:


Michael C. Rakower 260 Madison Avenue, 15th Fl. New York, NY 10016 (212) 660-5550

Partners Michael Rakower and Melissa Yang published “Failing to Heed ERISA’s Claims Procedure: A Fast-Track to Court and De Novo Review” in the November 5, 2021 edition of the New York Law Journal.  The article explores the consequences of an administrator’s failure to follow the claims procedure of an ERISA-governed benefits plan.  First, the administrator’s neglect permits claimants to skip their plan’s internal appeal process and go straight to court.  Second, it shifts the court’s standard of review of a benefits denial from arbitrary and capricious to de novo.  
In its 2021 rankings, Chambers USA has identified Rakower Law partner Michael C. Rakower as one of New York’s top commercial litigators. According to Chambers, “[I]ndividuals ranked in the New York General Commercial Litigation tables have secured their positions through consistently demonstrating their prowess in complex business disputes.”  Interviewees remarked that Michael was “[e]xtremely intelligent and professional,” and "an outstanding advocate and great writer. You'd want him in the courtroom with you."  Recognizing that Michael focuses on “individual representation in diverse commercial disputes,” Chambers noted that Michael is a “particularly strong choice for the litigation of executive compensation claims.” Michael is one of only 90 attorneys ranked in this year’s guide. CLICK HERE to see Michael’s Chambers USA profile.
NYLJ article, When A Promise Becomes A MythPartners Michael Rakower and Melissa Yang published “Incentive Compensation: When a Promise Becomes a Myth” in the May 6, 2021 edition of the New York Law Journal.  The article explores enforceability risks arising from incentive compensation agreements that vest employers with overly broad discretionary rights.
Once again, Rakower Law partners Michael Rakower and Melissa Yang have been honored by Thomson Reuters’ Super LawyersSuper Lawyers placed Michael for the sixth straight year on its Top 100 list of attorneys in the New York Metropolitan Area, and recognized Melissa as a Rising Star for the seventh straight year.
Rakower Law continues to forge into uncharted territories, this time by establishing a leadership position in remote proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Undaunted by the challenges presented during this pandemic in a case where parties and witnesses span the country, Rakower Law has made use of state-of-the-art technology to participate in 7 depositions over the last several weeks, all taken virtually, and is preparing for a week-long remote arbitration set to commence in mid-August.
On June 29, 2020, Melissa Yang served as a panelist in “Tactical Decisions that Counsel & the Client Must Often Make: Part 2,” a webinar sponsored by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).  The webinar offered practical advice to lawyers in mediation, and may be accessed on NYSBA’s website using the following link:
In contrast to countries that require a losing party to pay the winning party’s legal fees, the United States abides by the “American Rule,” which requires each party to pay its own legal fees irrespective of who wins.  The American Rule, however, has exceptions. One of them concerns the fee-shifting provision in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This article explores the considerations courts apply to a party’s request for legal fees after success in an ERISA case.