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Mark Zimmett was educated at The Johns Hopkins University and The New York University School of Law.

His recent cases include litigation and counseling on CDOs (collateral debt obligations), swaps and other securities and financial products, workouts and construction and tax disputes. The experience and mature judgment he brings to bear are based on years of training on financial and other commercial cases.

Early Trials
Zimmett joined the New York law firm of Shearman & Sterling after graduation from law school. He litigated scores of cases for Shearman & Sterling’s largest client Citibank, trying more cases than most attorneys with twice his years of experience. At 28 years old, he was entrusted as the principal associate with the litigation of billions of dollars of claims that led to the freeing of American hostages held in Iran.

Marquee Cases and Teaching
After being elected a partner of Shearman & Sterling, Zimmett continued to handle marquee cases for Citibank and other major clients, such as the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano (the Vatican bank scandal), the Hunt Brothers’ reorganizations, the world-wide shipping workouts and General Anastasio Somoza. He also taught international law at The New York University School of Law.

His Own Firm
As Shearman & Sterling grew, it reorganized and merged its several small teams of litigators into a much larger single department. The increased size did not suit Zimmett. Neither did the new emphasis then prevalent at many large firms on each partner specializing in a single type of litigation, nor the trend away from trying cases to managing projects. But, as Zimmett puts it, “my name wasn’t ‘Shearman’ or ‘Sterling’ and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.”  Boldly, he set out to form his own law firm in 1990.

David vs. Goliaths
The Law Offices of Mark P. Zimmett have maintained a close relationship with Shearman & Sterling and other large law firms, often receiving referrals from them when they are faced with potential client conflicts. At the same time, Zimmett regularly opposes attorneys from the large firms in court or other venues. As in the international arbitration and hedge fund cases described in these pages, Zimmett and his associates are more than comfortable representing clients involved in sophisticated commercial transactions and facing counsel from the largest law firms in New York and elsewhere.

There are signs that at least some thoughtful leaders among the legal profession may be reconsidering its embrace of gigantism. A major legal conference listed as one of its discussion topics: “David vs. Goliath ... Bigger Is Not Always Better.”

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