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Marc S. Cohen

Marc S. Cohen


T: +1 310 788 1223
F: +1 310 788 1200

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  • New York University School of Law
    JD; Law Review, Order of the Coif
  • Cornell University


Southern District of New York, J. Robert L. Carter, US District Court, 1974-1975


  • California
  • Ohio
  • The Federal Courts in California


  • Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy, Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1994–1997; 2008-2010) Cornell University Council (2007–2011; 2013-2017) Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section (Vice-Chair, 1988–1989, Chair, 1989–1990) State Bar of California (Member, Insolvency Committee, 1990–1992, 2000–2002) Board of Governors of Financial Lawyers Conference (1987–1989) Board of Advisors, Cornell University Libraries (2000–2007) Founder for Miracle Mile Residential Coalition (1982) Counsel for Miracle Mile Civic Coalition (1986-Present) Chair of Adopt-A-Fire Station, Station 61 (2001–Present) LAFD Division 2 Advisor (2005–Present)

  • Military Service

  • Major — California State Military Reserve, JAG Corps

  • Deputy Counsel — Cyber Defense, California Military Department

Marc is a partner in the Complex Commercial Litigation Department in Kaye Scholer’s Los Angeles office. Marc has substantial experience representing state and municipal agencies on a wide range of legal, budgetary and financial issues, including escheat (or unclaimed property) matters, developing creative solutions for government and administrative agencies facing budget gaps and other serious fiscal challenges, intragovernmental disputes, and conflicts over retirement benefits and employment obligations.  Marc has also advised government clients on municipal bankruptcy matters, such as Chapter 9 eligibility and case administration, treatment and risks of municipal debt in Chapter 9 proceedings, and alternatives to bankruptcy.

Notably, Marc currently represents the states of California and Delaware in enforcing their unclaimed property laws, including in connection with the life insurance and oil and gas industries.  In addition to successfully obtaining judicial relief to enforce his clients’ rights to administer their state unclaimed property programs, Marc has also been especially successful in negotiating settlement agreements on behalf of his clients. This includes representing the California State Controller’s Office in negotiating multi-state settlements with the insurance industry; to date, California has executed settlements with 21 major US insurers with a projected aggregate value of $2.4 billion nationally and an estimated $267 million going to California beneficiaries.

Marc has also represented the City of Los Angeles in numerous matters, including advising the City of Los Angeles, Department of Airports in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of American Airlines, as well as advising the City in connection with the treatment of several contracts and leases between American and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).  

Marc continues to represent the City of Los Angeles in connection with an ongoing dispute involving Ontario airport.  Additionally, Marc has also represented several California state agencies and officers, including the State Controller’s Office and the Department of Finance, in the Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case of the City of San Bernardino. 

In 2014, Marc was chosen by California Lawyer magazine as a recipient of its prestigious California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year (CLAY) Award for his representation of the State Controller’s Office in recovering billions of dollars in unpaid life insurance and annuity proceeds from insurance companies. Marc has been recognized as a Leading Individual in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2006. Chambers USA 2015 ranks Marc as a leading practitioner in Bankruptcy & Restructuring, noting that he “gains plaudits from sources for his outstanding negotiation skills.” He has been ranked for the past 20 years in Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights, and Insolvency and Reorganization. Additionally, Marc was named the 2006 Bankruptcy Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association.

He is a two term member of the Cornell University Council, is a Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and a two term lawyer representative for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He has served as chair of the Executive Committee of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and has served two terms as a member of the Insolvency Committee of the State Bar of California. For nearly 40 years, Marc has participated in several speaking engagements, given numerous lectures and written on bankruptcy issues. He has recently spoken on escheat issues, “Unclaimed Life Insurance, Audits, Settlements & Litigation” at the annual conference of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT) in August 2013 and “Effective Auditing & Collection of Unclaimed Life Insurance Proceeds,” for the National Association of State Treasurers in May 2012. His most recent publications address the ongoing state bankruptcy debate, “Chapter 9 Municipal Bankruptcy: Municipalities Facing Financial Crisis,” American Bankruptcy Institute Battleground West Program, March 4, 2011; the energy regulatory markets in California, “The Aftermath and Jurisdictional Quagmire Following California’s Energy Crisis,” Business Law News, Spring Edition, Issue 2, 2005; and “The Jurisdictional Quagmire Continues – Calpine’s Bankruptcy Proceedings,” Business Law News, Spring Edition, Issue 2, 2006.

Marc is actively involved with the Miracle Mile Civic Coalition and serves as the Chairman of the Model Adopt-A-Fire Station Program for the Los Angeles Fire Department. Marc is Chairman of the First-In Fire Foundation and has been named an Honorary Fire Chief by the LAFD. Marc is also a Major in the California State Military Reserve, JAG Corps, and serves as Deputy Counsel — Cyber Defense for the California Military Department.

Speaking Engagements Include:

“Unclaimed Life Insurance, Audits, Settlements & Litigation,” Annual Conference of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (Boston, MA, August 13, 2013).

“Effective Auditing and Collection of Unclaimed Life Insurance Proceeds,” National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) (Albuquerque, NM, May 16, 2012).