One of the country’s leading trial lawyers and litigators, David has more than 25 years of experience representing clients in securities litigation matters, complex commercial and real estate disputes, and other high-stakes business crises. He is lead trial and appellate counsel in cases around the country in state and federal trial and appellate courts, and in arbitration forums. Recognized as a Crain’s New York Business “40 under 40” and as a New York Super Lawyer, David leads a vibrant litigation and counseling practice that services some of the country’s foremost companies, financial institutions and entrepreneurs.
In the financial arena, he has broad national experience representing private equity funds, hedge funds, public companies, financial institutions and other stakeholders in all facets of financial and business litigation. During the financial crisis, he focused on significant restructuring, counseling, advisory work and related litigation matters, representing investors, lenders and borrowers across the country. He has successfully litigated multi-million-dollar corporate takeovers, shareholder disputes and securities-related matters.
In the real estate sector, David’s experience encompasses all aspects of real estate and business litigation. He has represented sponsors, developers, hospitality companies, lenders, purchasers, brokers and other stakeholders. Mr. Scharf has obtained successful outcomes for parties linked to iconic properties in New York and Chicago.
A native of New York, David organizes and heads various pro-bono projects. Among his philanthropic activities, he serves as vice president and member of the board of directors of the U.S. Tennis Association Foundation, and as a trustee and board member of the Lifetime Care Foundation for the Disabled, Inc.
- American Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Real Estate Board of New York
- Orthodox Union
- United States Holocaust Museum
- The U.S. Tennis Association Foundation, the USTA’s charitable organization - Vice President, Board of Directors
- Lifetime Care Foundation for the Disabled, Inc. - Trustee and Member, Board of Directors
Crain’s “40 Under 40”
New York Super Lawyer
Leadership Award – Ezer Mizion’s Service For Life
Distinguished Alumni of the Year – Brooklyn Law School – Jewish Law Student Association
- Defended in the Eastern District of New York a financial institution in a civil forfeiture litigation and receivership proceeding, and obtained full recovery for a lender on loans extended to a borrower engaged in a Ponzi scheme.
- Led a number of internal investigations and successfully negotiated AOD's and settlement agreements with New York City governmental agencies as well as the New York State Department of Law’s Real Estate Finance, Civil Rights, and Consumer Fraud divisions in matters relating to real estate and healthcare.
- Twice overturned trial court decisions granting judgment to a senior executive against a financial institution invalidating restrictive covenants.
- Successfully defended in an appeal to the New York Court of Appeals a challenge to the New York employee at-will doctrine by the CCO of a hedge fund who claimed he was fired for investigating alleged front running by the principal of the fund.
- Secured a directed verdict for a publicly held insurance company and its subsidiary in a whistle-blower action brought under Sarbanes-Oxley.
- Obtained a dismissal from the Federal District Court and an affirmance from the Second Circuit, Court of Appeals on an antitrust claim brought against a publicly traded REIT relating to a casino development in New York.
- Won a dismissal and an affirmance from the Appellate Division, Third Department in connection with a claimed restrictive covenant encumbering a casino development site.
- Successfully defended in an international arbitration the rights of a minority shareholder and founder of a company and co-inventor of a technology used to create snow at the Sochi Olympic ski jump and cross country ski courses.
- Created a repurchase contract and insurance product to promote institutional financing for the diamond industry.
- Successfully defended a mortgage REIT against claims made by junior participants for breach of loan servicing arrangements.
- Secured summary judgment limiting damages for an alleged breach of a confidentiality agreement in connection with the $1 billion sale of Worldwide Plaza.
- Defeated an injunction seeking to block the $1 billion sale of Worldwide Plaza to a publicly traded REIT.
- Obtained a multimillion dollar judgment for foreign pensioneers who had been defrauded of their investment in a New York City hotel project.
- Successfully defended in two jury trials the claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty brought against the majority shareholder of a privately held defense contractor.
- Represented at trial a majority shareholder who was sued by a former minority shareholder for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, misconduct and fraud associated with the buyout of the company
- Represented at trial an international packaging manufacturer in a lawsuit against a PR firm with respect to the firm’s publicity program
- Represented a national real estate development company before New York Court of Appeals over a dispute with a national supermarket company regarding a $90 million development site in New York City
- Represented numerous diamond wholesalers and retailers with regard to litigation and intellectual property matters
- Represented mortgage brokers, student loan companies and real estate appraisal firms in connection with regulatory proceedings filed by state agencies
- Represented hospitality companies in connection with real estate-related litigation and strategies
- Represented asset-backed lenders in litigation and enforcement proceedings against brokers
- Represented real estate development companies and entrepreneur developers in connection with acquisition and disposition strategies, contract-based litigation and restructuring
- Represented the sponsors of a building in connection with lawsuits brought by purchasers
- Represented commercial banks with regard to defaulted loans from borrowers and guarantors
- Represented private equity and hedge funds in connection with litigation arising from merger, acquisition and proxy litigation
- Represented international hedge funds in connection with distressed loan acquisitions and partnership litigation
- Advised principals and foreign clients on the structure and formation of real estate opportunities and other venture funds
- Represented high-net-worth individuals in litigation relating to the purchase and sale of personal real estate
- Obtained a settlement for a top New York brokerage firm seeking to buy assets from a competitor following the disputed sale of company shares
- Represented hedge funds in their litigation and due diligence for litigation funding and lending platforms
- Obtained a multi-million-dollar award for developer in connection with overbilling on a construction project
- Obtained a summary judgment on behalf of a developer and homebuyers to redraw two Westchester County school districts based on previous good faith assurances
- Successfully defended a religious school fighting a suit brought by the landlord seeking to invalidate the lease. The court ruled that the plaintiff could not disavow lease after previously taking legal action to sue for rent
- Obtained default judgment for a client who filed suit against a broker for withholding the client’s share of the commission
News & Publications
- Feature Profile, "Road Warrior Scharf Traffics in the Truth", Real Estate Weekly, August 24, 2017
- Author, “Promised ‘Haircut’ of Financial Regulations Likely to Be Just a ‘Trim,’” The Hill, June 5, 2017
- Quoted, “Going in for the Kill – Everyday Bankruptcies Bring New Business,” The Real Deal, May 17, 2017
- Quoted, “The Calm Before the (Litigation) Storm?” GlobeSt.com, April 24, 2017
- Quoted, “Lenders Demand More Transparency for Construction Deals,” Real Estate Finance & Investment, April 18, 2017
- Quoted, “Firms May Face Wider Legal, Regulatory Risk as U.S. States Confront Trump Deregulation,” Reuters, April 17, 2017
- Quoted, "Miki Strikes Back: Naftali Says Sigoura, Popkin Stole Developer’s Trade Secrets," The Real Deal, July 13, 2016
- Co-Author, “Avoiding a Litigation Nightmare in a Commercial Mortgage Foreclosure,” December 2, 2013
- Co-Author, “A Commercial Litigator's Guide to the Tort of Malicious Prosecution,” September 18, 2013
- Author, “Laws Woo Biz, Seek to Fight Crime,” National Law Journal, Vol. 21, 1999
- Author, “Property and the Law – Procedures for Refitting Space,” Real Estate New York, 2002
- Author, “Real Estate & Title Insurance Trends,” New York Law Journal, 2002
- Author, “Negotiating a Building’s Ground Rent,” The Cooperator, September 2011
- Author, “First Amendment Protection for Videogames: The Unspoken Implications,” Entertainment Law Weekly, 2004
- Author, “Highlighting the Pros and Cons of Subprime Lending,” New York Real Estate Journal, 2007
- Author, “Adverse Possession of Airspace,” New York Law Journal, 2008
- Feature Profile, “Crain’s 40 Under 40,” 2004
- Feature Profile, “Born to Be at Trial,” amNewYork, 2004
- Feature Profile, “Trump’s, Helmsley’s Lawyer Loves Life in the Fast Lane,” 2004
- Feature Profile, “Battle Over Chelsea Ends,” Real Estate Weekly, 2007
- Source, FOX News Live, Missouri My Space case and the decision not to prosecute, 2007
- Source, FOX & Friends, First Edition, Florida Treasure Trove Law, 2007
- Source, “American Scorecard,” FOX Business Network, How Business and Sports Tycoons Turn Losses into Gains, 2007
- Source, “Money Matters,” NY 1, sub-prime lending, looming foreclosures and potential regulation of lenders
- Source, “Real Estate Weekly,” Crisis Dips Borough Prices
- Source, Headline News with Nancy Grace, 2005
Source, regularly commenting on celebrity-related legal matters in entertainment publications and as an on-air guest on news and entertainment TV programs
- Speaker, Restructuring and Workouts, a nonprofit event
- Speaker, Urban Land Institute, TARP Funding and its Effect on the Financial Market
- Panel discussion, Urban Land Institute, Workouts, Bankruptcy, Land Development Strategies
- Speaker, Learning Annex, Strategies On How to Succeed in Business With Lessons From Titans-of-Industry Clients
- Speaker, Learning Annex, How to Structure a Real Estate Deal