Meet Marc Kasowitz, the litigator who often represents Donald Trump

  • Print

Marc Kasowitz

Photo of Marc Kasowitz courtesy of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman.

When Donald Trump needs a lawyer in defamation lawsuits and other knotty legal battles, he often turns to litigator Marc Kasowitz, the founder of Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman.

In one suit that attracted press attention, Kasowitz sued an author in 2006 over allegations that Trump was worth less than $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. More recently Kasowitz wrote a letter on Trump’s behalf demanding that the New York Times retract an article about alleged groping incidents

Kasowitz also helped Trump keep divorce records sealed, did some work in a case alleging fraud by Trump University, and sued Trump’s Hong Kong business partners over a Manhattan property.

Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten told the Wall Street Journal that Kasowitz has “always been a guy you go to when you have complex, intricate legal problems.”

Kasowitz routinely charges $1,500 an hour for his work. “Like his prominent client,” the article reports, “Kasowitz cuts a complex profile. He has earned the respect of clients for his willingness to take difficult cases other lawyers won’t touch, and the animosity of adversaries and former colleagues who have disagreed with him. He also, like Mr. Trump, engenders strong loyalty from longtime friends and partners.”

Kasowitz’s father was a scrap-metal business owner, according to the article. Kasowitz attended Cornell Law School and founded Kasowitz Benson in 1993, building it into a 270-lawyer firm that will both sue and defend large corporations.

“The firm is a place for lawyers who don’t mind being in the shadow of its founder,” the article reports, “whom many call a benevolent dictator. Partners say his door is always open and that he rewards those he respects—and has little patience for those he doesn’t.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.