Steven E. Cole

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Education

American University
JD 1988
Union College
BA 1985


Steve Cole is a founding partner of Leclair Korona Vahey Cole LLP and serves as the firm’s Managing Partner.  He represents businesses and individuals in complex disputes in federal and state courts, in arbitration, and before governmental agencies. Steve regularly represents companies and individuals in the financial services industry in investor disputes, regulatory inquiries, and cases involving the enforcement of restrictive employment covenants.  His practice also includes trade secret and intellectual property litigation, as well as disputes between owners of businesses.

Prior to forming Leclair Korona Vahey Cole LLP with his partners, Steve was a partner in the firm of Wolford & Leclair LLP with which he had been associated since 1995. Steve began his career as a litigator in 1989 as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice.

As an attorney with the Justice Department and in private practice, Steve has been involved in numerous trials and arbitration hearings, including hearings before the Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and its predecessor organizations. Steve is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in Best Lawyers of America and Superlawyers for Upstate New York.

Steve serves as the President of the Board of Worker Justice Center of New York, Inc.  a non-profit legal services provider serving low-wage workers in New York State.

Steve’s recent accomplishments include:

  • A voluntary dismissal of a contentious shareholder derivative suit after successfully moving to dismiss plaintiff’s most significant claim
  • Obtaining injunctive relief at the outset of litigation in several cases to protect the rights of clients who were shareholders, employers, or creditors
  • Negotiating a favorable settlement for clients in the investment advisory industry accused of violating restrictive employment covenants, after a court ruling that the restrictions were wholly or partially invalid
  • Successfully appealing a preliminary injunction enforcing restrictive employment covenants issued against clients in the investment advisory industry on the grounds of invalidity
  • Representing investors in a large-scale Ponzi scheme through the Government claim process, litigation, mediation, and arbitration to obtain recovery of a substantial portion of their investments
  • Obtaining a full, six figure recovery for an elderly investor defrauded by her financial planner
  • Negotiating a substantial settlement in favor of an automotive parts company on a claim of breach of contract against a supplier after successfully defending against a motion for summary judgment at the trial court and on appeal
  • Negotiating a substantial settlement for a collector of rare automobiles after obtaining preliminary injunctive relief and expedited discovery in an action alleging fraud