Overview

Michael Cypers is an experienced trial lawyer and business counselor who focuses on complex financial disputes. He has tried multiple cases dealing with civil securities, corporate, partnership, financing, housing finance and fiduciary duties. Few lawyers in the country have handled as many affordable housing investment litigations as Michael has. He is a frequent thought leader on the topic, discussing recent trial results, court decisions and trends in affordable housing litigation.

Michael’s successful trial work on behalf of a private equity affordable housing fund that rescinded investment contracts earned a “Top High Impact Verdict” in California distinction by the Los Angeles Daily Journal. He has tried several disputes before juries involving financial statements, including a seven-month class action alleging $1 billion in damages that resulted in a defense verdict for his client.

Michael is particularly sought after for:

  • Complex commercial litigation
  • Affordable housing litigation
  • Financial disputes
  • Securities litigation
  • Disputes over loans and financing

Michael has been based in Los Angeles over the course of his professional career. He successfully represented a private equity tax credit firm in its securing of rights to solar energy projects in Canada; he represented a public pension in a dispute with a Wall Street securities firm; and he represented the majority founders of a venture capital firm in separating from a minority founder. He has also litigated civil securities matters relating to Enron, Cendant, McKesson and Sprint.

Michael was an adjunct professor of law at Berkeley Law at the University of California, Berkeley from 1997 until 2012, teaching seminars on securities litigation, corporate governance and advanced civil litigation.

Results

Michael’s recent notable experience includes his representation of:

  • Alliant Capital, a leading tax credit firm, as plaintiff in an affordable housing lawsuit over a portfolio valued between $300 million and $400 million.
  • The managing 50% investor in a multiproject real estate partnership in preparing a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty and to foreclose the interest of the other 50% non-managing member based on that member’s bad-faith conduct and repudiation of key terms of the partnership. The funds invested in the partnership’s projects exceed $50 million.
  • A market-leading business development company and one of the largest direct lenders in the U.S. in an accounting malpractice case against a national accounting firm that settled in a pre-suit mediation, and an appraisal malpractice action that settled in mediation a few months before trial.
  • A healthcare client in an arbitration filed by another provider seeking to invalidate a right of first refusal provision in its joint venture agreements with our client. Following our depositions of their senior executives, the opposing party dropped its arbitration claim one month before the scheduled arbitration and ultimately dismissed their claims with prejudice. 
  • A major provider of residential financing solutions for affordable housing across the United States in a receivership case that arose when a property manager left 29 low-income housing properties housing 1,500 tenants poorly or improperly managed during and after the pandemic. Our client is the tax credit investor in nine of the affordable housing properties subject to the receivership. The court granted our client’s motion to release eight of its nine properties from the receivership.

Additional significant experience includes his representation of:

Private Equity/Investment
  • A Tier I national asset based leader in the successful pursuit of claims.
  • An investment fund against a venture capital firm with #MeToo issues.
  • A solar energy investor in enforcing their rights in Canadian solar projects.
  • A Swiss hedge fund against a California hedge fund.
  • A California public pension against claims by Lehman Bros.’ bankruptcy estate.
Affordable Housing
  • An equity investor in a successful rescission at trial involving their interests in failed projects.
  • Affordable housing investors in multiple high-impact disputes with partners, including options, ROFRs and back-end sale issues, some public and some private.
  • An investor in enforcing its rights in relation to a development damaged by Super Storm Sandy.
  • A housing nonprofit in the defense of a lawsuit for alleged fraud.
Corporate Governance/Executive Representation
  • A venture capital firm in the successful removal of one of its founders.
  • Multiple senior executives adverse to their companies.
Professional Liability
  • Accounting firms in several trials against claims by third parties, including an investor class and former clients.
  • Accountants and attorneys in successful defense against claims that were resolved in prelawsuit mediations.
  • Attorneys, accountants and business managers in multiple claims and SEC proceedings.
Unfair Competition
  • California New Car Dealers Association in its successful representation against an “industry disrupter” and major industry participant, which the regulator ruled acted in violation of statutes (see related article, Daily Journal subscription required).

Insights

Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition

"500 Leading Litigators in America," Lawdragon, 2022, 2024

“Top High Impact Verdict,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, 2010

Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation, 2017-2023

Best Lawyers in America© Litigation – Securities “Lawyer of the Year” for Los Angeles, 2016

Best Lawyers in America© for Securities, 2010-2024; Commercial Litigation, 2010-2024; and Bet-the-Company, 2010-2018

Best Lawyers in America© for Litigation – Securities, “Lawyer of the Year” for Los Angeles, 2016

Southern California Super Lawyers, 2007-2021

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rating

Related links

Leadership and Community

Board member, American Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

     Western Region Board, 2005 to present

     National Board, 2013 to present

Member, Berkeley Chancellor’s Southern California Advisory Council, 2019 to present

Services

Education

University of California, Berkeley, J.D.

University of California, Berkeley, A.B., History, with Great Distinction in General Scholarship, recipient of the Regents’ Scholarship

Admissions

  • California
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