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Brian M. Burnovski


Has a broad civil litigation practice, with a focus on securities litigation, M&A-related disputes, complex commercial disputes and shareholder derivative suits.

Brian represents corporations, financial institutions, boards and individuals in a broad range of complex civil litigation matters in state and federal court. He focuses on securities litigation, mergers and acquisition-related litigation, high-stakes commercial disputes and shareholder derivative litigation. In addition to representing clients in active litigation, Brian also regularly advises boards, company executives and in-house counsel in connection with transactions or other corporate events to ensure that clients are advised of potential litigation risk at every step of the process.

Brian also has extensive experience representing companies and boards of directors in internal investigations, as well as in investigations and other proceedings before various governmental authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, Federal Reserve Board and FINRA.

Experience highlights

Civil Litigation
  • Lead trial counsel for former directors and officers of Alphonso Inc. in Delaware Chancery Court litigation
  • MoneyLion and certain officers in lawsuits related to de-SPAC transaction and disputes with preferred stockholders
  • Uniti Group and certain officers in securities actions related to spinoff, and related derivative litigation
  • Galaxy Digital in litigation related to termination of merger agreement
  • Healthcare bundled payment convener in litigation related to earnout dispute
  • Highland Transcend Partners I in connection with preliminary injunction motion challenging SPAC merger disclosures
  • Livent in securities actions in state and federal court arising from IPO
  • The Williams Companies in expedited litigation in Delaware Chancery Court challenging shareholder rights plan
  • Directors of a life sciences company in shareholder derivative litigation and related committee investigation
  • Comcast Corporation in bankruptcy proceedings and related litigation concerning Comcast SportsNet Houston
  • Directors of a major financial institution in class and derivative actions in New York federal court, and related regulatory matters, arising out of several large acquisitions, and in various derivative actions in state court relating to foreign exchange practices and LIBOR-related conduct
  • Morgan Stanley in securities litigation related to RMBS claims
  • Board of directors of a large technology firm in derivative action in Delaware Chancery Court related to acquisition of entity owned by company CEO
  • Underwriting syndicate in securities litigation in Tennessee federal court arising out of the IPO of HCA Holdings
  • Heinz and its directors in Pennsylvania state court litigation and committee investigation related to acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital
Regulatory Matters and Investigations
  • U.S. broker-dealer in investigations by FINRA and Department of Labor
  • Major financial institution in internal investigation related to margin loan
  • International bank in internal investigation and regulatory matters relating to payment transparency
  • Multinational pharmaceutical corporation in internal investigation related to whistleblower allegations
  • Big four accounting firm in connection with investigations by SEC into options backdating
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SEC adopts final SPAC rules



Benchmark Litigation – New York, Future Star


J.D., New York University School of Law
  • magna cum laude
  • Butler Scholar
  • Order of the Coif
  • Notes Editor, New York University Law Review
B.A., Psychology, Yale University

Professional history

  • Davis Polk since 2006

Qualifications and admissions

  • State of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
  • U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
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