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Michael Kelly

Michael R. Kelly

Senior Associate

Michael R. Kelly is a senior associate in the firm's dispute resolution practice, concentrating on cross-border, product liability, consumer fraud, and class action litigation.



For over a decade, he has represented domestic and international manufacturers in products liability matters in U.S. courts, and advised overseas companies facing similar disputes in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Michael has served on trial teams in product liability suits before the New York courts, as well as tribunals in Finland, Russia, and Israel. He has represented clients in the consumer products, financial services, oil and gas, and food and beverage industries.  

Michael's experience includes: 

  • serving as international coordinating counsel in the defense of health care recoupment lawsuits filed in Canada, Nigeria, and other jurisdictions in which the government payors of healthcare seek reimbursement of billions of US dollars in health care costs 
  • representation of a U.K. multinational's food and beverage subsidiaries in consumer fraud class actions
  • counseling clients in the tobacco, food and beverage, medical devices, telecommunications and energy sectors on potential product liability and environmental liability risks
  • obtained pre-discovery dismissal of a deceptive labeling class action against Twinings North America in Arkansas federal court alleging violation of FDA regulations
  • representation of a Russian oil company in an action for recognition and enforcement of an ICAC arbitration award in Oklahoma federal court
  • representation of an Australian non-profit company in a New York state action seeking indemnification under a rental agreement
  • serving as international coordinating counsel for BAT in the defense of multiple lawsuits by state and federal governments in Nigeria seeking billions of dollars in past and future costs of healthcare 
  • defeated class certification and obtained dismissal of the largest putative class action lawsuit filed in Israel, which sought nearly $20 billion for allegedly deceptive advertising and packaging of a consumer good under Israeli consumer fraud statutes
  • defeated an action filed by the Russian Ministry of Health seeking a declaration that the packaging and branding of a Russian manufacturer's consumer products were deceptive and misleading under local consumer protection statutes and international public law
  • defending a U.K. manufacturer in a commercial dispute with its former distributor, and advising with respect to related claims in bankruptcy inn connection with US bankruptcy proceedings, advised lender concerning discharge, release of claims, potential product liability issues, and related matters stemming from Chapter 11 reorganization and asset sale
  • advised creditor of materials vendor in connection with potential filing of claims in Chapter 11 proceeding


  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York




Michael obtained his J.D. in 2004 from Columbia Law School, and earned his B.A., with distinction, from Yale University in 2001.  Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills, he was an associate at Chadbourne & Parke LLP.