Mark Zeichner, Esq.
Mark Zeichner, founding partner of both ZEK and its predecessor law firm, is the senior partner of the Firm, who has substantial banking law experience. He served as managing partner of ZEK and its predecessor for more than 25 years, guiding the Firm from a law firm of only several lawyers to one of more than over 50 attorneys with offices in the tri-state metropolitan New York region.
Mark Zeichner is well known in the field of commercial banking operations, regulation and litigation. He has maintained an AV rating, the highest attorney rating provided by Martindale-Hubbell, throughout his career. Mark has been recognized as a Super Lawyer each year.
Mark was instrumental in crafting the philosophy of the Firm from its inception which formed the basis for ZEK’s practice. At ZEK a client/counsel relationship is a strategic partnership between business client and counsel. ZEK was founded, and has through the years operated, on the principle that its relationships with its clients are not case or matter based. Rather, they are grounded in the Firm’s thorough understanding of a client’s business, availability of ZEK to its client 24/7 and the value brought to bear through ZEK’s special expertise and price advantaged representation. ZEK has grown both by maintaining relationships with clients which began decades ago and attracting new clients interested in representation by a firm with that philosophy. Mark has been responsible for the introduction to ZEK and relationship with major institutional clients, based on business relationships with the general counsel and/or other senior counsel of those businesses.
Ronald M. Neumann, Esq.
Ronald M. Neumann joined ZEK in 2003 as Of Counsel after many years of experience representing banks and financial institutions. Ron’s background includes litigation involving Articles 3 and 4 of the UCC, letters of credit, restraining notices, liens and executions, loan recovery and workout, as well as bankruptcy issues concerning preferences, fraudulent transfers, relief from the automatic stay and objections to discharge.
Ron also has experience with federal practice and procedure including factual and legal issues governing personal jurisdiction over foreign corporations, federal jurisdiction and removal to federal court and forum non conveniens. In July 2002, Ron published an article for the International Law Office entitled “Increased Prospects for Litigation for Non-US Cases Before US Courts.”
Previously, he was with the firm of Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, where he defended nationwide class action litigation, and was the First Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Bank Leumi USA for 10 years, where he founded and headed the in-house litigation department. Ron has also served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and was a Litigation Associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Ron has lectured at the New York City Bar Association and American Corporate Counsel Association and presented CLE programs on topics involving civil litigation, evidence, litigation management and management of in-house legal departments. Ron actively participates in pro bono activities, representing domestic violence survivors for the Sanctuary’s Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services, and serving on its Advisory Council. Ron also serves on the Board of MFY Legal Services and has co-chaired its Program and Benefit Committees. He has also served as President of his Manhattan condominium association.
Benjamin D. Velella, Esq.
Benjamin D. Velella joined ZEK after more than 30 years as an in-house attorney with Citibank, N.A.
Ben’s expertise includes electronic banking; fraud deterrence; litigation and major claims management (including inquiries directed to a financial institution by the CFPB, OCC or other regulatory agency); anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance; elder financial abuse concerns; subpoena compliance, restraining orders, levies and attachments compliance; and UCC Articles 3 and 4, with an emphasis on check collection issues, including “mobile” and remote check deposits.
As a Director and Associate General Counsel with Citibank, N.A.’s U.S. Consumer Bank, Ben provided legal support to Citi’s retail bank operations and businesses across the United States. While with the institution, he created, implemented and managed Citi’s first subpoena and other legal service compliance operation. Ben was also instrumental in the development of Citi’s anti-money laundering and BSA compliance programs, was the legal point of contact for retail bank complaints and inquiries presented by federal regulators, and successfully managed dozens of significant major litigation matters in which the institution was either a defendant or had suffered a financial loss for which recovery was sought.
Ben brings to ZEK not only his long experience and expertise in consumer banking matters but also a keen understanding of how to balance the legal and business needs of institutional clients. Such experience includes a practical knowledge of how superior legal results may be accomplished in the context of today’s cost considerations.