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Michael Leigh - Louisville, KY

710 West Main Street4th Floor Louisville, KY 40202

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Updated: 05/26/2023

Louisville Appellate & Constitutional Law Lawyer


Michael Leigh's nationwide practice focuses on complex civil litigation, class and derivative action litigation, and wealth and investment management litigation and arbitration. He represents publicly traded and privately held companies in corporate governance, securities, and commercial litigation, and advises companies and individuals in internal corporate and regulatory investigations...

About Michael Leigh

Practice Areas

  • Appellate & Constitutional Law
  • Business Law
  • Complex Commercial & Business Litigation
  • Class Action
  • Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Securities & Wealth Management Litigation & Arbitration
  • Corporate Law
  • Fiduciary Duty & Corporate Governance Litigation
  • First Amendment & Media Law
  • Government Relations & Investigations
  • Healthcare
  • Managed Care Litigation


Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky
  • New York
  • Tennessee
  • Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Tennessee
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Tennessee

Other Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Louisville Committee on Foreign Relations


  • New York Law School, New York, New York, 2010
    Honors: magna cum laude
  • University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, 2007
    Major: Political Science

Pro Bono Activities

  • Jewish Hospital Medical Ethics Committee, Member (2022-present)
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the River Region, Board of Directors (2015-2019)
  • Lakeside Corporation, Board of Directors (2017-2020), President (2018-2020)


Other Sources of Feedback About Michael Leigh

Included on the 2023 Kentucky list

Past Lists

  • 2022 Kentucky Super Lawyers list
  • 2021 Kentucky Super Lawyers list
  • 2020 Kentucky Super Lawyers list
  • 2019 Kentucky Super Lawyers list
  • 2018 Kentucky Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Michael Leigh on Super Lawyers


  • Kentucky Super Lawyers – Rising Star (2018-2022), Super Lawyer, Business Litigation, 2023
  • Eagle Scout

Video & Photo


Office Information


710 West Main Street4th Floor Louisville, KY 40202

Offers Free Initial Consultation


Accepts Credit Cards



Representative Cases

  • Won summary judgment in first case to interpret Kentucky’s statute prohibiting contingent-fee engagements for work to influence Kentucky state economic development incentives, finding such engagements to be illegal. Wieland Holdings, Inc. v. Synergy Tax Advisors, LLC, 2023 WL 2731046 (W.D. Ky. Mar. 30, 2023)
  • Won summary judgment on behalf of LLC’s sole member preventing creditors of LLC from piercing the LLC’s corporate veil. United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Lummus Corporation, No. 19-CI-3076 (Jeff. Cnty. Cir. Ct. Mar. 6, 2023)
  • Won motion to dismiss on behalf of life insurance company in case by life settlement company alleging breach of contract, and successfully defended dismissal on appeal. GWG DLP Funding V, LLC v. PHL Variable Insurance Company, 2021 WL 5413877 (D. Minn. Oct. 19, 2021), affirmed, 2022 WL 17420867 (8th Cir. Dec. 6, 2022)
  • Won partial summary judgment in putative nationwide class action alleging cost of insurance rates had improperly been raised, defeating class certification of those claims. Advance Trust Life & Escrow Services, LTA v. Security Life of Denver Insurance Company, 2021 WL 62339 (D. Colo. Jan. 6, 2021)
  • Won dismissal with prejudice of fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and other claims related to vehicle service contracts and reinsurance agreements, and successfully defended the dismissal on appeal. Craig & Landreth Cars, Inc. et al. v. Protective Life Corporation et al., 2021 WL 1431870 (Ky. Ct. App. April 16, 2021)
  • Won summary judgment defeating breach of contract and breach of consumer fraud claims related to variable annuity contract. Patel v. Venerable Ins. & Ann. Co. et al., Case No. 2:20-cv-3226, 2021 WL 3828832 (D.N.J. Aug. 8, 2021)
  • Won summary judgment on liability in breach of contract dispute, and defeated summary judgment motion seeking dismissal of trade secrets, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion claims related to former senior employee’s conduct in disclosing company materials to an outside competitor and other alleged misconduct. PSC Industries, Inc. v. Johnson, 2021 WL 1663574 (M.D. Tenn. Apr. 28, 2021)
  • Won summary judgment as to all class claims in multistate federal court class action litigation concerning fixed-index annuities (FIAs), and successfully defended win on appeal. Abbit v. ING USA Annuity & Life Ins. Co., 774 Fed. Appx. 294 (9th Cir. 2019); Abbit v. ING USA Annuity & Life Ins. Co., 252 F. Supp. 3d 999 (S.D. Cal. 2017); Abbit v. ING USA Annuity & Life Ins. Co., 2016 WL 4542204, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117630 (S.D. Cal., Case No. 3:13-cv-02310, Aug. 20, 2016)
  • Won appellate reversal of trial court order dismissing putative class action alleging breach of contract and fraud related to royalty payments on natural gas extraction from private property. Back v. Chesapeake Appalachia et al., 773 Fed. Appx. 294 (6th Cir. 2019)
  • Won dismissal on merits of $35 million fraud, fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit. MHS Capital LLC v. Goggin et al., Case No. 2017-0449-SG, 2018 WL 2149718 (Del. Ch. May 10, 2018)
  • Won dismissal of federal fraud, gross negligence, and breach of contract litigation involving a complex commodities options and futures trading strategy
  • Regularly represents major financial institutions and registered representatives in FINRA arbitration proceedings and FINRA investigations
  • Advises registered investment advisory firms on issues of federal and state securities laws, including the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and related state investment adviser laws
  • Won dismissal of $35 million fraud and fiduciary duty lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction in New York state court. MHS Capital LLC v. Goggin et al., Case No. 652956/2015 (N.Y. Supreme Court, Commercial Division, New York County, May 2, 2017)
  • Counsel to former Hertz CFO in successfully dismissing shareholder securities lawsuit in New Jersey federal district court. Ramirez v. Hertz Global holdings, Inc., 2:13-cv-7050 (D.N.J. Oct. 8, 2014)
  • Counsel to private equity purchaser in securing summary judgment against shareholder class action lawsuit alleging aiding and abetting violations of fiduciary duties in $1.9 billion going-private merger. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority v. Volgenau et al., 2013 Del. Ch. Lexis 197, 2013 WL 4009193 (Del. Ch., C.A. No. 6354-VCN, Aug. 5, 2013), aff’d 91 A. 3d 562 (Del. 2014)
  • Counsel to major financial services company in securing dismissal of shareholder class action lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duties in $5.7 billion going-private merger. Edelman v. Protective Life Corporation et al., No. 01-Civ-2014-90247400 (Ala. Cir. Ct. Jeff. Co. Sept. 19, 2014)
  • Represented major payment processing company in parallel Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and U.S. Attorney Office investigations into embezzlement of company funds by employees, and falsification of company financial and other records. Conducted internal investigation at company, managed subpoena response, and assisted company with restating SEC filings and negotiating settlements with wrongdoers
  • Counseled independent directors of worldwide media company in connection with parallel U.S. Department of Justice and U.K. Ministry of Justice investigations involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other civil and criminal statutes
  • Won summary judgment in defamation lawsuit in federal court. Boda v. Phelan et al., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 104955, 2014 WL 3756300 (E.D.N.Y., No. 11-Civ-28, July 30, 2014)
  • Defeated defamation suit against client in state court. Lema v. Zumba et al., No. 57429/11 (N.Y. Civ. Ct. Sept. 25, 2012)
  • Represented defendants in criminal cases and sentencing involving various federal crimes, including narcotics trafficking, firearms, robbery, kidnapping, embezzlement, and illegal entry, among others
  • Represented plaintiffs in federal environmental litigation raising claims under Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

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710 West Main Street4th Floor Louisville, KY 40202

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