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Michael E. Klenov

Michael E. Klenov
314 241 4844
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800 678 9529
• Toll Free
St. Louis, Missouri

Michael Klenov is a partner at Korein Tillery’s St. Louis office. He is licensed to practice law in New York, California, Illinois, Missouri, and the District of Columbia, as well as numerous federal trial and appellate courts. Throughout his career, Michael has prosecuted complex, high-stakes lawsuits on behalf of individuals, businesses, and governmental entities in courtrooms across the country. He has helped his clients recover billions of dollars.

Although Michael prides himself on being a generalist capable of handling any legal dispute irrespective of subject matter, he has substantial experience in the areas of Securities, Antitrust, the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Aided by his educational background in economics and financial institutions, Michael has handled myriad cases involving financial markets ranging from publicly traded securities and over-the-counter bonds, to foreign currencies and commodity derivatives. He routinely works with economists, econometricians, and market specialists who develop models for estimating market impact and damages using large, complex datasets. Michael has also worked closely with experts in many other fields, such as mortgage banking, agriculture, psychology, actuarial science, computer science, environmental science, and various forms of electronic trading and market-making.

Michael is involved in all aspects of the cases he handles. Because he believes that robust factual development is the lynchpin of effective prosecution, he is heavily involved in pre-suit investigation and post-filing fact and expert discovery. Michael has taken and defended several hundred fact and expert depositions. Given the critical importance of deposition testimony, he becomes immersed in the factual details and devotes extensive time to preparing and understanding the perspective of the witnesses he works with. Michael is also a prolific writer, having authored well over a hundred briefs filed in federal and state courts, and an effective oral advocate, having argued several dozen motions and first-chaired a federal jury trial to verdict.

Below is a selection of the matters Michael has worked on at Korein Tillery:

  • In the wake of the financial crisis, Michael represented the National Credit Union Administration and several insurance companies in broad-ranging securities litigation spanning the Second, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits seeking to recover losses caused by the collapse of residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”). Michael had a lead role in managing re-underwriting experts essential to the success of these lawsuits; he took and defended dozens of fact and expert depositions; and he was the primary author of many briefs on critical evidentiary and dispositive motions. Michael had lead or co-lead responsibilities for a material portion of this RMBS litigation portfolio, with those specific cases yielding recoveries exceeding $1.3 billion (one settled minutes before Michael was slated to give the opening statement in a federal bench trial). In all, Michael’s efforts in RMBS litigation from 2012 to 2017 helped clients recover more than $5.3 billion.

  • In 2012, Michael was an integral part of the legal team that attained a class settlement of $105 million in historic environmental litigation on behalf of a large number of municipalities and the country’s largest private water provider. Michael worked with experts in multiple scientific disciplines, was the primary author of numerous briefs on critical motions, and was instrumental in obtaining personal jurisdiction over a foreign holding company using a novel legal theory and extensive jurisdictional discovery spanning multiple continents. The recoveries from the settlement allowed class members to pay for filtration technologies to remove a commonly used agricultural herbicide from public drinking water. Following the settlement, Public Justice named Michael and other members of the litigation team as finalists for their national Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

  • In 2011 and 2012, Michael was appointed lead counsel for multiple nationwide classes in breach-of-contract litigation against mortgage servicing companies related to their payment processing and late-fee practices. Those cases yielded several multimillion-dollar settlements.

  • Michael successfully represented a whistleblower in a lawsuit under the False Claims Act and the Medicare anti-kickback statute. After Michael helped his client develop the case and the legal theories, the United States intervened and the defendant settled the case. Michael also helped the client obtain a settlement of a related claim under the anti-retaliation provisions of several statutes that protect whistleblowers.

  • Michael is currently lead counsel in a putative class action lawsuit under the CEA alleging that a major agricultural producer manipulated the price of ethanol and related futures and options contracts over a nearly two-year period. Michael has had primary responsibility for taking and defending depositions, working with experts, writing briefs, and oral arguments. Although the private right of action under the CEA has existed for forty years, Michael’s briefing efforts led to new law on two critical but previously unsettled issues of statutory construction. Separately, Michael is also helping to prosecute claims under the CEA on behalf of an investment vehicle that lost hundreds of millions due to the alleged manipulation of the CBOE Volatility Index.

  • Michael is currently lead counsel in an ERISA action on behalf of a certified class of former management employees of a major public company. There, Michael is seeking to recover tens of millions in retirement benefits that class members lost due to the allegedly improper termination of their non-qualified pension plans that converted lifetime annuities into lump sums at excessive discount rates. In that case, Michael has spearheaded discovery, fact and expert depositions, briefing, and oral arguments. Previously, Michael served as lead counsel in another ERISA action alleging that a major international hospitality company for decades operated a phantom pension plan with illegal vesting and forfeiture provisions.

  • Michael has been heavily involved in multiple antitrust matters, both in the investigative and post-filing phases. Several of the investigations, some of which are still ongoing, involve financial markets. Michael has worked with economists and market specialists to develop a number of antitrust complaints that resulted in MDLs. Michael also closely supported lead counsel in the In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, which yielded recoveries in excess of $2.3 billion, including by working with key experts, taking and defending fact and expert depositions, and assisting in briefing.

  • Michael has had various levels of involvement in developing and prosecuting antitrust and consumer litigation against major tech companies related to electronic marketplaces, digital advertising, and mobile operating systems. Most of these matters are still pending and several are in their early stages. Nevertheless, Michael’s work to date has been eye-opening with respect to how the concentration of market power in a small number of technology companies has reshaped the economy and the competitive landscape in the United States and beyond.


Michael was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and immigrated to the United States as a political refugee when he was ten years old. Although he litigates cases from coast to coast, Michael and his wife have chosen to make St. Louis home for themselves and their two young children.

Areas of Practice
  • Securities Litigation

  • Antitrust

  • Commodity Exchange Act


  • Commercial Litigation

  • Whistleblower  Litigation

Bar Admission
  • New York

  • California

  • Illinois

  • Missouri

  • District of Columbia

  • Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri

    • J.D. magna cum laude

    • Order of the Coif

    • Scholar-in-Law Scholarship

    • Charles Wendell Carnahan Prize

    • Washington University Law Review, Senior Editor

  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois​

    • B.A. - Economics, International Studies, Business Institutions​

  • London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom​

    • General Course​

Published Works
  • Preemption and Removal: Watson Shuts the Federal Officer Backdoor to the Federal Courthouse, Conceals Familiar Motive, 86 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1455 (2009) (cited by Wright & Miller, 14C Fed. Prac. & Proc. § 3726 (4th ed.))

  • Russian

  • Spanish

Representative Cases
  • AOT Holding AG and Maize Capital Group, LLC v. Archer Daniels Midland Company, 19-cv-2240 (C.D. Ill.)

  • Csupo et al. v. Google LLC, 19-cv-352557 (Cal. Sup. Ct.)

  • Hoak et al. v. Plan Administrator of the Plans of NCR Corporation, 15-cv-3983 (N.D. Ga.)

  • NCUA v. RBS Sec., Inc., et al., 11-cv-5887 (C.D. Cal.), 11-cv-2340 (D. Kan.), and 13-cv-6726 (S.D.N.Y.)

  • CMFG Life Ins. Co. v. RBS Sec. Inc., 12-cv-37 (W.D. Wis.)

  • In re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litig., 13-cv-7789 (S.D.N.Y)

  • City of Greenville, Ill. et al. v. Syngenta Crop Prot., Inc., 10-cv-188 (S.D. Ill.)

  • Bond v. Marriott Int’l, Inc., 10-cv-1256 (D. Md.)

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