Stephen B. Kaplitt is Of Counsel to Epstein Ostrove, and handles corporate and transactional matters for the firm. He is currently a solo “outside general counsel” to a variety of small and medium sized businesses, start-up companies, entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals. His 25 years of experience includes an aggregate of $3 billion in corporate, finance and M&A transactions with New York law firms and the International Finance Corporation, and serving as General Counsel of both an SEC-registered investment advisory firm and a $350 million multinational public company.
Before starting his own law practice, Stephen was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Beacon Financial Corporation (Beacon), an investment, wealth management and trust business with $1.3B in assets under management. In that role he also served as Chief Compliance Officer of Beacon Global Asset Management, Inc.
Prior to Beacon, Stephen was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He designed and served as first Director of Economic Empowerment in Strategic Regions (EESR), a new State Department initiative to promote business development in regions where unemployment helps fuel conflict and extremism. His previous assignment at State was Senior Advisor to the General Counsel of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
At USAID he advised senior management on sensitive matters involving the White House, Congress, foreign governments, other U.S. government agencies and private organizations. He also provided legal guidance and analysis on key issues involving the Establishment Clause/First Amendment, terrorist financing, intelligence reform legislation and USAID’s implementation of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Threshold program. In December 2004 he was a USAID delegate to the OSCE Observer Mission for the Second Round Presidential Election in Kiev, Ukraine.
Before entering government, Stephen was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Lumenis Ltd., a Nasdaq-listed multinational manufacturer of medical laser devices. He directed all legal affairs, including litigation and settlement strategies, SEC filings, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, and negotiations with lenders, customers, vendors, joint venture partners, distributors, insurance carriers and competitors. He provided guidance to senior management on a wide range of issues, including sales terms, dispute resolution, risk management, employment, ethics, corporate governance, intellectual property, revenue recognition, real estate and corporate matters.
He also advised the CEO and Board of Directors on legal strategies for responding to a broad SEC investigation. As General Counsel, Stephen supervised or monitored outside counsel at 40 law firms in 80 countries, and managed a $10 million legal budget and eight reports in New York, California and Israel.
Prior to Lumenis, Stephen was a senior associate at a boutique international law firm in New York. While there he was seconded for two years to a firm client, the International Finance Corporation in Washington, DC. At IFC he structured and negotiated various equity, finance, debt workout and pre-securitization transactions in Korea, Thailand, Estonia, the Philippines, Slovakia, Lithuania, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Kazakhstan. He began his career as a corporate associate at two large international law firms in New York.
Stephen received his JD cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center, and his AB in Government with High Honors from Dartmouth College.
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