Mark represents hedge funds, private equity firms and their portfolio companies, manufacturers, health care and life sciences companies, and clients in other industries in shareholder litigation (including securities litigation and breach of fiduciary duty actions), M&A litigation (including shareholder class actions, disclosure claims, appraisal proceedings, deal certainty litigation, and indemnity disputes), complex commercial litigation, cryptocurrency litigation, qui tam actions, bankruptcy litigation, and government investigation and enforcement matters. Mark also counsels clients in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space on a variety of regulatory considerations, including compliance with securities laws. In addition, Mark advises a range of clients on managing risk, navigating sensitive challenges, and anticipating litigation-related issues in the context of structuring acquisitions and other complex transactions.
Prior to joining the firm, Mark spent a year at Greater Boston Legal Services, trying housing and public benefits cases.
- Advent International
- ATI Physical Therapy
- Avanos Medical
- Bain Capital
- Berkshire Partners
- Dragoneer Investment Group
- Eversource Energy
- Fenway Partners
- Five Star Senior Living
- Genstar Capital
- Harvard Management Company
- Heartland Dental
- H.I.G. Capital
- IASIS Healthcare
- Jefferson River Capital
- Pacific Equity Partners
- Radius Health
- REV Group
- Sequoia Capital
- Silver Lake Partners
- Tor Investment
- TPG Capital
Shareholder, Securities, and Derivative Litigation
- Numerous current or closed representations of various acquirors (financial and strategic), sellers, and their directors in federal and state shareholder litigations arising out of merger transactions—including appraisal proceedings and individual or class actions asserting federal disclosure violations and/or breaches of state fiduciary duties. Clients have included private equity firms, life sciences companies, and associated individuals. Achieved multiple dismissals and several other favorable resolutions.
- Represented prominent manufacturer and its officers and directors in successfully resolving numerous state and federal securities actions following a stock drop, including prevailing on a novel interlocutory appeal.
- Represented director of national agricultural producer in favorable resolution of complex derivative action involving asserted breaches of fiduciary duty.
Complex Commercial Litigation
- Currently representing numerous industry-leading retailers in complex litigation challenging product pricing.
- Currently representing prominent health care provider in multiple actions challenging coding and billing standards and practices.
- Representation of several health care and life sciences companies in various federal and state qui tam actions through multiple stages, including investigations by government agencies, motion practice, discovery, and trial prep. Claims have included alleged breaches of Medicaid regulatory requirements, Medicaid pricing rules, dispensing best practices, and billing standards. Secured multiple dismissals and favorable settlements.
- Regularly represents private equity firms, life sciences companies, and other parties to acquisitions and other transactions in post-closing indemnification disputes across various phases, including document discovery, depositions, summary judgment, and trial prep. Has secured summary judgment and achieved various other positive resolutions.
- Numerous successful representations enforcing acquisition agreements after buyers threatened or attempted to walk away.
- Represented large health care services company in a complex, multi-jurisdictional dispute over its ownership interest in a joint venture and over the co-venturers’ rights to profits. After over four years of jurisdictional and other motion practice, document discovery, depositions, summary judgment, and trial prep, secured favorable resolution on the eve of trial.
- Represented industry-leading manufacturer in successfully recovering funds from its former insurance broker.
- Represented large health care management services organization in favorably resolving a contractual dispute over performance and payment.
- Represented national vendor in favorably resolving a consumer protection complaint.
- Currently representing prominent hedge fund in multi-jurisdictional dispute with distressed creditor, involving dozens of proceedings in the U.S., Asia, and elsewhere.
- Served as trial counsel to official committee of unsecured creditors in a complex, multi-billion dollar energy bankruptcy, following extensive expedited discovery and numerous contested motions. On last day of trial, committee secured a favorable resolution guaranteeing significant value for the creditors.
Government, Securities, and Antitrust Enforcement and Advocacy
- Served as U.S. trial and appellate counsel defending an American businessperson in a high-stakes, cross-border criminal action.
- Representation of hedge funds and other clients in various Securities and Exchange Commission investigations, including into alleged insider trading and accounting violations, obtaining several favorable outcomes.
- Represented cutting-edge medical device company and its directors in successfully resolving a government investigation regarding alleged FDCA violations and several related federal and state court actions.
- Represented prominent health care services company in connection with a complex DOJ inquiry into alleged Medicare fraud, in which client never became an investigation target.
- Represented prominent health care provider in favorably resolving a state attorney general antitrust investigation.
- Has represented several companies—including buyers and sellers in the technology, telecommunications, and life sciences industries—in obtaining antitrust clearance for large transactions.
Ongoing Advice and Counseling re Cryptocurrency-Related and other Risks
- Advises clients participating or investing in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space—including hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and public and private companies—on a variety of regulatory considerations, including compliance with securities laws.
- Counsels clients on identifying regulatory risks and other potential liabilities for both entities and individuals, as well as on managing such risks through insurance solutions and indemnification arrangements.
- Committee member of Law Firm Antiracism Alliance Public Benefits Working Group.
- Co-leads the firm’s Medical-Legal Clinic, in collaboration with DotHouse Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Volunteer Lawyers Project.
- Counsel to numerous beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who have intervened in litigation challenging this policy. Successfully defeated preliminary injunction motion seeking immediate termination of the policy. Co-authored amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently prosecuting appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
- Trial and appellate counsel to families threatened with eviction, applicants appealing denials of disability benefits, and individuals faced with potential deportation, obtaining numerous favorable trial outcomes.*
*Includes matters completed prior to joining Ropes & Gray.
- Co-author, “Tokenization of Real Estate Interests on the Blockchain,” Pension Real Estate Association PREA Quarterly (Summer 2022)
- Co-author, “Ropes & Gray Crypto Quarterly: Digital Assets, Blockchain and Related Technologies Update,” Ropes & Gray Alert (July 21, 2022)
- Co-author, “Federal court orders new trial to consider whether cryptocurrency constitutes a 'security,'” Westlaw Today (July 18, 2022)
- Co-author, “Legal Implications of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations,” Bloomberg Law (April 14, 2022)
- Co-author, “Management Optimism Versus Market Skepticism in Delaware Appraisal Litigation: A Dell Case Study,” Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor (February 2018)
- Co-author, “Protecting Colleges & Universities Against Real Losses in a Virtual World,” The John Marshall Journal of Information Technology & Privacy Law Volume 33, Issue 2 (2017)
- Co-author, “The Antisocial Effects of Social Media and How Colleges and Universities Can Manage Related Litigation Risks,” Pittsburgh Journal of Technology Law & Policy (December 2017)
- Co-author, “Management Projections in Delaware Appraisal Litigation: Anecdotal Evidence,” Insights: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor (October 2017)
- Presenter, “The Digital Assets Game and Blockchain,” CBRE Fall Client Forum (September 15, 2022)
- Presenter, “The Future of Real Estate; Fractionalization” panel at Crypto Connect & NFT Expo in West Palm Beach, Florida (August 21, 2022)
- Presenter, “Fireside Chat with Mark Cianci,” Artbit: The Future Tense of Art (August 6, 2022)
- Presenter, “Web3 Legal Panel,” Hamptons Tech Week (July 19, 2022)
- Presenter, “Real World Assets on Chain,” Chainlink Boston (July 11, 2022)
- Presenter, “Cryptocurrency and NFT Fundamentals,” Sidebar with Judge Dan Winslow, Boston (March 2022)
- Presenter, “DOJ’s Expanding Elder Justice Initiative: The Latest from DOJ, Recent Enforcement Activity, and Practical Guidance for Companies Who Provide Healthcare to the Elderly and Investors in this Industry,” Ropes & Gray Webinar, Boston (March 2020)
- Presenter, “Managing Risk Through Indemnification Provisions and Insurance,” National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference, Chicago (June 2017)
- Presenter, “Indemnification Provisions: Liability Risk Management Through Indemnification and Insurance,” National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference, San Francisco (June 2016)
- JD, cum laude, Harvard Law School, 2010
- BA (Government), magna cum laude, Patrick Henry College, 2007
Admissions / Qualifications
- Massachusetts, 2010
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2021
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2014
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2018
- The Best Lawyers in America – Ones to Watch (2021-2023)
- Deborah Levi Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service (2019)