Mark D. Koestler - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Mark D. Koestler

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2001

Mr. Koestler has developed a national reputation in the handling of immigration law matters in the areas of advertising, theater and film (including representing numerous Tony Award and Academy Award winners). 

He served as the 2003–2004 chair of the 1,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New York Chapter, and was also a member of AILA’s Board of Governors. He currently serves as an AILA mentor for extraordinary ability cases (2003 - present), and previously served as a member of AILA's Customs and Border Protection Liaison and Advocacy Committee (2005-7). Mr. Koestler has lectured on a number of different business immigration topics at AILA's regional and national conferences.

Mr. Koestler who is listed in, The International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, Chambers Global – TheWorld's Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers and New York Super Lawyers, has authored and co-authored a number of articles, including: “Agencies Face a Visa Crunch,” Advertising Age, October 13, 2003, page 22; “B-1/B-2 Myths and Realities,” Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook (2004- 2005 Edition), Volume 2; and “Travel During and After a Port,” Sixth Annual AILA New York Chapter Immigration Law Symposium Handbook. He has also been quoted in a number of newspapers and periodicals, including New York Magazine, The New York Law Journal, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel and Daily Variety.

Additional Information


Represents more than one-third of the 50 largest U.S. advertising agencies in connection with the hiring and retention of exceptional talent at all levels of their organizations.

Represented one of the top five advertising holding companies in its compliance with immigration requirements in the acquisition of another leading advertising holding company and its subsidiaries.

Advised a top-10 global bank on immigration compliance in its acquisition of a U.S.-based regional bank.

Advised a U.S.-based multinational media corporation in the spin-off of two of its companies into independent entities, assisting the companies in maintaining full business immigration law compliance.

Represents top-10 global financial institutions in their U.S. immigration matters.

Advises European and American fashion and luxury brands on issues related to business immigration policies and matters involving secondment, expatriation and other aspects of workforce mobility.

Works with major theater productions, including many on Broadway, to ensure the ability of foreign talent to take on both long- and short-term stage engagements.

Hamilton CollegeAB 1988Brooklyn Law School
American Immigration Lawyers Association

Client Comments

"Mark is the consummate professional; I know I can always count on him for timely, detailed and expert advice. He's a pleasure to work with."

"My role has given me the opportunity to work with different lawyers across North America, Europe, and Asia. Mark is by far the best lawyer. He has a very good knowledge of the Immigration Law and the ability to teach it effectively. One of the things that make Mark a great lawyer is that he always responds to my e-mails and phone queries in a very timely manner. His excellent understanding of our unique business model and products has given him the ability to provide us with the highest quality of service. The fact that all his visa and green card cases have been approved testifies to the fact that Mark is an outstanding immigration lawyer. As far as I am concerned, however, Mark's most important attribute is his very high ethical standard."

"Mark Koestler and his team at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel have always gone above and beyond in all aspects of their work with our company. What stands out most to me is the patience and clarity shown in every exchange between our companies. Mr. Koestler is accomplished at making sure I understand all aspects of each step in the immigration process before moving ahead. He is also on top of all major immigration documentation updates and deadlines. He is invaluable to our office, as many of our employees and artistic staff pose complicated cases when it comes to acquiring Visas and keeping them current. Mr. Koestler is overall a first rate communicator and I am honored to have a chance to work with him."

-Liza Garcia
Associate Company Manager
Mamma Mia! Broadway

"Mark handles all of the immigration work for our company, which is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Our company comprises dozens of advertising and marketing communications companies, all of whom operate in a very fast-paced environment. We in corporate, and all the individuals in our agency systems who have dealt with Mark, think he is fabulous. Mark is the best outside lawyer we have. He is extremely knowledgeable, responsive, a pleasure to deal with, and we rely upon him unconditionally. He has provided outstanding service over a number of years and has accomplished the impossible on a number of occasions. I refer people to him routinely without reservation, but he always knows what needs further review and approval. It would never occur to us to go to anyone else for these services."

-Marjorie Hoey
Vice President, Associate General Counsel
The Interpublic Group of Companies

"I have been working with Mark Koestler for over 10 years and can't say enough good things about him. He is a trusted advisor whom I have counted on heavily over the years for all immigration related matters. Mark's knowledge of all aspects of immigration law is exceptional. As a professional, he is both thoughtful and creative. I'm confident that when I receive advice from Mark, he has considered the full range of alternatives that may be available to me. As valuable as Mark is as an advisor, he is equally valuable when it comes to implementing his advice. He is efficient and effective with the use of his time and mine. His communication - written and verbal - are clear and concise. Mark communicates easily and clearly with me and, over the years, with an assortment of people with whom I have worked. Whether it's communicating with management (domestic and overseas) or with a visa candidate, Mark's knowledge of his subject matter and his good way with people always help matters to move along smoothly. Finally, Mark is, in addition to everything else, practical. Over the years, I cannot recall even one incident of undertaking an immigration-related matter and not achieving the desired result. "

-Ken Pollet
Answer Human Assets

"Lowe has been working with Mark Koestler for many years. We've followed him from Robinson Silverman to Bryan Cave, and we currently work with him at Kramer Levin. Having worked with other immigration attorneys in the past (I've been handling our immigration cases for more than 20 years), in my opinion, Mark is preeminent in his field. He is brilliant, ethical, and possesses tremendous integrity. Mark is always reachable; if he is not available immediately, he always returns phone calls or emails in a timely manner. I am not an attorney, but throughout my years of working with Mark Koestler, I've learned so much about immigration law. He is incredibly generous about sharing his knowledge and about keeping his clients abreast of any changes in immigration law. He makes difficult cases easier and doable, but if we are faced with an impossible situation, he's very upfront and honest about it and is very explicit as to why. I have no qualms supporting Mark Koestler to be, once again, named one of the the Best Immigration Lawyers. In my opinion, he is the BEST! "

-Jane Watson
SVP, Director of Human Resources

"I have found Mark to be the consummate professional. He is extremely helpful; he is willing to take care of any emergency, and he is always right - but with the balance of humility, honesty, integrity, and always due diligence."

-Nina Abel
International Benefits Analyst
McCann-Erickson WorldGroup

"I have learned more about immigration law, H-1B's, and green cards in the four years I have been working with Mark than I have in my entire HR career. He is extremely knowledgeable, patient, and always available to answer my questions. He will present the facts to me in a straight forward manner, explain all options, and recommend the best solution. He should definitely be listed as one of the best lawyers in America."

-Jane Buttrey
Director Human Resources, Western Region
Weber Shandwick

"Mark Koestler was referred to us by our corporate attorney and we quickly established our own unique working relationship. I am not well-versed in immigration law - especially visas - but Mark breaks down complex terms which I can turn into action items. Mark has provided resources/tools so I can research on my own and learn throughout the process vs. just taking direction. He is detailed and extremely timely. I don't remember ever having to remind him or follow up on any outstanding items or upcoming deadlines; he is always one step ahead of me. He leverages his team well and he is just fun to work with - we have a great rapport! I have recommended him to other HR professionals I work with, and will continue to do so time and time again."

-Tatiana Lashenka
Director, Human Resources
Javelin Direct

"Mark has guided us through the intricacies of immigration law for over 15 years. He works directly with me, and with our HR people around the United States. He provides a superior level of personal service to us, and somehow manages always to be accessible by phone or e-mail. His timely responses to our emergencies have rescued us many times. He is the only person I would use for these matters in the United States."

-Philip S. Krieger
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc.

"Having worked with Kramer Levin and Mark Koestler specifically for the past five-plus years, I find them to be experts in their field. Mark has consistently demonstrated strong dedication to our Agency, and I consider him to be a true business partner. The fact that he is always accessible, patient, pragmatic, and thorough (not to mention quite personable and even funny) makes him such an absolute pleasure to work with. The commitment and high standard of service we have received from him has been invaluable. "

-Danna Gleich
HR Manager

"My organization has been a client of Mr. Koestler's for several years because of his excellent service and capability. Mr. Koestler has a superior communication style with clients. He will give you the critical information and action plan in an explanatory manner that does not confuse or condescend. He is extremely responsive to client needs and quickly adapts to the changing immigration situations within our organization. I have the utmost confidence in his ability and enjoy working with him and his staff."

-Carol Pearson
SVP Human Resources
Louis Vuitton North America, Inc.

"Comments from HR personnel who work with Mark are as follows: "Mark is a very professional and well-respected immigration attorney. He is extremely responsive. Whenever I phone or e-mail him, he responds within a very short period of time. His preparation of documents is very thorough and complete, leaving very little chance for misunderstandings. I am very pleased that I have had the opportunity to work with Mark." We have had tremendous success with Mark. I rank him certainly as one of our top external legal counsel. He provides excellent service, at a surprisingly reasonable fee. "

-Tambra Curtis
Assistant General Counsel
Stora Enso

Office Location

1177 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
United States

Practice Areas

Immigration Law (Business, Consular, Employer Sanctions, Employment, Entrepreneurial, Investors)