Charles J. Keeley


  • Charles J. Keeley
  • Phone: +1 212 404 8751

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    230 Park Avenue, Suite 1130
    New York, NY 10169-0079

Charles J. Keeley represents clients in a broad range of complex commercial disputes, including in the areas of securities, contract, banking, asset management, bankruptcy, corporate governance, ERISA, insurance and intellectual property. His clients include financial institutions, multinational companies, investment advisors, individual directors and officers, insurance companies and real estate developers, as well as small businesses and business owners. Mr. Keeley also assists companies in internal investigations and has defended them in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and in other regulatory matters. In addition, he represents brokers in customer dispute arbitrations before FINRA. 

Prior to entering the practice of law, Mr. Keeley served as judicial clerk to the Hon. John F. Keenan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  

Mr. Keeley is a 2007 magna cum laude graduate of Fordham University School of Law, where he was notes and articles editor of the Fordham Law Review and a Wilkinson Scholar and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also is a summa cum laude graduate of Le Moyne College.


Areas of Practice

  • Commercial Litigation 
  • Financial Institution Litigation
  • Securities Litigation
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
  • White-Collar Defense

Representative Matters

    Securities and Bankruptcy-Related Litigation

  • Represented a major credit rating agency in defense of claims brought by a bank related to the rating of collateralized debt obligations.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a trustee of a pool of commercial mortgage-backed securities on claims against the loan originator seeking to recover more than $25 million for breach of representations and warranties.

  • Represented a financial institution in its proofs of claim against the MF Global estate to recover settlement payments relating to the close-out of credit default swap agreements.

  • Represented the former CEO of a public company in defense of a putative securities class action that resulted in the dismissal of most claims and a favorable settlement.

  • Represented non-U.S. bank affiliates in putative securities class actions on behalf of investors in off-shore hedge funds and was a lead drafter of successful motions obtaining dismissal on forum non conveniens and personal jurisdiction grounds and of appellate briefs resulting in affirmance of the dismissals.

  • Represented public pension funds in fraudulent conveyance litigation against financial institutions that received $10 million dollars in transfers from an insolvent hedge fund.

  • Represented affiliates of insolvent manufacturing company in defense of claims by pension plan trustee seeking to impose millions of dollars in withdrawal liability under ERISA.

  • Lead drafter of an amicus curie brief submitted in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that was joined by more than 60 financial institutions, asset and investment managers, and trust and fund administration companies to support affirmance of a district court decision interpreting Bankruptcy Code section 546(e) to protect from avoidance transfers by investment funds that invested in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

  • Represented a global bank group in defense of claims relating to the Bernard L. Madoff Securities LLC insolvency and was a lead drafter of briefs that resulted in the dismissal of common law claims by the Madoff trustee and the affirmance of that dismissal on appeal.

  • Obtained a FINRA arbitration award on behalf of a customer in a dispute with its broker-dealer.

  • Banking

  • Obtained dismissal of claims against a broker dealer seeking $15 million in damages based on allegedly unauthorized sales of securities.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a bank dismissing claims concerning $11 million in allegedly unauthorized wire transfers.

  • Represent a bank trustee in defense of breach of fiduciary duty claims in litigations brought by trust beneficiaries in state and federal courts.

  • Represented a financial institution in defense of an action to enjoin its use of licensed trade execution software in a copyright dispute with the licensor.

  • Represented co-lenders in connection with third party subpoenas in litigation by the borrower against a municipality for breach of an agreement to construct an arena.

  • General Commercial Litigation

  • Regularly advise one of the major credit rating agencies on transactions with respect to issues of contract law and state and federal public contracting regulations.

  • Represented a real estate development company in obtaining dismissal of multimillion dollar claims under the New York False Claims Act.

  • Represented a limited partner in breach of partnership agreement and fiduciary duty claims against the general partner for wrongfully delaying the partnership’s liquidation in an attempt to inflate its carried interest by over $9 million.

  • Represented a credit card member bank in litigation against an independent sales organization to recover millions of dollars in merchant chargebacks.

  • Represented a third party claims administrator in action by insurance company seeking indemnification and contribution relating to its handling of an insurance claim.

  • Defended a scientific publishing company in an action for breach of contract concerning the purchase of a patent database.

  • Regulatory and Enforcement

  • Represented a bank in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC concerning compliance with anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act.

  • Represented senior management of a public company in an internal investigation into complaints by an activist shareholder about the timing of insider sales.

  • Represented an international shipping company in an internal investigation concerning compliance with the FCPA and OFAC regulations.


  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit


  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D. magna cum laude, 2007
    - Notes and Articles Editor, Fordham Law Review
    - Order of the Coif
  • Le Moyne College, B.A., summa cum laude, 2004
  • Regis High School, 2000


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2020-present
  • Satterlee Stephens LLP
    - Partner, 2017-2020
    - Associate, 2014-2017
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
    - Associate, 2009-2014
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    - Law Clerk to the Hon. John F. Keenan, 2007-2009

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in Super Lawyers Metro New York Rising Stars, 2015-2018

Selected Publications

  • "Madoff Trustee Not Unlike Ordinary Bankruptcy Trustees," Law360, Expert Analysis, June 26, 2013
  • Note, “Subway Searches: Which Exception to the Warrant and Probable Cause Requirements Applies to Suspicionless Searches of Mass Transit Passengers to Prevent Terrorism,” 74 Fordham L. Rev. 3231, 2006

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Ethics CLE Panelist, “Risks Associated with a Mobile In-House Legal Workforce,” Association of Corporate Counsel for Westchester-Southern Connecticut, hosted by IBM in Armonk, New York, October 26, 2017