Christopher R. Belmonte concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and creditors' rights. Mr. Belmonte regularly represents financial institutions and major corporations in matters regarding CMBS put-backs, lender liability defense, inter-creditor disputes, commercial mortgage foreclosures and bankruptcy. He has also represented creditors’ committees and creditors serving on official committees in major cases nationwide.
Mr. Belmonte is a 1976 graduate of St. John’s University School of Law, where he was Managing Editor of the St. John’s Law Review, and a cum laude graduate of Queens College, City University of New York.
Areas of Practice
- Business Insolvency, Restructuring & Creditors' Rights
- Corporate and Transactional Law
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
- St. John's University School of Law, J.D., 1976
- Managing Editor, St. John's Law Review
- Queens College, City University of New York, B.A., cum laude, 1973
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2020-present
- Satterlee Stephens LLP
- Partner, 1998-2020
- Casey Lane & Mittendorf
- Partner, 1984-1998
- Associate, 1976-1984
Honors and Awards
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- American Bankruptcy Institute
- American Bar Association
- Litigation Section
- Business Law Section
Successfully represented trade creditors in multiple adversary proceedings seeking to recover potential preferential, fraudulent and/or post-petition transfers in, among others, the Sears, SunEdison, American Apparel, Circuit City, HomeBanc Mortgage Corp., and American Home Mortgage bankruptcy cases.
Represented contract counter-parties and negotiated the assumption or rejection of various executory contracts in, among others, the Hertz, Sears, PG&E, J.C. Penney, Southern Foods Group, and Shopko bankruptcy cases.
Represented Torchlight Loan Services LLC in CMBS litigation claiming over $30 million in damages against defendants Credit Suisse and Column Financial; Torchlight, as special servicer, was granted summary judgment against defendants on its claims for breaches of multiple representations and warranties made by Column in connection with its origination and sale of two commercial real estate loans that were part of a mortgage-backed securities offering. (New York County Supreme, 2020)
Represented unsecured creditors’ committee in Colonial Realty, the largest bankruptcy case then filed in Connecticut.
Successfully defended a multi-week jury trial contesting a will involving a $500 million estate in In Re Bobst.
- Successfully defended IBM against multi-million dollar fraudulent transfer litigation seeking to reverse a leveraged buyout in Lyondell Chemical Co.
- Successfully defended IBM against multi-million dollar fraudulent transfer litigation seeking to reverse a leveraged buyout in Tribune Publishing Co.
- Represented plaintiff, as litigation trustee, in an action against former officers and directors of a Chapter 11 debtor, for breaches of fiduciary duty, negligence and gross mismanagement, and fraudulent transfers. Plaintiff was awarded over $9 million in damages for breaches of fiduciary duties and for fraudulent transfers. Fox v. Koplik (In re Perry H. Koplik & Sons, Inc.), 476 B.R. 746 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2012).
- Represented Latshaw Drilling, LLC in its claim against Lehman Commercial Paper Inc. (LCPI) for failure to fund the balance of a $100 million loan facility, obtaining a $13.1 million reduction in the oversecured loan and ensuring that LCPI paid the majority of its own legal fees. In re Latshaw Drilling, LLC., 481 B.R. 765, 818 (Bankr. N.D. Okla. 2012).