Chris Allegaert, a founding partner of the Firm, is an experienced litigator and trial lawyer. He has tried cases in Federal and state courts and before various arbitral tribunals throughout the country and overseas. Chris has successfully represented clients in high-stakes litigations both on behalf of and against multinational corporations, well-known financial institutions and major accounting firms, as well as scores of individuals and privately-held entities. He has obtained or negotiated multiple seven- and eight-figure settlements, awards and judgments.
Chris’s practice focuses on accounting, banking, contract, corporate governance, general commercial, insurance and reinsurance, intellectual property, securities (including commodities and derivatives), and trusts and estates disputes. He regularly advises foreign businesses, law firms and lawyers with respect to cross-border transactions and litigation. He has extensive experience representing individuals, partnerships and corporations in sensitive investigations by state and Federal agencies, including the SEC, state Attorneys General, the Department of Defense, the CFTC, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as in matters before self-regulatory organizations such as FINRA. Chris also has significant experience with unclaimed property and state escheatment laws.
In addition to his law practice, Chris has taught, written, and lectured on legal subjects. He served as a guest lecturer at the Fordham University School of Law and has co-authored articles dealing with banking and auditing issues. He was a panelist in the McGraw-Hill Irwin Accounting Workshop at Pace University addressing “Lessons We Should Learn From Enron”, a featured speaker before the Banking Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on issues concerning accounting malpractice, and a faculty member in the Association’s Continuing Legal Education program, “Sarbanes/Oxley Act Financial and Accounting Implementation Strategies — A Look Back, A Look Forward”.
Chris was formerly Board Chairman, and remains active in, IAG International, an interdisciplinary professional network comprised of over 70 independent law, tax advisory, fiduciary trust and accounting firms from over 30 countries. He also served for nine years as a Trustee of Newark Public Radio, Inc., a 501(c)(3) corporation and the licensor of WBGO-FM, Jazz 88.3, including as Secretary, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board.
- B.A., Columbia College
- J.D., New York University School of Law
- New York
- Second Circuit
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York
- Federal Bar Council
- Former Member, Secretary, Vice Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Newark Public Radio, Inc. (WBGO-FM -Jazz 88.3)
- Former Member, Secretary and Chairman of the Board, IAG International
- Represented California event creator and producer in suit against Avon Products Foundation for breach of contract and theft of intellectual property; obtained multi-million dollar arbitral award after 67-day hearing.
- Prosecution of claims before the American Arbitration Association arising out of breach of joint venture agreement to pursue repatriation of substantial personal and corporate real property in Romania seized by the Communists in the late 1940s.
- Defense of security brokerage firms in NASD and NYSE customer arbitrations asserting breach of fiduciary duty, churning, and unsuitability, among other claims.
- Prosecution of breach of contract claims before International Chamber of Commerce arbitration panel involving multi-million dollar loan agreement between companies in the department store business in mainland China.
- Representation of individuals and estates in NASD and NYSE arbitrations against securities brokerage firms involving unauthorized or otherwise illegal purchases and sales of securities and other investments.
- Co-lead trial counsel for major international trade finance bank in 48-day Federal jury trial involving multi-million dollar claims of conversion of collateral and RICO violations against another major international bank.
- Representation of two major international banks in defense of lender liability claims arising out of a massive bank fraud perpetrated by executives of an oil refining and trading company.
- Representation of a Swiss private bank with respect to money laundering issues and Patriot Act compliance.
- Representation of Austrian bank with respect to enforcing defaulted loan obligations by borrower with assets in the United States.
- Representation of a clearing bank in an action involving the unauthorized endorsement of a corporate check.
- Representation of a Swiss bank in enforcement of rights under defaulted loan agreement against New York domiciliary.
- Defense of United States subsidiary of Korean multinational in action by Korean bank lender to seize pledged assets in United States bank accounts in derogation of syndicate lenders’ forbearance agreement in Korea.
- Joint defense of trade finance banks in preference and avoidance actions brought by debtor’s Chapter 7 Trustee based on theories of lender liability arising out of a syndicated $235 million revolving credit facility.
- Representation of licensee of film library in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of copyright owner where licensee’s rights to commercially exploit copyright were challenged.
- Representation of airline debtor in action by lender to seize aircraft.
Business and Commercial Disputes
- Representation of former partners of a dissolved New York law firm with respect to claims for an accounting and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Defense of former non-executive Chairman of a UK public company from claims of breach of fiduciary duty asserted by New York-based hedge fund investors; case dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds.
- Defense of major stock brokerage firm in action asserting improper acceptance of corporate check endorsed by CEO as part of embezzlement scheme.
- Defense of CEO and major shareholder of an on-line provider of business news in fight for corporate control with investor shareholders.
- Defense of Delaware corporation and its board of directors in securities class action asserting breach of fiduciary duty arising out of self-tender and follow-on going private transaction.
- Representation of German citizen whistleblower with respect to claims of wrongful termination by multinational corporation under Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
- Representations of professional soccer team in disputes with terminated head coach and with an agent.
Government and Self-Regulatory Organization Investigations
- Representation of individuals, hedge funds and brokerage firms in SEC and NYSE proceedings investigating insider trading and other unlawful manipulations of the securities markets.
- Representation of stockbroker in New Jersey Bureau of Securities disciplinary proceeding involving sale of unregistered securities.
- Representation of convertible arbitrage hedge fund in NYSE insider trading investigation.
- Representation of major military supplier in DCIS investigation brought by Department of Defense.
- Representation of developer of proprietary Bank Owned Life Insurance (“BOLI”) products in Federal Court litigation with bank customer over breach of non-disclosure obligations.
- Representation of creator/manufacturer of motorcycle equipment brand in multiple trademark disputes before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as coordination with counsel abroad concerning protection of mark internationally.
- Representation of major calling card company in trademark infringement claim against leading competitor.
- Representation of German book publisher in copyright and licensing dispute with United States licensee.
- Representation of major industrial manufacturing company in defense of claims alleging negligent design and function of a hydraulic lift.
- Defense of aluminum manufacturer in action seeking multi-million dollar consequential damages for allegedly defective custom alloy for use in high-end softball bats.
- Representation of bank lenders in eight-figure accounting malpractice action against major accounting firm.
- Defense of major accounting firm from claims of negligent tax and audit services by a chemical manufacturing company arising out of a lapsed DISC tax deferral under the IRS Code.
- Representation of failed business in investigation and prosecution of accounting malpractice claim against major accounting firm.
Trust and Estate Litigation
- Representation of estate beneficiaries in multiple litigations against estate creditors, other beneficiaries and fiduciaries, as well as with respect to IRS audit of estate tax returns.
- Representation of guardian for an adjudicated incompetent, the putative settlor and sole beneficiary of an inter vivos trust, with respect to claims against corporate co-fiduciary for waste of trust assets.
- Representation of objectors to probate of a will obtained by undue influence.
- Representation of nominated trustee of testamentary trusts for benefit of minor children in dispute with ex-spouses of decedent.
Class Action Against Enron’s Accountants and Advisors, CPA Journal (with Professor Daniel J. Tinkelman and Louis A. Craco, Jr.)
Holding Auditors Accountable for Negligence, Commercial Lending Review (with Professor Tinkelman)
Reconsidering the Lack of Duty Defense to State Auditor Negligence Claims, The Journal of Corporation Law (with Professor Tinkelman)