Corporate & Financial Services Litigation & Regulation
Distressed Municipal Finance
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. Supreme Court
Syracuse University, College of Law - J.D., 2004
Dartmouth College - A.B., 1999
Ellen Halstead concentrates her practice in the areas of complex financial services litigation, bankruptcy litigation and securities litigation.
Ellen has represented and advised clients on a wide range of matters, including litigations and disputes related to CDOs, CLOs, RMBS and other complex financial products as well as swaps and derivatives. Ellen has significant experience in litigations and disputes regarding offering documents, intercreditor agreements, indentures, loan agreements, collateral management agreements, servicing agreements and ISDA master swap agreements. Ellen also has extensive experience with all types of discovery issues in both federal and state court, including managing and coordinating major e-discovery matters.
Ellen received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, and her J.D. summa cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law, where she was the Form and Accuracy Editor of the Syracuse Law Review.
Representative matters include:
- Currently representing multiple defendants in a civil action in which plaintiffs are seeking to recover over $350 million in a dispute concerning indemnification provisions in a stock sale agreement.
- Currently representing a senior noteholder in an interpleader action brought by an indenture trustee concerning a dispute between different classes of noteholders over distribution provisions in an indenture governing a CDO.
- Currently representing a monoline insurer, which insures billions of dollars of bonds issued by various Puerto Rican public agencies, in a civil action against the Governor of Puerto Rico and other Puerto Rican officials for violations of the Contracts Clause, the Takings Clause and the Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution.
- Currently representing a REIT, listed on New York Stock Exchange, in a proxy contest brought by an activist shareholder.
- Represented a major banking institution in a civil action in which plaintiffs alleged breaches of certain agreements entered into in connection with a chapter 11 bankruptcy.
- Represented a pharmaceutical company, listed on New York Stock Exchange, against a $6.7 billion hostile takeover attempt.
- Represented an international banking institution in a civil action seeking to recover over $700 million in losses from the hedge fund sponsor of a contemplated CLO transaction and its affiliates.
- Represented a senior noteholder in an interpleader action concerning a dispute over post-event of default distribution provisions in an indenture governing a CDO.
- Represented eight major banking institutions in a federal securities law class action asserting claims under Sections 11 and 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 against the underwriters of three securities offerings, aggregating in excess of $3 billion.
Ellen also has been involved in multiple bankruptcy matters and has significant experience concerning adversary proceedings involving fraudulent conveyances, preferential transfers and disputes between creditors. Representative matters include:
- Currently representing a major banking institution as creditor in the chapter 11 bankruptcy of Texas Competitive Electric Holdings LLC and various affiliates pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. In connection with this representation, Ellen is currently representing her client in an adversary proceeding concerning an intercreditor dispute over $90 million in proceeds to be distributed under the plan of reorganization.
- Currently representing a major banking institution as creditor in the Lehman bankruptcy and the Lehman Brothers SIPA proceeding, both pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. In connection with this representation, Ellen has provided advice regarding the liquidation of contracts and trades involving commodities, foreign exchange, interest rate, credit default swaps, and other derivative products under ISDA master agreements and master repurchase agreements.
- Represented a major banking institution as prepetition senior secured lender to Fred Leighton Holding, Inc. and certain affiliates in chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, and as a member of the statutory committee of unsecured creditors in the subsequent chapter 11 case of the debtors’ former shareholder.
- Represented a major banking institution as creditor and interest rate swap counterparty in the chapter 9 bankruptcy of the City of Detroit in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In connection with this representation, Ellen drafted motion papers so that her client could successfully remove and transfer a New York State Supreme Court to the Bankruptcy Court.
- Represented LyondellBasell Industries and certain affiliates in its chapter 11 cases in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. In connection with this representation, Ellen was involved in many of the litigation matters associated with the bankruptcy, including a fraudulent transfer litigation and litigations concerning complex intercreditor relationships.
- Represented Vertis Communications, Inc. and certain affiliates in chapter 11 cases pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Ellen also has worked on several pro bono matters, including:
- Representing multiple clients in disputes with the New York City Housing Authority.
- Working with the New York City Law Department, representing the City of New York in a series of depositions.
- Briefing and arguing a criminal appeal in the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.
- Representing a church based in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in a property dispute in New York State Supreme Court.
Ellen has given CLE presentations on several topics, including on CDO and CLO litigations, bankruptcy litigations and attorney-client privilege. Ellen has lectured at a seminar at Boston University School of Law. Ellen has completed deposition and trial practice training programs with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.