Gary J. Mennitt
Partner | New York
Gary J. Mennitt

Gary J. Mennitt is co-head of Dechert’s International and Insolvency Litigation group. Mr. Mennitt has extensive first chair trial experience and has tried dozens of cases and has obtained large defense verdicts as well as large monetary awards, including a bench trial judgment of US$109 million in federal court in 2024, a bankruptcy court ruling valued at US$500 million in 2020, and a jury verdict of US$171 million in the New York Commercial Division in 2019. He concentrates on complex multinational litigation and contentious cross-border matters. He has extensive experience leading creditors’ rights, insolvency and bondholder litigation. His practice is fully integrated with Dechert’s bankruptcy and reorganization group.

In 2024, Mr. Mennitt was trial counsel in a real estate finance dispute that resulted in a federal court judgment of US$109 million.

In 2020, Mr. Mennitt was one of two litigation partners on a team that achieved a major victory for the LATAM Airlines’ Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors when the bankruptcy court, following a hotly contested evidentiary hearing, refused to approve an insider DIP financing deal resulting in a revised facility which saved the airline – and its creditors – US$500 million. In 2022, This matter was named the “International Matter of the Year” by the American Bankruptcy Institute.

In April 2019, Mr. Mennitt obtained one of the largest jury verdicts that year in New York’s Supreme Court Commercial Division, a US$171 million judgment in a bondholder trust indenture suit involving an Indonesian issuer. In March 2020, in an unrelated matter, he obtained a complete defense verdict following a trial in the same court in a contested UCC sale process dispute.

Mr. Mennitt represents clients in state and federal trials and appeals throughout the United States in complex matters where much is at stake. He has consistently been ranked as among the top litigators by multiple leading global publications, including Chambers USA, The Legal 500 US, and the New York Law Journal, with The Legal 500 US also noting him as leader of Dechert's tier 1 International and Insolvency Litigation team.

In 2021, Mr. Mennitt was awarded the Conspicuous Service Award for his work as an author of Commercial Litigation In NYS Courts (fifth edition) presented by the New York County Lawyer’s Association.  Mr. Mennitt frequently writes and lectures on topics in his area of trial practice and was awarded the 2013 President’s Medal of the NYCLA for similar service to the bar as an author concerning commercial litigation.  He has written dozens of published articles and book chapters, including chapters on U.S. and global principles of compensatory damages in The Global Damages Review (The Law Reviews 2018), and the litigation chapters of Hedge Funds and the Law (Sweet & Maxwell 2010). 

  • Prevailed for Fisher East River Associates in a New York State Court litigation against Solow East River Development Company, LLC to enforce a $111 million purchase agreement for LLC interests in a large development site at 42nd Street on the East River in Manhattan.
  • Represented Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance and various Apollo subsidiaries and affiliates in litigation concerning Apollo’s mezzanine loan secured by the fee owner at 111 West 57th Street, the “Steinway” building. Following a UCC foreclosure, the joint venture investors lost their equity. One investor has filed series of cases against the Steinway building’s lenders, including Apollo, alleging that lenders were part of a “backroom deal” to misappropriate the investor’s equity. We won complete dismissal of the first case against Apollo and are defending Apollo in another suit filed by the same investor.
  • Representing CIM in litigation concerning mezzanine loans provided to HFZ Capital Group, who defaulted on the loans. We successfully managed the litigation, leading to a UCCn auction of membership interests in four luxury residential buildings in Manhattan, which was CIM’s collateral. We also handle related litigation in the Southern District of New York and obtained a trial judgment. Additionally, we have managed multiple third-party litigations brought by HFZ investors in New York state court.
  • Served as litigation counsel to Macquarie in connection with a mezzanine loan in the amount of US$71 million secured by a portfolio of properties. The borrower defaulted under the loan and after default, Macquarie exercised its rights as a secured creditor and conducted a UCC auction to sell the pledged collateral. We defeated a preliminary injunction to stop the auction in federal court and then prevailed at trial. 
  • Obtained US$171 million jury verdict and judgment for plaintiff bondholders in action against Indonesian issuer in New York State Supreme Court, at the conclusion of trial in April 2019.
  • Represented plaintiff bondholders in Rimrock v Avanti, 157 A.D.3d 543 (1st Dep’t 2018) and prevailed in the lower court despite indenture no-action clause on challenge to discriminatory compensation in bond amendment solicitation.
  • Advised on other bondholder disputes, resolved out of court.
  • Representation of a foreign chemical company in connection with a federal court litigation concerning an international supply contract.
  • Won dismissal of all claims in an international insurance industry dispute involving interconnected arbitrations in Italy and litigations in the U.K. and the U.S. This result was widely reported in the legal press.
  • Post-trial settlement of a federal court litigation involving a financial contract for an international manufacturing client.
  • Argued and won an appeal in the Appellate Division, First Department, dismissing action against Lebanese bank sued by a Swiss securities trader concerning the fallout from an SEC insider-trading investigation.
  • Lead hearing counsel in a FINRA arbitration representing a broker-dealer accused of causing an undisputed US$25 million trading loss in synthetic futures. Following two weeks of hearings, the Panel rejected claimant’s damages theory.
  • Lead trial counsel for the Ponzi scheme estate of The Bayou Hedge Funds in a two-week jury trial on claw-back claims against redeemed investors (his work in this case was featured on, total recovery to the estates as a result of Dechert’s actions is over US$65 million, and the case has produced leading decisions in this area.
  • Lead trial counsel in a dispute between two hedge funds concerning preferential redemption rights in the context of a “seed investment.” A substantial award was made for Dechert’s client and that award was collected in full.
  • Lead trial counsel in Connecticut State Court in a bench trial concerning a complex transaction covering multiple office buildings. Post-trial this matter and a related matter were settled on terms favorable to Dechert’s client.
  • Lead trial counsel in a federal bench trial in the Eastern District of Virginia in a real estate trust dispute. Following trial, the Court found for Dechert’s client and entered a multi-million dollar secured verdict plus attorney’s fees, all collected in full.
  • Lead trial counsel to the former directors of Dictaphone Corp. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit related to claims brought by a litigation trustee in connection with the massive fraud at Lernout & Hauspie, N.V., ultimately resulting in complete dismissal of all claims against the former directors.
  • Complete defense victory in a US$17 million fraudulent conveyance case in the Refco bankruptcy case—the only such victory in that case.
  • Ongoing and completed representations as lead counsel to defendants in connection with fraudulent conveyance litigation in the Madoff, Fairfield Sentry, Refco, and Manhattan Fund cases in the Southern District of New York.
  • Lead trial counsel to the portfolio company acquired and then the corporate defendant in a securities class action brought in Delaware Chancery Court resulting in denial of the preliminary injunction sought concerning a merger.
  • Lead trial counsel to private equity portfolio companies in New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division, in connection with post-closing merger litigations.
  • Representations of Interactive Brokers Group in class action, patent, and commercial litigation and arbitrations.
  • Lead trial counsel to Goody’s Family Clothing, Inc., and certain of its officers and directors, defendants in a putative class action concerning a pending tender offer for the shares of the corporation; settled following defense victory at the preliminary injunction hearing.
  • Substantial pro bono work, including Haywood v. Drown, a prisoners’ rights case in which Dechert prevailed in the United States Supreme Court on Writ of Certiorari to the New York Court of Appeals.

Appellate Experience

Mr. Mennitt has argued the following appeals to the Second Circuit:

  • Kaplan v. SAC Capital Advisors, L.P. (17-4067)
  • Batchelar v. Interactive Brokers (17-3120)
  • In re Bayou Group, LLC (07-1508)
  • TD Waterhouse Investor Services v. Integrated Fund Services, Inc. (03-7115)
  • Chase Manhattan Bank v. Rockefeller Center Properties (02-5008)
  • National Broadcasting Company, Inc. v. Rockefeller Center Properties (02-5059)

Mr. Mennitt has also successfully prosecuted appeals in the Supreme Court of the United States (Haywood v. Drown, 556 U.S. 729 (2009)), the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Fifth and Sixth Circuits and has successfully argued a number of New York State Court appeals.

  • Social Media, AI, and the Law: Current developments — Federal Bar Association and MyLawCLE Webinar (September 6, 2023)
  • Cross-Border Bond Enforcement Litigation — Lawline (March 8, 2017)
  • Bondholder Litigation Update —The Committee on Hedge Funds and Capital Markets of the New York State Bar Association, New York, NY (March 5, 2014)
  • Hedge Fund Insolvency — ABA Business Bankruptcy Spring Meeting, Boston, MA (April 14, 2011)
  • Funding Complex Litigation — Columbia University, New York, NY (April 5, 2011)
  • Corporations in Court — Columbia University Law School, New York, NY (April 16, 2009)
  • Ponzi Schemes and Hedge Fund Due Diligence — New York, NY (January 28, 2009)
  • Electronic Discovery Obligations and Developments —Technology and Telecommunication Committee, American Bankruptcy Institute Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 30, 2005)
    • University of Virginia School of Architecture, B.S., 1985, with Academic Honors
    • Fordham University School of Law, J.D., 1990
    • New York
    • Supreme Court of the United States
    • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
    • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York